Parliament Defends Its Case Against the Earl of Strafford St. John, Oliver [1598?-1673]. [Wentworth, Thomas, First Earl of Strafford (1593-1641)]. An Argument of Law Concerning the Bill of Attainder of High-Treason of Thomas Earle of Strafford: At a Conference in a Committe of Both Houses of Parliament. By Mr. St. John His Majesties Solicitor Generall. Published by Order of the Commons House. London: Printed by G.M. For John Bartlet at the Signe of the Gilt Cup, Neare S. Austins-Gate in Pauls Church-yard, 1641. [ii], 78 pp. Quarto (7" x 5"). Recent period-style calf (by Philip Dusel), blind rules to boards, raised bands to spine, gilt tooling to board edges, printer waste visible under front pastedown. Title printed woodcut typographical border, woodcut initials and headpieces. Light toning to text, a few tiny worm holes through center of text block with no loss to legibility. A handsome copy. $1,250. * First edition, one of four printings from 1641 (priority unknown). Wentworth was a leading supporter of King Charles I and a major figure in the period leading up to the English Civil War. Scapegoated by Parliament for his "treasonous" role in the Second Bishops' War, one of the preliminary stages of the Civil War, he was condemned to death on shaky legal grounds via a bill of attainder in 1641. Feeling it necessary to yield to Parliament, Charles signed the death warrant. An Argument is an enlarged transcription of Parliament's case. A lawyer and politician, St. John served in both the Short and Long Parliaments. Along with the Earl of Bedford, John Pym and John Hamden, he formed a reformist yet moderate coalition known as the "middle group." Since St. John occupied this middle ground in Parliament, Bedford eventually convinced Charles I to appoint him Solicitor General. It was in this capacity that he led the case against Strafford. English Short-Title Catalogue R17730.
Book number 71018