Early and mid-eighteenth-century Miscellanies
A VERY LARGE QUANTITY OF WORKS AND PAMPHLETS IN 91 VOLUMES:
A full and impartial account of the Company of Mississipi, otherwise call’d the French East-India-Company, projected and settled by Mr. Law. Wherein the Nature of that Establishment and the almost incredible Advantages thereby accruing to the French King, and a great Number of his Subjects, are clearly explain’d and made out. With an account of the establishment of the Bank of Paris, by the said Mr. Law. To which are added, A Description of the Country of Mississipi, and a Relation of the first Discovery of it... R. Francklin, 1720, [Goldsmiths 5713; Sabin 26144], text in English and French, errata leaf at the beginning--Tailfer, Patrick, and others. A True and Historical Narrative of the Colony of Georgia in America....Charles-Town, South Carolina [but London]: for P. Timothy, , [Sabin 94217]--The Earl of Torrington’s Speech to the House of Commons, in November, 1690… 1710, engraved plates of the Battle of Beachy Head--Reasons for giving up Gibraltar... for W. Webb, 1749, folding map; and many hundreds of other works, subjects including the South-Sea Bubble, duels in France, the Ecclesiastical Commissions, the Jacobite Rebellion and related (including the Bill for the removal of heritable jurisdictions of Scotland, 1746, tracts on Feudal Survivals), other Affairs of Scotland, English and Scottish Constitutional Affairs, Observations on European affairs (e.g. at Hanover, the effect of Spanish actions on British trade and navigation, the war in Prussia) and of treaties (e.g. the Treaty of Seville, 1729), Spanish, French and Hebrew grammars, the role and funding of standing armies and the English navy, manufacturing (e.g. Woollen manufacture in Ireland), excise duties etc; together with Proceedings and Speeches of the Commons, Addresses to Electors, serials (e.g. The Political State), anti-Papist tracts, accounts of trials; with some works of topography (e.g. on Corsica, 1739, with map; also on Norfolk, Suffolk, Constantinople); proposals for works in Edinburgh and elsewhere (some Edinburgh imprints, sometimes with engraved plates); works of science and medicine (e.g. on human anatomy, the beneficial effects of spa waters, treatments for cancer), treatises on education, husbandry, aesthetics and some plays; chiefly 8vo, eighteenth or early nineteenth-century quarter calf, marbled boards (spines numbered between 5 and 388, not inclusively, apparently part of a larger original series with consecutive numbering), bindings sometimes very worn or even defective, some leaves soiled or torn (91)
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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.