STEPHENSON, MARMADUKE AND WILLIAM ROBINSON.
A Call from Death to Life.... London: Thomas Simmons, 1660.
A-D4. 32 pp. 4to (181 x 128 mm). Full brown morocco gilt by Bradstreet's, all edges gilt. Outer margin trimmed close on first 2 leaves, even toning, printing crease to title, spine lightly sunned.
FIRST EDITION OF THIS SHOCKING TRACT RECORDING THE EXECUTION OF QUAKERS IN BOSTON. Church calls it "one of the most interesting tracts relating to religious persecution in America." Stephenson and Robinson, along with Mrs Mary Dyer, were arrested in Boston for preaching Quakerism and banished under pain of death. "Returning, they were again arrested; tried before John Endicott, and by him sentenced to death. Stevenson and Robinson suffered the penalty; Mrs. Dyer was reprieved while on the ladder with the halter on her neck. The two men were refused the rites of burial, their bodies being stripped and thrown into a hole, even the privilege of enclosing their grave being denied to their friends. It is difficult to rise from a perusal of this tract without a feeling of intense indignation at the intolerant bigotry and cruelty of the early puritans of New England" (Winsor Memorial History of Boston vol I, p 186). It was "written in the Common Goal of Boston in New England, in America, in the beginning of the seventh Moneth, 1659...." Church 569; Sabin 91318.
Provenance: engraved bookplate of Samuel F. Barger, sold at Sotheby's, June 23, 1988, lot 272 to Ximenes.
Acquisition: purchased from William Reese Company, 2001, $2,800.