Commentaries on the Laws of England. - William Blackstone, Esq. Solicitor General to Her Majesty 1770 - The Clarendon Press, Oxford - Fourth Edition It Is Better That Ten Persons Escape, Than That One Innocent Suffer.

‘Blackstone's great work on the laws of England is the extreme example of justification of an existing state of affairs by virtue of its history. Until the ‘Commentaries’, the ordinary Englishman had viewed the law as a vast, unintelligible and unfriendly machine; nothing but trouble, even danger, was to be expected from contact with it. Blackstone's great achievement was to popularise the law and the traditions which had influenced its formation.’
Printing and the Mind of Man.

An attractive four volume quarto set [28 x 23 cm] in contemporary full calf binding. With two engraved tables, being the
Table of Consanguinity [Vol. II p.203] and the folding Table of Descents [Vol. II p.240].
  ‘If the English constitution survived the troubles of the next century, it was because the law had gained a new popular respect, and this was due in part to the enormous success of Blackstone's work’. – Printing and the Mind of Man.

‘The volumes were not all issued at once, but followed one another at different times during a period of four years [1765-1769]. First printed at the Clarendon Press, which Blackstone, when appointed a delegate in 1755, had '
found languishing in a lazy obscurity,' and whose quickening was in no small measure due to his 'repeated conferences with the most eminent masters, in London and other places, with regard to the mechanical part of printing,' his recommendations, and to his own examples of good typography supplied in the Magna Charta, published in 1758, and in this his magnum opus’ – Grolier Club.

Provenance: from the library of John Beynon [1755- ],studied at Christ Church, Oxford [1768, aged 16] and was registered at Lincoln’s Inn [1776] with his ink inscription ‘
Lincoln’s Inn April 1778’, to front endpaper of volume I and title page of volumes II.

Printing and the Mind of Man 212. Grolier, One Hundred Books Famous in English Literature.

Quarto, four volumes (binding size 28.3x22.5cm), pp. [4] ii [6] 485 [1]; [8] 520 xix Appendix [1]; [8] 455 xxvii Appendix [1]; [8] 436 vii Appendix [1] [40 Index].
  Bound in contemporary full tan calf, panels borders and edges decoratively blind stamped, rebacked to style retaining original black and red morocco spine labels lettered.   Condition: Near fine, occasional spotting to certain gatherings, probably due to different paper stock, in very good bindings, panels and corners with wear and scratches, rebacked to style retaining original spine labels.   Ref: 107807   Price: HK$ 40,000