JAMES I Apologia pro Juramento Fidelitatis

London, John Norton, 1609


12mo., pp.(iv) 160 (xvi); (ii) 136 (vi). pi² A-G¹² H , ²A-F¹². [last 3 ll blank]. Two parts in one, separate title to each. First part italic letter, second mainly Roman, both within printed line border; large woodcut of the Royal arms on verso of both titles, woodcut floriated initials, woodcut head and tail pieces. Light age yellowing, very rare mark or spot. A fine copy, crisp and clean in contemporary limp vellum, covers bordered with a double gilt rule, arms of James I gilt stamped at centres, spine triple gilt ruled to compartments fleurons gilt at centres.

In consequence largely of the failed Gunpowder Plot, Parliament imposed yet severer penalties on English Catholics. Partly to mitigate them, James introduced a new Oath of Allegiance which was intended to make a distinction in favour of those who, although otherwise recusant, refused to uphold the Papal power of deposing illegitimate or heretical rulers. The first part of the present work constitutes an Apologia for the oath, together with an address to his brother sovereigns of Europe in which James urges them to withstand Papal claims to temporal supremacy. The second part replies to two Breves of Pope Paul V in which the new oath was denounced, and also to a letter from Cardinal Bellarmine to the Archpriest George Blackwell in which the writer urges Blackwell to stand firm against taking the oath, and to exhort his flock to do likewise.

STC.14406. Lowndes 1181.698
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