Columbia Library columns (v.28(1978Nov-1979May))

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  v.28,no.2(1979:Feb): Page 42  



42                                 Kenneth A. Lohf

have been in her family, the Van Cortlandt family, since the eight¬
eenth century, and which are among the most distinguished docu¬
ments donated to the Libraries in recent years. They had been
placed on deposit in the Libraries some fifty years ago by Mrs.
iMartin's father, Augustus Van Cortlandt, and now through Mrs.
Martin's thoughtfulness and generosity they have become a per¬
manent part of the historical collection. The first is a folio volume,
"Minutes of Coroners proceedings in the City and County of New
York," in which is recorded the inquests held under the direction
of the Coroner, John Burnet, from 1747 to 1758. But the second
volume presented by Mrs. iMartin is particularly significant, since
it is a manuscript of the Duke's Laws, entitled "Lawes Establish't
by the Authority of his Majesties Letters Patents gtanted to his
Royall Highness James Duke of Yorke and Albany," an exceed¬
ingly rare compilation of laws bearing the date April 2, 1664, on
the first leaf, and signed by the first English governor of New
York, Richard NicoUs. After the conquest of New York by Eng¬
land this code of laws was compiled for the province, and written
copies were prepared for all the Long Island towns, of which ap¬
parently only four copies, including the present one for Hemp¬
stead, are believed to have survived. This manuscript will be the
subject of an article in a future issue of Colmnns.

Placzek gift. Mr. and .Mrs. Adolf K. Placzek have presented an
eighteenth century English legal document pertaining to the arrest
of one Richard Jones of the County of Devon. Dated May 20,
17 71, the document is in the hand of Francis Henry Drake, a mem¬
ber of the family of the English navigator.

Ray gift. Dr. Gordon N. Ray (LL.D., 1969) has presented two
monumental works important in the history of French illustrated
books: Jean dc La Fontaine, Fables Choisies, Paris, 1755-1759.
four volumes, with full-page engravings by Charles Cochin and
others after drawings by Jean Baptiste Oudry; and Jean Racine,
Oeuvres, Paris, 1760, three volumes, with engravings after draw-
  v.28,no.2(1979:Feb): Page 42