CUNNINGHAM, Peter. The Story of Nell Gwyn and the Sayings of Charles the Second. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1852. 12° inlaid to 2° (374 x 278mm). EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED with numerous letters and documents (see below), a mezzotint portrait of David Garrick by R. Laurie after Joshua Reynolds (1779), and an UNRECORDED PRINTED PLAYBILL for a performance of 'The Provok'd Wife' by John Vanbrugh, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, performed on 26 October [?1759] by his Majesty's Company of Comedians and starring David Garrick and Mrs. Cibber (not in ESTC). Early 20th-century red morocco gilt by Rivière and Son, elaborately tooled in close imitation of a Restoration binding by Samuel Mearne for Charles II (see Nixon, English Restoration Bindings, no.9 for its model), triple panel on sides with central royal arms, initials 'N.G.' below and royal monogram of Charles iI above, wide turn-ins, gilt edges.
The additional material includes sixty-nine autograph letters signed and letters and documents signed, including ten by royalty, others by royal mistresses, statesmen, writers, artists, actors, etc, mainly 17th-century and contemporary with Nell Gwyn, and all mentioned in the printed text, including:
GWYN, Eleanor ('Nell Gwyn', 1650-1687). Document signed ('E.G.'), 16 April 1684, a receipt for £500, referring to His Majesty's letters of Privy Seal dated 11 June 1679, 'for and towards the support of the selfe of Charles, Earl of Burford, now Duke of St Albans' [her son by Charles II]; CHARLES II, King of England (1660-1685). Document signed, to the Clerk of the Signet, Whitehall, 7 May 1661, an order concerning fees to be paid to the Grooms of the Privy Chamber; CHARLES I, King of England (1625-1649). Document signed, 20 April 1642, a pass for Sir George Gordon of Gight [ancestor of Byron]; HENRIETTA MARIA, Queen of England (1625-1649). Autograph letter signed to the Prioress of a convent, n.p. [France], 'ce vendredy matin' [after 30 January 1649], declaring that her anxiety leaves her incapable of anything until she has further news and asking the Prioress to pray for her son, the King (written shortly after the execution of Charles I); JAMES VI and I, King of Scotland (1567-1625) and of England (1603-1625). Document signed (?secretarial), 1600, possibly a draft, concerning the trial and 'horning' of Andro Murray of Balvaird for the 'slauchter' of the Laird of Gorthy; others by RUPERT, Prince (1619-1682). Receipt signed for £1,500 'for my two penceons'; JAMES II, King of England (1685-1689). Order signed (as Duke of York) on naval matters; WILLIAM III, King of England (1689-1702); Letter signed with autograph subscription acknowledging congratulations on his return to Holland; MARY II, Queen of England (1689-1694). Autograph letter signed to her husband, William III; GEORGE II, King of England (1727-1760) Letter signed announcing the birth of a daughter to the Princess of Wales. CHARLOTTE, Queen of England (1760-1818). Autograph note signed, about Wardrobe bills; GEORGE IV, King of England (1820-1830). Letter signed, on a diplomatic appointment, countersigned by Castlereagh;
Royal mistresses including Catherine Sedley, Countess of Dorchester (mistress of James II); Dorothea Jordan (mistress of William IV); Mary Robinson ('Perdita', mistress of the Prince Regent, an effusive letter of thanks for a sonnet);
Writers and poets, including: JONSON, Benjamin. Autograph inscription signed ('Su[m] Ben Jonsonii') on the printed title page of a Greek grammar; ADDISON, Joseph. Autograph letter signed to Mr Southwell, mentioning that 'Dick Steele' is with him; STEELE, Richard. Autograph letter signed to the Earl of Sunderland; BOSWELL, James. Autograph letter signed to his factor ('Andrew' [Gibb]), saying that a pickpocket has taken his letters, and referring to estate matters;
Statesmen, including: CROMWELL, Oliver. Letter signed as Protector ('Praeses pro tempore'), on a naval matter; CLARENDON, Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of. Autograph letter signed about appointments and the next parliament; MARLBOROUGH, John, 1st Duke of. Autograph letter signed [to the Secretary of state], on finding troops for Portugal and 'the lamentable conditions of affairs on the Rhine'; PEEL, Sir Robert. Autograph letter signed to the Hon. Mrs [Augusta] Leigh, agreeing to recommend 'Mr Heath...a near relative of Lord Byron';
Others by Thomas, 3rd Baron Fairfax, Sir John Vanbrugh, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, Sir William Davenant, Robert Howard, Mathew Prior (about passes for merchants at Algiers); Anthony Wood (discussing ecclesiastical matters); Mary Berry, Thomas Henshaw, Anne Jameson, Douglas Jerrold, Thomas Tenison, Archbishop of Canterbury, Francis Gwyn, Roland Gwyn, Robert Wilks and R. Booth, Colley Cibber, John Philip Kemble, the Earl of Southampton, Viscount Brouncker, Sir Godfrey Kneller (a receipt for £18 from the Exchequer), the Earl of Dartmouth, John Talbot, Sidney, Earl of Godolphin, Henry Saville, Arthur, Earl of Essex, Lord Rochester, Sir William Coventry, the Earl of Sandwich, Henry Benet, 1st Earl of Arlington, the Duchess of Monmouth and Buccleuch, William, 1st Earl Cowper, Thomas Coutts, Lord Cornwallis, James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde, Richard Talbot, Duke of Tyrconnel, and other public figures and contemporaries of Nell Gwyn.
Ben Jonson's ownership inscription on the title page of Graecae Grammatices/in usum Genevensis/Scholae Per-/scriptae/Pars prima/Genevae/Apud Joannem Durantium/MDLXVIII is listed as no 63 in the catalogue of his library by David McPherson, in Studies in Philology, University of North Carolina (December 1974).
A complete list of signatures is available with the lot.