[GLOVER, Robert (1544-1588)]. Nobilitas politica vel civilis. Edited by Thomas Milles. London: William Jaggard, 1609.
2o (324 x 224 mm). 9 Engraved portraits, including two of Queen Elizabeth. Woodcut historiated and decorative initials. Contemporary English calf, gilt spine. Provenance: Sir Robert Cotton (1571-1631), antiquary, scholar, collector (presentation inscription on title-page to:) Sir Thomas Crompton (ca 1557-1609), English politician (inscription from Cotton on title); John Newling (bookplate); Le Comte de Cuypers (bookplate); W.B. Dukes (bookplate); Lord Vernon (bookplate); acquired from Harry A. Levinson, 1970.
FIRST EDITION. The Somerset herald, Robert Glover was one of the finest genealogists and heralds of England: "His authority in genealogy and heraldry is much relied on by the Officers of Arms of the present day" (Moule, Bibliotheca Heraldica Magnae Britanniae, 66). None of his work was published during his lifetime, but he left a great number of manuscripts which were very influential. Nobilitas politica vel civilis was edited by his nephew Thomas Milles. Bruce Rogers considered this work as "one of the handsomest books of that [Elizabethan] period, Nobilitas Politica vel Civilis, printed by 1608 by William Jaggard, the printer of the First Folio fifteen [sic fourteen] years later. The Nobilitas is generally accounted the masterpiece of his press, and in itself comprises nearly all of the various typographical feature of books of that time" (Paragraphs on Printing).
PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY SIR ROBERT COTTON. Sir Robert Bruce Cotton (1571-1631), the greatest book collector of Elizabethan and Jacobean England, was also author of political tracts and papers on precedence, heraldry and other antiquarian subjects. He gave free use of his library to Bacon, Ralegh, Selden, Speed, Ussher, and his close friend Camden, but was himself excluded from it in 1629 by order of Charles I; it was transferred to the nation in 1702, and afterwards became one of the foundation collections of the British Museum in 1753, after a large part of it had been destroyed by fire. The recipient of this copy, Sir Thomas Crompton, was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1597 and 1609. A VERY FINE, LARGE COPY. Graesse IV, 681; Lipperheide I, Ob 1 (listed under Milles); Maxwell 205; S.T.C. 11922.