Rare book of Irish legal interest in London sale

First edition  The Trial of Lord Dungarvan, an account of events at the Old Bailey on January 17th, 1791 (estimated at £400-£600 (€486-€730) at Bonhams

First edition The Trial of Lord Dungarvan, an account of events at the Old Bailey on January 17th, 1791 (estimated at £400-£600 (€486-€730) at Bonhams

Sat, Feb 22, 2014, 01:00

Books giving accounts of some of the sensational criminal trials of the 18th century are to be sold at Bonhams in London on March 5th. The auction features rare and historic European law books from the collection of the Los Angeles County Law Library. Of Irish interest is a first edition copy of The Trial of Lord Dungarvan , an account of events at the Old Bailey on January 17th, 1791 which caused quite a scandal. Lord Dungarvan, Edmund Boyle the eldest son of the Earl of Cork, was accused of theft by Mrs Weldon, “an abandoned prostitute” and London actress, who is depicted in the book’s engraved plate. His lordship was acquitted and the woman left the court “amidst the hisses and execrations of the audience”.

The book, estimated at £400-£600 (€486-€730), is prefaced by an introduction warning “young gentlemen, whose levity may bring them into a similar situation that it may not always be in the power, even for a man of fashion, to refute the plausible tale of an artful woman (although a prostitute)”.

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