Mercurius Politicus

A blog (mostly) about early modern history

Tag: john taylor

Books with names but no bodies

In recent days I have been enjoying Adam Smyth and Gill Partington’s edition of Critical Quarterly on missing texts. As the title of their introduction asks, what is the material history of books with names but no bodies?

As it happens there is one particular book for whose body I have been searching recently: To Your Tents, O Israel by Henry Walker. The events which prompted its writing are well-known: on 4 January 1642, Charles I had made famous attempt to arrest five leading opponents in the House of Commons: arriving at Parliament only to find, in his own words, that ‘all the birds are flown’. Charles was determined to track down the rogue MPs, and believing that they were still in hiding in the capital, he decided to confront the Corporation of the City of London.

At about ten o’clock the following, Charles was taken by coach up the Strand towards the Guildhall. By the time he got there, a substantial crowd had assembled to meet him. After addressing the Corporation, Charles dined with London’s Sheriff, George Garrett, at his house in Aldermanbury Street next door. After their lunch was finished, he emerged and made his way back to his carriage. At this point the crowd surged and shouts went up of ‘privilege of Parliament’. This was the moment that Henry Walker, a 29-year old ironmonger turned writer and bookseller decided to throw a self-penned text into Charles’s coach.

The text has become known as To Your Tents, O Israel because of the passage in scripture it is supposed to have alluded to: 1 Kings 12:16, which told the story of King Rehoboam’s tyrannical rule over Israel. Rehoboam was a tyrant who imposed heavy taxes and harsh punishments on his people. In response, the ten northern tribes of Israel rebelled and formed their own nation. In alluding to these events, Walker was making a fairly heavy handed comparison to the extra-Parliamentary taxation that Charles had introduced under his period of Personal Rule in the 1630s.

However, it’s not actually clear if To Your Tents, O Israel was the title, or even if the text had a title. Nor is it clear what form the text took. It is described variously in contemporary accounts as a “Pamphlet”, “Petition”, “Paper” and “Sermon”. No copies survive and it’s not clear how many were made. We do know, though, that it was printed rather than hand-written. The only direct account we have of the text’s production is by a hostile witness, John Taylor:

He plotted and contrived with a Printer, the said night before to write and print a perrillous Petition to his Majesty, and borrowed the Printers wives Bible, out of which he tooke his Theame out of the first of Kings, Chap, 12. ver. 16 part of the verse; To your Tents O Israel. There was writing and printing all night, and all the next day those Libels were scattered, and when his Majesty had dined, and had taken Coach to returne to White-Hall, Walker stood watching the Kings comming by amongst the Drapers in Pauls Church-yard, and having one of his Pamphlets in his hand meaning to have delivered it to his Majesty, but could not come at him by reason of the presse of People, insomuch as Walker (most impudently sawcy) threw it over the folkes heads into his Majesties Coach.

John Taylor, The whole life and progresse of Henry Walker the ironmonger, E.154[29].

However, details in this account can be checked and verified. The printer was Thomas Payne, whose shop at the sign of the sugar loaf in Goldsmith’s Alley was a stone’s throw from Walker’s establishment in Butler’s Alley in St Giles Cripplegate. It was Payne who, having thought better of his role, shopped Walker to the authorities. In 1650 he received a belated reward of £20 from the Commonwealth’s Council of State ‘‘as a gratuity for his sufferings by printing a book for the cause of Parliament, written by Mr. Walker”. So it does seem clear that the text was in printed form, although it whether it was a book or a sheet is open to question. And it was written and printed overnight, which suggests it cannot have been that long or had a significant print run.

Something which may help resolve the question of what form of printed text it was is a reference two and a half years later in another of Walker’s works: an edition of his newsbook Perfect Occurrences for 30 August to 6 September 1644. At this point Walker was not acknowledging himself as the author of Perfect Occurrences, hence the references in the third-person:

Here followeth a true copie of Master Walkers petition to the king, for which he suffered.

To the Kings most Excellent Majestie.

