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ANTIQUARIAN BOOK

Some Historical Memoires of the Life and Actions of His Royal Highness,

[JAMES II].

[JAMES II].

Some Historical Memoires of the Life and Actions of His Royal Highness, The Renowned and most Illustrious Prince James Duke of York and Albany, &c. (Only Brother to his most Sacred Majesty King Charles II.) From his Birth, Anno 1633, To this present Year 1682. Entred according to Order.

Engraved frontispiece portrait.

First Edition. Small 8vo. [148 x 96 x 12 mm]. [4]ff, 136pp. Bound c.1800 in red goatskin, the covers tooled in blind with a border of a fillet and repeated floral festoons and tassels, at the centre a large star-burst tool surrounded by fronds, floral sprigs and small stars. The spine divided into six panels with blind tooled bands, lettered in gilt in the second and third panels and dated at the foot, the others tooled in blind, the edges of the boards hatched in gilt, plain endleaves, gilt edges. (Slightly rubbed).
London: printed for Daniel Brown at the Black Swan and Bible without Temple-Bar, and Tho. Benskin in St. Bride's Church yard Fleet-Street, 1683

Wing S.4513.

Small hole in title and short closed tear in A3 and A4, apparently caused by paper flaws; a little light spotting or browning; a very good copy. The work is rare and remains anonymous, though no subject could ask for a more admiring author. It is offered as "a Compendium of the Actions of such a Prince, the Fame of whose Transcendent Vertues, and unequal'd Valour, has reached the utmost limits of the known World: a Prince who has highly Merited the good Esteem of all Mankind". But he goes on to acknowledge "tis no novelty that so much Worth and Goodness should be the Envy of Factious and Malitious Men (if the name of Men may be attributed to such) who envy Monarchy it self, and Impiously cast off all Obedience to the best of Kings".

With the early ink signature of Ellen Owen at the head of the title and with the Porkington Library booklabel, with shelfmarks "Case 5, Shelf 5, No.115". The binding is almost certainly provincial, and the same floral festoon and tassel tools were used on the calf bound copy of Yalden (item 49). Both volumes show traces of manuscript beneath the endleaves.

Porkington, or Brogyntyn Hall, is an ancient estate near Oswestry in Shropshire, successively homes to the Maurice, Owen and Ormsby-Gore families. Sir Robert Owen (1658-1698) was a noted bibliophile, and Sir Thomas Phillipps compiled and printed a catalogue of Manuscripts at Porkington, which included a considerable collection of early Welsh manuscripts now in the National Library of Wales.

Stock no. ebc5656

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Price: £1000

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