150J Attributed to Thomas Baker.

The head of Nile: or The turnings and windings of the factious since sixty, in a dialogue between Whigg and Barnaby.

London Printed, and are to be sold by Walter Davis in Amen-Corner,, 1681 $1,800


Quarto 8 1/2 X 6 inches A2, B-F4. [2], 3-44 pages First edition. Disbound. Old ink stain to title and paper lightly toned throughout. From the library of the historian Sir John Plumb.

In this dialogue Whigg, as might be expected, is the exponent of all manner of abominable opinions,•

Bishop Barnahj. — The origin of the term “Bishop Barnaby,” as applied to the Lady-bird, is still unexplained.I wish to observe, as having some possible connexion with the subject, that the word “Barnaby” in the seventeenth century appears to have had a particular political signification.For instance, I send you a pamphlet (which you are welcome to, if you will accept of it) called “The Head of Nile, or the Turnings and Windings of the Factious since Sixty, in a dialogue between Whigg and Barnaby” London, 1681. In this dialogue Whigg, as might be expected, is the exponent of all manner of abominable opinions,• Fleming; banishing? from fleme, A. S. to banish, f “Helleflight,” as given in the translation, p. 178.whilst Barnaby is represented as the supporter of orthodoxy.Again, in the same year was published Durfey’s comedy, “Sir Barnaby Whigg,’ the union of the two names indicating that the knight’s opinions were entirely regulated by his interest. Q. D.P. S. The pamphlet above alluded to affords another instance of the use of the word “Factotum,” at page 41, “before the Pope had a great house there, and became Dominus Factotum, dominus Deus noster Papa.” (Notes and Queries 1850) Wing: B518./ “By Thomas Baker”–Halkett and Laing./ESTC R3068.   N.America    Folger Shakespeare, Huntington ,Library Company of Philadelphia , McGill University ,Newberry, Ohio State University, Union Theological Seminary ,Yale University, Sterling Memorial


151J Henry Coley 1633-1707

Nuncius sydereus, or, The starry messenger for the year of our redemption 1686, and from the creation, according to sacred writ, 5635: being the second after bissextile, or leap-year : wherein is contained (1) astronomical and meteorological observations (2) astrological predictions of the state of the year … (3) the rising and setting of the sun and moon, also her southing, together with many useful rules and tables pertinent for such a work, accomodated to the merridian of London …

London: Printed by E[lizabeth]. W[ebster]. for the Company of Stationers,, 1689, $2,800


Octavo 7 3/4 X 6 inches A-C8 First edition Woodcut. Title and Calendar printed in red and black. Bound in modern boards with a paper label.


This Is a wonderful example of how superstitions and belef in Astrology was recived to the general public. “[Coley] was the adopted son of the astrologer, William Lilly, who constantly makes references in his works to Coley’s merit as a man adnd as a professor of mathematics and occult science. He is best known by his celebrated work, ‘Clavis Astrologiae,’ which was first published in 1669. […] Coley attained considerable distinction as a mathematician. We are told by his almanack that he taught ‘arithmetic, vulgar, decimal, and logarithmical, geometry, trigonometry, astronomy, navigation, the use of the celestial and terrestrial globes, dialling, surveying, gaging, measuring, and the art of astrology in all its branches,’ at Baldwin’s Gardens.” (quoted from the DNB see also Sibly’s Occult Sciences, and Lilly’s Autobiography.) Wing (CD-Rom, 1996), A1466:Arber, E. Term catalogues, 1668-1709 A.D.,; II:238; English Short Title Catalogue,; R36751


152J Henry Hallywell 1641-1703

Melampronoea: or a discourse of the polity and kingdom of darkness. Together with a solution of the chiefest objections brought against the being of witches.

London : printed for Walter Kettilby, at the Bishops-Head in S. Paul’s Church-yard, 1681. $4,800


Duodecimo [16], 118, [2] p First Edition and only edition. This copy is bound in original calf recently rebacked.