Humbly beseecheth that your most Excellent Majestie, would be graciously pleased to meditate on that place of Scripture written, 1 Kings. 12. 15. 16. Wherfore the King hearkned not unto his people, for the cause was from the Lord, that he might perform his saying, which the Lord spake by Ahijah the Shulanite, unto Jeroboam, the Son of Nebat, So when Israel saw that the King hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king saying, what portion have we in David, Neither have wee portion in the son of lesse: To your tents O Israel, now see to thine own, &c. The Lord blesse guide and direct your gratious Majestie, and encrease the number of your faithfull loyall Subjects. Amen.

Perfect Occurrences, 30th August-6th September 1644, E.254[28].

So if we can trust Walker’s reprint, it seems that the text was more akin to a printed version of the manuscript petitions that were common for the king and Parliament to receive at the time. And a text of this length would barely take up half a side of quarto, so it seems unlikely that it was a pamphlet or other book: more likely, a single sheet with some copies taken to distribute to the crowd or paste up on walls, and which Walker was fortunate enough to have the chance to thrust upon Charles.

And so this particular missing text is perhaps not as missing as it seems. A version of it turned up, and is still extant, in a later text – and even if it is a summary or rewrite of the original, it does give some suggestions about what the text said and what form it took. Similarly, an apparently unreliable account in a work by one of Walker’s enemies turns out, when checked against other evidence of the London print trade, to have more in it than first appears. There is something quite satisfying about the fact that it is the material traces of other texts that allows at least a partial reconstruction of another text.

A bit of a pasting

Spotted the poster above pasted onto a wall on the north side of the Millennium Bridge, on the approach to Tate Modern. The URL in the corner is www.neoexternalism.co.uk – but it takes you to a defunct website. A Whois check on the URL doesn’t reveal much, either.

Still, seeing it reminded me that pasting satirical messages onto London’s walls is nothing new, so I thought it would be a good excuse for a post. For comparison, here is one of the Voyeur Card’s famous early modern counterparts: a satirical broadsheet ballad that would probably also have been glued onto walls.

AN47532001

© The Trustees of the British Museum

The World Is Ruled & Governed By Opinion was published in 1641 by Thomas Banks (although subsequent editions did not feature his name).  The text is by Henry Peacham, a writer and illustrator who in the late 1630s and 1640s published a number of written works. There is some suggestion that he was down on his luck and attempting to make money by doing so. At this period Peacham collaborated with Wenceslaus Hollar, who is the artist behind the ballad’s illustration. This is one of a number of works they collaborated on at this period. The dedication is to Sir Francis Prujean, a noted physician.

In the illustration you can see Opinion (the blindfolded woman), crowned with the Tower of Babel. She has a globe on her lap, a chameleon on her left arm and a staff in her right hand. In the tree are various pamphlets and broadside ballads. On the left is a jester-like man watering the tree. On the right is the aristocratic cavalier labelled “Viator” or traveller, who is the person Opinion is debating with in the ballad’s text.

The ballad and its illustration are a good example of of views held in the 1640s about the dangers of print, news and opinion – Opinion is an inversion of Justice, watered by a fool, producing nothing but confusion and a world turned upside down. This is ironic, given that the pamphlet’s publisher, Thomas Banks, was a key producer of cheap ballads, pamphlets and newsbooks during the 1640s. Paradoxically, the ballad’s very medium cuts across its message.

Where it gets really interesting are the titles it’s possible to make out of the books hanging from the tree. These are:

  • “[John] Taylor’s Reply”
  • “The Ironmonger’s Answer”
  • “Mercuries Message”
  • “News from Elyzium”
  • “Hellish Parliament”
  • “A Swarme of Sectaries”
  • “Canterburies Tooles” (not Troubles as the British Museum website has it)
  • “Brownists Conventicle”
  • “Taylors Physicke”
  • “Lambeth Faire”

Of these, Taylor’s Reply, A Swarme of Sectaries, Taylors Physicke, and The Ironmonger’s Answer all relate to the pamphlet war between John Taylor and Henry Walker.

