Item #17729 English Liberties, 1682, Includes the Magna Charta and Hebeas Corpus Law, Establishing Civil Liberties in the American Colonies. Henry CARE.
English Liberties, 1682, Includes the Magna Charta and Hebeas Corpus Law, Establishing Civil Liberties in the American Colonies

English Liberties, 1682, Includes the Magna Charta and Hebeas Corpus Law, Establishing Civil Liberties in the American Colonies

First Edition

CARE, Henry. English Liberties: Or, the Freeborn Subject's Inheritance, Containing I. Magna Charta. First edition of one of the very first law books printed in colonial America. Contains the first American printing of the Magna Carta and other fundamental documents of individual liberty in Anglo-American law, including "seminal documents on the separation of church and state, the right to religious liberty, trial by jury and other founding principles." London: Printed by G. Larkin, for Benjamin Harris, [1682]. Full contemporary sheep boards, 228 pages. Measures approximately: 5.5” x 3.25". With woodcut-engraved headpiece and initial. This first edition features a printing of the Magna Carta, "a symbol of political liberty and the foundation of constitutional government" (Grams). English Liberties aimed to provide uneducated laypeople with information about the law and their rights, praising England's 'fundamental laws [as] coeval with government' and describing the Magna Carta as 'Declamatory of the principal grounds of the Fundamental Laws and Liberties of England.' Thomas Jefferson's found the work so important that he held two copies of this title in his library. Schwoerer writes that English Liberties influence is "in the writings of the founding fathers of the United States—Samuel Adams, John Adams, John Dickinson and Alexander Hamilton…” This 1682 edition precedes the first American edition, which came out in 1721. Though undated on the title page, "internal and other evidence shows incontrovertibly that the date is 1682" (Schwoerer, 288n, 194). The British Library notes that upon initial publication this work was condemned as 'seditious by the authorities but it was repeatedly reproduced into the 18th century, being regarded as a handbook of civil liberties.' Extremely rare in the first edition, especially anonymously published by Care. This is a very scarce book, but even more so complete with all the advertisement as originally issued. This copy is in its original state. Leather unglued from spine and front cover of the wood board, which has partially perished. Inside text block complete. Some tiny worming mostly affecting four lines of text from p.30 to p.50; all text still easily readable. Initial blank leaf damaged. Pages are slightly toned and otherwise clean. In good condition only but complete and very rare.

Item #17729

Price: $14,500.00