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A survey of the cities of London and Westminster

“Because I know that time is always time

And place is always place and only place

And what is actual is actual only for one time

And only for one place”

Ash Wednesday T.S. Eliot. 1930

 

Before giving a description of such a momentous book, I feel a bit of framing is due. Much has been written about this wonderful huge book, yet I feel it is necessary to state that this book is indispensable for anyone doing research on any subject relating to Early Modern London. Stow’s initial foray into the subject set the bar high for detailed description of the physical and social environment of London. This edition, by far the best is the work of three generations of Antiquaries, the catalogues of books, records and manuscripts excerpted is impressive in its own right and would be an irreplaceable library on its own. But this work is manifest of cultural shifts and maintains differing scholars approaches to understanding of the recording and preserving of cultural heritage, the list of subscribers depicts the capital invested in this undertaking.

 

947G      John Stow   1525-1605

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A survey of the cities of London and Westminster: containing the original, antiquity, increase, modern estate and government of those cities. Written at first in the year MDXCVIII. By John Stow, citizen and native of London. Since reprinted and augmented by A.M. H.D. and other. Now lastly, corrected, improved, and very much enlarged: and the survey and history brought down from the year 1633, (being near fourscore years since it was last printed) to the present time; by John Strype, M.A. a native also of the said city. Illustrated with exact maps of the city and suburbs, and of all the wards; and likewise of the out-parishes of London and Westminster: together with many other fair draughts of the more eminent and publick edifices and monuments. In six books. To which is prefixed, the life of the author, writ by the editor. At the end is added, an appendiz of certain tracts, discourses and remarks, concerning the state of the city of London. Together with a perambulation, or circuit-walk four or five miles round about London, to the parish churches: describing the monuments of the dead there interred: with other antiquities observable in those places. And concluding with a second appendix, as a supply and review: and a large index of the whole work.

 

London: printed for A. Churchill, J. Knapton, R. Knaplock, J. Walthoe, E. Horne, B. Tooke, D. Midwinter, B. Cowse, R. Robinson, and T. Ward, 1720                  SOLD 

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Two Folio volumes 15 1/4 X 9 inches.

vol I :Map of London, π2, (B)-(D)2,(a)-(d)4,(e)-(f)2 Q2, A-Z4, Aa-Pp4,Qq2,[end of first book]  B-Z4, Aa-Dd4,[end of second book] A-Z4, Aa-mm4,Nn3 [end of 3rd book]

vol II : π1,A-P4, A-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa- Lll4, Mmm2 [end of book V] A-Z4, Aa-KK4, Ll-Rr2.  Each of the 6 ’books’ has its own pagination, and is introduced by a drop-head title.

There are 70 full Page (and 30 of those folding) Maps and Plates .

The Fold-out of “Elizabethan London ” is lacking as in many copies,  otherwise these two volumes are complete and almost in perfect condition, The Large foldout map of the city of London  DSC_0245has been reinforced on the back and there are a few pages with margin repairs not touching the text. All the pages are crisp and clean. It is truly a stunning copy.

DSC_0222This copy is beautifully and expertly bound in modern quarter calf, over marbled boards, quite a Stately set of volumes indeed! . The binding is in fine working order.

“In the century following Stow’s death, however, the Tudor capital so lovingly depicted and recorded in Stow’s Survey was dramatically transformed. The huge growth of the metropolis, the devastation wrought by the Great Fire of 1666 and the subsequent rebuilding of the City made an updating of the Survey highly desirable. It was to answer this need that John Strype (1643-1737), the ecclesiastical historian and biographer, published a new, hugely expanded version of Stow’s Survey of London in 1720.”

First Issue with “1698” for 1598 on the title page (?) John Stow’s Survey of London, first published in 1598, brims with amusing descriptions and anecdotes as well as highly detailed accounts of the buildings, social conditions and customs of the time, based on a wide range of classical and medieval historical literature, public and civic records, and Stow’s own intimate knowledge of the city where he spent his life. “The reader of A Survey travels with Stow through each of the city’s wards and the adjoining city of Westminster, learns about the wall, bridges, gates, and parish churches . . . DSC_0232 2[Stow] also records the negative aspects of urban growth, in the shape of unsightly sprawl, filth, the destruction of ancient monuments, and above all poverty. His book approaches the thoroughness of an encyclopaedia . . . It is noteworthy that while Camden’s Britannia was written in Latin for the educated élite, Stow’s Survey was composed in the language of his fellow countrymen.” This edition, of 1720, greatly expanded with interpolated amendments by John Strype, is considered the best and most desirable.

DSC_0235 “Throughout his life at Low Leyton, Strype crossed the River Lea into London each week to meet and converse with his antiquarian friends and to call on his contacts in the book trade. . . . The Survey had been repeatedly revised and enlarged in order to keep up with the changing aspect of the post-fire city, now much expanded and altered in its religion and other ways. . . . Although Strype had arranged most of the work by 1707, and the engravings had been prepared, it was set aside after the publication of Edward Hatton’s New View of London in 1708, which seemed to cover much the same ground and was considerably smaller and cheaper. . . . Finally, once the defects of Hatton’s book were acknowledged another agreement in November 1716 led to the Survey’s publication at the end of 1720. . . . The print run was probably more than 500 copies . . . To quote Merritt, ‘By this stage the Survey has a multiple personality, switching with little warning from nostalgic Elizabethan antiquary [Stow] . . . to diligent post-Restoration recorder of events [Strype] and back again’ (Merritt, 87).” (ODNB).

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Richard Grafton] had the audacity to enter into historical controversy (impar congressus) with the great John Stow. This ‘merry old man,’ footing it over England in search of Antiquities because he could never learn to ride, sometimes suspected by Government of being insufficiently Protestant, now begging with a basin in the street, now spending £200 a year on his library, holds a very high place in the history of learning. Even those who, like Camden, distrusted his judgment, allowed his industry. His Chaucer (1561) was his first but by no means his best work: he helped to swell the Chaucerian apocrypha. His Summary of English Chronicles (1565) looks at first like a retrogression from Hall; we are back at the annalistic form and the London tradition with its lists of bailiffs and mayors. But the important thing is that Stow is not a mere compiler but (as we call it) a ‘researcher.’ He uses the literary sources but he adds ‘paynfull searche’ into records, and ‘diligent experience.’ He collected not only books but charters and legal documents. He bought up the collections of others, and his own assisted both Speght and Parker. In 1580 came the Chronicle of English from Brute unto this present year, re-issued in 1592 as the Annals. The Survey of London (1598) was re-issued in 1603 and afterwards enlarged by other hands.

DSC_0238Its modern editor finds this work ‘instinct with’ a ‘life’ which the Annals lack. It is a treasure–house of old customs, old splendors, old gaieties and hospitalities, already vanished or vanishing when the author wrote. Stow had no stylistic ambitions; his works were, as he said ‘written homely.’ His prose varies between mere note–making (see the account of printing under year 1458 in the Summary) and tolerably vivid narrative. In general it is just such an unobtrusive medium as keeps our attention on the facts, and therefore good for its purpose; recte olet ubi nihil olet.” (page 298-299, English Literature in the Sixteenth Century, C.S. Lewis)
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 Maslen & Lancaster. Bowyer ledgers, 584; Lowndes V, 2526. Gibson’s Library, p. 258. ESTC Citation No. T48975.

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Strype’s Survey of London

J.F.Merritt

University of Nottingham

The creation of the 1720 edition

If John Stow’s Survey of London is probably the most famous single work ever written about England’s capital, then the enlarged and updated edition of the same book published some 120 years later by the famous ecclesiastical historian John Strype surely stands as one of the most remarkable works of scholarship ever produced about the city, and is regarded even today as a standard and invaluable work of reference for historians of the capital. Just as London’s boundaries and population had vastly expanded in the years between Stow and Strype’s works, so Strype’s edition dwarfs Stow’s original work. In two stout folio volumes, Strype’s monumental composition provides not just an updated account of the City that brings it down to the early eighteenth century, but also vastly extends the work’s range both geographically (to take in the sprawling suburbs of the metropolis) and thematically (to discuss a panoply of new subjects, from the Great Fire and the provision of water and public health to workhouses and the Bank of England). This is combined with a famous collection of ward and parish maps, and a fine set of plates of prominent buildings. The whole is appropriately preceded by the first detailed life of John Stow, with a full-page reproduction of his funeral monument. 1

The Survey of London is a work which has attracted many different editors in its history, and Strype’s own remarkable edition cannot be used effectively without an understanding of its relationship to the original and subsequent texts of this remarkable work.

John Stow’s own Survey of London was first published in 1598. But he did not intend this to be his last word on the subject. In 1603 he published a new edition with many important corrections and additions, and he clearly intended to embark on further elaborations and refinements, prevented only by his death in 1605. Work on a new edition of the Survey began not long after Stow’s death. His first posthumous editor was the incorrigible Anthony Munday — playwright, pageant-writer, polemicist, and (apparently) a spy reporting against both puritans and Catholics. Munday claimed of Stow that, while still alive, ‘much of his good mind he had formerly imparted to me, and some of his best collections lovingly delivered me, prevailing with mee ? to proceed in the perfecting of a Worke so worthy’. 2 Munday’s new edition of the Survey, published in 1618, sought to update Stow’s text in a number of ways. Another edition, published in 1633 after Munday’s death, took things further, including a substantial new section entitled ‘A Returne to London’, which sets out to document a resurgence in London church repair, rebuilding and beautification, undertaking a parish-by-parish survey of the capital’s churches. A further bizarre appendix presents an accumulation of miscellaneous, almost random, material, under the title ‘The Remaines or Remnants of Divers Worthy Things which should have had their Due Place and Honour in this Worke, if Promising Friends had Kept their Words’. 3

The unwieldy sprawl of Munday’s 1633 edition showed that Stow’s work clearly required a more effective editor. Nevertheless, no further editions of Stow were attempted. Instead, the text of the Survey (usually the 1633 edition) was raided by later authors for material that they could insert into their own works on London. This was the case in James Howell’s Londinopolis (1657) and Thomas de Laune’s The Present State of London (1681; 2nd ed 1690). In 1694 a concerted attempt was made by Richard Blome (who had produced a new edition of William Camden’s Britannia in 1673) to complete a new edition of Stow’s Survey ‘with large additions and improvements’. While new maps and much new text were generated, however, the edition itself was never published. 4

In 1702, two of the publishers involved in the abortive 1694 edition of the Survey drew up an agreement to edit the Survey with one of those writers who had initially been approached to provide materials for the 1694 edition. This was John Strype. Strype is best known to us as an ecclesiastical historian, but also enjoyed fame as an accomplished editor of texts and historical documents, including an immensely popular account of Ceylon (and indeed, his ecclesiastical annals and biographies were often essentially compendia of extracts of transcribed documents). His edition of the Survey was apparently completed by November 1707, but Strype and his publishers then found that booksellers would not accept the work because of the simultaneous publication of a much slimmer and cheaper rival — Edward Hatton’s New View of London — which used significant amount of materials from Stow (although self-consciously abandoning Stow’s structure and methodology). Like Blome’s edition, Strype’s 1708 Survey was therefore aborted. Nevertheless, the deficiencies of Hatton’s work meant that the demand for a scholarly updating of Stow’s Survey were undiminished, and by the second half of 1716 the edition was back on track, and Strype’s edition of the Survey was finally published in December 1720. The work, in two folio volumes, was priced at a princely six guineas, and somewhere between 500 and 700 copies were published, with 271 subscribers listed in the work itself. 5

The drawn-out process by which Strype’s edition emerged can help to explain some of the peculiarities of the text as it was finally published. Strype clearly had access to the text and other materials of Blome’s abortive 1694 edition. He scrupulously indicates all Blome’s additions to the original Survey with the marginal note ‘R.B.’ —but this means that some of these sections stop abruptly in 1694. The maps in Strype’s edition are also essentially taken from Blome’s 1694 edition, although with some minor alterations made in 1707 (although, unlike the text, Blome’s name is unceremoniously removed from the maps). Strype also does not seem to have altered the main body of the text that he completed for the 1708 edition, so that changes occurring between 1708 and 1720 are often missed. The written account of the city therefore essentially describes London as it was in 1708. 6 Even the list of stage coaches and carriers is dated 1707. Strype did, however, add a number of new and supplementary sections to the work.

