London: William Stansby, 1616. 4to. [xvi], 543, 1 pp. (lacking four leaves, Gg3-6, pp. 453-460; and some mispagination). FIRST EDITION. Woodcut headpieces and initials. Eighteenth century blind-tooled calf, spine in compartments with manuscript labels (title and shelfmark), red speckled fore-edge. From the library of John Marques of Tweeddale, Earle of Gifford Viscount Walden, Lord Hay of Yester &c. with the “Spare Nought” armorial bookplate. The Marquess of Tweedale was a family of Scottish nobles in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries led by John Hay, 1st Marquess of Tweedale (1625-1697) and his eldest son, John Hay, 2nd Marquess of Tweedale (1645-1713). Item #17518
First edition. Beard here vehemently attacks the Church of Rome writing that “She is the Whore of Babylon, with whome the Kings of the Earth have committed fornication, and who hath made drunke with the Wine of her fornications all the Inhabitants of Earth.” Dedicated to Cromwell, there was a reissue in 1616 with a cancel title page and additional line regarding publication: “are to be sold by Henrie Fetherstone.” Beard (d. 1632) was a Puritan Doctor of Divinity and Oliver Cromwell’s schoolmaster at Huntingdon. He published several works during his lifetime all on the topic of theology with strong condemnation of Catholicism or what he described as the “Romish religion.” This rare book is indicative of the religious tension and Puritan unrest in the decades leading up to the English Civil War.