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The History And Description, With Graphic Illustrations, Of Cassiobury Park, Hertfordshire: The Seat Of The Earl Of Essex. - By John Britton, F.S.A. Honorary Member Of The Institute Of British Architects, And Of Other English And Foreign Societies; Author Of The Architectural And Cathedral Antiquities, Etc.

John Britton

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London:: Published By The Author, Burton Street., MDCCCXXXVII.

Physical Description

32 p., 22 [i.e. 20]pl.: illus.; 495 mm. (Folio.)

General Note

There are no pl. 6, 21 - nor are these included in the List Of Illustrations. Plate XI carries no number. Plate VII is bound in as a frontispiece.


[Frontis. (= pl. 7), t.p., note, dedic.] - Preface - Contents; List Of Illustrations - List Of Subscribers. Large paper (Small Paper) - [Text]; [colophon] - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

Plate 16 is unsigned; pl. 2 is signed by engraver only (Hill aquatinta). All others are signed as drawn by R.W. Billings, H. Edridge, J.M.W. Turner, Wm. Alexander, A. Pugin, Vandyke ('pinxit') or Huet Villiers, and as engraved by R.W. Billings, Robt. Havell & Son, Scriven, or aquatinted by J. Hill; pl. 13 is signed as drawn by A. Pugin, aquatinted by F. Lewis with figures engraved by Meyer.

In-text illustrations are signed as drawn by R.W. Billings, W. Hunt, R. Havell, A. Pugin, H. Fallows ('Fellows' in the List Of Illustrations) or J. Thompson, and as engraved by J. Wright or S. Williams (the headpiece of chapter II is unsigned by an engraver).

The printer is named on the title-page verso and in the colophon: 'Chiswick Press: C. Whittingham, College House.'

The work is dedicated by J. Britton to the Earl of Essex.


Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early printed books, 1 (1994), no. 423, p.258-9.

J. Britton, Autobiography, pt. II (1849), p.61-2. J. Mordaunt Crook, 'John Britton and the genesis of the Gothic Revival', in Concerning architecture, ed. J. Summerson (1968). J.M. Frew, 'Some observations on James Wyatt's Gothic style', in Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 41 (1982 August), p.144-9.

Summary Note

A note on the verso of the title page states, '(Only Twenty Large And One Hundred And Fifty Small Paper Copies Are Printed For Sale ...)'.

The plates were commissioned by the Earl of Essex before 1816 from drawings of Cassiobury made after James Wyatt's work on the house (ca. 1800-05). The Earl also commissioned Humphrey Repton to redesign the park.


Presented by the author in 1840 (acknowledged RA Council Minutes, IX, 91).

Binding Note

19th-century half red morocco, green watered-cloth-covered boards; spine lettered 'Britton's Cassiobury'.

Name as Subject


Architecture - Country Houses - Parks (grounds) - Garden structures - Great Britain - Hertfordshire - Cassiobury Park - History
Art history - Views - Plans - Elevations - Sections - Great Britain - 19th century
Pictorial works - Aquatints - Great Britain - 19th century


John Britton, publisher, previous owner, donor
Robert William Billings, draughtsman, engraver
Henry Edridge ARA, draughtsman
J.M.W. Turner RA, draughtsman
William Alexander, draughtsman
Augustus Charles Pugin, draughtsman
Anthony Van Dyck, source artist
François Huet Villiers
John Hill, engraver
Robert Havell senior, engraver, draughtsman?
Robert Havell junior, engraver
Frederick Christian Lewis Snr., engraver
Edward Scriven, engraver
William Henry Hunt, draughtsman
H. Fellows, draughtsman
John Thompson, draughtsman
John Wright, wood-engraver
Samuel Williams, wood-engraver
Charles Whittingham, printer
George Cappell-Coningsby, 5th Earl of Essex, dedicatee
Chiswick Press (London), printer