Title Coats of arms of the principal families of Bedfordshire
Binding Hard Cover
Book Condition Very Good Minus
Edition First Edition
Size 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall
Publisher England Privately Printed
Seller ID 007697
On offer is a hand-written and hand-drawn manuscript album from the last quarter of the 18th century regarding coats of arms of the principal families of Bedfordshire, England. It may represent the only copy ever made. 22 x 18.5 cm. (8.5 x 7.25 inches.) Presumed contemporary binding, full vellum. The spine is desiccated and chipped, and the boards are worn and moderately soiled. On the title page, in a neat ink hand, "Coats of arms of the principal families of Bedfordshire." Also on the title page, in pencil, there is an attribution to Francis Townsend, Windsor Herald of Arms in Ordinary. Following the title page are some 20 pages of drawings of coats of arms, four to a page. Thus about 80 coats of arms depicted. Approximately 28 of them have been hand-colored [by Townsend, one presumes]. Note that some of the illustration pages have completely -- and very cleanly and neatly -- detached from the text block. The pages were originally sewn into the text block in doubles and, apparently, with fairly thin thread. The illustrated coats of arms pages are followed by three pages with technical descriptions, all hand-written in dark ink, of various coats of arms. Finally there are about 50 blank leaves in the album, suggesting perhaps that the compiler planned a more extensive undertaking. Although the binding is in some disrepair, being About Good, the interior sheets are in Very Good condition, being either quite clean or with only minor spots or marks. Townsend authored at least two published books. 1) Calendar of knights; containing lists of Knights bachelors, British knights of foreign orders, also Knights of the Garter, Thistle Bath, St. Patrick and the Guelphic and Ionian orders: from 1760 to the present time. London : W. Pickering, 1828. 2) A catalogue of knights from 1660 to 1760. London: 1833. With thanks to Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Chronicle, Part 1 for the following: "Francis Townsend Esq. FSA, [1749-1819]. Appointed Rouge Croix Pursuivant in 1779 and Windsor Herald in 1784. Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and charged with the encouragement, advancement and furtherance of the study and knowledge of the antiquities and history of England and other countries. He had made large collections for a new edition of Dugdale's Baronage. One of the most important events of his life was his acting as Deputy for Sir Isaac Heard, Garter, Principal King of Arms, in investing the Emperor Alexander with the Order of the Garter, September 27, 1813."