Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

English Legal History Research Guide

Contents of this guide include print, micro-media and Internet resources available to facilitate research in legal history at Georgetown Law.

Practice Books

Practice books are the precursors to the modern digests and form books. They assisted the attorney with his practice in general or in specific areas, i.e., criminal law, evidence, real property, etc. They contain a hodge-podge of materials ranging from the proper forms to use in specific procedures to the proper Latin names for cities, towns and people. Below are just a few examples of what is available in the Library.

  • Archbold, John F. The Law of Nisi Prius. 3rd American ed., from the 2nd London ed. 2 vols. Philadelphia: T. & J.W. Johnson, 1853. KF8845 .A9 1853
  • Archbold, John F. A Summary of the Law Relative to Pleading and Evidence in Criminal Cases.London: Sweet and Maxwell, 1986. Reprint edition of London: R. Pheney et al., 1822. KD8329 .A8 1822 1986r Octavo
    • Special Collections also has the 1824 edition. There are more modern continuations of this title in Wolff Library, under the title: Archbold's Pleading, Evidence, and Practice in Criminal Cases.
    • Available online through the Making of Modern Law.
  • The Attorney's Compleat Guide in the Court of King's Bench. London: W. Strahan and M. Woodfall, 1773.  Shelf 00659  
  • Gilbert, Geoffrey. The History and Practice of the High Court of Chancery. London: J. Worall and W. Owen, 1758. KD6939 .G54 1758 Quarto
  • Harrison, Joseph. The Accomplish'd Practiser in the High Court of Chancery. 6th ed. 2 vols. London: T. Whieldon and T. Waller, 1779. KD6939 .H3 1779 Quarto
  • Lilly, John. The Practical Register: Or, A General Abridgment of the Law. 2 vols. London: Tho. Ward et al., 1719. KD6939 .A59 L54 1719 Folio
    • Lilly's Register continues Style's Practical Register from the 17th century.
    • Available in microfiche and online.
  • Richardson, Robert. The Attorney's Practice in the Court of King's Bench. 2nd ed. 2 vols. [London]: T. Woodward, 1743. KD6896 .R53 1743 Quarto
  • Style, William. Style's Practical Register: Begun in the Reign of King Charles I Consisting of Rules, Orders, and the Principal Observations Concerning the Practice of the Common Law in the Courts at Westminster. 4th ed. London: C. Harper, et al., 1707. KD671 .S89 1707 Octavo
  • Tidd, William. Practical Forms, Being Chiefly Designed as an Appendix to the Practice of the Court of King's Bench in Personal Actions. Albany, N.Y.: Charles R. & George Webster, 1803.KD7325 .T532 1803
    • Reprint from the London ed. Special Collections has 2 copies.
    • Available online.
  • Tidd, Williams. Practice of the Court of King's Bench, In Personal Actions. 1st American from London ed. 2 vols. Philadelphia: William P. Farrand, 1807. KD7325 .T53 1807
    • Special Collections also has the 1828 American ed. (M-1159, M-1160) and the 1840 American ed. (M-1157, M-1158). Other editions are in Wolff Library.
    • Available online.