Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/183

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167
Book Fires of the Revolution.

Anne's reign was William Fleetwood, Bishop of St. Asaph; and this for the preface to four sermons he had preached and published: (t) on the death of Queen Mary, 1694 j (2) on the death of the Duke of Gloucester, 1700; (3) on the death of King William, 1701; (4) on the Queen's Accession, in 1702. It was voted to the public flames on June loth, 1 71 2, as "malicious and factious, highly reflecting upon the present administration of public affairs under Her Majesty, and tending to create discord and sedition among her subjects." The burning of the preface caused it to be the more read, and some 4,000 numbers of the Spectator, No. 384, carried it far and wide. Probably it was more read than the prelate's numerous tracts and sermons, such as his Essay on Miracles, or his Vindication of the Thirteenth of Romans.

The bishop belonged to the party that was dissatisfied with die terms of the Peace of Utrecht, then pending, and his preface was clearly written as a vehicle or vent for his political sentiments. The offensive passage ran as follows: "We were, as all the world imagined then, just entering on the ways that promised to lead to such a peace as would have answered all the prayers of our religious Queen . . . when