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A Selection of Leading Cases on Various Branches of the Law with Notes
Preface to the Thirteenth Edition
The first edition of Smith's Leading Cases was published in 1837. An interesting memoir of the author, John William Smith, who died in 1845, will be found in the first volume of Samuel Warren's Miscellanies, and the outline of his career are given in The Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. liii, p. 92.
The author lived to complete a second edition. The third and fourth editions were edited by the Right Hon. Sir James Shaw Willes, who died in 1872, and the Right Hon. Sir Henry Singer Keating who died in 1888. The fith and sixth editions were edited by the late Frederick Philip Maude and Thomas Edward Chitty; and the seventh, eighth and ninth by the Right Hon. Lord Collins who died in 1911, in conjunction with the late Robert George Arbuthnot, who died in 1890.
In the present edition the editors have followed the course pursued in editing the previous editions. While preserving all the sistinctive features of the work and interfering to the least possible extent with the notes of the former editors, they have endeavoured to make the notes throughout the book concise and accurate, and to incorporate the developments in the law (many of them of much importance) which have taken place since the last edition.
It has been the aim of the editors to preserve the methodicalorder of treatment which was so great an excellence of the original work. With this object they have to some extent re-arranged the notes and have occasionally made excisions of such matter as appearedto them, though useful in itself, either to have been introduced for a temporary purpose or not to be germane to the subject under discussion.
In the present edition the editors have thought that the work will be improved and made more generally useful by the omission of two of the old cases and the introduction of two new ones. Accordingly they have eliminated Rose v. Hart on the subject of the right of set-off in bankruptcy, which is more adequately dealt with in special treatises on the law of Bankruptcy, and Nepean v. Doe and Taylor d. Atkyns v. Horde on the subject of adverse possession, which has lost much of its importance since the REal Property Limitation Acts. In the place of these cases they have bought in Davies v. Mann and Taylor v. Caldwell both of which have long attained the rank of leading cases.
In addition it has been thought desirable to combine the notes to Chandler v. Lopus and Palsey v. Freeman which deal with cognate subjects. The editors are under great obligations to Mr Walter Hussey Griffith, one of the editors of the twelth edition for important assistance in the notes of Indermaur v. Dames and Hadley v. Baxendale.
They are also much indebted to Mr Arthur Gratten-Bellew, of Lincoln's Inn and the South Eastern Circuit for his preperation of the table of cases and his general revision of the index to both volumes.
The addenda and corrigenda include the cases reported in the Law Reports up to August 1920.