Duhaime's Legal Citations

Co. Rep. - Coke's King's Bench Reports (England)

Related Citation: Co. Litt.


Also Rep.

Thirteen volumes originally collated and published by Edward Coke as a private collection of decisions he participated in as counsel and later, after his appontment to the bench, as judge. They became immensely popular and were a great authority to all, from barristers to the Queen Elizabeth and, later, Kings James and Charles. His elevation to attorney general and, later, chief justice did nothing to diminish the authority of his Reports, which continued unabated for decades and are still occasionally cited today.

In the preface to the subsequent English Reports, of which Coke's Reports now comprise volumes 76 and 77, the editors remark that:

"The last edition of Sir Edward Coke's Reports was that by Serjeant Wilson ... printed in the year 1777 and  ... was merely an imprint of the edition of 1738..."

Obviously, then, as as regards volumes 12 and 13 in any event, publication of some of the Coke's Reports was done post-humously.

The preface to the First Volume was typical of the language of the epoch:

"The first part of the Reports of Sir Edward Coke, Knight of Her Majesty's Attorney General. Of divers resolutions and judgments given with great deliberation by the great judges and sages of the law; of cases and matters in law which were never resolved of adjudged before; and the reasons and causes of the said resolutions and judgments during the most happy Reign of the most illustrious and reknowned Queen Elizabeth, the fountain of all justice and the life of the law."

Co. Rep. (Coke's Reports) contain a veritable who's who of English legal case history [e.g. Pelham's Case (1 Co. Rep. 3a, 1590) and Shelley's Case (1 Co. Rep. 88b, 1581 - see Rule in Shelley's Case)].

See also Co. Litt.

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