Mona Antiqua Restaurata. An archaeological discourse on the antiquities, natural and historical, of the Isle of Anglesea, the antient seat of the British Druids.

  • Rowlands, Henry
  • Dublin: Printed by Aaron Rhames for Robert Owen 1723
  • ESTC T139797.


SKU: 3710 Category: Tags: ,


FIRST EDITION, 4to, pp. [xii], viii, [iv], 383, [1] + 10 plates. Contemporary panelled calf. Toned and spotted, dampstain to upper corner towards the end. Scratched and rubbed, expertly rebacked, recornered and reconditioned. Ownership inscription of Thomas Holland (a subscriber) to title-page and updates to the final catalogue of clergy in his hand, inscription of Richard Griffith (1773) to half-title, and C. Wilkins to flyleaf (referring to the 1766 London second edition); further inscription to flyleaf of ‘T.N.’ dated 1827, criticising the etymologies; this last reader’s marginal annotations throughout the volume.


The first edition of the major work of Henry Rowlands (1655-1723), Welsh clergyman and antiquary. Rowlands did not live to see publication, dying shortly before the volume was issued in Dublin, but it had a long afterlife: a second, corrected edition was produced by Henry Owen in 1766, with a supplement by Nichols Owen the next year, and a modern edition appeared in the 1990s. It 'helped establish the reputation of Anglesey as a major site of ancient druidism, influencing imaginative writings on the subject well into the nineteenth century' (ODNB).
Thomas Holland of Teirdan in Denbighshire, a subscriber, was the first owner of this copy and evidently took some interest in the Catalogue of Beneficed Clergy, which he has updated and expanded. But it was the later, unidentified owner 'T.N.' who engaged most deeply with the text; his note on the endpaper reads: 'A very careful and instructive work - but requires caution in the reader particularly in the Etymologies'. He has proved this by filling the volume with marginal notes - averaging several per page - mostly short, many etymological. He has copiously annotated the contents leaves, suggesting perhaps that he was working towards a publication, though the details of it are unclear.

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