Front Page Titles (by Subject) John Lamb's Case. - Selected Writings of Sir Edward Coke, vol. I
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John Lamb’s Case. - Sir Edward Coke, Selected Writings of Sir Edward Coke, vol. I 
The Selected Writings and Speeches of Sir Edward Coke, ed. Steve Sheppard (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003). Vol. 1.
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John Lamb’s Case.
(1610) Michaelmas Term, 8 James I
In the Court of Star Chamber.
First Published in the Reports, volume 9, page 59b.
Ed.: This note case describes requirements for liability for a libel.
John Lamb, Proctor of the Ecclesiastical Court exhibited a Bill in the Star-chamber against William Marche, Robert Harrison, and many others of the Town of Northampton, and against Shuchburghe and others, for publishing of two libels. It was Resolved, That every one who shall be convicted in the said Case, either ought to be a contriver of the libel, or a procurer of the contriving of it, or a malicious publisher of it, knowing it to be a Libel, for if any readeth a Libel, the same is not any publishing of it, or if he hear it read, it is no publication of it, for before he read or hear it, he cannot know it to be a Libel, or if he hear, read it, and laugh at it, it is no publishing of it; but if after he hath read or heard it, he repeats the same, or any part of it in the hearing of others, or after that he knoweth it to be a libel, he readeth it to others, the same is an unlawful publishing of it; or if he writes a Copy of it, and do not publish it to others, it is no publication of the Libel; for every one who shall be convicted ought to be a contriver, procurer, or publisher of it, knowing it to be a Libel. But it is great evidence that he published it, when he, knowing it to be a Libel, writeth a Copy of it; if not that afterwards he can prove that he delivered the same to a Magistrate to examine it; for then the subsequent Act doth explain the precedent intent. See Reader, Bract. lib. 3. tract. de |[60 a] Corona, cap.36. fo. 155. Fiat autem injuria. cum quis pugno percussus fuerit, verberatus, vulneratus seu fustibus caesus; verum etiam cum ei convitium dictum fuerit; vel de eo factum carmen famosum.1
[1. ][Ed.: A wrong is committed not only when someone is struck with a fist, or beaten or wounded with clubs, but also when he is insulted or made the subject of infamous verses.]