PEMBROKE, Henry HERBERT, Earl of. ~ Military Equitation: or, a Method of breaking Horses, and teaching Soldiers to ride. Designed for the Use of the Army... the third Edition, with plates. Revised and corrected, with Additions. Sarum [Salisbury]: printed and sold by E. Easton: sold also by by J. Dodsley, Pall-Mall, and J. Wilkie, St. Paul’s Church-Tard, London, 1778.
4to (192 × 155 mm), pp. , 140, plus 17 engraved plates (plate numbers occasionally cropped). Contemporary sprinkled calf, gilt panelled spine with 5 raised bands, red morocco label. Slight worming to head and foot of spine, with slight loss to former. An excellent copy. Front free endpaper: ‘De la part de Mylord Pembroke’.
Henry Herbert, tenth earl of Pembroke and seventh earl of Montgomery (1734–1794) led a colourful life: after the Grand Tour he became a cavalry officer, married Lady Elizabeth Spencer and was appointed lord lieutenant of Wiltshire and a lord of the bedchamber to the prince of Wales He was forced to give up the latter when he eloped abroad with Elizabeth Catherine (Kitty) Hunter, by whom he fathered a son. Lady Elizabeth took her husband back in 1763, but he continued to have barely-concealed affairs: Walpole admitting he was ‘not surprised at any extravagance in his Lordship’s morals’.
‘Since youth Pembroke had been, in his own words, “horse mad”... and he had attended riding academies during his grand tour... In 1761 Pembroke published A Method of Breaking Horses, and Teaching Soldiers to Ride (2nd edn 1762; 3rd and 4th edns 1778 and 1793 entitled Military Equitation). This influential book provided sensible and much-needed advice. The author emphasized the need for officers to superintend the management of horses, advocated riding with a natural seat, and opposed the docking of horses’ tails’ (Oxford DNB).
The third edition was published at Salisbury, close by Pembroke’s family seat at Wilton, and this copy contains an inscription in French apparently recording its presentation: ‘De la part de Mylord Pembroke’.