[WASHINGTON, George]. WHITE, John. The First Century of Scandalous, Malignant Priests, Or, A Narration of the Causes for which the Parliament hath Ordered the Sequestration of the Benefices of severall Ministers complained of before them.... London: George Miller, 1643.
4to (7 1/8 x 5½ in). Printed in roman and italic types, woodcut ornaments and decorative initial capitals (a few page numbers slightly shaved, minor spotting to a few margins). Recent half calf and marbled paper boards. Wing W1771E.
FIRST EDITION (one of two of the same date). A remarkable register of 100 ministers removed from their livings by order of the Puritan Parliament for various offenses: speaking treasonously about Parliament, joining the Cavaliers, refusing to administer the Sacrament and other doctrinal irregularities, publishing tracts without license, sequestering Catholics, failing to observe the Sabbath, intemperance, fornication, cursing, gambling and even bestiality. Number 9, on page 4, describes Washington's great, great grandfather: "The benefice of Lawrence Washington, Rector of Purleigh in the County of Essex, is sequestered, for that he is a common frequenter of Ale-houses, not only himself sitting daily, tillpling there but also encouraging others in that beastly vice, and hath been oft drunk, and hath said That the Parliement have more Papists belonging to them in their Armies than the King had about him or in his Army, and that the Parliements Army did more hurt than the Cavaleers, and that they did none at all And hath published them to be Traitours, that lend to or assist the Parliament."
The Reverend Lawrence Washington was born at Sulgrove Manor, Northhampton, England in 1601; was a fellow of Brasnose College, Oxford, and rector of Purleigh in Essex in 1633. During the English Civil War, he was removed from his living by Parliament, as recorded here. He died in 1652/53 at age 51. He and his wife Amphillis Twigden had a son, John (1633-1677), who emigrated to Virginia in 1658; his eldest son Lawrence, born in 1659, was the first American-born Washington.
RARE. The present is the only copy of this work to have been offered at auction since at least 1975 (it was first offered in 1989).