BURTON, Henry The baiting of the Pope’s bull. Or An vnmasking of the mystery of iniquity

London, By W[illiam] I[ones, Augustine Mathewes, John Jaggard? and others?] for Michaell Sparke, 1627


FIRST EDITION. 4to.pp. [lii], 95, [i]: pi², [par.] ,[2par.] , a , 2* , [sec.] , A-N [Without [sec]4 blank]. “pi², M-N are the same setting as 4137, and 2[par.] , 2* . [sec.] are reimposed from 4137. A. Mathewes pr[inted]. at least [par.] , a ; I. Jaggard prob[ably]. pr[inted]. at least A-B , and other printers may have been involved” STC. “Copies may show a mixture of sheets with STC 4137.” ESTC. Roman and Italic letter, Large woodcut on title of the King attacking the Pope with his sword whilst a Catholic Bishop below turns away his followers by presenting them with the Papal Bull, woodcut initials, head and tail-pieces, typographical ornaments, Huth label on pastedown, bookplate of the Fox Pointe collection on fly, ‘Wilfred Merton 1912’ in pencil on fly with price ‘£2.20’ below, William H Allen’s bookseller description loosely inserted. Very light age yellowing, blank rectos of first and verso of last leaf slightly dusty, very rare marginal spot or mark. A fine, wide margined copy, with many deckle edges, in handsome mid C19th calf by Clarke & Bedford, covers bordered with a triple gilt rule, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, gilt ruled in compartments with fleurons gilt at centres, black morocco labels gilt lettered, edges and inner dentelles gilt, a.e.g.

A fine, large margined, copy of this very rare work by the puritan Devine Henry Burton, a point by point rebuttal of the Papal bull issued by Urban VIII in 1626 in which he counselled English Catholics to abjure the Oath of Allegiance issued on the accession of Charles I. The work was particularly controversial for its virulent attack on Jesuits in the prefatory epistles to Charles I and to Buckingham which lead to the suppression of the work by the Bishop of London. “[The book contains the] usual indulgence in anti-Catholic vitriol – casting the Pope as Antichrist – but it was in the special epistle to the duke of Buckingham that Burton was most controversial. Burton suggested that as the king needed money so desperately, he should take it from the Jesuits in the country. Buckingham was entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the crown, church, and true religion, and he was charged with searching everywhere, including his own household, for Jesuits who should be treated as traitors. After licensing by Jeffrey, this book was entered to the printer William Jones in the Stationers Registers on 26th April 1627. In spite of the legal entry, the Bishop of London suppressed the sale and the publishing of ‘The baiting of the Pope’s Bull’; as early as 20 May 1627 the masters and wardens of the Stationers Company were instructed to seize all copies.” Suellen Mutchow Towers ‘Control of Religious Printing in Early Stuart England.’

Burton (1578 – 1648) Puritan divine, educated at St. John’s College Cambridge, Clerke of the Closet to Prince Charles, was sacked for having presented Charles with a letter inveighing against the popish tendencies of Neile and Laud. He then conducted aggressive warfare against Episcopal practices from his pulpit, in St Mathews church on Friday street. His writings earned him a few short sojourns in the Fleet, but he was always released, until 1636, when he was imprisoned, tried for sedition, striped of his ministry and degrees, sentenced to the pillory, where he had his ears cropped. On his release, by order of Parliament in 1640, he was restored to his ministry, where, as Marsden put it “it was not in the power of malice to desire, or of ingenuity to suggest, a weekly spectacle so hurtful to the Royal cause as that of Burton preaching without his ears.”

A fine copy of this rare work.

ESTC S106960. STC 4137.3. Not in Lowndes or Allison and Rodgers.
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