The Country Gentleman's Vade Mecum.

JACOB Giles (1717.)

£3500.00  [First Edition]

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First Edition. 12mo (155 x 95mm). [10], 132 pp., engraved frontispiece of a country house and gardens. Very slightly cropped at the upper edge in places, some neat ink manuscripts notes in the text, last couple of leaves browned. Early 18th-century vade mecum sheep binding, covers panelled in blind, spine tooled in blind, upper and lower board with a stiff pocket for additional documents (binding a little rubbed but otherwise fine).


London: for William Taylor, 1717


[Bound with]:


MABBUT (George). Tables for Renewing & Purchasing of the Leases of Cathedral Churches and Colleges. First Edition. [22 of 24, without the intial leaf with a recommendation in Latin by Sir Isaac Newton], 39, [1]pp. A little browned and grubby in places, ink stain to the title-page, blank verso of final leaf dusty. Cambridge: by John Hayes, printer to the University, 1686. Wing M113. Formerly attributed to Isaac Newton.


[Bound with]: 


CLERKE (George). The Landed-Man's Assistant: or, The Steward's Vade Mecum. Containing the newest, most plain and perspicuous method of keeping the Accompts of Gentlemen's Estates yet extant. Very useful for Gentlemen, Lawyer's Cashier's, Bailiffs, Rent-Gatherers, and Others. Second Edition. 12mo. [9], 49, [1] pp., title-page printed in red and black and with the three folding leaves of tables. Closely cropped by the binder at the upper edge, some marking in places, folding leaves very slightly torn in places. London: for Tho. Payne, 1715. ESTC records a single copy in the USA at the University of Florida. First published c.1712. 

Giles Jacob's (bap.1686, d.1744) The Country Gentlemen's Vade Mecum provides detailed instructions on gardening and agricultural techniques, the care of horses and cattle, managing deer, fishing, fish & fishponds, household management ("expence in Eating and drinking") as well as a description of England ("particularly of London") and, unsurprisingly "legal observations" on the Courts of England.


Jacob wrote a number of practical law manuals including, The Compleat Court-Keeper and his eponymous law dictionary. Jacob also attempted a number of literary efforts including a satire, The Rape of the Smock (1717), a "scatological parody" of Pope that resulted in Jacob being characterised as one of Pope's dunces in the Dunciad: "Jacob, the Scourge of Grammar, mark with awe, / Nor less revere him, Blunderbuss of Law).


Giles writes in his preface that: "I having not long since, spent some Years in an employment which recquir'd my Residence in the Country, and wherein I had many leisure Hours; Being fixed in a fine House with most beautiful and delightful Gardens, and having besides the Superintendency of a large Family, and all domestic Affairs, the management and Inspection of a considerable Estate, and all Country Business..." (see Preface) - this presumably relates to Giles' service as steward and secretary to the politician William Blathwayt at his estate of Dyrham Park, Bath.  Blathwayt died in the same year the Country Gentleman's Vade Mecum was published.


The latter two texts, Tables for Renewing & Purchasing of the Leases of Cathedral Churches and Colleges and The Landed-Man's Assistant provide assistance on managing estates, with tables to aid calculation.


Provenance: Samuel ?Crosley, early 18th-century signature partially deleted on a rear flyleaf. Crosley was presumably the original owner of this book and he has made numerous manuscript notes to the front and rear endleaves and a couple of notes in the text. Many of the notes are concerned with planting and managing fruit trees with much of the information taken from Samuel Collins' Paradise Retriev'd (also published in 1717). A couplet taken from Collins' work has been written in the upper margin of p.55 of the first work "He who would a good tree have / Must bring the old leaf to the Grave". On the rear endpapers are numerous notes regarding soft fruit trees (also taken from Paradise Retriev'd) such as peaches and nectarines. 2. James Burleigh, signature on the front pastedown. Almost certainly the James Burleigh who was Mayor of Cambridge in 1770 and carrier in the town or the younger James Burleigh (died 1828) was also a carrier and alderman in Cambridge. 


The University of Cambridge have seven books with the signature "James Burleigh" (the same hand as the signature in this volume but in a number of different styles) all of which are concerned with husbandry and land management (the books were formally in the Department of Plant Sciences). The seven books were printed between 1704 and 1787 and so it seems most likely that the younger Burleigh was the owner. The Folger have a copy of Samuel Hartlib his legacy of husbandry (1655) also with Burleigh's signature.


Later Provenance: Martin Woolf Orskey (1952-2018), bookseller. Orskey's library was sold by Dominic Winter Auctioneers in June 2019.


Stock Code: 233078

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