MONTAGU, Richard

MONTAGU, Richard Appello Cæsarem. A iust appeale from two vniust informers

London, Printed [by Humphrey Lownes] for Matthew Lownes, 1625


4to. pp. [xxviii], 322, [iv]. [pi², a , * , A-2S , 2T².] First and last leaf blank. Roman letter, ornate woodcut headpieces and borders, magnificent first initial, engraved armorial bookplate of the ‘Inner library bequeathed by the will of Tho. Eyre Esq.” with the names of the executors and dated 1792. T-p a little dusty. A very good copy, crisp and clean, with excellent margins, stab bound in contemporary limp vellum, remains of ties, spine with loss of vellum in lower half, a little soiled.

One of the most famous works of the age of controversial doctrinal writing, by Montague (1577-1641) Bishop of Chichester, who devoted his not inconsiderable learning to apologetics for the Anglican Church, attempting to prove it not only part of, but the true part of, the universal Church. This drew him into conflict with the powerful Puritan faction, two of whose number from Ipswich, Yates and Ward, referred one of his publications to Archbishop Abbot as ‘papistical’. The present work (licensed by the Dean of Carlisle after Abbot’s refusal) constitutes a rebuttal of that charge and vindicates Montague’s teaching from Arminianism and Popery alike. It caused an uproar. He was accused by the Commons i.a. of treating Church and Parliament with contempt, and committed to the custody of the serjeant-at-arms. The King showed his views by appointing Montague one of his chaplains. Richard Montague was educated at Eton and Cambridge, became chaplain to James I, Bishop of Chichester in 1628 and of Norwich in 1638. He disliked the extremes of both Calvinism and Romanism, a position which did little to ingratiate him with either group: he became embroiled in a bitter rhetorical exchange with the Catholic theologian Matthew Kellison (c.1560-1642), and the publication of many of his works incensed Puritans, who appealed to the House of Commons. “Though Montague was by no means polite to his Papist opponent, sneering at him as ‘this Gagger’, he ventured to express a moderate view on the vexed subject of ‘Antichrist’ – with a glance at ‘some’ who were not so moderate. .. Some of the Calvinist party were not slow in recognising themselves in these words or in answering for themselves against Montague. They were, in particular Samuel Ward and John Yates (both of Cambridge), who did not hesitate (as he complained) to traduce him to the world ‘for a Papist and an Arminian’” DNB. In the following January the work was examined and passed by a special conference of Bishops, but the Commons voted a petition that the author be punished and the book burned. In the end a truly Anglican compromise was reached; a proclamation was issued suppressing the ‘Appello Caesarem’, and its author was granted a special pardon.

A very good unsophisticated copy of this important work of Anglican history.

ESTC S112822. STC 18030. STC 18031. Lowndes 1588.
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