The Tapestry Hangings of the House of Lords: Representing the Several Engagements between the English and Spanish Fleets, in the ever memorable Year 1588, with the Portraits of the Lord High-Admiral, and the other Noble Commanders, taken from the Life "To which are added" Ten Charts of the Sea-Coasts of England
London: 1739. John Pine. Hardcover. Price: $21,750.00 TEMPORARILY AVAILABLE AT: $14,750.00 A SCARCE ASSOCIATION COPY of this famed work on the 1588 encounter of the English Navy with the Spanish Armada, a Spanish fleet that sailed from Lisbon in late May 1588. The Armada was commanded by the Duke of Medina Sidonia, an aristocrat appointed by Philip II of Spain in spite of his having no previous naval experience. His orders were to sail up the English Channel, link up with the Duke of Parma in Flanders, and escort an invasion force that would land in England and overthrow Elizabeth I. Its purpose was to reinstate Catholicism in England, end support for the Dutch Republic, and prevent attacks by English and Dutch privateers against Spanish interests in the Americas. On the other hand, the English Fleet was led by a member of the House of Howard, naval commander and statesman William Howard who served as Lord High Admiral of England and who, in 1554 was created Baron Howard of Effingham after he led the 1554 defense of London against a rebellion, often called Wyatt's Rebellion) led by four men (including Sir Thomas Wyatt) over the concern that Queen Mary would marry Phillip II of Spain and return England to its former Catholicism. (The Barony then descended to the most senior male heir.) William Howard's son was Charles Howard who served as Lord High Admiral from 1585 to 1618 and who commanded the English Fleet against the Spanish Armada. The Barony then descended to the most senior male heir. The copy bears an inscription to the front free endpaper stating: "Dufferin & Ava [underscored with a flourish] // From // Effingham [underscored] //XIV Baron Howard of Effingham [underscored] - // March MCMVI [underscored"(1906). ["Dufferin & Ava" refers to the Marquess of Dufferin and Ava.] Thus, this copy of the book was given by one Peer of the Realm to another -- an excellent feature indeed, but one greatly enhanced by the Presenter's being a Baron of Effingham and thus a successor in title to the first Baron of Effingham who led the British Fleet in the defense against the Spanish Armada, THE VERY EVENT THAT GAVE BIRTH TO THIS BOOK. [One irony of this copy and its presentation is that the Howard family was generally composed of Recusants (English men and women who remained dedicated Catholics notwithstanding Elizabeth I's taking the throne after the Catholic Queen Mary was imprisoned and died.] The binding of this copy is worn and the front cover is detached. In the interior, the leaves remain generally in rather nice condition with some scattered soiling and marking and some tears to some of the margins which do not affect the text and which tears have been quite neatly and nicely repaired. In important was, we believed this copy to be the best copy on the market. A RARE ASSOCIATION COPY.
[NOTE: The volume's text contains a two-leaf section presenting a list of Subscribers to the book, as well as text recounting this critical Naval Battle of 1588. Soon after the English defeat of the Spanish Armada, Lord Howard of Effingham commissioned a series of charts of the various phases of the action from the great Robert Adams. The works produced by Adams were then taken to H.C. Vroom, and based on these Adams works Vroom produced a collection of tapestry designs. The designs were then woven by Francis Spring of Haarlem in Holland into large tapestries which were later sold to James I and ultimately ended up in the House of Lords. As almost all of the hangings perished in the fire of 1834 at the Palace of Westminster, the plates from this series shown in this volume constitute the only visual record of these valuable images, making this an important historical work. Given that this particular copy is a SIGNED ASSOCIATION COPY PRESENTED BY AN EFFINGHAM, it is perhaps the most important copy known to exist and is certainly the most important copy known by us to be for sale.] RARE INDEED. About Very Good. Item #3613