BRITTON, John (1771–1857), antiquary & topographer. LS third person to Miss Innes. 1829

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BRITTON, John (1771–1857), antiquary and topographer. Autograph letter signed in third person to Miss Innes, 8vo, 1 side of a bifolium with blank addressed to “Miss Innes  Gt Queen St”, April 2 1829, apologising that he has not yet had time “to devote to her essay; & from the pressure of his engagements will not be able to read it in less than 2 or 3 weeks” but adds that he is anxious to do something to forward her views and promote her interest when he can. On the address panel a pencil written list of 9 place names. Piece of paper torn from the integral blank from the broken seal, and two mounting marks on the blank.

John Britton is best known for his topographical publications, not least The Beauties of England and Wales written with Edward Brayley and others, which ran to twenty-seven bound volumes and took twenty years to complete. Other major undertakings include his Architectural Antiquities of Great Britain (9 vols., 1805–1814) and Cathedral Antiquities of England (14 vols., 1814–1835), amongst many other fine works. In 1845 a Britton Club was formed, and a sum of £1000 was subscribed and given to Britton, who was subsequently granted a civil list pension by Disraeli, then chancellor of the exchequer.

There is just a chance that Britton’s correspondent was Miss Maria Innes (1795-1880) who with her sisters Anne and Eliza produced in 1827-1829 The Annual Peerage under the name of the herald Edmund Lodge (1756-1839). 

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