1893 text

There is a beautiful copy of “The Workes of King Charles the Martyr, and Collections of Declarations, Treaties, &c.” (2 vols. folio, 1662), in the Pepysian Library, with a very interesting note in the first volume by Pepys (dated October 7th, 1700), to the effect that he had collated it with a copy in Lambeth Library, presented by Dr. Zachary Cradock, Provost of Eton. “This book being seized on board an English ship was delivered, by order of the Inquisition of Lisbon, to some of the English Priests to be perused and corrected according to the Rules of the ‘Index Expurgatorius.’ Thus corrected it was given to Barnaby Crafford, English merchant there, and by him it was given to me, the English preacher resident there A.D. 1670, and by me as I then received it to the Library at Lambeth to be there preserved. Nov. 2, 1678. ‘Ita testor’, Zach. Cradock. — From which (through the favour of the most Reverend Father in God and my most honoured Friend his Grace the present Archbishop of Canterbury) I have this 7th of October, 1700, had an opportunity given me there (assisted by my clerk, Thomas Henderson), leisurely to overlook, and with my uttermost attention to note the said Expurgations through each part of this my own Book.” Whole sentences in the book are struck through, as well as such words as Martyr, Defender of the Faith, More than Conqueror, &c.

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Terry Foreman   Link to this

The Divine Right of Kings

BBC Radio 4 - IN OUR TIME
First broadcast: Thursday 11 October 2007
Duration: 45 minutes
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0080xph

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Divine Right of Kings. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the character Malcolm describes the magical healing powers of the king:

“How he solicits heaven,
Himself best knows; but strangely-visited people,
All swoln and ulcerous, pitiful to the eye,
The mere despair of surgery, he cures;
Hanging a golden stamp about their necks,
Put on with holy prayers...”

The idea that a monarch could heal with his touch flowed from the idea that a king was sacred, appointed by God and above the judgement of earthly powers. It was called the Divine Right of Kings. The idea resided deep in the culture of 17th century Britain affecting the pomp of the Stuart Kings, the writings of Milton and Shakespeare and the political works of John Locke. It is a story that involves witches, regicide, scrofula, Macbeth, miraculous portraits and some of the greatest poetry in the English language.

With Justin Champion, Professor of the History of Early Modern Ideas at Royal Holloway, University of London; Tom Healy, Professor of Renaissance Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London; Clare Jackson, Lecturer and Director of Studies in History at Trinity Hall, Cambridge

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References

  • 1662
  • 1665