The earlier history of the Survey under the editorship of Stow and Munday can also explain some other gaps and anomalies in the coverage of Strype’s edition. For example, the entries for different London parishes provide plentiful information on Jacobean church-building, because Strype has taken the separate, consolidated account of early Stuart church-building–which Munday appended to the 1633 edition–and redistributed this material within the overall entries on each individual parish. But Strype’s edition contains virtually no reference to any church-building or decoration in London parishes during the Laudian campaign of the 1630s and surprisingly little on the later seventeenth century. There had, of course, been no shortage of such building, but there had been no Munday around to record it, and Strype made no use of parochial documents to investigate these matters further. 7

Other anomalies of the edition’s coverage can be explained by the practicalities of the gathering of material. The chance enthusiasm of certain clergy and parish officials, for example, seems to explain why some parishes, such as St James Clerkenwell and St Botolph Aldgate, are far more fully documented than others, especially for the later seventeenth century. 8 It is also not surprising to find that Strype’s own parish of Low Leyton receives more attention than its suburban location might otherwise have afforded it, as does the parish of Hackney, where he held a lectureship. While Strype does not seem to have consulted parish records such as churchwardens’ accounts (so that his accounts of parochial donors are dependent on the tables and monuments visible in churches when he and his assistant ‘I.W.’ visited them), nevertheless the support of Bishop Compton of London meant that Strype had access to diocesan materials of a type which neither Stow nor Munday had available. Strype relied heavily on the recent 1693 episcopal visitation returns to update the perambulation portion of the Survey, while information from an earlier visitation of 1636 helped to fill in gaps about the pre-Fire character of certain parishes.

Some omissions in the edition also reflect simple time constraints. As late as October 1719, it was noted that information on nine livery companies was still missing, and in the final version three livery companies are bereft of a brief history, with only their coat of arms provided (II.v.247). Yet by July 1720 Strype was still supplying new material for the appendices, much to the consternation of the booksellers who begged him to ‘put a stop to the great Enlargements which we perceive are like to be made in the second Appendix for We have Exceeded by 80 sheets of Our first Computation already’. 9

While we may note its many omissions, however, it is just as important to emphasize the enormous amounts of new material which Strype introduced to the Survey. It should also be recognized that Strype did not merely add new material by describing recent events and institutions, but also drew on medieval and Tudor sources to expand significantly the coverage of the period before Stow wrote his first edition. For example, Strype’s account of the parish of St Martin in the Fields, Westminster is enriched by his use of Burghley’s papers for an account of an enclosure riot in 1592 (II.vi.79-80). 10

 

Strype and the 1720 Survey

If it is important for the reader of Strype’s edition to understand how the work stands within the series of continuations of Stow’s original work, it is equally important to appreciate how John Strype’s own preoccupations played a vital role in shaping the 1720 edition.

Strype’s experience as an editor clearly led him to take a keen interest in identifying Stow’s original text. He explains in his preface that he wished to return to the uncorrupted Stow because ‘since the Author’s Death there having crept in a great number of Errors, as it happens in After-Editions’. Contemporaries had increasingly tended to conflate the versions of the Survey produced by Stow and Munday. Strype therefore made it a priority to disentangle the publishing history of the Survey by introducing a system of marginal annotations, so that Stow’s original text could be identified. This partly reflected Strype’s conviction that Munday was greatly inferior to Stow as a scholar, but also his esteem for Stow himself. Not the least notable addition to the Survey that Strype introduced was the ‘Life of Stow’ which prefaces the whole work, along with a full-page reproduction of Stow’s funeral monument. Strype’s ‘Life of Stow’ marks a significant moment in the rehabilitation of Stow’s reputation. Strype presents him as a paragon of honest and intuitive scholarship, compassionate to the poor, and specifically refutes charges that he was overly credulous or unscholarly in his working methods. He makes no attempt to hide Stow’s Catholic sympathies, but explains them in terms of a response to the sacrilege of the early Reformation, and offers a rounded, realistic and above all sympathetic account of his trials and tribulations.

Strype clearly admired Stow as a fellow scholar and editor. But for all his editorial scruples, his concern to follow Stow’s method, and the practical pressures that significantly shaped the content of the book, Strype’s edition of the Survey is not entirely lacking in evidence of Strype’s own religious and intellectual preoccupations. 11

The son of a Dutch immigrant silk merchant, John Strype grew up in a family with strong non-conformist links. This was particularly true of the family of his mother, Hester van Strype, who is known to have sheltered non-conformist ministers in her London house during the 1665 plague. After the death of his father, the young Strype also came under the influence of his brother-in-law John Johnson, a dedicated Presbyterian minister. It was Johnson who in 1663 arranged for Strype to transfer from Jesus College, Cambridge to the more amenable Catherine Hall, where John Lightfoot (who had earlier supported Presbyterianism at the Westminster Assembly) was master. Despite this background, however, Strype ultimately decided to position himself firmly within the ranks of the established church — a decision which alienated him from most of his close-knit family for many years. 12 The influence of some of this background may be glimpsed in his treatment of the stranger communities in the pages of the Survey. While condemning the naturalization of alien merchants, Strype still does his best to defend the rights of the stranger communities to be exempted from the requirements of religious conformity. In part, he does this by emphasizing, not their shared membership of an international Protestant community (as puritans had traditionally done) but rather the degree to which their behaviour echoes that of the established church. Thus he notes how French Protestants at St Anne Soho use the English liturgy in French translation, with episcopally-ordained ministers officiating and sometimes wearing Anglican garb (II.v.294-305; II.vi.85).

Strype was closely involved in the religious politics of his day. He served as minister at Low Leyton, just outside London, from 1668 until his death, and it was from here that he supported Henry Compton, bishop of London, even when the latter was suspended by James II in 1686. Strype was also involved in clandestine publications criticizing James’ religious policies. Thereafter, Strype’s strong support for the Glorious Revolution led to his formal institution as rural dean of Barking by the grateful Bishop Compton, and he was additionally rewarded with a lectureship at the nearby parish of Hackney. In the years that followed, Strype’s position as dean of Barking extended beyond a merely pastoral one, as he also participated in electioneering for the Essex Church-Tory party. 13

Strype’s religious sentiments — fiercely anti-Jacobite and anti-Catholic, disapproving of Dissenters, and passionately committed to the established church — can also be seen to have found outlets in sections of the Survey. Thus, while Strype follows Stow in including Fitzstephen’s encomium of Thomas Becket at the end of the medieval account of London, he adds a stinging editorial addition that this was written by ‘a Monk, the Pope’s sworn Creature ? in the very Depth of Popery’ (II.Appendix, p.15). It is also notable that, while later eighteenth-century editors of the Survey felt obliged to denounce the anti-Catholic inscriptions on the Great Fire Monument, Strype was comfortable merely to report these additions to the Monument without comment. 14

The Survey also bears witness to Strype’s profound concern with the moral life of the City, encapsulated in his enthusiasm for such contemporary organizations as the Society for the Reformation of Manners. He introduces a new section to the Survey that is specifically concerned with ‘the late Endeavours used in the City for the restraining of Vice’, which describes ‘in what State Religion and Good Manners stand here at present’, partly by an approving overview of the various Societies (II.v.30-52). Like Munday and Stow, Strype gives an account of charities and almshouses, but this is no mere catalogue of good works — this is clearly a topic that excites Strype’s particular interest. He gives a meticulous account of the workhouse in Bishopgate Street, with case studies of its successes (I.i.197-202). This concern with the instruments of social control and moral reform is very much of its time, and conspicuously different from the world of Stow and Munday, where the very fact of the founder’s charity claimed most attention.

Needless to say, this preoccupation with the need to maintain social order means that Strype makes little space in his edition of the Survey for the discussion of sports and pastimes. As a diligent editor he reproduces Stow’s account of ‘the customary Sports used in the City’, but rather than supplementing this with an updated account of such pursuits, Strype rather oddly chooses to append a bloodcurdling account of ‘some of their customary Punishments in former Times, of Shame or Pain, or both, for divers Sorts of Crimes and Misdemeanours: Such were Pillorizing, Carting, Riding, Whipping.’ (I.i.257-8). The association of the two topics in Strype’s mind seems clear. It is hardly surprising that virtually the only allusion that Strype makes to theatrical drama in the capital focuses on the City’s attempts under Elizabeth to regulate potentially dissolute players and the ‘lewd Matters of plays’ (II.v.244-6).

Strype’s edition also breathes the spirit of its age in its provision of statistical information. Strype’s modish fascination with political arithmetic shines through in page upon page of statistics and tables charting matters such as the volume of livery company charity, amounts spent yearly on the diet of the poor, numbers received into and discharged from the capital’s workhouses, and a lengthy account of fire insurance rates, complete with charts to calculate premiums. Similarly, the state of contemporary London’s wealth and income, and its role at the centre of overseas trade, are celebrated, along with lengthy discussions of trading companies and the Bank of England (e.g. II.v.256-73, 404-8, 445-7).

Strype’s edition of the Survey of London is, then, a remarkable compendium of information about the capital. For all of its omissions, the anomalous chronological range of some sections, and the idiosyncrasy of others, its editor still manages to muster a huge amount of material gathered from an extraordinary range of sources. The two hefty volumes may lack the immediate personal touch and focus of Stow’s own Survey, but this is not because Strype himself was simply a dispassionate observer of events. As we have seen, he had his own agenda and beliefs as well. The unwieldiness of the Survey partly reflects the task that Strype set himself — to preserve Stow’s original text and the essential structure of Stow’s work, but also to integrate the additions of Munday, Blome and Strype himself within the same framework. What it gains in comprehensiveness, it loses in coherence. Not the least bewildering aspects of the book is the cacophony of editorial voices. The authorial ‘I’ can be found reporting events witnessed in the 1540s, conversations in the 1620s, or visiting Westminster Hall in the 1650s in order to see the standards seized at the Battle of Worcester (I.ii.66; I.iii.16; II.vi.49). The Survey of Strype’s edition has a multiple personality, switching with little warning from nostalgic Elizabethan antiquary to triumphalist Jacobean pageant-writer to diligent post-Restoration recorder of events and back again. Instead of a perambulation where Stow takes the reader by the hand through London’s streets, it is now a huge boisterous party — with Munday, Blome, Strype and others all coming along, interrupting one another, hailing the new and the old using the same authorial ‘I’ — an ‘I’ that is sometimes nostalgic and regretful, sometimes enthusiastic and forward-looking.

It emphatically does not conform to our modern sense of a scholarly edition of a celebrated work. Nevertheless, Strype’s sprawling edition creates an altogether richer melange of materials. Rather than being frozen in the past, the Survey of London lives in Strype’s present, speaking of new developments as well as recording old ones. Moreover, as a repository of the knowledge, ideas and manuscript discoveries of this most indefatigable of antiquaries, Strype’s Survey of London still represents a treasure trove for the historian of London.

END

Footnotes

  1. Much of the following text is adapted from J.F. Merritt, ‘The reshaping of Stow’s Survey’, in J.F. Merritt (ed.), Imagining Early Modern London. Perceptions and Portrayals of the City from Stow to Strype, 1598-1720 (Cambridge, 2001), pp. 52-88.
  2. Munday, Survey (1618), ‘The Epistle Dedicatory’, sig. 2.
  3. For a fuller discussion see Merritt, ‘Reshaping’, pp. 54-67.
  4. Ibid., pp. 67-73.
  5. John J. Morrison, ‘Strype’s Stow: the 1720 Edition of ‘A Survey of London’’, London Journal 3 (1977), pp. 42-7, 54 n.68.
  6. Ibid., pp. 41, 47.
  7. Merritt, ‘Reshaping’, p. 86.
  8. Ibid., p. 84 n.114.
  9. Ibid., pp. 85-6; Morrison, ‘Strype’s Stow’, p. 47.
  10. See also J.F. Merritt, The Social World of Early Modern Westminster (Manchester, 2005), pp. 202-5.
  11. For a fuller discussion see Merritt, ‘Reshaping’, pp. 76-84.
  12. John J. Morrison, ‘John Strype: historian of the English Reformation’, PhD thesis, University of Syracuse (1976), pp. 21-8, 37.
  13. Ibid., pp. 33, 67, 70-3, 284, 287-97.
  14. I.ii.181; Survey (1754), I.ii.501-2.

And to bring us no now, one of my favorite things to do in London is to follow the Old wall, much of which s marked on the sidewalk roads and Walls themselves, Of course Stow did this and there is an Appendix to this edition giving you as guided tour.

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A survey of the cities of London and Westminster

“Because I know that time is always time

And place is always place and only place

And what is actual is actual only for one time

And only for one place”

Ash Wednesday T.S. Eliot. 1930

 

Before giving a description of such a momentous book, I feel a bit of framing is due. Much has been written about this wonderful huge book, yet I feel it is necessary to state that this book is indispensable for anyone doing research on any subject relating to Early Modern London. Stow’s initial foray into the subject set the bar high for detailed description of the physical and social environment of London. This edition, by far the best is the work of three generations of Antiquaries, the catalogues of books, records and manuscripts excerpted is impressive in its own right and would be an irreplaceable library on its own. But this work is manifest of cultural shifts and maintains differing scholars approaches to understanding of the recording and preserving of cultural heritage, the list of subscribers depicts the capital invested in this undertaking.

 

947G      John Stow   1525-1605

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A survey of the cities of London and Westminster: containing the original, antiquity, increase, modern estate and government of those cities. Written at first in the year MDXCVIII. By John Stow, citizen and native of London. Since reprinted and augmented by A.M. H.D. and other. Now lastly, corrected, improved, and very much enlarged: and the survey and history brought down from the year 1633, (being near fourscore years since it was last printed) to the present time; by John Strype, M.A. a native also of the said city. Illustrated with exact maps of the city and suburbs, and of all the wards; and likewise of the out-parishes of London and Westminster: together with many other fair draughts of the more eminent and publick edifices and monuments. In six books. To which is prefixed, the life of the author, writ by the editor. At the end is added, an appendiz of certain tracts, discourses and remarks, concerning the state of the city of London. Together with a perambulation, or circuit-walk four or five miles round about London, to the parish churches: describing the monuments of the dead there interred: with other antiquities observable in those places. And concluding with a second appendix, as a supply and review: and a large index of the whole work.

