Historical memoires on the reigns of Queen Elizabeth, and King James.

London: Printed by T. Grismond, and are to be sold by T. Robinson … in Oxon. 1658.

12mo, pp. [22], 108, [20], 148; copper-engraved frontispiece portraits of Elizabeth and James, woodcut initials, head- and tail-pieces; wormhole to spine and several wormtracks almost throughout but seldom touching text; a good copy in contemporary speckled sheep, sixteenth-century printed waste as endpapers (running title ‘Homiliae Evang. Lucae’, with woodcut initial P), edges sprinkled red; a little rubbed, a few quires spring but holding; ownership inscription to rear blank leaf of James Paterson, ‘his book Middelburgh the 12 of march 1717 Zelande'.


US $605€557

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Historical memoires on the reigns of Queen Elizabeth, and King James.

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First edition of Osborne’s history of the reigns of Elizabeth I and James VI and I, two exemplary leaders of the Protestant English cause, with which Osborne was much taken in his works.

He is known as a writer of considerable talent and was certainly prolific: ‘I do here leave to your better Education another Daughter of my Brain’. Osborne includes a description, noted by Madan, of King James’s courtiers meeting in the nave of Saint Paul’s to discuss business and news, the author witnessing this daily conversation as a young man seeking ‘more advantagious employment’.

The early eighteenth-century ownership inscription of James Paterson places this volume at Middelburg, one of the very earliest English merchant communities in the Netherlands.

Rare with both portraits. ESTC notes three variant issues, of which this is the most common. Madan noted that the portrait of James was not integral, and noted one copy with a blank leaf in place of Elizabeth’s; a number of copies listed in ESTC are missing both.

Wing O-515; Madan 2401.

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