Thursday, July 11, 2013

Virginian John Baylor III 1705-1772 Books on Landscape, Garden, & Farm


Colonel John Baylor III (1705-1772), Virginia landowner & one of the wealthiest men & largest landowners of pre-Revolutionary Virginia.  Grandson of a planter who traded profitably in several Tidewater counties, & son of a slave-dealer, planter & burgess from Gloucester & then King & Queen counties, John Baylor III (1705–1772) was third-generation Virginia aristocracy. Baylor was sent to England to be educated at Putney Grammar School, Middlesex, & at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge.

Unknown Artist. John Baylor, c. 1722

After returning to Virginia from England in 1726, Baylor built a plantation house, Newmarket, in Caroline County (named for the English race track). Baylor began racing & breeding horses at his home Newmarket by late in the 1730s—remnants of his racing track are still visible there—& he imported expensive thoroughbreds from Britain by the early 1740s. Baylor's stud operation was legendary throughout the Chesapeake Bay region, & gentry-turfmen such as George Washington & John Tayloe II sent their prized mares to Newmarket to breed with Baylor's thoroughbreds. By the mid-1750s & concentrated instead on importing & breeding.  In 1764, he paid 1,000 guineas for the racehorse Fearnought, the highest price anyone in colonial America ever paid for a horse. Thomas Jefferson proudly noted in his farm journal that his favorite mount, Caractacus, was the grand sire (grandson) of Fearnought. (While serving as governor, Jefferson famously fled a contingent of British soldiers sent to capture him at Monticello astride Caractacus).

Baylor married Frances Lucy Walker (1728-1783), & the 2 had 8 children who survived. Baylor served as a church warden & vestryman from 1752-1761, & sat in the House of Burgesses from 1742-1752 & 1756-1765. He was also a justice of the peace for Caroline County.  Baylor died leaving a vast estate, but also significant debts, which passed (along with Baylor's library), to his son John Baylor IV.


Most of the farm books in Baylor's library are about horses.  Works & other information included in Baylor's LT catalog are from several sources, including the inventory of his library (a transcript of which is preserved in the proceedings of a later court case, Daingerfield v. Rootes); his letterbooks, 1749-65, in the Baylor Family Papers at the Virginia Historical Society; & the daybooks of the Virginia Gazette, 1750-52 & 1764-66.  Col. Baylor also purchased many books in Virginia and through his British factors for the education of his children, & in pursuit of his horse-racing/breeding interests.

John Baylor III Books on Landscape, Garden, & Farm

Title: The Virginia almanack for the year of our Lord God 1765. ... By Theophilus Wreg. philom. Info: Williamsburg [Va.] : Printed and sold by Joseph Royle, and Co, [1764]

Title: The architecture of M. Vitruvius. Pollio: translated from the original Latin, by W. Newton, architect Author: Vitruvius Pollio Other authors: William Newton (Translator) Info: London : printed by William Griffin, and John Clark, and published by J. Dodsley, 1771.

Title: [Treatise on Tobacco] Author: Buckner Stith Info: [Williamsburg, Virginia Gazette, 1764.]

Title: The complete farmer or, a general dictionary of husbandry, in all its branches; containing the various methods of cultivating and improving every species of land, ... Authors: Society of Gentlemen

Title: A new and complete system of practical husbandry containing all that experience has proved to be most useful in farming, either in the old or new method, with a comparative view of both, and whatever is beneficial to the husbandman, or conducive to the ornament and improvement of the country gentleman's estate Author: John Mills Info: London : Printed for R. Baldwin [ and 7 others], 1762-1765.

Title: A new treatise on the diseases of horses: wherein what is necessary to the knowledge of a horse, the cure of his diseases, and other matters relating to that subject, are fully discussed for many years practice and experience; with the cheapest and most efficacious remedies Author W. Gibson Info: London, A. Millar, 1751.

Title: The modern husbandman complete in eight volumes : containing I. The practice of farming, as it is now carried on by the most experienced farmers in the several counties of England ... necessary for all landlords and tenants of either ploughed, grass, or wood grounds Author William Ellis Info: London : Printed for D. Browne ... [et al.], 1750.

Title: A practical treatise of husbandry wherein are contained, many useful and valuable experiments and observations in the new husbandry
Authors: Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau, John Mills (Translator) Info: London : Printed for C. Hitch [and 8 others], 1762.

Title: Farriery improved or, a compleat treatise upon the art of farriery. Together with many necessary and useful observations and remarks concerning the choice and management of horses. ...
Author Henry Bracken Info: London : printed for W. Johnston; and A. Shuckburgh, 1763.

Title: The gentleman's farriery or, a practical treatise on the diseases of horses: wherein ... M. La Fosse's method of trepanning glandered horses is particularly considered and improved: also a new method of nicking horses is recommended; ... To which is added an appendix, ...
Author: John Bartlet
Info: London : printed for J. Nourse; S. Crowder, L. Hawes, W. Clark and R. Collins, and M. Richardson; and J. Pote at Eton, 1764.

Title: A new system of agriculture or, a plain, easy, and demonstrative method of speedily growing rich: proving, by undeniable arguments, that every land owner, in England, may advance his estate to a double value, in the space of one year's time
Author Edward Weston
Info: London : printed for A. Millar, 1755. [A Dublin edition was printed the same year]

Title: The gentleman's farriery or, a practical treatise on the diseases of horses: wherein ... M. La Fosse's method of trepanning glandered horses is particularly considered and improved: also a new method of nicking horses is recommended; ... To which is added an appendix, ...
Author John Bartlet Info: London : printed for J. Nourse; S. Crowder, L. Hawes, W. Clark and R. Collins, and M. Richardson; and J. Pote at Eton, 1764.

Title: Farriery improved or, a compleat treatise upon the art of farriery. Together with many necessary and useful observations and remarks concerning the choice and management of horses. ...
Author Henry Bracken Info: London : printed for W. Johnston; and A. Shuckburgh, 1763.

Title: An historical list of all horse-matches run ...
Author John Cheny

Title: A new treatise on the diseases of horses: wherein what is necessary to the knowledge of a horse, the cure of his diseases, and other matters relating to that subject, are fully discussed for many years practice and experience; with the cheapest and most efficacious remedies
Author W. Gibson Info: London, A. Millar, 1751.

Title: An historical list of horse-matches run. And of plates and prizes, run for in Great Britain
Author Reginald Heber Info: London, 1752-1769.

Title: The art of farriery both in theory and practice containing the causes, symptoms, and cure of all diseases incident to horses. With anatomical descriptions, illustrated with cuts, ...
Author John Reeves Info: London : printed for J. Newbery; and B. Collins, in Salisbury, 1758.

Title: The sportsman’s dictionary: or, the country gentleman’s companion, in all rural recreations: With full and particular Instructions for Hawking, Hunting, Fowling, Setting, Fishing, Racing, Riding, Cocking
The titles & information included in this library are drawn from Thomas Katheder, The Baylors of Newmarket: The Decline and Fall of a Virginia Planter Family. Bloomingon, Ind., & New York: iUniverse, 2009. The book is an in-depth & excellent analysis of the Baylor library.
Katheder, T. M. John Baylor III (1705–1772). (2012, January 18). In Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved from http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Baylor_John_III_1705-1772.

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