The Vineyard: being a Treatise Shewing I. The Nature and Method of Planting, Manuring, Cultivating, and Dressing of Vines in Foreign-Parts. II. Proper Directions for Drawing, Pressing, Making, Keeping, Fining, and Curing all Defects in the Wine. III. An Easy and Familiar Method, of Planting and Raising Vines in England, to the Greatest Perfection; illustrated with several useful Examples. IV. New Experiments in Grafting, Budding, or Inoculating; whereby all Sorts of Fruit may be much more improv'd than at present; Particularly the Peach, Apricot, Nectarine, Plumb,&c. V. The best Manner of raising several Sorts of compound Fruit,which have not yet been attempted in England. Being the Observations made By a Gentleman in his Travels. - S. J. [Richard Bradley] 1727 - Printed for W. Mears, London - First Edition Rare first edition of an early and detailed manual on wine production and viticulture in both France and England in the early 18th century, and includes the first description of winemaking in Champagne.

Engraved frontispiece of a vineyard engraved by H. Fletcher after R. Cooper, small engraving on page 83 showing how to transfer wine to a fresh cask, two engraved headpieces and one engraved tailpiece.
  ‘S.J., in his dedication to the Duke of Chandois expresses his desire to “convince the Publick, that so Useful and Advantageous a Part of Agriculture has been so long neglected, to the Reproach of the Natives of our Island, and the Impoverishment of the Nation in General, who have Annually remitted vast Sums of Specie to purchase this exhillerating Liquor from Foreigners, which we might as well raise at home with a little Industry, and by a right Application.” The author dismisses the objection that the climate is too cold:“...the Temperature of our English Climate more than balances the Objection, in favour of the most Southern Parts of France; where tho' they have the Advantage of a warmer Sun, they are subject to a greater Intemperance of the Weather ...” He also dismisses the objection that the soil is too poor, as well as the objection that it would have been attempted before if it had been practicable: “I call it a Discontinuance only, for that Vineyards have been formerly planted, with good Success, in England, is beyond Objection; there being divers Places, where the same formerly were, which yet, in Remembrance thereof, retain the name of Vine-yard to this Day. Such as are curious to be satisfied therein, need only have recourse to Dooms Day Book, in the Tower ...”” [pages 1-6].’ - quoted with thanks to Viniana.

Blanche Henry in
British Botanical and Horticultural Literature before 1800 II, p.181 suggests, despite the initials S.J. at the end of the preface, that the anonymous author was in fact Richard Bradley and as John Nichols points out, W. Mears did publish a number of works by Richard Bradley and included a similar title in a list of Bradley's publications. However, this is only an assumption based on circumstantial evidence as although we know Bradley was a Professor of Botany at the University of Cambridge and a botany and horticultural writer around this time there is no obvious reason why he would publish this anonymously, he was a self-seeking, ambitious man, and no evidence of his travelling in France. More than that the publisher's of a translation of a work by Xenophon, actually paid to use Richard Bradley's name on the title due to his huge popularity, it is therefore hard to believe that Mears the publisher would fail to use his name in this work and lose potential sales.

But to support the theory that it was Bradley who wrote this, firstly it is dedicated to the Duke of Chandois, who ‘S.J.’ obviously is promoting the planting of vines. Bradley worked on the magnificent gardens at the duke’s estate ‘Cannons’. Bradley supplied plants for the gardens, and also dedicated the second edition of
New Improvements of Planting and Gardening: Both Philosophical and Practical - The third Part - 1718]. The layout of the title, dedication an dpreface, and the style and wording used is so similar as to negate a mere it being merely the style of the publisher and printer. In addition, Bradley’s description and knowledge of the vine, it’s history and propagation methods would indeed make him the ideal author for a work such as ‘The Vineyard’. Further, Bradley wrote ‘A Survey of the Ancient Husbandry and Gardening, Collected from Cato, Varro, Columella, Virgil....”, this includes the application of the ancient methods to the climate and soil of England, which is xactly what the author does in The Vineyard.

Richard Bradley was forever in debt to ‘booksellers’ and others, in 1719 Brydges (the Duke of Chandois) discovered that Bradley had mismanaged a substantial sum, Bradley recovered and in 1724 was recommended for the position of Professor of Botany at Cambridge, but Bradley was again in financial difficulty by 1726 (see
Sloane letters), this continued through to 1729 when he married a wealthy woman, but the funds soon dried up again. It was in 1727 that The Vineyard was published, and one can put forward two theories as to why the book’s author was ‘S. J.’ instead of Bradley, both linked to funding, the first is that Bradley did not wish to see the revenue from this publication going to his debtors, or secondly that the publisher’s themselves wished to keep the funds to recover previous monies that Bradley owed them.

