Abbreviated title
The conduct of the allies
JSA Identification Number
Teerink/Scouten Number
ESTC Number
Copy and its Location
CUL, Acton.d.25.1001(6)
Publisher and Printer
The conduct of the allies, and of the late ministry, in beginning and carrying on the present war, Vol. , pp .
London, Morphew, John, 1711.


This fourth edition of Conduct of the Allies was published three days after the third (by John Morphew for John Barber). This time Swift was forced to make a small but dramatic change in his text. He had originally said, ‘Neither perhaps is it right, in point of Policy or good Sense, that a Foreign Power should be called in to confirm our Succession by way of Guarantee; but only to acknowledge it. Otherwise we put it out of the Power of our own Legislature to change our Succession, without the Consent of that Prince or State who is Guarantee, how much soever the Necessities of the Kingdom may require it.’ The suggestion that the succession, currently guaranteed protestant, might be changed was unacceptable to the House of Lords and Morphew was taken in and questioned about the authorship of the pamphlet. As a result, for the fourth edition Swift cast the possibility of a change to the succession into the future: ‘Otherwise we put it out of the Power of our own Legislature to change our Succession, without the Consent of that Prince or State who is Guarantee; however our Posterity may hereafter, by the Tyranny and Oppression of any succeeding Princes, be reduced to the fatal Necessity of breaking in upon the excellent and happy Settlement now in force.’ He added a postscript to draw attention to the change. The variations between these texts are among the most significant in Swift’s political writing.

John Barber (baptized 11 April 1675, died 2 January 1741) was the government printer while the Tories were in office: he printed the Votes of the House of Commons, The Examiner, and The Mercator and, in association with Benjamin Tooke, The London Gazette. He and Tooke were also Stationers to the Ordnance; together they were granted the reversion of Queen’s printer, but that was held by John Baskett and the assigns of Henry Hills and Thomas Newcomb until January 1740. Barber was also printer to the South Sea Company; Barber also had a successful career in London politics, becoming an alderman and serving as Lord Mayor in 1733-4. He had a large printing shop, employing two apprentices and seven journeymen, one of his compositors being John Wright, later the printer of Pope’s Dunciad Variorum and other of his later works. The output of Barber’s shop is generally very impressive in quality, and he showed considerable ingenuity in operating with reissues and cancels. Swift’s relations with Barber seem to have been good. They often dined together. Mrs Manley, who took over the writing of The Examiner from Swift, lived with Barber.

John Morphew was a trade publisher. He had been a journeyman in Edward Jones’s printing house and took on John Nutt’s business when Nutt took over Jones’s printing shop in 1706. He continued the publishing business until he died in 1720. He seems to have been the trade publisher the Tories preferred. His was a small business, employing only a woman and a boy.

References: Jonathan Swift, English Political Writings, 1711-1714, ed. Bertrand A. Goldgar and Ian Gadd (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 341-79 (358-9); The Prose Writings of Jonathan Swift, ed. Herbert Davis and others, 16 vols. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1939-74), vol. vi, pp. 3-65, 205-9; Irvin Ehrenpreis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. ii, pp. 483-501; Charles A. Rivington, ‘Tyrant’: The Story of John Barber (York: William Sessions, 1989); Michael Treadwell, ‘Swift’s Relations with the London Book Trade to 1714’, in Author/Publisher Relations during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, ed. Robin Myers and Michael Harris (Oxford: Oxford Polytechnic Press, 1983), pp. 1-36; Michael Treadwell, ‘London Trade Publishers, 1675-1750’, Library, 6th ser. 4 (1982), 99-134.