 

London: printed for A. Churchill, J. Knapton, R. Knaplock, J. Walthoe, E. Horne, B. Tooke, D. Midwinter, B. Cowse, R. Robinson, and T. Ward, 1720                  $18,000  

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Two Folio volumes 15 1/4 X 9 inches.

vol I :Map of London, π2, (B)-(D)2,(a)-(d)4,(e)-(f)2 Q2, A-Z4, Aa-Pp4,Qq2,[end of first book]  B-Z4, Aa-Dd4,[end of second book] A-Z4, Aa-mm4,Nn3 [end of 3rd book]

vol II : π1,A-P4, A-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa- Lll4, Mmm2 [end of book V] A-Z4, Aa-KK4, Ll-Rr2.  Each of the 6 ’books’ has its own pagination, and is introduced by a drop-head title.

There are 70 full Page (and 30 of those folding) Maps and Plates .

The Fold-out of “Elizabethan London ” is lacking as in many copies,  otherwise these two volumes are complete and almost in perfect condition, The Large foldout map of the city of London  DSC_0245has been reinforced on the back and there are a few pages with margin repairs not touching the text. All the pages are crisp and clean. It is truly a stunning copy.

DSC_0222This copy is beautifully and expertly bound in modern quarter calf, over marbled boards, quite a Stately set of volumes indeed! . The binding is in fine working order.

“In the century following Stow’s death, however, the Tudor capital so lovingly depicted and recorded in Stow’s Survey was dramatically transformed. The huge growth of the metropolis, the devastation wrought by the Great Fire of 1666 and the subsequent rebuilding of the City made an updating of the Survey highly desirable. It was to answer this need that John Strype (1643-1737), the ecclesiastical historian and biographer, published a new, hugely expanded version of Stow’s Survey of London in 1720.”

First Issue with “1698” for 1598 on the title page (?) John Stow’s Survey of London, first published in 1598, brims with amusing descriptions and anecdotes as well as highly detailed accounts of the buildings, social conditions and customs of the time, based on a wide range of classical and medieval historical literature, public and civic records, and Stow’s own intimate knowledge of the city where he spent his life. “The reader of A Survey travels with Stow through each of the city’s wards and the adjoining city of Westminster, learns about the wall, bridges, gates, and parish churches . . . DSC_0232 2[Stow] also records the negative aspects of urban growth, in the shape of unsightly sprawl, filth, the destruction of ancient monuments, and above all poverty. His book approaches the thoroughness of an encyclopaedia . . . It is noteworthy that while Camden’s Britannia was written in Latin for the educated élite, Stow’s Survey was composed in the language of his fellow countrymen.” This edition, of 1720, greatly expanded with interpolated amendments by John Strype, is considered the best and most desirable.

DSC_0235 “Throughout his life at Low Leyton, Strype crossed the River Lea into London each week to meet and converse with his antiquarian friends and to call on his contacts in the book trade. . . . The Survey had been repeatedly revised and enlarged in order to keep up with the changing aspect of the post-fire city, now much expanded and altered in its religion and other ways. . . . Although Strype had arranged most of the work by 1707, and the engravings had been prepared, it was set aside after the publication of Edward Hatton’s New View of London in 1708, which seemed to cover much the same ground and was considerably smaller and cheaper. . . . Finally, once the defects of Hatton’s book were acknowledged another agreement in November 1716 led to the Survey’s publication at the end of 1720. . . . The print run was probably more than 500 copies . . . To quote Merritt, ‘By this stage the Survey has a multiple personality, switching with little warning from nostalgic Elizabethan antiquary [Stow] . . . to diligent post-Restoration recorder of events [Strype] and back again’ (Merritt, 87).” (ODNB).

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Richard Grafton] had the audacity to enter into historical controversy (impar congressus) with the great John Stow. This ‘merry old man,’ footing it over England in search of Antiquities because he could never learn to ride, sometimes suspected by Government of being insufficiently Protestant, now begging with a basin in the street, now spending £200 a year on his library, holds a very high place in the history of learning. Even those who, like Camden, distrusted his judgment, allowed his industry. His Chaucer (1561) was his first but by no means his best work: he helped to swell the Chaucerian apocrypha. His Summary of English Chronicles (1565) looks at first like a retrogression from Hall; we are back at the annalistic form and the London tradition with its lists of bailiffs and mayors. But the important thing is that Stow is not a mere compiler but (as we call it) a ‘researcher.’ He uses the literary sources but he adds ‘paynfull searche’ into records, and ‘diligent experience.’ He collected not only books but charters and legal documents. He bought up the collections of others, and his own assisted both Speght and Parker. In 1580 came the Chronicle of English from Brute unto this present year, re-issued in 1592 as the Annals. The Survey of London (1598) was re-issued in 1603 and afterwards enlarged by other hands.

DSC_0238Its modern editor finds this work ‘instinct with’ a ‘life’ which the Annals lack. It is a treasure–house of old customs, old splendors, old gaieties and hospitalities, already vanished or vanishing when the author wrote. Stow had no stylistic ambitions; his works were, as he said ‘written homely.’ His prose varies between mere note–making (see the account of printing under year 1458 in the Summary) and tolerably vivid narrative. In general it is just such an unobtrusive medium as keeps our attention on the facts, and therefore good for its purpose; recte olet ubi nihil olet.” (page 298-299, English Literature in the Sixteenth Century, C.S. Lewis)
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 Maslen & Lancaster. Bowyer ledgers, 584; Lowndes V, 2526. Gibson’s Library, p. 258. ESTC Citation No. T48975.

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Strype’s Survey of London

J.F.Merritt

University of Nottingham

The creation of the 1720 edition

If John Stow’s Survey of London is probably the most famous single work ever written about England’s capital, then the enlarged and updated edition of the same book published some 120 years later by the famous ecclesiastical historian John Strype surely stands as one of the most remarkable works of scholarship ever produced about the city, and is regarded even today as a standard and invaluable work of reference for historians of the capital. Just as London’s boundaries and population had vastly expanded in the years between Stow and Strype’s works, so Strype’s edition dwarfs Stow’s original work. In two stout folio volumes, Strype’s monumental composition provides not just an updated account of the City that brings it down to the early eighteenth century, but also vastly extends the work’s range both geographically (to take in the sprawling suburbs of the metropolis) and thematically (to discuss a panoply of new subjects, from the Great Fire and the provision of water and public health to workhouses and the Bank of England). This is combined with a famous collection of ward and parish maps, and a fine set of plates of prominent buildings. The whole is appropriately preceded by the first detailed life of John Stow, with a full-page reproduction of his funeral monument. 1

The Survey of London is a work which has attracted many different editors in its history, and Strype’s own remarkable edition cannot be used effectively without an understanding of its relationship to the original and subsequent texts of this remarkable work.

John Stow’s own Survey of London was first published in 1598. But he did not intend this to be his last word on the subject. In 1603 he published a new edition with many important corrections and additions, and he clearly intended to embark on further elaborations and refinements, prevented only by his death in 1605. Work on a new edition of the Survey began not long after Stow’s death. His first posthumous editor was the incorrigible Anthony Munday — playwright, pageant-writer, polemicist, and (apparently) a spy reporting against both puritans and Catholics. Munday claimed of Stow that, while still alive, ‘much of his good mind he had formerly imparted to me, and some of his best collections lovingly delivered me, prevailing with mee ? to proceed in the perfecting of a Worke so worthy’. 2 Munday’s new edition of the Survey, published in 1618, sought to update Stow’s text in a number of ways. Another edition, published in 1633 after Munday’s death, took things further, including a substantial new section entitled ‘A Returne to London’, which sets out to document a resurgence in London church repair, rebuilding and beautification, undertaking a parish-by-parish survey of the capital’s churches. A further bizarre appendix presents an accumulation of miscellaneous, almost random, material, under the title ‘The Remaines or Remnants of Divers Worthy Things which should have had their Due Place and Honour in this Worke, if Promising Friends had Kept their Words’. 3

The unwieldy sprawl of Munday’s 1633 edition showed that Stow’s work clearly required a more effective editor. Nevertheless, no further editions of Stow were attempted. Instead, the text of the Survey (usually the 1633 edition) was raided by later authors for material that they could insert into their own works on London. This was the case in James Howell’s Londinopolis (1657) and Thomas de Laune’s The Present State of London (1681; 2nd ed 1690). In 1694 a concerted attempt was made by Richard Blome (who had produced a new edition of William Camden’s Britannia in 1673) to complete a new edition of Stow’s Survey ‘with large additions and improvements’. While new maps and much new text were generated, however, the edition itself was never published. 4

In 1702, two of the publishers involved in the abortive 1694 edition of the Survey drew up an agreement to edit the Survey with one of those writers who had initially been approached to provide materials for the 1694 edition. This was John Strype. Strype is best known to us as an ecclesiastical historian, but also enjoyed fame as an accomplished editor of texts and historical documents, including an immensely popular account of Ceylon (and indeed, his ecclesiastical annals and biographies were often essentially compendia of extracts of transcribed documents). His edition of the Survey was apparently completed by November 1707, but Strype and his publishers then found that booksellers would not accept the work because of the simultaneous publication of a much slimmer and cheaper rival — Edward Hatton’s New View of London — which used significant amount of materials from Stow (although self-consciously abandoning Stow’s structure and methodology). Like Blome’s edition, Strype’s 1708 Survey was therefore aborted. Nevertheless, the deficiencies of Hatton’s work meant that the demand for a scholarly updating of Stow’s Survey were undiminished, and by the second half of 1716 the edition was back on track, and Strype’s edition of the Survey was finally published in December 1720. The work, in two folio volumes, was priced at a princely six guineas, and somewhere between 500 and 700 copies were published, with 271 subscribers listed in the work itself. 5

The drawn-out process by which Strype’s edition emerged can help to explain some of the peculiarities of the text as it was finally published. Strype clearly had access to the text and other materials of Blome’s abortive 1694 edition. He scrupulously indicates all Blome’s additions to the original Survey with the marginal note ‘R.B.’ —but this means that some of these sections stop abruptly in 1694. The maps in Strype’s edition are also essentially taken from Blome’s 1694 edition, although with some minor alterations made in 1707 (although, unlike the text, Blome’s name is unceremoniously removed from the maps). Strype also does not seem to have altered the main body of the text that he completed for the 1708 edition, so that changes occurring between 1708 and 1720 are often missed. The written account of the city therefore essentially describes London as it was in 1708. 6 Even the list of stage coaches and carriers is dated 1707. Strype did, however, add a number of new and supplementary sections to the work.

The earlier history of the Survey under the editorship of Stow and Munday can also explain some other gaps and anomalies in the coverage of Strype’s edition. For example, the entries for different London parishes provide plentiful information on Jacobean church-building, because Strype has taken the separate, consolidated account of early Stuart church-building–which Munday appended to the 1633 edition–and redistributed this material within the overall entries on each individual parish. But Strype’s edition contains virtually no reference to any church-building or decoration in London parishes during the Laudian campaign of the 1630s and surprisingly little on the later seventeenth century. There had, of course, been no shortage of such building, but there had been no Munday around to record it, and Strype made no use of parochial documents to investigate these matters further. 7

Other anomalies of the edition’s coverage can be explained by the practicalities of the gathering of material. The chance enthusiasm of certain clergy and parish officials, for example, seems to explain why some parishes, such as St James Clerkenwell and St Botolph Aldgate, are far more fully documented than others, especially for the later seventeenth century. 8 It is also not surprising to find that Strype’s own parish of Low Leyton receives more attention than its suburban location might otherwise have afforded it, as does the parish of Hackney, where he held a lectureship. While Strype does not seem to have consulted parish records such as churchwardens’ accounts (so that his accounts of parochial donors are dependent on the tables and monuments visible in churches when he and his assistant ‘I.W.’ visited them), nevertheless the support of Bishop Compton of London meant that Strype had access to diocesan materials of a type which neither Stow nor Munday had available. Strype relied heavily on the recent 1693 episcopal visitation returns to update the perambulation portion of the Survey, while information from an earlier visitation of 1636 helped to fill in gaps about the pre-Fire character of certain parishes.

