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Legacy Library: John Worthington

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An abridgment of the first part of my Ld. Coke's Institutes : with some additions explaining many of the difficult cases, and shewing in what points the law has been altered by late resolutions and acts of Parliament by Sir Edward Coke

The reports of that reverend and learned judge, the Right Honourable Sr. Henry Hobart knight and baronet, lord chief justice of His Majesties Court of Common Pleas; and chancellor to both their Highnesses Henry and Charles, princes of Wales by Sir Henry Hobart

Declarations and pleadings commenced and entred upon record, in the Court of King's Bench at Westminster, from the twelfth, to the four and twentieth year of the reign of His most sacred Majesty King Charles the Second, in several cases of great importance, containing variety of learning, being drawn by the most eminent pleaders of this age. Collected from the manuscripts of J. Read late of the Middle Temple. Gent. To which is added, choice precedents of the same court, to this present time by Joseph Read

A report of some proceedings on the commission of oyer and terminer and gaol delivery for the trial of the rebels in the year 1746 in the county of Surry, and of other crown cases : to which are added discourses upon a few branches of the crown law by Sir Michael Foster

Cases in law and equity: argued, debated and adjudged in the King's Bench and Chancery, in the twelfth and thirteenth years of Queen Anne, ... With two treatises, the one on the action of debt, the other on the constitution of England. Now first printed from the original manuscript of the late Lord Chief Baron Gilbert by Sir Geoffrey Gilbert

Eight centuries of reports: or, eight hundred cases solemnly adjudged in the Exchequer-Chamber, or, upon writs of error. Publish'd originally in French and Latin by Judge Jenkins. Now carefully translated by David Jenkins

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About meJohn Worthington (1719-1800), Massachusetts lawyer and land speculator. Worthington graduated from Yale College in 1740 and briefly studied theology there while serving as a tutor 1742-1743. He then took up the practice of law in Springfield, where he served as King's attorney for the western region of Massachusetts and as high sheriff of Hampshire County.

Called the "political dictator of Springfield" by one biographer, Worthington also was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives almonst continuously 1747-1766 and 1770-1774; for two years (1767-1768) he sat on the governor's Council. He was made a colonel of militia in 1754. During the 1750s he was among the more active legislators in the House of Representatives, but his involvement faded during the 1760s. Worthington's loyalism (he was close friends with Thomas Hutchinson) almost resulted in his removal to Canada during the Revolution, but he opted to stay in Massachusetts and by 1778 had contributed funds to the Continental army and resumed local political activities.

Worthington married first Hannah Hopkins; after her death in 1766 her took as his second wife Mary Stoddard. Three of Worthington's four daughters (by his first wife) also married leading lawyers: Hannah was the wife of Springfield attorney Thomas Dwight (1758-1819), Mary web Jonathan Bliss (1742-1822), and Frances married Fisher Ames (1758-1808), a lawyer and U.S. Congressman.

Worthington's land speculations tended toward the successful, and one investment resulted in the settlement of what is today Worthington, MA.

A short biography of Worthington can be found in John A. Schutz, ed. Legislators of the Massachusetts General Court, 1691-1780: A Biographical Dictionary. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1997. A more complete sketch is in the Dictionary of American Biography.

About my libraryWorthington's library of law books is now at the Lillian Goldman Law Library at Yale Law School, having been acquired in 1995. The collection can be browsed through their online catalog here.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Do you know of additional books which should be included here? Please contact Libraries of Early America coordinator Jeremy Dibbell.

GroupsLibraries of Early America

Real nameJohn Worthington

LocationSpringfield, MA

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URLs /profile/JohnWorthington (profile)
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Member sinceJan 5, 2009

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