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INSCRIPTION FOR A MONUMENT ...
Inscription for a monument to the memory of Sir William Chambers.
[London]: [1796].
[2] p. ; 31.3 cm. (4º)

Quarter-sheet, verso blank. Drop-head title. An anonymous satirical squib probably issued in July 1796, attacking the 'barbarous stile' of the 'fabric erected in the ruins' of the Bank. It followed the anonymous The Modern Goth (q.v.), going the rounds of the architectural and conservationist circles of the day attacking Soane's innovations. This second squib was brought to Soane's attention on 13 July by the architect Richard Jupp as a diversionary tactic in a professional dispute concerning India House (Priv. Corr. XVI.E.21, fol. 13). Soane's accidental discovery in January 1799 that Cox, Bream's Buildings, Chancery Lane was the printer of both works on the orders of the surveyor Philip Norris (though his authorship could not be attributed) induced him to bring an unsuccessful court case for libel against Norris, which came before the King's Bench on 17 May 1799. For further details of this painful incident in Soane's career, see A.T. Bolton (ed.), The portrait of Sir John Soane, R.A. (London 1927), pp. 59--79; the text of the skit is transcribed on pp. 63--65. See also Gillian Darley, John Soane: an accidental romantic (London 1999), pp. 132--133, 142--143, where however the verses brought to Soane's attention by Jupp in July 1796 are misidentified as The Modern Goth rather than the present work. The progress of Soane's activities at the Bank from his taking up his appointment in 1788 is set out in Stephen Astley's 'Chronological list of Soane's building projects' in Margaret Richardson and MaryAnne Stevens (eds.), John Soane architect: master of space and light, exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts (London 1999), p. 284.

Copy Notes According to the prosecution brief in the ensuing libel case in 1799, a copy (presumably copy 2, or another copy no longer in the Soane Museum) was sent to Soane by Richard Jupp on 13 July 1796.
Copy 1: Inscribed in ink on blank verso Recd. of Mr Carter / March 2d 1799 / J.S., and an ink sketch of a tomb with crosses.
Copy 2: Inscribed in ink on blank verso JS. Sheet of contemporary paper attached with C20th tape, inscribed in ink in an unidentified contemporary hand Rex / v / Norris / Libels // Vide case & opn & / please to prepare an / Indictment // Winter Kaye & Maynard. John Winter was solicitor to the Bank of England.

Binding Copy 1: Loose sheet, previously folded.
Copy 2: Folded paper.

Reference Number 6201


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