A PLEA AGAINST THE CORRUPTION OF RELIGIOUS FAITH IN IRELAND

Fratres sobrii estote. I. Pet. 5. 8. Or, An admonition to the fryars of this Kingdome of Ireland, to abandon such hereticall doctrines as they daylie publish to the corruption of our holy faith, the ruine of soules.

Dublin, The Society of Stationers, 1634.

£3,500

FIRST EDITION. 4to., pp. (ii), 30, 35-92 (i.e. 82), 84-99. Roman letter, some Italic. Small woodcut ornament on title, woodcut initials, typographical and woodcut headpieces. Light age yellowing, very occasional minor marginal marks. A very good copy in modern three-quarter black morocco over marbled paper boards, all edges red.

Very rare first Dublin printing of Paul Harris’ dispute with the Franciscan Archbishop in Dublin, Thomas Flemming, commencing with the publication of his letter to Pope Urban VIII complaining of impious publications made by the Franciscans in Ireland. He concludes the work with an epistle to the Archbishop in which he outlines his complaints in the most forthright of terms.

“Paul Harris (1573–1635?), catholic divine, although often assumed to be an Irishman, distinctly states that he was a native of England. He became a secular priest of the Roman catholic church, and lived for many years in Dublin, where he was rector of a seminary for boys. He engaged in several acrimonious disputes with the Franciscans. It was alleged that Thomas Fleming, archbishop of Dublin, himself a Franciscan, had formed the design of displacing the secular priests in order to introduce Franciscan friars into the parishes of his diocese. The seculars vehemently opposed the scheme, and Harris, being more active than the rest, and a man of great spirit, incurred the censure of excommunication from the archbishop, who eventually procured an order from Rome for his banishment out of the diocese of Dublin. The date of his death is unknown, but he says that he was sixty years old when he published his Ἀρκτόμαστιξ in 1633.” His works, all of which were probably printed in Dublin, are generally all very rare.

“In all theses P. H. is very severe against the Friars, but his pieces contain numerous and curious points of history, especially the ecclesiastical history of his own time and place of residence in 1635.” Richard Robert Madden. ‘The History of Irish Periodical Literature: Volume 1.’ These pamphlets also are particularly important as they constitute the first of their kind in Irish publishing. “Taken together with the pamphlets of Paul Harris published in the early 1630’s accusing the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Thomas Fleming, of masterminding an ‘impious plot’ to displace the secular clergy and ‘bring all into the hands of the friars,’ these exchanges may be considered the first political debates conducted in print in Ireland.” The Oxford History of the Irish Book, Volume III.

An exceptionally rare and interesting work. ESTC cites no copies in libraries in the USA.

ESTC S116531. STC 12812.

L2068

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