Virginia History Series
Historical Hall of Fame: William Waller Hening (1769-1828) was an early historian of Virginia who compiled a compresensive collection
of all the Laws of Virginia up to ca 1820
In 1823, the Virginia General Assembly passed an act that the proceeds from the sales of Hening's Statutes at Large were to be
used for a public library, and the date, 1823, marks the formal beginning of the Virginia State Library.
In 1789 Hening
was admitted to the practice of law in the city of Fredericksburg together with John Marshall, James Monroe, John Fenton Mercer, John
Taylor, John T. Brook; Robert Brooke and others. After practicing law for a short time in Fredericksburg, Hening removed to
Albemarle County. He became a member of the House of Delegates from Albemarle County in 1804 and from that date until his death in
1828 he continuously held public office.
Hening wrote and edited a number of legal works including the well known Virginia
Justice, Hening and Munford's Reports, and he assisted Benjamin Watkins Leigh in the 1st edition of the Code of 1819. His most outstanding
work, however, was the important Statutes at Large, being a Collection of all the Laws of Virginia which he published in thirteen
[New Va Justice -- 1st Edition (above)]
Hening, W. W.; The Statutes at Large, being a collection of all the Laws of Virginia, published in 13 Volumes ( 1st Vol. Published
in 1823 -- see above)