Some omissions in the edition also reflect simple time constraints. As late as October 1719, it was noted that information on nine livery companies was still missing, and in the final version three livery companies are bereft of a brief history, with only their coat of arms provided (II.v.247). Yet by July 1720 Strype was still supplying new material for the appendices, much to the consternation of the booksellers who begged him to ‘put a stop to the great Enlargements which we perceive are like to be made in the second Appendix for We have Exceeded by 80 sheets of Our first Computation already’. 9

While we may note its many omissions, however, it is just as important to emphasize the enormous amounts of new material which Strype introduced to the Survey. It should also be recognized that Strype did not merely add new material by describing recent events and institutions, but also drew on medieval and Tudor sources to expand significantly the coverage of the period before Stow wrote his first edition. For example, Strype’s account of the parish of St Martin in the Fields, Westminster is enriched by his use of Burghley’s papers for an account of an enclosure riot in 1592 (II.vi.79-80). 10

 

Strype and the 1720 Survey

If it is important for the reader of Strype’s edition to understand how the work stands within the series of continuations of Stow’s original work, it is equally important to appreciate how John Strype’s own preoccupations played a vital role in shaping the 1720 edition.

Strype’s experience as an editor clearly led him to take a keen interest in identifying Stow’s original text. He explains in his preface that he wished to return to the uncorrupted Stow because ‘since the Author’s Death there having crept in a great number of Errors, as it happens in After-Editions’. Contemporaries had increasingly tended to conflate the versions of the Survey produced by Stow and Munday. Strype therefore made it a priority to disentangle the publishing history of the Survey by introducing a system of marginal annotations, so that Stow’s original text could be identified. This partly reflected Strype’s conviction that Munday was greatly inferior to Stow as a scholar, but also his esteem for Stow himself. Not the least notable addition to the Survey that Strype introduced was the ‘Life of Stow’ which prefaces the whole work, along with a full-page reproduction of Stow’s funeral monument. Strype’s ‘Life of Stow’ marks a significant moment in the rehabilitation of Stow’s reputation. Strype presents him as a paragon of honest and intuitive scholarship, compassionate to the poor, and specifically refutes charges that he was overly credulous or unscholarly in his working methods. He makes no attempt to hide Stow’s Catholic sympathies, but explains them in terms of a response to the sacrilege of the early Reformation, and offers a rounded, realistic and above all sympathetic account of his trials and tribulations.

Strype clearly admired Stow as a fellow scholar and editor. But for all his editorial scruples, his concern to follow Stow’s method, and the practical pressures that significantly shaped the content of the book, Strype’s edition of the Survey is not entirely lacking in evidence of Strype’s own religious and intellectual preoccupations. 11

The son of a Dutch immigrant silk merchant, John Strype grew up in a family with strong non-conformist links. This was particularly true of the family of his mother, Hester van Strype, who is known to have sheltered non-conformist ministers in her London house during the 1665 plague. After the death of his father, the young Strype also came under the influence of his brother-in-law John Johnson, a dedicated Presbyterian minister. It was Johnson who in 1663 arranged for Strype to transfer from Jesus College, Cambridge to the more amenable Catherine Hall, where John Lightfoot (who had earlier supported Presbyterianism at the Westminster Assembly) was master. Despite this background, however, Strype ultimately decided to position himself firmly within the ranks of the established church — a decision which alienated him from most of his close-knit family for many years. 12 The influence of some of this background may be glimpsed in his treatment of the stranger communities in the pages of the Survey. While condemning the naturalization of alien merchants, Strype still does his best to defend the rights of the stranger communities to be exempted from the requirements of religious conformity. In part, he does this by emphasizing, not their shared membership of an international Protestant community (as puritans had traditionally done) but rather the degree to which their behaviour echoes that of the established church. Thus he notes how French Protestants at St Anne Soho use the English liturgy in French translation, with episcopally-ordained ministers officiating and sometimes wearing Anglican garb (II.v.294-305; II.vi.85).

Strype was closely involved in the religious politics of his day. He served as minister at Low Leyton, just outside London, from 1668 until his death, and it was from here that he supported Henry Compton, bishop of London, even when the latter was suspended by James II in 1686. Strype was also involved in clandestine publications criticizing James’ religious policies. Thereafter, Strype’s strong support for the Glorious Revolution led to his formal institution as rural dean of Barking by the grateful Bishop Compton, and he was additionally rewarded with a lectureship at the nearby parish of Hackney. In the years that followed, Strype’s position as dean of Barking extended beyond a merely pastoral one, as he also participated in electioneering for the Essex Church-Tory party. 13

Strype’s religious sentiments — fiercely anti-Jacobite and anti-Catholic, disapproving of Dissenters, and passionately committed to the established church — can also be seen to have found outlets in sections of the Survey. Thus, while Strype follows Stow in including Fitzstephen’s encomium of Thomas Becket at the end of the medieval account of London, he adds a stinging editorial addition that this was written by ‘a Monk, the Pope’s sworn Creature ? in the very Depth of Popery’ (II.Appendix, p.15). It is also notable that, while later eighteenth-century editors of the Survey felt obliged to denounce the anti-Catholic inscriptions on the Great Fire Monument, Strype was comfortable merely to report these additions to the Monument without comment. 14

The Survey also bears witness to Strype’s profound concern with the moral life of the City, encapsulated in his enthusiasm for such contemporary organizations as the Society for the Reformation of Manners. He introduces a new section to the Survey that is specifically concerned with ‘the late Endeavours used in the City for the restraining of Vice’, which describes ‘in what State Religion and Good Manners stand here at present’, partly by an approving overview of the various Societies (II.v.30-52). Like Munday and Stow, Strype gives an account of charities and almshouses, but this is no mere catalogue of good works — this is clearly a topic that excites Strype’s particular interest. He gives a meticulous account of the workhouse in Bishopgate Street, with case studies of its successes (I.i.197-202). This concern with the instruments of social control and moral reform is very much of its time, and conspicuously different from the world of Stow and Munday, where the very fact of the founder’s charity claimed most attention.

Needless to say, this preoccupation with the need to maintain social order means that Strype makes little space in his edition of the Survey for the discussion of sports and pastimes. As a diligent editor he reproduces Stow’s account of ‘the customary Sports used in the City’, but rather than supplementing this with an updated account of such pursuits, Strype rather oddly chooses to append a bloodcurdling account of ‘some of their customary Punishments in former Times, of Shame or Pain, or both, for divers Sorts of Crimes and Misdemeanours: Such were Pillorizing, Carting, Riding, Whipping.’ (I.i.257-8). The association of the two topics in Strype’s mind seems clear. It is hardly surprising that virtually the only allusion that Strype makes to theatrical drama in the capital focuses on the City’s attempts under Elizabeth to regulate potentially dissolute players and the ‘lewd Matters of plays’ (II.v.244-6).

Strype’s edition also breathes the spirit of its age in its provision of statistical information. Strype’s modish fascination with political arithmetic shines through in page upon page of statistics and tables charting matters such as the volume of livery company charity, amounts spent yearly on the diet of the poor, numbers received into and discharged from the capital’s workhouses, and a lengthy account of fire insurance rates, complete with charts to calculate premiums. Similarly, the state of contemporary London’s wealth and income, and its role at the centre of overseas trade, are celebrated, along with lengthy discussions of trading companies and the Bank of England (e.g. II.v.256-73, 404-8, 445-7).

Strype’s edition of the Survey of London is, then, a remarkable compendium of information about the capital. For all of its omissions, the anomalous chronological range of some sections, and the idiosyncrasy of others, its editor still manages to muster a huge amount of material gathered from an extraordinary range of sources. The two hefty volumes may lack the immediate personal touch and focus of Stow’s own Survey, but this is not because Strype himself was simply a dispassionate observer of events. As we have seen, he had his own agenda and beliefs as well. The unwieldiness of the Survey partly reflects the task that Strype set himself — to preserve Stow’s original text and the essential structure of Stow’s work, but also to integrate the additions of Munday, Blome and Strype himself within the same framework. What it gains in comprehensiveness, it loses in coherence. Not the least bewildering aspects of the book is the cacophony of editorial voices. The authorial ‘I’ can be found reporting events witnessed in the 1540s, conversations in the 1620s, or visiting Westminster Hall in the 1650s in order to see the standards seized at the Battle of Worcester (I.ii.66; I.iii.16; II.vi.49). The Survey of Strype’s edition has a multiple personality, switching with little warning from nostalgic Elizabethan antiquary to triumphalist Jacobean pageant-writer to diligent post-Restoration recorder of events and back again. Instead of a perambulation where Stow takes the reader by the hand through London’s streets, it is now a huge boisterous party — with Munday, Blome, Strype and others all coming along, interrupting one another, hailing the new and the old using the same authorial ‘I’ — an ‘I’ that is sometimes nostalgic and regretful, sometimes enthusiastic and forward-looking.

It emphatically does not conform to our modern sense of a scholarly edition of a celebrated work. Nevertheless, Strype’s sprawling edition creates an altogether richer melange of materials. Rather than being frozen in the past, the Survey of London lives in Strype’s present, speaking of new developments as well as recording old ones. Moreover, as a repository of the knowledge, ideas and manuscript discoveries of this most indefatigable of antiquaries, Strype’s Survey of London still represents a treasure trove for the historian of London.

END

Footnotes

  1. Much of the following text is adapted from J.F. Merritt, ‘The reshaping of Stow’s Survey’, in J.F. Merritt (ed.), Imagining Early Modern London. Perceptions and Portrayals of the City from Stow to Strype, 1598-1720 (Cambridge, 2001), pp. 52-88.
  2. Munday, Survey (1618), ‘The Epistle Dedicatory’, sig. 2.
  3. For a fuller discussion see Merritt, ‘Reshaping’, pp. 54-67.
  4. Ibid., pp. 67-73.
  5. John J. Morrison, ‘Strype’s Stow: the 1720 Edition of ‘A Survey of London’’, London Journal 3 (1977), pp. 42-7, 54 n.68.
  6. Ibid., pp. 41, 47.
  7. Merritt, ‘Reshaping’, p. 86.
  8. Ibid., p. 84 n.114.
  9. Ibid., pp. 85-6; Morrison, ‘Strype’s Stow’, p. 47.
  10. See also J.F. Merritt, The Social World of Early Modern Westminster (Manchester, 2005), pp. 202-5.
  11. For a fuller discussion see Merritt, ‘Reshaping’, pp. 76-84.
  12. John J. Morrison, ‘John Strype: historian of the English Reformation’, PhD thesis, University of Syracuse (1976), pp. 21-8, 37.
  13. Ibid., pp. 33, 67, 70-3, 284, 287-97.
  14. I.ii.181; Survey (1754), I.ii.501-2.

And to bring us no now, one of my favorite things to do in London is to follow the Old wall, much of which s marked on the sidewalk roads and Walls themselves, Of course Stow did this and there is an Appendix to this edition giving you as guided tour.

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A survey of the cities of London and Westminster

“Because I know that time is always time

And place is always place and only place

And what is actual is actual only for one time

And only for one place”

Ash Wednesday T.S. Eliot. 1930

 

Before giving a description of such a momentous book, I feel a bit of framing is due. Much has been written about this wonderful huge book, yet I feel it is necessary to state that this book is indispensable for anyone doing research on any subject relating to Early Modern London. Stow’s initial foray into the subject set the bar high for detailed description of the physical and social environment of London. This edition, by far the best is the work of three generations of Antiquaries, the catalogues of books, records and manuscripts excerpted is impressive in its own right and would be an irreplaceable library on its own. But this work is manifest of cultural shifts and maintains differing scholars approaches to understanding of the recording and preserving of cultural heritage, the list of subscribers depicts the capital invested in this undertaking.

 

947G      John Stow   1525-1605

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A survey of the cities of London and Westminster: containing the original, antiquity, increase, modern estate and government of those cities. Written at first in the year MDXCVIII. By John Stow, citizen and native of London. Since reprinted and augmented by A.M. H.D. and other. Now lastly, corrected, improved, and very much enlarged: and the survey and history brought down from the year 1633, (being near fourscore years since it was last printed) to the present time; by John Strype, M.A. a native also of the said city. Illustrated with exact maps of the city and suburbs, and of all the wards; and likewise of the out-parishes of London and Westminster: together with many other fair draughts of the more eminent and publick edifices and monuments. In six books. To which is prefixed, the life of the author, writ by the editor. At the end is added, an appendiz of certain tracts, discourses and remarks, concerning the state of the city of London. Together with a perambulation, or circuit-walk four or five miles round about London, to the parish churches: describing the monuments of the dead there interred: with other antiquities observable in those places. And concluding with a second appendix, as a supply and review: and a large index of the whole work.

 

London: printed for A. Churchill, J. Knapton, R. Knaplock, J. Walthoe, E. Horne, B. Tooke, D. Midwinter, B. Cowse, R. Robinson, and T. Ward, 1720                  $18,000  

 

Two Folio volumes 15 1/4 X 9 inches.

vol I :Map of London, π2, (B)-(D)2,(a)-(d)4,(e)-(f)2 Q2, A-Z4, Aa-Pp4,Qq2,[end of first book]  B-Z4, Aa-Dd4,[end of second book] A-Z4, Aa-mm4,Nn3 [end of 3rd book]

vol II : π1,A-P4, A-Z4, Aa-Zz4, Aaa- Lll4, Mmm2 [end of book V] A-Z4, Aa-KK4, Ll-Rr2.  Each of the 6 ’books’ has its own pagination, and is introduced by a drop-head title.