Hallywell is a true believer in black magic. In this work he calls on classical authors and contemporary anecdotes to build his case for the existence of witches, the veracity of demonic possession and proof that devils enter into animals seeking warmth and the chance to drink blood.

“Besides innumerable writers of this class, who spread out the scholastic learning on the subject, and presented it in a logical and theological form, there were others who treated it in a more popular style, and invested it with the charms of elegant literature. Henry Hallywell published an octavo in London, in 1681, in which, while the main doctrines of witchcraft as then almost universally received are enforced, an attempt was made to divest it of some of its most repulsive and terrible features. He gives the following account of the means by which a person may place himself beyond the reach of the power of witchcraft : —••

“It is possible for the soul to arise to such a height, and become so divine, that Do witchcraft or evil demons can have any power upon the body. When the bodily life is too far invigorated and awakened, and draws the intellect, the flower and summits of the soul. into a conspiratiou with it. then are we subject and obnoxious to magical assaults. For magic or sorcery, being founded only in this lower or mundane spirit, he that makes it his business to be freed and released from all its blandishments and flattering devocations, and endeavors wholly to withdraw himself from the love of corporeity and too near a sympathy with the frail flesh, he, by it, enkindles such a divine principle as lifts him above the fate of this inferior world, and adorns his mind with such an awful majesty that beats back all enchantments, and makes the infernal fiends tremble at his presence, hating those vigorous beams of light which are so contrary and repugnant to their dark natures.

“The mind of this beautiful writer found encouragement and security in the midst of the diabolical spitsits, with whom he ladieved the world to he infested, in the following views and speculations : — For there is a chain of government that runs down from God, the Supreme Monarch, whose bright and piercing eyes look through all that he has made, to the lowest degree of the creation; and there are presidential angels of empires and kingdoms, and such as under them have the tutelage of private families; and, lastly, every man’s particular guardian genius. Nor is the inanimate or material world left to blind chance or fortune ; but there are, likewise, mighty and potent spirits, to whom is committed the guidance and care of the fluctuating and uncertain motions of it, and by their ministry, fire aud vapor, storms and tempests, snow and hail, heat and cold, are all kept within such bounds and limits as are most serviceable to-the ends of Providence. They take care of the variety of seasons, and superintend the tillage aud fruits of the earth; upon which account, Origeu calls them tiuisiMe husbandmen. So that, all affairs and things being under the inspection and government of these incorporeal beings, the power of the dark kingdom and its agents is under a strict confinement aud restraint; and they cannot bring a general mischief upon the world without a special permission of a superior Providence.”Spenser has the same imagery and sentiment: —”How oft do they their silver bowers leave, To come to succor us, that succor want? How i.it do they with golden pinions cleave Tlie flitting skies, like Hying pursuivant, Against foul fiends to aid us militant’ They for u* tight, they watch and duly ward, And their bright squadrons round about us plant. And all for love and nothing for reward: Oh! why should heavenly God to man have such regard i” While there can be no doubt that the superstitions opinions we have been reviewing were diffused generally among the great body of the people of all ranks and conditions, it would be unjust to truth not to mention that there were some persons who looked UPON them as empty fables and vain imaginations. Error has never yet made a complete and universal conquest. In the darkest ages and most benighted regions, it has been found impossible utterly to extinguish the light of reason. There always have been some in whose souls the torch of truth has been kept burning with vestal watchfulness: we can discern its glimmer here and there through the deepest night that has yet settled upon the earth. In the midst of the most extravagant superstition, there have been individuals who have disowned the popular belief, and considered it a mark of wisdom and true philosophy to discard the idle fancies and absurd schemes of faith that possessed the minds of the great mass of their contemporaries. This was the case with Horace, as appears from lines thus quite freely but effectively translated: —”These dreams and terrors magical. These miracles and witches, Night-walking spirites or Thessel bugs, Esteeme them not two rushes -‘ [Quoted from Salem Witchcraft: With an Account of Salem Village, and a History of Opinions on Witchcraft and Kindred Subjects, Volume 1 [Wiggin and Lunt, 1867 – Salem (Mass.) ]


Wing; H464; Arber’s Term cat.; I 464

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