Mercuries Message was a ballad critical of Laud. Newes from Elizium was a satirical piece using the same woodcut of Laud as Mercuries Message. The Hellish Parliament was another satirical pamphlet by Taylor. Canterburies Tooles is a pamphlet purporting to be by Prynne which reused the same woodcut. Brownists Conventicle was yet another Taylor satire. Lambeth Faire was another satirical ballad hostile to Laud.

I have a hunch – and it is no more than that at this stage – that the listed works may all have been published by Thomas Banks. Certainly Taylor had close professional connections with Banks, who printed a number of his satires. And much of Banks’s output at this time consisted of cheap satirical pamphlets and ballads. To add another layer of paradox, it may be that as well as a critical commentary on the burgeoning public sphere in 1641, The World Is Ruled & Governed By Opinion is also an advert for the very cheap print the ballad criticises.

What is also potentially fascinating for me is that works from both sides of the pamphlet war between John Taylor and Henry Walker are mentioned – not just Taylor’s but also Walker’s. Having blogged about this previously, and hypothesised that the two may have been closer than is supposed, and linked by their mutual associations with Banks and other printers, it is intriguing to wonder whether Banks actually printed all the pamphlets in the dispute. At any rate it’s something I’ll be following up.

Incidentally the ballad also inspired the title of Dagmar Freist’s excellent study of politics and communication in mid-seventeenth century London, which is now available in limited preview on Google Books, and which I would recommend if you want to find out more about print and other forms of communication in 1630s and 1640s London.

John Taylor, Charles I and the royal touch

In the autumn of 1648, the poet and waterman John Taylor made a pilgrimage to the Isle of Wight to visit his king.

At this point, Charles I was on parole from his confinement at Carisbrooke Castle to negotiate with Parliamentary commissioners in the town of Newport. It would not go well; but for Taylor, Charles’s parole gave him one last chance to see his king.

Taylor recounted his pilgrimage in Tailors travels from London to the Isle of VVight, vvith his returne, and occasion of his iourney [EEBO ]. I’ve plotted the route Taylor took from London to Newport in Google Maps. Unfortunately WordPress.com can’t do inline Google Maps, so I will have to make do with pointing you towards the link . Below are the steps Taylor took on his journey:

  • 19 October. Taylor took the Southampton coach from the Rose at Holborn Bridge. He went along St Giles to Brentford and then on to Staines, where he stayed the night at the Bush Inn .
  • 20 October. Taylor left Staines and went through Bagshot and Blackwater, before reaching Alton where he stayed in the White Hart.
  • 21 October. From Alton, Taylor reached Southampton where he ate at the Dolphin. From there Taylor sailed to Cowes, where he stayed in the Feathers.
  • 22 October. Taylor travelled by horse to the town of Newport, where Charles was in the midst of negotiations. Here he was received by his monarch.

What is interesting about Taylor’s account is how close he got to his king. In the period before the civil wars, Charles withdrew from his public. There was little circulation of images of the monarch; an attempt to regulate access to court; and a studied decision to withdraw from proactive royal propaganda on the grounds that it opened up the arcana imperii to the public eye. Even touching for the king’s evil, where Charles is often presented as an exemplary practitioner, and where he certainly promoted his power to do so, was subject to many more prohibitions than before.

Compare this with Taylor’s easy access to Charles:

Thus having overpast this soule disaster,
I went to see my suffring Soveraigne Master:
Which sight to me was all my Earthly blisse,
He gave me straight his Royall hand to kisse,
Which grac’d me much in all the publique sights
Of Commons, Gentles, and brave Lords and Knights.

There is also already a hint of Charles martyredly rising above his circumstances – a studied pose of suffering kingship:

His Majesty, with an Heroick and unconquered patience, conquers his unmatchable afflictions, and with Christian constancy, expects a happy deliverance out of all his troubles.

