THE BOOK WITH WHICH MONTROSE WAS HANGED

I. G. de rebus auspiciis serenssimi, & potentissimi Caroli Dei gratia Magnae Brittanniae, Franciae & Hiberniae Regis, &c. Sub imperio illustrissimi Jacobi Montisrosarum marchionis, comitis de Kincardin, &c …

[Amsterdam or The Hague,] 1647.

8vo, pp. [xxiv], 248; printed on fine, thick paper; a fine copy in contemporary olive-green morocco, with a double gilt panel, fleur-de-lis cornerpieces, central floral lozenge, gilt edges, spine sunned, front joint just starting at head and foot; nineteenth-century bookplates of Thomas Maitland of Dundrennan, and John Whitefoord Mackenzie, gift inscription dated 1949.

£1750

Approximately:
US $2197€2048

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I. G. de rebus auspiciis serenssimi, & potentissimi Caroli Dei gratia Magnae Brittanniae, Franciae & Hiberniae Regis, &c. Sub imperio illustrissimi Jacobi Montisrosarum marchionis, comitis de Kincardin, &c …

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First edition, rare, a fine paper copy in a handsome binding, of an account of the campaign of James Graham, Marquess of Montrose, against the Covenanters in 1644−46.

George Wishart, imprisoned in Edinburgh, was sent as part of a delegation of royalists to appeal for Montrose’s clemency as he marched on Edinburgh in 1645, and thereafter remained with Montrose as his chaplain, accompanying him to the Continent, where this work was published. It contributed widely to Montrose’s reputation in Europe, but was also used as evidence against him when he was tried in absentia in 1649. He was sentenced to be hanged with Wishart’s book around his neck, a sentence carried out in 1650 after he was captured and brought to Edinburgh.

There were two issues of the work, on ordinary paper and on fine paper as here (see Maggs Catalogue 481, 1926); this is the only copy thus we can trace with certainty. In 1648 a reprint was published in Amsterdam and an English translation in The Hague (reprinted in London in 1662).

Provenance: Thomas Maitland, Lord Dundrennan (1792−1851), solicitor general for Scotland, and possessor of a large library sold by auction over nine days in 1851; John Whitefoord Mackenzie (1794−1884), whose collection of Scottish books was sold in March and April 1886. Subsequently sold at Sotheby’s 10 November 1916 (‘Wotton binding’, £3 7s 6d to Maggs); it appeared periodically in Maggs catalogues through to the 1940s.

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