This dated inscription, “Elizabeth man her Book 1696/5″, is inscribed on a rear endpaper—”upside down (as though the book was open mistakenly from the rear),” says bookseller Miranda Garno Nesler. Man probably made the inscription, which uses Lady Day dating, in early 1696. “Esq.r” has been inked below the inscription, whether by Elizabeth (who forms her capital E differently in her signature) or someone else, perhaps to emphasize that Man was a higher-ranking member of the gentry.
The book also contains the armorial bookplate of collector Fairfax Rhodes (1845–1928).
Thomas Manton (1620-1677) was a Puritan preacher who was well known for his sermons. He had preached before Parliament in the late 1640s and served as chaplain to Oliver Cromwell. In the later 1650s, he was a rector at Saint Paul’s Cathedral, but even though he favored the Restoration of Charles II, he could not subscribe to the sweeping terms of the Church of England after 1660 that asked for loyalty to the Laudian principles of the king. He ended up briefly imprisoned in 1670 and no longer working in clerical office afterwards.
When Elizabeth Man put her signature in the book in 1696, those tumultuous days were over and under the reign of William III Puritan sympathies were much more acceptable.
Source: Book was offered for sale by Whitmore Rare Books on 3/21/19, but has been sold at the time of this posting. Images used with permission.