"THE GRAND, AND MOST ESSENTIAL POINT TO BE GUARDED AGAINST, IN ALL MATTERS OF INSURANCE, IS FRAUD": SCARCE 1781 FIRST EDITION OF WESKETT'S COMPLETE DIGEST OF THE THEORY, LAWS AND PRACTICE OF INSURANCE
WESKETT, John. A Complete Digest of the Theory, Laws and Practice of Insurance Compiled from the Best Authorities in Different Languages. London: Richardson & Urquhart, et al., 1781. Folio (10 by 15 inches), modern full brown morocco, raised bands, red morocco spine label. $3500.
First edition of this scarce and important work on insurance law, proposing several reforms in its introductory essay, and with numerous references to America.
Weskett's book begins with a critical 80-page essay on insurance law and practice in England that proposes several reforms. The main body is a remarkably comprehensive legal and historical digest concentrating on marine insurance, but also discussing life and fire insurance, with important topics and concepts listed alphabetically. There are frequent references to America, and considerable discussion of international law, the laws of war and the work of such important economists and theorists as Cantillon, Child, Cary, Postelthwayt, De Moivre and Price. A second, and final, London edition was published in 1783. Dublin reprints were issued in 1783 and 1794, and a German translation in 1782-87. Goldsmiths 12207. Sweet & Maxwell I:528.
A few early leaves reinforced with cloth at inner hinges, some edge-wear and soiling to title page, some offsetting to final leaves, text generally clean. Light rubbing to extremities. A very good copy of this scarce and important work on insurance.