Our online shop is open! National and international shipping are operational.
For more information please click here

PETTY, Sir William.

Reflections upon some persons and things in Ireland, by letters to and from Dr Petty: with Sir Hierome Sankey's speech in Parliament.

for John Martin, James Allestreye, and Thomas Dicas, London , 1660 Stock Code: 92363
Reserve Ask us a question


First edition of Petty's epistolary self-defence against Sir Hierome Sankey's 1659 parliamentary defamation of Petty's 1650s Survey of Ireland.
In his capacity of Surveyor-general of Ireland, Petty's work facilitated land redistribution of "8,400,000 acres to new (and usually protestant) owners" (Oxford DNB). The sluggishness of the process sparked murmurs of discontent, fanned by suggestions that Petty had made considerable personal gains from the undertaking: he acknowledged benefiting by at least 9000. On 24 March 1659 whispers of suspected chicanery were publicised when "on behalf of the State" Sankey censured Petty as "a very beast of prey, full of fraud and rapine" before the Commons. In this account Petty declares "envy" to have been the root of Sankey's allegations. The work is "a polemical essay on the Survey, which Petty had described in full and sober detail in The History of the Survey of Ireland not published until 1851. His Reflections was composed in the heat of the controversy and was the necessary means by which Petty might seek to justify himself in the eyes of his friends" (Keynes).

Confused? Read our glossary


Octavo (149 x 95mm). Contemporary sprinkled calf, red morocco label, neatly rebacked.


Corners lightly rubbed, free endpapers renewed. Slight crease to title, which is lightly soiled and has a small rust hole just touching one letter. A very good copy.


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