Bishop Brunet's History of his Own Time. Volume I: From the Restoration of King Charles II to the Settlement of King William and Queen Mary at the Revolution. Volume II: From the Revolution to the Conclusion of the Treaty of Peace at Utrecht, in the Reign
Burnet, [Gilbert].

London: [Vol. 1:] Printed for Thomas Ward…1714; [Vol. II:] Printed for the Editor, by Joseph Downing…and Henry Woodfall, 1734. First edition. List of subscribers in each volume. The verso of the title-page in Volume II bears an ink notation: "The Original Manuscript of both Volumes of this History will be deposited in the Cotton Library by G. Burnett [sic]." Joints cracking or starting to crack, but cords sound. Some scuffing and corner bumps. However, a very good, attractive set. Volume I with the armorial bookplate of Sir Richard Bedingfeld. Contemporary paneled calf. As the two volumes were issued ten years apart, the design of the paneling is slightly different in each volume. Volume I is also slightly larger than Volume II. The bindings, however, are complimentary. Two volumes, folio. [16], 836; [22], 360, 35 (Item ID: 15707)


Bishop Burnet (1643-1715) was a Scottish theologian and historian, educated at the University of Aberdeen. He was associated with the Whig party. His History of his Own Time or "secret history," as he called it, begins in 1683. He worked on it steadily until May, 1685, when he left England for the safety of the continent. He appears to have kept a running account of events in England during the reign of James II from The Hague, where he spent much of his exile. He returned to England after the revolution of 1688, when William and Mary took the throne. He worked on it intermittently from 1691 through 1703. In 1703, having read and admired Jacques-Auguste De Thou's Historia sui temporis, he decided to recast his history, making it less autobiographical and more impartial. He completed his recasting in 1704, and in 1705 resumed his History from when he left off. He worked on it until 1713 and spent the last two years of his life revising the final portions. Though it proved immediately controversial, Burnet's work remains an important sources for the period it deals with, and is admired for its detailed accounts of many events, and for Burnet's attempts to be accurate and fair.

We could not identify Sir Richard Bedingfeld, but he was clearly a member of the landed family from Suffolk and Norfolk, whose most famous member during this period was Henry Bedingfeld (d. 1685), who also had Whig leanings and was exiled during the reign of James II. (See the Oxford DNB article on the Bedingfeld family.)

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