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Dugdale, William:

The Baronage of England,or An Historical Account of the Lives and Most Memorable Actions of Our English Nobility [...]

Dugdale, William:

The Baronage of England,or An Historical Account of the Lives and Most Memorable Actions of Our English Nobility [...] London: Printed by Tho. Newcomb, for Abel Roper, John Martin, and Henry Herringman, 1675 - 1676


First edition. 3 vols. in 2, folio. pp. [xii], 476, 497-790, [ii] + 5 folding plates; [viii], 312, 361-488, [iv] (pagination as called for). Title pages in red and black, a few woodcut initials. Each plate is a folding pedigree (Percy, Talbot, Clifford, Berkley and D’Arcie). A few neat marginal notes in both pencil and ink, all in old hands. A few occasional faint spots and smudges but generally bright within, a few small and unobstrusive paper repairs. 19th-century tan (or ‘citron’) polished calf, rebacked in a slightly lighter shade with raised bands, gilt, brown and tan morocco gilt title labels. Gilt borders and dentelles, a.e.g., marbled endpapers with reinforced cloth hinges. A few tiny scrapes to boards, very good copies overall. Housed in a tan cloth slipcase.


Armorial bookplate of Gerald Gascoigne Lynde (1873-1938) to front paste-down of each volume. Directly below, a small label printed with the arms of William Amhurst Tyssen Amherst (1835–1909), created first Baron Amherst of Hackney in 1892. ‘Collecting books and antiquities was Tyssen-Amhurst's chief interest, and he gathered a library rich in ecclesiastical history, especially of the Reformation and the Church of England, and in editions of the English Bible (of which his collection was inferior only to that of Lord Ashburnham). Equally strong was his interest in the history of the spread of printing, and historic bookbindings. He bought steadily from the 1860s, often in friendly rivalry with the earl of Carysfort, and had the benefit in the saleroom of the regular agency of Bernard Quaritch. His library included seventeen Caxtons, in its day one of the two or three best collections in private hands, and his early printed books illustrated the spread of typography in practically every European country. He was a member of the Roxburghe Club [...]. A detailed catalogue of Tyssen-Amherst's collection was in preparation by the distinguished bibliographer Seymour De Ricci, who gratefully recorded that he owed to Tyssen-Amherst's ‘kind lessons in English bibliography … my own earliest interest in that difficult science’. However, owing to the dishonesty of Charles Cheston, the solicitor entrusted with the administration of Tyssen-Amherst's estate and trust funds, a sale of the library at Didlington proved urgently necessary. De Ricci's catalogue raisonné had to be reduced to a much abbreviated (though still substantial) hand-list, speedily produced for private circulation in 1906. A major sale by Sothebys was organized: its two sections commenced on 3 December 1908 and 24 March 1909, and the total realised was £32,592.’ (ODNB) These volumes appear as item 1081 in De Ricci’s Hand-List (described as ‘very fine’) and as Lot 303 in Sotheby’s catalogue (a clipping from which is pasted to the ffep verso).
Bound by the notable English bookbinder Francis Bedford (1799–1883), who was patronised by William Bentinck, 4th Duke of Portland and various other aristocratic book collectors who saw his ‘antique’ style as befitting the importance of their libraries. Bedford’s Atheneum obituary notes the derivative nature of his style, but praises his high level of skill as a binder, restorer and repairer of books.


ESTC R16723, R225614; Wing D 2480; Brunet II 868; Lowndes 691; Moule CCLXXIV.


“A history of the aristocracy and its deeds since Anglo-Saxon times, an immense work of genealogical scholarship derived from sound sources that retains its value to the present day [...] Editions of Dugdale's work continued to appear after his death as scholars polished and quarried his researches. His place in the annals of historical scholarship is an honourable one. His speciality was the retrieval of factual information relating to the great institutions of the middle ages: the monasteries, the legal system, and the aristocracy. The scale of his operations was greater than any previous endeavour, and its achievements were astonishing, especially in view of the disorder of the records from which he worked. ” (ODNB).