HASTED, Edward (1732-1812). The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. Canterbury: for the Author, 1778-1799.

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HASTED, Edward (1732-1812). The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. Canterbury: Simmons and Kirkby for the author, 1778-1799.


4 volumes. Folio (15 4/8 x 9 4/8 inches). 5 vignette title-pages. Fine large folding engraved "An Accurate Map of the County of Kent,... 1783" by Downes, and "A Plan of the City of Canterbury, & the adjoining Suburbs", 1798, 31 double-page and folding maps, 5 double-page maps, 2 folding full-page maps or plans, 5 full-page maps, 4 double-page and folding views, including two of Leeds Castle, one of which is on papier de Chine and laid down, 51 full-page views, one folding genealogical table, and 61 vignettes in the text, extra-illustrated with one full-page portrait and one additional full-page plate, (volume II with some heavy waterstaining to the top corner, not affecting any images, page 561 in volume II corner renewed crossing the plate-mark). Contemporary diced russia gilt, each cover decorated with gilt borders of intertwined leaf and dot roll tools, with a gilt heraldic device stamped in the middle, the smooth spines in seven gilt decorated compartments (rebacked, preserving most of the original spines).

Provenance: with the engraved bookplates of Sir John James Smith, Bart, (1800-1862), of Sydling St. Nicholas, Co. Dorset, on the front paste-down of the first volume, and of Sir John Smith, Bart on the others.

First edition, including a general account of the history, topography and natural history of Kent. The volume also details the parishes of the two hundreds of Blackheath and Bromley and Beckenham, including several parishes which now form part of metropolitan London. These include Charlton, Deptford, Greenwich, Lewisham and Woolwich. Hasted seems to have led a more adventurous life than the typical antiquary. He inherited a large property and began collecting material for his history of Kent in the 1760s. By 1789, after years of living beyond his means, including the expenses of researching and publishing this work, Hasted was bankrupt. He fled to France with his mistress to escape his creditors, but returned to Britain again when the Revolution and warring in France became too threatening in 1793. By 1795 he was incarcerated in King's Bench, and stayed that way for the next 7 years. Upon his release he served out his days as Master of the Almshouses at Corsham. Lowndes p.1010; Spalding II, pp.188-191; Upcott I, p.358-368. Catalogued by Kate Hunter