GRAY, John

A Treatise of Gunnery

London: Printed for William Innys. 1731.

First edition. 8vo. 200x120mm. pp. [4], xliii, [1], 94, [2pp adverts], one folding plate. Contemporary sprinkled calf, triple fillet border in gilt to upper and lower cover. Five raised bands, compartments decorated in gilt with crown, thistle and flower pattern. Second compartment with tan lettering piece, lettered in gilt. Some wear to boards, rubbing and rubbing to spine and joints. All edges red. Internally in fine condition. Diagrams throughout. Marbled endpapers. From the Library of the Earls of Macclesfield, the front pastedown has the bookplate from the South Library and embossed stamps with Macclesfield Coat of Arms to title and dedication. ESTC locates 11 copies in the UK and 10 in the US.
John Gray (d1769) was a mathematician who taught at Marischal College (later Aberdeen University) where he was also Rector towards the end of his life. Accordingly, his Treatise on Gunnery is a highly technical affair, complex but also rather beautiful in the way of serious mathematics. The long preface is a fascinating history of gunnery and siege warfare which brings together classical Greece, China and medieval Germany.

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