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Exomologesis or a faithfull narration of the occasion and motives of the Conversion unto Catholique Unity.

CRESSY Hugh-Paulin de (1647)

£120.00  [First Edition]

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First Edition. 12mo. [Text: 142 x 78 mm]. [xxii], 655, [1 (blank)] pp. (without the final blank leaf. Title-page dusty, inner margin defective and cut-short at the top and fore-margins and laid-down final leaf slightly frayed at the fore-edge and dusty on the verso, a few headlines shaved, lightly browned throughout. Mid-19th-century calf (badly worn, joints split, front cover shaky, spine breaking away, part of the leather missing from the front cover, edges worn).

Paris: Ann. Dom. 1647.

Wing C6894. Clancy 261. ESTC lists + in UK; W. A. Clark Library, Folger, Free Library of Philadelphia, Harvard, Huntington, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, Newberry Library, St Louis, Texas, Union Theological Seminary, Yale.

Reprinted in 1653 and 1659.

Having been a member of the “Great Tew circle” around Lucius Cary, Viscount Falkland and appointed a canon of Windsor, Cressy was never installed and, instead, he left England in 1644 and travelled in Europe as a tutor to Charles Berkeley, afterwards Earl of Falmouth. In 1646 he made a “public recantation of the Reformed faith before the Inquisition” (Allanson) at Rome. He then travelled to Paris where he wrote his Exomologesis (explaining the motives of his conversion) and where he studied under Henry Holden at the Sorbonne. He sent a copy of his work to his friend Henry Hammond who invited him to return to England and assured him of a safe house. Instead Cressy contemplated joining the English Carthusians at Nieuwport in Flanders but eventually joined the Benedictines at the Convent of St Gregory’s. Cressy returned to England in the suite of Catherine of Braganza as one of her Chaplains. The Catholic Church, mindful of the significant role that Cressy played in the English Mission elected him Prior of Rochester. The more moderate controvertists of the Church of England respected his work, while the views of the more extreme were summed up in characteristically loose fashion by DNB: “[Antony A] Wood says ‘this Exomologesis was the golden calf which the English papists fell down and worshipped. They brag’d that book to be unanswerable, and to have given a total overthrow to the Chillingworthians, and book and tenets of Lucius Lord Falkland”. See: Allanson (Athanasius) Biography of the English Benedictines. Saint Laurence Papers IV >, ed. Anselm Cramer OSB, (Ampleforth, 1999).

Provenance: John F. Tattersall, of Bishopston, Sussex, with early 20th-century bookplate.

Stock Code: 53701