12mo, pp. , 385, [1 (blank)], [2 (advertisements)]; tear to N2; a good copy in contemporary marbled calf, spine gilt-ruled in compartments with gilt red sheep lettering-piece, board-edges roll-tooled in gilt, edges speckled green, sewn on 3 sunken cords; rubbed, splits to joints, lower board detached; upper board signed ‘Henry’, ink ownership inscription of John Scott to half-title with his booklabel to upper pastedown, very occasional pencil markings and annotation.
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An Apology for the Bible, in a Series of Letters, addressed to Thomas Paine, Author of a Book entitled The Age of Reason, Part the Second, being an Investigation of true and of fabulous Theology … third Edition. London, T. Evans, Cadell & Davies, P. Elmsley, J. Debrett, J.
Third edition of ‘a crucial defence of the political and social order’ (ODNB), published the same year as the first edition. Though his first political sermon, The Principles of the Revolution Vindicated, was in 1776 interpreted as a radical statement of support for the American rebels, Richard Watson, Bishop of Llandaff from 1782, remained a staunch defender of Locke’s principles and by the 1790s was seen as conservative, his most successful work being the present criticism of Paine’s deism.
From the library of John Scott, first earl of Eldon (1751–1838), a member of Pitt’s ministry who, as Attorney-General from 1793, prosecuted cases of sedition and treason against the radicals influenced by Paine’s Rights of Man. The ‘best hated man in England’ (ODNB), he led the prosecutions of John Horne Tooke and Thomas Hardy, defended the harsh sentences imposed on the Scottish Martyrs, and implemented the Traitorous Correspondence Act of 1793 and the Treasonable Practices and Seditious Meetings Acts of 1795, greatly restricting free assembly and freedom of speech.
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EDITED BY THOMAS HOLLIS SYDNEY, Algernon.
Discourses concerning Government … with his Letters, Trial, Apology, and some Memoirs of his Life.
Second Millar edition of Sidney’s important Discourses, accompanied by other works. A prominent political theorist opposed to monarchy, Algernon Sidney (1623–1683) wrote the Discourses between 1681 and 1683, argues for armed resistance to oppressive government; the text, which ‘places Sidney alongside Milton as the master of republican eloquence’ and ‘includes the only explicit seventeenth-century defence of “rebellion”’ (ODNB), was found in manuscript on Sydney’s arrest and unprecedentedly used as a second witness at his trial for high treason, with Jeffreys’s justification that ‘screbere est agere’. Convicted on the evidence of these Discourses, Sidney was executed, and his Discourses left unpublished for fifteen years.
A Fair Representation of His Majesty’s Right to Nova-Scotia or Acadie. Briefly stated from the Memorials of the English Commissaries; with an Answer to the Objections contained in the French Memorials, and in a Treatise, entitled, Discussion sommaire sur les anciennes limites de l’Acadie.
First edition. ‘Résumé très bien fait de toute la question des frontières de l’Acadie entre la France et l’Angleterre; mais écrit au point de vue de l’Angleterre seulement’ (Gagnon).