The first stone of this Session-House erected for the use of the County of Middlesex, and for Other good and Necessary Purposes, For the better Performance of the King’s Service in the said County. …was laid by the Most Noble and Puyisaant Prince Hugh, Duke and Earl of Northumberland, …, at the Request, and in the Presence of the Commissioners, appointed for Building the said Session-House, on Friday the Twentieth Day of August, MDCCLXXIX.

[London], 1779.

Broadside (246 x 143 mm.), fastening holes in three corners, a bit toned, but very good.


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(Together with:)
[SESSION-HOUSE]. Primum hujusce Fori Juridici lapuidem, in usu comitatus de Middlesex … erecti, nobilissimus, potentissimusque princeps Hugo, Northumbriae dux et comes, eiusdem comitatus custos rotulorum, &c. &c. &c. posuit; orantibus et presentibus justitiariis ad hoc aedificium extruendum delegatis, die veneris vigesimo Augusti, Anno Domini DDCCLXXIX. [London], 1779.

Broadside (228 x 134 mm.), fastening holes in three corners, but very good.

Two unrecorded broadsides, one in English, the other in Latin, recording the laying of the foundation stone on 20 August 1779, by Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland for the grand Middlesex Session House in Clerkenwell. The building was completed in 1782 and for the next 120 years it was the largest and busiest courthouse in England. It was built in the neo-classical style, and the dome of the entrance hall was modelled on that of the Pantheon at Rome. The architect was Thomas Rogers (c.1744-1821). ‘John Carter, however, claimed quite unjustifiably that Rogers had merely copied a design published by himself in the Builder’s Magazine (pls. xc, xci)’ (Colvin, p. 833).

Not in ESTC, which records another broadside commemorating the consent of the Duke of Northumberland to lay the foundation stone (one copy only in the National Archives), but not the actual foundation ceremony.

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