Memoirs of the ancient Earls of Warren and Surrey, and their Descendants to the Present Time.
by WATSON, John.
Fine frontis. port. of the author & 53 engraved plates (several are folding or double-page & folding and one is printed in sepia). With finely engraved head- & tailpieces & numerous engraved coats-of-arms in text. vi, 304,  pp.; 1 p.l., 245,  pp. Two vols. Large 4to, cont. English "Etruscan" binding of panelled calf, tooled in blind & gilt, a.e.g. Warrington: W. Eyres, 1782. First published edition and a most handsomely bound set of this richly illustrated work. Watson (1725-83), clergyman and antiquary, was curate in Ripponden, where he "embarked on research at the behest of Sir George Warren of Poynton Lodge, Cheshire, in order to prove that Sir George was the legitimate heir to the earldom of Warenne and Surrey. His Memoirs of the Ancient Earls of Warren and Surrey and their Descendants was published in a limited edition of six copies in 1776, with a second edition of fifteen copies following in 1779, and a third, larger, edition in 1782. Despite Watson's claim in the preface to the work, his researches were unable to establish Warren's right to the title, but this did not deter Sir George from pursuing that claim vigorously, if unsuccessfully, over the next twenty years."-ODNB. The plates depict historical portraits, notable houses, ruins, landscapes, and archeological artifacts. Fine set with the engraved armorial bookplate of George de Ligne Gregory (1740-1822), High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire. A few leaves with some foxing. Purchase inscription on front endleaf: "Bt. in London. Feb. 7 1818. Pr: 4 pd - 6 s - 0." . (Inventory #: HillBibl-5237)
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