TWYN (John)

An Exact Narrative of the Tryal and Condemnation of John Twyn, for Printing and Dispersing a Treasonable Book. With the Tryals of Thomas Brewster, Bookseller. Simon Dover, Printer. Nathan Brooks, Bookbinder. For Printing, Publishing, and Uttering of Seditious, Scandalous, and Malitious Pamphlets. At Justice-Hall in the Old-Bayly London, the 20th. and 22th. of February 1663/4. Published by authority.

Published: London: Printed by Thomas Mabb for Henry Brome at the Gun in Ivy-lane,

Date: 1664

First edition, small 4to, [8], 78, [2]pp., with final blank (slightly excised along lower margin), light tonal browning, modern quarter calf.

Wing E3668; Bigmore & Wyman, III, p.27; McCoy T220.

“Twyn was brought to trial under the prosecution of Roger L’Estrange, government surveyor of the press, on a charge of high treason. Twyn had published a book, ‘A Treatise of the Execution of Justice’, in which he had asserted the right of the people to revolt under an oppressive government. He was convicted, hanged, drawn, and quartered. Brewster, the bookseller, Dover, the printer, and Brooks, the binder were found guilty of sedition, and were fined and pilloried. Siebert states that Twyn and Anderton “were the only printers to be executed for high treason in England during the later Stuart period.” An introduction to the publication to prevent secret and incorrect reporting of the trial; “to manifest the insufferable liberties of the press, and bring it into better order”; and to warn others of the hazard of printing treasonous works.”—McCoy. “Very curious - full of technical information as to the Printing-house of the troublous times following upon the Commonwealth.”—Bigmore & Twyman.


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