FRANCOIS I [with] ARENA, Antoine


FRANCOIS I [with] ARENA, Antoine Ordonnances du... Francois premier en ce pays de Provence, Forcalquier et terres adjacentes [with] Les Taux, moderations, emoluments des greffiers... avocats du pays de Provence

Avignon, Jean de Channey, 1536-40 [with] Lyon, Thibault Paen, 1540


Folio. 2 vols in 1. ff 105 (xiii). A-T6 V4: ff. (xviii). A-D4 E2. Lettre Bâtard. Both titles within ornate woodcut architectural borders with putti, second with woodcut printer’s device incorporating the royal arms, fine large floriated gothic woodcut initials, with smaller white on black criblé in several series, engraved bookplate of Albert Pascal on pastedown. Uniform light age yellowing. Very good, clean copies in C19th olive morocco, spine with raised bands, inner dentelles richly gilt, by Allô. a.e.g.

A rare, handsome and important compilation of laws relating to the administration of justice in the south of France under Francois I, with reforming edicts for particular places, such as Marseilles. They cover all aspects of practice and procedure, the initiation of proceedings, appeals, vacations, relative jurisdictions, rights and duties of all sorts of officers and counsel and the exercise of Royal authority. There is a particular abundance of material on those perennial legal topics of costs, charges and fees.

The court of the Parlement of Aix was established by Louis II of Provence in 1415, but after the union of Provence with the crown in 1498, Louis XII decided to reform its administration of justice, using the Parlement of Paris as model. At first, the Count of Provence’s administration remained essentially in place, and the new Parlement remained subject to the Governor of Provence. This intermediary situation provoked some unrest and anxious to better ensure his authority, Francis I introduced these edicts in 1534 (first published in 1535), restricting the powers of the Governor, and bringing the Parlement directly under Royal control, which lasted until the Revolution.

These edicts cover administration of the Parliament at every level, the election of officials (from the President down), raising and organizing the ‘Gendarmerie’, the organization of the ‘Legions’, and the fining and punishment of criminals. The work finishes with an interesting edict on the running of the justice system in the town of Marseille with its special privileges and exemptions.

For some reason the Ordonnances are quite often found bound with one or more other works, including Arena’s, which lists the remuneration and privileges of lawyers and judges at the Parlement of Aix. A list of the names of all the towns subject to the jurisdiction of the Parlement d’Aix is given at the end, introduced in Provençal. A very good copy of a rare work.

Fairfax Murray Fr. Vol II 411. Brunet II 388. Not in BM STC Fr.
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