Compare it also to one of the most fascinating parts of Taylor’s account, his description of Charles I touching for the king’s evil and other diseases. Below are Taylor’s eye-witness accounts:

1. At a Towne called Winburne , (or Wimborne ) in Dorcetshire , there dwels an [Note: For testimony of the truth of this there is one Iohn Newbery , a Clothworker, who dwels in Newport in the streete called Castle Hole, this man did come over the water with her, and did see her lame, and cured. ] Ancient woman, the Wife to a Clothier (whose name I could not know by enquiry) this Woman had a long time been so lame that she could not goe, 11 and she hearing that the King was lodg’d in Carisbrook Castle in the Isle of Wight , she was perswaded in her minde that His Majesty could cure her, in which beliefe she made towards the Island, and with horse or Cart, or both, or otherwaies, she was brought to Hurst Castle in Hampshire by land, from whence she was carried into a Boat in mens armes, which Boat brought her to Newport , from whence she was carried a mile to Carisbrook , where His Majesty did touch her, and her lamenesse ceased in three dayes space, so that with thankes to God, and prayers for the King, she departed from the Island, and went home 20. miles on foot. This was before the Treaty began, much about the midst of August last.

2. Mistresse Elizabeth Steevens of Durley in Hampshire , came from her borne to Winchester , and from thence to the Island to His Majesty to be cured of the evill, whereof she had been blinde of one Eye 16. daies and could not open her Eye by any meanes, and after the King had touched her, her Eye opened and she saw immediatly, with a clear and perfect sight. This was about the seventh of October.

3. Elizabeth Gage of Southampton (being 3 yeares of age) was exceeding lame, and in great paine, she came to his Majesty, and he touched her, whereby (through Gods blessing) she was presently cured.

4. Ioane Mathewes, aged 15. yeares, a Braziers Daughter one William Mathewes , dwelling in Newport in the Isle of Wight , she had been long time painefully lame, and had been at the Bathe , and used many medicines in vaine; she came to the King on Thursday the 19. of October, He toucht her, and she had present ease, and every day shee goes better then other: myselfe saw her and spake with her, and I left her able to go reasonable well.

5. A Souldier in Calshot Castle in Hampshire , had 2. sore issues in his thighes, to which he did frequently apply medicines which eased him, but cured him not: This man 12 went to the Island to His Majesty, who did touch him, and he did after that use his former medicines, which were wont to give him ease, but then the said application did most grievously vex and torment him; so that he was perswaded to forbeare to use the said Oyles, Emplasters, and Unguents, and then he was suddenly cured.

6. Mistresse Elizabeth Paine of Bristell was blinde, and such a Rhewmatick defluxion did dayly fall from her eyes, which did wet two or three large hancherchiefes every day; she came to the King on Sunday last, the 5. of this November, His Majesty did touch her eyes, the Rhewme ceased; so that she went away presently with a cleere and perfect sight; and two houres after she came to the King againe, and gave him thanks upon her knees; His Majesty bade her give thanks to God; so she with giving God praise, and prayers for the King, went from the Island to Bristoll with exceeding joy for her recovery.

7. Margaret Hezden , aged 73. yeares, dwelling in Newport in Chayne lane, was not able to stir but as she was lifted from bed to chaire, and from chaire to bed, touched by His Majesty, and cured, so that with one crutch she did goe about her house, and drew 5 or 6. pots of Ale for me, and my company.

Taylor’s pamphlet account of his journey gives us an interesting insight in to Charles’s change of tactics. In the civil wars and beyond, Charles’s public persona became a vital tool in rallying support and in stressing his positions as God’s anointed representative. There is also a suggestion from many contemporaries that Charles could not only heal his subjects, but heal the political nation too.

Sadly for Charles and for Taylor, that was not to be. But Taylor’s account gives us a good insight into what could have been – and into, as Edward Vallance’s recent post makes clear , what actually was under Charles’s son in the 1660s and beyond.

