Statement of the provision for the poor, and of the condition of the labouring classes, in a considerable portion of America and Europe … Being a preface to the foreign communications contained in the appendix to the Poor-Law Report.

London, B. Fellowes, 1835.

8vo, pp. vii, 238; a good copy in contemporary calf, spine gilt.


US $1137€963

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First edition, presentation copy, inscribed at the head of the title ‘The Earl of Radnor from the author’.

‘Viscount Palmerston, by a circular dated the 12th of August, 1833, requested each of His Majesty’s Foreign Ministers to procure and transmit, with the least possible delay, a full report of the legal provisions existing in the country in which he was resident, for the support and maintenance of the poor; of the principles on which such provision was founded; of the manner in which it was administered; of the amount and mode of raising the funds devoted to that purpose; and of the practical working and effect of the actual system, upon the comfort, character, and condition of the inhabitants. The answers to these well-framed inquiries form a considerable portion of the contents of the following volume. They constitute, probably, the fullest collection that has ever been made of laws for the relief of the poor’ (Introduction).

The whig politician William Pleydell-Bouverie, third earl of Radnor (1779–1869), to whom this copy was presented, ‘supported parliamentary reform, the new poor law, the abolition of slavery, and repeal of the corn laws … [His] advocacy of universal manhood suffrage, the secret ballot, annual parliaments, and disestablishment of the Church of England made him genuinely radical … His uncritical discipleship of the classical economists was, like his radicalism, unusual among the great landed magnates of his era, but Radnor left little in the way of a lasting legacy, except perhaps for The Economist, which his generous financial support helped to survive its birth pangs’ (Oxford DNB).

Goldsmiths’ 29196; Kress C.4036.

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