London, South Kensington
20 January 2010
Narrative of the Conduct of Dr. James Gregory towards the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Edinburgh: Peter Hill [and others], 1809. 4° (269 x 216mm). (Some stains on title and a2.) Contemporary green morocco gilt (extremities rubbed). Provenance: Joseph Cook ("I was Dr. Gregory's prisoner", extensive ms. notes in Cook's hand amounting to 13pp. on blanks at front and back, plus his annotations on p. 79, all relating to his three weeks' captivity at Gregory's hands in May 1805; a related handbill, printed in Newcastle, pasted in, offering "Three Hundred Guineas Reward" for the apprehension of those who have attempted to drug him since his escape; bookplate, with view of Newton Hall, by the Bewick worskshop).
Nigel Tattersfield notes that Joseph Cook (1759-1844), vicar of Chatton and Shilbottle, "had a great affection for his house. Built by his father in 1772, Cook inherited it in 1797 ... in 1786 he married Sarah Brown of Broomhill, a distant cousin of John Widdrington, who subsequently inherited half of Widdrington's estate at Hauxley and assumed his surname. Cook's translation to Newton Hall may not have been smooth ... he may have been committted to an "asylum for lunatics" for the purpose of depriving him of his property. Perhaps in consequence the house looms large in the first of Cook's bookplates". Cook's first note describes how he acquired the Bewick bookplate. "I was providentially restored to my family mansion on the 29th May 1806 [i.e. 1805] very soon after which I was accosted at my door by ... J.A. Kidd, a drawing master resident in Newcastle ... he was traversing the country to obtain a little support, by making sketches of Gentlemen's residences ... I asked him to take a drawing of Newton Hall ... I sent it to Bewick in 1810 for engraving from it as a Book Mark -- it is a very curious fact that I received John Bell's exposure of Dr. Gregory at the very time I received the engraving from Bewick". Kidd was in employment with Bewick between November 1810 and February 1811, and etched a preliminary plate of Newton Hall from his own drawing. Tattersfield Bookplates by Beilby and Bewick, p. 98; Wellcome IV, p. 572.
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