There are 70 full Page (and 30 of those folding) Maps and Plates .

The Fold-out of “Elizabethan London ” is lacking as in many copies,  otherwise these two volumes are complete and almost in perfect condition, The Large foldout map of the city of London  DSC_0245has been reinforced on the back and there are a few pages with margin repairs not touching the text. All the pages are crisp and clean. It is truly a stunning copy.

This copy is beautifully and expertly bound in modern quarter calf, over marbled boards, quite a Stately set of volumes indeed! . The binding is in fine working order.

“In the century following Stow’s death, however, the Tudor capital so lovingly depicted and recorded in Stow’s Survey was dramatically transformed. The huge growth of the metropolis, the devastation wrought by the Great Fire of 1666 and the subsequent rebuilding of the City made an updating of the Survey highly desirable. It was to answer this need that John Strype (1643-1737), the ecclesiastical historian and biographer, published a new, hugely expanded version of Stow’s Survey of London in 1720.”

First Issue with “1698” for 1598 on the title page (?) John Stow’s Survey of London, first published in 1598, brims with amusing descriptions and anecdotes as well as highly detailed accounts of the buildings, social conditions and customs of the time, based on a wide range of classical and medieval historical literature, public and civic records, and Stow’s own intimate knowledge of the city where he spent his life. “The reader of A Survey travels with Stow through each of the city’s wards and the adjoining city of Westminster, learns about the wall, bridges, gates, and parish churches . . . DSC_0232 2[Stow] also records the negative aspects of urban growth, in the shape of unsightly sprawl, filth, the destruction of ancient monuments, and above all poverty. His book approaches the thoroughness of an encyclopaedia . . . It is noteworthy that while Camden’s Britannia was written in Latin for the educated élite, Stow’s Survey was composed in the language of his fellow countrymen.” This edition, of 1720, greatly expanded with interpolated amendments by John Strype, is considered the best and most desirable.

DSC_0235 “Throughout his life at Low Leyton, Strype crossed the River Lea into London each week to meet and converse with his antiquarian friends and to call on his contacts in the book trade. . . . The Survey had been repeatedly revised and enlarged in order to keep up with the changing aspect of the post-fire city, now much expanded and altered in its religion and other ways. . . . Although Strype had arranged most of the work by 1707, and the engravings had been prepared, it was set aside after the publication of Edward Hatton’s New View of London in 1708, which seemed to cover much the same ground and was considerably smaller and cheaper. . . . Finally, once the defects of Hatton’s book were acknowledged another agreement in November 1716 led to the Survey’s publication at the end of 1720. . . . The print run was probably more than 500 copies . . . To quote Merritt, ‘By this stage the Survey has a multiple personality, switching with little warning from nostalgic Elizabethan antiquary [Stow] . . . to diligent post-Restoration recorder of events [Strype] and back again’ (Merritt, 87).” (ODNB).

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Richard Grafton] had the audacity to enter into historical controversy (impar congressus) with the great John Stow. This ‘merry old man,’ footing it over England in search of Antiquities because he could never learn to ride, sometimes suspected by Government of being insufficiently Protestant, now begging with a basin in the street, now spending £200 a year on his library, holds a very high place in the history of learning. Even those who, like Camden, distrusted his judgment, allowed his industry. His Chaucer (1561) was his first but by no means his best work: he helped to swell the Chaucerian apocrypha. His Summary of English Chronicles (1565) looks at first like a retrogression from Hall; we are back at the annalistic form and the London tradition with its lists of bailiffs and mayors. But the important thing is that Stow is not a mere compiler but (as we call it) a ‘researcher.’ He uses the literary sources but he adds ‘paynfull searche’ into records, and ‘diligent experience.’ He collected not only books but charters and legal documents. He bought up the collections of others, and his own assisted both Speght and Parker. In 1580 came the Chronicle of English from Brute unto this present year, re-issued in 1592 as the Annals. The Survey of London (1598) was re-issued in 1603 and afterwards enlarged by other hands.

DSC_0238Its modern editor finds this work ‘instinct with’ a ‘life’ which the Annals lack. It is a treasure–house of old customs, old splendors, old gaieties and hospitalities, already vanished or vanishing when the author wrote. Stow had no stylistic ambitions; his works were, as he said ‘written homely.’ His prose varies between mere note–making (see the account of printing under year 1458 in the Summary) and tolerably vivid narrative. In general it is just such an unobtrusive medium as keeps our attention on the facts, and therefore good for its purpose; recte olet ubi nihil olet.” (page 298-299, English Literature in the Sixteenth Century, C.S. Lewis)
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 Maslen & Lancaster. Bowyer ledgers, 584; Lowndes V, 2526. Gibson’s Library, p. 258. ESTC Citation No. T48975.

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Strype’s Survey of London

J.F.Merritt

University of Nottingham

The creation of the 1720 edition

If John Stow’s Survey of London is probably the most famous single work ever written about England’s capital, then the enlarged and updated edition of the same book published some 120 years later by the famous ecclesiastical historian John Strype surely stands as one of the most remarkable works of scholarship ever produced about the city, and is regarded even today as a standard and invaluable work of reference for historians of the capital. Just as London’s boundaries and population had vastly expanded in the years between Stow and Strype’s works, so Strype’s edition dwarfs Stow’s original work. In two stout folio volumes, Strype’s monumental composition provides not just an updated account of the City that brings it down to the early eighteenth century, but also vastly extends the work’s range both geographically (to take in the sprawling suburbs of the metropolis) and thematically (to discuss a panoply of new subjects, from the Great Fire and the provision of water and public health to workhouses and the Bank of England). This is combined with a famous collection of ward and parish maps, and a fine set of plates of prominent buildings. The whole is appropriately preceded by the first detailed life of John Stow, with a full-page reproduction of his funeral monument. 1

The Survey of London is a work which has attracted many different editors in its history, and Strype’s own remarkable edition cannot be used effectively without an understanding of its relationship to the original and subsequent texts of this remarkable work.

John Stow’s own Survey of London was first published in 1598. But he did not intend this to be his last word on the subject. In 1603 he published a new edition with many important corrections and additions, and he clearly intended to embark on further elaborations and refinements, prevented only by his death in 1605. Work on a new edition of the Survey began not long after Stow’s death. His first posthumous editor was the incorrigible Anthony Munday — playwright, pageant-writer, polemicist, and (apparently) a spy reporting against both puritans and Catholics. Munday claimed of Stow that, while still alive, ‘much of his good mind he had formerly imparted to me, and some of his best collections lovingly delivered me, prevailing with mee ? to proceed in the perfecting of a Worke so worthy’. 2 Munday’s new edition of the Survey, published in 1618, sought to update Stow’s text in a number of ways. Another edition, published in 1633 after Munday’s death, took things further, including a substantial new section entitled ‘A Returne to London’, which sets out to document a resurgence in London church repair, rebuilding and beautification, undertaking a parish-by-parish survey of the capital’s churches. A further bizarre appendix presents an accumulation of miscellaneous, almost random, material, under the title ‘The Remaines or Remnants of Divers Worthy Things which should have had their Due Place and Honour in this Worke, if Promising Friends had Kept their Words’. 3

The unwieldy sprawl of Munday’s 1633 edition showed that Stow’s work clearly required a more effective editor. Nevertheless, no further editions of Stow were attempted. Instead, the text of the Survey (usually the 1633 edition) was raided by later authors for material that they could insert into their own works on London. This was the case in James Howell’s Londinopolis (1657) and Thomas de Laune’s The Present State of London (1681; 2nd ed 1690). In 1694 a concerted attempt was made by Richard Blome (who had produced a new edition of William Camden’s Britannia in 1673) to complete a new edition of Stow’s Survey ‘with large additions and improvements’. While new maps and much new text were generated, however, the edition itself was never published. 4

In 1702, two of the publishers involved in the abortive 1694 edition of the Survey drew up an agreement to edit the Survey with one of those writers who had initially been approached to provide materials for the 1694 edition. This was John Strype. Strype is best known to us as an ecclesiastical historian, but also enjoyed fame as an accomplished editor of texts and historical documents, including an immensely popular account of Ceylon (and indeed, his ecclesiastical annals and biographies were often essentially compendia of extracts of transcribed documents). His edition of the Survey was apparently completed by November 1707, but Strype and his publishers then found that booksellers would not accept the work because of the simultaneous publication of a much slimmer and cheaper rival — Edward Hatton’s New View of London — which used significant amount of materials from Stow (although self-consciously abandoning Stow’s structure and methodology). Like Blome’s edition, Strype’s 1708 Survey was therefore aborted. Nevertheless, the deficiencies of Hatton’s work meant that the demand for a scholarly updating of Stow’s Survey were undiminished, and by the second half of 1716 the edition was back on track, and Strype’s edition of the Survey was finally published in December 1720. The work, in two folio volumes, was priced at a princely six guineas, and somewhere between 500 and 700 copies were published, with 271 subscribers listed in the work itself. 5

The drawn-out process by which Strype’s edition emerged can help to explain some of the peculiarities of the text as it was finally published. Strype clearly had access to the text and other materials of Blome’s abortive 1694 edition. He scrupulously indicates all Blome’s additions to the original Survey with the marginal note ‘R.B.’ —but this means that some of these sections stop abruptly in 1694. The maps in Strype’s edition are also essentially taken from Blome’s 1694 edition, although with some minor alterations made in 1707 (although, unlike the text, Blome’s name is unceremoniously removed from the maps). Strype also does not seem to have altered the main body of the text that he completed for the 1708 edition, so that changes occurring between 1708 and 1720 are often missed. The written account of the city therefore essentially describes London as it was in 1708. 6 Even the list of stage coaches and carriers is dated 1707. Strype did, however, add a number of new and supplementary sections to the work.

The earlier history of the Survey under the editorship of Stow and Munday can also explain some other gaps and anomalies in the coverage of Strype’s edition. For example, the entries for different London parishes provide plentiful information on Jacobean church-building, because Strype has taken the separate, consolidated account of early Stuart church-building–which Munday appended to the 1633 edition–and redistributed this material within the overall entries on each individual parish. But Strype’s edition contains virtually no reference to any church-building or decoration in London parishes during the Laudian campaign of the 1630s and surprisingly little on the later seventeenth century. There had, of course, been no shortage of such building, but there had been no Munday around to record it, and Strype made no use of parochial documents to investigate these matters further. 7

Other anomalies of the edition’s coverage can be explained by the practicalities of the gathering of material. The chance enthusiasm of certain clergy and parish officials, for example, seems to explain why some parishes, such as St James Clerkenwell and St Botolph Aldgate, are far more fully documented than others, especially for the later seventeenth century. 8 It is also not surprising to find that Strype’s own parish of Low Leyton receives more attention than its suburban location might otherwise have afforded it, as does the parish of Hackney, where he held a lectureship. While Strype does not seem to have consulted parish records such as churchwardens’ accounts (so that his accounts of parochial donors are dependent on the tables and monuments visible in churches when he and his assistant ‘I.W.’ visited them), nevertheless the support of Bishop Compton of London meant that Strype had access to diocesan materials of a type which neither Stow nor Munday had available. Strype relied heavily on the recent 1693 episcopal visitation returns to update the perambulation portion of the Survey, while information from an earlier visitation of 1636 helped to fill in gaps about the pre-Fire character of certain parishes.

Some omissions in the edition also reflect simple time constraints. As late as October 1719, it was noted that information on nine livery companies was still missing, and in the final version three livery companies are bereft of a brief history, with only their coat of arms provided (II.v.247). Yet by July 1720 Strype was still supplying new material for the appendices, much to the consternation of the booksellers who begged him to ‘put a stop to the great Enlargements which we perceive are like to be made in the second Appendix for We have Exceeded by 80 sheets of Our first Computation already’. 9

While we may note its many omissions, however, it is just as important to emphasize the enormous amounts of new material which Strype introduced to the Survey. It should also be recognized that Strype did not merely add new material by describing recent events and institutions, but also drew on medieval and Tudor sources to expand significantly the coverage of the period before Stow wrote his first edition. For example, Strype’s account of the parish of St Martin in the Fields, Westminster is enriched by his use of Burghley’s papers for an account of an enclosure riot in 1592 (II.vi.79-80). 10

 

Strype and the 1720 Survey

If it is important for the reader of Strype’s edition to understand how the work stands within the series of continuations of Stow’s original work, it is equally important to appreciate how John Strype’s own preoccupations played a vital role in shaping the 1720 edition.

