Treasure's description

Embassy to Rome

Embassy to Rome

Roger, Earl of Castlemaine, James the Secondís representative in the first British embassy to Rome since the Reformation, kisses the foot of Pope Innocent the Eleventh. This florid engraving forms the frontispiece of the account of the mission published by the Earlís Chief Steward, John Michael Wright, an artist of some note. The work is punctuated with plates revealing the baroque extravagance of the ambassadorís entry and the banquet which followed. Appearing in English translation from the original Italian in 1688, a worse-timed piece of Stuart propaganda it would be hard to imagine, for Jamesís intention to return Britain to the Catholic fold could not have been more apparent. A magnificent centrepiece, displayed at the banquet, and immortalised in this publication, left no doubt that the Catholic Church, under Jamesís patronage, would be exalted over the dismembered body of the hydra Rebellion. This treasure was presented to the Library in memory of James Rowley, Professor of Modern History and English Literature in University College Bristol, 1876-1905.