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Vitruvius Britannicus, Or, The British Architect; Containing Plans, Elevations, And Sections; Of The Regular Buildings Both Public And Private, In Great Britain. Comprised In One Hundred Folio Plates, Engrav'd By The Best Hands; Taken From The Buildings, Or Original Designs By Woolfe And Gandon Architects. Vol. IV. (V.) Vitruvius Britannicus, Ou L'Architecte Britannique; Contenant Les Plans, Elevations Et, Sections; Des Batimens Reguliers, Tant, Particuliers Que Publics, De La Grande Bretagne Compris En Cent Planches Gravées En Taille Douce Par Les Meilleurs Maitres, Tirées Des Batimens, Ou Copiees Des Desseins Originaux. Par Messrs. Woolfe Et Gandon Architectes. Tome, IV. (V.)

John Woolfe

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[Vitruvius Britannicus., Volumes IV-V., 1765-1771.]

Variant Title

British Architect
Architecte Britannique



Physical Description

2 vols.; 533 mm. (Broadsheet).

General Note

Vol. I: 12 p., t.-pl., engr. dedic., 98 [i.e. 79]pl. There are 19 dble. pl., each carrying two numbers. - Vol. II: 10 p., 100 [i.e. 77]pl. (incl. t.-pl., engr. dedic.). There are 23 dble. pl., each carrying two numbers.


Vol. I: [T.-pl., engr. dedic.] - Introduction / L'Introduction - An Explanation Of All The Plates in the Fourth Volume / Explication De Toutes Les Planches du Quatrieme Tome - A List Of The Subscribers - [Plates]. - Vol. II: [T.-pl., engr. dedic.] - A List of the Subscribers - An Explanation Of All The Plates in the Fifth Volume / Explication De Toutes Les Planches du Cinquieme Tome - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

In the first volume all numbered plates are signed as drawn by J. Gandon or J. Woolfe, except pl. 12, 13, 58-64, which do not carry a draughtsman's signature. All are signed as engraved by T. Miller, J. Gandon, M. Darly, J. Roberts, T. White or A. Walker. The title-plate and engraved dedication are unsigned. In the second volume pl. 1, 2 (t.-pl. and engr. dedic.) are unsigned; all others are signed as drawn by Woolfe or Gandon apart from pl. 94-98 signed as drawn by T. Milton. All are signed as engraved by T. White, , C. Ebdon, H. Mackworth, J. Gandon, T. Miller or J. Roberts.

The work is dedicated by John Woolfe and James Gandon, Volume I 'By Permission of' (and presumably to) George III; Volume II 'By Permission of' (and presumably to) Queen Charlotte.


RIBA, Early printed books, 4 (2002), 3711; National Gallery (Washington), Mark J. Millard, II (1998), 94; E. Harris and N. Savage, British Architectural Books (1990), 945; J. Archer, Literature of British domestic architecture (1985), 356.1; B. Adams, London illustrated (1983), 45; Johns Hopkins University, The Fowler Architectural Collection (1961), no.76, p.62-4.
ESTC, T60851

Summary Note

In 1739 Badeslade and Rocque had published, Vitruvius Britannicus, Volume the Fourth; but that was essentially a collection of topographic views, and Woolfe and Gandon ignore it and treat their own work as the true successor to the three volumes of Colen Campbell's Vitruvius Britannicus of 1715-25.

The plates are chiefly plans and elevations of houses, with fewer examples of other architectural types than in Campbell's work - in Volume I a bridge, York Assembly Rooms, stables and offices and the London Mansion House; in Volume II the Horse Guards, Nottingham County Hall and a bridge. Almost all the houses are in Palladian style. Architects represented include Robert Adam, Matthew Brettingham, Lancelot Brown, Lord Burlington, John Carr of York, William Chambers, Kenton Couse, George Dance, John Donowell, Henry Flitcroft, James Gandon, William Hiorne, John James, William Kent, Stiff Leadbetter, James Leoni, Roger Morris, James Paine, Joseph Pickford, John Sanderson, Robert Taylor, James Thornhill, John Vardy, Isaac Ware, John Wood, John Woolfe, Stephen Wright and Thomas Wright. There are also two historical designs - Coleshill House, attributed to Inigo Jones, and Longford Castle (1591).


Recorded in RAA Library, Catalogue, 1802.

Binding Note

18th-century mottled calf, upper covers gilt-stamped wirh royal arms of Britain and 'R.A.'; rebacked in 20th century, red and green morocco spine-labels lettered 'Vitruvius Britannicus Vol. IV (V)'.


Architecture, British - Great Britain - History
Plans - Elevations - Sections - 18th century
Pictorial works - Armorial bindings - Great Britain - 18th century


James Gandon, draughtsman, engraver
Tobias Miller, engraver
Matthias Darly, engraver
John Roberts, engraver
Thomas White, engraver
Anthony Walker, engraver
George III King of Great Britain, dedicatee
Charlotte Queen, Consort of George III, King of Great Britain, dedicatee
Christopher Ebdon, engraver
H. Mackworth, engraver
Thomas Milton, draughtsman
John Woolfe, draughtsman