Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/54

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

axe not of themselves sufficient title to the Crown; whilst in the second part a temporal lawyer discusses the tides of particular claimants to the succession of Queen Elizabeth. Among these, that of the Earl of Essex, to whom the book was dedicated, is discussed the object of the book being to baffle the title of King James to the succession, and to fix it either on Essex or the Infanta of Spain. No wonder it gave great offence to the Queen, for it advocated also the lawfulness of deposing her; and it throws some light on those intrigues with the Jesuits which at one time formed so marked an incident in the eventful career of that unfortunate earl. Great efforts were made to suppress it, and there is a tradition that the printer was hanged, drawn, and quartered.

The book itself has played no small part in our history, for not only was Milton's Defensio mainly taken from it, but it formed the chief part of Bradshaw's long speech at the condemnation of Charles I. In 1681, when Parliament was debating the subject of the exclusion of the Duke of York from the succession, it was thought well to reprint it; but only two years later it was among the books which had the honour of being condemned to the flames