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Lot 87
MANCHESTER - ILLEGITIMACY BATTYE (THOMAS) The Red Basil Book, or, Parish Register of Arrears, for the Maintenance of the Unfortunate Offspring of Illicit Amours; with a Farther Development of Most Shameful and Unprecedented Acts of Abuse in the Town of Manchester, 1797
Sold for £2,250 (US$ 3,634) inc. premium

Lot Details
MANCHESTER - ILLEGITIMACY
BATTYE (THOMAS) The Red Basil Book, or, Parish Register of Arrears, for the Maintenance of the Unfortunate Offspring of Illicit Amours; with a Farther Development of Most Shameful and Unprecedented Acts of Abuse in the Town of Manchester, first edition, with final errata, some soiling, ink stain to one leaf, blindstamp on title and final leaf, modern cloth, 8vo, J. Hopper and Son, [1797]

Footnotes

  • SCARCE, ESTC citing only British Library in UK, and John Hopkins in North America. The work lists the names of approximately 800 mothers, the reputed fathers with place of abode (the majority Manchester and Salford), and the amount owing in arrears, with a lengthy discussion on the problems relating to illegitimacy and the collection of money from the absent fathers. The author is particularly damning of the abuses carried on by the special constables appointed to collect the arrears, citing one who rented the upper room of his house to "middle-aged lady, as an accomodation house for lovers, where four unfortunate young girls were kept, for the purposes of prostitution!".
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