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THE

ORIGIN, PROGRESS,

AND

Present Practice

OF THE

BANKRUPT LAW,

BOTH IN

ENGLAND AND IN IRELAND.

By EDWARD CHRISTIAN,

Of Gray's Inn, Esq.

BARRISTER AT LAW, A COMMISSIONER OF BANKRUPT, THE
DOWNING PROFESSOR OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND,

&c. &c.

NG PROFESSOR MISSIONER OP

VOL. I.

LONDON:

Printed for W. CLARKE and SONS, Law Booksellers,
PORTUGAL STREET, LINCOLN'S INN; AND J. COOKE, DUBLIN.

1812.

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DEDICATED,

BY PERMISSION,

TO THE

RIGHT. HON. LORD ELDON,

LORD HIGH CHANCELLOR, 8c. &c. &c.

My LORD,

There is no branch of the Law of England, that exhibits such extraordinary specimens of contrariety of opinions, and irreconcileable decisions as the Bankrupt Law.

Your Lordship has done much more than any of your predecessors, to establish it upon incontrovertible and unerring principles—The origin, progress, and present practice of the Bankrupt Law, therefore, naturally solicits your Lordship's patronage. In every instance it has been my anxious endeavour, not only to state correctly what is the present practice; but to examine diligently, how far that practice is consistent with the origin of the law, or the express declarations of the legislature. If the result of the

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examination should sometimes be at variance with your Lordship's judgments; I am sure that the industry exerted in the investigation, will meet with your approbation, and my conclusions, though erroneous, will be viewed with candour,

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I am proud, my Lord, to seize the present opportunity to declare, that the obligations I am under to your Lordship's learning, are only exceeded by those I owe to your kindness and favour.

I have the honor to be, :::

: My Lord, I '. in 'Your Lordship’s

Most obedient humble servant,

EDWARD CHRISTIAN.

Field Court, Gray's Inn,

March 25th, 1812.

'PREFACE.

"ROM my experience as a commissioner of bankrupto

and from the importance of the subject, I have been induced, as the annotator, 'to add extensive notes to Sir William Blackstone's Chapter upon Bankruptcy; but that chapter, in the last Edition, was printed before the 49 Geo. 3. c. 121 was passed. · So many important changes were introduced into the bankrupt law, by that statute, that I resolved to reprint Sir William Blackstone's Chapter, with the notes cor rected, and to prefis to it a short history of the bankrupt law. After making some progress in the abridgment of the statutes, and the decided cases upon themy; it occurred to me, that the statutes themselves, existing, and expired, were the best and most satisfactory history of the subject. And if all the decisions abridged, were subjoined according to their chronological arrangement, and observations were made upon them, representing which were, or were not, consistent with the statute, and which were to be considered the law of the present day; I conceived that the whole would necessarily comprize a complete system of bankrupt law, uniting both theory and practice, which probably would be found useful to the profession and the public; and from its novelty would avoid, as much as possible, all rivalry with the valuable publications upon the subject now extant.

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