"The Effects of Infidel Principles" [Gurney, Joseph John (1788-1847)]. [Stratford, John (d.1829)]. The Effects of Infidel Principles Illustrated, In Some Account of John Stratford, Who was Executed at Norwich for the Crime of Murder. London: Printed by Edward Couchman: For the Tract Association of the Society of Friends, 1842. 12 pp. Octavo (6-1/2" x 4"). Stab-stitched pamphlet in recent plain wrappers. Upper corner of front wrapper curling up, horizontal crease and faint fold line to lower corner of rear wrapper. Light toning to interior, light foxing and soiling in a few places, gutters neatly mended in several places with negligible effect to text on p. 3, no loss to legibility. $350. * Early edition. Stratford was having an affair with the wife of Thomas Briggs, a cancer patient living in a Norwich workhouse. In an attempt to dispose of Briggs, he tainted flour being delivered to the workhouse with arsenic. This did not result in Briggs's death, but three men sickened and one died after eating food made with the poisoned flour. Stratford was charged with murder in August of 1829 and executed the same year. He later blamed his transgressions on the reading of "infidel publications" (including Thomas Paine's Age of Reason). Our tract expands on this theme and uses Stratford as a cautionary tale about "the mournful consequences of unbelief." It went through at least four editions from 1838-1863. Gurney was a Norwich banker and prominent Quaker with an interest in penology and prison reform. OCLC and Library Hub locate 1 copy of this edition in the UK (Library of the Society of Friends). See Smith, A Descriptive Catalogue of Friends' Books 761 (48).
Book number 72950