The Veterinary Surgeon’s Vade Mecum


John Rydge.

Late Veterinary Surgeon in the Hanoverian Horse.


London: Clerc Smith, 1827. First edition. 12mo, 22 x 13cm, contemporary stiff card boards, paper label to spine, hand-coloured frontispiece designed and engraved by Theodore Lane, one other hand coloured plate opposite p.12 as called for;  xxii + [1 leaf] + 335pp.

Almost Fine interior in Fair cover.  Card covers bumped and worn at extremities, paper label just legible, offsetting from colour frontispiece to title page, otherwise fine throughout.

Vade mecum is Latin for go with me and in the case of books refers to a practical handbook intended for regular use. John Rydge wrote his Vade Mecum in the early days of veterinary science, the first veterinary college having been founded in Lyon, France in 1762, and the Odiham Agricultural Society in England resolving to  “promote the study of Farriery upon rational scientific principles”  in 1785. The book was well received:  its review in the April 1827 New Monthly Magazine and Universal Review described it as eminently practical and superceding the “old and vulgar system of farriery” with “improved practice, couched in intelligent language”.  The reviewer concluded that it is a work which “anyone who keeps a horse should possess.”