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Celebrating Provenance: The Code of Civil Procedure of the State of New York

Celebrating Provenance

The Code of Civil Procedure of the State of New York

The Code of Civil Procedure of the State of New York
Albany, 1850

The Code of Civil Procedure of the State of New York

The Code of Civil Procedure of the State of New York
Albany, 1850

OWNERS:
David Dudley Field (1805-1894), principal author of the mid-nineteenth century New York law codes

James Reddie, Esq. (1773-1852), town clerk and presiding judge, Glasgow

Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow (circa 1688-present)

The question of whether American common law should be codified occupied the pens of legal commentators during the nineteenth century.  Law reformer David Dudley Field’s “Field Code” of civil procedure was enacted in New York in 1848, exerting international as well as domestic influence.

This copy of the Field Code is a “presentation copy,” inscribed by author David Dudley Field to James Reddie, a jurist who served nearly fifty years as a prominent government official and judge in Glasgow.  Reddie would have been well-positioned to find the Code available to lawyers and legal thinkers abroad.  Indeed, shortly after its receipt, Reddie presented Field’s gift to the Library of the Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow (evidenced by the tipped-in letter), whose law library was (and is) among the largest in Scotland. The Procurators marked the volume with its name stamped in gold on the front cover.