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Photo of The Castles & Old Mansions Of Shropshire. by [ACTON, Mrs Frances Stackhouse].

[ACTON, Mrs Frances Stackhouse].

The Castles & Old Mansions Of Shropshire.

Shrewsbury, Leake And Evans,

£175

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4to. (275 x 210 mm.) Publisher’s original bevel-edged claret cloth, attractively blocked in blind to both boards, the upper board gilt-lettered, all edges red; pp. 80, 62 anastatically printed plates of architectural views, some with two images to a plate; the head of the spine lightly chipped with loss, otherwise a bright, clean copy.

Provenance: 1. Charles Purton Cooper Esq. (1793-1873), QC. and antiquary, of Wadham College and Lincoln’s Inn, with his engraved armorial bookplate to the front paste down. 2. Edward J. Law, accountant, genealogist and collector of anastatic printed material, with his idiosyncratic bookplate to the front paste down.

Covering the period 1142 to 1660 (as given on the upper board), the architectural views are supported by historical notes derived from Eyton’s Antiquities and Blakeway’s Sheriffs of Shropshire. The architectural notes are abridged from Parker’s Domestic Architecture.

Frances Stackhouse Acton (1794-1881), botanist, archaeologist, antiquarian and artist. Born Frances (Fanny) Knight, her father was the botanist, Thomas Andrew Knight. He actively encouraged the education of Fanny and her two sisters, the former helping him in his various botanical experiments. From 1808 until her marriage, Fanny and the family rented Downton Castle, owned by her uncle, Richard Payne Knight. In 1812 she married the much older Thomas Pendarves Acton and the couple moved to Acton Stackhouse Hall, adopting the surname Acton on the death of Thomas’s mother. Following her husband’s death in 1835, and with no children from the marriage, Fanny pursued a wide range of interests, these included archaeology, she excavated a Roman villa discovered in the grounds of the hall, reconstructing part of the hyopcaust system; geology, painting, botany and supporting a number of charitable causes - the proceeds from sales of the present work were donated to the Royal Salop Infirmary and the Eye and Ear Dispensary. Her main interest however lay in architecture, she was responsible for repairing Acton Hall, designing and building cottages on the estate, erecting a local school and persuading the then owner of Stokesay Castle to undertake repairs to the fabric of the building. She was a noted botanical artist and helped to illustrate two of her father’s publications, later in life she made significant contributions to the Herefordshire Pomana.

Stock number: 1039