[COUSTOS (John). Curious proceedings of the... - Lot 58 - Pescheteau-Badin

Lot 58
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[COUSTOS (John). Curious proceedings of the... - Lot 58 - Pescheteau-Badin
[COUSTOS (John). Curious proceedings of the Inquisition of Portugal against Freemasons, to discover their secret, with interrogations & answers, the cruelties exercised by this tribunal, the description of the interior of the S. Office, its origin, & its excesses. In the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The year of the foundation of the Temple of Solomon, 2803 [The Hague, 1747]. Small in-8, marbled brown basane, ribbed spine with partitions and fleurons, filleted edges, red edges (period binding). viii-264 pp. with title printed in red and black; epidermis in corner of first board. FIRST EDITION IN FRENCH and probably the first edition of the text in the language in which it was written. Title illustrated with a woodcut of a square. MARTYR OF ARBITRARY AND RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE, THE FRANC-MAÇON JEAN COUSTOS (d. 1746) was the son of a Huguenot from Guyenne who had become a British citizen, probably of Jewish origin. A diamond merchant, he emigrated to Portugal in 1740, and unsuccessfully sought permission to travel to Brazil, where diamonds had been discovered in 1729. He remained in Lisbon, however, and founded a lodge there, where he was elected Venerable. Seized by the Inquisition, he was summoned to reveal Masonic secrets and subjected to torture, but he refused and was sentenced to the galleys. Fortunately freed by the intervention of the English ambassador (1744), he returned to England and wrote an account of his tribulations, which he published first in English, The Sufferings of John Custos for Freemasonry (1746), then in French (1747) - it is likely that the text was originally written in that language. According to historian Margaret Jacob, behind the acronym of the text's intellectual editor, "L. T. V. I. L. R. D. M." may lie Jean Rousset de Missy (for "R. D. M.", 1686-1762), a Protestant publicist and Freemason committed to the struggle against absolutism, though hostile to Voltaire and the Encyclopedists. Provenance: general archives of the Scottish Philosophical Rite (ex-libris stamp in several places, including one scratched into the title). These archives, enriched by Alexandre Lenoir and Claude-Antoine Thory, were subsequently dispersed during the 19th century. - A few old provenance references on the title.
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