CHURCH OF SCOTLAND, General Assembly] JOHNSTON, Archibald, Lord Warriston]

The Protestation of the Generall Assemblie of the Church of Scotland, and of the Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Borrowes, Ministers and Commons; Subscribers of the Covenant, lately renewed, made in the high Kirk, and at the Mercate Crosse of Glasgow, the 28, and 29. of November 1638

Published: Glasgow] Printed at Glasgow by George Anderson, in the Yeare of Grace 1638

Date: 1638

first edition, second issue small 4to. [16]pp., attractive woodcut on title page, large woodcut initial letter border at the beginning of text, type ornaments at beginning and end of text, handsome late 19th or early 20th century binding of rich tan crushed morocco signed by Riviere & Son in the richly gilt inner dentelles, marbled endpapers, spine lettered gilt. Fine copy. Very rare.

STC 22047.5 ESTC S116942 (locating copies in Edinburgh University Library, Mitchel Library Glasgow, Cambridge, Oxford, York Minster, and in the U.S in the Huntington Library, Folger Shakespeare Library, Newberry Library, Harvard and Princeton). This, the first book printed in Glasgow, exists in two forms: (a) with the word 'intruded' as catchword on A2r and as first word on A2v, and (b) with quire A partially reset to make the word 'of' the catchword on A2r and the first word of A2v. A variant of (a) exists with quire A wrongly printed so that the first word on A2v is 'of'. From 1560 when the reformed Church of Scotland was established along Presbyterian lines the fortunes of Scottish Presbyterians ebbed and flowed with the determination of successive Stuart kings' to make the Kirk episcopal. The policy of the powerful James VI and I was ratified by the Scottish Parliament which established episcopacy in 1612. However the imposition of a new Prayer Book brought the conflict between the Kirk and Charles I to a head in 1637. In 1638 a National Covenant on Presbyterain principles was subscribed and the General Assembly meeting at Glasgow, the first free assembly for thirty years, swept episcopacy away. In the years following this led to an alliance between the Scots and the English Parliamentarians during the Civil War. It has been generally assumed that Anderson was brought to Glasgow in order to print The Protestation of The Generall Assemblie which is in fact the first book printed in Glasgow. There is however evidence to show that he had been invited to bring his presses to Glasgow some months prior to the King's proclamation of September 1638 summoning the church assembly to meet in Glasgow. The Protestation was written for the Assembly by Archibald Johnston, Lord Warriston, 1611-1663. Vide: William Stewart 'On The Protestation of the Generall Assemblie ... 1638' in Glasgow Bibliographical Society Records, v.1, (1912), p.106-117 (or offprint)


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