Book #70928

The Speech of Sir Audley Mervyn Knight; His Majesties Prime Serjeant.

Questions Concerning the Irish Act of Settlement Mervyn, Sir Audley [d.1675]. The Speech of Sir Audley Mervyn Knight; His Majesties Prime Serjeant at Law, And Speaker of the House of Commons in Ireland. Delivered to His Grace James Duke of Ormond, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, The 13 Day of February, 1662. In the Presence-Chamber in the Castle of Dublin. Containing the Sum of Affairs in Ireland; But More Especially, The Interest of Adventurers and Souldiers. [London]: Printed at Dublin; And Re-Printed at London by J. Streater, By Speciall Order, 1662. [ii], 40 pp. Lacking final leaf, which contains an order to print. Quarto (7-1/2" x 5-1/2"). Disbound stab-stitched pamphlet. Soiling and a few tears to title page, chipping to top-edges of title page and following three leaves with minor loss to text, moderate toning to interior, light soiling and brief annotations in early hand to pp. 1 and 40, another early annotations to verso of title page. $500. * First edition, one of three issues and the only issue printed in England. Passed by the Irish Parliament in 1662, the Act of Settlement was a partial reversal of 1652 Act for the Settlement of Ireland, which punished Irish Catholics and Royalists for fighting against the English Parliament in Civil War with the wholesale confiscation of their lands and property, which was then passed into Protestant hands. The Court of Claims was established to implement the 1662 act and it was immediately embroiled in political conflict. Alarmed that the Court was absolving too many Catholics and restoring their lands, the Protestant-dominated Irish House of Commons attempted to change the Court's rules. Mervyn's speech defended the Court with detailed legal reasoning and an appeal to English liberties. It offered 20 proposals to make it a fairer and more effective court. Unfortunately, Charles II rebuffed Mervyn and the Court was allowed to expire before it could hear most of the claims by Catholic petitioners. All three issues of the Speech are scarce. OCLC locates 7 copies of the London issue in North America, none in law libraries. English Short-Title Catalogue R904.

Price: $500.00

Book number 70928

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