(London: Henry Bynneman, for Humfrey Toy, 1574). 130 x 88 mm. (5 1/8 x 3 1/2"). 1 p.l., 194 pp. (lacking first and last blanks). FIRST EDITION.
18th century red morocco-backed marbled boards, rebacked preserving original backstrip, flat spine with gilt rules dividing it into panels with fleuron centerpieces, black morocco label. Title page with xylographic frame. Front pastedown with bookplate of the Fox Pointe Collection and with ink inscription "Sibthorp of Canwick"; title page with neatly inked name of the T. C. of the title (Thomas Cartwright); isolated neat marginal markings. STC 10393; ESTC S101105. Boards rather soiled, extremities somewhat rubbed, head and fore edges trimmed a bit close, often shaving headline and occasionally touching shoulder notes, a touch of browning to edges, otherwise an excellent copy, the text clean and crisp, and the binding pleasant and solid.
A response to the Presbyterian Thomas Cartwright's "An Admonition to the Parliament" attacking the Elizabethan Church of England, this rare book is part of what DNB deems "the most remarkable body of writings completed by any early Stuart politician with the exception of Sir Francis Bacon." Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton (1540-1614) was the son of the poet and courtier, the earl of Surrey, and grandson of the powerful duke of Norfolk. Tutored by the martyrologist John Foxe and humanist Hadrianus Junius before receiving his degree from King's College, Cambridge, Northampton successfully navigated the treacherous waters of Elizabethan politics, eventually working with Robert Cecil to insure the succession of James IV after Elizabeth's death. He also found time to write a series of treatises DNB judges as an "enduring legacy, of an intellectual rather than material kind," noting his talent for "choosing the subjects carefully to underscore his political reliability and orthodoxy, and adorning his work with the elaborate apparatus of Renaissance scholarship." Here, he addresses such theological controversies as the attire to be worn by priests and bishops, the right of bishops to intervene in civil matters, the act of kneeling for communion, and the wearing of veils by women. It is clear his intended audience was the layperson, as he thoughtfully translates any Latin or Greek text he cites in support of his arguments. Copies of this work are almost never seen in the marketplace: in addition to our copy (which seems to have sold three times over the years), we could only trace in RBH and ABPC one other copy, sold with a title page in facsimile. (ST14949)