Abbreviated title
An enquiry into the behaviour of the Queen’s last ministry
JSA Identification Number
Teerink/Scouten Number
ESTC Number
Copy and its Location
ECCO BL, 633.f.15 or 97.c.15
Publisher and Printer
The works of Dr. Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick’s, Dublin. Volume XV. Collected and revised by Deane Swift, Esq; of Goodrich, in Herefordshire, Vol. xv., pp 51-143.
London, Johnston, William, 1765.


This printing, in Deane Swift’s edition of Swift’s Works, is the first of the Enquiry. Two manuscripts survive at Trinity College Cambridge. One is a draft, partly by Esther Johnson but mainly in Swift’s own hand; the second is a fair copy in the hand of an amanuensis, with corrections by Swift. This second manuscript, which also has some notes by Martha Whiteway, Deane Swift’s mother-in-law, most probably served as copy for the Deane Swift edition. As far as the wording of the text (as opposed to the capitalization) is concerned, this is a very accurate reprint; the changes made for the Works are minimal. There are some mistakes (‘faults’ for ‘Facts’; ‘London’ for ‘Landen’); some refinements (‘Abbé’ for ‘Abbot’); some changing of small words (‘these’ for ‘those’; ‘the’ for ‘their’); and one short omission. Herbert Davis uses the manuscript as copy text, and provides a valuable collation, but Deane Swift’s is a good reading text.

Deane Swift (1707-83) was doubly linked to Swift by family ties. His father, also Deane Swift, was Swift’s Cousin, the son of Godwin Swift, who had supported Swift’s education. He married Mary, the daughter of Martha Whiteway, also Swift’s cousin and one of the people who cared for him in later life. Deane Swift was on good terms with Swift in the 1730s (Swift praised him in a letter to Pope), and he later wrote An Essay upon the Life, Writings, and Character of Dr. Jonathan Swift (1755), an important biographical study. Mrs Whiteway inherited many of Swift’s manuscripts, and Deane Swift was able to draw on this collection when he revised Hawkesworth’s edition of Swift in 1765.

William Johnston (fl. 1748-73) was, according to Plomer, ‘One of the foremost booksellers and publishers in London. He boasted that his name was on three-quarters of the books in the trade as part-proprietor’.

References: The Prose Writings of Jonathan Swift, ed. Herbert Davis and others, 16 vols. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1939-74), vol. viii, pp. 131-80, 215-31; Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. iii, pp. 109-13; A Dictionary of the Printer s and Booksellers . . . 1726 to 1775, ed. H. R. Plomer, G. H. Bushell, E. R. McC. Dix (Oxford: Oxford University Press for the Bibliographical Society, 1932).