Joslin Hall Rare Books

Curious, Unusual, Interesting & Occasionally Useful Books of the 16th-20th Centuries exploring the skills, trades, lives and ways of other times...

 Tuesday, December 12, 2017

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[Duval Dumanoir & Duval d'Espremenil]
Memoire a consulter et consultation, pour le sieur Duval Dumanoir, & M. Duval d'Espremenil, Avocat du Roi au Chatelet, Heritiers du feu Sieur Duval de Leyrit, Gouverneur de Pondichery. Avec les Lettres que les Sieurs Duval de Leyrit & de Lally se sont ecrites dans l'Inde, pour servir de pieces Justificatives.

Paris De l'Imprimerie de Michel Lambert: 1766.

Bound with- "Arrest de la Cour de Parlement, qui prive Thomas Artur de Lally..." dated May 6th, 1766 and "Arrest de la Cour de Parlement qui condamme Armand-Antonin-Francois Fretard de Gadeville, & Jacques-Hugues de Chaponnay..." dated May 10th, 1766. A sad chapter in the history of the Seven Years War, ending with the French loss of India and the May 9th, 1766 beheading of General Thomas-Arthur, comte de Lally, [1702-1766]. This volume is the most complete of two collections of records published relating to the loss of French India, compiled from the official records by the heirs of the late French Governor of India. It ranges from the first action in which General Lally's troops were engaged through the withdrawal of the French from India. Lally was the son of an Irish Jacobite and a French noblewoman who joined the French army while still in his teens. In 1744 he was put in command of the "Irish Brigade" at Fontenoy, and was awarded a field promotion to brigadier. Following several more years of distinguished service, in 1756, General Lally was given command of the French expedition to India at the outbreak of the Seven Years War. It would have been better had he stayed home. Lally reached Pondicherry, the capitol of French India, in 1758. Following initial successes he met a series of defeats and setbacks, including a failed siege at Madras. Capable as a soldier but proud and disdainful as a man, Lally was roundly disliked by his men and officers, as well as the local Indian citizenry, a situation which cannot have helped the military campaign. The end came when he retreated to Pondicherry, was besieged there by a British army, and finally surrendered the city, and French presence in India, in 1761. The stage was set for almost two centuries of English rule in India, and General Lally was shipped back to England as a prisoner of war. Again, it would have been better had he stayed put. France had just lost the entirety of India, a scapegoat was needed, and Lally didn't have enough friends at court to avoid being charged with treason. A more moderate man would have stayed put, safe in England, but Lally demanded to be paroled so that he could return to France and defend himself. The resulting trial reached its predictable end after almost two years and on May 6th, 1766, Lally was sentenced to be beheaded, a sentence which was carried out three days later, on May 9th. Bound at the end of this copy are two very rare pamphlets- the official text of the Court's condemnation of Lally, dated 6 May, 1766, annd a four page official act of the courts levying fines against some officers in General Lally's regiment, dated May 10th, 1766, the day after the General was beheaded. A scarce book -no copy appears in the US auction records in the past 25 years.

7.75"x10", viii +579 + 8 + 4 pages. In a nice period binding of full mottled calf, with a gilt decorated spine featuring floral motifs. Marbled pastedowns but this copy has evidently had the matching endsheets removed. Some light cover wear, the outer hinges are split and the hinges themselves are a bit tender.

Inventory #: 29757
Price: $ 1500.00      



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