POETRY AGAINST WARREN HASTINGS

The Letters of Simpkin the Second, poetic recorder, of all the proceedings, upon the trial, of Warren Hastings, Esq. in Westminster Hall.

London, Stockdale, 1789.

8vo, pp. viii, 224; preliminaries dusty and browned, tear to I4 with ugly tape repair, otherwise a good copy in recent quarter cloth and boards, morocco lettering-pieces to spine, gilt, stamps and bookplate of the Law Library of Los Angeles; contemporary ownership inscription of Elizabeth Bonds.

£100

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The Letters of Simpkin the Second, poetic recorder, of all the proceedings, upon the trial, of Warren Hastings, Esq. in Westminster Hall.

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Third edition, first published 1788, of this satirical commentary of the trial of Warren Hastings (1732–1818), the former governor of British Bengal who was impeached and tried for corruption. Massively anti-Hastings, Broome begins with a poetic tribute to the managers of the impeachment, and continues with a series of letters in poetic couplets mocking Hastings and Pitt. The book ends with notes for future ‘examinations’, mocking the failure of the jury to secure the conviction of so obviously guilty a prisoner.

Ralph Broome (1752–1805) had been in India under Hastings as a captain in the Bengal Army, presumably giving him a personal interest in the case. In 1798 he married Charlotte, niece of Frances Burney, causing her and the Burneys great consternation. He eventually went insane and died a ‘howling death’.

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