Abbreviated title
Mr. Collins's discourse of free-thinking
JSA Identification Number
Teerink/Scouten Number
ESTC Number
Copy and its Location
ECCO BL , 1114.b.7
Publisher and Printer
Mr. C---Ns’s discourse of free-thinking, put into plain English, by way of abstract, for the use of the poor. By a friend of the author, Vol. , pp .
London, Morphew, John, 1713.


A lively first printing of this piece, probably by John Barber. Swift uses italic for emphasis and there are side notes to link Swift’s representation to the pages of the book. Interestingly, ‘Free-Thinking’ on the title page is in black letter, a way of representing the extraordinary and unacceptable that persists on Swift’s title pages throughout his career.

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: The Prose Writings of Jonathan Swift, ed. Herbert Davis and others, 16 vols. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1939-74), vol. iv, pp. 25-48, 287; Irvin Ehrenpeis, Swift: The Man, His Works, and the Age, 3 vols. (London: Methuen, 1962-83), vol. ii, p. 587-9; 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.