The Country-Man’s Companion


Thomas Tryon


London: Printed and sold by Andrew Sowle…, n.d.(1684). The Country-Man’s Companion:/ OR,/ A New Method/ Of Ordering/ Horses & Sheep/ So as to preserve them both/ from Diseases and Causalties,/ Or, To Recover them if fallen Ill,/ And also to render them much more/ Serviceable and Useful to their Owners,/ than has yet been discovered, known/ or practised./ And particularly to preserve Sheep/ from that Monsterous, Mortifying/ Distemper, The Rot./ By Philotheos Physiologus/ The Author of The Way to Health, long/ Life and Happiness, etc./ London, Printed and Sold by Andrew Sowle, / at the Crooked-Billet in Holloway-Court in/ Holloway-Lane, Shoreditch. First edition. Small octavo, 14.5x9cm, full leather, marbled endpapers, [8]+173pp+[3pp] Advertisement.

Very Good. Recased in full leather in the eighteenth century, corners bumped and minor loss of gilt border, recently rebacked  with gold tooling on spine, top edge slightly dust-toned, pages lightly tanned with occasional foxing, pencil note on verso of first blank, initials ‘M.B.’ in copperplate hand (sepia ink) on title page.

Thomas Tryon was a self-educated man who produced all of his twenty-seven works in the last two decades of his life, after his inner voice of wisdom called him to write and publish in order to propagate temperance and nonviolence. His most widely read book was  The Way to Health, published in 1691 as a second edition of Health’s Grand Preservative; or, The Women’s Best Doctor (1682), and his work influenced and impressed the likes of Benjamin Franklin, Aphra Benn and Perce Bysse Shelley. Having spent his teen years as a shepherd, and later becoming a vegetarian and advocate of animal rights, his Country-Man’s Companion reflects his love of animals, his pacifist attitudes, and his opinion “Of  the Evils that attend an idle and lost Life, and the Benefits of moderate Labour and Exercise” (chapter III). It is an uncommon book, the 1684 edition held in only a handful of institutions.