Commentary on the Clandestine Marriage of the Prince of Wales Tooke, John Horne [1736-1812]. A Letter to a Friend, On the Reported Marriage of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. London: Printed for J. Johnson, 1787. [ii], 75 pp. Lacking half-title. Octavo (8-1/2" x 5-1/4"). , 75 pp. Stab-stitched pamphlet in recent plain paper wrappers, speckled edges. Light toning to interior, occasional light dampstaining, light foxing in a few places, upper outside corners of leaves E6 (pp. 59-60) and E8 (pp. 63-64) lacking with no loss to text. $650. * First edition, second issue. A letter apparently written in April and May 1787 in which Horne Tooke asserts the legality of the private marriage of Mrs. Maria Fitzherbert and the Prince of Wales in spite of the public denial of the marriage by Fox in the House of Commons. The two had been "married" on 21 December 1785 in Mrs. Fitzherbert's own drawing-room, by a Church of England clergyman, in the presence of her brother and uncle. By the Marriage Act of 1772 every marriage contracted by a member of the Royal Family under 25 years of age without the King's consent was invalid; and by the Act of Settlement if the heir-apparent married a Roman Catholic he forfeited his right to the crown. The Prince of Wales was barely 23 years old and Mrs. Fitzherbert was a Roman Catholic. English Short-Title Catalogue T38032.
Book number 72597