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HOLLIS, Thomas - BLACKBURNE, Francis.

Memoirs of Thomas Hollis, Esq., F.R. and A.S.S. [together with:] Appendix to the Memoirs …

London: [Privately published,] 1780 Stock Code: 117415
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First edition, large paper copy, a handsome copy of this biographical memoir of the notable 18th-century "political propagandist" (ODNB). Hollis (1720-1774) "believed citizenship should be active: individuals had an important role to play in public life. He partly fulfilled this responsibility by charitable work as a governor of Guy's and St Thomas's hospitals, and a guardian of the asylum and Magdalen Hospital He believed that legitimate government was contractual, and that the people as constituent authority were entitled to replace tyrants by new governments. As a republican Hollis provided material for Catharine Macaulay's History of England. Yet he was also a patriotic Englishman and warm supporter of the house of Hanover. His heroes were Elizabeth I, Oliver Cromwell, and Pitt, all of whom extended England's international standing, as well as John Milton, his particular hero". In addition to his charitable work he also pursued a programme of reprinting and distributing literature "from the seventeenth-century republican canon, thus keeping the cause of parliamentary reform alive during a difficult period". He later turned his philanthropy to America, "In 1758 Hollis made his first gift of books to Harvard College For the following fifteen years thousands of books would be sent westward by the most generous donor colonial American libraries were to know" (Marshall, "Thomas Hollis:The Bibliophile As Libertarian," in the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 66 (2), p. 247).

With the 20th century bookplate of Robert J. Hayhurst, Lancashire retail chemist and bibliophile, whose main library of naval history was complemented by a subsidiary collection of eighteenth-century literature in well-preserved contemporary bindings.

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2 volumes, quarto (327 x 253 mm). Near contemporary streaked calf by Kalthoeber (his ticket, slightly oxidised, on the verso of the first front free endpaper), red morocco lettering -pieces, and green morocco numbering-pieces with red onlay roundel, spines gilt in compartments, scrolled floral cornerpieces, centre-tool featuring an urn, scrolled foliate rolled panel to the boards, bead and chain edge-roll, edges stained yellow, gilt octoglyph and metope roll to the turn-ins, marbled endpapers, original old gold silk page-markers intact.


Engraved frontispiece, dedication leaf, and 34 other plates, many of them portraits, including a fine mezzotint of Isaac Newton, "drawn and scraped by James Macardel from an Original painted by Enoch Seeman", one engraving to the text.


A little rubbed, particularly at the extremities, corners bumped, minor chipping head and tail of the spine, light browning throughout, occasionally a little heavier and with some sporadic foxing, off-setting from some of the plates, two splits to the mezzo of Newton, one along the plate mark,repaired with japanese tissue verso, but overall very good.


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