Common Sense, Adressed to the Inhabitants of America, […] To which is added, an Appendix, Together with and Address to the People Called Quakers. [Bound With:] Rights of Man: Being an Answer to Mr Burke’s Attack on the French Revolution. [And:] The Life of Thomas Paine, […] Interspersed with Sundry Letters, &c. not before Published, and containing his Last Will and Testament, Verbatim; with Notices of the American and French Revolutions, Compiled From Authentic Documents. [Also bound with:] The trial of Joseph Gerrald, Before The High Court of Justiciary, at Edinburgh, on the 13th and 14th of March 1794, for Sedition; with an Original Memoir and Notes. [And:] The Trial of William Skirving. [And:] The life of Thomas Muir, Esq. Advocate, One of The Celebrated Reformers of 1792-3, who was Tried for Sedition […] With A Full Report of his Trial, by Peter Mackenzie.

  • Paine, Thomas
  • Glasgow: Muir, Gowans & Co. 1833


SKU: 6451 Category: Tag:


6 vols. bound as 1, 8vo, pp. 31, [1], viii, 104, 48, 128, 96, 64. Contemporary half calf, textured dark green cloth boards, spine divided by raised bands, red morocco label, other compartments tooled centrally in blind, marbled edges. Some spotting, a little toned, lightly soiled, old repair to verso of first title-page, tear to edge of later title-page just touching text. Somewhat rubbed, a little soiled. Pencil inscription to flyleaf: ‘Kenneth Cullen from Jas. Devon’ [?].


A collection of scarce printings from the radical Glasgow printing firm of Muir, Gowans and Co., all relating to parliamentary reform and published in the years following the Scottish Reform Act 1832. Common Sense and the Life of Paine (The Life has no attribution here but is copied mainly from W.T. Sherwin's 'Memoirs of the Life of Thomas Paine') are NLS only in Library Hub, the NLS copy of Rights of Man is joined by one in the BL. All three of these are printed in double-columns in small type. The accounts of sedition trials that follow were issued together under the umbrella title 'Lives and trials of the reformers of 1793-94,' recorded at Bristol and Edinburgh on Library Hub; the individual volumes are also recorded at a handful of libraries each.
The trial volumes also contain, as appendices, brief accounts of the trials of Maurice Margarot, Thomas Fyshe Palmer, Robert Watt and David Downie, meaning that this collection encompasses accounts of all five men commemorated on the Political Martyrs' Monument in Calton Burial Ground, Edinburgh. The monument's unveiling in 1844 capped these men's reputations' fifty-year journey: from criminal convictions and transportation to New South Wales to official recognition as pioneers of reform. These books were a small step on that journey, in both abstract and concrete terms: Edinburgh publisher William Tait, mentioned on the imprint of the final 2 publications here, organised the grant of the land to erect the memorial.

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