De Scotorum fortitudine, Doctrina & Pietate, ac de ortu & progressu haeresis in Regnis Scotiae & Angliae nunc primum in lucam editi.

Paris, Petri Baillet, 1631


FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. (xviii) 288 (iv). Roman letter. Engraved printer’s device on title, woodcut initials and headpieces, modern bookplate of Duncan Shaw to pastedown, early press mark on fly, later autograph on fly. Title page fractionally dusty, very occasional minor marginal damp staining, light browning and largely marginal foxing (very poor quality paper). A good copy in contemporary polished vellum over thin boards, remains of ties, red morocco label gilt on spine.

First edition, second issue, with the dedicatory epistle to Charles I and not Cardinal Francesco Barberini, Protector of Scotland; “an ‘Index rerum’ and an ‘Index alphabeticus omnium sanctorum’ have been added; otherwise this is a reissue of the sheets of no. 208 (the first issue)”. Allison and Rogers. The book was seen through the press during the author’s absence from France by Jean Morin of the Paris Oratory. Chalmers (c. 1580-1642) was head of the Scots College in Paris, while his brother was a priest at the Paris Oratory. The authorship of the work is often erroneously given to David Chambers, Lord Ormond (c. 1530-1592), historian and jurist. Very little is known of the real author.

The work includes a history of the Scots from the earliest days to the author’s own time, and their interaction with various peoples, i.a. the English, Danes and Norwegians, as well as discussing the Scottish Church and the introduction and spread of ‘heresy’ in both England and Scotland. It was said of him that he “loved Scotland more than the truth” and this work is an undeniably nationalistic and Catholic interpretation of events. This second issue includes a list of saints with Scottish connections. He claims i.a. that the Scots were responsible for the foundation of four major European Universities. Given that the work includes, in the appendix, a chapter detailing the Elizabethan persecution of Mary Stuart and Scottish Catholics in general it is surprising that the dedicatory epistle was changed to Charles I. However, Jean Morin was one of the Priests who accompanied Queen Henrietta to England for her marriage to Charles in 1626, and Chalmers was perhaps using this connection to attempt to further the cause of Scottish Catholics.

A very good copy of this interesting and rare history of Scotland.

Allison & Rogers I, 209; Shaaber C-182; Brunet I, p. 1514 \"Livre rare et recherché\"; Lowndes I, p. 359.

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