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SHARP, Granville (1735--1813)
A declaration of the people's natural right to a share in the legislature; which is the fundamental principle of the British constitution of state. By Granville Sharp.
London: printed for B. White, 1774.
[4], xl, 244 p. ; 20.1 cm. (8º)

Leaf G8 (pp. [47--48]) is blank. The first printing, containing only 32 pages, was also issued in 1774. This is the first expanded edition, reissuing the sheets of the original pamphlet with additional material. The essay is in two parts, the second and more substantial of which specifically relates to Ireland, viz. 'Part II. Containing A Declaration Or Defence of the same Doctrine, (viz. The Natural Right of the People to a Share in the Legislature,) When applied particularly To The People of Ireland; ...' (pp. [49]--244). An ardent supporter of the American colonies, Granville Sharp was at the forefront of the anti-slavery movement in Great Britain which led to the abolition of the slave trade in 1807. This work is his substantive statement of sympathy for colonial grievances against England: insisting that 'voluntary popular Assent' was 'the only true foundation of all valid Compacts' (p. xxvii) and that 'In every point of view, the making laws for the subjects of any part of the British Empire, without their participation and assent, is INIQUITOUS, and therefore unlawful: ...' (p. 11). When the Anglo-American rupture became complete, Sharp resigned his office in the Ordnance Department (31 July 1776) rather than assist in despatching war material to the colonies. Soane was acquainted with Sharp, who on 15 June 1798 sent him a MS. copy of his 'Letter on Frankpledge and National Defense' dated 25 March 1794 following a meeting 'last Wednesday at the London Tavern' with directions to return it, which Soane evidently failed to do. (Priv. Corr. II.S.7). ESTC t32192; Thomas R. Adams, The American controversy: a bibliographical study of the British pamphlets about the American disputes, 1764--85 (Providence, R.I.: Bibliographical Society of America, 1980), R74--72b.

Copy Notes Untrimmed edges. Some marginal annotations in pencil in the early pages, mostly rubbed out, in an unidentified hand.

Binding Original C18th light blue paper boards, white paper spine, spine title in ink reading 'G. Sharp / Declaration / of the / Peoples right'.

Reference Number 100


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