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Tracts on the Proposed Regency [manuscript]

 
Tracts on the Proposed Regency [manuscript] by GEORGE III (1788)

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Author: GEORGE III
Title: A Collection of Tracts on the Proposed Regency
 
Year: 1788
Publisher: John Stockdale
Place: London
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
 
Price: £800
 
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ff 100, c20,000 words Important manuscript produced for publication during the Regency crisis prompted by the 'madness of King George' III in the summer of 1788. 100 foolscap sized leaves, 'Britannia PB' watermarked paper, written on rectos, stab sewing holes close to the gutter, soiling to first and last few leaves; recently rebound in blue buckram. Written in brown ink in a regular hand - possibly two hands - the text contains most of the pamphlet published by Stockdale devoted to precedents for a Regency found in Parliamentary Rolls dating from the period of Henry VI's 'minority'. This text which breaks off just before the Scottish section of the text corresponds to pp 5-76 of Stockdale's 'A Translation of Such Parts of the Rolls of Parliament .. Appointed to Search for Precedents' (ESTC T11517) which was also issued by Stockdale as one of his Collection of Tracts on the Proposed Regency, 1788. As Stockdale puts it in his introduction: 'The Rolls of Parliament being written in an obsolete language, the following translation... has been procured by the publisher, with a view to save the time and Trouble of those Gentlemen who are deeply engaged in the consideration of the important subject which occupies almost universally the attention of the Nation.' This prefatory material is absent from this manuscript and the writer makes no attempt to follow the mise en page of the printed version which strongly suggests to that this manuscript precedes the printed version and may have been Stockdale's copy text. At all events the Britannia watermarked notepaper makes it extremely unlikely that this is simply a generic scribal copy of the work. George III's descent into insanity in 1788 prompted a national crisis with William Pitt attempting to keep at bay the Prince of Wales and his political allies who wished to assert a Regency. Despite its appearance of even-handedness, the search for precedents in English history which this pamphlet embodies reveals itself to have originated from the side backing the Prince of Wales and Charles James Fox.
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