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Laws and Ordinances of the Loyal Orange Institution of Great Britain.



Laws and Ordinances of the Loyal Orange Institution of Great Britain.

Woodcut royal arms on the title.

First Edition. 8vo. [210 x 129 x 8 mm]. 36pp. Bound in contemporary straight-grained purple goatskin, the covers with a border of a gilt triple fillet, gilt arabesque roll, gilt single fillet and blind triple fillet, and central gilt royal arms block. The spine divided into five panels by gilt fillets, each panel filled with arabesque tools, the edges of the boards and turn-ins tooled with a gilt roll, yellow silk endleaves, gilt edges. (Joints and headcaps slightly rubbed).
London: printed [by M. Brown] by order of the Grand Lodge, and may be had of W. Sams, Book and Printseller to the Royal Family, and J. Eedes, 1826.

A very good copy. No copies of this edition are recorded on COPAC. The British Library has an edition published in London in 1834, Trinity College Dublin has a Dublin edition of 1849, and the London Library has a Belfast edition of 1903.

There is an early ink inscription on the front fly-leaf: "This book once belonged to H. R. Highness Frederick Duke of York; that firm upholder of the wise & enlightened Orange principles in Church & State of the British Constitution". The binding would support this claim to royal provenance. It is unsigned, and there was no official "Bookbinder to the King" recorded in the Royal Kalendar between 1820 and 1837. A number of binders are known to have supplied the royal family, and they are listed by Ramsden in "Bookbinders to George III and his immediate Descendants and Collaterals", The Library, 5th series, vol. xiii, no.3 (1958), pp.186-193. John Mackenzie definitely claimed to be the royal binder.

Prince Frederick-Augustus (1763-1827), Duke of York and Albany, Earl of Ulster and Bishop of Osnabrück, was the second son of George III and Queen Charlotte, and brother of the future George IV and William IV. He was commander-in-chief of the army from 1798 until March 1809, when his relationship with the "adventuress" Mary Anne Clarke caused a scandal. The DNB concludes that "the conduct of York as commander-in-chief had the greatest influence on the history of the British army", in reviving military spirit, specifically by confronting political jobbery and systematic corruption. Frederick opposed Catholic Emancipation and on 25th April 1825, in the House of Lords, he passionately affirmed his protestant convictions in a speech which was understood to reflect George IV's own views. He had a number of residences, one of them in South Audley Street in London, from where his books were taken to Sotheby for sale in May 1827. Though not a great collector of antiquarian books his auction occupied 22 days and realized £4703. This did not go far towards settling his debts of £401,169.

The 1825 bill banning unlawful associations - largely directed at Daniel O'Connell and his Catholic Association, compelled the Orangemen to dissolve their order, though the Lodges continued regardless. These Laws and Ordinances are dedicated "To the British Nation" and Chetwode Eustace, the Deputy Grand Secretary of Great Britain, declared "Such is now the mechanism of our Institution, that it shall spread - lawfully spread - its operation over the whole country.... The Orange Institution cannot be suppressed, but by means which would subvert the Constitution of Great Britain... ". In 1827 Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, the fifth son of George III, was elected Grand Master of England. In 1836 the Lodges were said to be ready to rise in order to put Cumberland on the throne in place of Queen Victoria. Instead the Duke succeeded William IV as King of Hanover, where the Salic laws prevailed.

Stock no. ebc4494

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Price: £1200