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[LYNCH, Thomas, Jr. (1749-1779), Signer (South Carolina). Autograph ownership signature ("T Lynch Jun") on the titlepage of a book from his library: P. VIRGILI MARONIS. Bucolicorum Eclogae Decem. The Bucolicks of Virgil, with an English Translation and Notes...Second Edition. London, 1749. 8vo (8 x 5 1/16 in.), engraved frontispiece, folding engraved map. Contemporary sheep, edges colored red (front cover loose, boards very rubbed, corners worn, spine mended with linen at an early date). Fitted full brown morocco gilt pull-off case.
[LYNCH, Thomas, Jr. (1749-1779), Signer (South Carolina). Autograph ownership signature ("T Lynch Jun") on the titlepage of a book from his library: P. VIRGILI MARONIS. Bucolicorum Eclogae Decem. The Bucolicks of Virgil, with an English Translation and Notes...Second Edition. London, 1749. 8vo (8 x 5 1/16 in.), engraved frontispiece, folding engraved map. Contemporary sheep, edges colored red (front cover loose, boards very rubbed, corners worn, spine mended with linen at an early date). Fitted full brown morocco gilt pull-off case.

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[LYNCH, Thomas, Jr. (1749-1779), Signer (South Carolina). Autograph ownership signature ("T Lynch Jun") on the titlepage of a book from his library: P. VIRGILI MARONIS. Bucolicorum Eclogae Decem. The Bucolicks of Virgil, with an English Translation and Notes...Second Edition. London, 1749. 8vo (8 x 5 1/16 in.), engraved frontispiece, folding engraved map. Contemporary sheep, edges colored red (front cover loose, boards very rubbed, corners worn, spine mended with linen at an early date). Fitted full brown morocco gilt pull-off case.

A BOOK FROM THE LIBRARY OF THOMAS LYNCH, THE ONLY SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE EDUCATED AT ETON AND CAMBRIDGE

Thomas Lynch, the sole son of an affluent rice planter, received a gentleman's classical education of the best sort: after attending the Indigo Society School in Georgetown, he went to England, where he attended Eton and then Cambridge, then read law at the Middle Temple (1764-1772). No other Signer attended Eton; the only other Signers to have attended Cambridge were Virginia's Thomas Nelson, Jr. and South Carolina's Arthur Middleton. On his return to South Carolina he married, took over a family plantation and gave up the practice of law. His father, an avid patriot, served in the Continental Congress (1774-1776) but when he suffered a severe stroke in early 1776 the 27-year-old Lynch was also named a delegate, to care for his ailing father and act on his behalf. They formed the only father and son team to serve concurrently in the Continental Congress.

It is quite likely that Lynch--who clearly boasted a small but choice library--acquired most of his books during his residence in England and brought them back to South Carolina. In the Fall of 1779, Lynch and his wife were lost at sea when the ship carrying them to France foundered in a storm. His is one of the rarest signatures of the 56 Signers. Some 81 examples of Lynch's signature are recorded by Joseph E. Fields, "A Signer and His Signatures, or the Library of Thomas Lynch Jr.," in Harvard Library Bulletin, 14:210-252. Of that list, fully 48 consist of small clipped signatures cut from the flyleaves of various books, while a good many others consist of separate title-pages, removed from books, bearing Lynch's signature. Very few complete books signed by Lynch are now extant; nearly all are in institutional collections.

Provenance: Thomas Lynch, Jr. (d.1779), ownership inscription. Years ago, the volume was accompanied by a certificate of Maxwell Pringle of Charleston, stating that he had obtained it from a relative of Lynch, Pinckney Johnston -- John Gribbel of Philadelphia, bookplate -- Justin G. Turner, bookplate -- Philip D. Sang (sale, Sotheby's New York, 26 April 1978, part lot 262).
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