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[HALE, Thomas &] Sir William PETTY.

An Account of Several New Inventions and Improvements now Necessary for England, in a Discourse by Way of Letter to the Earl of Marlborough,

relating to Building of our English Shipping, Planting of Oaken Timber in the Forrests, Apportioning of Publick Taxes, The Conservancy of all our Royal Rivers, in particular that of the Thames, The Surveys of the Thames, &c. Herewith also published at Large the Proceedings relating to the Mill'd Lead-sheathing, and the Excellency and Cheapness of Mill'd Lead in Preference to Cast Sheet-Lead for all other Purposes whatsoever. Also A Treatise of Naval Philosophy, written by Sir Will. Petty. The Whole is submitted to the Consideration of our English Patriots in Parliament Assembled.

London, Printed for James Atwood and are to be Sold by Ralph Simpson, 1691 Stock Code: 43068
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First edition. An impassioned, if sometimes diffuse, appeal for investment in England's maritime future, and the not entirely unrelated business interests of Messrs. Hale. A discursive essay which draws support for Hale's innovations from a wide variety of sources, technical and moral, from Phineas Pett to Galileo. Sir William Petty, whose Political Arithmetic had given him particular prominence at this time, is invoked by name in the title, but his treatise is very brief (pp. 117-32) and can only be a synopsis. He had delivered a paper on building ships to the Royal Society in 1661. The manuscript of this, which is not known to have survived, was kept by Lord Brunker as too important to be published, and was, according to Keynes, almost certainly the source of the Treatise as printed here.

This copy with various contemporary manuscript corrections and additions. The errata has been emended, and "T.H." at the end of the introductory letter completed in ink to read "T. Hale". In particular a long manuscript note has been added to p. 33 of the section on "The New Invention of Mill'd Lead," and an addition has been made to the text of the "Memorial humbly offered by the Mill'd Lead Company " which concludes on p. 116 with a manuscript note directing the reader to an addition "at Ye end of this Booke" where there is a 16-line discussion of various "Tryalls" showing the great superiority of milled lead scuppers to cast lead ones. It concludes by reporting the orders given by the Navy Board to Mr. Hales for the supply of the former and an instruction that the latter be totally laid aside. These annotations were almost certainly made by or for Thomas Hale, who is recorded in the Treasury warrant books of 1703 as the joint proprietor, with Charles Hale, of the Milled Lead Work at Deptford. Keynes also noted a four-page pamphlet of 1695, Mill'd Lead, demonstrated to be a Better and more Durable Covering &c., to be had "at Mr. Hale's House, the Lead Mill." Evidently Hale's efforts were not entirely effective against the "superstitious Fancy" and "continual discouragements from the interests and artifices of plumbers and others", as a later warrant proposes to transfer "all their rights in the said mill and engine to her Majesty's use upon their being allowed a competent salary to manage the same for the Queen."

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Duodecimo (149 x 90mm). Contemporary panelled calf, neatly rebacked, red sprinkled edges.


2 folding tables. Near contemporary ownership inscription, "Thos. Smith" to the title page. Perhaps Captain Thomas Smith, "captain in the navy and renegade", who was "sentenced to death, and … executed on 18 June 1708 with all the barbarities directed by


Endpapers browned through paste-action, light browning throughout and some foxing, but overall very good.


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