St John's College S.50 (James 438)

John Varney, A call to religious unity. English, 1680


John Varney: a letter to an unidentified lord, probably a bishop of the Church of England. Varney claims to write under the inspiration of 'divine wisdom and power' (fo. 12v), calling for a proclamation of protestant religious unity. A strongly protestant statement at the time of the Popish Plot. Beg.: 'To lay a foundation for som stately habitation ...'; ends: '... a subject to his majesty of Great Britain - and servant to the Lord of Hosts - who gives wisdom - power and strength when he will to do his will'. Varney asks the recipient to confer on these matters with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Bishops of London and Rochester. Dated 'London March the 13 1679/80'. In a rambling fashion, the author calls for unity, and recommends that opponents of the government should be taxed more heavily and called upon to provide men and money for the king's projects. The Gospel of reconciliation is to be proclaimed by the King and Council, to the vexation of the Turk, the Pope and the devil. With a covering explanatory text in the same hand, on a separate bifolium, describing Varney as 'a sonne of the Church of England, a member of the City of London, a subject to his majesty of Great Britain, and searvant to the Lord of Hosts', dated 14 March. Cf. the pamphlet by Varney printed as For England's information, reformation, great joy, peace, and consolation, 1679 (Wing V114B).

Manuscript extra information

230x185 mm. 12 fos. James maintains that the volume is 'Olim T[homas] B[aker]'.

A flowing contemporary hand, possibly autograph, with a few corrections. Paper. Original paper cover, defective at front.