A Discourse Concerning Treasons, and Bills of Attainder.
by West, Richard
1716. Learned 1716 Defense of Attainder [West, Richard (d. 1726)]. A Discourse Concerning Treasons, and Bills of Attainder. London: Printed for J. Roberts, 1716. [iv], 111 pp. Octavo (7-1/2" x 4-3/4"). Stab-stitched pamphlet bound into recent period-style quarter calf over marbled boards, raised bands and lettering piece to spine. Some soiling to title page and verso of final leaf. "By Mr. West" in fine early hand to title page, interior otherwise fresh. * First edition. One of the most controversial and feared powers of parliament, attainder was the extinction of the civil rights and powers of people convicted of treason or other grave felony. Its principal consequences were the forfeiture and escheat of lands and disqualification from holding, inheriting or transmitting land, either directly or through descent. Especially popular during the Reign of Henry VIII, bills of attainder were usually employed to punish persons who had displeased the king. (Mostly abolished in 1870, they were still applied to outlaws until 1932, when they were abolished altogether.) Their use as an arbitrary tool of reprisal caused widespread resentment. West appreciates this resentment, but argues that bills of attainder are justifiable in certain situations and defends their use. English Short-Title Catalogue T31938. (Inventory #: 65370)
Law & Legal History, International Law, Trials, Americana, Criminology, Early Printed Law Books, Legal Ephemera, Manuscripts: Law, Political Science
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