University of Glasgow


Part of the Library and University Services

Please note that these pages are from our old (pre-2010) website; the presentation of these pages may now appear outdated and may not always comply with current accessibility guidelines.

Printing in England from William Caxton to Christopher Barker
An Exhibition: November 1976 - April 1977


Westminster & London Presses: William Caxton - Wynkyn de Worde - William de Machlinia- Richard Pynson - Julian Notary - Peter Treveris - Robert Redman - Lawrence Andrewe - William Rastell - Robert Wyer - Thomas Berthelet - John Byddell - Richard Grafton - William Powell - Steven Mierdman - William Seres -Thomas Purfoot - Richard Jugge - John Cawood - Henry Bynneman - Thomas Dawson - Thomas Vautrollier - Henry Denham - John Charlewood - Robert Waldegrave - Richard Tottel - Nicholas Hill - John Wayland - Thomas East - John Wolfe - Thomas Orwin - Adam Islip - Eliot’s Court Press - Richard Field - Peter Short - Christopher Barker

Provincial Presses: St Albans: The schoolmaster printer - John Oswen - John Siberch - Thomas Thomas - John Legate - Joseph Barnes

Back to Exhibitions page


Westminster and London Presses

William Caxton

William Caxton was born in Kent between 1415 and 1424. He was apprenticed to Robert Large, a mercer, probably when he was about fourteen or a little older. At some date between 1444 and 1449 he went to Bruges, then a thriving merchant town. Because of its predominance as a market, merchants from all over Europe gathered there and established themselves in national communities ruled by a governor. The English community was known as Merchant Adventurers and Caxton became their governor in 1462. He probably sold cloth and other goods including manuscripts, for Bruges was the centre of a flourishing trade in manuscripts and paintings.
In 1469 or earlier Caxton decided to learn how to print and by using this knowledge to produce books in English for sale in England to the nobility. Having acquired a copy of the French version of the History of Troy, he started to translate it with the intention of printing the finished translation. The outbreak of civil war in England led him to postpone his plan. When after two years Edward IV was safely re-established in England he resumed his project, with the patronage of Margaret of Burgundy, Edward’s sister. He quickly finished his translation and went to Cologne to learn the art of printing.
The first book Caxton printed, and the first book to appear in English, was his own translation of the History of Troy. It probably appeared in late 1473 or early 1474. In all he printed six or seven volumes before returning to England; these bear no place or date of printing but were almost certainly printed at Bruges.
At Michaelmas, 29 September, 1476, Caxton’s name was entered on the account roll of John Estency, Sacrist of Westminster Abbey, as paying a year’s rent in advance for the premises - probably a shop - in which he set up his press. The first known piece of printing done in England, a Letter of Indulgence by John Sant, Abbot of Abingdon, with the date of purchase 13 December 1476, issued from this press. Its existence was unknown until February 1928, when it was discovered at the Public Record Office. The first dated book printed in England, The dictes or sayengis of the philosophres, was completed on 18 November 1477. This book was translated from the French by Caxton’s friend and patron, Earl Rivers. It was followed by nearly one hundred other works before Caxton died in 1491. Of these he was personally responsible for the translation of about twenty-five, besides editing nearly all of them. He made little attempt to educate or lead public taste, but printed what it was easy for him to know was popular, or what the prevailing predilection for religious writings made a certain success. Romances and poetry were another reasonable venture, while a few works of instruction completed his list. He also worked under patronage in many instances, so that of seventy-seven original works published by him we know that for twenty-three of them he was assured of financial support, and the favour of influential personages.

Cordyale, or Four last thinges.
Westminster: William Caxton, 24 March 1479 Bv. 2. 21
The French original of this work, entitled Les quatres choses derrenieres, was translated from the Latin, attributed to Gerard van der Vlyderhoven, by Jean Mielot, secretary to Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy, and was printed by Caxton at Bruges about 1475-6. This English version is by Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers, who was the brother-in-law of King Edward IV, and had accompanied him on his flight to the Low Countries in 1470. Caxton and Rivers probably met for the first time towards the end of Caxton’s stay in Bruges and Rivers translated The dictes or sayengis of the philosophores, which Caxton issued in Westminster on 18 November 1477.
This was the Harleian copy. In 1743-5 it was in the possession of Thomas Osborne, a London bookseller, to whom the Harleian Library had been sold by Edward Harley’s widow. In 1773 this copy appeared again in James West’s sale (catalogue p.114, no.1873) and was sold to William Hunter for £14.

The Chronicles of England.
Westminster: William Caxton, 10 June 1480  Bv. 2. 31
This work, compiled by Caxton, is largely based on the Brut which gives an account of the history of England from the time that "Albyne with his susters entred into this isle" until the accession of Edward IV. From 1480 to 1528 the Chronicles of England was always in demand and copies of not less than twelve editions survive.
With this is bound Discripcion of Britayne, issued by Caxton on 18 August 1480 as a supplement to the Chronicles of England. It is an extract from the translation made by John Trevisa in 1387 of Ranulph Rigden’s Polychronicon.

GODEFROY of Boloyne
Godefroy of Boloyne, or the siege and conqueste of Jherusaslem, or Eracles
Westminster: William Caxton, 20 November 1481  Bv. 2. 29
This work was translated from French by Caxton himself. The text which he used is to be found in a fifteenth-century illuminated manuscript on vellum in the British Library. An edition was printed at Paris in 1500 with the title Les faits et gestes de preux Godefroy de Bovillon et de ses chevelereux freres Baudouin et Eustache.
This copy belonged in 1650 to Mathew Goodwin. In 1776 it appeared in the sale of John Ratcliffe’s library, when it was bought by George Nicol, a London bookseller, who presumably sold it to William Hunter.

HIGDEN, Ranulph
[Westminster: William Caxton, after 2 July 1482]  Bv. 2. 9
Higden’s Polychronicon had been written in Latin in the first half of the fourteenth century and translated into English in 1387 by John Trevisa, chaplain to Lord Thomas of Berkeley, at the request of his employer. Caxton added his own prologue, inserted a table of contents and continued the chronicle to 1461; Trevisa’s translation had ended at 1357.
William Hunter bought this copy at John Ratcliffe’s sale in 1776 (catalogue p.86, no.1669).

CATO Dionysius
The book callid Cathon.
[Westminster: William Caxton, after 23 December 1483] Bv. 2. 16
Caxton dedicated this book to the City of London and in his prologue he compares the customs of Rome with those of London. The distichs of Cato had been translated by Benet Burgh, then vicar of Malden in Essex and later High Canon of St. Stephen’s, Westminster, where he may have known Caxton, who translated the extensive gloss from a French original.
An early owner of this copy was Francis Laxton. Later it was in the Harleian Library and then in that of James West (1704-1773) who was Treasurer of the Inner Temple and President of the Royal Society. At West’s sale in 1773 it was bought by John Ratcliffe for £4. 7. 6. and William Hunter bought it at Ratcliffe’s sale in 1776 (catalogue p.73, no.1427).

The lyf of our Lady.
[Westminster]: William Caxton, [1484] Bv. 2. 20
This book "was compiled by Dan John Lydgate, Monk of Bury, at the excitation and stirring of the noble and victorious prince, King Harry the Fifth". Lydgate, a monk of the Benedictine Abbey of Bury St. Edmund’s, supposed to have been born about 1375, was ordained a sub-deacon in 1389, a deacon in 1393, a priest in 1397, arrived at his greatest eminence as a poet about 1430, and died about 1461. After pursuing his studies at Oxford, he travelled in France and Italy; returning home he opened a school in his monastery and amused himself by writing poetry. Riston called him a "voluminous, prosaick, and drivelling monk", but Gray and Coleridge esteemed him highly.
This copy belonged to John Ratcliffe and appeared as no.1218 in the catalogue of the sale of his books in 1776.

VORAIGNE, Jacobus de
The legends named in latyn legenda aurea.
Westminster: wylyam caxton, [1487?] Bg. 1. 1
This is a mixed copy, containing sheets of both the first edition printed after 20 November 1483, and the second edition, printed about 1487. The last three leaves are for a shorter copy which belonged in 1697 to John Finch. The volume was no.1865 in James West’s sale, 1773, when it was bought by William Hunter for £12. 5s.
The work is a collection of saints’ lives, each to be read on a certain day in the Church’s calendar. The original work was written in Latin between 1250 and 1280 by Jacobus de Voraigne, Archbishop of Genoa. In the fourteenth century at least two independent translations into French were made, a relatively free one by Jean Belet and a more literal one by Jehan de Vignai. About 1483 an English translation, known as the Gilte Lengende, was made. Caxton’s translation is based on three translations of the book, in Latin, French, and English. He combined and adapted these, with many additions from other sources. The finished work was one of the largest books Caxton ever printed, a folio volume of just under 900 pages. At one point he nearly abandoned the task in despair but he was encouraged to go on by the Earl of Arundel who promised to take a reasonable quantity of copies when completed and to pay him an annuity of a buck in summer and a doe in winter.
The book contains seventeen folio-width woodcuts, including the arms of Arundel and the life of Jesus, and about fifty column-width pictures of Old Testament scenes and saints carrying their emblems; it also contains the largest block that Caxton ever used, a cut of the Saints in Glory.

The myrroure of the blessyd lyf of Jhesu Cryste.
[Westminster:] William Caxton, [ca.1490]  Bv. 2. 24
This is a copy of the second edition; the first was printed by Caxton about 1486.
St. Bonaventura was born in Tuscany in 1221. In 1243 he became a Franciscan, in 1253 a teacher at Paris, in 1256 General of his Order, and in 1273 Bishop of Albano and cardinal. He died in 1274 during the Council of Lyons. He was the author of a number of religious books, among which was his Speculum vitae Christi, which was written for the guidance of a devout lady; it became very popular and was several times translated into French. In the early part of the fifteenth century Jean de Gallopes, chaplain to John, Duke of Bedford and Regent of France, made a French prose translation which bears a close resemblance to the text as printed by Caxton; the author of this English text was Nicholas Love. The book is illustrated with twenty-seven woodcuts of a very much superior execution to those which had been previously in use, they are not large but are simply and gracefully designed in the Flemish manner.
This copy was no.1870 in James West’s sale in 1773, when it was bought by Ratcliffe for £9. 9s. In Ratcliffe’s sale, 1776, it was no.1664.
See also the July 2000 Book of the month

The MYRROUR of the worlde.
[Westminster:] William Caxton, [1490] Bv. 2. 30
This work, at one time attributed to Vincentius Dellovacensis, is an English version of L’image du monde (or Le livre de clergie) which was probably written by Walter of Metz, and was derived chiefly from the Imago mundi, attributed variously to Honorius Inclusus, James of Vitry, Alan of Lille, and others. This is a copy of the second edition; the first was printed by Caxton in 1481. Caxton made his English translation from a French text written in Bruges in 1464. The first edition was requested and paid for by Hugh Dryce, a mercer and alderman of the city of London, who intended to present the book to Lord Hastings. It was the first book printed by Caxton for which he had woodcuts made. Of them Edward Hodnett wrote: "England stumbles on to the book-illustration stage with some of the poorest cuts ever inserted between covers." They represent schoolmasters and pupils, scholars with a globe, a compass, figures, and other paraphernalia, a Salvator mundi, the creation of Eve, and a woman singing from notes while a man accompanies her on a flute.
On A2v of this copy there is an inscription stating that the book was bought at Shrewsbury in 1510 from John Trustanes, "scolar", by Thomas Botelar, "vicar of moch wenlok". On A1r there are the signatures of Anne Greasbrooke and William Barnsley. This copy was no.1017 in John Ratcliffe’s sale, 1776, when it was bought by William Hunter for £4. 17s.

The bok yf Eneydos.
[Westminster: William Caxton, after 22 June 1490 Bv. 2. 10
This version of the Aeneid was translated by Caxton from a French paraphrase of parts of Virgil’s poem which reduced it to a historical narrative in prose. The French version was published at Lyons in 1483 by Guilleume le Roy, who was both translator and printer. Gavin Douglas, in the prologue to his Scottish poetical version of the Aeneid, writes thus of the present work:
Thoch Wylliame Caxtoune had no compatioun
Of Virgill in that buk he preyt in prois,
Clepand it Virgill in Eneados,
Quhilk that he sayis of Frensche he did translait,
It has nathing ado therewith, God wate,
Nor na mare like than the Deuil and samct Austin.
Haue he na thank tharfore, bot lois his pyne;
So schamefully the storie did peruerte,
I reid his work with harmes at my hert,
That sic ane buk, but sentence or ingyne,
Suld be intitulit aftir the poete diuine.
The binding of this copy bears the armorial stamp of Sir Orlando Bridgeman (1606?-1674) who was Chief Baron of the Exchequer, Lord Chief Justice of Common Pleas, and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal.

Wynkyn de Worde

Wynkyn de Worde was a native of the Duchy of Lorraine and is thought to have been born in the town of Worth. He was brought to England by Caxton, whose assistant he was and in whose service he remained for some fifteen years until Caxton’s death in 1491. De Worde then took over Caxton’s house in Westminster and his types and printed more than one hundred books there before the end of the fifteenth century. Late in 1500 or early in 1501 he moved to Fleet Street in London, to a house opposite Shoe Lane, at the sign of the Sun.
De Worde’s place in history is that of the first publisher and printer to popularise the products of the printing press. Duff calls him "by far the most important and prolific of all the early English printers". He was responsible for more than eight hundred publications, including romances, outline histories, children’s books, instructions for pilgrims, works on good manners, marriage, household practices, medicines for horses, names of gods and goddesses, and husbandry. In addition to his printing house, he had for a time a bookseller’s shop in St. Paul’s churchyard with the sign of Our Lady of Pity.
Either at the end of 1534 or the beginning of 1535, de Worde died; his will, dated 15 June 1534, was proved on 15 January 1535. He was buried in the Church of St. Bride, near where he worked. John Byddell and James Gaver, two of his assistants, were made executors and continued to print in the same premises.

