Latham's Falconry

Author: Symon Latham

Year of Publication: 1633

Publisher: Thomas Harper for John Harison

Place of Publication: London

Pages: xxi, 147 + xix, 148, iii,

Language: English

  • Europe
  • United Kingdom
  • Falcon
  • Hawk
  • Books
  • 17th Century
  • Training
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Second Edition of Latham's influential titles comprising reprints, with slightly altered pagination and woodcut images, of the first editions. 'The Faulcons Lure, and Cure' is split into two books, the first dealing principally with the management of the peregrine for "hawking at the brook" with much on careful conditioning and setting down and taking up from the moult, and differing considerations for the employment of haggard and passage falcons. There is also a chapter on the gyrfalcon. The second book is an extensive treatise on traditional herbal medicines for hawks. 'Lathams New and Second Booke' is primarily concerned with the goshawk (including relevant treatments for ailments more common in shortwings) with extensive chapters on the lanner and smaller sections on the sparrowhawk, hobby and merlin. The material on the goshawk, in particular, makes for interesting comparison with Edmund Bert's treatise which appeared a year later. There are many fundamental differences between them, and Latham is generally more "modern" in outlook in many respects. Both titles frequently emphasise the importance of proper conditioning and how to achieve it, largely through the use of careful dieting with clean washed meat balanced by more nourishing fare alongside stones ("rangle") and casting. Latham's notes may well explain why species such as the lanner and hobby appear to have been flown in Britain with far more success than in more recent years when such practice was out of vogue. This copy has been rebound in full calf, losing some notes alluded to by a manuscript comment in eighteenth century hand in the text. It has an older spine laid down, bearing the abbreviated title 'Latham's Falconry' and gilt decoration, though the use of the apostrophe here (absent in the internal titles) implies it is not original. A repair to the title page obscures a little of the text.

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