Viewing William Wills, "An Essay on the Principles of Circumstantial Evidence, Illustrated by Numerous Cases" (Third edition, 1850).
William Wills was a solicitor in Birmingham who wrote a lengthy essay on principles of circumstantial evidence that he illustrated with actual cases. First published in 1838, Wills's essay became influential and popular as well.
William Twining, a legal historian of the first rank with a specialty in the law of evidence, places Wills in the "realist tradition" of writers on evidence:
"A charitable interpretation of Wills's book is to treat it not as a work on the law of evidence, but rather as a reflective essay on the logic and practical aspects of handling circumstantial evidence--in Wigmore's terminology, a contribution to a science of proof. As such, it not particularly profound or original, it is eminently readable, and this may account for its subsequent popularity in the United States and India as well as in England. Later editions contained extensive treatments of scientific evidence and in time it became established as a popular practitioners' handbook, although it dealt hardly at all with legal doctrine."
William L. Twining, "Rethinking Evidence: Exploratory Essays" 48 (Northwestern University Press, 1994).