Farriery Impov’d or A Compleat Treatise on the Art of Farriery


Henry Bracken.



London: Printed for J Shuckburgh (vol 1) and J Hodges (vol2), 1749. Fourth edition. 12mo, full contemporary blind-tooled calf, gilt-tooled edges, five ridges to the spine, spine labels red leather with gilt title. Volume one: pp viii + 363 + 32 (Index); Volume two: pp xvi + 298 + 22 (Index).

Very Good interior in Fair casings. Joints are cracked and starting, the head and tail of the spines are chipped, corners rounded, extremities rubbed. Bookplate of the Right Honorable Sir John Trollope  Bart. M.P. on the front paste-down of both volumes, also a small sticker of previous bookseller “Mitty’s Horse Books” (Melbourne), endpapers separating along the gutters. Volume one has three recipes written in copperplate on the first blank and its verso, and there is a further note in the index, otherwise very clean throughout.

Henry Bracken was a popular and charitable medical man who wrote several books about horses. Rough and unpolished in writing style they nevertheless abound in good sense and John Lawrence, author of A Philosophical and Practical Treatise on Horses, rated him top of his list of veterinary writers. Bracken first published Farriery ImProv’d in 1738 and its popularity saw it through ten or more editions, of which this is the fourth. In his private life Bracken is said to have been generous and popular, “but his love of horse-racing, of conviviality, and of smuggling, which he called gambling with the king, prevented him from reaping or retaining the full fruits of his success.” (Dictionary of Biography online).

The Right Honorable Sir John Trollope (1800 – 1874) was the seventh Baronet of Casewick in the County of Lincoln and a Conservative politician.  He served as President of the Poor Law Board in the Earl of Derby’s short-lived 1852 Conservative administration. In 1868 he was raised to the Peerage of the United Kingdom as the First Baron Kesteven.