About the Collection

John Scott, Lord Eldon, served as Chancellor of Great Britain from 1801-1827 (except briefly in 1806-07). Esteemed by many contemporaries as the most learned lawyer of his day, he was a key figure in establishing the principles and rules of equity. At the heart of the Eldon Collection are the manuscript volumes, especially Eldon's trial notes. These notebooks offer unique insight into the judge's analysis of the law, especially before the advent of the verbatim law reports. The decisions of Lord Eldon are particularly important for the principles of equity settled therein. These volumes are not only unique, they are central to understanding all modern common law systems. There are many uncommon and interesting volumes in the collection, but this is above all the collection of a working practitioner and judge. Its importance lies in the relationship of the volumes as a collection made and used by Eldon, reflecting his knowledge, interests, and thoughts from his student days at Oxford throughout his life as lawyer and judge.

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