Eighteenth-Century Account Books of a Law Firm in Rochester, Kent, England [Manuscript]. [Solicitors]. [Great Britain]. [Two Account Books]. Rochester, England, 1752-1791, 1797-1800. [xiii], 145; [xxvi], 744 pp. Main texts of both volumes preceded by thumb-tabbed indexes. Folio (14-1/4" x 9-1/2" and 14-1/2" x 9-1/2") Book 1: Contemporary green vellum, blind rules and large blind arabesques to boards, spine perished, boards detached, slightly bowed and lightly rubbed, moderate rubbing to board edges with wear to corners. Moderate toning to text, preliminary leaves, including first part of index (to letter P) lacking, five other leaves neatly removed, first quarter of text block and a few blank leaves at end of text block detached and moderately edgeworn. Book 2: Contemporary plain vellum, blind rules and calf bosses to boards, small calf title labels reading "Bill Book C" to front board and spine, marbled endpapers. Light soiling, moderate rubbing to boards and extremities, joints just starting at ends, corners bumped and somewhat worn, three index leaves detached and edgeworn with loss to thumb-tabs. Both: Moderate toning, light foxing in places, content in neat hands to rectos and versos of all paginated leaves. $2,850. * These two books provide a half-century record of an (unidentified) elite firm of solicitors in Rochester, Kent, an important town about 30 miles from London. The entries record clients, legal services provided, fees charged and dates of payment. Among the clients are several gentlemen, nobles, military and naval officers, city officials and high-ranking clergymen, as well as businesses, civic organizations, the Town of Rochester and the dean and chapter of Rochester Cathedral. There are also occasional entries for people in the middle and lower-middle classes. Along with people in the town, the firm served clients in such neighboring villages as Gillingham and Chatham. Also valuable for their insights into social history, these books provide a vivid legal record of an important English town during the second half of the eighteenth century.
Book number 71835