[London]: n.p., 1641. 8vo. [ii], 6 pp. FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE. Title-page with medallion woodcut device with motto “Os homini sublime dedit.” Woodcut headpiece. Disbound; interior in excellent condition. Item #17605
First issue of the first edition. According to Wing, there were four issues in total, each with varying settings of the title-page. The heads of a conference details the demands of John Pym addressed to Charles I. The brief pamphlet calls for the king to disband his army, give his assent to disputed bills, and to remove his counsellors and the Catholics from his queen’s retinue. It also calls for the king’s guarantee of Pym and his family’s safety if these demands are agreed to. Printed on the eve of the English Civil War, The heads of a conference shows the deteriorating situation in the country between the monarchy and Parliament.
Pym (1584–1643) was a prominent politician, always critical of the monarchy since his political debut under James I. Notably, he was one of the “Five Members” of Parliament that King Charles I ordered the arrest of in 1642. For his part during the war, Pym, who was a staunch protestant, secured the alliances of the Scots and the French based on this shared religious belief. He also strategically arranged loans and taxes for the funds necessary for Parliament to raise an army. He passed away in December 1643, before the war ended, but his financial decisions secured the success of the Parliamentarian forces.