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1677 Folio Memoirs of the Lives and Actions of James and William Dukes of Hamilton

SKU: biblio 123 $649.00
In which an Account is given of the Rise and Progress of the Civil Wars of Scotland with other Great Transactions both in England and Germany, from the Year 1625, to the Year 1652. Together with many Letters, Instructions, and other Papers, Written by King Charles the I. London, Printed by J. Grover, for R. Royston, Bookseller to the Kings Most Excellent Majesty, 1677.

Folio, 12 x 7.5 in. First edition. 3, a6, B-Zz, Aa-Zz4, Aaa-Lll4. This copy contains the excellent portraits including one of Carolus Primus by G. Faithome and one of William Duke of Hamilton by R. White. This copy is bound in 18th century calf that has been rebacked. It has a spine label and gilt spine compartments. The top right-hand corner of the title page has been ripped with a loss of three letters, and the page has been repaired. “[Burnet’s] vacations were spent chiefly in Hamilton, where the duchess engaged him in putting in order all the papers relating to her father’s and uncle’s political careers. Lauderdale, who had his own reasons for anxiety as to the light which might be cast upon transactions in which he had himself been engaged, no sooner heard of this than he sent for Burnet to come to court that he might give him all the information in his power. The ‘Memoirs of the Dukes of Hamilton’, Burnet’s first historical work, was published in 1676, [actually 1677]. His investigations led in a curious way to a reconciliation between Hamilton and the court. Among the papers which he examined were found undoubted claims of the family upon the crown, for satisfaction of which Hamilton consented to concur in the court measures. This was 1671”. (DNB) In Burnet’s Preface to “Memoirs”, he states one of the reasons for undertaking this work, saying, “And particularly, I wondered to find James Duke of Hamilton represented to the World, with such foul and base Characters, as if he had been a Monster both for Ingratitude and Treachery, though he had laid down his Life for the King, and involved his Estate in vast Debts for His Service. It seemed to me the greatest Injustice in the world, that one who served his Prince and his Country so long, and so faithfully, and sealed all with his blood, should not only be deprived of the Honour due to his Memory, but that a company of ignorant and impudent Slanderes should do what they could to attaint his Blood and Family, by the black Imputations they have cast on him, and that this should pass current without any Vindications.” Wing B-5832