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GRAY, John.

A Treatise of Gunnery.

London: Printed for William Innys, 1731 Stock Code: 137600
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First edition, presentation copy to Admiral Edward Vernon (1684-1757), the victor of Porto Bello in 1739, the inscription reading: "To the Honourable Edward Vernon Esq, Vice Admiral of the Blue and Commander in chief of all his Majesty's Sea Forces in Jamaica this Treatise is presented with the utmost respect By The Author".

Gray's treatise aimed "to deduce the rules of gunnery from the principles of motion and gravity, in a manner that seems plain and simple" (preface). Gray (d.1769), FRS 1732, was rector of Marischal College, Aberdeen 1764-9, although resident in London, a friend of the bookseller and publisher Andrew Millar. "He was credited by Millar's friends Patrick Murdoch and Robert Symmer with clarifying Newton's philosophy for the poet James Thomson described as a "gentleman well-versed in Newtonian philosophy" who published A Poem Sacred to the Memory of Sir Isaac Newton in 1727. Gray was a capable scholar who collaborated with Andrew Reid on a four-part abridgement of the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions from 1720 to 1732 published by Innys. Gray also worked with William Guthrie on a 12-vol. General History of the World, from the Creation to the Present Time" (University of Edinburgh, The Andrew Millar Project, retrieved 07/05/2016).

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Octavo (201 x 119 mm). Contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt in compartments, label supplied to style, sides ruled in gilt, marbled endpapers, red sprinkled edges.


Folding engraved plate, woodcut and engraved diagrams in the text, final advert leaf.


Armorial bookplate of Charles E. Dashwood, of Wherstead Park, Suffolk. From the military library assembled by the third Lord Cottesloe, Thomas Fremantle, purchased by him from Francis Edwards Ltd, 26 October 1948, £2 10s. Spine rubbed, else a fine copy, the paper fresh, clean, and strong.


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