[NEW YORK] The laws of His Majesties Colony of New-York, as they were enacted by the Governour, Council and General Assembly (for the Time being) in divers Sessions, the first of which began April 9th, 1691
. New York: Printed by William Bradford, printer to the Kings Most Excellent Majesty for the Colony of New-York, 1719. Period panelled calf. 11 15/8 x 7 1/8 inches (29 x 18 cm); , 88, 155-, 171-182 [actually p. 180], 183-196, 239-288 [p. 288 paginated 280], 207-253, [paginated 245, verso blank], 246-324, 20, 78 pp. The pagination (even more than is indicated by the enumeration above) is profoundly erratic. Binding rubbed with old restorations and with some losses of leather to lower edge of the front board, the front joint cracked but holding on the vellum slips, front free endpaper lacking. The title and index leaf creased, some separation at the gutter. Some toning as usual, minor staining, but generally a clean copy. The pastedown and title bear the name of Richard Stillwell, and there are Stillwell family notations on the rear endpaper. This is almost certainly the notable New York merchant, 1671-1743.
The description of the Menzies copy of this work is worthy of note, as it discusses the extraordinarily erratic pagination: "The arrangement and paging of this edition of the Laws of New York require explanation in order to be understood. The volume is complete. The gaps in the numbering of the pages arise from the fact that it is made up of reprints of portions of the early acts, those of a temporary character being left out, by which means the number of pages is reduced; and of the session laws, subsequently passed, in the original sheets as they were printed, and continuously numbered with the earlier session laws, as printed at the time, containing the temporary as well as the permanent acts. The directions to be found on the reverse of the last leaf of the table of contents in the beginning of the book will explain the duplication of a large number of pages, by reason of the separate publication of an appropriation bill. It is to be noted that this compilation differs materially from the edition printed in London in the same year, and that laws are found in each not in the other."
This collection of laws is of considerable importance to the early history of New York State and City and is not to be confused with the more common (though still rare) London edition of the same date. Printed by William Bradford, New York City's first public printer (appointed as of 1693) the work is rare, with ESTC showing four copies only (American Antiquarian Society, the Huntington, New York Historical Society and University of Minnesota Law Library). As noted, there is considerable variation in pagination copy to copy; ESTC records , 88, 155-163 [i.e. 155-167], 151-154, 171-196 [i.e. 171-194], 239-288, 207-252, 245-324 [i.e. 245-323]. We have additionally two works bound at the rear. These are the the ten-leaf "Ordinance for Regulating and Establishing Fees (Evans, 1848, ESTC W16214), not recorded in the above collation but noted in Tower; and the 78-pageA journal of the votes of the General Assembly of Her Majesties colony of New-York in America. Beginning the 20th day of October, 1702, under the administration of His Excellency Edward Lord Cornbury, Capt. general and governour of this colony (Evans 1638, ESTC W11516). This last was not present in the copy we sold in 2014. We do not have pp. 151-154 noted in the ESTC pagination above for the main work (the the Acts of June, 1712), but that is within the acceptable variation for this work, and was similarly lacking from copy sold in 2014 (Bar Association of New York). The Charlemagne Tower example also lacks these leaves. The work is, in fact, mutable to the point where almost every extant copy is unique. ESTC W16215; Evans, 2065; Charlemagne Tower 608; Sabin, 53731.
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