Taylor’s account of his journey is also interesting for his sales technique. Like a number of his pamphlets, Taylor tried to sell it by subscription, getting sponsors to pledge a minimum of 6 pence (above the market rate for a short quarto pamphlet) in return for an account of his journey when he returned. But Taylor follows the usual tactic of the early modern pamphleteer in simultaneously admitting and denying base commercial motives. Taylor’s pamphlet is "no Mercury (with scoffs, and jeeres) to raise debate, and set us by the eares"; it is not like "old Currantoes , in the daies of Yore". But as well as a mission to see his sovereign, Taylor admitted that he "travelled with an intent to get some Silver in this Iron Age, (for pleasure and profit should be the reward of honest and harmelesse paines taking)".

The photo is of a bust in the Chapel of St Charles the Martyr at Carisbrooke Castle, taken by Loz Flowers and used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.

The pamphlet war between John Taylor and Henry Walker

The series of posts that follow are a slightly amended and lengthier version of a paper I gave on 12 July at the Birkbeck Early Modern Society. [Note: since writing this my views on some aspects of this pamphlet exchange have evolved: if you are also researching this issue and want to get in touch please do.]

The pamphlet above is one of a number of salvoes fired in an infamous pamphlet war that started in June 1641, between two writers called John Taylor and Henry Walker.

Taylor was a waterman who had lived in London since his apprenticeship in the early 1590s. Despite only a brief spell at grammar school, contact with actors and writers he ferried to the Bankside triggered a new interest in literature for him. From 1612, Taylor started publishing verses and experimented with other forms of print. For example, in 1614 he produced a miniature “thumb-bible” as a novelty for courtiers. He also experimented with a subscription model for selling books. By the 1630s, Taylor’s predominant output was satirical pamphlets.

Less is known about Henry Walker’s background. In 1638 he was admitted as a pensioner at Queens’ College, Cambridge. However, before this he was apprenticed to an ironmonger in Newgate market. By 1641 he was writing and selling anti-episcopal books. At the same time, he was also becoming well-known as an Independent “tub preacher” – in other words, a preacher without a living.

The first salvo in their pamphlet war was fired by Taylor in a pamphlet called A Swarme of Sectaries. In it Taylor satirised a range of “mechanic” or non-beneficed preachers. Walker responded with An Answer to a Foolish Pamphlet entituled A Swarme of Sectaries, in which he attacked Taylor’s literary and religious credentials. Taylor quickly came back with another pamphlet, A Reply as true as Steele, criticising Walker and throwing in a woodcut of a she-devil giving birth to Walker. Walker then wrote a further response, Taylors Physicke has purged the divel, with a woodcut showing Taylor in his ferry-boat drinking something unmentionable from the rear end of another she-devil: this is the pamphlet you can see above. A third author, George Richardson, then entered the fray on Taylor’s side.

Although the dispute went quiet later in the summer of 1641, Taylor resurrected it in 1642 with two further pamphlets. One, a satire of a sermon preached by Walker, became well-known as “Tobie’s dog” after the mock-sermon’s subject, the book of Tobias. Another was a spoof of a debate held between Walker and a Jesuit.

This dispute has traditionally been seen as one of the literary set-pieces of the 1640s. In the civil war both Taylor and Walker would go on to be propagandists for king and Parliament respectively. As a result, their dispute is often presented as a paper conflict prefiguring the actual conflict that would break out between Charles I and Parliament in 1642. This interpretation has been combined with a tendency to see the dispute as being crude and of low literary merit. More recently, historians have been concerned not to marginalise popular print and instead to see it as an expressive form in its own right. Taylor and Walker’s pamphlet war has also been re-evaluated as part of this trend, and some historians have sought to restore Walker and Taylor’s literary credentials.

However, all of these re-interpretations have continued to stress the oppositional nature of Walker and Taylor’s exchange. Importantly, too, even the most recent interpretations have only considered one aspect of the dispute – the two authors.

But actually it takes more than authors to bring a book to print. As Robert Darnton has argued in work on the print culture of eighteenth-century France, there is a “communication circuit” involved in every book. You also need printers, booksellers and readers. And a text itself doesn’t exist in a vacuum either – it relates to the social and political context of its time. The diagram below shows Darnton’s version of this communication circuit.

