Under current restrictions, our shops are closed to the public, but we are still processing online, telephone and email orders as normal.

MOORE, Sir Jonas.

Modern Fortification: or, Elements of Military Architecture.

Practised and Designed by the Latest and Most Experienced Ingeneers of this Last Age... and the Manner of Defending and Besieging Forts and Places. With the use of a Joynt-Ruler or Sector, for the speedy Description of an Fortification.

London: W. Godbid, for Nathaniel Brooke, 1673 Stock Code: 126903
Reserve Ask us a question

First edition, uncommon, just five locations on Library Hub, WorldCat adds ten. As a boy Jonas Moore (1627-79) "became a clerk in Durham city" (Taylor), but resolved to follow a career in mathematics, in which ambition he was encouraged by the prominent local Shuttleworth family of Gawthorpe Hall. Brought to the attention of Charles I "when the king was in the north, he was appointed mathematical tutor to the Duke of York, but almost immediately the young prince had to leave the country". Moore published his first book"an Arithmetic" in 1647, and sometime before 1649 he moved to London and with the assistance of William Oughtred - "the figurehead of English mathematics" (ODNB) - established himself as a mathematics teacher. In 1650 he was appointed surveyor to the Duke of Bedford's fen drainage company, an advancement to which Moore "later attributed his rise in the world". On his return to the capital he set up in "Stanhope Street, on the fashionable western side of London" as a teacher of mathematics and supplier of books and instruments. Among the subjects offered was fortification, and in 1663 he was sent out with the expedition to Tangier surveying for the projected Mole. During the Second Dutch War, Moore was appointed Surveyor General of the Ordnance, "one of the principal officers of the Board of Ordnance, with particular responsibility for incoming stores and fortifications, duties which were burdensome only in wartime; Moore undertook them himself rather than appointing a deputy. From 1665 he lived near the Tower of London and from 1669 in an official house in its grounds. The Third Dutch War (1672-4) placed heavy demands upon the office; meeting them helped earn Moore his knighthood". The present work and his General Treatise of Artillery were the timely products of this period. He made his home in the Tower "a centre of scientific observation, mathematical practice and patronage, the last most notably in bringing forward the young John Flamsteed and furnishing him with with instruments as well as encouraging Edmund Halley" (Taylor). At the time of his sudden death in 1679 he was preparing a textbook for the royal Mathematical School at Christ's Hospital, of which he was governor. His library of over 2000 volumes, two thirds of them mathematical, made over 400 when sold in 1684. An important, if under-remarked, figure in the English early modern scientific world, he was described by his friend John Aubrey as "a good mathematician and a good fellow". A well-preserved copy of a desirable work.

Confused? Read our glossary


Octavo (174 x 108 mm). Contemporary speckled sheep, anachronistically but neatly rebacked in sheep with green morocco label, edges sprinkled in red and green, original endpapers retained, linen hinges, in half calf leather-entry slipcase, marbled sides. All binding work undertaken by Zaehnsdorf in 1958, typed slip mounted on the rear pastedown.


Engraved frontispiece of the sector, to be had of John Marke "at the Golden Ball in the Strand", and 9 other plates, all but one folded, these loosely inserted within guard-sheets at the rear.


Contemporary ownership inscription of James Hamilton to the title page, modern collector's plate of D.G. Mackenzie to the front pastedown. Spine a touch sunned, frontispiece just a little cropped costing one letter of the caption, and just biting the image, light browning, else very good.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book