London: J. Johnston, 1818. Paperback. 42pp,  ads. Sid stitched signatures. Foxed throughout with some expected loss to the edges and a stain to the top of the front, else a good, complete example. Uncommon. Good. Item #57875
An odd hoax, perpetrated by a student at Shrewsbury School. Abraham Cawston, aged about 16, claimed to have met in a coach a stranger who took a fancy to him and expressed the intention of making the boy heir to his own enormous fortune. Cawston then announced his patron's death and proceeded to convince his family and various bankers of the truth of his story. "He referred to a palace that he had in Spain, full of works of art, and instructed his solicitor to look out for a large country house for him and to acquire for him a few parliamentary boroughs. The Empress of Russia, he said, paid interest of six thousand pounds a year on a loan from his benefactor, and he claims too, on the King of Spain... the hoax lasted only a few months. The acceptance of his story is incapable of explanation, but the facts are not in dispute. He subsequently became a clergyman."-Oldham, A History of Shrewsbury School pages 88-9. OCLC locates only ten examples.