Husbandry and Trade Improv'd:

HOUGHTON John (1727)


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Being a Collection of many valuable Materials relating to Corn, Cattle, Coals, Hops, Wool, &c. With A Compleat Catalogue of the several Sorts of Earths, and their proper Product; the best Sorts of Manure for each; with the Art of Draining and Flooding of Lands; as also Full and Exact Histories of Trades, as Malting, Brewing, &c. ... An Account of the Rivers of England, &c. and how far they may be made Navigable; ... with many other useful Particulars, communicated by several eminent Members of the Royal Society, to the Collector, John Houghton, F.R.S. Now Revised, Corrected, and Published, with a Preface and useful Indexes, by Richard Bradley, F.R.S. and Professor of Botany in the University of Cambridge. In Three Volumes.


First Collected Edition.  3 vols. 8vo. [2], viii, 460, [20 (index)]; [2], 487, [1 blank], [16 (index)]; [2], 398, [12 (index)] pp. Fine copy in contemporary plain calf, covers panelled in blind, red morocco spine labels.


London: Prined [sic] for Wooman [sic for Woodman] and Lyon,

John Houghton's (1645-1705) second series of weekly newsletters, originally issued as 583 single folio sheets between 30 March 1692 and 24 September 1703. For the first series (September 1681 to 1683), it was his, "practice was to send the letters free of charge to those who agreed to supply him in return with local prices and news. His correspondents included many small farmers, countrywomen, rural merchants, and husbandmen such as John Worlidge, besides his fellow members of the Royal Society, among them John EvelynJohn FlamsteedEdmond Halley, and Robert Plot." (ODNB). A fourth volume, containing a reprint the first series of newsletters, was added in 1728 and copies of Vols. 1-3 were reissued with new title-pages as the "Second Edition", "In Four Volumes." It is not included here.


In the final number Houghton gave "An epitome of the 19 volumes" in which the newsletters were roughly arranged by subject:


"In my first volume is the nature of earth, water, air, and fire, with their effects, and reason of many of their operations. In my second, natural history, with the taxes, acres, houses, &c. in each county of England and Wales, with notes, particularly of Yorkshire and Derbyshire: In my third, the doctrine of fermentation, history of cyder and clay: In my fourth, a continuation of clay, and all its uses I could learn, with the history of wheat: In my fifth, the history of joint-stocks and kine: In my sixth, I went on about kine, shewing the use and manufacture of most part, the doctrine of nutrition, circulation of the blood, with reasons of its ascent, and manner of growing of bones and other parts: In my seventh I have carried on the history of kine in discourses upon blood, butter, cheese, cows, cream, dung, milk, urine, whey, and other particulars: In my eighth, is an account of the ships that came from abroad to London from new-year's-day, 1694. to the same day, 1695. with the number from each prince's territories, and of all goods imported that year, mentioned in the bills of entry, with the quantities from each place, and all together. ...


"... In my ninth, are histories of imported stones, glass, salt, and a farther account of roads: In my tenth, a farther account of salt, the history of nitre, gunpowder, profits of the Indian trade, history of vitriol, copperas, brimstone, oker, jett and coal: In my eleventh are farther histories of coal, also of arsenick, lapis haematites, and the 7 metals, ... In my twelfth, I have given a division of plants, the histories of mushrooms, wheat, rye, barley, oats, canes, and sugar, ... In my thirteenth, I have given the history of kelp, madder, spurry, rhabarb, buckwheat, hemp and flax: As also the history of linnen, thread, tape, lace, twine, dying, printing maps, pictures, oil-cloth, buckrams, pasteboard, playing-cards, rags, paper-hangings, the printer's office, with the life of Blaeu, &c. In my fourteenth, is the history of hops, weld or woad, annise, scammony, tobacco, birthwort, potato, and the vine; with a proposal how to enrich England, and employ the poor. In my fifteenth, is the history of jessamine, capers, pomgranates, oranges, lemons, plumbs, prunelloes, prunes, olives, with a proposal to preserve health in hot plantations; ... In my sixteenth, is the history of cotton, and the oak, and all things I could think useful to say of it; particularly, demonstrative arguments for the destruction of wood, and a proposal how we may never want naval stores. In my seventeenth, is the history of alder, cedar, cypress, elm, ash, maple, birch, aspen, poplar, abele, willow, lime-tree, and history of bees, silkworms, oysters, fish, as whales, sturgeon, cod-fish, mackarel, herrrings,sprats, pilchards, anchoveys, turbuts, salmons: Also an account of the fishing-trade, with proposals how to improve it both at home and abroad. In my nineteenth, is a history of birds, viz. eagles, hawks, and falconry, woodcocks, with a conjecture how birds fly over sea. The estrich, with the manner of taking fowl in the Islands of Feroe, Hirta, and Stacka Donnna, with the strange and difficult manner of climbing rocks by those inhabitants: ..."


Provenance: Dr James Rigg, M.D. (1707-62), of Downfield and Nether Tarvit, Fife, Scotland, with his ink signature "Ja: Rigg" on the flyleaf of Vol. 1 and armorial "DOWNFIELD" bookplate in each vol. Later in the collection of Cyril Ernest Kenney, FSA, FRICS (1898-1973), quantity surveyor and collector of books on surveying, land management, etc., with his circular blue paper label with serrated edges and inventory number "3533 [- 3535]" inside the rear cover of each volume; his sale, Sotheby, 10/5/1965, lot 503 to William Dawson & Sons. Various booksellers' pencil marks. Acquired by Maggs in May 1982.



Stock Code: 244154

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