What I will do in subsequent posts is analyse some of the missing characters in the communication circuit behind Walker and Taylor’s dispute:

  • the texts, and how they relate to seventeenth-century print culture in general
  • the readers
  • the publishers

A full contextual analysis of all the parties involved, and the creative tensions between them, reveals that the exchange could be at once a pitched battle and a friendly spat, and could simultaneously be both crude and erudite.

Cheapside cross

There’s an interesting post from Roy Booth over at Early Modern Whale, about the vandalism of Cheapside cross during the early 1640s before its eventual pulling down in 1643. Roy’s image of the cross prompted me to go to EEBO to have a look for other images, which threw up a couple of interesting things.

First, the woodcut Roy reproduces from a 1643 pamphlet, The Downe-fall of Dagon, or, the taking downe of Cheap-side crosse this second of May, 1643, appears to have been recycled. An identical image appears in The Dolefull lamentation of Cheap-side crosse, or, Old England sick of the staggers, from 1641. Here are the two pamphlets alongside each other.

dolefull-lamentation-1641.jpgcheapsidecross.gif

So if nothing else, this is an interesting example of printers recycling woodcuts.

But funnily enough, given that I have recently been posting about John Taylor, I think there may also be a Taylor connection.

  • In January 1642, The dolefull lamentation of cheap-side crosse: or old England sick of the staggers was published. This was printed for F.C. and T.B. – in other words, it is highly likely that the undertakers for this were the same as two of the three for Taylor’s pamphlet. The pamphlet has the same Puritan middling sort stereotypes, listing the weavers, box makers and button makers who support the vandalism of the cross. It then shifts into direct speech by the cross, lamenting its fate.
  • In 1642 there also appeared The resolution of the Round-heads to pull down Cheap-side Crosse, which is sometimes attributed to Taylor (the reference to tub-preachers in it makes this plausible). This too was printed for F.C. and T.B. and is a satirical address by a roundhead, mostly covering their various hypocrisies, but ending with the ambition to level the cross.
  • In 1643 there appeared the subject of Roy’s post, The Downe-fall of Dagon, or, the taking downe of Cheap-side crosse this second of May, 1643. This was printed for Thomas Wilson, so there is no link with Taylor’s earlier printers. But the pamphlet does recycle the woodcut from The dolefull lamentation, and there are also other similarities – the similarity of the cover layout, the cross addressing the reader directly, similar themes, and both say that the cross’s full name is Jasper Cross. It’s possible of course that this is another author riffing on Taylor’s original – Taylor had fled to Windsor then Oxford in March 1643, so the text would I suppose have had to be sent back to London for publication. But even if this is the case it shows the creation of another niche genre – laments by crosses! – in the wildly creative times of the early 1640s.

UPDATE – in response to Roy’s comment, here’s another image of vandalism from A dialogue between the crosses in Cheap, and Charing Cross in 1641 (see my comment below). A close look shows it’s a drawing of the cross from the other side (the statues at the top are reversed).

cheapside-again.jpg

Pepper and Puddle

peper-and-pudle.jpg

Here’s an image with which you are probably familiar. It’s a staple of lots of textbooks and narratives of the civil wars, and is commonly used to show how deep the conflict ran – even the dogs had to take sides. But on a closer look it reveals a rather different context.

It’s a woodcut from the title page of a pamphlet published in early 1643:

A dialogue, or, Rather a parley betweene Prince Ruperts dogge whose name is Puddle, and Tobies dog whose name is Pepper, &c.

Whereunto is added the challeng which Prince Griffins dogg called Towzer, hath sent to Prince Ruperts dogg Puddle, in the behalfe of honest Pepper Tobies dog.

Moreover the said Prince Griffin is newly gone to Oxford to lay the wager, and to make up the match.

