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The exiled James II pleads with the Pope

JAMES II (1633-1701). King of England 1685-1688.
Fine Autograph Letter Signed, in French, to the Pope [Clement XI], 2 pages 4to with blank, uniformly browned all over, St Germain en Laye, 19 February 1698. Probably the exiled King's retained autograph copy, as there is no address, although fold marks can be faintly discerned.
Pressing the case of [James] Smith, Bishop of Calliopolis (1645-1711), formerly one of James's four vicars-apostolic of England, for elevation to Cardinal and to the office of protector [of the Catholic faith] of England. James repeats an earlier plea along the same lines, stresses the good that will be done to the Pope's persecuted subjects and raises the point that he has himself lost three crowns because of his devotion to the Holy See. He adds that the Pope would not refuse him this request if he were still in possession of his kingdoms.
'Tres Saint Pere
I'y a environ un an que j'ay eu l'honneur de nommer a V[otre]:S[ainteté]: le Sieur Smith Eveque de Caliopoli, comme le suject de toute L'Anglettere que j'ay jugé le plus digne du Cardinalat, et j'avois prie V:S: de vouloir bien lhonorer de cettr dignité. ... La tendresse paternelle que V:S: a marquée pour moy en tant dautres occasions et le zele qu'elle a pour la conservation de la foy, et pour le soulegement de ce petit nombre des vrais fideles qui reste encore dans mes Royaumes malgré la persecution et linjustice du temps, me fond esperer qu'elle ne voudra pas me refuser cette grace dans une conjoncture ou it est si necessaire pour l'edification de l'Eglise, et la consolation particulier de mes sujects Catholiques que souffrent avec moy pour la verité et pour la justice. ...'

[No: 20596]


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