Wedgwood, Josiah. An Attempt to Compare and Connect the Thermometer for strong fire…read at the Royal Society, May 13, 1784 [London, 1784], engraved plates—Downie, Murdo. The New Pilot of Scotland…accompanied by four charts. For the author, 1792—Lunardi, Vincent. An Account of Five Aerial Voyages in Scotland… for the author, 1786—Burke, Edmund. Speech…on moving…resolutions for conciliation with the colonies, March 22, 1775. The third edition. For J. Dodsley, 1778; and many others, on British trade and commerce, plans for prisons, bridges and other works in Edinburgh in the late eighteenth-century, reports on the Edinburgh Lunatic Asylum (early nineteenth century); Minutes and Proceedings of the Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers of Edinburgh, Heads of Bills (e.g. for enlarging and improving the Harbour of Leith for erecting docks (with engraved plate); collections of poetry in various editions (e.g. Goldsmith’s Deserted Village, 1770); Letters to the Lord Advocate of Scotland, Narratives of Riots in Edinburgh, accounts of elections, the peerage, some accounts of slaves (e.g. Information for John Wedderburn…against Joseph Knight, a Negro, Pursuer… July 1775), surveys of collieries, Forms of Prayer to be used in Scotland, exhibition catalogues, trials, Informations relating to various trade and land disputes, bankruptcies, lists of creditors, rules of Friendly Societies, faculty reports, observations on the introduction of roads to the Scottish Highlands, trade in Holland and Germany, parliamentary arguments for the reform of gambling clubs, instructions for the swordsman, patents, proposals for the relief of the poor, essays on bleaching, works on language, histories of the wars in Scotland, letters from Tenerife, Brazil, the East Indies and Russia, accounts of Philanthropic Societies, Widow’s Petitions; Proceedings of the Society for the Suppression of Vice; many Edinburgh imprints; some works with the ownership signature of Sir William Forbes or other contemporaries, some presentation copies, occasional manuscript notes interleaved; 4to and 8vo, chiefly contemporary or near contemporary quarter calf, marbled boards (spines numbered 53, 54, 55, 56, 63, 66, 67, 69, 101, 206, 230, 231, 236, 239, 243, 244, 273, 278, 310, 321, 334, 337, 339, 360, 362, 363, 375, 377, 376 , 378), some works in poor condition, bindings sometimes rubbed or defective (31)
Read Condition Report
Read Condition Report
The Forbes Baronetcy was created in 1626 for Sir William Forbes (d. circa 1650) by James VI in the Barontage of Nova Scotia. The majority of the works offered here were acquired by the sixth Baronet, also William (1739-1806), who added Pitsligo to his title in 1781. He was an eminent Scottish banker and benefactor, good friend of James Boswell and Samuel Johnson (see lots 45-46), and finally succeeded in recovering the Pitsligo estates forfeited after the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. His son William, the seventh baronet, beat Sir Walter Scott to the hand of the renowned beauty Williamina Belsches Stuart (1776-1810), and it was with their marriage that the family moved to her family seat, Fettercairn House in Kincardineshire, Aberdeenshire.
One of the sixth baronet’s acquisitions for his library at Pitsligo were numerous highly important miscellanies and tract volumes, many of which were purchased as a set from Edinburgh bookseller Elphinstone Balfour in October 1786. These were subsequently supplemented by further contemporary tracts and other works from the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century. Most of these miscellanies bear a nineteenth century Forbes family bookplate.