Maggs Bros Ltd

Certain Speeches made upon the day Yearly Election of Officers in the City of Gloucester.

DORNEY, John (1653)

£1800.00  [First Edition]

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Being in the Charter-Language of the said City.

First Edition. Small 8vo. [140 x 90 mm]. [8], 83, [3] pp., with the woodcut arms of the City of Gloucester, the single leaf of prefatory verse by Sam Kenrick and the final "Catalogue of the names of several officers". Small spot in the blank lower margin of B1-2, a couple of other minor spots in places, errata corrected in an early hand. Contemporary sheep, ruled in blind, smooth spine (spine heavily worn with a hole near the foot, covers and edges rubbed and bumped, couple of chips from the upper board).

London: by A.M. for Tho. Underhill,

Rare.Wing D1932 (BL and Bodley in UK; Harvard, W. A. Clark [lacking the initial Gloucester coat of arms leaf and the second "Copy of verses" leaf], Texas [ESTC states this copy is defective but the librarian confirms it is complete] and Yale in USA.

A collection of speeches marking the 10th anniversary of the Siege of Gloucester.

The book opens with a full-page woodcut of the new arms of the city of Gloucester which were presented to the city in 1652 in celebration of their triumph over the Royalist forces, the motto - "Fides Invicta Triumphat" (Unconquered Faith Triumphs) - gives a sense of why these altered arms were declared void after the Restoration. Facing the arms is a 16 line poem by Samuel Kenrick ("one of the Ministers of the City") which praises "Regall power oppos'd" and a country "over-runne by bloudy men". Dorney dedicates the book to the Mayor William Capell and the major dignitaries of the city before stating that he chose to present his speeches in this volume in order to present them to Gloucester and its people as a reminder of their former struggles.

Gloucester became one of the key battle grounds in the English Civil War and the siege of Gloucester in 1643 was a vital victory for the parliamentarian forces. Colonel Edward Massey was ordered by the King to surrender Gloucester on August 10 but refused and successfully defended the heavily besieged city. The taking of Gloucester was deemed so important to the King that he demanded Prince Rupert have a newly built cannon shipped over from the Continent to bombard the city walls. The troops were not trained to use such an enormous cannon and it exploded at the first attempt to fire it. Massey was able to protect the city despite even further bombardment and the embarrassment felt by the Royalist forces is perhaps best highlighted by Charles II's demand, after the Restoration, that the walls of the city be finally torn down. John Dorney, the town clerk from 1640/1-1662 and again from 1667 to his death in 1674, published his journal of the siege soon after asA briefe and exact relation of the most materiall and remarkable passages that hapned in the...City of Glocester(1643).

Dorney's first speech is dated October 2nd 1643 and places Gloucester in a wider national context by stressing that many places have been touched by the ravages of the civil war, but that "Gloucester is Gloucester; others the objects of pitty, whilest yours of envy" (p.2). The following speeches, given each October on the occasion of the the elction of a new mayor and other officers, name the newly elected officers and their responsibilities, mark the first annual anniversary of Massey's victory over the Royalist forces, explain the re-building of the city as well as providing general information about the civil war and its effects across the country. At the end is a double-page table recording the names of the officers of Gloucester between 1642 and 1652.

Provenance: Sir Thomas Crawley-Boevey (1744-1818), engraved bookplate on the front pastedown. The Crawley family of Gloucestershire adopted the additional Boevey name when Thomas Crawley inherited Flaxley Abbey in 1726. The small signature "T.C. Boevey" in the upper fore-corner of the title-page may be the 3rd baronet, also called Sir Thomas Crawley-Boevey (1769-1847).

Stock Code: 63246