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SPILLER, James (d. 1829)
A letter to John Soane, Esq. ... on the subject of the new churches. By an architect.
London: printed for Rodwell and Martin, 1822.
[4], 42, [2] p. ; 22.0 cm. (8º)

The 'Letter' is signed 'Palladio.' (p. 36). The final leaf is blank. James Spiller, the architect of St John's church, Hackney (1792--7), was a close friend, frequent correspondent, and occasional assistant to Soane. There are in the Soane Museum some manuscript drafts in Spiller's hand (Priv. Corr. X.D.1.9) pertaining to the anonymous Letter to John Soane and the Second Letter to John Soane (q.v.; another issue, q.v.), and lengthy correspondence with Soane on the subject of the new churches expressing the same misgivings publicly voiced in the two pamphlets. Spiller's objections, which were shared by Soane, focus on the Church Commissioners' taste for competitions and emphasis on economy. The first Letter, of which there are 112 loose copies in the Soane Archive, was evidently superseded by the Second Letter elaborating on the subject. (See G.L. Carr, The Commissioners' Churches of London, Ph.D. dissertation, Univ. of Michigan, 1976, vol. I, pp. 193--4, 223 n.58, 236--9). The bill for £25 18s. 1d. for printing 500 copies of the first Letter and advertising it, which was sent to 'Mr Soane's Friend' (i.e. Spiller) by the printer, James Moyes on 13 May 1822, was promptly paid by Soane (Archive 7/C/47; Spiers Box: Purchases through personal friends).

Copy Notes Copy 1: Lacking the final blank leaf.
Copy 2: C19th buff paper wrappers bound in. With the final blank leaf present.
Copy 3: C19th buff paper wrappers bound in. With the final blank leaf present. Bound with four other pamphlets.
There are 112 additional copies in original grey paper wrappers, in two bundles.

Binding Copy 1: C19th half calf, marbled-paper boards, gilt double-rule spine, black spine-label lettered 'Statement Of Facts &c &c &c'., numbered '22' in a series of pamphlet volumes.
Copy 2: Bound in a numbered series of late 19th century half calf pamphlet volumes. (Archive, Trustees' Minutes 18 June 1866). With binder's stamp 'Bound By Mansell' on front pastedown.
Copy 3: C20th dark green cloth, spine-title 'Soane Pamphlets'. Bound in 1942.

Reference Number 3341


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