Abbreviated title
The humble petition of the footmen in and about the city of Dublin
JSA Identification Number
10_17_3
Teerink/Scouten Number
731
ESTC Number
T451
Copy and its Location
CUL, Williams 346
Publisher and Printer
A serious and useful scheme to make an hospital for incurables . . . To which is added a Petition of the footmen in and about Dublin, Vol. , pp .
Dublin, Faulkner, George, 1733.

Commentary

This Dublin printing belongs to that complex of arrangement in the early 1730s that saw printings in Dublin and London at the same time. Faulkner’s aim is to suggest that he is merely reprinting a London publication, but he probably arranged for the London printing, or even printed it himself. The Petition is printed with an essay that may have been written by Swift’s protégé Matthew Pilkington: the petition is dated Dublin 1732. Herbert Davis, in his edition of Swift’s prose (Prose Writings of Jonathan Swift, 16 vols. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1939-74), vol. xii, p. 345), found only one substantive variant between the editions.

George Faulkner (?1703-1775) was Swift’s most important publisher and editor. In his early years Swift tended to publish his major works through the London trade, but with the Drapier’s Letters (1724) Dublin publication became more important. Faulkner, who had worked for William Bowyer in London and was a polished printer, brought out the first collected edition of the Drapier’s Letters, as Fraud Detected, in 1725, and by 1732 was planning a subscription edition of Swift’s Works. The four volumes came out in 1735, and established Faulkner as Swift’s printer. Swift, at least to some extent, and his friends had collaborated in the edition. Faulkner continued to print Swift and to enlarge his edition, which by 1771 consisted of twenty volumes.

Faulkner did his best both to date Swift’s works and to elucidate them with footnotes. His pioneering work is of first importance both for Swift’s text and for explanatory notes. For further discussion of Faulkner, see the long note in the Gulliver’s Travels volume in the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift, and Mary Pollard’s entry on him in her Dictionary.

References: The Prose Writings of Jonathan Swift, ed. Herbert Davis and others, 16 vols. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1939-74), vol. xii, pp. 235-7, 345; Mary Pollard, A Dictionary of Members of the Dublin Book Trade 1550-1800 (London: The Bibliographical Society, 2000); Mary Pollard, ‘George Faulkner’, Swift Studies, 7 (1992), 79-96.