16x10cm, [2p printed], [96 ruled], [2p printed], marbled edges, original red leather cover (slight scuffing). This manuscript commonplace book of some 8000 words, written in an “The Almanac of the Year of Our Lord 1846”, contains a variety of extracts copied in a tidy hand from a various sources. The compiler is likely to be the Welsh-born Reverend John Simon (b. 1803) of Hanley (now part of Stoke-on-Trent), Staffordshire, a Wesleyan minister. The entries cover a diverse series of subjects from a list of the HIGHLAND CLANS and reflections on the sabbath in Scotland, a record of the dates of the first introduction of varying types of trees and fruits in Britain, the origin of the penny post, “the original of the Pagental character and bits of wordplay (e.g. on a page of definitions: “Prison--Young crime’s finishing school”). Religious items include “A picture of dissent by a dissenter”, a description of of the Bishop of Norwich. Oddities include sections on tobacco, the Dorset Gaol in 1850, the genealogy of eminent lawyers and evidence of a sense of humour is found in “A Table To Calculate Wages,” (from Punch 1843 or earlier). A long poem, headed “James the Less” is copied sideways across four double pages; a note at the end of the verses states “Comp By Mr Alex....Lawton of Hanley at the Special request of Rev James Bromley and given to Everett to read and take home.” The poem may be connected to the 1828 publication “The head-piece; or, Phrenology opposed to divine revelation” by James the Less, though an obvious relationship hasn’t been spotted.
Author [Simon, Rev. John.]. [Manuscript Commonplace Book, 1846-1857]
Publisher [Staffordshire, England]