The dialogue starts with Rupert’s dog, Puddle, and Toby’s dog, Pepper, exchanging insults: “whindling Puppy Dog”, “shag haired Cavalier’s Dogge”. Pepper claims Puddle is an evil spirit, a claim which Puddle throws straight back at him, accusing him of bewitching the apprentices who rioted outside Westminster in the months before war broke out. After establishing what breed of dog they are, they trade insults on the social standing of their respective armies. Puddle contemptously rejects Pepper’s “red-cotton” soldiers, preferring the massed ranks of aristocrats he is able to list on the king’s side.

Puddle then lists the various plots he has been involved in, making Pepper so envious he begs to be told how to emulate him. Puddle reveals a plot to end all plots – a conspiracy to use 1000 barrels of gunpowder, 500 bars of iron, and 600 tonnes of stones to undermine the Thames, blowing them all up at high tide and sweeping the roundheads away.

Pepper is so impressed that he swears to deny all roundheads, and to bark at conventicles. To seal the deal, Puddle asks him to blow his nose backwards, and to fart against all sectaries. Unfortunately Pepper also ends up stinking the place out, much to Puddle’s consternation: “But I gave you no command to stink”. The dialogue closes with Puddle fetching sheeps-wool for Pepper to use as a periwig, completing his side-switching.

The dialogue is obviously a rich mine of information about the stereotypes already flourishing by 1643. There are the feather-capped, long-haired, spur-wearing cavaliers in the woodcut, contrasted against the plain-hatted roundheads. There is the rich imagery deployed by the author of the dialogue, and the scatological humour. There is also the reference to Prince Rupert’s dog, Puddle, who really existed but whose real name was Boye. Boye rode into action with Rupert on a number of occasions and built up quite a reputation amongst Parliamentarian troops as an evil spirit. Here for example is an image from a 1643 pamphlet of Rupert with his familiar.

All this can tell us a lot about the audience for such pamphlets, and the literary tropes and images that were in use at the time, making it a very useful source.

But in fact the main emphasis of the pamphlet is on something rather different. The author was John Taylor, the so- called “water poet”, a staunch royalist who would later travel to Oxford to join Charles I there. During 1642 and 1643 he became engaged in a literary spat with another pamphlet writer, Henry Walker the ironmonger. Walker was a “tub” preacher – in other words, he didn’t have a benefice. Walker is the real subject of the pamphlet. At some point in 1642 Walker had obviously delivered a sermon on the book of Tobit (in which Tobias makes a journey accompanied by a dog). A record of this does not survive, but there is a piss-take by Taylor in which Walker spouts nonsense, each paragraph ending with “and the dog of the man went with him”. There’s even a woodcut of Walker in his tub.

walker.jpg

The dialogue between the dogs is scattered with references to this incident. There is Pepper’s owner, most obviously, as well as many references to Walker and to tub-preaching: for example, when switching sides Pepper declares: “all tub-lecturers I defie”. So the real objective of the pamphlet is to continue the battle on paper with Walker, as well as propagandising the royalist cause. Walker was certainly put out by the pamphlet: in a retort titled A Modest Vindication, he grumbled about a “foolish ridiculous Pamphlet of Tobie and his dog”. So he was clearly stung by Taylor’s caricature!

Finally, who is the mysterious Towzer, Prince Griffin’s dog? EEBO reckons it’s a reference to Roger L’Estrange, who would become a famous pamphleteer after the Restoration (but who at this point was a supporter of Parliament). In 1680 he was burnt in effigy by Londoners, who christened him the Dog Towzer. But this is far too early for L’Estrange to have been a target. The answer lies in the reference to Prince Griffin. This is likely to be John Griffith or Griffin, who had been an MP for Caernarvonshire before getting into trouble for basically duelling and killing his way round England. There is a brilliantly-titled denial of having murdered a gentleman’s servant, for example: A vindication or justification of John Griffith, Esq. Against the horrid, malitious, and unconscionable verdict of the coroners iury in Cheshire : vvhich was packt by the means of that pocky, rotten, lying, cowardly, and most perfidious knave, Sir Hugh Caulveley Knight, onely to vent his inveterate hatred and malice against me. Taylor portrays Towzer as challenging Puddle to a duel.