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CHARLES PURTON COOPER, ESQ.
OF LINCOLN'S INN, BARRISTER AT LAW.
“ La plupart aussi de ces reports sont composés de décisions qui ne different en rien de celles qui sont déjà imprimées.” No volumes can be more liable than the present to this objection brought in my Lettres sur la Cour de Chancellerie against the modern Reports. The greatest part of the cases comprised in them have already been edited with great accuracy and ability by Mr. Mylne and Mr. Benjamin Keen, and in a form which, as it admits a fuller statement of facts, must always be deemed more satisfactory to the profession than that in which they now appear.
What, then, it will be asked, is the motive for this new publication ? And I must
frankly own my inability to make any reply to the question, except that this publication originates in a promise to a distinguished Jurist and Statesman of another country, who was desirous of possessing in a separate work authentic copies of all such Judgments of Lord Brougham, whilst presiding in the Court of Chancery, as had previously to the delivery been put into writing-a promise, hastily, and looking at my
occupations, imprudently given, but from the performance of which, for reasons that it is not necessary
here to mention, I have not thought myself at liberty to withdraw.
As the written Judgments are alone the subject of
my undertaking, it comprehends only the years 1833 and 1834; all the preceding Judgments, with three exceptions, having, as it should seem, been pronounced from very brief and imperfect notes-at least no other materials have reached my hands.
* The manuscripts of these Judgments were mislaid at the time when this volume was put to press. In order that the chronological arrangement which I have adopted may not be interrupted, they are designed to make an Appendix to Vol. U.
It will be seen that the Cases now published are entitled “ Select,”—a term which, without explanation, is calculated to mislead. The utility of a Judgment, as a judicial precedent, is by no means the criterion by which I have been guided in my choice. . It was the wish of the eminent individual, to whom I have above alluded, that all Judgments should be inserted, which, from the recital of circumstances contained in them, or from the short abstract prepared from the papers in my possession, would be intelligible to the reader, although affording nothing more than specimens, either of Lord Brougham's mode of sifting and combining facts, and reasoning upon them, or of his Juridical style. Hence some few Judgments will be found in these volumes which Mr. Mylne and Mr. Keen have very properly rejected, as being altogether foreign to the legitimate object of Equity Reports.
The tediousness of correcting the press of this first volume I have found means to diversify, by following to their sources in the Civil and Feudal Laws the doctrines involved