WITH OCCULT ANNOTATIONS

The useful Family Herbal, or an Account of all those English Plants, which are remarkable for their Virtues, and of the Drugs, which are produced by Vegetables of other Countries, with their Descriptions, and their Uses, as proved by Experience, illustrated with Figures of the most useful English Plants, with an Introduction … and an Appendix, containing a Proposal for the farther Seeking into the Virtues of English Herbs, and the Manner of Doing it with Ease and Safety … the second Edition.

London, W. Johnston and W. Owen, 1755.

8vo, pp. vi, [2 (blank)], [iii]-liv, [2 (blank)], 404, [4 (advertisements)], with 8 copper-engraved plates; lightly thumbed in places, minor chipping to corners of early leaves, plates trimmed with insignificant loss to plate-numbers, old paper repair to gutter of title; contemporary British calf, borders double-filleted in gilt, spine gilt-ruled in compartments; a little rubbed with a few minor scuffs, upper joint split but holding, corners lightly bumped; front endpapers inscribed ‘John Coopers Book, 1754’ and annotations throughout, front flyleaf inscribed ‘ex libris P. Antrobus, 1762'.

£550

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The useful Family Herbal, or an Account of all those English Plants, which are remarkable for their Virtues, and of the Drugs, which are produced by Vegetables of other Countries, with their Descriptions, and their Uses, as proved by Experience, illustrated with Figures of the most useful English Plants, with an Introduction … and an Appendix, containing a Proposal for the farther Seeking into the Virtues of English Herbs, and the Manner of Doing it with Ease and Safety … the second Edition.

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Second edition, published the year after the first, with contemporary annotations. Apothecary, actor, and prolific writer, John Hill (1714 – 1775) published his Useful Family Herbal in 1754, an otherwise ‘unaccountably unproductive year’ (ODNB). Through a long and varied career he wrote widely on botany and its uses, including the first Linnaean flora of Britain, his Flora Britanica [sic] of 1759.

The present copy is annotated with ‘under what Planet every Herb is, with the proper Seasons to gather them in their higher Virtues’ (inscription to title).

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