[ETON COLLEGE, WINDSOR CASTLE]
The West Prospect of Eton Town & College, with part of Windsor, and the Castle
[London: Fielding & Walker, 1781]. Engraving, trimmed to the image but with the title caption, mounted onto a large sheet of laid paper with period manuscript description of Eton and Windsor. Image size: 6 1/16 x 16 inches. Overall sheet size: 15 1/2 x 19 1/2 inches.
A beautifully hand written history of Eton College and Windsor Castle
The manuscript text, in two columns, describes Eton, its founding by Henry VI in 1442, its library and the library's benefactors, the gardens, the revenue, the governance and curriculum. The second part is a description of Windsor Castle. We learn that William the Conqueror acquired the building because he liked to hunt. Henry I rebuilt the castle and "fortified it" and summoned all the nobility there in the tenth year of his reign. Edward I had four children there and liked the castle very much, but it was Edward III, who made it into the building we now see. The author then describes the grounds, the stonework and "noble walk, covered with fine gravel". There follows a physical description of the buildings, exterior and interior including some of the paintings in the collection, and finally, the author describes the River Thames that flows between Eton and Windsor - "the river, with a beautiful winding stream, gliding gently through the middle of it, and enriching, by its navigation, both the land, and the people on every side."