[RELY, Iehan de]

[RELY, Iehan de] L’ ordre tenu et garde en l’assemblee des trois estats, .., conuoques en ville de Tours par le seu Roy Charles huytiesme …

Paris, en la boutique de Galliot du Pré, 1558, Janvier


8vo. ff. (viii), 63 (i.e. 74), (ii). a , A-I , K . Roman letter, titles, latin and side notes in Italic. Gaillot du Pré’s beautiful woodcut ship device on verso of last, small woodcut on first line of title, fine floriated woodcut initials, bookplate of Georges Hersent on pastedown. Light age yellowing. A fine copy in C19th French dark green crushed morocco, covers bordered with a double gilt rule, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, double blind ruled in compartments, title gilt lettered direct, edges gilt ruled, inner dentelles richly gilt, combed marble endpapers, a.e.g.

Beautifully printed edition of this resume of acts of the ‘États-généraux’ held in Tours under Charles the VIII, by the Bishop Jean de Rely. In this edition the acts of the States-General of Tours are preceded by the speech pronounced before Charles VIII and his council, by Jean de Rély, representative of the clergy of Paris who had been elected by the Three States to present to the sovereign the results of their deliberations. Jean de Rély (1430-1499) was a professor of theology, and was later chancellor and archdeacon of Notre-Dame and chaplain to Charles VIII, whom he accompanied on his expedition to Italy, then finally bishop of Angers. The States-General of 1484 were convoked by the Regent Anne de Beaujeu at Tours, to designate who should occupy the regency after the death of Louis XI (August 30, 1483) and during the minority of Charles VIII. Although the late king had designated her, with her husband Pierre de Beaujeu, Louis II of Orleans, challenged them. The summoning of the States General was a first victory for the prince. These États-généraux were of great importance in French history as for the first time, they brought together elected officials from all over the kingdom: from Artois to Dauphiné, from Brittany (which only sent observers) to Burgundy. On top of this, again for the first time, representatives of all social bodies were convened: nobility, clergy and the Third Estate, and remarkably, in the Third Estate, peasants were also represented. In total, the different provinces and the different orders sent 285 delegates. These Estates General introduced a bold conception of government, with the political power belonging to the people, being by them, vested in the king. The minority of the king caused a return of power to the Estates; it was therefore up to the states to organize government during the King’s minority. These Estates General were also particularly interesting for a complete reorganisation of the system of taxation, but also covered every aspect of the Government of France, with lasting effect.

The work in this form was first printed in 1518 and is here beautifully reprinted by the Parisian bookseller Gaillot du Pré with his famous device of a galley on the verso last.

USTC 1158. La Croix du Maine, I, 581. Brunet, IV, 223. Not in BM STC Fr. C16th.
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