Recorde, Robert (1510?-1558)
THE WHETSTONE OF WITTE, WHICHE IS THE SECONDE PARTE OF ARITHMETIKE: CONTAINING THEXTRACTION OF ROOTES: THE COSSIKE PRACTISE, WITH THE RULE OF EQUATION: AND THE WOORKES OF SURDE NOMBERS. LONDON: JOHN KINGSTON, (1557)
4to (192 x 133mm.), black letter, woodcut initials and diagrams, 2 folding letterpress tables (signed R1 and D3), late nineteenth-century calf, quires C and D transposed, small marginal wormhole, slight damp-staining in gutter towards end, binding slightly rubbed
Richard Towneley (1628-1706/7), of Towneley, Lancashire, armorial bookplate dated 1702 on verso of title-page and shelfmark R:50 in upper corner of title-page; sale of the Towneley library, Sotheby's, Wilkinson & Hodge, 18-28 June 1883, lot 2262; Harrison D. Horblit (1912-1988), booklabel; H.P. Kraus, catalogue 168, item 153, $11,500; bought from The Antiquarian Scientist, Acton, MA, 1990
An astronomer and experimenter in several fields, Richard Towneley assembled a valuable library, which was integrated into the already substantial library collected by his brothers (Tony Kitto, “The Towneley family library” in The Book Collector 59, 2010, pp.399-416). An inventory taken around the time of Richard’s death in 1707 lists 1979 books (John Rylands University Library, English MS375). The present volume is entered in that inventory as “Whetstone of Witt", with the shelfmark R.50.
Tomash & Williams R44; ESTC S110599; STC 20820; Smith, Rara arithmetica, p.286