Ristretto Dello Stato Della Diocesi Di Canaria

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Author: Guillen, Giovanni Francesco (1686-1757)

Year: 1744

Publisher: Self Published

Place: Rome


28 page manuscript with folding table. Quarto (11" x 8") removed from larger volume. Housed in a custom made enclosure.

From the libraries of Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford, and Sir Thomas Phillipps. This manuscript offers a detailed description, both social and physical, of the Canary Islands in 1744, as composed by the bishop of the islands, Juan Francisco Guillén (30 Sep 1739 – 15 Mar 1751) and later Archbishop of Burgos. Guillen discusses the population; the convents of the various orders, their number and adherents; the threat of invasion by pirates, Moors, Turks, and British corsairs; and the quality of wines. The folding chart summarizes statistics for 1633 to 1642, broken down by religion, occupation, and gender. An extensive mid-18th-century examination of the islands by a keen observer.

Thomas Phillipps, 1st Baronet (1792-1872) was an English antiquary and book collector who amassed the largest collection of manuscript material in the 19th century. He was an illegitimate son of a textile manufacturer and inherited a substantial estate, which he spent almost entirely on vellum manuscripts and, when out of funds, borrowed heavily to buy manuscripts, thereby putting his family deep into debt. Phillipps recorded in an early catalogue that his collection was instigated by reading various accounts of the destruction of valuable manuscripts. Such was his devotion that he acquired some 40,000 printed books and 60,000 manuscripts, arguably the largest collection a single individual has created, and coined the term "vello-maniac" to describe his obsession, which is more commonly termed bibliomania.

Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford (1766-1827) was a British politician and colonial administrator. He served as first British Governor of Ceylon from 1798 to 1805. North proclaimed in 1801 that all rajakariya (royal service) was abolished and replaced it with a tax of one-fifth of their produce on low land and one-tenth on high land. North built his official residence, the Doric Bungalow, near the Mannar Sea according to his own plan; he himself used to supervise the pearl fishery, which at that time provided a substantial income for the British. North declared himself head of the salagama caste and appointed Robert Arbuthnot head of the karava caste; the Judicial Charter limited the governor’s autocracy by establishing the Supreme Court and High Court of Appeal.


Toning to front; small damp-stain affecting lower corner of few interior pages else a very good copy house in a fine enclosure.

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