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SA Auction #83 begins on 18 Jun 2020

US Auction #2 ends in

Mary Ann Tocker (1778–1853)

[Mary Ann Tocker v. Richard Gurney: a Sammelband containing three of the pamphlets resulting from her trial for libel].

William Cobbett to Mary Ann Tocker "By your eloquence, you have convinced an honest jury, that to utter truth is not a crime..". Mary Ann Tocker (1778–1853) “the first woman to act as her own advocate in a British court of law.” (wikipedia).

Published: Various, London, [1818]

Edition: various

Current Bid: $200

With Buyer's Premium: $220

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Estimate: $300-500

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Mary Ann Tocker (1778–1853) “the first woman to act as her own advocate in a British court of law.” (wikipedia).

[Mary Ann Tocker v. Richard Gurney: a Sammelband containing three of the pamphlets resulting from the trial].

3 works in one volume, 3 works in one volume, octavo (8 1/8 x 5 1/8in; 207 x 130mm). Condition of contents: some light old waterstaining. Bound to style using old materials: leather-backed marbled paper-covered boards, spine gilt with decoration and figure '2'. Condition of binding: rubbed, leather of spine surface cracking, spine chipped at head and foot.       

Containing: Mary Ann TOCKER. Trial of Mary Ann Tocker, for an Alleged Libel, on Mr. R. Gurney, Vice-Warden of the Stannary-Court, Devon, with The Defence Verbatim as Delivered by the Defendant; to which are prefixed, some introductory remarks; together with An Address to the Jury by Miss Tocker. London: Printed and published at the request, and for the benefit of Miss Tocker, by Henry White, Sen. 287, Strand, and may be had of all Booksellers, in Town and Country, [no date but 1818]. Pp. [i-]viii; [9-]40. Engraved portrait frontispiece of Miss Tocker. Miss Tocker was found not guilty.

[Bound with:] Richard GURNEY(1790-1843) Observations on a Libel; for which an Indictment was instituted by Richard Gurney, Esq. of the Inner Temple, Speciall Pleaded, as Vice-Warden of the Stannaries of Devon against Miss Mary Ann Tocker: To which the Defendant was found Not Guilty. Tried before Mr Justice Burrough, at Bodmin, the 5th of August, 1818. By the Prosecutor. The Third Edition. London: Published and Sold by Effingham Wilson, [no date but 1818]. Pp. [i-iv, 1-] 64 + 'Appendix' pp. 65 -84. (Light old waterstaining). The 'Appendix' was apparently added by Gurney in an attempt to refute some of the statements made in Miss Tocker's 'Trial of Mary Ann Tocker'

[And:] Mary Ann TOCKER. Reply of Mary Ann Tocker, to the False and Scurrilous Pamphlet of Mr R. Gurney, Ex-Vice-Warden of Devon; Comprising the Private Correspondence of the Rev. R. Gurney, the Rev. W.O. Gurney and Mr R. Gurney. London: Printed and Published by Henry White, [no date but 1818]. Pp. [1-] 45. Miss Tocker counters Mr Gurney's 'Observations' and provides evidence in support of her original allegations.

This interesting 'sammelband' concerns a fascinating libel case, and something of a milestone on the route to women’s emancipation. The importance of the case can be judged by the fact that William Cobbett, was moved to republish Miss Tocker's description of the case in the United States (re-titled 'The Triumph of Virtue'). He seems to have printed her account verbatim, but added an 'address to jury-men on their duties as jurors' and the text of his letter to Miss Tocker which read in part: "By your eloquence, you have convinced an honest jury, that to utter truth is not a crime: upon this conviction they have decided against the almost threats of a Judge: and in that decision, while they have done themselves great honour, they have rendered their country inestimable good" (William Cobbett to Mary Ann Tocker). 

See https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/002405819 (full text of William Cobbett's " The triumph of virtue").

  • Binding Condition: acceptable
  • Overall Condition: acceptable
  • Size: (8 1/8 x 5 1/8in; 207 x 130mm
  • Name: Shadowrock Rare Books
  • Contact Person: Adam Langlands
  • Country: United States
  • Email: adamlanglands@gmail.com
  • Telephone: 001-860-248-1547
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Paypal, US$ checks and wire transfers, major credit cards through paypal
  • Trade Associations: AA Approved


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