London: Printed by W. B. for John Wyat, 1707.
Octavo: 18.5 x 11.5 cm. (xxiv), 171, (5) pp. Collation: a8, A4, B-M8
Title printed within double-ruled border. Contemporary paneled calf (joints cracking, foot of spine worn), raised bands on spine, green morocco label. A nice copy with just a short (2 cm.) worm-track to last 5 leaves touching one letter. Rare. 5 copies recorded in North America: Folger, Harvard, Huntington, Illinois, Minnesota. The re-issue of 1721 is held at Harvard only.
“Strongly chemical in content, the book covers the extraction and refining of metals, the supposed growth of metals in ores, and transmutation, and ends with six chapters on individual metals: gold, silver, copper, lead, tin and iron. The appendix (pp. 161–171) discusses the famous silver, copper and lead mines recently discovered by Sir Carberry Pryce (d. 1695) which were bought by Sir Humphrey Mackworth (1657–1727), with their progress to date.
“A work on the advantage to Great Britain of developing its mining industry… In the preface Heton traces the history of mining in Britain, indicating the valuable metals and minerals that have been found: e.g., gold, silver, copper, tin, lead, iron, alum, and copperas (Iron(II) sulphate).
“There is a detailed list of mining and metallurgical works referred to by Heton, including authors from Agricola to Webster. Also listed are alchemical titles from Albertus Magnus to Trevisanus. Very rare”. (Neville I, p. 634, illustrating the title-page)
There are numerous references throughout to mining in the Americas, including the mines of Potosi in Peru and Porco (“which had been anciently wrought by the Ingas”) in what is now Bolivia. Pages 102-105, for instance, has a discussion of the quality of soil in various mining regions in Mexico, Central, and South America, and the qualities of the metals mined there.
Hoover catalogue 419. Kress 5924. This was the only edition, although the remaining sheets were reissued in 1721.