TREATISE of love.
This treatyse is of loue.
[Westminster: Wynkyn de Worde, 1493] Bv. 2. 19
Based on a French adaptation of Ancrene Riwle, this book has sections on the Passion, the seven deadly sins, the signs of spiritual love, the virtues of the apple tree, the love of Jesus, and the avoiding of evil thoughts. With it is bound: The chastysing of goddes chyldern, printed by Wynkyn de Worde about 1494, which was the first book printed at Westminster with a title page.
This volume was in the Harleian Library and from 1743 until 1751 or later it was in the possession of Thomas Osborne the bookseller. It was no.1871 in James West’s sale, when it was bought by William Hunter for £5

HYLTON, Walter
Scala perfectionis [English:] The ladder of perfection.
[Westminster:] Wynkyn de Worde, 1494 Bv. 2. 7
This first edition of one of the classics of English devotional literature was the first book to which Wynkyn de Worde put his name; a rhymed "enuoye" on the last leaf informs us that "this heuenly boke more precyous than golde" was printed "in Willyam Caxtons hows" at the special command of Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, and mother of King Henry VII. It is the first and most important of the books commissioned by Lady Margaret from Wynkyn de Worde, who was later to style himself "Prynter unto the moost excellent pryncesse my lady the kinges moder".
This copy was bought by William Hunter at James West’s sale in 1773 for £2. 12. 6.

Vitas [sic] Patrum. [English]
Westminster: Wynkyn de Worde, [before 21 August] 1496 Bv. 2. 13
The Lives of the Fathers were translated from the French by William Caxton who "finished it at the last day of his life". The words on the title page (and repeated on the last leaf) are cut in wood, showing white on a black ground. The woodcuts which illustrate the book are among the first which de Worde commissioned. The series is copied with some reversals from the edition of St. Jerome’s work on the desert saints issued at Lyons in 1487 by Nicholas Philippe and Jean du Pre, one of the editions on which Caxton based his translation.
This was the Harleian copy. William Hunter bought it at James West’s sale in 1773 for £4. 10s.

ENGLAND. Laws, statutes, etc.
Statuta bonum publicum concernencia edita in parliamento tento apud westmonasterium xiii, die Octobris anno regni ... Regis Henrici septimi xi.
[Westminster:] Wynkyn de Worde, [1496] Bv. 2. 18
Four editions of these statutes were published in 1496, three by de Worde and one by Pynson; copies of any of them are extremely rare. This copy was sold as a duplicate from the British Museum Library in 1769, presumably because they also had a copy on vellum.
On the verso of the title page there is a large woodcut of King Henry VII’s arms, which in this copy has unfortunately been coloured by hand.

The MYRACLES of oure blessyd Lady.
Westmynster: Wynkyn de Worde, [1496] Bv. 3. 4
This is the only known copy of this work.
The woodcut of Calvary which appears as a frontispiece was used first by Caxton about 1491 in his Book of prayers, and was thereafter produced by de Worde in several works printed by him.
John Ratcliffe bought this book at the West sale in 1773 for 8s., and William Hunter paid 15s. 6d. for it when Ratcliffe’s library was sold three years later.

GUIDO de Monte Rocherii
Manipulus curatorum.
In Ciuitate Londonensi: per Winandum de Worde, 1502 Cm. 2. 25
This work is divided into three parts: the first treats of the sacraments, and the administration thereof; the second of penitence, auricular confession, and the enjoining of penance; the third, of faith, and what belongs to the information of the people. It must have been popular for it had already been printed by Pynson in 1490 and 1500, two editions, one by Pynson and one by Notary, were to be issued in 1508, and de Worde was to reprint it in 1509.

Nova legenda Angliae.
London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1516 Bv. 2. 11
This work was known as Capgrave’s Lives of the saints. The author was an Augustinian friar who was made Provincial of his Order in 1456. He was a client of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, whose life he wrote in Latin. In English he wrote lives of St. Gilbert of Sempringham and of St. Katherine, also a chronicle of English history extending to 1417. He died in 1464.
A woodcut of the Saints in Glory appears on both sides of the first leaf and also on the recto of the last leaf. It depicts twenty saints carrying their emblems, the Trinity enthroned, and nine seraphim. This woodcut had already appeared in two editions of Legenda aurea by Worde, 1483 and 1487, and he also used it in editions of 1521 and 1527. There is also a woodcut of the King’s arms facing the first page of the text.
William Hunter bought this copy at James West’s sale in 1773 for £2. 15s.

CATHERINE, Saint, of Siena
Dyalogues and reuelacyons of the newe seraphycall Spouse of Cryste Seynt Katheryne of Sene.
London: Wynkyn de Worde 1519 Bv. 2. 26
"A ryghte worshypfull and devoute gentlyman, Rycharde Sutton esquyer, stewarde of the holy monastery of Syon," finding the manuscript of this work "in a corner by itselfe" caused the book to be printed "at his greate coste". In addition to red-letter chapter headings and other evidence of special care, results of Sutton’s expenditure are visible in eight large and fairly elaborate woodcuts representing the visions of Saint Catherine.
This copy was bought by William Hunter at John Ratcliffe’s sale in 1776.

The FLOURE of the commaundements of god.
London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1521 Bv. 2. 23
A translation by Andrew Chertesey of La fleur des commandements de Dieu. There had been one previous edition by de Worde, in 1510.
There are two woodcuts on the recto of the title page, one showing Moses and the other a pope with a monk and a bishop kneeling before him. On the verso of the title page there is a woodcut of the Crucifixion which had previously appeared in Missale secundum vsum Sarum, printed by J. Notary and J. Barbier for de Worde in 1498. There are four other small woodcuts in the text.
On the verso of the last leaf there are two inscriptions by an early owner: "Robtus Dates Student off the myddill temple [ ]" and "Iste liber ptnet ad me Robtum Date".
This was John Ratcliffe’s copy; it has his inscription "Perfect" on the fly-leaf facing the title page.

The rule of seynt Augustyne, bothe in latyne and englysshe / with thwo exposicyons. And also ye same rule agayn onely in Englysshe without latyne or exposicyon.
London: imprynted by Wynkyn de Worde, 1525 Bv. 3. 10
The translator was Richard Whitford, a member of the Brigittine house at Isleworth, known as Syon House; he called himself "the olde wretche of Syon". Whitford furnished de Worde with a number of translations, of which this was the first.
There is an interesting advertisement on the title page: "The traslatour doth aduyse & couseyll all ye disciples of this rule to bere alway one of these bokes upo them syth they ben so portatyue & may be had for so small a pryce".
In his preface "Unto the deuoute and ghostly reders" Whitford says that he was required to make this translation seven years ago and "I (the rather and more lyghtly) dyd graut thereto / that I had not before yt tyme seen or herde of ony other translacyon / but that was olde / scabrouse / rough / & not of the englysshe comynly vsed in these partyes". He adds that the rule was first written unto women and he has made this translation for use by both sexes.
The two expositions are by Hugo of St. Victor and Whitford.
This was John Ratcliffe’s copy.

William de Machlinia

John Lattou established the first printing-press in the City of London in 1480. In 1482 he went into partnership with William de Machlinia, a native of Machlin (Malines) in Flanders. They printed five books, all law books and all undated. Lattou then vanished and Machlinia carried on alone, producing thirty known publications, of which eleven were legal works. He either retired or died around 1490 and his business seems to have been taken over by Richard Pynson, who used woodcut borders of Machlinia's and other materials.

Liber aggregationis.
London: William de Machlinia, n.d. Ah - a. 29
This copy belonged to William Herbert, 1718-1795, bibliographer and book collector, and has his signature on the title page. It was purchased by Triphook (a bookseller) at the sale of Dr. Combe's duplicates in 1808. Later it was in the White Knights Library near Reading (George Spencer Churchill, 5th Duke of Marlborough, 1766-1840) and at the sale of that library in 1819 it was sold for £7. 10s. It was bought by Professor John Ferguson of Glasgow University at the sale of the Syston Park Library (Sir John Hayford Thorold) in 1884.

De secretis mulierum.
London: William de Machlinia, n.d.  Ah - a. 30
This book was the subject of a paper, On a copy of Albertus Magnus' De secretis mulierum, printed by Machlinia, which was read to the Society of Antiquarians by Professor Ferguson in 1885. In this article he proves that the book was printed by William de Machlinia and argues that this copy belonged to William Herbert, and that it was originally bound with the Liber aggregationis. Ferguson bought it at the sale of the Hamilton Library in 1884.

Richard Pynson

Pynson was a native of Normandy and probably learned his trade from Guillaume Le Talleur of Rouen, whose device he later adopted. It is not known when he came to England but he was there in 1482, when he was described as a glover. His first dated book was the Doctrinale of Alexander Grammaticus (1492) but this may have been preceded by various unprinted books.
Pynson continued to work in the parish of St. Clement Dane's, just outside Temple Bar, from his arrival in England until the end of the fifteenth century, during which time he printed over 100 items. In 1500 he was appointed King's printer in succession to William Faques, the first to hold that position. This appointment carried with it a salary of £2 a year (raised to £4 in 1515) and the right to use the title of Esquire. In the following year he introduced roman type into England, first using it to print a speech by the Papal Nuncio, Petrus Gryphus. He also combined roman and black letter in a folio edition of The ship of fools. According to A.F. Johnson, the roman type which he used came from Paris.
Up to the end of the fifteenth century more than half of Pynson's output consisted of religious works but in later years he devoted his attention mainly to legal works and he published more of these than any other printer before 1557. He also published chronicles, encyclopaedias, poems, travels, and scholastic manuals and he printed over seventy editions of the Year Books. It seems probable too that he had for at least eighteen years the profitable contract for printing the forms of admission to the Guild of St. Mary at Boston. Pynson's work was superior to that of contemporary English printers, both in letterpress and in illustrations. He died early in 1530 and as his only son had predeceased him, his business seems to have been taken over by Robert Redman.

PROMPTORIUS puerorum, siue Medulla grammaticae.
London: Richard Pynson for Frederick Egmondt Petrus Post Pascha, 15 May 1499 in Cn. 1. 2
This is a copy of the first edition of a work whch was very popular in the early sixteenth century and was reprinted by Notary in 1508 and by de Worde in 1511, 1512, 1516, and 1528. It is an English-Latin dictionary containing many old English words which are nowhere else explained. Pynson's preface announced that "humble grammarians and boys may look on this short volume as in a mirror, and find freely and immediately the common words which belong to the Latin tongue." Its sister work, the Ortus vocabulorum, was a Latin-English dictionary, first printed by de Worde in 1500.
This copy bears the bookplate of Francis Blomefield, 1705-1752, topographer and Rector of Fersfield, Norfolk, and the signature of Thomas Martin, 1697, antiquary, of Palgrave, Suffolk, whose books were sold at various dates between 1769 and 1777.

Here begynneth a lityll treatyse ... of the art and crafte to know well to die.
[London:] emprynted by Richard Pynson [before 1501] Bv. 3. 14
This is the only known copy; it is a reprint of Caxtion's Ars moriendi, which was published in 1491. The description of that edition in the Harleian catalogue is as follows: "This important Subject, of such universal Behoof, as wisely undertaken by Master Caxton, at the Age he was now arrived at, and under the Decay he might feel upon him, which put an End to his laudable Labours, before he was a Twelve-Month older. It is the more to be regarded, in that he chose, by this Work, to set himself the Example of the Doctrine therein inculcated. It is divided into six Parts; treating, of the Praise of Death, and how we ought to die gladly; of the Temptations we are under at the Point of Death; of the Questions that ought to be made at that Time; of the Instructions that ought to be given; of the Remembrance of God's Doings and Sufferings for us; of certain devout Prayers that ought to be said by, or for, the dying Person. From all which Articles it may evidently appear, as the Author concludes, that to every Person who would die well, it is necessary that he learn to die, before Death comes, and prevents him."
This copy formerly belonged to John Ratcliffe and at the sale of his books in 1776 it was bought by William Hunter for fifteen shillings.

This treatise concernynge the fruytfull saynges of Dauyde the kynge and prophete in the seuen penytecyal psalmes ... was made ... by ... Johan fyssher ...
London: Richard Pynson, 1510 Bv. 3. 12
John Fisher was the Bishop of Rochester and President of Queens' College, Cambridge. He was chiefly responsible for the foundation of Christ's (1505) and St.John's (1511) colleges, acting for his patron, Margaret, Countess of Richmond. It was at her "exortacion and sterynge" that this book was written, and although it is not explicitly stated, it may be assumed that it was on her instructions that de Worde first printed it in 1500. It was reprinted seven times.
This is the Ratcliffe copy. It was bought by William Hunter at Ratcliffe's sale in 1776 for 16s.

CATHOLIC CHURCH. Liturgy and ritual
Missale ad vsum insignis et preclare Ecclesie Sarum.
Londini: per Richardum Pynson, 24 December 1520 Bg. 1. 2
This is the last of the four Salisbury Missals printed by Richard Pynson, whose books have been asserted to be technically and typographically the best of the English incunabula. Dibdin (Northern tour, ii, p.744) notes that although this is a fine copy on vellum, the large woodcut of the Crucifixion, which usually precedes the burial service, seems here to have been inserted.

