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WILLIS, Browne.

An History of the Mitred Parliamentary Abbeys, and Conventual Cathedral Churches.

Shewing the Times of their respective Foundations,and what Alterations they have undergone. With some Descriptions of their Monuments, and Dimensions of their Buildings &c.

London: Printed by W. Bowyer for R. Gosling, 1718-9 Stock Code: 139647
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First editions. Educated Westminster and Christ Church, Oxford, "through his father Willis inherited Whaddon Hall, where he was to live until his death, together with the adjoining manor and advowson of Bletchley. He also owned the manor of Burlton in Burghill, Herefordshire, and his estate was augmented by the dowry of 7000 obtained through his marriage... From 1705 to 1708 Willis served as tory MP for Buckingham... but by that time he had already decided to devote his life to antiquarian interests, probably first awakened by his boyhood visits to Westminster Abbey. Willis's energies and range as an antiquarian writer were prodigious he was one of the first antiquaries to base his work on original documents... He travelled extensively, visiting every cathedral in England and Wales save Carlisle" (ODNB). Willis's approach to the buildings was innovative in its attention to the architecture, rather than purely the monuments, and in his concern for their condition and future preservation.

Latin inscription to the front free endpaper of volume I, relating to the Franciscan and Dominican orders, ownership inscription to both title pages of "J. Allen, Trin. Coll. Cam.", probably John Allen, senior fellow of Trinity, rector of Tarporley, and antiquary and some annotations in his hand to the rear endpapers of volume II. Later armorial bookplate of Charles William Vane, third marquess Londonderry (17781854), to the front pastedowns.

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2 volumes octavo (198 x 108 mm). Contemporary dark tan, sprinkled calf,red morocco labels, raised bands, gilt rules, double fillet blind panels to the boards, edges sprinkled blue and red.


Engraved head- and tailpieces.


A little rubbed, particularly on the joints, those of volume I just started at the head, head-cap chipped, some damping towards the rear of volume II, remains very good.


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