Present State of the Law. The Speech in the House of Commons, on Thursday, Ferburary 7, 1828, on his Motion, that an Humble Address be presented to His Majesty praying that he will graciously be pleased to issue a Commission for inquring into the Defects occasioned by Time and otherwise in the Laws of this Realm, and into the Measures necessary for removing the Same.

London: Henry Colburn, 1828.

Price: $500.00

About the item

First edition. Large paper issue. xii, 125, [1], [2] pp. 4to (10-3/4 x 8-1/2 inches). LARGE PAPER. Bound in full contemporary brown pebbled morocco, large single gilt fillet on upper and lower covers, spine gilt, a.e.g. Fine with contemporary annotations in ink and pencil. Bookplate of Leigh (Stoneleigh Abbey Library). Goldsmith 25722; not in Kress: S. & M. ii, 45.

Item #303071

A fine large paper copy of Brougham's speech to parliament on law reform, one of just 30 according to Goldsmith. The advertisement leaf states that Brougham co-operated on this particular issue and it includes his corrections.

"In February 1828, when he delivered a six-hour speech—the longest ever in the Commons—on law reform, in which he exposed flaws in virtually every area of law (omitting only chancery reform and the criminal law) and staked his claim to be parliament's prime champion of law reform. Brougham's speech struck the perfect note. He showed himself to be committed to a widescale reform of the legal system, while resisting Bentham's iconoclasm. In preparing the speech he had in fact received much guidance (and many manuscripts) from Bentham, who still considered Brougham as the man best placed, after the suicide of Romilly, to advance his projects for codification and the abolition of the common law" (ODNB).

The speech attracted wide publicity and was also published in Philadelphia in the same year.