Manchester, England: Charles Simms & Co., 1859. First Edition. Hardcover, 8vo. 66pp. Contemporary maroon half leather with cloth boards, marbled end papers. The book was originally bound in wrappers, which have not been bound into this copy. Edmund Dudley (c.1462 -1510) was a minister of Henry VII of England, and for a time speaker of the House of Commons. Following the death of Henry VII, Dudley was imprisoned and charged with treason, and was subsequently executed in August 1510.
Dudley wrote 'The Tree of Commonwealth,' an essay supporting absolute monarchy, whilst imprisoned, perhaps in the hope of currying favor (and a reprieve) from Henry VIII, although it seems unlikely that the King ever saw it. This is the first edition. Just what, if anything, it has to do with Rosicrucianism is beyond me - although a careful reading might reveal something. It is catalogued here simply because it was published by a group calling themselves 'The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross,' and thus presumably had some connection ….. Boards a bit rubbed, leather well rubbed and worn at spine ends and corners with some loss and chipping, spine chafed at edges and darkened, front inner hinge reinforced with cloth tape. Outer page margins lightly browned, light foxing to early pages. Still, overall an unmarked near VG copy. Item #317