PAYNE, John. Universal Geography formed into a new and entire System; describing Asia, Africa, Europe, and America; with their subdivisions of Empires, Kingdoms, States, and Republics: The extent, boundaries, and remarkable appearances of each country; cities, towns, and curiosities of nature and art.
Also giving a general account of the fossil and vegetable productions of the earth, and of every species of animal. The History of Man, in all climates, regions and conditions; Customs, Manners, Laws, Governments, and Religions: the state of Arts, Sciences, Commerce, Manufactures, and Knowledge: sketches of the Ancient and Modern History of each Nation and People. To which is added, A Short View of Astronomy, as Connected with Geography; of the Planetary System to which the Earth belongs; and of the Universe in General. With a set of maps, drawn from the best materials, every one of which is coloured; and a great variety of copper-plates, descriptive of the most remarkable curiosities of nature. Hand-coloured botanical frontispiece to each volume. Large list of subscribers. Three volumes. Dublin: Printed by Zachariah Jackson, (No 5), New Buildings, Sackville Street, 1794. Quarto. pp. (1) [ii], vi (subscribers), [i], x-xiii, 894, (2) [ii], 792, (3) [ii], 416, xxxiii, , 10. (Double column). Contemporary full tree calf, spines professionally rebacked, preserving original contrasting labels. Armorial bookplate of Sir William Chatterton, Bart. on front pastedowns. An exceptionally fine and fresh set. Very rare.
Zachariah Jackson, printer, publisher, bookseller, and bookbinder, was one of the most active members of the Dublin book trade from 1788 to 1799. Between 1793 and 1795 he printed and published a number of titles including the ‘Universal Family Bible’, issued in fifty numbers, illustrated with engraved plates, and with list of subscribers. The King’s printer, George Grierson, challenged Zachariah for printing the ‘Bible’, which had annotations by Benjamin Kennicott; in the Court of Chancery. The Lord Chancellor, Lord Clare, refused to give a ruling until the patent privileges had been established at law. The case was dismissed and that decision infuriated Grierson, who did not take any further action.
It was during this dispute that Jackson also published Payne’s ‘Universal Geography’, with a greatly enlarged and illustrated Irish section. This work along with Chambers’ ‘Cyclopaedia’ (D. 1787), and the Dublin edition of ‘Encyclopaedia Britannica’, were the most ambitious and impressive book productions of late eighteenth century Dublin. The illustrations and maps are superbly engraved and complement this magnificent publication, with its three hand-coloured frontispieces.
Zachariah Jackson left Ireland for France at the beginning of the nineteenth century, where according to himself, he spent up to eleven years in ‘captivity’. From France he went to London where he continued publishing for the next twenty years.
The subscribers include: Major Sirr, Dr. O’Halloran, Dr. Ledwich, Archibald Ham. Rowan, James O’Conner, Ben Johnson and P. Moore, Bookseller, who ordered 100 copies. It is very rare in spite of the very large subscription.
Our set is the only complete copy extant.