JOHN SYMONDS (1730-1807)
Observations on Rome and Corsica -- Two manuscript essays on paper watermarked 1841, 4°, bound in one vol., the first headed: 'Observations on the District of Rome made in the year 1767 & addressed in a letter to my friend Charles Cole, Esqre. of the Inner Temple', 47pp., describes the area around Rome, the way the land is used, where water and corn come from, and the conditions of work, dated Florence, June 27, 1767. The second essay 'Remarks upon the Island of Corsica', also in the form of a letter to Cole, 79pp., is a similar study (but not in his hand), emphasising the Genoese oppression, the nature of the Corsican people, the Vendetta, dated Venice, Sept. 29, 1767. Symonds asserts that violence is no longer a part of the Corsican nature: 'They are so changed that when there is an execution, it is difficult to persuade them to attend it', 19th-century red morocco, gilt, with typed transcript of both texts; together with 2 unrelated 18th-century manuscript diaries; and 2 printed books (one defective).
Symonds was born at Horningsheath, Suffolk, and educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1752. In 1771 he was appointed Professor of Modern History on the death of Thomas Gray, the poet, and in the following year he was created LL.D. by royal mandate and migrated to Trinity College. He died at Bury St. Edmunds, where he was recorder, and was buried at Pakenham.