[BONDE, William]
The pylgrimage of perfection.
London: Richard Pynson, 1526 Bv. 3. 15
The work is divided into three books, in honour of the Trinity. The first shows how the life of every Christian is a pilgrimage; the second leaves the life of the world and enters the journey of religion; the third contains the self-pilgrimage in seven days' journey, according to the seven days in which the world was made - the first five days relate to the active life of religion, the two last to the contemplative life.
There are nine woodcuts and a diagram of tables. Most of the cuts had been used several times before. On the title page is de Worde's useful St. Bridget which had already been used by him six times and was to be used ten more times by various printers. At f.91 there is a cut of the Tree of Vice growing out of the mouth of the devil, surrounded by his fiends in hell.
With this is bound: The rosary of our Sauyour Iesu, printed by Pynson about 1520. It contains two woodcuts whcih are also used in The pylgrimage of perfection.
This is the Ratcliffe copy.

Julian Notary

Notary was a native of Vannes, capital of the department of Morbihan, on the south coast of Brittany. About 1496 he began to print in London, in partnership with John Barbour of Coventry and Jean Huvin, a Rouen stationer who dealt in books for the English market. In 1498 the printing office was moved to Westminster and by the following year Notary was working alone. At the end of 1500 Wynkyn de Worde left Westminster and very soon afterwards Notary followed his example and moved to premises just outside Temple Bar, very likely the house which Pynson had only very lately vacated. By 1510 he also had a shop in St. Paul's Churchyard, and about 1515 he gave up his premises near Temple Bar and moved to St. Paul's Churchyard.
Nothing is known of Notary as a printer after 1520. He printed in all forty-eight books, mostly liturgical, and used three devices. Besides being a printer, he was also a bookseller and bookbinder.

VORAIGNE, Jacobus de
Legenda aurea.
[London:] Julyan Notary, 1503 [1504] Bh. 1. 1
This was the first dated book which Notary issued from his new premises in London. The colophon reads: "Thys emprynted at temple barre be me: Julyan Notary dwellynge in saynt clemetys parysshe." The book is illustrated with woodcuts previously used by Caxton and Wynkyn de Worde, as well as five crible metal engravings, all probably of French origin, and some curious initials similar to those used by Andre Bocard.
This was John Ratcliffe's copy, with his inscription, "Perfect", inside the front cover. It also bears the ownership inscriptions of John Batteley (1647-1708), who was successively fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, domestic chaplain to Archbishops Sancroft and Tillotson, Chancellor of Brecknock, archdeacon of Canterbury, and Master of King's Bridge Hospital; and Ebenezer Mussell of Bethnal Green, collector of English incunabula, fl. 1740-1782.

GUIDO de Monte Rocherii
Manipulus curatorum.
[Londini:] impressum per Julianum Notarium, 1508 Cm. 2. 30
On the title page there is a woodcut of the Crucifixion which Notary had already used in an edition of John Mirk's Liber festivalis, published about 1507. Robert Redman used in again in 1532. On the verso of the last leaf there appears the woodcut device which Notary began to use in 1507 in place of the simple merchant's mark he had hitherto employed. The device was in two sizes; this is the smaller of the two.
Only one other copy of this edition is known to exist; it is in the Bodleian Library.

Peter Treveris

Peter Treveris probably came, as his name suggests, from Trier in Germany. He worked in the borough of Southwark from about 1520 until around 1533. His first dated book was issued in 1522 and his last book was printed for him in 1532 for him by Rastell. During those ten years he printed at least thirty-six books, mostly grammars, and he may have printed for de Worde many of the grammars which bear the latter's imprint.

The JUDYCYALL of vryns.
[Southwark: Peter Treveris, 1527?] Af - y.20
This is a compilation of "sentecyals sayngis of al auctours of phisike", meant to provide the layman with a do-it-yourself manual of medical treatment. It was the most popular medical book of the early sixteenth century.
This copy has the bookplate of Alexander Young, a nineteenth century Glasgow solicitor and book collector, and some notes by him on a fly-leaf. He thought this was probably Herbert's copy but it does not have Herbert's mark on the title page.

RIGDEN, Ranulph
Southwark: imprinted by Peter Treueris, 1527 Bv. 2. 5
Treveris printed this work for John Reynes, a London stationer whose mark in red is on the title page. The original design for the title page was in three parts within an ornamental border surmounted by a crown. The first had the title and Reynes' trademark in red; the second, medallions of the royal arms, the King, and the arms of the City of London; the third a large woodcut of St. George and the dragon. This was not considered satisfactory so the block was cut and the layout seen here was adapted, with much more striking effect. The large woodcut in its unaltered state, but without rubrication or the title, was used to adorn the last part of the book. There are also seven woodcuts in the text.

Robert Redman

Redman issued his first printed book in 1523. In his edition of Magna Charta, 1525, he gave his address as at the sign of St. George in St. Clement's Parish; this may have been the house formerly used by Pynson and Notary. Immediately on Pynson's death early in 1530, Redman moved to Pynson's house, the George in Fleet Street, and took over his business and three of his devices.
The greater part of Redman's work was confined to law-books and reprints and the standard of his printing was poor. He died in 1540; his widow issued a few books after his death, but ceased printing when she remarried, and the printing office passed to William Middleton.

The newe Testament in Englyshe and Latyn.
London: printed by Robert Redman, 1538  Ds- f. 12
This is a copy of the earliest diglot and contains Tyndale's English New Testament with the Latin of Erasmus. Tyndale's translation of the New Testament was the first to be printed in the English language. The first edition definitely known to have been completed was printed, in all probability, by Peter Schoeffer at Worms in 1526. A fragment of an earlier edition, probably printed by Peter Quentell at Cologne, is in the Grenville Collection of the British Library.
Tyndale, otherwise Hychyns, born about 1490, studied at Oxford, and afterwards at Cambridge. By 1523 he had resolved that, if God should spare his life, before many years he would cause plough-boys to know the Scriptures. Much discouraged in London, he crossed to Hamburg, and completed his translations on the Continent, using William Roye, a Cambridge student from a Franciscan priory at Greenwich, as an amanuensis. At Antwerp in 1535 he was betrayed to his enemies, and imprisoned in the Castle of Vilvorde, where he died a martyr in 1535.
"[Tyndale] established a standard of biblical translation which others followed. It is even of less moment that by far the greater part of his translation remains intact in our present Bibles, than that his spirit animates the whole ... His influence decided that our Bible should be popular and not literary, speaking in a simple dialect, and that so by its simplicity it should be endowed with permanence." - B.F. Westcott.

The TREASURE of poor men
Here beginneth a good boke of medecines called the Treasure of pore men.
London: imprynted by Robert Redman, 1539 Af-e. 62
This is one of the earliest English medical books. It contains numerous homely prescriptions, mainly consisting of herbs, for instance: For stoppynge of the Splenne. Take the Elder roote and sethe it in whyte wyne unto the thyrd pte & drynke therof for it cureth merueylously.
Only three other copies of this edition are known to exist, one (which is imperfect) in Britain and two in the United States. It has a printer's ornament on the title page, woodcut initials, and Pynson's device on the verso of the last leaf.

The SEEING of urines
Here begynneth the seynge of urynes.
London: imprynted by Robert Redman, [1540?] Af.d.60
This work had first been published in 1525; it was reprinted eleven times in the sixteenth century.
Urine inspection was a great stand-by of medieval medicine. It was believed that any disease could be diagnosed by this method. At the end of the book there is a short list of herbal remedies set out under the different colours of urines, but the author apparently grew tired of this and finished by referring "all they yt desyre to haue knowlege of medycynes for ... urynes" to " the Herballe in Englyeshe or to the boke of medycynes".

Laurence Andrewe

Laurence Andrewe was a native of Calais, but about 1520 he was in Antwerp, translating books out of Dutch into English for J. van Doesborgh the printer. He then came over to England and borrowed £5 in money and £20 worth of printing material from John Rastell. With the type thus obtained he printed The vertuose boke of distyllacyon. The remainder of his work, so far as it has survived, is undated. It includes a reprint of Caxton's Mirroure of the worlde in folio, remarkable for its illustrations. Another of his publications was The debate and stryfe betwene Somer and Winter, which he printed for Robert Wyer who was apparently the publisher, as the colophon stated that copies were to be had at his shop.
Andrewe would appear to have been in England in 1529, but meanwhile Rastell had begun an action for the recovery of his money or his type, whereupon Andrewe fled abroad.

HIERONYMUS, von Braunschweig
The vertuose boke of the distyllacyon of the waters of all maner of herbes.
London: imprynted by Laurens Andrewe, 1527 Af-y.6
This is a translation by Laurence Andrewes of Liber de arte distillandi de simplicibus, first published at Strassburg in 1500. It describes in considerable detail the method of distilling herbs, in order to make use of their virtues. It has a medical bias and displays a fairly high standard of appreciation of the "theory" of distillation. The numerous woodcut illustrations, most of them copied from the German Herbarius zu Teutsch, include pictures of stills in all essentials - waterjacketed condensers, fractionnated columns - similar to those used today.
This copy has the ownership inscriptions of Percy Smythe, sixth Viscount Strangford and first Baron Penshurst (1780-1855), who was ambassador successively at Stockholm, Constantinople and St. Petersburg, and published Poems from the Portugese of Camoens in 1803.

William Rastell

William Rastell was born about 1508 and after studying at Oxford he followed the dual profession of printer-publisher and lawyer. While still studying law (he was called to the Bar in 1539) he began to print about 1529 and, although he was only active in this business until 1534, he issued more than thirty books. In 1531 he had his printing office in Fleet Street, in St Bride's churchyard, but no printer's mark of his is known.
In 1534 Sir Thomas More was imprisoned in the Tower of London, and in that same year William Rastell, possibly finding printing too dangerous an occupation for a Catholic printer in a country veering towards Protestantism, sold his business, probably to Thomas Gibson, a London printer, and devoted himself exclusively to the law. On the accession of Edward VI he went to Louvain, his house being seized during his absence. When Mary came to throne he returned to England and was made judge of the Queen's Bench. After Mary's death he went back to Louvain, where he died in 1565.

MORE, Sir Thomas
The supplycacyon of soulys.
[London: William Rastell, 1529] Bv.2.15
This was probably the first book printed by William Rastell, who was More's nephew. It is printed in a bastarda of French origin.
The work was a reply to A supplicacyon for the beggars, a savage attack on the clergy by a lawyer, Simon Fish, in the form of a petition to the king from the beggars of England; this short pamphlet was in circulation by the end of 1528. More's book was in circulation by the end of 1529. In this he adopted the form of Erasmus' Praise of folly which is a discourse by Folly herself. More's book is a declamation on behalf of the souls in Purgatory in which they plead that they should not be deprived of the prayers of the living. The charges made by Fish against the clergy are examined, but the emphasis is put on the teaching of the Church, especially on the doctrine of Purgatory. Within this framework, More was able to give play to his dramatic sense, and his humour lightens what could have been a pedestrian theological exposition.

MORE, Sir Thomas
A dyaloge ... Wheryn be treatyd dyuerss maters, as of the veneracyon and worshyp of ymages ... Wyth many other thyngys touchyng the pestylent secte of Luther and Tyndale
[London: William Rastell], 1530 Bv.2.3
This is a copy of the second edition; the first edition was shortened in the English works of 1557 to A dialogue concerning heresies and matters of religion.
This Dyaloge is the most readable of More's controversial works. He imagines that a friend has sent him an inquirer, the tutor of his sons, who is perturbed by the teaching of Luther and wishes to discuss the doubts that have come into his mind. So the book takes the form of a dialogue between More and this Messenger, carried on partly in More's study and partly in his garden. A fortnight elapsed between Book 2 and Book 3; during this interval the Messenger discussed his problems with an old University friend. There is no problem here, as in Utopia, of distinguishing More's views, for he speaks in his own person. It is a true dialogue since the Messenger is allowed to put his points fully; he is not invented simply to put up a series of arguments to be knocked down, though, inevitably, in the end he is persuaded that Luther and Tyndale were heretics. Tyndale's Answer unto Sir Thomas More's Dialogue was published in the spring of 1531. To this More replied with a Confutation of Tyndale's answer: books I-III were published in 1532, and books IV-VIII in 1533. A ninth book, unfinished, was published after his death.

Robert Wyer

Robert Wyer worked at the sign of St John the Evangelist in the Bishop of Norwich's Rents (known after the sale in 1536 as the Duke of Suffolk's Rents) at Charing Cross, where he seems to have begun printing around 1529. Most of his books were small works on popular subjects, many of them little more than tracts, and for the most part very poorly printed. His device shows the Evangelist writing the Book of Revelation on the island of Patmos, with an eagle on his right holding an inkhorn. Below is the name Robert Wyer and a merchant's mark. One state of this device has the name wrongly spelt Wyre. Wyer was one of the first English printers to specialize in cheap books for the uneducated, and he brought out a number of books containing recipes, particularly in the field of popular medicine.
The last notice of Robert Wyer is found between 1559 and 1561 in the registers of the church of St Martin's in the Fields. He was succeeded at the sign of St John the Evangelist by Thomas Colwell in 1560.

