Laws of Maryland, enacted at a session of Assembly, begun and held at the City of Annapolis, on Tuesday, the Eleventh Day of July, in the Eighteenth Year of the Dominion of the Right Honourable Charles, Lord Baron of Baltemore [sic]
Annapolis: Printed and Sold by William Parks, and Edmund Hall, 1732. Folio. (11 1/2 x 7 inches). , 43pp [i.e. 45] pp. Title with woodcut arms of the colony of Maryland. Interleaved with blanks at a period date. Period manuscript inscription dated 1732 signed by Samuel Ogle.
Contemporary sheep, bordered in blind, bound by William Parks. Housed in a black morocco box.
Provenance: Sheriff of Somersett County, Maryland (presentation inscription by Ogle dated 1732); Thomas Hayward (d. 1751, period inscriptions and signatures); Capt. Levin Adams (early signature); William Davis Allen (signature dated 1790)
A highly important early Maryland imprint, printed and bound by famed colonial printer William Parks, notable for both the printing and binding.
William Parks arrived in Maryland in 1725, after an early printing career in Ludlow, Shropshire. He became the fourth printer to work in the colony, although only fifteen imprints from his predecessors actually survive, generally in unique copies. Parks was a well-schooled printer, according to Wroth, who stated "the office of public printer of Maryland assumed a dignity which formerly it had not possessed". Parks quickly developed a newspaper and became official printer of the colony in 1726. As this imprint demonstrates, he also had a bindery. The present work encompasses the laws of the provincial Assembly passed during the session beginning 11 July 1732, comprising thirty acts on subjects ranging from the establishment of towns, duties and regulation on tobacco, rules governing courts, the encouragement of iron works, the prohibition of raising swine and cattle in certain areas, and other local matters. Among the more interesting Acts is one "to prevent cutting up Tobacco Plants destroying of Tobacco and Tobacco Houses," the text of which begins: "Whereas several evil-minded Persons, have of late gone about, in many Places, in great Numbers, and violently cut up the Tobacco plants growing on several Plantations..." The crime of willfully burning tobacco was hereby proclaimed to be punishable by death. The binding on the present example is a rare example of a Maryland binding from this very early period and is attributed to Parks, who advertised himself in a 1729 issue of the Maryland Gazette as one "Who binds old Books very well and cheap." This copy inscribed and signed by Samuel Ogle, the Governor of Maryland, sending the laws to the Sheriff of Somerset County and with provenance to the clerk of Somerset County, Thomas Hayward (d. 1751). Wroth records five extant examples (British Library, British Museum, Maryland Historical Society, Maryland State Library and Library of Congress); ESTC adds a copy at the Huntington Library.
Bristol B877; Shipton & Mooney 39997; Wroth, Printing in Maryland 78; A. Franklin Parks, William Parks: The Colonial Printer in the Transatlantic World of the Eighteenth Century (University Park, 2012).