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The Character of a Trimmer
London, 1688. First edition. [4], 43, [blank] pp. Small 4to. Modern green quarter morocco over buckram, spine gilt. First edition. [4], 43, [blank] pp. Small 4to. "In January, Halifax had anonymously distributed three manuscript copies of The Character of a Trimmer, one to the archbishop of Canterbury with a letter asking him to deliver it to the king. It circulated in manuscript until pirated for publication in 1688 ... Tory journalists had been denouncing trimmers, a supposed third party of neutrals and traitors, in order to intimidate moderate tories and Anglicans who did not support thorough repression of whigs and dissenters. Halifax's pamphlet, ostensibly a defence of the centre against both extremes, was designed to undermine tory support for repression at home and inaction abroad. It argued that ruling in accordance with the laws was in the interest of both prince and people; that the Church of England was best served by comprehension of protestant dissenters or some leniency towards them (less towards Catholic laymen, and only to promote conversions); and that the balance of power was in the national interest. For tactical reasons Halifax both understated his sympathy for protestant dissenters and refrained from stating outright his conviction that Charles was secretly a Catholic and still in the pay of Louis XIV" (ODNB). Wing H296; ESTC R38783. Provenance: Robert S. Pirie (bookplate)
      [Bookseller: James Cummins Bookseller ]
Last Found On: 2016-10-18           Check availability:      ABAA    

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