This is the myrrour or glasse of helthe necessary & nedefull for euery person to loke in
[London: Robert Wyer, before 1536] Cm.2.29
Thomas Moulton was a Dominican who called himself 'Doctor of Divinity of the Order of Friar Preachers.' This work, which deals partly with medicine and partly with astrology, was first printed by Robert Wyer before 1531. It proved popular and at least twenty editions were published up to 1580.
This is the only known copy of this edition. There is also in the Hunterian Library a copy of an edition entitled: This is the glasse of helth. A great treasure for pore men [London]: Robert Wyer, [1550?], of which only one other copy is known, at Wisconsin University.

Prognosticacion, drawen out of the bookes of Ipocras, Auicen, and other notable auctours of physycke, shewynge the daunger of dyuers syckenesses.
[London]: impryntd by Robert Wyer, [1530?] in Au.4.11
BACON, Roger
This boke doth treate all of the beste waters artifycyalles.
[London]: imprynted by Robert Wyer, [1530?] in Au.4.11
PROCLUS, Diadochus
The descripcion of the sphere of the frame of the worlde
London: imprynted by Robert Wyer, 1550 in Au.4.11
VIGO, Johannes de
This lytell practyce of Johãnes de Vigo in medycyne is translated out of Laten in to Englysshe for the health of the body of man
[London:] imprynted by Robert Wyer, [1552?] in Au.4.11
These are typical specimens of the small cheap handbooks of popular science and information which Wyer published. They are all very rare. The Proclus is the only known copy, while of the Bacon and the Vigo only one other copy of each is known.

Thomas Berthelet

Berthelet was of French descent. He is said to have been apprenticed to Pynson, but this is by no means certain. On 2 February 1530 he received the royal patent as King's Printer in succession to Pynson. In this capacity he printed a large number of proclamations, of which many survive. He was a busy printer for a quarter of a century and seems to have retired from active control of the business in 1548, when it was carried on from the same address by his nephew, Thomas Powell.
In 1544, in return for £212.10s paid into the King's Treasury, Berthelet was granted certain property in perpetuity: a house in St Bride's parish called 'Salisbury Place', several houses in Friday Street and Distaff Lane, and two dwellings in Fleet Street, all of which had been previously owned by religious houses. On the accession of Edward VI, Berthelet was replaced as King's Printer by Richard Grafton, and during the ensuing years he was less active. He died in 1555.

HUTTEN, Ulrich von
Of the wood called guaiacum, that healeth the French pockes.
Londini: in aedibus Thomae Bertheleti, 1539 Af-f.29
This is a translation of De Guaici medicina published at Mainz in 1519. The translator was Thomas Paynell, an Augustinian canon of Merton Abbey, Surrey. Ulrich von Hutten had suffered from syphilis for more than ten years and had tried many remedies. The best results seemed to have been obtained from a concoction of Guaiacum wood, and at the bidding of his friend, Dr Paulus Riccius, he decided to tell the world of its benefits. The book was very popular and was translated into German and French as well as English.

LILY, William
De octo orationis partium constructionis libellus
London: Thomas Berthelet, 1540 Bv.3.25
Lily's Latin Grammar - really a compilation of work by Lily, John Colet and Erasmus, much altered as time went on - appeared in Latin at Basle in 1515. In 1540 Henry VIII issued a proclamation auhorising it as the only grammar to be used in schools; the first English edition (An introduction of the eyght partes of speche) appeared in 1542-3. In 1758 Lily's grammar was 'transformed and appropriated' by Eton College and from then until 1868 it was known as the Eton Latin Grammar.
This is Ben Jonson's copy, with his inscription on the title page.

GUEVARA, Antonio de
The golden boke of Marcus Aurelius
Londini: in officina Thomae Berthleti typis impress., 1542 BD1-e.53
First published in 1535, this translation of a French version of Guevara's El redox de principes was very popular in England and was regarded as a moral handbook for the education of princes. The translator was John Bourchier, 2nd Baron Berners (1467-1533), who was Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1516 and Deputy of Calais, 1520-1533. The exalted style employed in this book anticipated the euphuism of Lyly.
Antonio de Guevara (1490-1545) was Bishop of Mondoñedo and confessor of Charles V. His Familiar letters were also very popular in an English version.

John Byddell

John Bydell, printer and bookseller, was for some time an assistant to Wynkyn de Worde, of whose will he was one of the executors. He set up as a stationer and at first had books printed for him by others, including his old master. His shop by Fleet Bridge bore the sign of Our Lady of Pity, and for some reason he called himself John Salisbury, perhaps because he was a native of that town. After the death of De Worde he moved to that printer's premises, the Sun in Fleet Street. Byddell published in all some fifty or more books, mainly theological, until his death, which probably took place in 1545. He used several devices in his books, the largest of which seems to have been a copy of the device of Jean Saçon (Zacchoni) who had in turn copied his from a design in the Historia di Milano of Bernadino Corio (1503).

BIBLE. Taverner's version
The most sacred Bible, whiche is the holy scripture... translated into English
London: prynted by John Byddell, 1539 Dw-d.12
This is a copy of the first edition of Taverner's Bible, which is a revision of Matthew's Bible of 1537.
Richard Taverner (1505?-1575), the author of this revision, was born in Brisley in Norfolk. He was a scholar of both Oxford and Cambridge and received his Master's degree at Cambridge in 1530. He had a high reputation for Greek scholarship, and was at this time Clerk of the King's Signets, and in the employ of Thomas Cromwell. He lost his position under Queen Mary but under Queen Elizabeth was appointed High Sheriff of Oxfordshire.
In his corrections of the text, Taverner aimed at compression and vividness. Many marginal notes are omitted and some new comments added. Taverner's work exercised practically no influence on later revisions.

Richard Grafton

Richard Grafton, a member of the Grocer's Company, and Edward Whitchurch, a member of the Haberdasher's Company, were interested in the printing of the Bible in English and eventually became printers and publishers, more by chance than by design. They published the Matthew Bible in 1537 - it was printed abroad. In 1538 they brought presses and printers from Paris to print the first ediion of the Great Bible.
Whitchurch printed for a time in partnership with Grafton, who set up his press in the recently surrendered house of the Grey Friars, and in 1541 they obtained a joint exclusive privilege for printing service books; a little later they were granted a privilege for printing primers in Latin and English.
On the accession of Edward VI, Grafton was appointed King's Printer and this gave him the sole right to print all Acts and Statutes. He held the appointment only for six years, for on the King's death he foolishly printed a proclamation of the accession of Lady Jane Grey, in which he signed himself 'Printer to the Queen'. For this indiscretion he forfeited office, which Queen Mary gave to John Cawood. After that he did no more printing. It was not the first time he had been in trouble with the authorities, for in 1541 he was committed to the Fleet for printing a 'sedicious epistle of Melanctons' and was also accused by the Privy Council of printing ballads defending the late Thomas Cromwell. In April 1543, he and seven other printers, among them Whitchurch, were sent to prison 'for printing such books as were thought to be unlawful'. In Grafton's case it was for having printed the Great Bible. He spent six weeks in prison and was bound in £300 neither to sell nor to print any more Bibles until the King and clergy should agree upon a translation.
Grafton died in 1573, leaving four sons and one daughter, Joan, who married the printer Richard Tottel. Grafton's device was a tree bearing grafts issuing from a tun or barrel of the kind in which books were packed for transport.

BIBLE. Great Bible version
The Byble in Englyshe, that is to saye the content of all the holy scripture... truly translated after the veryte of the Hebrue and Greke textes
[London;] prynted by Richard Grafton and Edward Whitchurch, 1539 Dt-b.1
This is a copy of the first edition of the Great Bible, which Thomas Cromwell, as the King's viceregent, in an injunction to the clergy in September 1538, ordered to be 'set up in sum convient place wythin the said church that ye have cure of, where as your parishioners may moste commodiously resorte to the same and reade it.' It is a revision by Coverdale of Matthew's Bible, which he corrected chiefly by the aid of Sebastian Münster's Latin translation of the Hebrew Old Testament (1534-35) and of the Vulgate and Erasmus' Latin version of the New Testament, with the collateral help of the Complutensian Polyglot. Coverdale worked under Cromwell's direct patronage; hence the result is sometimes known as Cromwell's Bible. This version and its subsequent editions are often called Cranmer's version, although Cranmer had little, if anything, to do with their preparation, beyond adding a Prologue, which first appeared in the second large folio edition, April 1540.
The printing was originally entrusted by Grafton and Whitchurch to Francis Regnault, the Paris printer. But at the end of 1538 the work was suppressed by the French authorities, and many of the sheets confiscated. Coverdale and Grafton, however, were able to save some, and to transport the necessary presses, type and workmen to London, where the edition was completed in April 1539.

HALL, Edward
The union of the two noble and illustre famelies of Lancastre and Yorke.
Londini: in officina Richardi Graftoni, 1548 Cn.1.4
Edward Hall (c.1499-1547) was born in London and educated a Eton and King's College, Cambridge, where he was elected a fellow, and at Gray's Inn. He became a common serjeant in 1532.
Hall realised that interest in English history was growing, and the time was ripe for a work which would fully describe the Wars of the Roses. He accordingly set to work to provide a history of those and earlier times. As he wished to glorify the House of Tudor, Hall wrote in a dramatic style with an eye to making his narrative effective and favourable to the Yorkist cause. Unlike earlier publications, his work was an artistic whole. He abandoned the simple chronicle form, and following the example of Polydore Vergil wrote a narrative of events, coloured of course by partisan feeling, but alive and full of vivid phrase and drama. His picture of events and of their causes profoundly influenced future historians. The work charmed Shakespeare who used it when writing his English historical plays, and when Holinshed and his collaborators came to write the Chronicles that go by his name, they helped themselves freely from Hall's work. As Hall's account came to an end in 1532, Grafton continued it up to 1546.
This copy is in a very fine sixteenth-century French binding over wood boards and with metal bosses which were probably part of the original design. The edges are gilded and gauffered.

William Powell

William Powell succeeded to the business of William Middleton, having married his widow. Powell printed continuously between 1547 and 1567 and issued more than fifty books. He probably became a freeman of the Stationers’ Company between 1535 and 1540. He is last mentioned in the Registers in 1568 when his son Abraham was apprenticed to H. Bynneman. On retiring from business he married a second time, in 1569.

A treatyse of the state and disposition of the worlde
[London: Wiliyam Powell, 1550] Cm.2.26
This is the only known copy of this astrological work. Another similar book by Anthony Ascham, called A litell treatyse of astronomy, London, Wyllyam Powell, 1550, is also known only in the Hunterian copy.
Anthony Ascham studied at Cambridge and graduated M.B. in 1540. In 1553 he was presented by Edward VI to the vicarage of Burneston, Yorkshire. He was probably a brother of Roger Ascham, author of The scholemaster.

Steven Mierdman

Mierdman printed in Antwerp, London and Emden, and was among the most important Netherlands printers of Reformation books. Born about 1510 at Hooge Mierde, a village of the Netherlands close to the Belgian frontier, he became a freeman of the city of Antwerp in November 1543. There he printed from 1543 until some time after 1546, when, to escape proceedings for having printed heretical books, he came to England.
In July 1550, Mierdman, who had already taken out letters of denization, was granted a royal licence for five years ‘to print various books hitherto unprinted’ and to ‘employ printers, English and foreign’. While he was in England he printed a number of books in Latin, English, French, Italian and Dutch, the majority being Reformation tracts, many of them by members of the Dutch reformed Church. On the accession of Queen Mary, Mierdman had to uproot himself once again and eventually settled at Emden. The number of books which bear his imprint on the title page or colophon are but a small part of his extremely large output; he worked for a number of stationers and printed many books bearing fictitious imprints.

TURNER, William
A new herball, wherin are conteyned the names of herbes ...
London: imprinted by Steven Myerdman and soolde by John Gybken, 1551 in Bo2-c.12
This is the first part of Turner’s great work; the second was published in 1562 and the third in 1568, both by Arnold Birckman of Cologne. These volumes gave the first clear, systematic survey of English plants, and with their admirable woodcuts, and detailed observations based on Turner’s own field studies put the herbal on an altogether higher footing than in earlier works. At the same time, however, Turner included an account of their ‘uses and vertues’, and in his preface admits that some will accuse him of divulging to the general public what should have been reserved for a professional audience.
William Turner was a Fellow and Senior Treasurer of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge. While at Cambridge he published several works, including Libellus de re herbaria, 1538. He left Cambridge in 1640 and travelled abroad until the accession of Edward VI, when he returned to England and eventually became Dean of Wells. He spent much of his leisure in the careful study of plants which he sought for in their native habitat, and described with an accuracy hitherto unknown in England. He had nothing but contempt for earlier herbals which he described as ‘full of unlearned cacographies and falselye naminge of herbes’.

William Seres

Seres began work about 1546 and was in partnership with John Day for a few years. He afterwards joined partnership for a time with the printer and translator Anthony Scoloker, and in 1554 received letters patent for the printing of psalters, primers and prayer-books. This privilege he lost on the accession of Mary, when he seems to have sought safety on the Continent, but it was renewed by Elizabeth. In his old age he assigned his business for a yearly rental to Henry Denham who became a member of the Stationers’ Company in 1560. Seres lived to be Master of the same Company for several years in succession, and died about 1579.

BIBLE. Matthew’s version
The Byble, that is to say all the holy Scripture: in whych are contayned the Olde and New Testamente truly and purely translated ino English
London: imprynted by Jhon Daye and William Seres, 1549 Dw-d.10
‘Matthew’s version’ was first published in 1537. It welds togeher the best work of Tyndale and Coverdale and is generally considered to be the real primary version of the English Bible.
Thomas Matthew is commonly treated as a pseudonym of John Rogers (1500-1555), Tyndale’s intimate friend, and the first martyr in the Marian persecution. But as Rogers only edited what is essentially Tyndale’s translation, it seems more probable that Matthew stands for Tyndale’s own name, which it was then dangerous to employ. Rogers’ own share in the work was probably confined to translating the prayer of Manasses (inserted here for the first time in a printed English Bible), and the general task of editing the materials at his disposal, and preparing the marginal notes, collected from various sources.

