Abbreviated title
A letter to a young gentleman, lately enter’d into holy orders
JSA Identification Number
Teerink/Scouten Number
ESTC Number
Copy and its Location
CUL , Williams 321
Publisher and Printer
A letter to a young gentleman, lately enter’d into holy orders. By a person of quality. It is certainly known, that the following treatise was writ in Ireland by... Dr. Swift, Vol. , pp .
London, Roberts, James, 1721.


This work first appeared as A Letter from a Lay-Patron to a Gentl eman, Designing for Holy Orders (E. Waters, 1720). As this Roberts edition advertises, it was reprinted as Swift’s in London on 3 January 1721. The printing is valuable as an indication of the close workings of the Dublin and London printers in this period, though the text has no independent authority. The typography is competent and unshowy.

James Roberts (?1672-1754) was a master printer and also the outstanding trade publisher of the first half of the eighteenth century (though he seems to have been favoured by Whigs rather than by Tories). He took over the printing business from his widowed mother when he came of age, and in 1713 inherited the trade publishing business of his mother-in-law, Abigail Baldwin. A very large number of pamphlets and books were distributed through his shop in Warwick Lane. He was Master of the Stationers’ Company from 1729 to 1733. All my information on Roberts comes from the innovative research of Michael Treadwell.

References: The Prose Writings of Jonathan Swift, ed. Herbert Davis and others, 16 vols. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1939-74), vol. ix, pp. 61-81, 372-3; Irvin Ehrenpeis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. iii, pp. 82-5; Michael Treadwell, ‘James Roberts’, , in The D ictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 154, The British Literary Book Trade, 1700-1820, ed. James E. Bracken and Joel Silver (Detroit, MI: Gale, 1995).