CLARK, James. Observations upon the Shoeing of Horses, together with a new Inquiry into the Causes of Diseases in the Feet of Horses, in two Parts: Part I. upon the Shoeing of Horses; Part II. upon the Diseases of the Feet. Edinburgh, W. Creech, and London, T. Cadell, 1782.
8vo, pp. 1: xii, 427, [1 (blank)], 2: x, -214; with one folding copper-engraved plate; damp-stain to early leaves, otherwise very good copies; contemporary speckled sheep, spine gilt-ruled in compartments with gilt red morocco lettering-piece, board-edges roll-tooled in gilt, sewn on 3 sunken cords; rubbed, corners bumped, short splits to joints; 19th-century ink ownership inscriptions to front free endpaper.
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A Treatise on the Prevention of Diseases incidental to Horses, from bad Management in Regard to Stables, Food, Water, Air, and Exercise, to which are subjoined Observations on some of the surgical and medical Branches of Farriery … second Edition, corrected and enlarged.
Two important texts on farriery (second and third editions respectively), with a preface instrumental to the foundation of the Royal Veterinary College in 1791. Farrier to the King for Scotland, James Clark’s arguments for a veterinary school after the model of the continental colleges were read and promoted by Granville Penn (1761-1844), the future chairman of the London Committee which would establish the Royal Veterinary College. Dedicated to one of the College’s early patrons, the Duke of Buccleugh, the title describes the author as ‘Honorary and Corresponding Member of the Society of Agriculture &c. at Odiam [Odiham] in Hampshire’, the agricultural society from which the movement for a British veterinary college was beginning. Upon the death of the College’s first Professor in 1793, Clark was encouraged to accept the position but declined, believing he would soon be appointed to lead a new veterinary school in Edinburgh, though this would not be founded for another thirty years.
‘Clark, who was far ahead of his contemporaries, and who has been described as “the father of veterinary hygiene,” published his treatise on the Prevention of Disease in 1788. In the preface, Clark insisted on the necessity for veterinary schools to train the rising generation. He explained that a young practitioner must have practical, as well as book knowledge, and that this ought to be given in schools … Clark praised French veterinary education, and he called for similar efforts in Britain.’ (Pugh, p. 14).
First published in 1770, the Observations upon the Shoeing of Horses is dedicated to the tenth earl of Pembroke, another early patron of the College who ‘had done as much, if not more, for the horse than anyone then alive’ and ‘was a particular admirer … of James Clark’ (Pugh, pp. 37-38).
ESTC T86777 & N10850; Dingley 161 & 158; neither work in Mellon; cf. Pugh, From Farriery to Veterinary Medicine, 1785-1795 (1962).
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