Brydall's 1680 Jura Coronae: His Majesties Royal Rights and Prerogatives Asserted

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Brydall, John. Jura Coronae. His Majesties Royal Rights and Prerogatives Asserted, Against Papal Usurpations, and all other Anti-Monarchial Attempts and Practices. Collected out of the Body of the Municipal Laws of England.  London: Printed for George Dawes, 1680.

First Edition. Binding: Hardcover (Quarter Leather). Book Condition: Very Good- Condition; Ex-Lib. Item Type: Book.

Pagination: [xvi], 147, [v] ; ill. Copperplate engraving of the Royal Coat of Arms on verso of front flyleaf, chart of the royal line from Henry 7th to James 1st set in type (p. 37). The text includes Errata (verso of the leaf facing p. 1), a Postscript (pp 127-134), an essay entitled “The Author’s Sentiments touching Government” (pp. 135-147) and a catalog of “Books Printed for, and sold by George Dawes” (pp. [148-152]). Size: 6"-7" - Sextodecimo (16mo).

Although the work was published anonymously, it has been long recognized as the work of John Brydall. A Yale Library note describes Brydall as “a conservative, monarchist barrister.” His royalist sympathies are in full display here, though in his preface he couches his support of the royal prerogative with an appeal to its long-standing existence. “I do not, in asserting the Sacred Rights and Prerogatives of his more Serene Majesty, plead for a Dispotical Sovereignty,” he writes. “I endeavor only to maintain such Royal, Ancient, Setled, Paternal Authority, as we and our Ancestors, have lived long and happily under: A Government indeed not only Royal, but Politick, which by an Admirable Temperament, gives very much to Subjects Industry, Liberty and Happiness, and yet reserves enough to the Majesty and Prerogative of any King, who owns his People as Subjects, not as Slaves” (pp. [ii]-[iii]).

In his appended essay, “The Author’s Sentiments touching Government,” Brydall admits to being “a great Admirer of Monarchy (especially that of England …).” Starting with the premise that in Scripture “there is not one word to commend or doth so much as favour either Aristocracy or Democracy,” Brydall argues  “God is the immediate Author of Sovereignty in the King,” (p. 136) and the position of king is foreshadowed by the “Sovereign Power … fix’d in the Person of Adam” (p. 138). Monarchy also carries “a Resemblance of the Government of the whole World by One, that is, God Almighty” (p. 140). Succession by heredity “is much better than Elective Monarchy,” he argues. “That this is so, Let the Reader but consult Historians, and they will make it as evident and clear, as the Sun-shine at Noon-day” (p. 141). Case closed!

WorldCat shows seven holdings under two OCLC numbers: 15230912 (6 holdings) and 1190669427 (1 holding). This is one of the books included in the 1828 catalog of books at the University of Virginia Law Library.

Quarter bound in leather with pebbled cloth over boards. The leather shows wear at the corners with the tips worn through to the board and along the spine's edges. The spine has six compartments with a red morocco label with the author and title embossed in one and the name of the socity embossed in the one at the foot of the spine. The name of the society is embossed in gilt on the first cover and the society's emblem is embossed in gilt on the rear cover. The front hinge is broken at the front end papers and the first blank leaf is torn down the gutter with only about 1 1/4" holding it in place.

The text block is tight. The pages are tanned from age but remain supple. There is light foxing pp. 53-64 in signature E. The top edge is black (from gilt?); the side and bottom page edges are browned.

Ex Lib copy. There is a bookplate for the society pasted on the inside front cover and a round stamp for the society on the title page (twice), the first page of the table of contents, the first page of the text (p. 1), a few other pages (p. 99, twice; p. 135) and the first page of the bookseller's catalog at the rear (p. [148]).

Shipped Weight: 0 lbs 8 oz.

Inventory No: 1242.