[RIDPATH, George.] ~ Parliamentary right maintain’d or the Hanover Succession justify’d. Wherein the hereditary Right to the Crown of England asserted &c. Is consider’d, in III. Parts. The Ist examins the Plea from Scripture. The II. That from the Laws & History of England, for indefeasible Right, Nonresistance & Disposition of the Crown by Will. The III. Whether the Parliament, can repeal the Hanover Succession, as now establish’d by the Treaty of Union. With Reflections on the treasonable Schemes of the Party, as they occurr in their Book: & particularly that of a new lurking Pretender. ?[London, but see note], 1714.
8vo (183 × 111 mm.), pp. [x], ‘262’ (but 260, page numbers 148,149 & 150 appearing on a single page), includes errata after Contents. A single woodcut initial. Light old waterstaining to head of title and following leaf where a contemporary ownership inscription has been partially washed away, occasional light browning. Contemporary blindtooled panelled calf, spine with 5 raised bands, unlettered, old paper shelf label to foot. Upper joint experty repaired with front free endpaper supplied to style. A good crisp copy.
First edition of this vigorous defence of parliamentary democracy and the legality of the Hanover succession by George Ridpath, Berwickshire-born whig polemicist, libellist (and bigamist).
Anonymously issued, the book was written in exile in Scotland and Holland, its author having been convicted of libel: ‘the attorney-general said that he “had for some years past outwent all his predecessors in scandal”’ (DNB). It represents an attack on George Harbin’s Hereditary right of the Crown of England and reflects the popular sentiment that while George I was a German king who knew little of England and spoke little English, he was at least a Protestant and thus preferable to the hereditary catholic alternative, James Edward Stuart, the ‘new lurking pretender’. In letters to the English minister at the Hague Ridpath described the difficulties of distributing this work from his place in exile: ‘Copies were sent by various ships to different ports in England; but many were lost or thrown overboard by the captains, who dared not land them, or were returned because no one dared receive them’ (DNB). This casts an interesting light on the assumption (expressed in the ESTC catalogue) that the work was printed in London.