Five Rare Books for Collectors: Broadsides

Lawbook Exchange

Beware! Important Caution. Beware of a Pair of Bipeds, That Have Lately Escaped, The One from Jail, The Other "Cut out for a Sawyer but Made Up a Lawyer,"

Highlights from Lawbook Exchange’s latest catalogue of broadsides and ephemera includes:

* Beware! Important Caution. Beware of a Pair of Bipeds, That Have Lately Escaped, The One from Jail, The Other "Cut out for a Sawyer but Made Up a Lawyer," From the Weddington Lane-Menagerie, And are Now Haunting this Neighbourhood in Shape of an Overseering Baboon and a Porcupine-Backed Lawyer. Printed by Tympan, Frisket, & Co, Rob Row, [c. 1850].

The text of this anti-lawyer satirical broadside continues (in part): "The Public are particularly Cautioned against the depredations of the above-named FILTHY ANIMALS, as they are known to be peculiarly attached to that which is not their own:---i.e. 'Rates'.

* An Account of the Digging Up of the Quarters of William Stayley, Lately Executed for High Treason, For That His Relations Abused the Kings Mercy. Imprimatur Novemb 30. 1678. William Scroggs. London: Printed for Robert Pawlet at the Sign of the Bible in Chancery-Lance [sic], near Fleet-street. 1678. William Staley (or Stayley) was one of the victims of the Popish Plot, one of the cruelest hoaxes in British history and the inspiration for a wave of anti-Catholic violence. It was the invention of Titus Oates, an Anglican clergyman, and his friend, Dr. Israel Tonge, a cleric and passionate anti-Catholic. They pretended to have discovered a Jesuit plot to assassinate the King, massacre Protestants, and set James, Duke of York, the King's Catholic brother, on the throne. Convicted as a conspirator, Staley was executed and quartered in 1678. William Stayley's head has a small place in London's history; it was the last to be displayed on London Bridge.

* Wanted! No. 1 - Known Here as C.J. Wagner, Age About 30; 5 Feet 6 1-2 Inches Tall; Well Dressed; Weight About 175 Pounds. Claims to be an Oculist and Carries a Case with Eye Glasses for Test Purposes. No. 2 -Known Here as Dr. A.H. Luther, Age About 35; Height about 5 Feet 9 1-2 Inches; Neat Dresser; Weight About 180 Pounds. Claims to be an Eye Specialist. Madera, CA, November 17, 1921.

C.J. Wagner and Dr. A.H. Luther were traveling around the county and offering eye exams at ranches in the area. They "performed a fake operation on old lady's eye" and charged her $275. "These two are the worst kind of fakirs [sic] and should be apprehended."

* Fire! Fire! Laws of New Hampshire Relating to Forest Fires. Concord, NH: The Rumford Press, c. 1904.

This broadside prints the texts of three statutes that set out the fines for setting forest fires.

* Farewell to the World of Richard Bishop, Who Now Lies Under Sentence of Death in Maidstone Gaol, For the Murder of Alfred Cartwright. London: H. Disley, Printer, [1868].

A broadside ballad issued before the public hanging of Bishop for the murder of his neighbor, Cartwright. The murder was provoked by a shouting match between Bishop and another man on a nearby street that woke Cartwright. Irritated, he called the police. Bishop was arrested and an angry Cartwright followed him and the policemen, proclaiming angrily that he intended to press charges against his noisy neighbor. Angered by his taunting, Bishop broke free of the police and stabbed Cartwright to death. Bishop was hanged outside Maidstone Prison, Kent, 27 days later. It was the last public execution to take place in Kent.