The courtyer ... done into Englyshe by Thomas Hoby
London: imprinted by Wyllyam Seres, 1561 BD1-d.8
Sir Thomas Hoby’s translation of Il cortegiano was one of the key books of the English Renaissance. It provided a philosophy of life for the Elizabethan gentleman. A reading of its pages fitted him for the full assimilation of the elaborate refinements of the new Renaissance society. It furnished his imagination with the symbol of a completely developed individual, an individual who united ethical theory with spontaneity and richness of character.
Castiglione, after serving the Sforzas at Milan and the Gonzagas at Mantua, came to the Court of Urbino in 1504. Here Guidobaldo de Montefeltre and his consort Elizabetta Gonzaga were the centre of the most brilliant court in Italy, which counted among its members Bembo, Cardinal Bibbiena, Giuliano de Medici and many other eminent men. His book is based on his experience of life among these dazzling figures.
The book was translated into most European languages and between 1528 and 1616 one hundred and eight editions were published. The English translator, Sir Thomas Hoby, travelled extensively abroad and was knighted and appointed ambassador to France, but he died a few months later at the age of thirty-six. His translation was one of the most popular books of the Elizabethan age.

Thomas Purfoot

Thomas Purfoot, senior, was born in 1518. He appears to have been a bookseller for a number of years before he began to print. In the Charter of Incorporation of the Stationers’ Company, 1557, his name appears in the list of freemen. The first book with his imprint is dated 1564 and he printed about sixty books in all. In 1588 he printed as the assign of Richard Tottel. His son, Thomas Purfoot, junior, was in partnership with him from 1591 until his death in 1615, when the copyrights and business of the firm passed to his son.
After an active career of almost forty years, John Day died on 23 July 1584, at Walden in Essex, and was buried in the parish church of Bradley Parva, Suffolk. He was twice married, and is said to have had thirteen children by each of his wives. His son Richard followed his father’s profession and another son, John, became a Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, and vicar of Great Thurlow.

The cosmographical glasse, conteinyng the pleasant principles of cosmographie, geographie, hydrographie, or navigation
Londini: in officina Ioan. Daij, 1559 BD1-a.5
This was one of the first books to call attention to John Day for the excellence of his workmanship. ‘As a piece of printing,’ writes Updike in his Printing types, ‘nothing better had hitherto appeared in England.’ The text is set in a handsome italic, probably cut by François Guyot, and used also by Nicholas Hill and Richard Tottel. The book contains diagrams and maps, a portrait of the author, and a plan of Norwich as well as a number of large woodcut pictorial initials, one of which is signed I.B., possibly John Bettes, while others bear the monogram of an I within a C. These were almost certainly cut by Jean Croissant, a French woodcutter who worked for Thielman Kerver in Paris.
William Cuningham was a physician, an astrologer, and an engraver. He graduated M.B. at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in 1557, and M.D. at Heidelberg in 1559. In 1563 he became a public lecturer at Surgeons’ Hall. Besides the present book, his chief works were Commentaria in Hippocratem and Organographia.

The scholemaster
London: John Daye, 1571 in Bv.3.23
Roger Ascham was born in Yorkshire and went to St John’s College, Cambridge, of which he became a fellow. Under the influence of Sir John Cheke, he learned Greek and the beautiful ‘chancery’ italic handwriting for which both became famous. Ascham taught Greek and mathematics, and on Cheke’s retirement in 1546 became Public Orator to the University. Shortly aferwards he was appointed tutor to the Princess Elizabeth, to which circumstance he owed his preferment after her accession.
The scholemaster was occasioned by a debate at dinner with Sir William Cecil and others on the pros and cons of flogging in schools, with Ascham the protagonist of the anti-floggers. Afterwards Sir Richard Sackville begged him to write a treatise ‘on the right order of teaching’ and the result was The scholemaster. It is not a general treatise on educational method, nor was it intended for use in schools, but a ‘plaine and perfite way of teachying children to understand, write and speake in Latin tong ... for the brynging up of youth in gentlemen and noblemens houses.’ Nor was it really an original or revolutionary work, for the famous plea for gentle persuasion, as opposed to flogging, had been anticipated at Winchester and had already found support in England. The expression of this humane spirit, however, and the lively defence of the vernacular in The scholemaster - and perhaps also the touching description of Lady Jane Grey reading the Phaedo while everyone else was out hunting - have made it famous.

BIBLE, N.T. Gospels. Anglo-Saxon and English. 1571
The Gospels of the fower Evangelistes translated in the olde Saxons tyme out of Latin into the vulgare toung of the Saxons
London: printed by Iohn Daye, 1571 Bv.3.21
An edition of the Gospels in Anglo-Saxon (translated from the Vulgate) and English (the Bishops’ version), published under the direction of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury. Day’s Anglo-Saxon type had first been used in 1567, in Aelfric’s A testimonie of antiqutie. Harry Carter and Christopher Ricks, in their foreword to Edward Rowe More’s A dissertation upon English typographical founders and founderies, (1961) doubt the assertion that Day cut the letters himself, and think it likely that the Roman letters were of Flemish origin and that the runes mixed with them were made in London by one of Day’s foreign journeymen.
The preface by John Foxe (1516-1587), the martyrologist, includes a sketch of the early versions of the Scriptures, and the literary work of Bede, King Alfred, and others. Foxe lived with Day in 1564 and worked one day a week in his house for a longer time.
This was Archbishop William Laud’s copy and has his signature on the title-page. Laud gave the book to St John’s College, Oxford, of which he was President, in 1617; later it was in the possession of the Rev. Robert Whitehall, Vice-Principal of New Hall, Oxford. His library was sold by Benjamin Shirley ‘at Mrs Weaver’s Dancing-School in Holywell,’ Oxford, on March 11, 1700, when this volume was bought by ‘J. Urry’, probably John Urry (1666-1715), B.A., Oxford, and editor of Chaucer.

Richard Jugge

Richard Jugge was an eminent printer, who kept a shop at the sign of the Bible, at the North door of St Paul’s Church, though his residence was in Newgate market, next to Christ Church. It is thought that he was born in Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire and he was educated at Eton and King’s College, Cambridge. He was admitted a freeman of the Stationers’ Company in 1541 and began to print the New Testament in English, dated 1550. Ames said he was ‘very curious, in his editions of both the Old and New Testament, bestowing not only a good letter, but many elegant initial letters and fine wooden cuts.’ He was one of the original members of the Stationers’ Company, of which he was chosen Warden in 1560, 1563 and 1566, and Master in 1568, 1569, 1573 and 1574. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth he became Royal Printer conjointly with Cawood. He survived Cawood for a few years, in which he enjoyed the privileges of the patent alone, but he discovered that this was a heavy undertaking. With all the other work that flowed into his printing house from the patent, he found difficulty in organizing the production of Bibles. An octavo Testament took him two years to complete, and whereas Grafton and Whitchurch had issued seven folio Bibles in three years, Jugge managed only two in the same period. This rate of production was unsatisfactory to the Government and to the Church. after ‘long hearing and debating of grievances’ Jugge was instructed to limit himself to the quarto Bible and to the Testament in sixteenmo.
Jugge’s device consisted of a massive architectural panel adorned with wreaths of fruit, etc., and bearing in the centre an oval, within which is a pelican feeding her young. On the left of the oval stands a female figure, having a serpent twined round her right arm, who is called on the tablet beneath her Prudencia, and upon the left is another female figure with a balance and a sword, called Justicia.
Jugge died in 1577 and his will was proved on 23 October of that year. His business was carried on by John Jugge who was probably Richard’s son.

The newe Testament of our Saviour Jesu Christe. Faythfully translated out of the Greke.
London: imprynted by Rycharde Jugge [1552] [Dv-g.15]
This is Tyndale’s version, revised by Jugge. It is a copy of the earliest of three illustrated quarto editions of this version, printed by Jugge, and ascribed to the dates 1552, 1553 and 1566. The book contains new introductions and notes. On the verso of the title page there is The copy of the byll assigned by the kynges honorable counsell, for the auctorisinge of this Testamente. This sets the price of unbound copies at ‘twenty and two pens.’
The illustrations include woodcuts of the Evangelists and Apostles, many cuts in the Gospels (in one of which the Devil with a wooden leg appears as the Enemy sowing tares), and 21 cuts in Revelation. There are also ornamental blocks, initial letters (some flourished), etc. Over one hundred blocks are used, some of which occur in earlier editions of the Bible and New Testament.

ROESSLIN, Eucharius
The birth of mankynde
[London: Richard Jugge], 1565 Ah-c.17
This work, the first printed textbook for midwives, was originally published at Strassburg in 1513 with the title Der swangern Frawen und Hebammen Roszgarten. The author, who died in 1526, was a physician at Worms and later at Frankfurt-on-Main. He compiled the book mainly from Soranus of Ephesus’ Gynaecia. It was very popular, and went through numerous editions and was translated into Dutch, Czech, French, Latin and English. This English translation by Thomas Raynalde was first published in 1540 and there were in all seventeen editions of it, the last in 1654.
The copy belonged to William Herbert, the bibliographer.

BIBLE. Bishops’ version.
The holie Bible conteyning the olde Testament and the newe.
London: imprinted by Richard Iugge, 1568. 2 vols Ds.a.12
This is a copy of the first edition of the Bishops’ Bible, a revision of the Great Bible version, undertaken by Matthew Parker (1504-1575), Archbishop of Canterbury, with the assistance of many bishops and well-known Biblical scholars.
In April 1571 the Convocation of the Province of Canterbury ordered that copies of this edition should be placed in every cathedral, and as far as possible in every church; and enjoined every ecclesiastical dignitary to exhibit a copy in a prominent place in his house for the use of his servants and guests. The cost was 27s 8d per copy, a large sum in those times.
This has been described as ‘perhaps the most sumptious in the long series of folio English Bibles’ both for its typography and illustrations. There are numerous copperplate engravings, including two engraved title-pages and portraits of the Earl of Leicester and Lord Burghley, and also several maps, plans and tables.

John Cawood

John Cawood (1514-72) came of an old Yorkshire family of some substance and was apprenticed to John Reynes, who is best known as a bookbinder and who died in 1543 or 1544. In 1553 Cawood replaced Richard Grafton as Royal Printer. For his official salary of £6. 13s. 4d. per annum, Cawood was directed to print all ‘statute books, acts, proclamations, injunctions, and other volumes and things, under what name or title soever’ in English, with the profit appertaining. He was also granted the reversion of Reyner Wolfe’s patent, authorized in 1547, for printing Latin, Greek and Hebrew books, for which he was to receive an additional 16s. 8d. per annum ‘and all other profits and advantages thereto belonging.’ He never enjoyed this reversion, for he died a year before Wolfe.
In 1553 Cawood seems to have acquired a certain amount of printing material from Steven Mierdman, who on the accession of Mary had been obliged to leave England. In that year a number of books printed by Cawood contain initials formerly used by Mierdman.
Upon the incorporation of the Stationers’ Company in 1557, Cawood was one of the Wardens and he became Master in 1561, 1562 and 1566. During his lifetime Cawood was a great benefactor of the Company, though unfortunately his gifts perished in the Great Fire.
As Queen’s Printer to Mary, Cawood was responsible for printing the proclamations and acts published during her reign, but on the accession of Elizabeth, the proclamation to that effect was printed by Richard Jugge, who subsequently printed several others and was termed in a letter from the Privy Council dated 20 December, 1558, ‘the Quenes majesties Prynter.’ On 25 January, 1559, Cawood’s name was conjoined with Jugge’s in the printing of An Acte whereby certayne offences be made treason, and from that time they continued jointly to print the State papers.
Cawood died in 1572, and had been three times married. His device consisted of his mark and initials.

BRANDT, Sebastian
Stultifera navis ... The ship of fooles
London: imprinted by Iohn Cavvood, 1570 SM 1923
The original German edition, entitled Narrenschiff, was published in Basle in 1494. This English translation (partly translation and partly imitation) by Alexander Barclay was first published by Pynson in 1509.
Alexander Barclay (1475?-1552) was born most probably in Scotland, may have studied at universities in England, France and Italy, and in 1508 was chaplain of Ottery St Mary, Devon. Perhaps about 1511 he became a monk of the Benedictine monastery of Ely; later he assumed the Franciscan habit; and he died at Croydon. William Bullein, a contemporary, descibed him thus: ‘Then Bartlet, with an hoopyng russet long coate, with a pretie hoode in his necke, and five knottes upon his girdle, after Francis trickes. He was borne beyonde the cold river of Twede. He lodged upon a swete bed of Chamomill, under the Sinamum tree: about him many Shepherdes and shepe, with pleasaunte pipes; greatly abhorring the life of Courtiers, Citizens, Usurers and Banckruptes &c whose olde daies are miserable. And the estate of Shepherdes and countrie people he accoumpted moste happie and sure.’
The volume also contains The mirrour of good maners, translated by Barclay from the Latin of Dominic Mancini, and Certayne egloges by Barclay.

