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TR E A TI SE
LAW OF MARINE INSURANCE
REFERENCES TO THE AMERICAN CASES, AND THE LATER
43 Fleet Street.
To make a text-book of practical utility and ready reference for English lawyers has been the first object aimed at in this compilation : to this end the matter has been much subdivided and copiously indexed, marginal notes have been added, and an endeavour made to present a methodised arrangement of the body of English Jurisprudence, on the subject of which it treats. Το accomplish this point, without either unnecessary diffuseness, or unsatisfactory generality, seems to form the chief difficulty in these undertakings, especially where, as in the present case, almost the whole law on the subject treated of is judge-made law, and the value of previous decisions, as precedents, depends on the application of rather refined principles to frequently complicated states of fact. Could I hope that I had overcome this difficulty as completely as I have felt it, I should submit this work to the profession with much more confidence than is at present the case.
English decisions are the only authorities recognised as binding in our English courts ; but, in the present state of legal knowledge, no work, professing to treat with any tolerable degree of completeness the subject of Marine Insurance, could avoid frequent reference to the Jurisprudence of the United States.
The names of Chancellor Kent and Mr. J. Story have, indeed, an European celebrity, which would make apology ridiculous for the citation of their authority: I have not, however, by any means confined myself to the judgments of those two great masters of maritime law, but have resorted generally to the decisions of the American tribunals on the many novel and interesting points in the law of Marine Insurance, which, in a commerce of vast activity, and a sea-coast of unrivalled extent, seem to be continually arising for their adjudication.
In citing these authorities my principal guides have been the very elaborate and copiously learned “Treatise on the Law of Insurance,” by Mr. Phillips (2 vols. 8vo. 2nd ed. 1840, Boston),