TEMPLE, Sir William. Memoirs of the Life, Works, and Correspondence of Sir William Temple, Bart. By the Hon.
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Thomas Peregrine Courtenay. With genealogical table. Two volumes. London: Longman, 1836. Large post octavo. pp. (1) xxiv, 517, , (2) viii, 520. Portrait frontispiece to first volume. Full crimson morocco, covers ruled in blind with gilt panel in centre, spine divided into six panels by five gilt raised bands, title and volume numbers in gilt on maroon morocco labels in the second and fourth, the remainder tooled in blind; board edges and turn-ins gilt; splash-marbled endpapers; blue silk markers. Label of Ingalion Eton on front pastedown. Presentation inscription on front free endpaper. All edges comb-marbled. A near fine and very attractive set.
Sir William Temple, 1st Baronet (1628-1699) statesman and
essayist was the son of Sir John Temple of Dublin. He was born in
London, and educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Temple
travelled across Europe, and was for some time a member of the
Irish Parliament, employed on various diplomatic missions.
During his time as a diplomat, Temple successfully negotiated the
marriage of the Prince of Orange and Princess Mary of England,
and the Triple Alliance of 1668. On his return he was much
consulted by Charles II, but disapproving of the anti-Dutch
courses adopted, retired to his house at Sheen.
Temple later left Sheen and purchased Compton Hall, Farnham.
He renamed the house Moor Park after Moor Park, Hertfordshire,
a house he much admired and which influenced the formal gardens
he built at Farnham. Here the later-famous Jonathan Swift was his
secretary for most of the period from 1689 onward. It was here
that Swift met Esther Johnson, who became his lifelong
companion and whom he immortalised as Stella. Despite rumours
that she was Temple’s own daughter, the evidence suggests that
her widowed mother lived in the house as companion to Temple’s
sister Martha. Temple died in Moor Park, Surrey, England in
1699. He was much loved by his friends; Swift wrote that all that
was good and amiable in mankind departed with him.
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