Patrick Pollak

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R. CULLUM & CO. Proprietors.
THE ALFRED, West of England Journal, And General Advertiser. Most Extensively Circulated in Every Part of the Kingdom.

A continuous run from MARCH 30th. 1824, volume IX, no. 452 until MARCH 17th. 1829, volume XIV, no. 720. The numbering is broken in the 1825/26 volume - it comprises nos. 504 to 512 inclusive and then nos. 522 to 564 inclusive though the chronology is continuous. There are 52 issues per volume, thus 260 issues - 1040 pages [large folio sheet folded to 4 pages per issue ]. The sheet size is as above, each page with 5 columns of text and occasional woodcut. An early owner has cut out certain advertisements in each volume, totalling, for the 5 volumes, some 250 column centimetres, out of 860 column centimetres per issue. All uniformly bound in half calf and marbled boards, the covers now loose and the spines dilapidated, each front board with a red morocco title label, the contents show traces of early folding, very occasional browning but overall in excellent condition, each issue with the red FOUR PENNY excise stamp in the top right corner.

*A wonderful view of life in a major provincial town nearly two hundred years ago. The paper cost 7 pence, the duty 4 pence, in today's terms, approximately £3.72, not for the ordinary worker. And judging by the binding, it was not bought by such. Robert Cullum, the publisher, was established in the first decade of the nineteenth century and also printed large amounts of ephemera, especially election items and broadside ballads. COPAC records the British Library copy only, starting in 1815 and running until 1831 when it was retitled the Exeter Independent. A note in the first issue offered here, no.452, records that Cullum had then taken proprietorship of the paper. It covered all aspects of local news, with many advertisements for local business, accounts of the local and national assizes [with verbatim extracts], balloon ascents with George Graham, with woodcut of the balloon [ the Science Museum Library has an engraving with text, showing the Graham's balloon landing in the sea between Stokehead and Yealm Point, near Plymouth, Devon. George and Margaret Graham attempted a balloon ascent from Stonehouse market in Plymouth on Monday 14 November 1825. A series of pilot balloons released prior to the ascent were all carried out to sea by a strong southerly wind, but despite the risks, the couple set off at 3pm in front of a crowd of 50,000. Sure enough, the balloon was dragged seaward by the wind and came down in the sea only 14 minutes later. After 25 minutes the couple were rescued by a Royal Marine boat and returned to shore, but the balloon was lost. Published by John Cooke of 48 Union Street, Stonehouse in December 1825 - the advertisements for their balloon ascents are found in no. 472, August 17th. 1824 et seq.; in 1850, Mrs Graham became the first woman to make a balloon ascent at night, which she did from Vauxhall Gardens. A contemporary poster, now in the museum of London, advertised the occasion. Mrs Graham and her husband were perhaps the most famous English balloonists in the 19th century, making ascents on many public occasions such as the coronation of Queen Victoria (1838) and during the Great Exhibition of 1851. ], medicines and hospitals, the Royal Menagerie of Earl James and Sons, no.531, August 2nd. 1825 et seq. with woodcut, and that of Thomas Atkins, cullings of national and international news from some of the national newspapers such as the Times and the London Gazette, poetry, humour and little-known facts, ship intelligence, coach times, the Edinburgh Steam Carriage (no. 667, March 11th. 1828, with woodcut) etc, etc., a lovely mix of reportage and hundreds of hours of reading !

R. Cullum & Co., Alfred Office, Theatre Street, behind the Guildhall. Exeter.

Date Published: 1824-1829. 5 volumes. Royal folio [c.53 x 39.5 cms.].

Stock No. 62192

Price: 5,000.00