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The Displaying of Supposed Witchcraft. Wherein is affirmed that there are many sorts of Deceivers and Imposters. And Divers persons under a passive Delusion of Melancholy and Fancy. But there is a Corporeal League made betwixt the Devil and the Witch, Or that he sucks on the Witch's Body, has Carnal Copulation, or that Witches are turned into Cats, Dogs, raise Tempests, or the like, is utterly denied and disproved, Whereunto is also handled, The Existence of Angels and Spirits, the truth of Apparitions, the Nature of Astral and Sydereal Spirits, the force of Charms, and Philters; with other abstruse matters.

Webster, John

Published by Jonas Moore [J.M.] c.1676-77, London, 1676
From Alexandre Antique Prints, Maps & Books (Toronto, ON, Canada)

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Edition : First edition, Original full calf, skillfully rebacked with 5 raised bands, with gilt bands and motives, gilt morocco label on 2, contemporary marbled pasted and free endpapers, all edges speckled. , Manuscript leaf at front of book illustrated and most probably signed by the author due to reasons cited below.Webster studied under the Hungarian alchemist Johannes Huniades (János Bánfi-Hunyadi). He became a curate in Kildwick in 1634. During the First English Civil War, Webster left his later position as a teacher in Clitheroe and became a surgeon and army chaplain in the Parliamentarian forces. The present work, ?The Displaying of Supposed Witchcraft? (1677) is a critical review of evidence for witchcraft. He opposed Henry More and Joseph Glanvill, who were arguing for the reality of witches. While a declared sceptic about witchcraft and disputing the more extravagant statements about powers widely attributed to witches, he greatly admired astrology, alchemy, Rosicrucianism and mysticism. Webster went as far as suggesting that the Bible had been mistranslated to support belief in witchcraft thereby refuting the scriptural arguments in favour of witchcraft. Following his death it was argued that books that at one time formed part of Webster?s collection had his favourite signature, Johannes Hyphantes, in his autograph, on the title pages. It was claimed that Rev. A. Dyce proved that John Webster, author of the ?Examen Academiarum?, and John Webster, author of the ?Displaying of Supposed Witchcraft?, were one and the same person. Thomas Potts later argued in his 19th century work that Dyce had not connected his insights with Dr. Henry More?s observation that the author of ?Examen Academiarum? was, like Webster, ?a Cambridge scholar? Potts also notes that the inscription on Webster's monument in the chapel of St. Mary Magdalen, at Clitheroe shows that Johannes Hyphantes and John Webster are one and the same person. The text on the 1st manuscript leaf, which is the same as the text on the monument, reads as follows: ?Qui hanc figuram intelligunt Me etiam intellexisse, intelligent. Hic ja?Examen Academiarum?,cet ignotus mundo mersusque tumultu Invidiae semper mens tamen cequa fuit, Multa tulit veterum ut sciret secreta tophorum Ac tandem vires noverit ignis aquae. --------- Johannes Hyphantes sive Webster, In villa Spinosa supermontana, in Parochia silcae cuculatae, in agro Eboracensi, natus 1610 Feb 3, Ergastulum animae deposuit 1682, Junii 18, Annoq. aetatia suae 72 currente. Sic peroravit moriens mundo huic vulftdicens, ea pax vivis, requies aeterna Sepultis? This manuscript is illustrated with a design, depicting the sun at the centre of circles and tringles, showing symbols of alpha and omega, water and fire, male and female and the text, Aqua cum Igne tandem in grateam reditThe text of 2nd manuscript leaf reads: ?Carrhale, 17th, March 1797. I believe that the author of this book, who subscribes himself, ?John Webster, Practitioner in Physics?, was the Officiating Clergyman or Curate of Kildwick in Yorkshire in the year 1624. My reasons for this opinion are as follows: Many of the Persecuted Clergy at the times of theUsurpations, which took places anno 1648, applied themselves to the practice of Medicine for a sustenance to themselves and their families. The Author speaks of the kindness received from the then Mr Pisky of Browsholm & others, in his Dedication, during the time of great sufferings& persecutions. And lastly, in pages 277, speaking of himself in the first person, he expressly says I ? was Curate of Kildwick,&; which, I think, is predicable of the Author only, no other person being mentioned buried in Clitheroe Church; to whose memory a Brass-plate is erected on the Southwall, opposite the Pulpit. He is there described as having been eminent for his knowledge of Chemistry; and as having lived some time in ?Villa Spinosa?, that is, Thornton Craven.? [signed] J.A. [sealed twice on bottom of page] , Size : S. Bookseller Inventory # B4952

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Displaying of Supposed Witchcraft. ...

Publisher: Jonas Moore [J.M.] c.1676-77, London

Publication Date: 1676

Binding: Hardcover

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

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Alexandre Antique Prints, Maps & Books are specialist dealers in 15th to 19th century Prints, Maps and Books. The gallery is able to offer one of the largest selections of Prints and Maps available in North America. The business was founded in 1982 and has supplied Prints, Maps and Books to many private and public art collectors. It strives to present a friendly and helpful atmosphere to both expert and amateur collectors. The shop has grown considerably since its humble beginnings to an internationally respected firm. We exhibit at major map & book fairs in North America and Europe and are happy to organize presentations of materials for corporations, interior designers and individuals. We are always interested in purchasing collections or individual items of quality. Catalogues and lists are issued periodically and we would be delighted to have details of customersí specific interests, so we can contact them when examples come into stock.

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