Lord Chancellor Eldon's Pamphlets
The Lord Eldon Pamphlets collection contains 1059 titles covering a wide range of subjects including, the debates over the re-introduction of civil jury trials and other reforms to Scotland's legal system, the debates over Catholic Emancipation, various proposals to modify Britain's financial systems,proposals for making and keeping the peace with France, proposals to reform the Court of Chancery, proposals for penal reform, proposals for ending the Slave Trade, and debates over the 1801 Union with Ireland, among many other political topics. There are even literary, agricultural, and scientific pamphlets. It is a diverse collection reflecting both Lord Eldon's interests and the interest of authors in gaining the notice of his attention throughout his professional career by sending him presentation copies. Lord Eldon had apparently even acquired a few of his brother Lord Stowell's collected pamphlets as several are signed "William Scott" or "W.S." In contrast to the majority of the books in the original Middle Temple Lord Eldon Library collection a significant number of the pamphlets are annotated in Lord Eldon's hand, especially those dealing with Chancery issues and Catholic Emancipation. Regrettably, some of those annotations were slightly cropped when the pamphlets were bound together into their respective volumes.
The pamphlets seem to have been organized into groups related by either subject matter of dates of imprint by Lord Eldon to be bound together in his retirement, although a handful of the volumes appear to be somewhat older and may have been gathered and bound earlier in his career. The fact that the volumes lack uniform numbering on the spines also suggests this process may have been carried out over Lord Eldon's professional life and continued into his retirement. Lord Eldon wrote volume numbers above the coat of arms bookplate on the front pastedown of each volume as well as a short table of contents on the facing front free endpaper. In that they include several repeated and missing numbers, the volume numbers he assigned give the impression that this was done late in life; perhaps an indication that Horace Twiss' speculation that Lord Eldon's mental faculties declined in his retirement was correct. (See Horace Twiss, 3 The Public and Private Life of Lord Chancellor Eldon, with Selections from his Correspondence 294 (London: 1844)). We have preserved Lord Eldon's volume numbering by denoting the extra numbers with an 'a' (ex. vol. 4a) and leaving the missing numbers out.
For access to, or further information about, the Lord Eldon Pamphlets collection, please contact:
Special Collections Department
Georgetown University Law Library
111 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 661-9133
Fax: (202) 662-9168