[Macgowan, John 1726-1780], PRIESTCRAFT DEFENDED. A SERMON OCCASIONED BY THE EXPULSION OF SIX YOUNG GENTLEMEN FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD. FOR Praying, Reading and Expounding the Scriptures. Humbly Dedicated to Mr. V- – – – C – – – – r and the H- – – – ds of H – – – – S. By their Humble Servant, THE SHAVER. THE SIXTH EDITION. LONDON, Printed. PHILADELPHIA, Re-printed and Sold, by William and Thomas Bradford, At the LONDON COFFEE HOUSE. M.DCC.LXIX. Octavo, 25 pages. This copy has been rebound in nineteenth century marbled boards and quarter red goatskin, title and date stamped on the spine. Binder’s stamp: “Bound by Launder”. Two initial blanks and eleven concluding blanks were added by the binder. The verso of p. 25 is blank, with “FINIS” appearing at the foot of p. 25. A manuscript “H” appears in the upper left-hand corner of the title-page.
The photographic book plate of bibliophile Thomas B. Criss, with its famous tribute to early printers and early printers’ devices, is signed “T.B.C. fec’t.” and dated Jan. 1902. There is a pencil annotation, possibly his signature, “T. B. Criss 1901” on the recto of the initial blank. Authorship is attributed to John Macgowan in the Dictionary of National Biography. A spirited and – at times – caustic defense of evangelical house-worship as well as of Methodism. The author is self-described on the title-page as a “shaver” and further identified as a barber in the text. Evans, 11320. ESTC, Cit. No. W21157. Slight foxing of the title-page, front cover re-enforced, but still a generally good surviving copy of a rare imprint from one of the most important printing dynasties in Colonial America.