Title: Sir Walter Rawleighs Ghost, or Englands ...
Publisher: Printed by John Schellem, Utricht (sic) [i.e. London?]
Publication Date: 1626
Book Condition: Very Good+
Edition: First Edition.
4to (178 x 133 mm). , 41pp. Modern speckled calf, title lettered in gilt; (title slightly browned and with a "v"-shaped internal tear neatly repaired, fore-corners trimmed round, lacking final blank, endpapers renewed). 17th century pen markings on verso of p. 41, largely illegible, although curiously the number "4" appears twice on the title and verso leaf. First Edition of Scott’s imaginary tale wherein Spanish designs were uncovered by the specter of the illustrious Sir Walter Raleigh. Sir Walter Rawleighs Ghost was written by Thomas Scott, a radical English Minister, known for his anti-Spanish and anti-Catholic pamphlets. Infamously, he was murdered in Utrecht the same year that this work was published. The premise of Scott’s work had been earlier established by Thomas Gainsford, reported to have authored, "Vox Spiritus, or Sir Walter Rawleigh’s Ghost, a Conference between Signr Gondamor her Maties Ambassador of Spaine " (1620?). In a letter from Sir George Calvert to the Marquis of Buckingham dated 1620, Calvert says, "Sir Walter Raleighes ghost is as seditious a booke as the other [referring to Scott’s Vox Populi (1620), which appeared as an anonymous tract against the proposed marriage of Prince Charles and Maria Anna of Spain], yf not much worse, but not yet printed. The author is a poore Capitain about London one Gainsford, whom I have committed to prison." Scott, evading imprisonment, only later claims authorship of the controversial Vox Populi. Regardless, he flees England to become a preacher to the English garrison in Utrecht. It was during these Utrecht years that Scott crafted Sir Walter Rawleighs Ghost and had it first published in 1626. The tale tells of Raleigh’s ghost visiting Count Gondomar, the leading Spanish diplomat to England, and extracting from him a confession of treachery and a public recantation of his plans. Scott’s tract relates to Gondomar’s mischievous transactions; detailing a Spanish-papist plot against the English government. The work was reprinted nearly 120 years later in the Harleian Miscellany, V (1744, etc.); III (1809), still without mention of Scott’s name. Lowndes says, "The political tracts of Thomas Scott are valuable and curious beyond most other tracts of this period, on account of the light they throw upon the policy of the latter years of King James’ reign. The effect of them upon the public mind at the time must have been very great, if we may judge from the persecution of the author and the pains taken by the government to suppress them. The author was assassinated by a soldier at Utrecht in 1626." (p. 223) The name "John Schellem" in the imprint may be a pseudonym ("schelm"= knave), no printer of that name seems to be recorded. STC suggests the place of publication may be London, not Utrecht, as several of Scott’s tracts have fanciful imprints. The Lenox copy has a portrait of Raleigh inserted, but is not present here and may not be called for. Rare. Sabin 67586; STC 22085. Bookseller Inventory # D4837
This bookseller accepts the following methods of payment:
AbeBooks Bookseller Since: July 15, 2002
Please reserve books by email or by phone. All items subject to prior
sale. NYS residents must include 8.875% sales tax. We accept checks,
money orders, online payment through paypal. Full refund within 15 days
provided book is returned in same condition as sent.
Shipping costs are based on books weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact you to let you know extra shipping is required.