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Trials at Nisi Prius.
BY SIR FRANCIS BULLER, Bart.
THE RULES AND PRINCIPLES
OF THAT BRANCH OF THE LAW
THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THE ORIGINAL WORK.
By RICHARD WHALLEY BRIDGMAN, Esq.
THE SEVENTH EDITION.
R, PHENEY, INNER TEMPLE LANE; AND S. SWEET, CHANCERY LANE,
ALMOST forty-six years have now elapsed since this valuable Work was first put to press; and, nearly twentysix years since the sixth and last Edition. In the later reprints, some additions were made, the chief of which seem to have been “ The Rules respecting Patents;" it is to be lamented, however, that sufficient attention has not been paid to the correction of errors discoverable in the former Editions, and that the Cases which the learned Author originally treated as Manuscript Cases, which have been since reported, should have been reprinted without the necessary references to such Reports.
The Editor of the present Edition has endeavoured to keep the original objects of the Author in view, by directing his chief attention to general rules and principles, being aware that “ The Introduction to the Law of Nisi Prius” was never intended to be a digest of Cases determined in the Nisi Prius Courts, but rather as a collection of the Rules and Principles by which Cases before a judge and jury should be governed, and as a Circuit Companion for gentlemen attending the assizes.
The following are the principal alterations and corrections made by the Editor in the present Edition of this valuable Work, and he trusts they will be considered as improvements.
The references to the adjudged Cases are transferred from the margin to the body of the work, and those heretofore referred to by figures only, are now distinguished by their respective names, where such names could be discovered; the obvious liability to error in figured references, was his motive for this alteration. The periods of adjudication also are uniformly added, except in the notes, where, for brevity's sake, they are omitted ; references
to Reports, hitherto omitted, are now annexed; there is one however which, at first, was not easy to be understood, and that is to Oct. Str.; it was made by the learned Author in the first impression of his work, and has been copied in every reprint without explanation; but it has lately been suggested to the Editor, that the Author meant to refer to a small Work printed in Octavo in 1754, under the title of “ Select Cases relating to Evidence, by a late Barrister " at Law.” That Book, it seems, was suppressed, on the ground that its contents had been surreptitiously obtained from the MSS. of Sir John Strange, whose Reports at large were printed by his Son in the following year, in which most of the Cases in that Volume are introduced.
The paging of the later Editions is carefully preserved, and the known difference which exists between the first and subsequent Editions of Douglas's Reports is noticed by placing the pages of the latter within a parenthesis. The Editor, in the notes also, has added many subsequent authorities, and introduced such old ones as appeared applicable to the subject.
The Repertorium of Cases is very considerably extended, embracing all that are cited in the text and notes.
Lastly, A very copious Table of Principal Matters is substituted, which, it is hoped, will materially assist each reference to the text, especially to those Cases which, in many instances, are so diffuse as to have rendered it difficult for the Editor to determine upon the appropriate disposal of the notes.
In conclusion, it may be fairly submitted, that the labours of the Editor, in preparing this Work for publication, after the lapse of so considerable an interval since its last appearance, have been far from inconsiderable; the result of them he now fearlessly confides to the candid judgment of the reader, encouraged by a grateful remembrance of the very favorable reception afforded to his former endeavours to diminish labour and facilitate research.
R. W. B.
OF ACTIONS FOUNDED ON TORTS.