Henry Bynneman

Bynneman’s career as a printer lasted from 1566, when he became free of the Stationers, until 1583. He had been apprenticed to Richard Harrison in 1560, but that printer died about January 1563 and Bynneman served the remainder of his apprenticeship with Reyner Wolfe. He became one of that select group of printers to whom Archbishop Parker extended his patronage.
Through the good offices of Leicester and Hatton, Bynneman obtained a privilege to print ‘all dictionaries in all tongues, all chronicles and histories whatsoever.’ It was the only privilege he could obtain and not a particularly valuable one, but it enabled him to print Holinshed’s Chronicles, which came out in 1577.
Bynneman had three presses, and, as the inventory of his property shows, he had a varied stock of type, including Greek and Hebrew. He was the first printer in England to use a script of the kind known as civilité or ‘secretary.’
Bynneman died in 1583, leaving a widow and several children, one of whom, Christopher, was in 1600 apprenticed to Thomas Dawson. The business was taken over by the Eliot’s Court Press.

MASCALL, Leonard
A booke of the art and maner, howe to plante and graffe all sortes of trees
London: imprinted by Henry Bynneman for Iohn Wight, 1569 Ah - d.27
Here is a full and detailed account of growing, tending, and improving orchards, including what to do about caterpillars, how to prevent frostbite, and, principally, how to graft trees for the best results. The work is illustrated wih many woodcuts showing the methods described in the text and a plate of the tools used.
Leonard Mascall, who died in 1589, was clerk of the kitchen to Archbishop Parker. In addition to the present work, he wrote books on poultry, cattle, fishing, and ‘remedies’. In 1573 he drew up the Registrum Parochiae de Farnham.

Of ghostes and spirites walking by nyght ... translated into English by R.H.
London: printed by Henry Benneyman for Richard Watkyns, 1572 Ag - d.24
The German original of this work was published at Zurich in 1569. So immediate and widespread was its popularity that a Latin translation appeared in the following year, a French translation was published in Geneva and Paris in 1571, and in various languages the book went through more than sixteen editions during the course of a century.
Lavater, a son-in-law of Bullinger, was among the most famous of the second generation of Calvinist theologians and later became head of the Zwinglian church at Zurich. He denied that ghosts of the dead could appear; he believed that apparitions were seen but that they were the work of demons. The book was a potent stimulus to witchmania.
The translator was Robert Harrison, the Norfolk Brownist, who died about 1585. He is also credited with having compiled Two right profitable and fruitfull concordances to the Bible.
The first two leaves were printed by Richard Jugge, but the rest of the book was th work of Bynneman.

OCLAND, Christopher
Anglorum praelia
Londini: apud Radulphum Nuberie, ex assignatione Henrici Bynneman typographi, 1582 BD1-g.33
This work contains a poetic history of English battles on land and sea from Edward III to Queen Mary, and then of the peaceful, prosperous government of Elizabeth. It was appointed by Queen Elizabeth and her Privy Council to be received and taught in every grammar and free school within the kingdom ‘for the remouing of such lasciuious poets as are commonly reade and taught in the said grammar schooles.’
In addition to Anglorum praelia, with separate title pages but continuous signatures, there are two more parts: De pacatissimo Angliae statu and Alexandri Neuilli Kettus, siue de furoribus Norfolciensium Ketto Duce liber unus, an account of Kett’s rebellion, 1575.

Thomas Dawson

Thomas Dawson, senior, was a printer in London from 1568 to 1620, at The Three Cranes in the Vintry. He was apprenticed to Richard Jugge in 1559 and took up his freedom in 1568. At the beginning of his career he was in partnership with Thomas Gardiner, their first book entry appearing on 2 November 1576. Dawson was chiefly a trade printer and his business appears to have been a large one. In the return made to the Bishop of London in May 1583, he is entered as having three presses. He rose from Renter of the Stationers’ Company in 1591-2 to the Mastership in 1609 and 1615. He died in 1620, and was succeeded in the business by his nephew, John Dawson.

FLORIO, Giovanni
Florio his first fruites
London: imprinted by Thomas Dawson, for Thomas Woodcocke, 1578 SM 1138
The First fruites is primarily a text book for the teaching of Italian. It consists of grammar and fourty-four dialogues, the text of which is given in Italian and English, arranged in parallel columns on th same page. The dialogues are graded, being simple at the beginning and growing in difficulty towards the end. The ‘familiar speech’ speech section at the beginning gives a most interesing sketch of life as really lived in Elizabethan London. At the end Florio gives some rules intended to help Italians to pronounce English. These are interesing as evidence for the pronunciation of English at this date.
Florio’s Italian lessons were designed, not only to teach Italian, but also to lead up to a refinement, a polish, an elaboration in the learner’s English style. His influence among a fairly large circle of pupils may have played some not unimportant part in the rapid final development of the euphuistic manner.
Since Florio was tutor to the Earl of Southampton, Shakespeare must have met him at Southampton House. Love’s labour’s lost owes something to Florio’s Fruites, including its title, and some scholars think that Holofernes was a jocular portrait of Florio. Echoes of Florio’s books are also to be found in King Lear and Othello.

Thomas Vautrollier

Vautrollier was a Frenchman from Troyes in Champagne. As he was a Huguenot he had to leave France and he was granted letters of denization in England on 9 March 1562. Admitted a Brother of the Stationers’ Company on 2 October 1564, he began his career as a bookbinder and bookseller. In 1567 Vautrollier, in association with another Huguenot bookseller, Jean Desserans, acted as London agent for the Antwerp printer-publisher, Christopher Plantin. Towards the end of 1568 his partnership was dissolved, possibly because Vautrollier had by that time set up as a printer on his own account. The preface to his first book is dated January 1569.
From 1570 until 1587 Vautrollier worked as a printer in London, with two brief interludes in Edinburgh, and during that time he built up a substantial business. He managed to secure some valuable privileges and patents from the Crown, mainly in Latin books. The bulk of his work was in octavo editions notable for the beauty of their type and the high standard of the presswork.
In July 1580, at the instance of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, he was invited to set up a press in Edinburgh, for although Alexander Arbuthnot was working in that city his slowness in providing Bibles seems to have annoyed the Assembly, which felt that a more active man was needed. In 1583 Vautrollier set up his press in Edinburgh where he was patronized by royalty and had the honour of printing in 1584 the first of King James’s published works. In 1584 he printed eight books in Edinburgh, but in 1585 only two. There seems to be insufficient business to warrant his staying there and he returned to London in 1586. He was taken ill on his return to London and the work of the firm was superintended with considerable ability - as it had been during his absences - by his wife and his apprentice Richard Field, who had been with him since 1579. Vautrollier died in1587 and the business passed into the hands of Richard Field, who married Vautrollier’s widow.

MERBURY, Charles
A briefe discourse of royall monarchie ... Wherunto is added ... a collection of Italian proverbes
London: imprinted by Thomas Vautrollier, 1581 SM 1147a
Merbury dedicated this book to Queen Elizabeth, probably in the hope that she would find the politics (a defence of absolute monarchy) agreeable and that she would be flattered by the recognition of her proficiency in the Italian tongue. The dedicatory epistle is in Italian, the text of the Briefe discourse in English; the Proverbi vulgari section is entirely in Italian except for some marginalia in English. The collection of Italian proverbs was the first to be published in England where such collections soon became popular. Merbury states in his preface that he collected them ‘for the benefit of such young gentlemen, as are studious of th’ Italian tongue’ and that he gathered them ‘in divers places of Italie, and out of sondry approved authors.’
Merbury, who graduated at Oxford in 1570, had travelled in France and Spain, and had entered the household of the Earl of Sussex. In his preface he states that he was ‘then attending in Courte upon her Maiesties service.’ Nothing is known of his subsequent career.

Henry Denham

Denham was one of the outstanding printers of the sixteenth century. He was apprenticed to Richard Tottel and took up the freedom of the Stationers’ Company on 30 August 1560. In 1564 he set up his own printing house in White Cross Street, Cripplegate, but in the following year he moved to Paternoster Row, at the sign of the Star, where he remained for many years. His printing office was well supplied with good ype in all sizes, from nonpareil to great primer, and he had a fine range of initial letters, ornaments and borders. He was particularly fond of arranging his titles with a lace border formed of printers’ flowers and showed much ingenuity in their arrangement.
When Henry Bynneman died in 1583 he appointed Denham and Ralph Newbery to be his executors. Shortly after this it is thought that Denham started the Eliot’s Court Printing House.
Denham was an industrious printer and in 1583 was returned as having four presses; in 1586-7 and 1588-9 he served as Junior Warden of the Stationers’ Company, but he never became Master. About 1585 he removed to Aldersgate Street. The last entry under his name occurs in the Registers on 3 December 1589, after which nothing more is heard of him. Richard Yardley and Peter Short succeeded to the business.

HUNNIS, William
Hunnies recreations: conteining foure godlie and compendious descourses
London: Henrie Denham, 1588 BD1-l.40
This copy is possibly unique. It is, moreover, a bibliographical curiosity, as the book was apparently imposed for ‘half-sheet imposition’ in sixes with cutting but folded as whole sheets of 12°, without dividing the sheet longitudinally in addition to cuting off the feet, so that each leaf is duplicated.
The volume also contains another work by Hunnis, Seven sobs of a sorrowfull soule for sinne, printed by Henrie Denham in 1589, of which only one other (imperfect) copy is recorded.
Hunnis, who was a musician and poet, was a gentleman of the Chapel Royal under Edward VI and was made Master of the Children by Queen Elizabeth in 1566. He died in 1597.

John Charlewood

Charlewood commenced business early in Mary’s reign in partnership with John Tisdale, in Holborn. He was a member of the Grocers’ Company until about 1574, though he took out licences to print books. From 1562 to 1593 he printed continuously and issued a very large number of books. His address was the Half-Eagle and Key in the Barbican, and in one of the Marprelate tracts it is stated that as printer to the Earl of Arundel he had a press in the Charterhouse. He was known to be one of the ring-leaders of the gang of printers who printed pirated copies of texts to which they had no rights. His widow married James Roberts, who thus succeeded to the business.

BRUNO, Giordano
1. De la causa, principio, et uno
Venetia [ie London: John Charlewood] 1584 [1585] Db.3.18
2. De l’infinito universo et mondi
Venetia [ie London: John Charlewood] 1584 [1585] R.8.7
3. De gl’heroici furori
Parigi: appresso Antonio Baio [ie London: John Charlewood] 1585 Cm.3.26
4. Cabala del cauallo Pegaseo
Parigi: appresso Antonio Baio [ie London: John Charlewood] 1585 Db.3.20
Giordano Bruno, who is often called the most modern of all the thinkers of the Renaissance, was born in 1548 and entered the Dominican Order at the age of sixteen; soon, however, he began to hold heretical opinions, and eventually left his monastery. He travelled extensively throughout Europe before coming to England in 1583 to settle for a while, writing and publishing in London, and in Oxford claiming the right to lecture. He left England for France in 1586 and from there went to Germany, where he taught for a couple of years. In 1589 he returned to Italy where he was denounced to the Inquisition. He spent eight years in prison and was burnt at the stake in 1600.
These four works and two others were all published during or immediately follwing Bruno’s visit to Oxford University. They were obviously the backlog of works which he had accumulated during his years of wandering and exile. A fictitious foreign imprint helped the sales in England of a book in a foreign language. Charlewood obviously hoped that this stratagem would provide easier and increased sales for these books, which would allow the printing of a larger and more profitable edition. His hopes were apparently not realised since none of them were reprinted in Italian in Great Britain until modern times.

Robert Waldegrave

Robert Waldegrave was born about 1554, the son of a Worcestershire yeoman. He was apprenticed to William Griffith, a stationer, in 1568, and was made free of the Stationers’ Company in 1576. He made his first entry in the Registers in 1578. He was imprisoned in 1584 and 1585 for printing Puritan books and in 1588 he became involved in printing the Martin Marprelate tracts, which attacked the bishops, and was forced to move his press from place to place in order to avoid discovery. By 1589 he had had enough of this and he is said to have fled to La Rochelle and there printed two more Puritan tracts. He then proceeded to Edinburgh where in 1590 he was appointed King’s printer and he remained there until 1603, printing nearly one hundred books. In 1603 he returned to London and died there in 1604.

HETH, Thomas
A manifest and apparent confutation of an Astrological discourse
[London:] printed by Robert Walde-graue, by the assent of Richard Watkins, [1583] BD19-i.25
An astrological discourse was by Richard Harvey, astrologer and brother of Gabriel Harvey the poet. Harvey incurred much ridicule for his predictions and the Discourse was parodied by Thomas Nashe. Thomas Heth or Heath was an M.A. of All Souls’ College, Oxford, and a mathematician. The book is in the form of a letter to Sir George Carey.
This copy belonged at one time to William Herbert (1718-1795), the bibliographer, and is described in his enlarged edition of Ames’s Typographical antiquities. Later it belonged to James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps (1820-1889), biographer of Shakespeare, scholar and Librarian of Jesus College, Cambridge.

The Book of Ruth expounded in twenty-eight sermons.
London: printed by Robert Walde-grave, 1586 BD1-h.48
This work was translated from Latin by Ephraim Pagitt (1575-1647), who was then eleven years old. His father, Eusebius Pagitt, a puritan minister, was deprived for nonconformity in 1585 and remained without a charge from then until the death of Whitgift in 1604. The book is dedicated to the Duchess of Somerset, the Countess of Bedford, and three other ladies, and in his dedicatory epistle Pagitt writes that he has dedicated it to them from ‘a desire to yeeld thankes for the comfort which I, my brother and Sisters (poore children) haue reciued by the kindenes, which hath often come from you to us & our parents in our necessities.’ Ephraim Pagitt grew up to be a heresiographer, author of Christianographie (1635), and Heresiographie (1645).
This copy formerly belonged to William Henry Havergal (1793-1870), composer of sacred music.

