Longman & Co., and Tr'bner & Co., (also Oxford, Cambridge & Dublin), 4 vols., 1st thus : 1871, 1873, 1874 & 1876. Vol. I : 4 + xciii + 492 pp., frontis. (cold. & fldg.). Vol. II : 4 + lxxxvii + 500 pp. Vol. III : 4 + lxxxvi + 673 pp., double frontis (both cold. & fldg.). Vol. IV : 4 + clii + 559 pp., frontis + 1 other plate (both cold. & fldg.). All vols. bound in maroon library cloth ; gilt ; speckled edges. 25 x 16cm. Ex.Lib. (Camden Reference Library) with their cancelled bookplates, small rubber stamps verso of titles ; & gilt ref. to spines ; o/w a clean, tight & FINE set. Volume I signed & inscribed by Dr. Nicholas Rodger : "Nicholas Rodger. Grafton Road, Acton. St. Magnus's Day 1993." Vols. II to IV all signed : "Nicholas Rodger." The Black Book of the Admiralty is a compilation of English admiralty law created over the course of several English monarchs' reigns, including the most important decisions of the High Court of Admiralty. It begins with the Rolls of Ol'ron, promulgated c.1160 by Eleanor of Aquitaine, although the Black Book is of a later date. The book states that the High Court of Admiralty was established during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307) but more recent scholarship places the establishment at c.1360 during the reign of Edward III. Sir Travers Twiss's edition of this mammoth work on our old sea laws is generally accepted to be the finest. First published here in these four volumes between 1871 and 1876, it was regularly reprinted and includes several other medieval legal texts in addition to the Black Book itself. Twiss was obliged to collate various manuscripts contained in the library of Doctors' Commons, in the British Museum, and in the Bodleian ' all of which were supposed to contain the substance of the Black Book. However, before publication of the third volume, the real Black Book was discovered by accident at the bottom of a chest, among a number of private papers which belonged to the late Registrar of the Admiralty Court. This brought to an end, earlier speculations, and restored this very valuable guide to early English maritime law to its rightful place. The additional material in these four extensive volumes include the maritime rules of great medieval towns of Europe ' such as Bruges and Danzig ' and of old English towns/ports such as Ipswich. Illustrated with a number of coloured and folding plates, contents include : Old Rules for the Lord Admiral. Instructions for the Lord Admiral in Time of War. Rules and Orders about Admiralty matters. Inquisition of Queenborrow. Admiralty of John Holland, Duke of Exeter. Ordinances of War. Wager of Battle. Table of Subjects of the Customs of the Sea. The Gotland Sea-Laws. Various Readings of the Black Book of Admiralty. Code of the Teutonic Order of Livonia. The Dantzic Ship-Laws. The Wisby Town-Law on Shipping. Etc., etc. VERY SCARCE four-volume set.