Sir Anthony Fitzherbert was an English judge, scholar and legal author, particularly known for his treatise on English law, New Natura Brevium. Fitzherbert was the son of Ralph Fitzherbert of Norbury, Derbyshire. His brothers died young so he succeeded his father as Lord of the manor of Norbury, in 1514 he published La Graunde Abridgement. All three were reprinted and though Sir Anthonys authorship of the Boke of Husbandrie was formerly questioned it is now regarded as established. Meanwhile, his integrity and ability caused much business to be entrusted to him, Sir Anthony was twice married, first to Dorothy Willoughby who died without issue, and secondly to Matilda Cotton by whom he had a large family. His descendants have remained Catholic and still own his estate of Norbury as well as the seat at Swynnerton. Fitzherbert in 1514 published La Graunde Abridgement, a collection of cases compiled out of the Year Books and this was the first systematic attempt to provide a summary of English law. It was known as La Graunde Abridgement and has often been reprinted and he also brought out an edition of Magna charta cum diversis aliis statutis. To the present day, causing a nuisance has been treated as both a crime and a tort, the ingredients of each being the same. Attributed in Year Book 26 Hen 8 TT, p 4 c 15 to Fitzherbert J, for one can create common appurtenant at this day, and one can alienate it, the author comments, at p 273, that the passage. Must be understood as applying only to common appurtenant for a certain number and it remained one of the classical English law books until the end of the 18th century. In the note to Fitzherbert Nat,10, although wild dogs, &c. drive the cattle of the one into the lands of the other. Fitzherbert anticipated a modern poet, Henley, in one of his most happy phrases, the book contains directions for draining, clearing, and enclosing a farm, and for enriching and reducing the soil to tillage. Lime, marl, and fallowing are strongly recommended, another reason is, that it will preserve the corn without the expense of a herdsman. From the time of the appearance of this work, in 1534, the author does not speak of husbandry only, but of other points. The first 1523 editions of the books are very rare, the 1523 edition of the Boke of Husbandry is remarkable for the engraving upon the title page, representing two oxen drawing a plough with drivers. Swine and bees conclude this branch of the work and we have then a short information for a yonge gentylman that intendeth to thryve, and a prolouge for the wives occupation, in some instances. Among other things, she is to make her husband and herself some clothes and this is not so much amiss, but what follows, according to Loudon will bring our learned judge into disrepute, even with our most industrious housewives
brass monument in chancel floor of Norbury church to Anthony Fitzherbert and his wife
1577 edition of La Graunde Abridgement, 1518
Title page of the 1882 reprint of edition of 1534.