VALLANCEY, Charles. A Treatise on Inland Navigation, or, the Art of making Rivers navigable, of making
Canals in all sorts of soils, and of Constructing Locks and Sluices. Extracted from the Works of Guglielmini,
Michelini, Castellus, Belidor, and others, with Observations and Remarks. Dublin: Printed for George and
Alexander Ewing, 1763. First edition. Quarto. pp. , iv-ix, , 179, [24 (folded leaves of plates)]. Modern quarter
buckram on marbled boards with original letterpiece. One or two fore margins a little frayed and toned, title with
repaired tear to verso, some light spotting. A very good copy. Extremely rare.
ESTC T112244. Goldsmiths’-Kress no. 09915.
Charles Vallancey (1721-1812), General and antiquarian, was born in England of French Huguenot
parentage. He came to Ireland in 1761 to assist in a military survey of the island and made this country his
adopted home. He was one of the founder members of the Royal Irish Academy and had a great interest in
Irish history, philology and antiquities, at a time when their study was totally neglected by the
establishment. During the Rebellion of 1798 he furnished plans for the defence of Dublin.
In 1763 he was elected a member of the Dublin Society, where for almost fifty years he was to play a
prominent part. In the same year he married a lady of Huguenot descent, Julie de Blosset. It may have been
his need for extra money (he had a large family to support) that led him to turn to translating texts and to
acting as consultant on canal, harbour, and bridge projects. He published this treatise on inland navigation
in 1763, and in 1766 a translation from the French of a work on stone cutting. The Queen’s Bridge over the
Liffey was built to his design. He brought out a report on the Grand Canal in 1771. In 1767 the 4th Viscount
Townshend, said to have been a friend of Vallancey at Eton, was appointed lord lieutenant, and for the next
few years Vallancey was occupied preparing maps for Townshend’s dispatches on Irish defence. He was
also planning a military survey of Ireland. In 1776 his plan for the military survey was accepted, though
confined to the south and south-west coast of Ireland. For the next twenty years he worked on the survey,
which has been described as the most elaborate cartographic project in Ireland since the time of Sir William