Friday, 30 October 2009

HOBS: Basil Montagu (1770-1851) - still cited in preference!

Whilst leafing through Louise Gullifer's latest edition of Goode on Legal Problems of Credit and Security (Sweet & Maxwell, 4th Edition, 2008) I was very pleased to note that the new editor has included a reference to Basil Montagu's 1828 book, "Summary of the Law of Set-Off" (2nd edition, 2 parts, London, 1828). I have been working on Basil for some time (see the latest effort here: Tribe, J & Graham, D. Bankruptcy in Crisis - A Regency Saga: Part 4 - Basil Montagu QC (1770-1851) (2009) Insolv.Int, vol.22, no.9, Oct, pp.132-140), so it is refreshing to see that other academics are also making use of his work. This amazing man and his work have not been forgotten!

Gullifer's endorsement (at page 273, footnote one) has not been shared by other commentators. In his magnificent legal bibliography, published in 1847, Marvin (Marvin, JG. Legal Bibliography: or, a Thesaurus of American, English, Irish and Scotch Law Books, together with some Continental Treatises, interspersed with critical observations upon their various editions and authority. To which is prefixed a copious List of abbreviations. T &JW Johnson, Philadelphia, 1847) cites two critiques of Basil's work. First, Mason notes that Basil's text is: "singularly brief and unsatisfactory." (see: Mason's Reports, vol.5, at 207). This criticism was also made apparently in the preface to: Barber, OL. A Treatise on the Law of Set-Off with an appendix of precedents. Albany, 1841.

Picture Credit: Picture in the possession of JP Tribe of a plaster medallion which is located in the Athenaeum.

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