Substance of a Report on the Laws and Jurisdiction of the Stanneries in CornwallHARRISON, Sir George,
London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longman. 1835.
First edition. 8vo. (212 by 130mm) pp. [ii], 178. Contemporary red morocco. The upper and lower covers have lavishly decorated borders with a leaf and flower pattern in gilt set between gilt ruled lines. Inside these borders is a further, inner border with gilt corners and an additional border in blind. In the centre of both covers is the Royal Coat of Arms of William IV, for whom this copy was bound. The edges of the covers are decorated in gilt. The spine has five compartments and four raised bands. Second compartment has the title in gilt, the other four, decorated in gilt inside triple ruled gilt borders. Gilt dentelles. All edges gilt. The front pastedown has the bookplate of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII). It has the royal coat of arms above which is printed "The Library of the Duchy of Cornwall". The vellum front free end paper has the small book label "From the Library of H. Harvey Frost". There is some shelfwear to the edges of the covers and some rubbing to the hinges but this is a beautiful binding in very good condition. The contents are in immaculate condition.
Sir George Harrison was a lawyer and one of the first of the new breed of professional civil servant. He was the first Assistant Secretary to the Treasury appointed by Pitt the Younger in 1800. He oversaw the rapid expansion of the Treasury and was clearly adept at enabling politicians to remove money from the pockets of the public and then spend it for them in useful and selfless ways, thus commencing (or continuing) an tradition which exists proudly to this day. His salary frequently increased by generous leaps and he moved seamlessly from one administration to another.
In 1823, Harrison was appointed auditor of the Duchy of Cornwall and it was in this capacity that he made his Report in 1829. This more concise “Substance” was published six years later.
This is a lovely copy with much of interest beyond the text, bringing together as it does a Royal armorial binding, a Royal armorial bookplate and the label of a major collector and bibliophile.