Richard Tottel

The earliest of the ‘class’ monopolies was that for law books, and of all the monopolies this was possibly the least obnoxious, for such work was highly specialized and unsuited to the average printer. Richard Tottel, who obtained from Philip and Mary a patent to print for seven years ‘duly authorized books on common law’ is said to have obtained his privilege ‘at the suit of the judges.’ This privilege was allowed and confirmed by the Stationers’ Company soon after its incorporation, and at the expiration of the seven years Tottel received from Queen Elizabeth a life grant to ‘imprint all manner of books concerning the common law of this realm.’
Tottel worked for forty years in Fleet Street at the sign of the Hand and Star. Although law books were his chief publications, he was a lettered man, and the few volumes that he printed apart from his law books were of literary merit.
Tottel was an original member of the Stationers’ Company, and became Master in 1578 and 1584. He married a sister of Richard Grafton and this probably led to his printing editions of Grafton’s Chronicles as well as gaining possession of that printer’s best woodcut borders. Towards the end of his life he retired to Wiston in Pembrokeshire, where he died in 1593.

HOWARD, Henry, Earl of Surrey, and others
Songes and sonettes written by Lord Henry Howard late Earle of Surrey, and others
[London:] apud Richardum Tottell, 1567 Cn.3.4
Tottell’s Miscellany, as it was called, was first published in June 1557. The present copy is of the fifth edition which is said to be the most correct of the early editions.
Of the two hundred and eighty poems included in the collection, forty were contributed by Lord Henry Howard, who was not actually Earl of Surrey, but only so called out of courtesy. The largest and most important contribution was that of Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542), from whose works ninety-six poems were selected. Nicholas Grimald (1519-1562) originally contributed forty poems, thirty of which were subsequently dropped. Of the one hundred and thirty-four poems by ‘uncertaine auctours,’ two have been identified as by Thomas, Lord Vaux, one by John Heywood, and one by Edward Somerset. The rest still remain unidentified, although it is reasonably certain that Thomas Churchyard and Sir Thomas Bryan were among the authors.
Lord Henry Howard was the author of the first written blank verse in the English language, the translation of the second and fourth books of Virgil’s Aeneid, 1557. He was preceded in print, however, by Grimald, who contributed some blank verse to this miscellany, originally published a few weeks earlier.

BRACTON, Henry de
De legibus et consuetudinibus Angliae libri quinque
Londini: Richard Tottel, 1569 Bh8-e.9
This treatise, written in the middle of the thirteenth century, is the classical exposition of the common law, was cited in the courts down to the eighteenth century, and has remained a model for legal literature until the present day.
Bracton based his book on the cases decided by the great judges of the first half of the century as well as on his own experience. He combined a systematic inquiry into the legal maxims of general validity with their practical application in the common-law courts. Thus he arrived at a formulation of principles which have determined the whole development of English law, of which the use of precedents is perhaps the most characteristic. His method was adopted and carried on by Littleton and Coke. The work was edited by Sir Travers Twiss, 1878-83 and by G.E. Woodbine, 1915, and in 1887 F. Maitland published a Collection of cases, with proofs that this was the actual collection on which Bracton’s treatise was founded.
Bracton, who died in 1268, was for twenty years a ‘justice itinerant’ in the northern, midland and western counties of England. Later he became archdeacon of Barnstaple and chancellor of Exeter Cathedral.

LEGH, Gerard
The accedence of armories
London: imprinted by Richard Tottell, 1591 Sp Coll 1673
This is a copy of the fourth edition; the first was published in 1562. The work is written in the form of a dialogue between ‘Gerard the Herehaught and Legh the Caligat Knight,’ and although put forth as an elementary treatise is in reality a medley of irrelevant learning. Richard Argall of the Inner Temple wrote the address To the reader and probably part of the latter passages of the book. Legh is purposely obscure for fear of trenching on the official privilege of the College of Arms.
Legh was at first a draper, later a member of the Inner Temple. He died of the plague in 1563. On fol. 133 of the book there is what appears to be a portrait of him in the guise of a ‘herehaught.’

Nicholas Hill

Nicholas Hill or Montanus or van de bergh was a native of the Low Countries who came to England in 1519 and took out letters of denization in 1544. In 1546 the first book with his name in the imprint was issued, and between then and 1553 he printed twenty-three books, mostly for other people. He appears to have done no retail trade as a bookseller and this is probably the reason why his house had no sign. He died about 1553.

GEMINI, Thomas
Compendiosa totius anatomie delineatio, aere exarata
London: Nycholas Hyll, [1553] Ab.1.9
One of the earliest books containing copperplate engravings produced in England; the plates are supposed to have been some of the first rolling press work done there. Thirty-eight of the forty plates were copies from Vesalius’s De humani corporis fabrica, Basle, 1543, and the remaining two from his Epitome of the same date.
The text is similar to that used by Thomas Vicary in his Anatomie of the bodie of man, 1548, but rearranged. The book also contains the only English translation of the descriptions of the drawings in the Fabrica. The translation and arrangement of the text was the work of the dramatist Nicholas Udall.

John Wayland

John Waylamd began business in 1537 when he printed three books. In 1539 he printed several issues of Bishop Hilsey’s Primer or had them printed for him by John Mayler; they were sold also by Andrew Hester and Michael Lobley. After this we know nothing of his work for several years. Apparently at the beginning of Mary’s reign Edward Whitchurch, who had got into trouble, gave up his shop in Fleet Street at the sign of the Sun and this was taken by Wayland who, in October 1553, procured a patent for the sole printing of all primers and manuals of prayers howsoever denominated, as likewise for all such books as he should first print for and during the term of seven years from the date thereof. For the next three years he was busy and printed about twelve books, but his work seems to have brought him little success. In his will dated 1556 he left nothing but ‘desperate debts.’

The tragedies, gathered by Jhon Bochas, of all such princes as fell from theyr estates thoughe the mutability of fortune
London: imprinted by John Wayland, [1555?] BD8-b.9
This verse adaptation of Boccaccio’s De casibus virorum illustrium was first published by Pynson in 1494. Wayland’s undated edition is a reprint of Pynson’s second edition of 1527. It was originally intended that this edition should be supplemented by some of the ‘tragedies’ of English men and women which were later printed under the title of The mirour for magistrates. This copy has at the end a special title for the supplementary tragedies which reads: A memorial of suche Princes, as since the tyme of King Richard the seconde, haue ben unfortunate in the Realme of England. Londini In aedibus Johannis Waylandi, cum priuilegio per Septenniam. The letters patent, dated 1553, are printed on the verso of this title and here Mary is described as supreme head of the Church of England. This supplement was apparently suppressed by the authorities.

The bayte and snare of fortune
London: imprinted by John Wayland: [1556?] Bo3-b.13
This dialogue between man and money is written in eight-line stanzas with a complex rhyme scheme. In the prose prologue on the verso of the title-page the author maintains that avarice is the beginning of all the mischief in the world. His name is given on the last page in an acrostic, Rogerus Bieston.

Thomas East

East, a Buckinghamshire man, printed at five addresses in London. He became free of the Stationers’ Company on 6 December, 1565, but there is no record of his apprenticeship. As a printer his name first occurs as having printed for Francis Coldocke a translation by Peter Beverley of Ariosto’s History of Ariodanto and Jeneura, which, though undated, may be ascribed to the year 1566.
For a time East printed in association with Henry Middleton, a partnership which continued until 1572, during which time they printed a number of medical and theological works, and also lighter and more ephemeral matter.
As appears from an examination of the list of East’s printings, until 1587 almost every category of literature was represented, and in the main he worked for the well-known booksellers such as John Wight, Lucas Harrison, William Norton, John Harrison the younger, Francis Coldocke and others. Then in 1588 he began to print music and became the first regular English music printer and publisher. This came about because at the end of 1587 William Byrd assigned the privilege which he held to print and sell all musical works to East. In 1594 East no longer styled himself as Byrd’s assign, and after the composer’s patent expired in 1595, for the next three years East and Peter Short were printing music, presumably by licence from the Stationers’ Company. In 1598 a fresh patent was granted to Byrd’s pupil, Thomas Morley, who assigned licences to East, Short, and a publisher named William Barley. The last few years of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth saw the publication of most of the masterpieces of the English madrigalists.
The exact date of East’s death is not known, but it was prior to June, 1609, that the copyrights of some of his books were transferred to Thomas Snodham, alias East, ‘with the consent of Mistress East.’ The copyright of the music books was transferred in 1610 to the bookseller John Browne, and in 1611 copies were entered again in the names of Matthew Lownes, John Browne and Thomas Snodham.

BYRD, William
Psalmes, sonets, and songs of sadnes and pietie, made into musicke of five parts
[London:] printed by Thomas East, the assigne of W. Byrd, 1588 R.a.10
In 1575 William Byrd was granted conjointly with Thomas Tallis the sole right to print and sell, or allow to be printed and sold, all musical works in England. After Tallis’s death in 1585, Byrd, as the survivor, still held on to his patent, and at the end of 1587 assigned the privilege to Thomas East, who printed these part-songs for him. Copies of four editions of this publication have been preserved, three dated 1588 and the fourth undated. This is a copy of the third edition of 1588.
William Byrd (1543-1623) was born probably in Lincoln. His early life is obscure, but it is likely that he was one of the children of the Chapel Royal, under Thomas Tallis, and at the age of twenty he became organist of Lincoln Cathedral, where he remained until 1572, when he was made joint-organist with Tallis of the Chapel Royal. In 1575 Tallis and Byrd published a joint work, Piae cantiones, which was dedicated to Queen Elizabeth. Byrd was associated with John Bull and Orlando Gibbons in Parthenia (1611), the first printed music for virginals. A firm Catholic, Byrd, who is often regarded as the greatest of the Tudor composers, was several times prosecuted as a recusant, but he wrote music of great power and beauty for both the Catholic and the Anglican services, as well as madrigals, songs, and music for strings.

BYRD, William
Songs of sundrie natures, some of grauitie, and others of myrth, fit for all companies and voyces.
London: imprinted by Thomas East, the assign of William Byrd, 1589 R.a.9
It was not until 1588, through the successful working of the music patent by William Byrd and Thomas East, that part books of madrigals were produced in any quantity in England. British performers before this time came to know their polyphonic music mostly from continental editions and from manuscripts. In his address To the courteous Reader in this volume Byrd writes: ‘Finding that my last Impression of Musicke (most gentle Reader) through thy curtesie and favor, hath had good passage and utterance: and that since the publishing thereof, because I would shew my selfe gratefull to thee for thy loue, and desirous to delight the with varietie, whereof (in my opinion) no Science is more plentifully adorned then Musicke. For which pupose I do now publish for thee, songs of 3. 4. 5. and 6. parts, to serve for all companies and voyces.’ All six parts are present in this copy.

WATSON, Thomas
The first sett, of Italian madrigalls Englished, not to the sense of the originall dittie, but after the affection of the noate.
London: imprinted by Thomas Este, the assigné of William Byd, 1590 R.a.14
Part-singing was a favourite pastime among the English in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the average educated Elizabethan liked nothing better than to join in a madrigal. The music for each voice was printed separately and the part-books were laid on the table for all who would to join in. This is a fine set in six parts - Superius, Medius, Contratenor, Tenor, Bassus and Sextus.
William Byrd, at the request of Watson, contributed to this collection two settings of his madrigal This sweet and merry month of May. Most of the other music is by the Italian composer Luca Marenzio. The work is dedicated in Latin elegiacs to the Earl of Essex, with a Latin eulogy in the same meter on Marenzio. Watson, the poet, was so highly rated by his fellow poets and men of letters that he was even declared to be the equal of Petrarch, Theocritus and Virgil. He was the first English writer of sonnets after Surrey and Wyatt, and his sonnets were closely studied by Shakespeare and other contempories, and have left their mark on English literature. He was the Amyntas of Spenser’s Colin Clout’s come home again. He was also deeply interested in music and was an intimate friend of the chief musicians of the day.

Madrigals to 3. 4. 5. and 6. voyces
London: printed by Thomas Este, 1597 R.a.45
Thomas Weelkes was organist of Winchester College and of Chichester Cathedral. Besides the present work, he published Balletts and Madrigals to five voyces 1598 and 1600, Madrigals of 5. and 6. parts, 1600, and Ayeres or phantasticke spirites for three voices, 1608. He also contributed As vesta was from Latmos Hill descending to the Triumphs of Oriana, and he left in manuscript anthems and instrumental pieces.

