Albany: Printed and sold by Charles R. and George Webster, 1796. 211,,41,27,pp. 12mo. Contemporary calf, gilt leather label. Extremities worn, but binding quite sturdy. Contemporary ownership inscription to endpapers. Slight text loss to p.33. Some light foxing. Very good. Item #WRCAM52225
Born in Newfoundland and educated in England, Richard Brothers (1757-1824) was a self-styled prophet and espouser of the doctrine of British Israelism, the notion that people of Western European ancestry were descended from the lost ten tribes of Israel. This work was first published in 1794 and reprinted numerous times. It appears here are "Book the First," continuously paginated with "Book the Second," and is bound as issued with the TESTIMONY OF THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE PROPHECIES OF RICHARD BROTHERS, AND OF HIS MISSION TO RECALL THE JEWS and A CALCULATION ON THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE MILLENNIUM... both by Nathaniel Halhed. "In 1794, at the expense of his supporter Captain Hanchett, Brothers's two-volume Revealed Knowledge of the Prophecies and Times was printed by the bookseller George Riebau who, like Hanchett, remained a faithful follower of Brothers until he died. It is clear from these volumes that when Brothers spoke of Israel he was largely concerned with the ten 'lost tribes', conceived by him as a spiritual community which included many British believers - a significant idea which was later incorporated into the teachings of the British Israelite movement. Brothers envisaged that the tribes of Israel would gather in 1795 in the midst of a world crisis during which George III would yield the throne to Brothers and a great exodus to Palestine would occur. Jerusalem would be rebuilt and the messianic rule of peace would begin in 1798. Such apocalyptic imaginings might have passed unnoticed, except that they were couched in decidedly revolutionary language at a time when England was engaged in a not very successful war with the French Revolutionary armies. Brothers claimed to have successfully predicted the deaths of Gustavus III of Sweden (assassinated by Johan Ankarström on 29 March 1792) and Louis XVI (guillotined on 21 January 1793). In the context of a bitter winter, serious crop failures, and rising food prices, opposition to the war with France was widespread in 1795 and Brothers's prophecies gained a wide readership. In that year four editions of his Revealed Knowledge of the Prophecies and Times were published in London, one in Dublin, eighteen in the United States, and one in Paris" - ANB. This edition noted in only four copies by ESTC - two at the American Antiquarian Society, one at Duke University, and one at the New York State Historical Association. A scarce printing of this end-of-days prophecy in a contemporary binding. EVANS 30126. ESTC W21960. ROSENBACH, AMERICAN JEWISH BIBLIOGRAPHY 107.