Abbreviated title
The presbyterian's plea of merit ... impartially examined
JSA Identification Number
Teerink/Scouten Number
ESTC Number
Copy and its Location
CUL , Williams 409 (24)
Publisher and Printer
The presbyterians plea of merit; in order to take off the test, (in Ireland,) impartially examined. With an account of the state of popery in that kingdom, and of the origin and principles of the dissenters in general. To which is added, An ode to Humphry French, Esq; late Lord Mayor of Dublin, Vol. , pp .
London, Faulkner, George Dodd, Anne, 1733.


This pamphlet was first printed by Faulkner in Dublin. There is no evidence that, like others of the same period, it was dealt with by Bowyer in London. The imprint reads, ‘London: reprinted from the Dublin edition, for G. F. and sold by A. Dodd’. ‘G. F.’ suggests that George Faulkner had to pay for the London printing himself. Anne Dodd was a hawker, rather than a publisher like James Roberts or Mary Cooper, though she clearly took responsibility for the distribution of a large number of papers and pamphlets. Famously, her name appears on the first edition of Pope’s Dunciad in 1728.

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.