London, South Kensington
23 April 2008
BRADLEY, Richard (1688?-1732). New Improvements of Planting and Gardening both philosophical and practical ... the fifth edition. London: W. Mears, 1726. 8° (192 x 118 mm). Engraved frontispiece and 13 plates, 10 folding, title printed in red and black (some variable browning throughout). Contemporary calf, spine with raised bands, lettering piece in second compartment, tooled in gilt in the others, covers with single gilt fillet border (joints rubbed, head and tail caps worn).
'Bradley optimistically asked [Sir Hans] Sloane to support his application for the botany chair at Oxford being endowed by William Sherard, but Sherard's condition for the endowment was that it go to Johann Jacob Dillenius [see lot 329]. In 1724 Bradley was appointed the first professor of botany at Cambridge ... Long after Bradley's death Thomas Martyn claimed that "Bradley was never of any university" and that he obtained the appointment "by means of a verbal recommendation from Dr Sherard to Dr Bentley; and pompous assurances that [Bradley] would procure the University a public Botanic Garden by his own private purse and personal interest"' (ODNB). Henrey 502.
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