First Edition of the First Part of this Pamphlet, Called "A Brief Historical Account of the Behaviour of the Jesuites"
WATSON, William. Brief Historical Account of the Behaviour of the Jesuites. and Their Faction, for the First Twenty Five Years of Q. Elizabeth’s Reign. With an Epistle of W. Watson, a Secular Priest, Shewing, How They Were Thought of by the Other Romanists of That Time. London: Printed for James Adamson , 1689.
[With]: William Watson's introduction to Thomas Bluet's: "Important considerations, which ought to move all true and sound Catholicks,.." With imprint: "Printed in the year 1601. And reprinted in the year 1688" on a separate title-page but both titles with continuous pagination.

First edition of the first part "A Brief Historical Account" together with a reprint of the introduction by William Watson to Thomas Bluet's work "Important considerations." Small quarto (7 13/16 x 6 inches; 198 x 154 mm). [4], 74, [1, publisher's advertisement], [1, blank] pp. With a preliminary imprimatur leaf before the first work. With a running title of "Running title reads: The Jesuites behaviour for the first twenty five years of Q. Elizabeth." We could find no other copies of this at auction.

Early 19th-Century calf over marbled boards, rebacked with spine laid down. Spine lettered in gilt. Calf tooled in blind. Marbled endpapers. Previous's bookplate on front pastedown. Some dampstaining throughout. "Imprimatur" leaf with a minor corner repair. Title-page of first work with a small old ink note, not affecting text. A bit of foxing, mainly to preliminaries and final leaves. Overall very good.

Watson and Bluet were among a few Secular priests to write pamphlets which were published in England regarding the Archpriest controversy and the Bye Plot in the late 1500s to early 1600s, which led to the eventual execution of William Watson as a conspirator.

"William Watson, (born April 23, 1559?—died Dec. 9, 1603, Winchester, Hampshire, Eng.), English Roman Catholic priest who was executed for his part in the “Bye Plot” against King James I. At the age of 16 Watson left England for France, where he was ordained priest in April 1586. Returning to England in June of that year, he spent the next 16 years in and out of prisons because of his illegal missionary activities. Although he was occasionally severely tortured, he always managed to escape or obtain release. During that period Watson became a prominent spokesman for the secular priests in their struggle with the Jesuits. He claimed that the political intrigues of the Jesuits with foreign countries, particularly Spain, were responsible for much of the persecution of English Catholics. When Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, Watson obtained from her successor, King James I, what he thought was a pledge of religious toleration for Roman Catholics. James’s failure to carry out this promise, however, prompted Watson to initiate a plot against the crown. Joined by a small group made up of Catholics and disgruntled Protestants, he made plans to seize the king at Greenwich and hold him until he acquiesced in their demands. Some Jesuit leaders revealed the scheme to the government, the plotters were immediately apprehended, and Watson was executed for treason. The episode was called the Bye Plot to distinguish it from another intrigue of the day, the Main Plot."

ESTC R6715, Wing W1149.

HBS # 68189 $1,500