Reliquiae sacrae Carolinae was published in 1650, the year after the execution of Charles I (1600-1649), and helped turn the tide of public opinion on the monarchy during the subsequent years of civil unrest.
“It is often remarked had it appeared a week before his death, it might have preserved the King. It very quickly ran through over forty editions,” said auctioneer Charles Hanson.
The book contains Charles I’s speeches to parliament and his ‘messages for peace’ as well as answers to political and religious pamphlets from the 1640s.
Hanson describes it as a posthumous celebration of the life of the King, and one that helped turn Charles into a martyr.
“So marvellous was its effect that contemporary authorities declare that nothing but the Government’s ingenious and persistent condemnations of the work prevented an immediate restoration of the crown,” Hanson said.
The first edition first run pamphlet came to Hansons recently in a box from a house clearance which was filled mainly with modern 20th century paper backs.
Hanson described the condition as poor with some foxing and wear and tear as well as a missing cover.
“But I love to think who held that book in the 1600s, what it meant to them,” Hanson adds.
The volume is estimated at £200-300 with hopes that it will reach £500 on the day.
The book will appear at Hanson’s Fine Art Auction on October 7.