Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/189

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173
Our Last Book-Fires.

and a serjeant-at-arms to the King, and in this way won his small title to fame.

By the beginning of the eighteenth century, the House of Lords had come to assume a more active jurisdiction over the Press. Thus in 1702, within a few days we find them severely censuring the notorious Dr. Drake's History of the Last Parliament, begun 1700; somebody's Tom Double J returned out of the Country; or, The True Picture of a modern Whig; Dr. Blinke's violent sermon, preached on January 30th, 1701, before the Lower House of Convocation; and a pamphlet, inviting over the Elector of Hanover. In the same month they condemned to be burnt by the hangman a book entitled. Animadversions upon the two last 30th of January Sermons: one preached to the Honourable House of Commons, the other to the Lower House of Convocation, In a letter. They resolved that it was "a malicious, villainous libel, containing very many reflections on King Charles I., of ever-blessed memory, and tending to the subversion of the Monarchy,"

But the more general practice was for the House of Lords to seek the concurrence of the other House in the consignment of printed matter to the flames a concurrence which in those days was of