From the introduction of printing into England, the liberty of the press had been modified from time to time by royal proclamations. In 1557 the Stationers Company of London was formed. The exclusive privilege of printing and publishing in the English dominions was given to 97 London stationers and their successors by regular apprenticeship. All printing was thus centralised in London under the immediate inspection of the Government. No one could legally print, without special license, who did not belong to the Stationers Company. The Company had power to search for and to seize publications which infringed their privilege.In November, 1644, Miltons Areopagitica, a plea for the free expression of opinion, was published as a protest against this Order. It is a pamphlet in the form of a speech supposed to be addressed to the Parliament.This Premium edition is annotated with a commentary by Sir R. C Jebb and a biography by A. W Verity. It also comes with a beautiful layout that makes reading comfortable.