Library Company research fellow Monica Anke Hahn has been transcribing marginalia by Peter Collinson from 1762 found in our copy of Maitland’s History of London (1739): “Those two nurserys of Vice & Lewdness, Bartholomew Fair kept in Smithfields, Southward Fair kept in the Borough, these had for ages continued to be held for Two Weeks Each, down to my Memory … but growing so notorious for all manner of Wickedness it was often with concern such scenes of Debauchery & Immorality was propagated to the Ruining and undoing the youth of this Great Metropolis.” Over his years of ownership, Collinson tipped in numerous additional plates, plans, notes, documents, and clippings, with the last note dated just two years before his death.
Collinson played an enormous role in the life and career of Benjamin Franklin. Not only did Collinson “discover” Franklin, send him scientific equipment for experiments in electricity, and introduce him to members of the Royal Society for the first time, he also served as the first book purchasing agent for the Library Company of Philadelphia, Franklin’s historic experiment in democratizing knowledge.
You can see a portion of Collinson’s copy of the History of London here: https://digital.librarycompany.org/islandora/object/Islandora%3ACOLL1?solr_nav%5Bid%5D=43acdbdd7fd79262501b&solr_nav%5Bpage%5D=0&solr_nav%5Boffset%5D=1
Maitland, William, 1693?-1757. The History of London. London [England]: Printed by Samuel Richardson  viii, , 800,  p.,  leaves of plates (4 folded) : ill., maps, coats of arms ; 43 cm (folio) http://pacscl.exlibrisgroup.com:48992/F?func=direct&doc_number=000288183
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