SMITH, Charles. The Ancient and Present State of the County and City of Waterford: Being a Natural, Civil, Ecclesiastical, Historical, and Topographical Description thereof.
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Illustrated By Remarks made on the Baronies, Parishes, Towns, Villages, Mountains, Rivers, Medicinal Waters, Fossils, Animals and Vegetables; with some Hints relating to Agriculture and other Useful Improvements. With several Notes and Observations. Together with New and correct Maps of the City and County; and embellished with Perspective Views of the City of Waterford, and the Towns of Lismore and Dungarvan. Published with the Approbation of the Physico-Historical Society. Dublin: Printed W. Wilson, 6 Dame Street, 1774. Crown octavo. Second edition, with additions. pp. xx, [8 (list of subscribers)], 376, [6 (index & errata)]. Contemporary full diced russia, title in gilt direct on professionally rebacked spine. From the library of the Cork antiquarian and photographer, Robert Day, with his bookplate on verso of titlepage. A near fine copy.
COPAC locates 3 copies only. WorldCat 1.
In 1744 Smith, a Dungarvan apothecary, with the collaboration of Walter Harris published a history of County Down. That work, the first extended Irish county history ever published, proposed in its preface a series of similar histories, and so led to the establishment of the Physico-Historical Society for the gathering of materials for such a topographical series. Smith undertook his native Waterford as well as Cork and Kerry, and several other works either appeared under their auspices or as a result of their efforts (e.g. Barton’s book on Lough Neagh). Smith explains in his preface how it was hoped that a greater knowledge of the natural resources of the country would promote a greater exploitation of them and so encourage the growth in population. “The strength of a state is not to be computed by the extent of a country, but by the number and labour of the inhabitants”. Ireland he felt could easily support eight times its contemporary population. With detailed descriptions of the topography, history and antiquities of the county. Tipped in, presumably by Day is an extra plate: ancient monumental stones in the Cathedral of Lismore, removed from cemetery in 1841 - R. Armstrong fecit.
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