Thomas Bayly, Herba Parietis or The Wallflower (1650)

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Thomas Bayly (or Bayley) was the fourth son of Lewis Bayly, who wrote The Practice of Piety, the hugely popular devotional work. He became involved in Civil War controversies, claiming he was present at a failed attempt to convert Charles I to Catholicism. According to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Bayly was imprisoned in Newgate after having blamed London for the execution of Charles in a work called The Royal Charter (1649). In prison, he wrote Herba Parietis, a romance work with political overtones. This copy was owned by a woman called Ann Roodhowe: “Ann Roodhowe tis my Name / and with my pen I wrote the same / and if my Pen it had been better ‘twould / have mended every Seller [?].”

Source: book sold on eBay by Wisdom Pedlars. Twitter posting by @wisdompedlars 11/2/2018.

Further Reading

“Bayly, Thomas (d. c. 1657), Church of England Clergyman and Roman Catholic Controversialist,” by Thompson Cooper, revised by Stephen Wright, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004,


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