James II’s attempt to turn Magdalen College Roman Catholic

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[Fairfax, Henry? Aldwood, Charles?] An Impartial Relation of the whole Proceedings against St. Mary Magdalen College in Oxon, In the Year of our Lord 1687 containing Only Matters of Fact As they Occurred. [London]: [publisher not identified], 1688.

ESTC R25079, Wing F124

First Edition. Binding: Softcover. Book Condition: Very Good Condition. Item Type: Pamphlet. 

Pagination: [6] (Title on recto, blank on verso; Table of Contents (recto & verso), Letter to be inserted (recto), Errata (verso), 1-40. Size: 7.5"-8" - Small Octavo (Sm. 8vo).

A contemporary collection of documents chronicling King James II’s attempt to change Magdalen College of Oxford University into a Roman Catholic institution. When the presidency of the college became vacant, the protestants elected John Hough to take the position, but James ordered the fellows to elect a Catholic, Anthony Farmer, as their president. J. R. Bloxam expanded the collection in his Magdalen College and King James II, 1686-1688 (1886). In the introduction he describes James’ actions in the conflict as “an overt and undisguised step towards opening the chief seminaries of the Church of England to Roman influences and occupation” (p. viii).

Although there is no editor named, the binder’s label on the front cover attributes it to Henry Fairfax, who is often named as the likely editor. Fairfax’s biography in the Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, however, reports the editorship “is usually claimed for Charles Aldworth, vice-president of the college” (p. 135). The royal order suspending Aldworth and Fairfax from Fellowships at the college is provided on p. 13. Other claimants include John Hough and Francis Bagshaw.

James II’s attempt to change the college from Anglican to Roman Catholic was among the actions that led to the Glorious Revolution in 1688-89. The Dutch prince William of Orange, a nephew of James and husband of his daughter Mary, was invited by Protestant leaders to take the throne. After he arrived in England, James fled to France and William and Mary were installed to rule jointly under an English Bill of Rights that established a constitutional monarchy.

A WorldCat search shows five holdings under three OCLC numbers (1015423078, 562414760, 1055972688). However, ESTC shows 36 holdings in the British Isles (some with multiple copies), 19 in the U.S. and 1 in Canada.

Rebound in a blue paper wrapper with silver floral decorations and title on label pasted to the front cover. The pamphlet has been glued onto new end papers which are, in turn, glued into the wrapper.

The text block is tight and unmarked. The paper is tanned but remains supple. Scattered foxing, but text mostly clean. 

Shipped Weight: 0 lbs 2 oz.

Inventory No: 1251.