A Treatise of Gavelkind, both Name and Thing.SOMNER, William
Shewing the True Etymologie and Derivation of the One, the Nature, Antiquity, and Original of the Other. With Sundry Emergent Observations, Both Pleasant and Profitable to be Known of Kentish-Men and Others, Especially Such as Are Studious, Either of the Ancient Custome, Or the Common Law of This Kingdome. By (a well-wisher to both) William Somner. The Second Edition corrected from the many errors of the former Impression. To which is added the life of the Author, written, newly revis’d, and much enlarged by the present Lord Bishop of Peterborough.
London: Printed for F. Gyles. 1726.
Second edition. 4to, 218x165mm. [xiv], 136, , 216, [8, index]. Later tan full calf, gilt border to covers, elaborately decorated spine in compartments. Red morocco label, lettered in gilt. Red sprinkled edges. Engraved frontispiece illustrating the memorial to William Somner from St Margaret's Church in Canterbury where he is buried. Binding and contents are in excellent condition, a handsome copy. From the library of the Earls of Macclesfield, the front pastedown has the bookplate of the North Library. William Somner was a lawyer, poet, antiquarian scholar, Royalist and amateur archer. His treatise on gavelkind was the first scholarly work to address this peculiar (to England, that is) form of land ownership based on partible inheritance, not primogeniture.