London: Printed by J.N. [John Norton] for Abel Roper, 1641. 4to. [ii], 14 pp. FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE. Woodcut device on title, woodcut initials and headpieces. Half-morocco and pebbled boards, title in gilt on spine; other than browning on the fly-leaf, interior excellent. From the Markree Library with its small book label on the paste-down. Item #17576
First edition, first issue, with “Eagle” spelled correctly in the imprint. Waller (1606–1687) was a poet and politician. He was incredibly wealthy and much admired in the court of Charles I for his poetry. He served in Parliament up until his exile in 1645. In July 1641, soon after the Long Parliament was called into session, Waller spoke to both Houses calling for caution and class solidarity among his colleagues and constitutional moderation. He specifically discusses the impending impeachment of a Royalist judge, Sir Francis Crawley (1574/5–1650). Crawley had argued that Charles’s implementation of taxes on ships was within the right of the king. However, the ship-money tax was a serious point of contention between Parliamentarians and Royalists, and Crawley was removed from his position. Waller, even though he supported the king, came out against the impeached judge stating that “he did not only only give as deepe a wound to the Commonwealth as any of the rest, but dipt his dart in such a poyson, that so farre as in him lay it might never receive a cure.” Despite this, Waller was eventually exiled for his role in the so-called “Waller’s Plot” that initially began as an act of passive resistance among the citizens of London but soon developed into a violent plan to raise an army for Charles I within the city.