Publisher: London: Printed for J. Morgan, 1756.
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: Eddy, Samuel Johnson Book Reviewer in the Literary Magazine, 26; Hanley, Samuel Johnson Book Reviewer, pages 134-36.
Condition: First and final leaves a little dust-soiled; very good copy.
Book ID: 22212
Description8vo, modern brown quarter cloth, blue paper boards, gilt lettering. Half-title present.
Comments¶ A defense of Admiral John Byng (1704-1757) of the Royal Navy, who was on trial for treason based on dubious charges. He was found guilty and was tragically executed the following year. Shebbearre (1709-1788), a pamphleteer and contrarian, wrote numerous tracts during the political crises of 1755-56, attacking the misadventures of the English government abroad. None, according to Shebbearre, were more blatantly wrongheaded than the trial of John Byng. Shebbearre's perceived lack of patriotism landed him in prison, and he was roundly criticized and lampooned by the likes of Johnson, Smollett and Griffith. Johnson eventually sided with Shebbearre in the Byng matter and approvingly reviewed An Appeal to the People in the Literary Magazine in October, 1756. ESTC attributes An Appeal to John Byng himself, and he did write pamphlets in his own defense, but both Hanley and Eddy show convincing evidence that this was indeed by Shebbearre.