STOW, John (1524/25-1605). A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster. London: A. Churchill, J. Knapton [and others], 1720.

$ 12,000.00

STOW, John (1524/25-1605). A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster. London: A. Churchill, J. Knapton [and others], 1720.

2 volumes, folio (15 3/8 x 9 4/8 inches). Title-pages printed in red and black. 70 engraved plates, maps and plans, 2 folding and 30 double-page, book V with woodcut coats-of-arms (map of the Tower Liberty repaired on verso, a few plates misbound, last leaf of volume one with paper fault and old repair on blank verso, G1 of book VI with small marginal repair, Y3 of appendix with tear into text.) Contemporary panelled calf, spine with gilt-ruled raised bands, morocco title and volume labels (rebacked in the 19th-century, bands rubbed, joints slightly splitting, sides scuffed, one volume label lacking).  

Provenance: Foljambe Collection removed from Osberton Hall, their sale, Christie's, London, 30th April 2008, lot 102

Fifth and grandest edition. John Strype (1643–1737), historian and biographer, was approached by the publishers Richard Chiswell and Thomas Horne to provide yet another revised version of John Stow's much admired Survey of London (1598). An agreement was drawn up whereby Strype would receive 43 guineas, his expenses, and six bound copies of the finished work. The Survey had been repeatedly revised and enlarged in order to keep up with the changing aspect of the post-fire city, now much expanded and altered in its religion and other ways. Strype immediately set about transcribing documents from the London archives and in 1703 Awnsham Churchill joined the agreement as senior partner, and Strype's payment was increased to £103. There was co-operation from the city livery companies and the clergy, urged on by Bishop Henry Compton, and also from the librarians of Lambeth Palace and the Tower. Among the many private individuals who offered help were the Yorkshire antiquary Ralph Thoresby, who had been in correspondence for some years before his first visit to Strype on 22 January 1709, and Humphrey Wanley, librarian to the Harleian collection in which Stow's manuscript now reposed. Although Strype had arranged most of the work by 1707, and the engravings had been prepared, it was set aside after the publication of Edward Hatton's New View of London in 1708, which seemed to cover much the same ground and was considerably smaller and cheaper. Strype forfeited £71 of his fee, and perhaps had no one to blame but himself as he had allowed work on his biographies to take up much of his time. Finally, once the defects of Hatton's book were acknowledged another agreement in November 1716 led to the Survey's publication at the end of 1720. Strype made no changes beyond inserting some current information on titled people, lord mayors, and city charities.

"Unlike its predecessors Strype's Survey did not aim to be a pocket guide, with its listings and tables of figures (although he included the obligatory and now outdated list of carriers), but rather an updated edition of a celebrated Elizabethan text. It filled two folio volumes, embellished with high quality engravings and ward maps, and cost 6 guineas. The print run was probably more than 500 copies; it was reprinted in 1754. Strype included what he believed to have been Stow's entire original text, which had by this time been conflated with the 1618 and 1633 additions of Anthony Munday. His own additions, where he had identified gaps in Stow's narrative and where the passage of time demanded them, were clearly identified as such in the margins. Inevitably his own protestant convictions and his abhorrence of popery led him to be selective and even emphatic in the space allocated to the provision of almshouses and other charitable donations, and in the details of sermons and services held within the city. Political events, such as the defeat of the Armada, the civil war, the Jacobite period, and the return to an assured protestantism all called for judgemental comment. Strype was however one of three editorial voices writing in the first person and the present tense. To quote Merritt, ‘By this stage the Survey has a multiple personality, switching with little warning from nostalgic Elizabethan antiquary [Stow] to triumphalist Jacobean pageant-master [Munday] to diligent post-Restoration recorder of events [Strype] and back again’ (Merritt, 87)" (G. H. Martin and Anita McConnell for DNB).

John Kip, (ie Johannes (b. before 1653, d. 1721?), draughtsman and engraver, who had been responsible for the views of London buildings in volume one of Mortier's "Nouveau théâtre de la Grande Bertagne" (1707), is credited with about half the 28 engraved views of "eminent places". In addition there are two folding general maps of London, one showing the city as it was in Queen Elizabeth's time, 17 ward maps (books II-III) and 20 parish maps (books IV and VI). The only map to be signed is the Parish of St. Mary Rotherhithe revised by John Pullen and engraved by John Harris. Adams "London Illustrated" 25; Lowndes III, 2526; Upcott II 616; Darlington and Howego 16, 8 (London maps). Catalogued by Kate Hunter