One day while browsing the rare book stacks (I can do that, I work in Special Collections!) I stopped to look at a book with a very sad binding bearing the title Croke’s Reports, Elizabeth. The book was obviously old, and the boards had been poorly reattached at some point with masking tape. I turned to the title page to see just how old it was and found it was published in 1669 under the title The first part (though last publish’t) of the reports of Sr George Croke, Knight: late, one of the justices of the Court of King’s-Bench, and formerly, one of the justices of the Court of Common-Bench; of such select cases as were adjudged in the said courts, during the whole reign of the late King James. But what really caught my eye was the name written in the top corner of the title page, pictured above. The publication history of this book is interesting, too, but a story for another day.
With the help of Tim at the wonderful Bentham Project at University College, London, I hope to verify if this book really did belong to the renowned philosopher, jurist, and social reformer Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) when he studied law at Lincoln’s Inn, ca. 1763. We’ll keep you posted with any updates.