and a scholar of England's ancient laws and constitution and scholar of Jewish law. He was known as a polymath showing true intellectual depth and breadth; John Milton
hailed Selden in 1644 as "the chief of learned men reputed in this land."
He was born at Salvington
, in the parish of West Tarring
(now part of the town of Worthing
), and was baptised at St Andrew's
, the parish church
.The cottage in which he was born survived until 1959 when it was destroyed by a fire caused by an electrical fault.
Scrutamini scripturas (Let us look at the scriptures). These two words have undone the world.
Old friends are best. King James used to call for his old shoes; they were easiest for his feet.
Humility is a virtue all preach, none practice; and yet everybody is content to hear.
'Tis not the drinking that is to be blamed, but the excess.
Commonly we say a judgement falls upon a man for something in him we cannot abide.
Equity is a roguish thing. For Law we have a measure, know what to trust to; Equity is according to the conscience of him that is Chancellor, and as that is larger or narrower, so is Equity. 'T is all one as if they should make the standard for the measure we call a "foot" a Chancellor's foot; what an uncertain measure would this be! One Chancellor has a long foot, another a short foot, a third an indifferent foot. 'T is the same thing in the Chancellor's conscience.
Ignorance of the law excuses no man; not that all men know the law, but because 'tis an excuse every man will plead, and no man can tell how to refute him.
No man is the wiser for his learning.
Wit and wisdom are born with a man.
Few men make themselves masters of the things they write or speak.