Legal Lore: Curiosities of Law and Lawyers Legal Lore: Curiosities of Law and Lawyers
By William Andrews
2001/08 - Beard Books
1587981025 - Paperback - Reprint -  345 pp.

Great reading for lawyers who want to take a break from the usual and for anyone interested in the eccentricities of past law.

Publisher Comments

Category: Law

This title is part of the Legal History list

Of Interest:

A History of the American Bar

Law: Its Origin, Growth and Function

Life, Death and the Law

Men and Books Famous in the Law

Readings in American Legal History

The Literature of American Legal History

The Reasonableness of the Law

The Rise and Fall of Classical Legal Thought 

The Successful Practice of Law

All who are interested in the study of the byways of literature will find this law classic entertaining and instructive. Some of the subjects of the essays in this delightful collection are: Bible law, sanctuaries, trials of animals, laws relating to Gypsies, fatal links, and post-mortem trials. One example of an oddity is the trial in 1600 of two brothers, then dead, for an attempt on the life of the king. The bodies were produced at the trial, and the sentence pronounced them guilty of treason. Their name, memory, and dignity were to be extinguished and their dead bodies "hanged, quartered, and gibbetted."


From the Daily Mail:

There are some very amusing and curious facts concerning law and lawyers.  We have read with much interest the articles on Sanctuaries, Trials in superstitious  Ages, Ancient Tenures, trials by Jury in Old Times, Barbarous Punishments, and Trials of Animals, and can heartily recommend the volume to those who wish for a few hours' profitable diversion in the study of what may be called the light literature of the law.

From The Scotsman:

Most amusing and instructive reading.

From the Dundee Advertiser:

The contents of the volume are extremely entertaining and convey not a little information on ancient ideas and habits of life.  While members of the legal profession will turn to the work for incidents with which to illustrate an argument or point a joke, laymen will enjoy its vivid descriptions of old-fashioned proceedings and often semi-barbaric ideas to obligation and rectitude.

From the Birmingham Daily Gazette

The subjects chosen are extremely interesting, and contain a quantity of out-of-the-way and not easily accessible information... 

From the Cheshire Notes and Queries

The book is interesting both to the general reader and the student.

From the Dundee Courier:

Those who care only to be amused will find plenty of entertainment in this volume, while those who regard it as a work of reference will rejoice at the variety of material, and appreciate the careful indexing.

From the Northern Gazette:

Very interesting subjects, lucidly and charmingly written.  The versatility of the work assures for it a wide popularity.

From the Norfolk Chronicle:

A happy and useful addition to current literature.

From The Evening Gazette:

The book is a very fascinating one, and it is specially interesting to students of history as showing the vast changes which by gradual course of development have been brought about both in the principles and practice of the law.


William Loring Andrews, a prominent trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and President of the Society of Iconophiles, was born in New York USA in 1837 and was a known bibliophile. A wealthy businessman, he collected rare books, and from 1865, commissioned limited editions distinguished for their typography, illustrations, and bindings. He was founder of the Grolier Club in New York City. He died in 1920.



Bible Law 1
Sanctuaries  13
Trials in Superstitious Ages  23
On Symbols 43
Law Under the Feudal System 58
The Manor and Manor Law 83
Ancient Tenures 95
Laws of the Forest 109
Trial by Jury in Old Times 122
Barbarous Punishments 132
Trials of Animals 149
Devices of the Sixteenth Century Debtors 161
Laws relating to the Gipsies 179
Commonwealth Law and Lawyers 197
Cock-fighting in Scotland 200
Cockieleerie Law 205
Fatal Links 224
Post-Mortem Trials 237
Island Laws 258
The Little Inns of Court 267
Obiter 275

home    |    about us     |     contact us    |     related sites