Sui reditus ex Anglia consilium.

Rome, Typography of the Rev. Apostolic Chamber, 1623.


FIRST EDITION. 4to, pp. 39, (1). Roman letter, little Italic; large printer’s device within elegant ornamental border on title, decorated initial; very lightly foxed and browned. A very good copy in nineteenth-century vellum, a bit soiled, spine chipped at tail; early red ink numbering, underlining and few marginalia, some contemporary annotations on pp. XXIII-XXIV; Law Society bookplate to front pastedown, nineteenth-century inscription ‘W. Maskell’ above.

First edition of this remarkable booklet of Catholic controversy directed against England by a former member of both the Jesuit order and the Anglican Church, Marco Antonio De Dominis. A Dalmatian nobleman, De Dominis (1560/1-1624) studied in a Jesuit College and entered the Society very early. In 1597 he was granted permission to abandon his vows to be appointed bishop of Senj and later archbishop of Split. In 1616, he sensationally fled to London at James I’s invitation, joined the Church of England and vigorously attacked papal supremacy in two works entitled Causa profectionis suae ex Italia and De Republica ecclesiastica. He became a very active preacher and polemic writer, publishing in particular the princeps of Paolo Sarpi’s account of the Council of Trent with the royal printer Bill. Soon issues arose with the Puritan party for his sympathy towards Arminianism and reconciliation of Christian Churches. De Dominis left the country in 1622 and returned to Catholic faith while in Brussels. Nevertheless, he was later arrested by the Roman Inquisition and burnt in effige in Campo dei Fiori upon his death in prison. De Dominis is also known for his essay on light reflection and rainbows of 1611.

The Sui reditus ex Anglia consilium is the scholarly rebuttal of his earlier endorsement of the Anglican Church, published by the Apostolic Chamber as his official retraction. The booklet was immediately reprinted in Europe and translated into English by the Roman English College. Curiously, this copy originally circulated folded in two, perhaps to be easily concealable in pockets. At the foot of the title-page, one can still see the counter-imprint of the heading.

Uncommon. Not in Brunet or Graesse.
BM STC 17th-c. It., 307.


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