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For Burke's authorship of the "Historical Articles" and book reviews in the early issues of the Register see Thomas W. Copeland, Our Eminent Friend Edmund Burke (1949), pp. 92-146, and John C. Weston, Jr., "Burke's Authorship of the 'Historical Articles' in the Early Issues of Dodsley's 'Annual Register,'" PBSA, LI (1957), 244-249.


Annual Register for 1958, p. xv.


E.g., Professor Asa Briggs, in the commemorative essay in the bicentennial volume on the history of The Annual Register, mentions as models only the insurance quarterly Historical Register and the monthly Gentleman's Magazine (p. xxii). But Professor Richmond Bond has an excellent but very brief survey of the history of the English annual periodical in his introductory essay to Studies in the Early English Periodical (1957), pp. 26-27. I am much indebted to my former teacher Professor Bond for counsel in the preparation of this paper.


For a summary account of early historical monthlies, see Bond, pp. 25-26.


Probably edited by an Edward Bysshe, according to P. G. M. Dickson, The Sun Insurance Office, 1710-1960 (1960), p. 38.


This periodical, by Peter Heylin, contains the same matter as the historical annual, as the subtitle to the first volume shows; "A Short Memorial of the most Material Matters of Facts and Passages, Domestic and Foreign, Which may be useful either in Conversation at present, or History for the future. With an Account of the Births, Deaths, Rise, Fall, &c of Persons of Distinction at Home and Abroad." It presents, in weekly divisions, a chronicle of events mixed with important documents and vital statistics.


This periodical, brought to my attention by Professor Bond, has not hitherto been noticed by cataloguers, probably because the curious history of its publication obscures its annual frequency. It first appeared as a history book in the form of annals for the later years of the 17th century; this volume went through two more editions, each of which added two more years of history; then appeared in consecutive years the annual volumes each covering the history of the previous year; in the meantime, four volumes were published containing the history of the previous century. A reconstruction of this publication based on inspection of its prefaces, title pages, and advertisements had best be given in a chronological list of events:

  • 1. 1698, 1st ed. of CH for 1676 through 1696.
  • 2. [1699], 2nd ed. of CH for 1676 through 1698, i.e., with the addition of 2 years.
  • 3. 1701, 3rd ed. of CH for 1676 through 1700, i.e., with the addition of 2 more years; this edition becomes Vol. V of the series; "Printed for John Nicholson, at the King's Arms; J. Harris, at the Harrow, in Little-Britain; and Andrew Bell, at the Cross-Keys, in Cornhill."
  • 4. 1702, CH for 1701 (becomes Vol. VI of the series), "To be Continued Annually," which promise was fulfilled through Vol. XVII for the year 1712 (1713).
  • 5. 1705, CH for 1600-1642 in 2 volumes, i.e., Vols. I and II of the series; "Printed by T. Mead, for H. Rhodes, near Bride-Lane, Fleet-Street; John Nicholson, in Little-Britain; and Andr. Bell, at Cross-Keys, in Cornhill."
  • 6. [1706], CH for 1643-1676 in 2 volumes, i.e., Vols. III and IV of the series.
  • 7. 1720, CH for 1713 and the portion of 1714 to the death of Anne, Vol. XVIII of the series.
The first bona fide annual periodical is Vol. VI of the series. The bibliographers evidently looked only at the first five volumes, which are parts of an history published at various times, not volumes of a periodical.


The first year published by Francis Coggan in the Inner-Temple Lane and A. Roper at the Blackboy over against St. Dunstan's Church; II by Coggan; III by Roper; IV by Coggan; V by Roper; VI-VII by Margaret Coggan; VIII-IX by T. Ward in the Inner Temple Lane; X: "Printed by D. L. and Sold by J. Lawrence, J. Knapton, J. Wyat, R. Smith, D. Midwinter, R. Robinson, J. Tonson, B. Lintott, J. Round, W. Taylor, T. Ward, N. Cleff, and J. Osborne"; XI: list of booksellers remains the same as in preceding vol. except that Tonson and Ward are out and J. Baker is in.


Vols. I-II: "Printed for A. Bell, at the Cross-Keys and Bible in Cornhill; W. Taylor, at the Ship, and J. Baker, at the Black-Boy in Pater-Noster Row"; III: Baker out and T. Vernon and J. Osborn at the Oxford Arms in Lombard Street in; IV: Vernon out; V: same; VI: Taylor out.


The history of the first year (1739) appeared in two separate volumes (1740 and 1741). The subsequent publication dates were irregular: the vol. of 1740 in 1742, of 1741 in 1743, of 1742 and of 1743 in 1745. George Hawkins at Milton's Head on Fleet Street published the 4 volumes covering the first 3 years and was joined by T. Astley in the last 2 volumes.


There is really no way of determining how much either publisher or author was responsible for the plan. It probably emerged from discussions to which they both contributed. The statement in Burke's contract with Dodsley that the new periodical "be printed in octavo in the manner of Millers Kalender [sic]" (Copeland, p. 96) probably refers to the format of Philip Miller's The Gardener's Kalendar (1732, with many subsequent editions), which, however, is a smaller, more elegant and leisurely book than The Annual Register.


Burke's only faltering was with the matter of the lists and charts. He first put them unlabeled after the "Chronicle," then called them "Appendix to the Chronicle." The use of the heading "Appendix" suggests perhaps that Burke knew Boyer's annuals.