Jones, Richard Lambert
Reminiscences of the public life of Richard Lambert Jones, Esq,, formerly member of the Court of Common Council of the City of London. Printed for private circulation only.
London “printed by Fetter and Galpin, Belle Sauvage Works, E.C.” 1863.
8vo. iv + 117 + (1)pp, actual mounted photo reproduction of portrait medal struck in Jones’s honour bound as frontispiece (with minor foxing on mount). Title leaf and contents leaf bound in twice. Original blind-stamped cloth, a little bumped at head and foot of spine and at outer corners.
A rare autobiographical volume, recording the principal events in the public life of Richard Lambert Jones (1783-1863), a member of the Common Council of the City of London from 1819 to 1851 and a dominant figure in internal City of London politics. As Chairman of the Bridge House Estates Committee, and afterwards as chairman of other committees overseeing the construction of the new London Bridge in the 1820s and of the new Royal Exchange building in the late 1830s, he became deeply involved in public works projects within the City boundaries and further afield, and the present volume is entirely devoted to his role in carrying these projects through and to the ceremonial events which took place on their completion. Understandably, his remarks are uncritical and talk up his relationship with the Duke of Wellington, who had been Prime Minister at the time that the approaches to London Bridge needed to be redeveloped, but the evident self-satisfaction in his narrative gives it a certain charm. It is interesting to discover from his text that he prided himself for his role in speeding up the demolition of Wren’s church of St.Michael, Crooked Lane (pp 37-41), and that he would like to have demolished other Wren churches as well (pp 45-7). The volume was printed in a small number of copies “for private circulation only”, and we have never previously seen or handled a copy.