12mo, pp. , 132; headlines and pagination cropped in quire B (as often), pagination occasionally shaved throughout, else a very good copy in contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt with a floral motif; manuscript shelfmark (crossed through) to title-page, contemporary ownership inscription of Nath[aniel] Tanner, inscribed on the front free endpaper: ‘From the Author / Mr Will: Roper / Dec: 12 1669’.
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Mazarine & Oliv. Cromwell’s Design to have taken Ostend by Treachery, in the Year 1658, written in Spanish by a Person of Quality (who was a chief Actor in the preventing of it) by way of a Letter to a Friend of his presently after the Businesse. Since printed in that Language, and now translated into English …
First edition, an account, apparently translated from an untraced Spanish original, of a failed attempt by Anglo-French forces to take the town of Ostend from the Spanish in 1658.
At the heart of the plan was a Flemish double-agent, one Col. Sebastian Spintelet (or Spindeler), recruited by Mazarin’s council to encourage a mutiny among what they were led to believe was a disaffected town and garrison; in fact Spintelet was reporting back to the Spanish governor of Flanders, John of Austria. Having recruited limited support from Cromwell and procrastinated until preparations were in place, Spintelet played out the rehearsed ‘mutiny’ of the town and the imprisonment of the governor (supposed author of this work). The main expeditionary forces, including the Marshal d’Aumont, which had been waiting out at sea, were then signalled to land, and were promptly overwhelmed and taken prisoner.
Thomas Hearne attributed A Relation to the royalist courtier and translator Sir Charles Cotterell, who served in several campaigns in Flanders in the 1650s alongside Prince Henry, a plausible but unconfirmed attribution repeated in DNB archive but not carried forward to the ODNB. It is ambiguous whether the ‘Will: Roper’ in the inscription here is the recipient or claiming responsibility. At any rate we have been unable to identify a suitable candidate.
Wing R821; this title is erroneously included in Abbott 972, but it is not a translation of the Spanish work therein mentioned, which is a 4-page Relacion verdadera on a different subject - his supposed earlier edition of 1660 must be equally suspect.
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