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1789 through 1823 First Edition Set of Annual Registers

Owned by The Verney Family Who Gave Edmund Burke His First Seat in the House of Commons and Probably Handled by Florence Nightingale


This multi-volume set of the Annual Registers covering the period from 1789 though 1823 is unique and special because it is a continuous run of first edition volumes first owned by the man who gave Edmund Burke his first seat in the House of Commons from the pocket borough of Wendover and continued by his family after his deathYou can read about the Verney family and its relationship to Burke and view a description of its coat of arms at this location. It was Ralph Verney, the second Earl Verney, who provided Burke the Wendover seat in Parliament in 1765. Later he had a falling out with Burke and his brother over some financial matters, but he and his family continued purchasing Burke's famous Annual Register and this set was most likely housed in the family mansion called Claydon House.

Another interesting association of these books is that they were probably handled by Florence Nightingale. Harry Verney, whose bookplate shown above is in these books, proposed to  Florence Nightingale but was turned down. Harry then proposed to her sister, Parthenope, who accepted in 1857. Sir Harry Verney and Parthenope were married at Embley Park in June, 1858. They moved to Claydon House where Florence Nightingale was a frequent guest. This set of Annual Registers was probably sold when the National Trust took over ownership of Claydon House.

Claydon House

Claydon House, the home of Sir Harry Verney and Parthenope Nightingale, is located in Middle Claydon, Buckinghamshire. It is now owned by the National Trust and is open to the public from April to October.

Below are the volumes of the Annual Register from the Verney library

Below are pictures from the first and last volumes of this set to give a view of their interior condition.


The pictures above show the title page of the 1789 volume and the event that got the French Revolution rolling, the King convening the States General, a rarely used semi-democratic body, as a means to achieve the political consensus necessary to raise revenue. It soon got out of hand from the perspective of the King, a National Assembly was formed which issued a Declaration of Rights, which the introduction below explains, "forms the basis of the new Constitution of France."

While George Washington was in his first year in office during the year covered by the first volume of this set, James Monroe was in the next to last year of his eight year Presidency during the last volume. Below is a statement of the finances of the United States in 1823 and an excerpt from President Monroe's annual message to Congress that concerns controlling the slave trade.


The set is uniformly bound with leather spines and marbled boards with the spines with six compartments divided by a raised gilt border and all but three have complete labels. Below is a picture of a typical book with its spine and board shown.

The above was one of the three volumes with nice fold-out maps, two of them of India (north and south) and the third of Spain and Portugal. Because one of the maps was straining a binding so as to cause a board to become detached but present (the only one in the set) all three maps were removed. The purchaser of this set will get those maps as well as the books.

An altogether wonderful and unique 1st edition set of thirty seven (37) Annual Registers from 1789 to 1823 with unique associations to the founding father of these books, Edmund Burke, and to Florence Nightingale.

Price: $3,000

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