Under current restrictions, our shops are closed to the public, but we are still processing online, telephone and email orders as normal.

RAY, John.

A Collection of English Words not Generally used,

with their Significations and Original, in two Alphabetical Catalogues, the one of such as are proper to the Northern, the other to the Southern Counties. With Catalogues of English Birds and Fishes: And an Account of the preparing and refining such Metals and Minerals as are gotten in England.

London: by H. Bruges for Tho. Burrell, 1674 Stock Code: 90721
Reserve Ask us a question

First edition, "the earliest attempt to gather, interpret and discuss the remnants of older and local language as a contribution not only to the better understanding of the provincial communities, but to those antiquarian studies which were leading men to a knowledge of the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic tongues" (Raven). This copy of the issue with a comma after "words" in the title but no comma after "Ray"; "Birds" and "Fishes" in the title are printed in red; according to ESTC, this is the scarcer of the two issues. John Ray (1627-1705), "the son of a blacksmith, became one of England's greatest naturalists. He was pre-eminently a botanist (he originated the division of plants into monocotyledons and dicotyledons), but also took up the unfinished ornithological work of his friend Francis Willughby... He also published A Collection of English Proverbs (1670) and was keenly interested in philology" (Oxford Companion to English Literature, fifth edition).

With some interesting neat contemporary marginalia to F1r (adding the word "Fell" and the meaning "Mountain or high hill, North Country" and at G1r "Wad: black lead. North C. In Cumberland where the best is produced it is called also Killans".

Confused? Read our glossary


Octavo (146 x 86 mm). Contemporary unlettered speckled sheep, flat spine with double blind rules, covers with double blind rule border and thistle cornerpieces, blind edge roll, red speckled edges.


Title printed in red and black, woodcut initials.


Extremities of spine chipped, lower joint split at head, wear to corners, front pastedown lifted, prelims lightly soiled yet still an attractive copy in a period binding, without the initial blank [A1] but with the final blank [L4] (although largely torn away).


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book