A King to Unite Britain: The Genealogy of James I

JAMES I, KING OF ENGLAND (1566-1625); Harry, George Owen (ca. 1552 - ca. 1613), pseudonym for George Owen.

The genealogy of the high and mighty monarch, Iames, by the grace of God, king of great Brittayne, &c. with his lineall descent from Noah, by diuers direct lynes to Brutus, first Inhabiter of this ile of Brittayne; and from him to Cadwalader, the last King of the British bloud; and from thence, sundry ways to his Majesty: wherein is playnly shewed his rightfull Title, by lawful descent from the sayd Cadwalader, as well to the Kingdome of Brittayne, as to the Principalities of Northwales and Wouthwales: together with briefe Cronologie of memorable Acts of the famous men touched in this Genealogy, and what time they were. Where also is handled the worthy descent of his Maiesties ancestor Owen Tudyr, and his affinity with most of the greatest princes of Chrstendome. Gathered by George Owen Harry, parson of Whitchurch in Kemeis, at the request of M. Robert Holland

London: Imprinted by Simon Stafford, for Thomas Salisbury, 1604


Quarto: [2], 40, 49-67, [1] p., [9] leaves of plates (1 folded). Collation: (a)-(g)⁴ (h)⁴(-(h)4).


With the dedication to King James I by Robert Holland. Bound in modern sprinkled calf. Contents in good condition, trimmed close, affecting signature marks at foot of the page and shaving the bottom lnine (without loss of sense) on one leaf only. Marginal light dampstain. 17thc. ownership inscription on title. Complete with all nine engraved plates.

The Welsh clergyman and antiquary George Owen Harry'smajor work is known in manuscript as 'The wellspring of true nobility' and was published as The genealogy of the high and mighty monarch James … king of Great Brittayne, etc., with his lineall descent from Noah, by divers direct lynes to Brutus (1604). The work is in the line of those pedigrees that traced the house of Tudor'snoble Welsh descent and drew about the Tudor accession of 1485 the (mab darogan'son of prophecy') tradition that a descendant of Cadwallader would return to take the throne of Britain. George Owen Harry's pedigree is a reworking that celebrates the accession of the house of Stuartand represents a last and somewhat formal transformation of a lengthy tradition."(Mihail Dafydd Evans, ODNB)

"Admirers of James I and his unionist programme made regular and adoring references to the new monarch's British blood (inherited through his Tudor ancestors but also through the legendary Scottish figure Fleance, (in Macbeth the son of Banquo), who had produced an heir with a Welsh princess). Almost as soon as the new king came to the throne, the Welsh parson George Henry Owen drew up his (royally sanctioned) 'Genealogy of the high and mighty monarch, Iames… with his lineall descent from Noah, by diuersdirect lynes to Brutus, first Inhabiter of this ile of Brittayne; and from him to Cadwalader, the last King of the British bloud'. The reference to Cadwallader is an implicit reminder of the old prophecy, which in Geoffrey of Monmouth is delivered by an angel to Cadwallader, that at some unspecified future time the Britons would be restored to rule over the island. In the middle ages, the prophecy had been thought to herald some sort of Welsh reconquista. Now its true significance was revealed in the person of a king of British descent reigning over all of Britain."(Schwyzer, The Jacobean Union Controversy and King Lear, p. 36)

ESTC S103822; STC (2nd ed.), 12872