GARNET, Henry (1555-1606) -- A True and Perfect Relation of the Whole Proceedings against the late most Barbarous Traitors, Garnet a Iesuite, and his Confederates. London: Robert Barker, 1606.
Small 4o (170 x 110 mm). Collation: A-Z, Aa-Zz, Aaa-Fff4. Woodcut initials, type ornaments. (Title slightly shaved at outer margin, some occasional browning and staining, few headlines shaved.) Early 18th-century panelled calf (rebacked). Provenance: ANTHONY TROLLOPE (1815-1882, armorial bookplate on blue paper) -- purchased from John F. Fleming, New York, 20 January 1969.
FIRST EDITION, issue with cancel title. While undoubtedly "neither true nor perfect" (DNB), this anonymous "Relation" expresses the level of protestant indignation over Garnet's complicity in the Gunpowder Plot. After leaving Winchester College, possibly on account of his catholic faith, Garnet was for about two years corrector of the press to Tottel, the law printer. Resolving to join the Society of Jesus, he went to Spain and thence to Rome, where he taught Hebrew and mathematics, before returning to England as a missionary in 1586. When Guy Fawkes was arrested on 4 November 1605, a letter was found on him addressed to a house where Garnet had recently resided. Suspicion at once fell upon the jesuit priest. He was examined twenty-three times before the council, at first denying interviews with Thomas Oldcorne, but eventually being drawn into admissions that led to charges of equivocation. He admitted having been fully informed of the plot by a fellow jesuit, Oswald Greenaway, but claimed that this was in the sanctity of confession, which forbad him to reveal it. At the trial at Guildhall on 28 March 1606, he was found guilty, and sentenced to be drawn, hanged, disembowelled, and quartered. The execution took place on 3 May, many Catholics immediately venerating him as a martyr. The lines in Macbeth (II iii) "Faith, here's an equivocator that could swear in both scales against either scale ...." have been thought to refer specifically to Garnet.
Although "not a bibliophile," Trollope was proud enough of his personal library to have catalogues printed in 1867 and 1874, for Waltham House and Montagu Square. He acquired about 4000 volumes from Robert Bell's library after the latter's death in 1867, and they formed the main part of a catalogued collection of about 5000 volumes (see Sadleir Trollope: A Commentary, 1927, pp. 271-73). STC 11619.