Book submission: A collection of the Parliamentary debates in England : from the year M,DC,LXVIII to the present time.

Title: A collection of the Parliamentary debates in England : from the year M,DC,LXVIII to the present time.
Author: Great Britain. Parliament.
Publication date: Dublin : Printed ; London : Reprinted, with additions, and sold by John Torbuck, 1739-1742
Library: Columbia University (Butler Library)
Call number: 328.422 G796
Submitted by: Tara Key
Description:
John Watts, Jr. was the son of John Watts, a wealthy early New York Merchant. Watts, Sr. held positions in the Colonial government and had to flee to England in 1775, as he was a Loyalist receiving threats from patriots. His son, John Watts, Jr. remained and was able to buy back his father’s holdings after the war. Watts, Jr. was a lawyer and held state political positions, as well as serving in Washington’s fifth and sixth years of presidency as a member of Congress. Those holdings included his father’s house at No. 3 Broadway.

Archibald Kennedy was the brother-in-law of John Watts, Jr., having married his sister Anne Watts. He had a mansion built at No. 1 Broadway and the house was joined to the Watts residence at No. 3 by a staircase and a bridge, allowing for entertaining on the second floor in grand style. He was the 11th Earl of Cassilis, and returned to Scotland eventually to assume the Earldom. He played both sides of the fence during the Revolution, and his house at No. 1 was eventually confiscated and Kennedy fled to NJ, It was from this house that Washington left to address the troops at Fraunces Tavern.

It would appear Watts, Jr. and Kennedy had either joint ownership of the 20 volume set or it was gifted from one to the other. Although Kennedy had a son named Archibald, he spent most, if not all, of his life in Scotland. Watts could have gifted the set to him…Kennedy’s name appears throughout the pages of the book, but oddly, in one case the handwriting of “Arch. Kennedy” seems closer to that of Watts.

One thought on “Book submission: A collection of the Parliamentary debates in England : from the year M,DC,LXVIII to the present time.

  1. I just came into ownership of this same book except mine is signed on title page by Joseph Hopkinson (McCulloch v. Maryland and later Federal Judge ) and also signed by his grandfather, Joseph Borden (Bordentown New Jersey, father of Francis Hopkinson, signer of Declaration of Independence (and father to Joseph Hopkinson). It is presumed Borden might have given Hopkinson his copy of this book.
    Hopkinson’s signature is SCARCE to find, and Borden’s signature is a pure treasure. I am so thrilled to have a piece of American History!

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