8vo, pp. viii, 153, ; woodcut printer’s device and tail-piece; one or two very light spots, but a very good copy in contemporary sprinkled calf, flat spine with the remains of gilt fleurons (gilding mostly worn off), red morocco lettering-piece; spine rubbed and chipped at head, small hole at foot, corners a little worn, a few scratches to sides, extremities rubbed; contemporary ink initials M. D. on the title-page.
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L’ami du peuple Français, ou mémoire adressé à M. Turgot, contrôleur des finances, par le fils d’un laboureur.
First edition thus, rare, of an attack on the French tax system published on the eve of Turgot’s demise. Set out as a narrative, this work outlines the family history of the author as a tale of hard work, of strife against the injustice and abuse of tax collectors, progressive failure to meet impossible demands from thriving tax farmers, jail and confiscation, and ultimately ruin. Through his exemplary story the author calls out to Turgot for a radical reform. He details the French fiscal set-up describing taxes, the severely uneven distribution of their impact, and the cruelty of a system which appears solely to serve the interest of the tax collectors, to the detriment of both crown and people. This appears to be the reprint of a part of a work sometimes attributed to Turgot (Quérard): Sur les finances, ouvrage posthume de Pierre André ****** fils d’un bon laboureur.
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Printed descriptions of the import duties on wine and merchandise appeared in England as early as 1545. This later edition is one of the first editions after the lifetime of Charles I, who levied the duties without the authority of parliament. Printed at the instigation of the House of Commons, it was intended to be issued with Public General Acts of 1660 12 Cha.II.c.4. and was also issued as part of An exact Collection of all such Acts (1660). Hundreds of goods and their taxes are listed alphabetically and give a good survey of the English foreign trade.
UTOPIA MORE, Thomas.
The Common-wealth of Utopia: containing a learned and pleasant Discourse of the best State of a publike-Weale, as it is found in the Government of the new Ile called Utopia …
Fifth edition of More’s Utopia in English, translated by Ralph Robinson – the last edition of his translation, first published in 1551, and revised in 1556. Alsop printed a corrected edition in 1624, with a dedication to More’s grandson, Cresacre More, which is reprinted here.