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Commentaries on William Rastell's Collection of all the statutes


France? England? 1550/1650
Commentaries on William Rastell's Collection of all the statutes
Chicago, Newberry Library, VAULT Folio Case MS 5078



William Rastell was an English printer and lawyer, active in the first half of the sixteenth century. A nephew of Thomas More, he began his career as a printer, but then turned to the law instead. As a Catholic, he was forced to flee England twice, once in 1549 during the ascension of King Edward VI, and again in 1563 during Queen Elizabeth’s reign.

This manuscript is a set of commentaries on A Collection of All the Statutes (1557), an important law book edited and published by Rastell, containing statutes from the Magna Carta to 1557. The commentaries are believed to have been compiled somewhere in France around 1600 and possibly earlier.

- Caroline Prud’Homme



- England and Wales, and William Rastell. A colleccion of all the statutes from the begynning of the Magna carta vnto the yere of our Lorde 1557, whiche were before that year imprinted whereunto be addyd the collection of the statutes made in the fourth and fift yeres of the reignes of Kyng Philip and Quene Mary : and also the statutes made in the fyrst yere of the raigne of our souerayne lady Quene Elizabeth. London: Richard Tottel, 1559.