[COOPER, William]. ~ The Will of a certain northern Vicar. The second Edition, with Corrections. To which is annex’d a Codicil. London: Printed for the author, and sold by W. Bunce; the booksellers at Durham, and Newcastle upon Tyne; W. Tessyman, at York; J. Leeke, [sic] at Bath : - Bristol, Tunbridge, &c. &c. 1765.
pp. , 28 including woodcut frontispiece.
[bound with:] A Caveat to the Will of a certain Northern Vicar. Addressed to the Reverend W. C***** rector of K**** W****. London: Printed for W. Flexney,1766, pp. , 39, , inscription to title ‘Ra: Fetherston 1766’; title slightly soiled.
Two works bound together, 4to (250 × 188 mm); nineteenth-century cloth; bookplate of George Redesdale Brooker Spain
Second and sole editions respectively of two rare burlesque poems by William Cooper, rector of Kirby Wiske (North Yorkshire) purporting to be the work of one John Ellison, vicar of Bedlington (Northumberland). The Will involves a host of local characters from the Newcastle region, partially disguised through ellipses (which are helpfully elucidated in this copy in slightly later manuscript by one acquainted with the local scene). The ownership inscription to A Caveat... reads ‘Ra. Fetherston’ perhaps identifiable in the first poem (’To Featherstone that Good Old Man...’) as Featherstone, Lecturer of All Saints, Newcastle.
The London journals were not entirely impressed. ‘As the wit of this performance is entirely local, and seems indeed to be included in certain initial letters and dashes, which we cannot pretend to explain; we can only advise the reader who is anxious to understand the whole, to make a small trip in the first collier bound to Newcastle, where, perhaps, he may discover the originals against whom this satire is directed’ (Critical Review). The Will had first appeared earlier the same year (ESTC listing copies of the first edition at BL and Newcastle only and of the second at BL, Cambridge, Newcastle (2), York, Harvard, Newberry, Kansas and Princeton). A Caveat appeared in this sole edition (ESTC: BL, Cambridge, Newcastle (2), York and Cincinnati).