Strype’s experience as an editor clearly led him to take a keen interest in identifying Stow’s original text. He explains in his preface that he wished to return to the uncorrupted Stow because ‘since the Author’s Death there having crept in a great number of Errors, as it happens in After-Editions’. Contemporaries had increasingly tended to conflate the versions of the Survey produced by Stow and Munday. Strype therefore made it a priority to disentangle the publishing history of the Survey by introducing a system of marginal annotations, so that Stow’s original text could be identified. This partly reflected Strype’s conviction that Munday was greatly inferior to Stow as a scholar, but also his esteem for Stow himself. Not the least notable addition to the Survey that Strype introduced was the ‘Life of Stow’ which prefaces the whole work, along with a full-page reproduction of Stow’s funeral monument. Strype’s ‘Life of Stow’ marks a significant moment in the rehabilitation of Stow’s reputation. Strype presents him as a paragon of honest and intuitive scholarship, compassionate to the poor, and specifically refutes charges that he was overly credulous or unscholarly in his working methods. He makes no attempt to hide Stow’s Catholic sympathies, but explains them in terms of a response to the sacrilege of the early Reformation, and offers a rounded, realistic and above all sympathetic account of his trials and tribulations.

Strype clearly admired Stow as a fellow scholar and editor. But for all his editorial scruples, his concern to follow Stow’s method, and the practical pressures that significantly shaped the content of the book, Strype’s edition of the Survey is not entirely lacking in evidence of Strype’s own religious and intellectual preoccupations. 11

The son of a Dutch immigrant silk merchant, John Strype grew up in a family with strong non-conformist links. This was particularly true of the family of his mother, Hester van Strype, who is known to have sheltered non-conformist ministers in her London house during the 1665 plague. After the death of his father, the young Strype also came under the influence of his brother-in-law John Johnson, a dedicated Presbyterian minister. It was Johnson who in 1663 arranged for Strype to transfer from Jesus College, Cambridge to the more amenable Catherine Hall, where John Lightfoot (who had earlier supported Presbyterianism at the Westminster Assembly) was master. Despite this background, however, Strype ultimately decided to position himself firmly within the ranks of the established church — a decision which alienated him from most of his close-knit family for many years. 12 The influence of some of this background may be glimpsed in his treatment of the stranger communities in the pages of the Survey. While condemning the naturalization of alien merchants, Strype still does his best to defend the rights of the stranger communities to be exempted from the requirements of religious conformity. In part, he does this by emphasizing, not their shared membership of an international Protestant community (as puritans had traditionally done) but rather the degree to which their behaviour echoes that of the established church. Thus he notes how French Protestants at St Anne Soho use the English liturgy in French translation, with episcopally-ordained ministers officiating and sometimes wearing Anglican garb (II.v.294-305; II.vi.85).

Strype was closely involved in the religious politics of his day. He served as minister at Low Leyton, just outside London, from 1668 until his death, and it was from here that he supported Henry Compton, bishop of London, even when the latter was suspended by James II in 1686. Strype was also involved in clandestine publications criticizing James’ religious policies. Thereafter, Strype’s strong support for the Glorious Revolution led to his formal institution as rural dean of Barking by the grateful Bishop Compton, and he was additionally rewarded with a lectureship at the nearby parish of Hackney. In the years that followed, Strype’s position as dean of Barking extended beyond a merely pastoral one, as he also participated in electioneering for the Essex Church-Tory party. 13

Strype’s religious sentiments — fiercely anti-Jacobite and anti-Catholic, disapproving of Dissenters, and passionately committed to the established church — can also be seen to have found outlets in sections of the Survey. Thus, while Strype follows Stow in including Fitzstephen’s encomium of Thomas Becket at the end of the medieval account of London, he adds a stinging editorial addition that this was written by ‘a Monk, the Pope’s sworn Creature ? in the very Depth of Popery’ (II.Appendix, p.15). It is also notable that, while later eighteenth-century editors of the Survey felt obliged to denounce the anti-Catholic inscriptions on the Great Fire Monument, Strype was comfortable merely to report these additions to the Monument without comment. 14

The Survey also bears witness to Strype’s profound concern with the moral life of the City, encapsulated in his enthusiasm for such contemporary organizations as the Society for the Reformation of Manners. He introduces a new section to the Survey that is specifically concerned with ‘the late Endeavours used in the City for the restraining of Vice’, which describes ‘in what State Religion and Good Manners stand here at present’, partly by an approving overview of the various Societies (II.v.30-52). Like Munday and Stow, Strype gives an account of charities and almshouses, but this is no mere catalogue of good works — this is clearly a topic that excites Strype’s particular interest. He gives a meticulous account of the workhouse in Bishopgate Street, with case studies of its successes (I.i.197-202). This concern with the instruments of social control and moral reform is very much of its time, and conspicuously different from the world of Stow and Munday, where the very fact of the founder’s charity claimed most attention.

Needless to say, this preoccupation with the need to maintain social order means that Strype makes little space in his edition of the Survey for the discussion of sports and pastimes. As a diligent editor he reproduces Stow’s account of ‘the customary Sports used in the City’, but rather than supplementing this with an updated account of such pursuits, Strype rather oddly chooses to append a bloodcurdling account of ‘some of their customary Punishments in former Times, of Shame or Pain, or both, for divers Sorts of Crimes and Misdemeanours: Such were Pillorizing, Carting, Riding, Whipping.’ (I.i.257-8). The association of the two topics in Strype’s mind seems clear. It is hardly surprising that virtually the only allusion that Strype makes to theatrical drama in the capital focuses on the City’s attempts under Elizabeth to regulate potentially dissolute players and the ‘lewd Matters of plays’ (II.v.244-6).

Strype’s edition also breathes the spirit of its age in its provision of statistical information. Strype’s modish fascination with political arithmetic shines through in page upon page of statistics and tables charting matters such as the volume of livery company charity, amounts spent yearly on the diet of the poor, numbers received into and discharged from the capital’s workhouses, and a lengthy account of fire insurance rates, complete with charts to calculate premiums. Similarly, the state of contemporary London’s wealth and income, and its role at the centre of overseas trade, are celebrated, along with lengthy discussions of trading companies and the Bank of England (e.g. II.v.256-73, 404-8, 445-7).

Strype’s edition of the Survey of London is, then, a remarkable compendium of information about the capital. For all of its omissions, the anomalous chronological range of some sections, and the idiosyncrasy of others, its editor still manages to muster a huge amount of material gathered from an extraordinary range of sources. The two hefty volumes may lack the immediate personal touch and focus of Stow’s own Survey, but this is not because Strype himself was simply a dispassionate observer of events. As we have seen, he had his own agenda and beliefs as well. The unwieldiness of the Survey partly reflects the task that Strype set himself — to preserve Stow’s original text and the essential structure of Stow’s work, but also to integrate the additions of Munday, Blome and Strype himself within the same framework. What it gains in comprehensiveness, it loses in coherence. Not the least bewildering aspects of the book is the cacophony of editorial voices. The authorial ‘I’ can be found reporting events witnessed in the 1540s, conversations in the 1620s, or visiting Westminster Hall in the 1650s in order to see the standards seized at the Battle of Worcester (I.ii.66; I.iii.16; II.vi.49). The Survey of Strype’s edition has a multiple personality, switching with little warning from nostalgic Elizabethan antiquary to triumphalist Jacobean pageant-writer to diligent post-Restoration recorder of events and back again. Instead of a perambulation where Stow takes the reader by the hand through London’s streets, it is now a huge boisterous party — with Munday, Blome, Strype and others all coming along, interrupting one another, hailing the new and the old using the same authorial ‘I’ — an ‘I’ that is sometimes nostalgic and regretful, sometimes enthusiastic and forward-looking.

It emphatically does not conform to our modern sense of a scholarly edition of a celebrated work. Nevertheless, Strype’s sprawling edition creates an altogether richer melange of materials. Rather than being frozen in the past, the Survey of London lives in Strype’s present, speaking of new developments as well as recording old ones. Moreover, as a repository of the knowledge, ideas and manuscript discoveries of this most indefatigable of antiquaries, Strype’s Survey of London still represents a treasure trove for the historian of London.

END

Footnotes

  1. Much of the following text is adapted from J.F. Merritt, ‘The reshaping of Stow’s Survey’, in J.F. Merritt (ed.), Imagining Early Modern London. Perceptions and Portrayals of the City from Stow to Strype, 1598-1720 (Cambridge, 2001), pp. 52-88.
  2. Munday, Survey (1618), ‘The Epistle Dedicatory’, sig. 2.
  3. For a fuller discussion see Merritt, ‘Reshaping’, pp. 54-67.
  4. Ibid., pp. 67-73.
  5. John J. Morrison, ‘Strype’s Stow: the 1720 Edition of ‘A Survey of London’’, London Journal 3 (1977), pp. 42-7, 54 n.68.
  6. Ibid., pp. 41, 47.
  7. Merritt, ‘Reshaping’, p. 86.
  8. Ibid., p. 84 n.114.
  9. Ibid., pp. 85-6; Morrison, ‘Strype’s Stow’, p. 47.
  10. See also J.F. Merritt, The Social World of Early Modern Westminster (Manchester, 2005), pp. 202-5.
  11. For a fuller discussion see Merritt, ‘Reshaping’, pp. 76-84.
  12. John J. Morrison, ‘John Strype: historian of the English Reformation’, PhD thesis, University of Syracuse (1976), pp. 21-8, 37.
  13. Ibid., pp. 33, 67, 70-3, 284, 287-97.
  14. I.ii.181; Survey (1754), I.ii.501-2.

And to bring us no now, one of my favorite things to do in London is to follow the Old wall, much of which s marked on the sidewalk roads and Walls themselves, Of course Stow did this and there is an Appendix to this edition giving you as guided tour

 

 

 

 

Lucretius: On the Nature of Things!

Lucretius, has always made me feel hopeful and some how more connected to the universe and less to the subjective problems we perceive.

“Happy is he who has discovered the causes of things and has cast beneath his feet all fears, unavoidable fate, and the din of the devouring Underworld.”  VIRGIL

Lucretius London 1683

“In De Rerum Natura, Lucretius sought to clear the mental rubbish that obscures reality. He exposed flaws in common assumptions about gods. To begin with, he scoffed at the anthropocentric notion that gods created the earth for humans.”Gary Sloan

T.Lucretius Carus His Six Books Of Epicurean Philosophy, Done into English Verse, with Notes. The Third Edition. Demetri, Teq; Tigelli Discipulorum inter jubeo plorare Cathedras; i, Puer, atque meo citus hœc subscribe libello.

London: Printed for Thomas Sawbridge at the Three Flewer-de-luces in little Britain, and Anthony Stephens Bookseller near the Theatre in Oxford, 1683                                               $1,800
 Octavo, 7.25 x 4.75 inches.  Third edition. (π1), A4, b-e4, f2, A-E4, (a)-(g)4, h2.
  This copy is bound in original full calf its front joint is cracked at the foot, up to the second band, the rear joint is

Lucretius 1683 ,147F

beginning to crack at either end, but it is completely sound and still quite appealing. The leaves are very clean and fresh, with deep impressions of the type.

This translation was prepared by Thomas Creech (1659-1700).   The prefatory material contains commendatory poems by John Evelyn, NahaumTate, Thomas Otway, and Aphra Behn among others, many of which were added after the first edition.   Creech’s Lucretius first appeared in 1682, with certain portions of the text, notably those in the fourth book about the nature of love, left untranslated.In this edition they are present in translation.  Both Pope and Evelyn praised the translation, and Dibdin says that the editor’s erudition, research, and correctness in this excellent and scarce work are acknowledged by every critic.The influence of Lucretius can be seen in Pope’s ‘Essay on Man.’ Lucretius was also favorite reading of Shelley, Wordsworth, and Tennyson.

“Creech’s translation of Lucretius vied in popularity with Dryden’s Virgil and Pope’s Homer. The son of one of his friends is reported to have said that the translation was made in Creech’s daily walk round the parks in Oxford in sets of fifty lines, which he would afterwards write down in his chamber and correct at leisure. […] When Dryden published his translations from Theocritus, Lucretius, and Horace, he disclaimed in the preface any intention of robbing Creech ‘of any part of that commendation which he has so justly acquired,’ and referred to his predecessor’s ‘excellent annotations, which I have often reprinted in the last century, and was included in the edition of the British poets which was issued by Anderson.” (DNB)

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http://www.iep.utm.edu/lucretiu/

The

Who was The Earl of Rochester, John Wilmot…..?

I find it hard to pin down who Rochester was, maybe it is because he revealed of much contradictory emotion in his verse, or maybe it is his reputation of which so much is written about displays the uneasy relation between actions , feelings and expression. I highly recommend the Movie version of his life ,The Libertine (2004) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0375920/.

But there must be so much more, I read and (re)read some of his poems and wonder “How?” other poems fit easily into Restoration literature taken to its absurdist extreame.  Rochester was maybe never sure who he was himself, explaining his ‘inconstancy, his drinking, his syphilis, and is disguises…

“All I shall say for myself on this score is this, if I appear to any one like a counterfeit, even for the sake of that chiefly ought I to be construed a true man, [for] who is the counterfeit’s example, his original, and that which he employs his industry and pains to imitate and copy? Is it therefore my fault if the cheat by his wits and endeavours makes himself so like me, that consequently I cannot avoid resembling of him?”

