Station Five: Wilkins Donations (Politics and Religion)

Louis de Gand

Parallelum Olivae, nec non Olivarii Serenissimi, celissimi, potentissimique Angliae, Scotiae, Hyberniaeque dei gratia protectoris etc. (1656)


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 Henry Wilkinson, Conciones tres apud academicos Oxonii nuper habitae

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The second Cromwellian piece is by Louis de Gand, an obscure man who published various short works in French and Latin on the London presses in this period, commencing with his Sol Britannicus Regi consecratus (1641), a work as floridly obsequious to Charles I as the present work is to Cromwell. De Gand, who styled himself a Burgundian nobleman ('Gand' is the French name for Ghent), 'Lord of Brachey and Romecour', 'resident plenipotentier en Angleterre' for Louis, Count of Egmont, also claimed in a 1641 broadsheet to Parliament to have been robbed by the Spanish of all his money while in an English haven, calling as his witnesses three prominent London booksellers who were travelling with him, and appealing to his recent Sol Britannicus as a token of his devotion to the crown - a far cry from the present book. In 1656 there also appeared in print a thinly-disguised begging letter in French addressed to Cromwell signed by de Gand; and in 1659 de Gand presented a further Latin Apologeticon for himself to Parliament. Ironically, the mise-en-page of the Parallelum Olivæ apes exactly the visual arrangement of the earlier Sol Britannicus, but now with Cromwellian olive-branches punctuating the text, rather than Caroline sun-beams. Little is known of de Gand, who evidently spent most of his 'ambassadorial' career broke and importunate.