London: 1732. First edition of an uncommon book in the first edition. Only 250 copies of each volume were printed. A second edition appeared in 1779. Engraved frontisportrait in each of the two volumes, plus nine other engraved plates. Title-pages in re and black, with engraved vignettes. Dedication to Lord William Manners with engraved headpiece and historiated initial letter. With lists of subscribers in each volume. Covers a bit rubbed and scuffed. Armorial bookplate of physician and antiquary Charles Chauncey (1709-1777), ink signature of scholar and antiquary Joseph Ritson (17452-1803) of Robin Hood fame, with his autograph signature and brief notes relating to the cost and binding of this volume. A very good, attractive copy. Contemporary calf, rebacked and recornered to style, gilt spine with brown morocco label. Two volumes in one, tall folio. , viii, [xii], 66, 26, 52, 50, 44, 56, [12, index]; , 68, 58, 52, 32, 50, 36, 32, 56, 25, [19, index] pp. Item #15912
Francis Peck (1692-1743) as educated at St. John's College, Cambridge. He was ordained a priest in the Church of England and spent much of his life as rector in Goadby Marwood in Leicestershire. The present work is his most important. It contains a number of unusual vignettes from British history, with copperplate engravings of various buildings and landscapes. It is well known for its major biography of Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley, Queen Elizabeth I's Lord High Treasurer and chief advisor for much of her reign.