-from Dr. Alexander Bendo’s advertisement of services (in the 1696 edition of Poems, page 138; see below)

All of these paradoxes keep me reading Rochester and finding New customers for his books , currently I have three editions of his works [1696,1705 and 1709. and a copy of Burnet’s “some Passages 1680]

Here is a link to the Poetry Foundations very good biography of him. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/john-wilmot

 

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Love and Life: A Song

BY JOHN WILMOT, EARL OF ROCHESTER

All my past life is mine no more,
         The flying hours are gone,
Like transitory dreams giv’n o’er,
Whose images are kept in store
         By memory alone.
The time that is to come is not;
         How can it then be mine?
The present moment’s all my lot;
And that, as fast as it is got,
         Phyllis, is only thine.
Then talk not of inconstancy,
         False hearts, and broken vows;
If I, by miracle, can be
This live-long minute true to thee,
         ’Tis all that Heav’n allows.

Rochester is generally considered to be the most considerable poet and the most learned among the Restoration wits. A few of his love songs have passionate intensity; many are bold and frankly erotic celebrations of the pleasures of the flesh. He is also one of the most original and powerful of English satirists. His “History of Insipids” (1676) is a devastating attack on the government of Charles II, and his “Maim’d Debauchee” has been described as “a masterpiece of heroic irony.” A Satyr Against Mankind(1675) anticipates Swift in its scathing denunciation of rationalism and optimism and in the contrast it draws between human perfidy and folly and the instinctive wisdom of the animal world.

In 1674 Rochester was appointed ranger of Woodstock Forest, where much of his later poetry was written. His health was declining, and his thoughts were turning to serious matters. His correspondence (dated 1679–80) with the Deist Charles Blount shows a keen interest in philosophy and religion, further stimulatedsc_0128d by his friendship with Gilbert Burnet, later bishop of Salisbury. Burnet recorded their religious discussions in Some Passages of the Life and Death of John, Earl of Rochester (1680).
(see a description below of a copy currently in my stock) In 1680 he became seriously ill and experienced a religious conversion, followed by a recantation of his past; he ordered “all his profane and lewd writings” burned.

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735F     Wilmot, John. Earl of Rochester.     1647-1680

 Poems, (&c.) on several occasions: with Valentinian: a tragedy. Written by the right honourable John late earl of Rochester.

London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, 1696      $6,600

dsc_0132Octavo, 11 x 17.5 cm.  Second edition. A8,a8, B-R8

The spine has been rebacked with the original boards so the binding is tight and secure throughout, and bound with new endpapers. A previous owner has written his name several times throughout but this does not affect the text and indeed adds to the book. The pages are clean, if browned. The only flaw is wormholes to the pages’ top margins. These are predominantly from page 200 to the end but with other smaller worming present in the book. There has also been some bookworm damage to the rear board, and this has now been repaired. Needless to say, the worms are long since gone.

“During Rochester’s lifetime only a few of his writings were printed as broadsides or in miscellanies, [Later this week I’ll write about Miscellanies]  but many of his works were known widely from manuscript copies, a considerable number of which seem to have existed. ( I do wish I could come apon one of these!) […] In February of 1690/91, Jacob Tonson, the most reputable publisher of the day, produced a volume entitled ‘Poems On Several Occasions.’ The appearance of the author’s name and title on the title-page is significant. It may indicate that this edition was produced with the approval of the Earl’s family and friends, and it is possible that they may have intervened to prevent the publication of Saunders’s projected edition [license obtained from the Stationer’s Company by Saunders in November of 1690, no edition was ever produced]. Tonson’s edition is introduced by a laudatory preface written by Thomas Rymer which states that the book contains ‘such Pieces only, as may be receiv’d in a vertuous Court’ and is therefore to be regarded only as a selection of Rochester’s writings. Nevertheless it contains, in addition to twenty-three genuine poems which had appeared in the [pirated] Antwerp editions of 1680, sixteen others, including some of Rochester’s best lyrics. No spurious material seems to have been admitted to this collection, but there is a possibility that salacious passages may have been toned down to suit the taste of a ‘virtuous Court.’”

“[Wilmot] is one of these English poets who deserve to be called ‘great’ as daring and original explorers of reality; his place is with such memorable spiritual adventurers as Marlowe, Blake, Byron, Wilfred Owen and D. H. Lawrence. Like Byron and Lawrence, he was denounced as licentious, because he was a devastating critic of conventional morality. Alone among the English poets of his day, he perceived the full significance of the intellectual and spiritual crisis of that age. His poetry expresses individual experience in a way that no other poetry does till the time of Blake. It makes us feel what it was like to live in a world which had been suddenly transformed by the scientists into a vast machine governed by mathematical laws, where God has become a remote first cause and man  an insignificant ‘reas’ning Engine.’ [See ‘A Satyr Against Mankind] In his time there was beginning the great Augustan attempt to found a new orthodoxy on the Cartesian-Newtonian world-picture, a civilized city of good taste, common sense and reason. Rochester’s achievement was to reject this new orthodoxy at the very outset. He made three attempts to solve the problem of man’s position in the new mathematical universe. The first was the adoption of the ideal of the purely aesthetic hero, the ‘Strephon’ of his lyrics and the brilliant and fascinating Dorimant of Etherege’s comedy. It was a purely selfish ideal of the ethical hero, the disillusioned and penetrating observer of the satires. This ideal was related to truth, but its relationship was purely negative. The third was the ideal of the religious hero, who bore a positive relation to truth. This was the hero who rejected the ‘Fools-Coat’ of the world and lived by an absolute passion for reality. In his short life Rochester may be said to have anticipated the Augustan Age and the Romantic Movement and passed beyond both. In the history of English thought his poetry is an event of the highest significance. Much of it remains alive in its own right in the twentieth century, because it is what D.H. Lawrence called ‘poetry of this immediate present, instant poetry … the soul and the mind and body surging at once, nothing left out.” (Quoted from Vivian de Sola Pinto’s edition of Wilmot’s Poems published by ‘The Muses Library’)

Wing 1757; Prinz XIV;Grolier’s Wither to Prior #987;  O’Donnell A 16  (Prologue), BB 4.1c.    

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756d     Burnet, Gilbert.   1643-1715

 

 Some Passages Of The Life and Death Of the Right Honourable John Earl of Rochester, Who died the 26th of July, 1680. Writen by his own Direction on his Death-Bed, By Gilbert Burnet, D.D.

 

London: Printed for Richard Chiswel, at the Rose and Crown in St. Pauls Church-Yard, 1680         $1,600   Octavo, 6.7 x 4.3 inches.  First edition, second issue without the errata on A8 verso. A-N8 (A1 and N8 blank). The portrait of the Earl of Rochester is bound opposite the title page. This copy is bound in contemporary full calf, blindstamped borders, with loss at the spine head. A previous owner’s ink and pencil notes to endpapers, and a previous owner has inked a simple design. The upper corner of the lower board is cracked.

 

John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester was known as a libertine and a poet, and often referred to as the “Rake of Rochester.” This work is the product of Rochester’s death-bed repentance, when he charged Burnet “not to spare him in anything which [he] thought might be of use to the Living.” Burnet, while obliged to mention the faults, added: “I have touched them as tenderly as the Occasion would bear: and I am sure with much more softness than he desired”. As Dr. Johnson wrote: “This is a work which the critic ought to read for its elegance, the philosopher for its arguments, and the saint for its piety.”

Wither to Prior 125; Wing B-5922.

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1007E Wilmot, John. Earl of Rochester.    1647-1680

 

     Poems, On several occasions: with Valentinian: a tragedy. Written by the right honourable John late Earl of Rochester.

 

London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, 1705    $4,500

 

Octavo, 7.5 X 4.5 inches .  The third edition of the authentic works. A8, a8 B- R8  This copy is bounds in modern panneled calf,in a early eighteenth style. It has the lighter than usual age spotting through out  for this edition, a very nice copy.

Prinz XVII* ( an exact reperint of the 1691 XIII {the best collection }

Grolier’s Wither to Prior #988;  O’Donnell A 16  (Prologue), BB 4.1c.

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349F  Rochester, John Wilmot, Earl of.    1647-1680

 

      The Works of the Right Honourable the Earls of Rochester, and Roscommon. With Some Memoirs of the Earl of Rochester’s Life, by Monsieur St. Evremont: In a Letter to the Dutchess of Mazarine. The Third Edition. To which is added, A Collection of Miscellany Poems. By the most Eminent Hands.      [bound with]                                                                                                                                                        Miscellaneous Works by the Right Honourable The Earl of Roscommon

London: Printed by E. Curll, at the Peacock without Temple-Bar, 1709    SOLD

Octavo, 7.6 x 4.75 inches.  Third edition. [π]2, c8, a-b8, A-D8, E6 (Leaves E7 and E8, and F1-5 [pages 76 to 90] have all been sliced out of this copy because of the licentious nature of the poems therein.), F6-8, G-L8; A-M8, N1. This copy lacks the portrait of Rochester. This copy is in good condition in contemporary boards.

The following poems were excised from this copy: “A Description of a Maidenhead,” “The Virgin’s Desire,” “The Perfect Enjoyment,” and “The Imperfect Enjoyment.”

ESTC T95392.

 

VERY ‘CURIOUS TRAVELS’

Every time I open this book, I get another and new appreciation for the Seventeenth century, even by 1708 I think people thought it was amazing.  This  volume of MISCELLANEA CURIOSA is ‘ a collection of Voyages” but it is so much more, it expresses the exuberance of discovery and the burning desire to know the world. This is the sort of book, which makes it clear why we Need to keep reading  and appreciating early books!!

$T2eC16F,!)EE9s2ufG,VBRZO3NN)5!~~60_57

 MISCELLANEA CURIOSA Containing a Collection of Curious Travels, Voyages, and Natural Histories of Countries, As they have been Delivered in to the Royal Society VOL. III     

London: for R. Smith, at the Bible under the Piazza of the Royal Exchange in Cornhill  1708.    $2,500

Octavo, .  First edition  430 (2) pp., 6 pl. Seven Plates five folding .

This copy is unfortunately bound in full library buckram.

Miscellanea Curiosa was published in 1708 as a “collection of curious travels, voyages, and natural histories of countries” that were submitted to the Royal Society. The travels encompass the years 1668 to about 1688. Included in this compilation are some letters by John Clayton, Rector of Crofton at Wakefield in Yorkshire, relating his visit to Virginia in the late seventeenth century. Here are some excerpts from Clayton’s letter:
“Having oftentimes been urged to give an Account of Virginia, by several of the Worthy Members of the Royal Society, I cannot but, as far forth as I am able, obey Commands whereby I’m so much honour’d, and shew my Respect by my ready Compliance; tho’ I am so sensible of my own Weakness and Incapacity to answer your Expectations, that before-hand I must Apologize for my self. And indeed by Sea I lost all my Books, Chymical Instruments, Glasses and Microscopes, which rendred me uncapable of making those Remarks and Observations I had designed, they were all cast away in Captain Win’s Ship, as they were to follow me; and Virginia being a Country where one cannot furnish ones self again with such things, I was discourag’d from making so diligent a Scrutiny as otherwise I might have done, so that I took very few Minutes down in Writing; and therefore, since I have only my Memory to rely on, which too has the Disadvantage of it’s own Weakness, and of the Distance of two Years since now I left the Country, if future Relations shall in some small Points, make out my Mistake, I thought this requisite to justify my Candor; for I ever judg’d it villanous to impose in matters of Fact; but Descriptions of things that depend on Memory may be liable to Mistakes; and yet the Sincerity of the Person that delivers them intire. But hereof I shall be as cautious as possible, and shall rather wave some things whereof I have some Doubts, and am uncapable now of satisfying my self, than in any sort presume too far. The Method I design is, first, to give an Account of the Air, and all such Observations as refer thereto; then of the Water, the Earth and Soil; the Birds, the Beasts, the Fishes, the Plants, the Insects; and lastly, the present State of the Inhabitants: But at present I shall neither trouble you nor my self with any more than an Account of what refers to the Air alone, being conscious the honourable Society may receive such a Glut with the Imperfection of this, as to excuse me from a farther Relation.  But before I begin, perhaps it may not be impertinent to acquaint you with some things that happen’d in our Voyage. We sail’d in the Ship Judith, Captain Trim Commander, ’twas Flyboat built, about 200 or 250 Tuns; she sprung a considerable Leak. When the Captain had made long and diligent Search, had tried all Methods that Sea-men use upon such Occasions, or he could think of, all in vain, and that the Leak encreased, he came pensively to consult me. Discoursing with him about it, and understanding that the Ship was cieled within; so that though the Leak might possibly be in the Fore-part, it would fill the whole Cavity betwixt the Cieling and the Planks, and so run into the Hold at all the Crevices of the Cieling up and down: I thereupon conceived, that where it burst in betwixt the Cieling and the Planks, it must needs make some Noise. He told me, they had endeavoured to find it out that Way, and according to custom had clapt Cans to their Ears to hear with; but the working of the Ship, the Tackle and the Sea made such a Noise, that they could discover nothing thereby. I happily bethought my self of the Speaking Trumpet; and having one which I had contrived for some other Conveniences, of a differing Shape from the common Sorts, I bid him take it and apply the broad End to the Side of the Ship, the narrow End to his Ear, and it would encrease his Hearing as much as it augmented the Voice the other Way, and would ward the Ear the too from the Confusion of foreign Noise. Upon the first Application, accordingly they heard it, tho’ it happened to be at a considerable Distance; and when they removed the Trumpet nigher, they heard it as if it had been the Current of a mighty River, even so distinctly, as to have Apprehensions of the bigness and figure of the Hole that the Water came in at; so that cutting there the Cieling of the Ship, they immediately stopt the Leak.

