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The Principles of the Revolution vindicated in a Sermon preached before the University of Cambridge, on Wednesday, May 29 1776.

Watson Richard (1776)

£550.00  [First Edition]

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First edition. 4to., [2], ii, 13, [1] pp. Three small ink stains to the verso of B1 and recto of B2, title-page a touch wrinkled, but overall a very good large margined copy, disbound.

Cambridge: J. Archdeacon printer to the University,

Adams, 76-160a; Sabin 102145.

First edition of a stirring sermon in support of principles of the American revolution penned on the eve of the declaration of American independence by the radical bishop of Llandaff Richard Watson..

"In other years this would have been seen as an unexceptionable restatement of Locke's whig doctrine, but with the Americans on the brink of declaring independence it was perceived by many as a bold support of the rebels" (ODNB).

Watson's radical egalitarianism is evident in the first sentence of the work; Watson writes that: "Mankind may be considered as one great aggregate of equal and independent individuals, whom various natural and moral causes have been contributing for above four thousand years to disperse over the surface of the earth . . . God, as an impartial parent, has put us all upon a level; we are all sprung from the same stock, born into the world under the same natural advantages" (pp. 1-2).

Watson abandoned his strident egalitarianism when faced with the realities of the French Revolution. "Like many Englishmen, Watson first welcomed and later denounced it. Its early stages appeared consistent with Lockean principles ... but the French Revolution changed significantly in 1792, and after the execution of Louis XVi in January 1793 Watson could no longer support it" (ODNB).

Stock Code: 61787