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Author: Howard, John: Aikin, John (ed.):

Title: An Account of the Principal Lazarettos in Europe; with Various Papers Relative to the Plague: Together with Further Observations on Some Foreign Prisons and Hospitals; and Additional Remarks on the Present State of Those in Great Britain and Ireland; [bound with] Appendix, Containing Observations Co

Publication: Warrington: printed by William Eyres; and sold by T. Cadell, J. Johnson, C. Dilly, and J.Taylor, in 1789; 1791.

Description: First edition. 4to., pp. viii, 259, [xv]; [ii], 32 + 23 engraved plates (many of which folding), including a very large table. With half-title and leaf of instructions to binder bound in. Odd spots of foxing and the occasional light ink smudge, sporadic light toning; several plates with closed tears near attachments, 3 of which significant, plate edges often lightly crumpled, occasional foxing, faint dampstain to fore-edge margin of final 2 plates. Contemporary marbled calf recently rebacked plainly but competently, green morocco gilt spine label, edges coloured yellow, marbled endpapers, cloth-reinforced hinges. Joints a little creased, edges rubbed and corners wearing but a sound, handsome copy. Armorial bookplate of The Right Hon. Earl of Suffolk and Berkshire to front paste-down. Oddly, this book was written by one John Howard and owned by another, completely unrelated, one: General John Howard, 15th Earl of Suffolk & 8th Earl of Berkshire (1739-1820) was a British soldier and nobleman.

The price of 'Twelve Shillings unbound' is printed below the imprint (omitted in some copies). Howard (1726?1790) spent 15 months from 1785, travelling throughout western and southern Europe inspecting lazarettos (quarantine stations) for the treatment of plague victims. Here we find the result of his work, An Account of the Principal Lazarettos in Europe, published at Warrington in 1789. In it he surveys conditions in lazarettos, prisons and hospitals, going into great detail and making observations and suggestions for their improvement. He organises his findings by first by country, and then by county when he gets to Ireland, Scotland and England. Writing near the end of his life, he also reflects on his own efforts at reform. Of the Gaol at Southwark he writes that prisoners awaiting transportation to Australia 'lay almost perishing in the gaol': 'I am persuaded this would have been in great measure prevented, if penitentiary houses had been built on the salutory spot at Islington fixed on by Dr. Fothergill and myself: the gentlemen whose continual opposition defeated the design, and adopted the expensive, dangerous and destructive scheme of transportation to Botany Bay, I leave to their own reflections upon their conduct.' (p.147). Howard set off again on his travels a few years later but died of fever at Kherson in southern Russia on 20th January 1790. The results of his final travels are found in the added Appendix here. 'His death was announced in the London Gazette (1790, 174), a unique honour for a civilian, and his statue, the first to be admitted to the cathedral, was erected by public subscription in St Paul's.' (ODNB)

Bibliography: ESTC T115289

Reference Number: [51654]

Price: £650


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