The Observator Number 456, Saturday, December 15, 1683.
"Phanatical Sobriety" [Broadside]. [L'Estrange, Sir Roger (1616-1704)]. [Brome, Joanna (d.1684), Publisher]. The Observator. Numb. 456. Great Pains Taken to Make the Conspiracy a Sham. Phanatical Sobriety. Their Scandalls, And the Intent of 'em. Qualifications of Witnesses. A Strange Fetch of a Gentleman to Give the King a Sum of Money. The Mischiefs of False News and Defamations. [London]: [Printed for Joanna Brome], Saturday, December 15, 1683. 13-1/2" x 9" broadsheet, text to recto and verso in parallel columns below headline. Moderate toning, light soiling, a few holes to left margin, small tear to upper right corner, single horizontal fold line. $350. * Written by prominent Royalist Roger L'Estrange, The Observator was a newspaper written in the form of a dialogue between a Tory and a Whig, named in later issues, including our example, "Observator" and "Trimmer." Founded during the Restoration, the publication served as a vehicle for his anti-Whig agenda and represented an attempt to court a mass audience, ironic given L'Estrange's years as an enthusiastic public censor. The present issue discusses the aftermath of the Rye House Plot, likely inspired in part by the execution of the Whig Algernon Sidney as a conspirator ten days earlier. The "Observator" maintains that "so much pains has been taken, to Persuade the World, that This Phanatical Plot is only a Trick of State" like the debunked Meal-Tub Plot. The Rye House Plot was ultimately more substantive than many other "conspiracies" of this period; like the others, however, it became a vehicle for the prosecution of Charles and James's political enemies and the trials of conspirators were largely shams. The Observator was published by notable printers Henry and Joanna Brome, with the latter taking over the business after her husband's death in 1681. Despite prosecution in 1681 and 1683 for her work with L'Estrange and rumors of an affair between the two, she continued to publish, uninterrupted, until her death. An interesting piece of ephemera from Restoration England. See English Short-Title Catalogue P1873.
Book number 73174