32 pp 12mo. later (after 1880) three-quarter brown smooth morocco over brown cloth, lettered in gilt on morocco spine label, marbled new endpapers and flyleaves, all edges gilt. Bound by Riviere & Son. With engraved Royal Coat of Arms as frontispiece and engraved decorated title page, some engraved head and tail pieces as well as a few initials, engraved colophon. Contemporary inscription (indecipherable) in brown ink on colophon. Hand lettered booklabel "Alec B. Sanford" on front pastedown. The text concerns the proposed execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. The authorship has often been wrongly attributed to Richard Crompton. Robert Cecil was the son of William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley and Mildred Cooke. His half-brother was Thomas Cecil, 1st Earl of Exeter and philosopher Francis Bacon was his first cousin.After his education at St John's College, Cambridge, Salisbury was made Secretary of State following the death of Sir Francis Walsingham in 1590, and he became the leading minister after the death of his father in 1598, serving both Queen Elizabeth and King James as Secretary of State. He fell into dispute with Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, and only prevailed upon the latter's poor campaign against the Irish rebels during the Nine Years War in 1599. He was then in a position to orchestrate the smooth succession of King James, maintaining a 'secret correspondence. For most of his working life he served as spymaster for King James.King James raised him to the peerage on 20 August 1603 as Baron Cecil, of Essendon in the County of Rutland, before creating him Viscount Cranborne in 1604 and then Earl of Salisbury in 1605. Lord Salisbury was extensively involved in matters of state security. The son of Lord Burghley (Queen Elizabeth's principal minister) and a protˇgˇ of Sir Francis Walsingham (Elizabeth's principal spymaster), he was trained by them in matters of spycraft as a matter of course. In 1603 his brother-in-law Lord Cobham was implicated in both the Bye Plot and also the Main Plot, which were an attempt to remove James from the throne and replace him with Lady Arbella Stuart.Salisbury served as both the third chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin and chancellor of the University of Cambridge between 1601 and 1612. In addition, the Cecil family fostered arts: they supported musicians such as William Byrd, Orlando Gibbons and Thomas Robinson.In 1589 Cecil married Elizabeth Brooke, the daughter of William Brooke, 10th Baron Cobham, and his second wife, Frances Newton. Their son, William Cecil was born in Westminster on 28 March 1591 and baptized in St Clement Danes on 11 April. Elizabeth died when their son was six years old. He succeeded his father as Earl of Salisbury. [STC 6052]. Edges of covers lightly rubbed, small piece of leather missing at lower spine; offset browning on verso of front free endpapers and recto of flyleaf; first three leaves with very expert repairs to right margins, top margins a little trimmed, small wormholes on some leaves at top right, else fine First edition. This copy bears the variant "Albeit the earnest ."(no known priority). Bookseller Inventory #
Title: The Copie of a Letter to the Right ...
Publisher: by Christopher Barker, Printer to the Queene's most excellent Maiestie
Publication Date: 1586
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