Thomas Wight

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Thomas Wight (died ca. 1608 [1] ) was a bookseller, publisher and draper in London. Wight published many important books, including many of the earliest law books in English.

Contents

Career

Together with his father, the draper John Wight, he published seven editions of William Bourne's book A Regiment for the Sea, [2] [3] the first purely English navigational text.

By time Wight published Bourne's book, he was primarily a publisher, and became part of a monopoly for printing law books in 1599. He published many of the first printed English law books, including Fulbeck (1600), discussing study methods for law students, techniques for arguing a case, and suggestions for further reading. Pulton (1600), also published by Wight the same year, was the first book to attempt to summarise English criminal law. Fulbecke (1602) was one of the first books on international law. Saint German (1604) was first published in Latin in 1523, and attempts to describe English law through a dialogue between a churchman and a student of English common law. It ponders the nature of law, its religious and moral standards, and jurisdiction of Parliament. Manwood (1598) summarises the laws of the forest, known as Carta de Foresta; this was of key interest to English gentlemen, and went through numerous reprintings. Kitchin (1598) described manorial law, land law, and agrarian law.

Wight published copies of the "Yearbooks", notes by law students which were the earliest English legal reports dating back to the eleventh century. [4]

Wight was also a prominent figure in the early discussions of copyright law. [5]

Edmund Weaver, another famous London book publisher and bookseller, started as Wight's apprentice, and took over the business when Wight died.

Other books published by Wight

Yearbooks

See also

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References

  1. A Quantitative Analysis of the London Book Trade 1614–1618, David L. Gants, Studies in Bibliography – Volume 55, 2002, pp. 185–213 gives a date of 1605 for Wight's death.
  2. The Beginnings of Maritime Publishing in England, 1528–1640, Thomas R. Adams, The Library: Transactions of the Biblioraphic Society, s6-14: 207–220, 1992.
  3. A Regiment for the sea., William Bourne, Imprinted at London: By T. Est, for Thomas Wight, 1592 (log for ships speed, cross-staff, astrolabe.)
  4. Holdsworth, A History of English Law V: 357–377; Marvin, Legal Bibliography (1847) 756. Sweet & Maxwell, A Legal Bibliography of the British Commonwealth of Nations I: 311 (3), 312 (14). Pollard and Redgrave, Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, and Ireland 9679, 1479. Catalogue of the Library of the Harvard Law School (1909) II: 976.
  5. Press Control and Copyright in the 16th and 17th Centuries, W. S. Holdsworth, The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 29, No. 8 (Jun. 1920), pp. 841–858
  6. Sir Edward Coke (1552–1634)
  7. John Manwood (?-1610)
  8. William Fulbecke (1560–1603?)
  9. Geoffrey Chaucer d. 1400.
  10. Leonard Mascall Died 1589
  11. Saint German, Christopher, 1460?–1540
  12. Sir John Fortescue 1394?–1476?
  13. Conrad Heresbach (1496–1576)