William Rogers account book of household and personal expenses of Thomas Pownall and others, 1780-1797.

Rogers, William [Browse]
London : Printed for S. Bladon, No. 13, Paternoster-Row, [1779?]
1 volume 10.5 x 16 cm (176 pages)


Library of Congress genre(s)
Getty AAT genre
Biographical/​Historical note
William Rogers was a British land agent active in the late 18th century who worked for British colonial official and politician Thomas Pownall (1722-1805).
Summary note
Consists of a printed copy of "The Man of Pleasure's Pocket-Book, or the Bon Vivant''s Vade Mecum, for the Year 1780," completed in manuscript and used as an account book detailing the personal and household expenses kept by British land agent William Rogers. The account book contains manuscript entries regarding the expenses of Rogers's customers, including Thomas Pownall (1722-1805), the British colonial administrator who served as Lieutenant Governor of the Province of New Jersey (1755-1757), Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay (1757-1760), and a member of British Parliament (1767-1780). The accounts, which span the period from 1784 to 1797, are arranged by customer and contain expenditures for the maintenance and management of land and properties, including rents, church taxes, school fees, and charitable donations, as well as carpenter, blacksmith, thatcher, and masonry bills, salaries, and other expenses. In addition to the account book's 110 manuscript entries, Rogers also utilized the inner front board and rear endpaper for names and notes. Loosely inserted are two receipts and a bill, all made out to William Rogers; one receipt is for 270 pounds for a half year's rent of lands in North Lynn, and the other receipt and bill are for repairs to farm property owned by Pownall. Records related to Thomas Pownall comprise 36 pages (pages 25-34, 37-38, 61-70, and 82-95) and account for the years 1785 to 1797. These mention his estates in North Lynn, as well as the Everton House estates in Huntingdonshire, which Pownall's second wife Hannah Astell inherited from her late husband Richard Astell (1717-1777). The accounts include payments for repairs, surveys, and improvements, presumably undertaken shortly after his marriage to Astell in 1784. William Rogers was Pownall's land agent and probably worked on behalf of the other named persons associated with the estates. Accounts also recorded in this pocket book include "Mrs. Prior," "Chapel Warden account," "Mrs. Cockayne," "Rev. Mr. Peele," "Rev. Dr. Brooke," "Mr. Mainwaring," and "Messrs. Edwards Brown." The printed portion of "The Man of Pleasure's Pocket-Book" contains various charts, essays, and advice for "gentlemen of property." The pocket-book includes a "Dictionary for the Bon Ton, or the Savoir Vivre Vocabulary," as well as lively essays on fashion, dress, public diversions, masked balls, conversation, etiquette, and recommendations for various Covent Garden brothels (referred to here as "A Guide to London's Modern Nunneries"). There is also a chart titled "The Scale of Beauty, or, A List of the most celebrated Toasts of the Year 1780, with their various Gradations of Beauty, Grace, and Elegance," which assigns women a numerical rating. There are also lists of British Parliament members, pay rates for military officers, and recommendations related to stocks and accounting.
Binding note
Bound in original wallet-style sheepskin. Lacking engraved frontispiece.
Source acquisition
Purchase, 2018 [2019-5].
Other title(s)
The man of pleasure's pocket-book : or, the bon vivant's vade mecum, for the year 1780, being the universal companion in every line of taste, gallantry, and haut ton.
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