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Author: Prynne, William:

Title: The Soveraigne Power of Parliaments and Kingdomes: Divided into Foure Parts Together with an Appendix [...]; [bound with] Romes Master-peece [...]; [bound with] The Opening of the Great Seale of England; [bound with] An Humble Remonstrance Against the Tax of Ship-Money Lately Imposed [...]

Publication: London: printed for Michael Sparke Senior, 1643.

Description: Small 4to. (225 x 170mm), pp.[xii], 56, [i], 78-112; [iv], 38, ff. 39-40, pp.41-56, ff.57-60, pp.57-79, [i]; [viii], 150, [iv], 36, 112, 121-218, [ii]; 36 (with p.36 misnumbered), [ii]; [ii], 32, [ii]; [ii], 34. Woodcut intials and decorations. Various pen and pencil annotations, occasional light spots and smudges. To the first part of Soveraigne Power, a horizontal closed tear to pp.109-10 affecting one line of text; a second tear in the same place on the following leaf has been repaired to verso, one line of text to the recto has been affected but remains legible. Approximately 1cm loss across the head margin of pp.111-2, not affecting text. A v-shaped tear to the same page creates a triangular flap (approx 2 x 1.5 x 1cm) affecting the text but causing no loss. Near contemporary brown speckled calf, almost invisibly rebacked and corners repaired, raised bands, red morocco gilt title label to spine, renewed endpapers toned at edges, faded text inked to fore-edge. An interesting and handsome copy, very good. Illegible ownership inscription to top of first title-page. Manuscript notes to two initial blanks. To the first: four lines of contemporary manuscript (the first line now illegible); a single line in later pencil, querying whether the handwriting above may be that of Prynne; the rest of the page filled with notes on Prynne in a later but still old hand. To the following page: seven lines of text in the same contemporary hand; again in pencil, 'The autograph of Prynne?'. Both of these leaves have had their tattered edges carefully repaired. We have obtained a copy of an extensive example of Prynne's handwriting from the University of Nottingham's Special Collections Department, but are unable to say definitively whether the script is his.

Rome's Master-peece is found here in a variant edition with the first 'c' omitted from 'conscience ' on the title-page. It also retains its final leaf, 'The Examination of Henry Mayo'. The Opening of the Great Seale [...] has the misprint 'Lodon' to title-page. 'Although Prynne's was the officially commissioned defence by parliament of its sovereignty (and he had read, and quoted, Jean Bodin on sovereignty), it is no landmark in political theory. Rather, The Soveraigne Powers of Parliaments is a series of post hoc justifications of actions taken by the parliamentary army during the campaign itself. The full title of the work reflects Prynne's priorities: The Treachery and Disloyalty of Papists to their Soveraignes, in Doctrine and Practise.' (ODNB)

Bibliography: ESTC R203193, R212542, R234376 & R212529 respectively; Wing P4087A, P4089, P4103, P3962' P4055, P4026 & P3982 respectively.

Reference Number: [51308]

Price: £1000

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