‘I do not eat the bread of idleness’: Dr Andrew Coltée Ducarel 1713–1785, Huguenot, Lawyer, Librarian, Antiquary, and Numismatist.

The Garendon Press, 2023.


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‘I do not eat the bread of idleness’: Dr Andrew Coltée Ducarel 1713–1785, Huguenot, Lawyer, Librarian, Antiquary, and Numismatist.

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This volume brings together revised versions of four of Robin Myers’s papers on aspects of Ducarel’s life and work published between 1994 and 2002, and ‘The Life and Times of the Ducarel Brothers’, her recent introductory essay to Two Huguenot Brothers: Letters of Andrew and James Coltée Ducarel, 1732–1773 (The Garendon Press, 2019), which has been updated with a section by Adam Pollock on the life of the Ducarel children among other Huguenot families in Greenwich. It also contains new essays by Robin Myers on the collaboration and developing friendship between Ducarel and Philip Morant (1700–1770), historian of Essex, and on Doctors’ Commons, an institution whose name most know but few understand. To complement these Renae Satterley, Librarian of the Middle Temple, contributes an essay on Doctors’ Commons Library, and Andrew Burnett, former Keeper of Coins and Medals at the British Museum, on Ducarel as numismatist. The appendix comprises a family tree from Ducarel to the present day, an annotated list of works of Andrew Ducarel, a timeline of Ducarel’s life, and bibliography. Penelope Bulloch, Christine Ferdinand, and Lorren Boniface helped to edit the work.

Dr Andrew Coltée Ducarel (1713–1785) and his two younger brothers were brought to England in 1722 as infants by their widowed mother fleeing persecution for her faith. Ducarel became a civilian or advocate of Doctors’ Commons, the Inn of Court specialising in Roman and Canon law which dealt with ecclesiastical law, marriage, divorce, and probate, and maritime law in the High Court of Admiralty. Ducarel made a good living as an advocate, which fully occupied him in term time, while his vacations were given to his work as Librarian of Lambeth Palace from 1754. He was an active member of the Society of Antiquaries, pioneered the study of Norman architecture, and was a keen book and coin collector.

‘I do not eat the bread of idleness’ has been designed by Robert Dalrymple. Consisting of 264 pages, measuring 285 x 170 mm., it is profusely illustrated with portraits, coins from Ducarel’s collection, plates from works by Andrew Ducarel, and other contemporary prints sourced by Penelope Bulloch; it has attractive endpapers, sewn binding, rounded and backed and an eye-catching jacket. It is designed as a companion piece to Two Huguenot Brothers and will appeal to those who appreciate excellence in book production.

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