"THAT THE BOOK… BE FORTHWITH SEIZED, AND BURNT BY THE HAND OF THE COMMON HANGMAN"
(PARLIAMENT). Broadside—English Civil War. [Westminster: Edward Husband and John Field], 27 September 1650. Broadside, trimmed (10-1/4 by 9 inches), mounted on a larger sheet of paper. $2500.
Dramatic printed broadside from the English Civil War ordering the burning of an "impious and blasphemous book."
This broadside calls for the arrest, imprisonment, and then exile of author Laurence Clarkson, and the seizure of his book The Single Eye, which earned the censure of the government. The document reads, in part: "Upon report from the Committee for suppressing licentious and impious practices, under pretence of Religion, Liberty, &c. The Confession of Laurence Clarkson, touching the making and publishing of the impious and blasphemous book, called, The Single Eye… the said Laurence Clarkson [is to] be forthwith sent to the House of Correction, there to be kept to labor for one Moneth, and from that time to be Banished out of this Commonwealth and the Territories thereof, and not to return upon pain of Death… the book called The Single Eye, and all printed copies thereof, [are to] be forthwith seized, and burnt by the hand of the Common Hangman in the New-Palace at Westminster, and upon the Exchange; and that the Lord Major and Sheriffs of London and Middlesex, be required to cause the same to be done accordingly." Those in possession of the book are also "required and enjoined forthwith to deliver the same to the next Justice of the Peace… who are hereby required to cause the same to be publiquely burned." Another man named in this broadside, Mr. Rainborow, is stripped of his duties as a Justice of the Peace in Middlesex County, and forbidden from returning to that position anywhere in England or Wales. Wing E2432. Goldsmiths 1188.
Upper margin trimmed a little closely, affecting the printed seal at the head of the document. Near-fine condition.