London, England: J. Johnson, 1786. First Edition. Hardcover. Quarto, 8.5 x 10.75 in., pp. x + 1 ("Necessary Directions...") + 1 (Errata) + 628. Half-leather over contemporary,scuffed stone-marbled boards. Gilt title on black panel and decorative gilt design to rebacked spine. Six raised bands to spine. Marbled edges. Chronological markers to margins, throughout. Occasional very light foxing throughout, pages generally bright. Two inch closed tear pp. 131/132. 1 in. x 0.5 inch open tear to margin of pp.177/178. Nice large print with wide margins. Very Good. Item #85543
William Warrington was born at Brynyffynnon, Wrexham in 1735, the fifth of eight children of George Warrington (1695-1770) and his wife Elizabeth (née Thornhill, 1706-1788). The place of his education is unknown. William Warrington is known to have been living at Chester in 1755. He is the author of two forgotten dramas, The Cambrian Hero, or Llewelyn the Great (?1803) and Alphonso King of Castile, A Spanish Tragedy (1813). A poem by him entitled 'On Old Windsor Church-yard' is quoted in John Evans, An Excursion to Windsor (1817).
His major work is The History of Wales, published in London in 1786, with a dedication to William, Duke of Devonshire (1748-1811). Subsequent reprints appeared in 1788, 1791, 1805 and 1823. The 628-page work begins with a guide to Welsh pronunciation. It is well-footnoted, citing many printed sources. In general it is a judicious study, covering the centuries from the Roman occupation to the 1294-5 rising. Although there is no bibliography, the abbreviations in the footnotes are easily recognisable and wide-ranging. The only obscurity is his references to Welsh Chron, but the page numbers show that he is quoting a copy of The historie of Cambria (1584), the body of which is a translation of Brut y Tywysogion. Until Warrington published his work, the staple history of Wales had been William Wynne's The History of Wales (1697 and reprints), which was really a reworking of the 1584 volume. William Warrington died on 31 January 1824, aged 89, and was buried at Old Windsor.