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[MORRIS, Corbyn.]

Observations on the Past Growth and Present State of the City of London.

To which are annexed, A complete Table of the Christnings [sic] and Burials within this City from 1601 to 1750, both Years inclusive; together with a Table of the Numbers which have annually died of each Disease from 1675 to the present Time; and also a further Table representing the respective Numbers which have annually died of each Age from 1728 to this Year; from which is particularly attempted to be shewn the increasing Destruction of Infants and Adults in this City, and consequent thereto, the excessive Drain which it continually makes upon all the Provinces of this Kingdom for Recruits; to which are added, some Proposals for a better regulation of the Police of this Metropolis. By the Author of a Letter from a Bystander.

London: no publisher, 1751 Stock Code: 120893
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Presentation copy inscribed by the author

First and only edition, presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the title page, "Captain Bernard ab Authore C.M.", with a three-page manuscript transcription before the title, almost certainly in Morris's hand, of "The Freeholder's Ditty, To The Tune of Moggy Lauder", and a note at the end stating that the printer of the ballad was "Jack Mahon, at the sign of the three Messengers in Little Britain August 1756".

A customs administrator and economist, Corbyn Morris (1710-1779) was appointed secretary of the customs and salt duty in Scotland by Henry Pelham in 1751. "In 1753 he prepared a bill for a general registry of the population of Great Britain, involving the collection of birth and death statistics. He explained the advantages of a census to the duke of Newcastle, under whose 'immediate direction' the bill was introduced to the House of Lords." (ODNB). The work had a print run of 1,000 copies as recorded in the accounts of publisher William Bowyer, who is likely to have played a part in its printing.

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Folio (412 x 264 mm), pp. [2], 26. Contemporary mottled calf, spine lettered and ruled in gilt, raised bands, boards ruled in gilt, edges sprinkled red.


3 numbered letterpress tables on 7 sheets, 1 unnumbered letterpress table headed "A General Bill of the Weddings …" bound in after p. 6.


Some ink underlining to p. 25. Extremities rubbed, small losses to spine ends and label, front joint cracked but still firm, boards marked and scuffed, contents foxed, tear to lower edge of first two leaves of manuscript and excision (45 x 130 mm) from upper margin of title leaf not affecting text, overall a very good copy.


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