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Remarks concerning the encroachments on the River Thames near Durham-yard. Addressed to the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, the Worshipful the Aldermen, and the Common-Council of the City of London. In two parts.
London, 1771

In 1768, the Adam brothers were granted a lease on the Durham House site in the Strand beside the Thames in London to build the splendid series of terraced houses known as Adelphi. However, the scheme also involved the construction of a wharf, beneath which were a series of vaults to which the Corporation of London was violently opposed as it claimed the river bed as its property.

This splendidly scurrilous pamphlet, written by Granville Sharp, uses weighty legal arguments to highlight the sins of the brothers Adam, referred to throughout as, "The Encroachers" or "The Trespassers", and the sophistry of their parliamentary supporters. He is equally infuriated by their method of making the disputed embankment, which was done by the random dumping of rubbish on which to build a foundation, rather than by the more orderly method of building a dam around the area first. Even this is seen as a further example of the Adams’ duplicity as, "the Trespass would have appeared much more enormous at first than by [the random dumping] method, which rendered the progress of the growing encroachments less notorious and alarming".

Alas for Granville Sharp, in 1771 Parliament passed an act which retrospectively allowed the river to be embanked.


4to. xvi + 42 + (6)pp. Seemly modern quarter calf. Small tear at top corner of title page.



Catalogue No: 5811