[Source - Lisa Smith -
An Eighteenth-Century Rogue [The Sloane Letters Blog]


Article on Richard Bradley from www.sloaneletters.com, Lisa Smith, An Eighteenth-Century Rogue 2012.
A letter that begins “Since the Unfortunate Affair in Kensington whereby I lost all my Substance, My Expectations and my friends” caught my attention while I was rooting through documents in the archives.

Botanist Richard Bradley found himself strapped for cash. He was managing to scrape by “at the publick Expence”, but publishing was an expensive business and all of his money had gone to paying off booksellers. He was even considering going abroad: “my Inclinations are for it, Even into the Most Dangerous country”. Bradley was unsure which was worse: “to live upon Expectations at home is as bad as it can be to venture one’s Life among Savages abroad”. What he truly wanted was “to have a Garden of Experiments for General Use”—something, no doubt, that Bradley hoped would capture Sloane’s attention, given his interest in and support of the Chelsea Physic Garden. He concluded that such a garden would allow him to “gain an Improving Settlement” and to “do my Country some Service without restraint of Booksellers”.

As a scholar, I was struck by his indebtedness to booksellers, but what on earth was his “Unfortunate Affair”? I just had to explore the letter’s background! A bit of digging revealed Bradley to be a bit of a rogue who constantly asked for (and received) money from his friends. Historian Frank Egerton has taken a sympathetic view; Bradley was a man who lived in an age when there was no government support for scholarship and, lacking personal wealth to support his investigations, he ended up in a cycle of constant debt. A fair point… though Bradley seems to have been particularly bad at managing his affairs.

Born in 1688 to a middle-class London family, Bradley received a good education, but never attended university. He published widely on popular medical and scientific topics. He was known for his expertise in botany and managed to attract high-ranking patrons, including James Brydges, the Duke of Chandos (and husband of Cassandra Willughby). Brydges hired Bradley to oversee the planting of gardens at his estate, Cannons Parks, and even helped him out financially in November 1717, sending money to pay off personal debts. Then, in 1719, Brydges found that Bradley had mismanaged a substantial sum. It seems likely that this is the “Unfortunate Affair”. But he recovered and by 1724, William Sherard had recommended him for the position of Professor of Botany at Cambridge. As part of the Professorship, Bradley promised to found a botanical garden.

Bradley was, perhaps, generally unreliable. The Royal Society notes that “his ignorance of Latin and Greek and his failure to perform his duties caused great scandal”. Yet, despite his many problems, Bradley was still able to persuade people to invest in him. If his relationship with Sloane is typical, I can understand why. Bradley comes across as likeable in his correspondence. Starting in 1714, he occasionally sent Sloane news (e.g. of a hermaphroditic horse) and illustrations (e.g. a lizard from Sloane’s cabinet). In return, he sometimes asked Sloane for advice or employment recommendations.

Bradley again found it difficult to make ends meet by 1726. He had not founded his botanical garden and had trouble attracting students (whose fees were needed to support him). He wrote to Sloane offering him a saffron kiln in return for a favour: help in—of course—getting free from the “booksellers’ hands”. The following year, Sloane noted at the bottom of another letter from Bradley: “Sent him a guinea”. In 1729, Bradley’s financial problems appeared to have been sorted he married a wealthy woman. But within a short time, Mary Bradley’s money had gone to pay off his many debts, and the unlucky couple was forced to sell off household furnishings and move into more modest lodgings.

Bradley died as he lived in 1732, after a long and expensive illness that left his wife and child in debt. The last letter about Bradley was from his widow, asking Sloane for support. And, given his history with Bradley, Sloane likely provided the widow with assistance.

Perhaps Mrs Bradley was better than her husband at money management, as she was never heard from again.’

Sources: F. N. Egerton,
Richard Bradley’s relationship with Sir Hans Sloane, Notes and Records of the Royal Society, 25 (1970), 59–77. F.N. Egerton, Bradley, Richard (1688?-1732), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Provenance: Initials J.L.T. and another to title page, later bookplate ‘Ex Libris Fratrum Praedicatorum Oxon 11 [Ardet Lucet]

References: Viniana J19. Simon,
Bibliotheca Vinaria 49, Bibliotheca Gastronomica 1580. Gabler, Wine into Words G40200. Bitting, Gastronomic Bibliography 616 [2nd. ed.]. Not in Cagle, A Matter of Taste. According to André Simon, the identity of S. J. is unknown. Gabler lists a second edition in 1732.

Octavo pp. Title leaf, 4 leaves “
dedication,” 3 leaves “to the reader,” 192 [1 Blank].
  Bound in contemporary English panelled calf, tooled in blind to panels, spine in six compartments, with burgundy morocco label titled in gilt, neatly rebacked retaining original spine and endpapers.   Condition: Very good, contemporary owners initials and name to title page, binding rubbed, corners worn, p.61 1cm closed tear lower edge. p.107-122 small amount of worming to lower margin not affecting text.   Ref: 105486   Price: HK$ 30,000