…To Out-do the Dutch without Fighting, to Pay Debts without Moneys, to set at Work all the Poor of England with the Growth of our Lands.To prevent unnecessary suits in Law; with the Bene t of a Voluntary Register. Directions where vast quantities of Timber are to be had for the Building of Ships; with the Advantage of making the Great Rivers of England Navigable.
London, R.Everingham for the author, 1677-81. 2 Parts in One Volume, 4to, Contemporary Calf, hinges repaired, with 15 folding engraved maps and plates.
A rare complete copy with the scarce second volume.
In England’s Improvement by Sea and Land to outdo the Dutch without fighting Andrew Yarranton wrote “We are almost as Beggars-bush, and we cannot tell how to help our selves”. The work was one of the first promoting inland navigation on rivers & canals, amongst other modern economic ideas (including the establishment of a national land registry). It was influential because it gave the economic arguments for such projects rather than the technical aspects of their construction.
Andrew Yarranton, (1619-1684), was the son of a yeoman, who was apprenticed to a draper before joining the Parliamentary forces in the Civil War. After that he became involved in iron works in the Forest of Dean. He was one of the first promoters of clover for the improvement of agricultural land. He travelled throughout England and northern Europe as civil engineer and worked as a consultant and entrepreneur on mines, metalworks, canals, railways and schemes of agricultural improvement. Yarranton was involved in numerous projects, most of which were not completed. In 1674 he visited Dublin where he produced plans and detailed proposals for the creation of an artificial harbour in the area of Ringsend where the high water mark was the edge of at Beggars Bush.
The Aire & Calder Navigation, regarded the first of the new age of inland navigation projects promoted by local industrialists and merchants, was first promoted in Bill to Parliament two years after this book, although it did not open until 1701.
He appears to have been a vigorous, imaginative but disputatious person. He was accused of involvement in plots and was certainly involved in litigation with former business partners. John Aubrey wrote that he died from “a Beating and throwne into a Tub of Water.
Wing Y13aA & Y13a