Brydall's 1675 Law of England Relating to the Nobility & Gentry
Brydall, John. Jus Imaginis apud Anglos; or The Law of England Relating to the Nobility & Gentry. Faithfully Collected and methodically Digested for Common Benefit. London: Printed for John Billinger . . . and Geo. Dawes, 1675.
Wing (2nd ed., 1994), B5261; Moule, T. Bibliotheca heraldica, p. 198-9; ESTC (RLIN), R251
First Edition. Binding: Rebound Hardcover (Full Leather). Book Condition: Binding Copy; Ex-Lib. Item Type: Book.
Pagination: frontispiece, title p., , folded plate, 76, 
Copperplate frontispiece of the Royal Coat of Arms on verso of front flyleaf. Fold-out plate (10 1/4” by 6 5/8”) headed “Schema Operis” is a table of the titles of nobility and order of precedence. With bookseller's advertisement for George Dawes on p. . Missing last blank leaf. Size: 6"-7" - Sextodecimo (16mo).
In his preface, Brydall writes that he has written this work now that the High Court of Chivalry has reopened. The court, which rules on whether or not individuals are in line for a title, had been dissolved by the Long Parliament in 1640. A Yale Library note describes him as “a conservative, monarchist barrister.” His royalist sympathies are evidence in his preface where he bemoans the state of affairs under the Commonwealth: “We have seen a Woful Tragedy of ... Royal Majesty for a long space Ecclipsed, and the Nobility and Gentry lodged in the Chambers of Obscurity. By shutting up the Temple of Honor, and Chivalry, with some others that I could name : And what has followed? nothing but the Growth of Popery, Fanaticism, Perjury, Debauchery, and all manner of Discorder” (pp. [iv]-[v]). Brydall works through the various ranks of nobility and gentry, explaining their origins and rules of hereditary and dealing with such topics as the exemption of a Peer from arrest, the degradation of a Peer for poverty and the “Small or Little Diversity betwixt a Squire and a Gentleman.”
Rebound in full leather with the name of the "Birmingham Law Society" embossed in gilt on the front cover, the title "Nobility Brydall" and the date "16|75" on the spine and the emblem of the society on the rear cover. The leather is crackled and heavily worn with areas of surface loss. The edges of the spine are worn and the top 1/2" at the head of the spine is a tab that is barely hanging on. The end paper covering the front hinge is split at the top 1" and bottom 2 1/2". The rear hinge is firm. The binding is broken between the frontispiece and title page and the first signature (to the folded chart) is loose.
The paper is tanned from age, but still supple. There is some soiling along the side page edges and some spots throughout. A couple of leaves (pp. 65-68) have deckled edges where the paper was not quite as wide as the cut size. The page edges are darkened.
This is an Ex-Lib copy with a bookplate for the society on the inside front cover and a round stamp at the top of the first page of text (p. 1).
WorldCat shows 37 holdings under four separate OCLC numbers: 9623922 (31 holdings), 228675088 (3 holdings), 1015527214 (2 holdings) and 457178124 (1 holding).
Shipped Weight: 0 lbs 6 oz.
Inventory No: 1241.