WINDHAM, William & George Townshend.

A Plan of Discipline Composed for the Use of the Militia of the County of Norfolk [Parts 1 & 2]

London: J. Shuckburgh, at the Sun, 1759 Stock Code: 85290
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First edition of the first two parts as issued, a note at the end requests that "Gentlemen are desired not to bind the first and second parts, as a third will be published with all convenient speed." ESTC offers a pagination including the third part, which added 95 pages to the text, but just 3 plates, no date of issue has been ascribed to this section. William Windham was a member of an ancient Norfolk family, in the early 1740s undertaking the Grand Tour with his tutor, the botanist and translator Benjamin Stillingfleet, "in 1741 he visited Switzerland with Richard Pococke; he published an account of his mountaineering adventures in Letter from an English gentleman (1744). He also visited Germany and the Netherlands He supported the campaign for a national militia, assisting Lord Townshend in the formation of the Norfolk militia in 1757 and publishing a widely disseminated Plan of Discipline in 1760" (ODNB). The work was to become one of the principal drill manuals in use during the American Revolution; "Without doubt the most useful and popular such work addressing itself especially to the procedures by which men could best be trained, it contained the best plates yet to have appeared" (Houlding, Fit for Service, p207). The plates were from drawings by Townshend, who had seen military service under Cumberland, with whom he later had a serious falling out, at Culloden and at Laufeld, and was with Wolfe at Quebec in the year of publication. He is probably best known as a caricaturist, and having "transformed caricatura from an innocuous amusement into an offensive weapon in the political feuds of the day" (Donald, Age of Caricature, p14). This copy with the armorial bookplate of Archibald Grant of Monymoske Monymusk. Grant was a landowner with an insuperable "bent for questionable financial speculations" which led to his expulsion from the House of Commons. He subsequently dedicated himself to the improvement of his estates, adopting various progressive schemes, the success and emulation of which gained "for him a reputation as an agricultural improver that has largely effaced his early dubious financial practices".

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Small quarto (215 x 163 mm). Original blue paper wrappers.


49 plates.


Somewhat rubbed on the wrappers, skilfully rebacked, entirely in character, contents clean and sound, a rather attractive piece in judiciously restored contemporary condition.


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