SCARCE CRUIKSHANK ITEM: ANSWER TO BROUGHAM’S LOCAL COURTS BILL OF 1830, WITH ORIGINAL PROOF OF CRUIKSHANK’S SATIRICAL FRONTISPIECE
(CRUIKSHANK, George) (BROUGHAM, Lord Henry Peter). An Answer to a Pamphlet Entitled Observations on the Reject Local Courts Jurisdiction Bill, Addressed to the Trading Interests. London: Richards, 1833. Slim octavo, early 20th-century full blue polished calf, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, black morocco spine labels, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut; pp. 16. Original proof of the frontispiece. Housed in custom clamshell box. $1500.
First edition of this scarce political pamphlet attacking Lord Brougham’s promotion of the Local Courts Bill, with humorous frontispiece by George Cruikshank entitled “A Local Court.” Accompanied by an original trial proof. Beautifully bound by Zaehnsdorf.
On November 25, 1830, Henry Brougham was sworn in as Lord Chancellor and immediately threw himself into a campaign for legal reform. “Pursuing the work of law reform, he was the means of effecting considerable improvements in the court of chancery, the abolition of the court of delegates, the substitution for it of the judicial committee of the privy council, and the institution of the central criminal court… Though his Local Courts Bill of 1830 fell through, it prepared the way for the present system of county courts” (DNB). Brougham promptly denounced the defeat of his Local Courts Bill and provided new legal arguments for its importance. This anonymous pamphlet (purportedly written by an attorney in King’s Bench Walk), challenges Brougham’s suppositions and provides an alternative solution. Caricaturist George Cruikshank, who supplied the humorous frontispiece, is considered “one of the most productive and individualistic of English illustrators… He could toss off city types and scenes from memory… and possessed an enthusiastic middle-class following. Cruikshank was at his best as an interpretive illustrator in books that permitted him to exercise his talent for comic exaggeration” (Hodnett, 114). Cohn 35. Armorial bookplate.
Pamphlet fine, ink spotting to margin of original proof (not affecting image). A truly splendid copy, beautifully bound and boxed, with scarce proof of Cruikshank’s frontispiece.