In the Sea I saw many little things which the Seamen call Carvels; they are like a Jelly, or Starch that is made with a cast of Blue in it; they Swim like a small Sheeps Bladder above the Water, downwards there are long fibrous Strings, some whereof I have found near hall a Yard long. This I take to be a Sort of Sea-Plant, and the Strings its Roots growing in the Sea, as Duck-weed does in Ponds. It may be reckon’d among the Potential Cauteries; for when we were one Day becalm’d, getting some to make Observations thereof, the sportful People rub’d it on one anothers Hands and Faces, and where it touch’d it would make it look very Red, and make it smart worse than a Nettle. In my Return for England we struck a Hauks-bill Turtle, in whose Guts I found many of these Carvels; so that it’s manifest
fest they feed thereon. ‘Tis commonly asserted by the Seamen, that they can smell the Pines at Virginia several Leagues at Sea before they see Land, but I could receive no Satisfaction as to this Point; I could not discern any such thing when at a moderate Distance, I fear much of this may be attributed to Fancy; for one Day there came three or four full Scent to tell me they were certain they smelt the Pines; but it afterwards prov’d that we were at that Time two hundred Leagues from the Shoar, so that I was satisfied that was therefore meer Fancy. Indeed we thought, by the general Accounts of the Ship, that we had been just on the Coast, but all were deceived by a Current we met with, that at that Time set about South-East, or East South-East, which when once becalmed we tried thus: We hoised out a Boat, and took one of the Scuttles that covered one of the Hatches of the Ship, tying thereto a great Weight, and a strong long Rope, we let it sink a considerable Depth, and then fastning it to the Boat, it serv’d as an Anchor, that the Boat could not drive; then with the Glass and log Line we found the Current set, as I say, Eastward, at the rate of a Mile and a half an Hour. This Current is of mischievous Consequence, it does not always run one way, but as it sets sometimes as we proved Easterly, so does it as they say, set at other Times Westerly, whereby many Ships have been lost; for then the Ships being before their Accounts, they fall in with the Land before they are aware. Thus one Year many Ships were lost on Cape Hattarasse, and thereabouts.”

 $T2eC16N,!)EE9s2ufh,sBRZO3GpjGQ~~60_57$T2eC16F,!)UE9s3wBmi5BRZO223tPQ~~60_57$T2eC16R,!yME9s5qG+bhBRZO2-!SV!~~60_57$T2eC16J,!)cE9s4PsM9rBRZO2OecvQ~~60_57

A rational, compendious way to convince

John Keynes was one of the intended victims of Titus Oates’  Popish Plot

335G  Keynes, John.     1625-1697

A rational, compendious way to convince,  without any dispute, all persons whatsoever, dissenting from the true religion. By J.K

London : s.n.], Printed in the year 1674.         $2,400

Octavo, 5.5  X 3.5 inches.   A-F12,G6    Two inscriptions to front free endpaper reading, ‘William Metcalfes Booke London, Cost 1s, Ot: ye 11th 1674’, the second being a close repetition. This copy is bound in horrible library buckram.

John Keynes (1625?-1697), Jesuit and religious controversialist, was born at Compton Pauncefoot, Somerset, son of Edward Keynes and Anne Brett. The Keynes family belonged to the Catholic gentry and the name Keynes occurs frequently in accounts of seventeenth-century members of the Society of Jesus. In line with the family tradition620 John Keynes was sent to the Jesuit school at St Omer. In 1642 he went to St Alban’s, the English College at Valladolid, with the intention of becoming a priest. Although he had taken the usual vow to return to England after the completion of his studies in order to work on the mission, the registers at Valladolid state that he was released from his vow and joined the Spanish province of the Society of Jesus. In July 1645 he entered the noviciate at Villagarcia. In the following years he went through the various stages of higher Jesuit studies which he completed by being professed of the four vows on 15 August 1662. Meanwhile he became a teacher. In 1660 he was professor of theology at the Jesuit College of St Ambrose’s in Valladolid, and later taught philosophy and theology at Compostela, Salamanca, and Pamplona. At the end of the 1660s he decided to transfer to the English Jesuit province. He became prefect of studies at the Jesuit college at Liege and in 1670 was at St Omer, where, according to Southwell, he became seriously ill when he attended to the spiritual needs of English and Irish Catholic soldiers during a plague epidemic. Keynes was sent to England in order to recover but was soon engaged in a theological controversy with the Anglican theologian Edward Stillingfleet.

In 1672 Keynes became rector of the London district of the English Jesuits and seven years later his name figures prominently on Titus Oates’s lists of accomplices in the Popish Plot. He managed to escape to the continent in March 1679 and was appointed rector of the college at Liege in January 1680. During his time as rector he wrote another controversial work answering Bishop William Lloyd’s Papists No Catholics (1677) under the title No Catholic No Christian, although he was disuaded from publishing. Together with Thomas Stapleton SJ he wrote Florus Anglo-Bavaricus (Liege, 1685), an account of the college at Liege and of the Jesuit priests who suffered in the Popish Plot. The work was dedicated to the patron of the college, Maximilian, duke of Bavaria. In July 1684 he succeeded John Warner as provincial of the English Jesuits. In the following years he was in London, where he was responsible for the founding of the Catholic schools at the Savoy and Fenchurch Street. These schools, of which James II acted as a patron, provided free education for both Catholic and protestant children and proved to be very popular. Inevitably with the revolution in 1688 this surprisingly modern experiment came to an end and the schools were closed. Keynes returned to the continent, where he remained provincial until July 1689. He died eight years later, on 15 May 1697, at the Jesuit house at Watten, Southern Netherlands.

Keynes’s basic approach as a controversialist is captured in the title of his more general work, A rational, compendious way to convince, without any dispute, all persons whatsoever, dissenting from the true religion. (Dictionary of National Biography). A scarce work, it was published at London, 1674, with translations into Latin in 1684, and into French in 1688, but no further English editions followed.

Wing (2nd ed.), K393   De Backer’s Bibl. de la Compagnie de Jésus; Dodd’s Church Hist. iii. 315; Foley’s Records, v. 296, vii. 416; Oliver’s Jesuit Collections, p. 126; Southwell’s Bibl. Scriptorum Soc. Jesu, p. 466.

620669084_tp

Lucretius: On the Nature of Things!

Lucretius, has always made me feel hopeful and some how more connected to the universe and less to the subjective problems we perceive.

“Happy is he who has discovered the causes of things and has cast beneath his feet all fears, unavoidable fate, and the din of the devouring Underworld.”  VIRGIL

Lucretius London 1683

“In De Rerum Natura, Lucretius sought to clear the mental rubbish that obscures reality. He exposed flaws in common assumptions about gods. To begin with, he scoffed at the anthropocentric notion that gods created the earth for humans.”Gary Sloan

T.Lucretius Carus His Six Books Of Epicurean Philosophy, Done into English Verse, with Notes. The Third Edition. Demetri, Teq; Tigelli Discipulorum inter jubeo plorare Cathedras; i, Puer, atque meo citus hœc subscribe libello.

London: Printed for Thomas Sawbridge at the Three Flewer-de-luces in little Britain, and Anthony Stephens Bookseller near the Theatre in Oxford, 1683                                               $1,800
 Octavo, 7.25 x 4.75 inches.  Third edition. (π1), A4, b-e4, f2, A-E4, (a)-(g)4, h2.
  This copy is bound in original full calf its front joint is cracked at the foot, up to the second band, the rear joint is
Lucretius 1683 ,147F
Lucretius 1683 ,147F

beginning to crack at either end, but it is completely sound and still quite appealing. The leaves are very clean and fresh, with deep impressions of the type.

This translation was prepared by Thomas Creech (1659-1700).   The prefatory material contains commendatory poems by John Evelyn, NahaumTate, Thomas Otway, and Aphra Behn among others, many of which were added after the first edition.   Creech’s Lucretius first appeared in 1682, with certain portions of the text, notably those in the fourth book about the nature of love, left untranslated.In this edition they are present in translation.  Both Pope and Evelyn praised the translation, and Dibdin says that the editor’s erudition, research, and correctness in this excellent and scarce work are acknowledged by every critic.The influence of Lucretius can be seen in Pope’s ‘Essay on Man.’ Lucretius was also favorite reading of Shelley, Wordsworth, and Tennyson.

“Creech’s translation of Lucretius vied in popularity with Dryden’s Virgil and Pope’s Homer. The son of one of his friends is reported to have said that the translation was made in Creech’s daily walk round the parks in Oxford in sets of fifty lines, which he would afterwards write down in his chamber and correct at leisure. […] When Dryden published his translations from Theocritus, Lucretius, and Horace, he disclaimed in the preface any intention of robbing Creech ‘of any part of that commendation which he has so justly acquired,’ and referred to his predecessor’s ‘excellent annotations, which I have often reprinted in the last century, and was included in the edition of the British poets which was issued by Anderson.” (DNB)

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http://www.iep.utm.edu/lucretiu/

The

A voyage to the East-Indies.

Map of the East Indies; the official trade zon...
Map of the East Indies; the official trade zone (octrooigebied) of the VOC according to the VOC Charter, which was between Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) and Street Magallan (South America); printed c. 1700.

“All mankind have a certain Natural propensity to Curiosity, but Young people have commonly a greater Inclination to satisfy their own Fancies,taken up for the most part with Novelties, than those who are arrived to a ripe Age, For my part having always been inflamed with a most ardent desire of  Travelling, after I had finished the course of my Studies, I left Paris with no other resolution than to leave France and by the Conversation with Foreigners to make my self acquainted with their Genius and Manners” p1

And so begins Dellon’s journey, In his retelling of the voyage, is is easy to see he is exercising his medical training and highly developed skills of observation. His curiosity hardly has a limit and he is also quite discerning.   He notes that “a great many Distempers are contracted (by the natives of Madagascar) by the Commerce of foreigners” p14.

Like the CIA World fact Book https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-worldfactbook/  ‎Dellon carefully profiles of countries and territories he travels through giving the reader information on history of contact with Europeans, descriptions and lore relating to animal species,natural resources and  geography, people, government, transportation,architecture, economy. He even discusses ‘traffic’!  This book is part travel log, part economic survey part ethnography and also a discourse on tropical medicine.

DSC_0001336G         Dellon, Gabriel.           b. 1649

A voyage to the East-Indies: giving an account of the Isles of Madagascar, and Mascareigne, of Suratte, the coast of Malabar, of Goa, Gameron, Ormus, and the coast of Brasil, with the religion, manners and customs of the inhabitants, &c. as also a treatise, of the distempers peculiar to the Eastern countries. By Monsieur Dellon, M.D. To which is annexed a supplement taken out of Monsieur de Rennefort’s History of the East-Indies, having a near relation to the proceeding treatise. Translated from the French.

[Part II. A treatise of the distempers relating in particular to the eastern countries”, each have separate dated title page; pagination and register are continuous. “A supplement to the Sieur Dellone’s relation of his voyage to the East-Indies” has separate dated title page and pagination; register is continuous.]

London : printed for D. Browne, at the Black-Swan without Temple-Bar; A. Roper, at the Black-Boy; and T. Leigh, at the Peacock, both in Fleet-Street, 1698.                  $3,500

Quarto,  First English edition. A⁸ b⁴ c² B-T⁸ U².

This copy is bound in its original contemporary full calf leather boards, sympathetically rebacked in antique style DSC_0002gilt decorated spine , using matching brown calf leather, red & black gilt lettered morocco labels.

Gabriel Dellon (Charles Dellon (a.k.a. Gabriel Dellon/Dillon and Claude Dellon in various books) was a young French traveler and physician  in 1668 when he journeyed by sea with the Compagnie des Indes  to the East Indies DSC_0006via the Cape of Good Hope and Madagascar. He says that he set out on this journey to satisfy a passion for traveling. After arriving in the city of Daman in Goa, which was at the time controlled by the Portuguese, he ran into more than a spot of trouble. Dellon was a thoughtful Catholic who was aware of his religion and took an active, critical stance to religious doctrine. His views were considered suspect by several people with whom he had contact. Unfortunately for Monsieur Dellon, these suspicious people reported their feelings about the French traveler to the Inquisitorial authorities. There also existed rumors that he was having an affair with the wife of  Governor Furtado of Goa, if this wasn’t enough, there are also rumors that he ‘lusted after’ a Priest in Goa.Well,

The word ‘Auto da fé’ reverberated throughout Goa, reminiscent of the furies of Hell. From 8 April 1666, for instance, until the end of 1679 – during which period Dellon was tried – there were eight autos da fé, in which 1208 victims were sentenced.

Wing (2nd ed., 1994), D943A

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