The Trial of the Seven Bishops [Trials]. [Sancroft, William (1617-1693), Et Al. Defendants]. The Proceedings and Tryal in the Case of The Most Reverend Father in God William, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, And the Right Reverend Fathers in God, William Ld. Bishop of Asaph, Francis Lord Bishop of Ely, John Lord Bishop of Chichester, Thomas Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells, Thomas Lord Bishop of Peterborough, and Jonathan Ld. Bishop of Bristol. In the Court of Kings-Bench at Westminster, in Trinity-Term in the Fourth Year of the Reign of King James the Second, Annoque; Dom. 1688. London: Printed for the Booksellers in Town and Country, 1739. 431 pp. Folding copperplate portrait frontispiece of the seven bishops. Octavo (6-1/2" x 4-1/4"). Later three-quarter calf over marbled boards, gilt spine with raised bands. Moderate rubbing to boards, heavier rubbing to extremities with some wear to board edges, a few small chips to spine ends, corners bumped and somewhat worn, hinges starting, "Hanch Hall" in nineteenth-century hand to front pastedown. Light toning to interior, edgewear to head of folding plate just touching border of image, faint smudges to a few laves, light soiling to title page. $500. * Third, final and best edition of a work first published in 1689. In 1688 James II reissued his Declaration of Indulgence, which suspended the penal laws enacted against Catholics and dissenters, and ordered the Anglican clergy to read it to their congregations. The Archbishop of Canterbury and six bishops petitioned against this order on the ground that the suspending power had been declared illegal by Parliament. They were indicted in the King's Bench for seditious libel, but were acquitted to great public acclaim. The "Trial of the Seven Bishops," as it came to be known, confirmed the subject's right to petition the crown. Moreover, by assigning the questions of publication and libel to a jury the court set a precedent that was later enacted into law by the Fox Libel Act of 1792. The trial also reflects the antipathy of English Protestants towards Catholicism and the Stuarts. Indeed, this trial was one of the events that led to the Glorious Revolution of 1688. English Short-Title Catalogue T100946.
Book number 73381