1680. A Victim of the Popish Plot [Trial]. Finch, Heneage, Earl of Nottingham [1621-1682]. Stafford, William Howard [1614-1680], Defendant. The Speech of the Lord High Steward, In Westminster Hall, At the Time of His Pronouncing the Judgment of the House of Peers Against the Lord Viscount Stafford, The Seventh of December, 1680. London: Printed by the Assigns of John Bill, Thomas Newcomb, And Henry Hills, 1680. 12 pp. Main text preceded by licence leaf. Folio (11-1/4" x 7-1/2"). Stab-stitched pamphlet bound into recent cloth, gilt title to spine. Light soiling to extremities. Moderate toning, untrimmed edges, negligible light foxing. Ex-library. Bookplate to front pastedown. * Only edition, the longest and most complete of three accounts, all published in 1680. Stafford was one of several Roman Catholic peers sentenced to death for treason in the wake of the Popish Plot. A fictitious conspiracy to assassinate Charles II, it provoked a spasm of anti-Catholic hysteria in England and Scotland that led to the executions of at least 22 men between 1678 and 1681 and harsh laws against Catholics. One of the victims was Viscount Stafford. Finch, who presided over the trial, suspected Stafford's innocence. His speech indicates his discomfort when he sentenced Stafford to death. OCLC locates no copies of any of the 3 accounts in North American libraries. The ESTC locates 1 copy, of the John Bill imprint and one other account, at the New York Public Library. English Short-Title Catalogue R14962. (Inventory #: 65735)
Law & Legal History, International Law, Trials, Americana, Criminology, Early Printed Law Books, Legal Ephemera, Manuscripts: Law, Political Science
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