[LONDON CORRESPONDING SOCIETY.] The Address published by the London Corresponding Society, at the general meeting held at the Globe Tavern, Strand, on Monday the 20th of January, 1794. Citizen John Martin in the chair … [London, 1794.]
Two works, 8vo, pp. 40; and pp. 16; the second item somewhat foxed, but very good copies in later boards, roan spine; one erratum on p. 32 in An Abstract corrected in manuscript (‘Potentate’ for ‘Protestant’).
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An Abstract of the history and proceedings of the Revolution Society, in London. To which is annexed a copy of the Bill of Rights. Printed by the order of the committee.
First editions, very scarce. A good volume, uniting three London radical societies. The Revolution Society was founded in 1788 by Priestley, Thomas Brand Hollis and others to celebrate the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and uphold the Bill of Rights. Its membership was to become increasingly supportive of the French Revolution but it was largely superseded by the London Corresponding Society and the Society for Constitutional Information (a resolution of which is printed at the end of the second work).
The London Corresponding Society, formed in 1792 by Thomas Hardy, took the French Revolution as its inspiration, its key mission being universal male suffrage. Its leaders including Hardy, Thelwall and Horne Tooke was prosecuted in the 1794 Treason Trials, but acquitted.
ESTC reports that ‘The first 40pp. [of An Abstract, as here] were originally issued separately’; some issues added ‘Toasts’ from the inaugural dinner, and/or continuations. ESTC records only two copies in the US of the Address (Princeton and Library of Congress); there was another issue (8pp. only) without the letter by John Horne Tooke and the SCI resolution.
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Second edition, expanded and extended, with a new series of striking venatic plates. The series of plates (attributable to Nicolas Perrey, who signs the title), showing composite scenes of hunters pursuing animals from birds and fish to lions and elephants, is wholly new, replacing the woodcut illustrations of the first edition of 1621. The engravings were reused in 1630, though the pruning and ploughing plate (p. 471) would be omitted from the later edition. In addition to the expansion of the first four books, the second edition is for the first time accompanied by a fifth book ‘della villa’, on the management of agricultural estates.