8vo, pp. viii, iii-vi, 5-434; with engraved frontispiece and seven further plates, five of which bear portraits of the conspirators; ‘Address’ misbound, but complete; some foxing and marking throughout; in later navy morocco-backed marbled boards; spine in compartments, tooled and lettered in gilt.
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An authentic history of the Cato-Street conspiracy; with the trials at large of the conspirators, for high treason and murder; a description of their weapons and combustible machines, and every particular connected with the rise, progress, discovery, and termination of the horrid plot. With portraits of the conspirators, taken during their trials, by permission, and other engravings.
First edition of the first thorough account of the Cato Street conspiracy, a plot to assassinate the prime minister and his cabinet, and to install a new revolutionary government. Written by the editor of the New Newgate Calendar Improved, the reports follow the sensationalised approach to crime reporting of that publication, detailing the plot, the involvement of a police spy (who is described, despite the general tone of disapproval for the conspirators, as ‘that base and infamous individual George Edwards, the spy and instigator to treason’), the conspirators’ trials and execution, and the backgrounds and characters of the conspirators. The plates include portraits of the conspirators, a plan of the premises in Cato Street where they planned, and an illustration of the execution of five of them (five more were transported).
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The Trials of Arthur Thistlewood, and others, for high treason, at the Old Bailey Sessions-House, commencing on Saturday, the 15th, and ending on Thursday, the 27th April, 1820. Taken in short hand, according to the method invented by John Byrom … Illustrated by back and front views of the premises in Cato Street … and by several original portraits of the principal conspirators … with an appendix, containing circumstantial details of the execution and decapitation of Thistlewood, Tidd, Ings, Davidson, and Brunt.
First edition, a fairly deluxe account by the usual standards, of the Cato Street Conspiracy trials. In 1820 five conspirators, probably from a much larger group of Spenceans centred on the radical Marylebone Union Reading Society, including one black man, Thomas Davidson, were hanged and beheaded for high treason after plotting to murder cabinet ministers.
JUSSIEU, Laurent Pierre de.
Antoine et Maurice. Ouvrage qui a obtenu le prix proposé par la Société Royale pour l’amélioration des prisons, en faveur du meilleur livre destiné à être donné en lecture aux détenus.
First edition, rare, of this unsurprisingly moralising novel by the writer, geologist, and natural historian Laurent Pierre de Jussieu (1792-1866), written in response to a competition held by the Royal Society of the Improvement of Prisons to find the best book to circulate amongst inmates.
An 1837 note in the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal explains: “Among other means of effecting this object [the reform and moral improvement of prisoners], one of the most effectual was conceived to be the preparation and distribution among the prisoners, of books, the perusal of which might impart an abhorrence of vice, and create a taste for virtue; and books of this description were soon composed by able writers, and the attempt is represented to have been attended with the happiest effects. At the head of the writings now mentioned, M. Parent Duchatelet informs us public opinion had long placed two productions of M. Jussieu, one entitled Simon of Nantua, the other Antony and Maurice”. And indeed the novel, detailing the contrasting fortune of Antoine and the thief who led him into a life of crime, Maurice, was popular, seeing several editions not only in French but also in German. It remains unclear, of course, quite how enthusiastically it was received by its intended audience.
OCLC records no copies of any edition outside Continental Europe.