4 parts in one volume, folio (335 x 210mm.), PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR TO CHARLES II, WHEN PRINCE OF WALES (“For | His Highnesse Charles by the Grace of God | our hopeful Prince of Wales, the labours of | experience of an ould Souldiers gained | under the Commaund of Prince Maurice | of blessed memorie, and his highnesse | the old prince of Orang that | now is in the warres of | the united Provences on | the states side presents | it selfe in most humble | ness to your highnesse | & rests. | Your highnesses most | humble obedient and | devoted servant | He Hexham”) on front free endpaper, CONTEMPORARY BLACK MOROCCO GILT WITH THE ARMS OF THE PRINCE OF WALES, flat spine ornately gilt, top edge gilt, ribbon ties, preserved in collector's folding box, some browning, damp-staining, hinges slightly starting, bumped
Henry Hexham, soldier and author, began his military career in the service of Sir Francis Vere, commander of the English troops in the United Provinces, at the siege of Ostend in 1601. He remained in Holland and began to publish a series of Protestant religious works, before continuing his military career fighting for the Dutch as quartermaster to Sir Francis Vere at the relief of Breda in 1625. From 1630 he began to publish technical military works and battle narratives.
In 1637 Hexham published The Principles of the Art Militarie Practised in the Warres of the United Netherlands. It was a significant contribution to military theory and the most valuable military encyclopaedia of its day. It was published in three parts and meant to pass along his military knowledge to the "thousands of true hearted Brittaines that shall be all willing to fight in so just a quarrel."
"His three instruction manuals… were a tour de force of English military literature and a veritable catalogue of the Dutch contributions to the transformation of warfare in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries" (David Lawrence, The Complete Soldier, Military Books and Military Culture in Early Stuart England, 1603-1645, p. 104).
The first of his Principles was originally written for the captains of the army, however by the second and third parts, Hexham’s readership was much broader and included infantry soldiers, horsemen and engineers. In the second part, Hexham lists the responsibilities of an officer, including not only the professional but the personal characteristics required of each rank, much like Vegetius, Machiavelli and the great military writers before him.
The arms on the binding (British Armorial Bindings, Charles II, stamp 1) were originally made for Charles I's older brother Prince Henry. Prince Charles was a young child in 1637 and Hexham's inscription, emphasising the English support of the Dutch Protestant cause stretching back to the days of Elizabeth I, no doubt expresses his hope that the young prince will in time take up the cause of International Protestantism.
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