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“Had More To Do With Preparing The Minds Of American Colonists For The American

Revolution Than… Coke, Sidney And Locke”

2. CARE, Henry.

English Liberties.

London, 1682. Small octavo, contemporary full brown sheep

rebacked with original spine laid down, custom clamshell box.


Rare first edition, containing printings of the

Magna Charta and other seminal documents

on the separation of church and state, the

right to religious liberty, trial by jury and oth-

er founding principles. It had more to do with

preparing the minds of American colonists

for the American Revolution than the larger

but less accessible works of Coke, Sidney and

Locke” (Hudson, 580–85).

Care was tried in

1680 for attacking the Church of England,

linking some of its high-ranking members

to the alleged Popish Plot of 1678. The jury

found him guilty, and Care was prohibited

from printing his journal.


English Liberties

contains “the most

important documents and statements in

English history and law concerning liberty,

property and the rights of the individual...

Benjamin Franklin knew its contents thor-

oughly” (Lemay, 74). “His vocabulary and

ideas appeared in the writings of the found-

ing fathers of the United States—Samuel

Adams, John Adams, John Dickinson and

Hamilton. In their speeches and writings

may be found exactly the same language

that Care used in

English Liberties

when he

praised the ‘two main pillars of the British

Constitution,’ identifying those pillars as

parliament and trial by jury… His ideas,

like those of William Penn and John Locke,

which they profoundly resemble, were ahead

of their time” (Schwoerer, 231–5). Near-fine.