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Lot 66
MANCHESTER - ILLEGITIMACY and ABUSE. BATTYE (THOMAS) The Red Basil Book, or, Parish Register of Arrears, for the Maintenance of the Unfortunate Offspring of Illicit Amours, 1796
Sold for £1,375 (US$ 2,206) inc. premium

Lot Details
MANCHESTER - ILLEGITIMACY and ABUSE
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 leaf, J. Hopper and Son, [1797]; A Disclosure of Parochial Abuse, Artifice, & Peculation, in the Town of Manchester; which have been the means of burthening the inhabitants with the present parish rates, second edition, J. Thomson, 1796; A Reply to Mr Unite's Address to the Ley-payers of Manchester, fourth edition, J. Thomson, 1796, 3 works in one vol., slight browning, blindstamp on first title and final leaf, contemporary calf, rebacked, worn, 8vo, Manchester

Footnotes

  • The first work is scarce, ESTC citing only copies at the British Library copy and John Hopkins in North America. The work lists the names of approximately 800 mothers, their reputed fathers with place of abode (the majority Manchester and Salford), and 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 out 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 accommodation house for lovers, where four unfortunate young girls were kept, for the purposes of prostitution!".
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