'Facebook' up for auction
A 17th century book about the execution of Gunpowder Plot conspirator father Henry Garnet believed to be bound in the priest's own skin is to go under the hammer.
Some people claim to see an image of the priest's face in the binding of A True and Perfect Relation of the Whole Proceedings against the Late Most Barbarous Traitors, Garnet a Jesuit and his Confederats.
Sid Wilkinson, the auctioneer, said: "Because the subject matter is so strange, we thought putting an estimate on it might be a bit vulgar.
"It could make £1,000, it could make hundreds, we just don't know."
He said the book is so rare Wilkinson's had never auctioned one before, but added that making books out of convicts' skin was not an entirely unusual practice.
The book tells a "rare and macabre" account of the demise of Jesuit priest Father Henry Garnet, who was executed in May 1606.
Garnet claimed he knew about the conspiracy to blow up the Houses of Parliament, but was not involved.
However, some scholars have since claimed Garnet may have been trying to prevent the plot to kill King James I.............
The involvement of a number of priests - in particular the Jesuit, Henry Garnet (who had known of the Plot but taken only feeble measures to discourage it) - convinced the government that further measures were necessary to suppress Catholicism in England.
The penalties for recusancy were increased and a new Oath of Allegiance was imposed to try and test the loyalty of Catholic subjects..….
The king ordered his hanging but he was spared the cruelty of being drawn and quartered.
According to legend, a piece of bloodstained straw found at the scene of his execution started to develop an exact image of the priest's face, which auctioneers now believe has happened to the centuries-old book..............