Kirby’s first book was the fairly short Historical Account of 1748, written to accompany the twelve prints of Suffolk buildings and monuments. A common way in the mid-1700s to test demand for a work, especially a fairly expensive such as Kirby’s collection of engravings and text, was to call for subscribers. Advertisements were issued and friends pressed into service to gather a group of people who would give a down payment towards the production of the work. As we say with Sir Joseph Ayloffe, if insufficiently many subscribers could be found, the work might not appear.
Kirby advertised for his prints and book in the Ipswich Journal in December 1746, and the book is dated to March 1748. Inscribed in it are the names of the over 200 subscribers who supported him. As part of my project is to understand the relationships of these subscribers, I have copied the list here from the copy digitized on ECCO.