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A NEW Edition of this Work being called for, it was my duty to render it as valuable as poffible, by inferting the various important cafes, which have been decided both in the Court of King's Bench, and Court of Common Pleas, fince the former impreffion was published. I have, however, preferved the pages of the fecond edition; and when new matter has occurred at the bottom of a page, I have continued the old page with the addition of a letter, thus 240 a. 240 b.-If the new matter happen to be inserted in the middle of a page, I have been obliged to continue the old page beyond the ufual length: but this I hope will be attended with no inconvenience, as the page is always numbered at the top, and the cafes may eafily be found, the names being visible in the margin, even though the fame page be in one or two inftances neceffarily protracted.

MAY, 1796.




WHEN a man prefumes to folicit publie notice for any work of a literary nature, the world have a right to know the motives, that induced him to write, and upon what foundation he builds his claim to their attention. Notwithstanding the number of cafes, which have of late years been determined in the English courts of justice upon the law of infurance, and the uniformity of principle which pervades them all; yet the doctrine of infurances is not fully known and understood. This in fome measure happens from the decisions upon the subject being scattered in the various books of reports, according to the order of time, in which they were determined; and the connexion of which, from the nature of those publications, cannot be preferved. As many perfons cannot spare time, and few will take the trouble, to collect the cafes into one point of view; and as all cafes of insurance muft neceffarily be attended with a number of facts, it is not to be wondered at, if from a curfory, inattentive, and unconnected perufal of them in a chronological order, a great part of the world should remain unacquainted with the true principles of infurance law. No book that I have met with in the English language, has ever yet attempted to form this branch of jurisprudence


into a fyftematic arrangement, or to reduce the cafes to any fixed or fettled principles.

Convinced of the utility of fuch a work, I thought I could not employ my time more advantageously to my profeffion or myself; nor better exprefs that refpect which I, in common with every lawyer, feel for the venerable magiftrate, (a) to whom this work is infcribed, and for the other learned judges, who have affifted in erecting this fabric, than by extracting all the cafes upon this fubject from the mass of other learning, with which they lie buried in the reporters; and thereby endeavouring to prove to the world that the doctrine of infurance now forms a fyftem as complete in every respect as any other branch of the English law. Could any other incitement have been requifite, the opinion of Mr. Juftice Blackstone would have had confiderable weight. "The learning relating to, "marine infurances," fays that elegant commentator, (b)" has of late years been greatly

improved by a feries of judicial decifions, "which have now established the law in such a "variety of cafes, that (if well and judiciouf"ly collected) they would form a very com


plete title in a code of commercial jurifpru"dence." Urged by these motives, I was induced to undertake this work, which is now prefented to the world.

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No fubject can be properly underftood, unless the materials be methodically arranged; and therefore the first object I had in view was to fix upon certain heads, which would be fufficient to comprehend all the law upon infurances.


(a) The late William Earl Mansfield, to whom the first and fecond editions of this work were dedicated.

(b) 2 Blackf. Com, 490.

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