Tryal of Henry Baron Delamere for High-Treason

Henry Booth BARON DELAMERE

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Item#: 127248 price:$450.00

Tryal of Henry Baron Delamere for High-Treason
Tryal of Henry Baron Delamere for High-Treason

"THERE IS A NECESSITY IN POINT OF LAW, THAT THERE SHOULD BE TWO POSITIVE WITNESSES TO CONVICT A MAN OF TREASON": THE TRIAL OF BARON DELAMERE FOR HIGH TREASON, 1686 FOLIO FIRST EDITION

(BARON DELAMERE, Henry Booth). The Tryal of Henry Baron Delamere for High-Treason, in Westminster-Hall, the 14th Day of January, 1685. London: Dorman Newman, 1686. Slim folio (8 by 12 inches), modern three-quarter tan calf, burgundy morocco spine label, marbled boards; pp. (iv), 87. $450.

First edition of this account of the trial of the Baron Delamere for treason against James II, wherein he was accused of participating in the Monmouth Rebellion—an attempt by the Duke of Monmouth, an illegitimate son of Charles II, to depose James II and claim the throne.

"His father having died the year before, Booth took his seat in the House of Lords as second Baron Delamere when parliament assembled shortly after James II ascended the throne in 1685. Then in July, he was again arrested on a charge of high treason. Suspected of complicity in the Monmouth rebellion, he was essentially held incommunicado and without formal indictment for several months on the government's expectation that sufficient evidence would come to hand to warrant a trial and secure the conviction he had managed to side-step two years earlier" (ODNB). The judge picked bore a personal grudge against Delamere, and hand-picked 30 Tory jurors prejudiced against Delamere as well. Nonetheless, "at the end of the trial, one by one, each of the 27 lord triers then present declared him not guilty, although Ailesbury reported that the earl of Peterborough, groom of the stole, whispered into the ear of his neighbor just afterwards, 'Guilty by God' (Memoirs, 1.135). In fact, the case became something of a cause célèbre that caught the attention of the entire political spectrum… Certainly most other loyalists would have agreed with Peterborough's private view of the matter; but the patent unfairness of the proceeding, the trammeling of aristocratic privilege, and perhaps some element of disquiet growing out of the savage revenge visited upon even the most humble followers of Monmouth combined to save Delamere from the axe" (ODNB). With imprimatur leaf preceding the title page. Wing T2189. Catalogue of the Library of the Harvard Law School, 1060.

Faint toning to preliminaries, text quite clean, binding fine.

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