Complete Steward



[003789] Mordant, John. The Complete Steward: Or, the Duty of a Steward to His Lord. Containing Several Methods for the Improvement of His Lord’s Estate and Shewing the Indirect Practices of Stewards, Tending to Lessen Any Estate. Also a New System of Agriculture and Husbandry. London: W. Sandby, 1761. First Edition. 8vo. Hardback. Good. Two volumes complete – Volume One – iv, [5], 2-496pp, [14]; Volume Two – [5], 2-202, 217-432pp. Contemporary speckled calf, raised bands, spines in six panels, title label to second panel, volume number lettered direct in gilt to third panel, old paper labels to first panel, gilt double rule either side of cords

Bindings rubbed, volume label to volume one slightly chipped with loss to three letters, slightly chipped to spine ends with small amounts of loss to head and tail caps, corners bumped, second volume with central vertical crease down spine corresponding with the placement of the folding table, but holding well. Lightly browned internally, especially to edges, with a couple of small marginal stains, but generally fairly clean

Armorial bookplate of Sir Gervase Clifton to front pastedowns. Half-title to volume two. Folding plate to volume two is creased, chipped and browned to top edge with old tape repair to reverse

The register and pagination of the second volume is strange, running to page 202 (Dd1), then the folding plate (Ee1), then page 217 (Ff1), but this appears to be correct, with the catchword on the folding plate being correct for page 217, and this all corresponds with the digital copy in ECCO

Mordant “of whose life nothing is known, makes the usual excuse for issuing his book, though why an excuse should be necessary puzzles me; there was no recent good book on the subject … Mordant cast his own book in alphabetical form, and includes trees, animals, crops, buildings &c., making an effective and useful dictionary for landowner and steward alike. The second volume contains a large number of diverse tables for ready-reckoning areas, timber, board measure &c. and a comprehensive set of specimen documents like leases, re-leases, and so on” (Fussell, More Old English Farming Books, page 51)

Goldsmith’s 9662; Higgs 2439; Perkins 1225; Rothamsted, page 95