John Wolfe

As a young man John Wolfe appears to have been a member of the Fishmongers’ Company, but the earliest definite record is the entry of his apprenticeship to John Day of the Stationers’ Company in 1562. There is no record of his entry into the Stationers’ Company, and by his own admission he only served ‘the said John Day by the space of seaven yeares in the trade of printinge.’
At some time between 1569 and 1579 Wolfe went to the Continent and studied printing in Italy. He was almost certainly working in Florence in 1576, for there exist two Representazioni printed ‘In Fiorenza ad instanzia di Giouanni Vulfio Inglese, 1576.’ It is also probable that he lived in Frankfurt-am-Main for some time, and that while he was there he established a connection which enabled him to market his books at the annual Fair after he had returned to England. The very first book entered to him in the Register and printed in 1579 was sent to the Frankfurt Fair in 1581, and he continued to send books there quite regulaly until 1591.
It was only in 1581 that Wolfe actually started his career as a London printer, possibly for the first year in partnership with Henry Kirkham. He soon became embroiled in disputes with the printers who held privileges to print certain classes of books but by 1583 he allowed himself to be bought off and was formally entered on the registers of the Stationers’ Company.
Wolfe was an energetic and ambitious printer with the mechanical resources to produce almost a tenth of the total volume of material printed in London, but because of the continued opposition of the vested interests, he tended to be short of good copy to print. He therefore hit on the idea of reprinting editions of popular and well known Italian works which could not be reprinted by Italian printers because of their appearance in the newly established Index Librorum Prohibitorum. Besides this, there was a widespread interest in Italian literature in England at the time. Accordingly he published a number of Italian books but gave them false Italian imprints.
In 1587 Wolfe was appointed Beadle of the Stationers’ Company and had four presses at work. In 1593 he became printer to the City of London, and in 1598 he was admitted to the livery of the Stationers’ Company. He died during the year 1601, and several years afterwards his widow assigned over a large number of his copyrights to John Pindley.

UBALDINI, Petruccio
Descrittione del Regno di Scotia, et delle isole sue adiacenti
Anuersa [ie. London: John Wolfe], 1588 BG52-c.13
This is a free translation of Hector Boece’s Hystory and croniklis of Scotland of which a transcript was made by Ubaldini in 1550 and dedicated to Lord Arundel in 1576 (now in the British Library). It marks the only use by Wolfe of a fictitious imprint in a work by Ubaldini. The manuscript of this work is in the Library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.
Petruccio Ubaldini was a Florentine Protestant exile who had only been saved from imprisonment for debt in 1579 by the intervention of the Privy Council. He served as John Wolfe’s Italian proofreader for the ten years during which Wolfe printed Italian books, and then went over (or was passed) to Richard Field, who succeededd Wolfe as the principal Italian printer in London. Between 1545 and 1563 Ubaldini lived partly in Italy, partly in England; from 1563 until his death sometime after the turn of the century he lived in England, supporting himself by teaching Italian and calligraphy, by transcribing and illuminating manuscripts for presentation to various actual or prospective patrons, by writing, and by cadging as he could. He always took great care to have his short works printed in quartos, or even in folios, with large margins, large clear type, and plenty of ornaments to make them look as beautiful and as fashionable as possible. The same motive could also have prompted him to camouflage their ordinary English source with the suggestion of a more interesting foreign origin.

The faerie queene
London: printed [by John Wolfe] for William Ponsonbie, 1590 Sp Coll 171
First edition of the first part of The faerie queene containing books 1-3.
Ponsonby was the publisher of Sidney’s Arcadia and it may be that the friendship which had existed between Sidney and Spenser had something to do with Spenser’s choice of publisher. However that may be, Ponsonby was the publisher of all Spenser’s works, except The shepherd’s calendar. Ponsonby entered The faerie queene in the Stationers’ Register on 1 December 1589, Spenser having entrusted him with the manuscript on his arrival in London from Ireland in the previous month. Sidney’s Arcadia was then passing through the press, and both works appeared in the following year.
Disappointed in the hope of preferment which had brought him back to Court - though Elizabeth, to whom the work had been dedicated, granted him a pension of £50 a year - Spenser returned reluctantly not long afterwards to his lonely home in County Cork.
This copy has the blanks for Welsh words on page 332, Spenser’s letter to Sir Walter Raleigh, and ten complimentary sonnets at end.

 Thomas Orwin

Thomas Orwin was apprenticed to Thomas Purfoot and was presented for his freedom in 1581. He succeeded to the business of George Robinson, whose widow he married. In 1587-8 Orwin got into trouble with the Court of Star Chamber, and consequently the Company ordered him to cease printing until he received the permission of that Court, but on 20 May following a letter was received by the Company, signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of London and others, in consequence of which Orwin was admitted a master printer. In 1591-2 his press was seized by the Company, presumably for printing ‘popish’ books. He died before 25 June 1593, and was succeeded by his widow, Joan Orwin. Orwin sometimes used the device of an urn marked with his initials, at others that of two hands clasping each other, and the motto ‘By wisdom peace by peace plenty’. A third device was that of Mars standing with sword and shield.

FLORIO, Giovanni
Florios second frutes .. To which is annexed his Gardine of recreation.
London: printed for Thomas Woodcock [by Thomas Orwin], 1591 SM 1138a
The proverb plays an all-important part in the twelve dialogues of the Second frutes, which are, indeed, a kind of corollary to the Giardino di ricreatione. The Giardino is a list of about six thousand Italian proverbs, without their English equivalents, arranged in roughly alphabetical order. It is one of the most important of the earlier collections of this kind. The dialogues are arranged to show as many of the proverbs as possible in use. In the Italian column, every phrase which is proverbial is marked with an asterisk. In his epistle To the Reader Florio compares his work on Italian proverbs with that of Erasmus in Greek and Latin or Heywood in English and reiterates his intense belief in the value of popular sayings, which are ‘the pith, the proprieties, the proofes, the purities, the elegancies, as the commonest so the commendablest phrases of a language.’

RIPLEY, George
The compound of alchemy
London: imprinted by Thomas Orwin, 1591 Ag-e.18
George Ripley was born about 1415, in Yorkshire, according to some authorities, but at Ripley in Surrey according to Camden. He became a canon regular of St. Augustine at Bridlington, and devoted himself to the study of physical science, especially alchemy. To acquire fuller knowledge he travelled in France, Germany, and Italy, and lived for a long time at Rome, where in 1477 he was made chamberlain by Pope Innocent VIII. In 1478 he returned to England in the belief that he had the secret of transmutation. He pursued his alchemical work, but his labours became irksome to the abbot and other canons so he was released from the Order and joined the Carmelites at Boston, where he died in 1490.
Ripley’s name is attached to as many as twenty-five works, most of which remain in manuscript. Whether or not they are by him may be doubted, but the present work is universally acknowledged to be his. It was one of the most popular works on alchemy and manuscript copies circulated widely. This is a copy of the first printed edition. The title has a woodcut border; there is an ornamental initial E containing a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, to whom the book is dedicated, and M3 recto is taken up with the diagram called Ripley’s Wheel.
This copy has the bookplate of Thomas Gaisford (1779-1855), Dean of Christ Church, Oxford.

Adam Islip

In 1578 Adam Islip, who was originally bound to Hugh Jackson, stationer, was set over to Thomas Purfoot for the remainder of his term of apprenticeship. During this time he was concerned with Roger Ward and others in printing John Day’s A B C, etc., without licence. Ward admitted that Adam Islip had furnished him with some type from Thomas Purfoot’s printing house, without Purfoot’s knowledge. There is no record of any punishment having followed this offence, and Islip was admitted a freeman of the Stationers’ Company in 1585. His first book entry occurs in 1591. In 1595 he took into partnership for a while William Moring, and about 1606 he sold his printing house for £140 to Robert Raworth and John Monger. Islip immediately set up another printing house, and in 1615 was returned as having two presses. He died in 1639.

HILL, Thomas (compiler)
The gardeners labyrinth
London: printed by Adam Islip, 1594 Ah-e.34
This work contains ‘instructions for the choise of seedes, apt times for sowing, setting, planting, and watering, and the vessels and instrumentes seruing to that use and purpose,’ and sets forth ‘diuers herbers, knots and mazes, cunningly handled for the beautifying of gardens. Also the phisicke benefit of ech herb, plant, and floure, with the vertues of the distilled waters of euery of them.’ The illustrations are valuable for their detail of the small Elizabethan garden, and are especially interesting in their depiction of people working in their gardens.
Thomas Hill was an astrologer who also worked for the booksellers as a compiler and translator. In addition to gardening, he produced works on the interpretation of dreams, astrology, arithmetic and physiognomy.

The betraying of Christ. Judas in despaire: with poems on the Passion
London: printed by Adam Islip and to be sold by Henry Toms, 1598 BD1-c.55
The woodcut title border of this very rare tract shows symbols of the Passion. Next follows Rowlands’ dedication ‘To his deare affected friend, Maister H.W. Gentleman’ and seven stanzas of six lines, inscribed ‘To the Gentlemen Readers.’ All the poems are written in the same measure, except The high way to Mount Caluarie which is in four-line stanzas.
Rowlands was the author or supposed author of a number of tracts in verse and prose. In 1825 Dibdin wrote: ‘I firmly believe that a complete collection of his pieces, low, queer, comical, and contradictory as they may be, could not be procured under the sum of 300 sovereigns.’

Eliot’s Court Press

After Bynneman’s death most of his ornaments, borders and pictorial initials came into the possession of a syndicate of four men: Edmund Bollifant, Arnold Hatfield, John Jackson and Ninian Newton. Bollifant, Hatfield and Newton were stationers and printers, and had served their apprenticeship with Henry Denham, one of Bynneman’s assigns. Jackson was a member of the Grocers’ Company; he does not seem ever to have been a printer, and probably provided the capital for the partnership, which set up as printers to the trade in Eliot’s Court, Little Old Bailey.
The formation of this syndicate seems to have been welcomed by the more important booksellers and for more than a decade stationers such as George Bishop, Ralph Newbery, Francis Coldocke, John and Bonham Norton, employed the Eliot’s Court Press which took as its device the mark of a caduceus. Although the syndicates held stock and printing material in common, their names never appear all together in the imprint to any book they issued.
Newton’s name does not appear after 1586, Jackson’s is not found after 1596, and Bollifant died in1602, his place being taken by Melchisidec Bradwood. Arnold Hatfield is believed to have died in 1612.

Catalogus arborum, fruticum ac platarum tam indigenarum, quam exoticarum, in horto Johannis Gerardi
Londini: ex officina Arnoldi Hatfield, impensis Ioannis Norton, 1599 BD14-a.18
Gerard (1545-1607), a native of Cheshire, was a ‘master in chirurgerie’ but was better known as a remarkably successful gardener. For twenty years he supervised the gardens belonging to Lord Burleigh in the Strand, and at Theobalds in Hertfordshire, besides having himself a famous garden in Holbotn, then the most fashionable district of London. This catalogue of 1033 plants and trees which he cultivated there was first published in 1596. It was the first complete catalogue ever published of the contents of a single garden.

The herball or Generall historie of plantes
London: Edmund Bollifant for B. and J. Norton, 1597 Bk10-d.4
This is a copy of the first edition of Gerard’s famous Herball, important among other things for having the first illustration of the potato. The publisher, Norton, had commissioned Robert Priest to translate Dodoens’ Stirpium historiae pemptades sex but Priest died before the work was printed. His manuscript came into the hands of Gerard, who changed Dodoens’ arrangement for that of Pena and de l’Obel, added many English localities and some homely observations on the uses of the plants, and published the work as his own.
The book contains about 1800 woodcuts, nearly all from blocks used by Tabernaemontanus in his Eicones of 1590, which Norton obtained from Frankfort; less than one percent are original.

Richard Field

Richard Field was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1561 and was bound apprentice to George Bishop for seven years in 1579. It was agreed that he should serve the first six years with Thomas Vautrollier. During his two lengthy trips to Scotland, Vautrollier’s London business was probably carried on by Field under the supervision of Vautrollier’s wife Jacqueline. Field was his only apprentice, although in Letters Patent granted to him in 1574 he had been allowed the help of ‘six woorkemen Ffrenchmen or Dutchemen, or suche lyke, for the sayd space or terme of tenne yeres wythout any lett or dysturbance of any person or persons.’ It can be assumed that these men were skilled craftsmen; but they would still have to be closely directed, and while working with them Field would have acquired not only knowledge of their languages but also some insight into the special problems involved in printing in foreign languages.
Thomas Vautrollier died in July 1587, only a few months after the admittance of Field to the Stationers’ Company on 6 February 1587. In March 1588 Vautrollier’s widow married Field and he thus succeeded to one of the best printing businesses in London. His first book entry is found in the Registers under 24 December 1588. On 23 April Field entered in the Registers ‘a booke intituled Venus & Adonis.’ This was followed in 1596 by a third edition of the same work, in octavo. Like John Wolfe, Field surreptitiously printed a number of foreign books, some as political propaganda and others for presentation to patrons and friends of the author.
About 1600 Field removed from Blackfriars to the parish of St Michael in Wood Street, at the sign of the Splayed Eagle. In 1615 he was returned as having two presses. He became a prominent member of the Stationers’ Company, of which he was elected Master in 1619 and 1622. Field died in 1624 and his business passed into the hands of George Miller, one of his apprentices.

ARIOSTO, Ludovico
Orlando Furioso in English heroical verse, by John Harington
London: imprinted by Richard Field, 1591 Bm6-f.20
Sir John Harington (1561-1612) was educated at Eton and Cambridge. From Cambridge he went to the court of his god-mother, Queen Elizabeth. His wit brought him into much favour, which he endangered by the freedom of his satires. In 1599 he served under Essex in Ireland and was knighted by him on the field, much to the Queen’s displeasure. He is chiefly remembered for this translation of Orlando Furioso; his other writings include Rabelaisian pamphlets, epigrams, The metamorphosis of Ajax (1596), containing the earliest designs for a water-closet, and The Englishman’s doctor, a translation from Salerno. Harington’s translation is in the octave stanza of Ariosto, and is magnificently illustrated, the engraved title, by Cockson, containing portraits of Ariosto and of Sir John Harington and his dog. The engravings, although sometimes said to be English, were in fact printed from the Italian plates of Giralamo Porro, of Padua, and had been used before in Italy. Shakespeare may have borrowed from this work for part of Much ado about nothing and The Tempest.

The historie of Guicciardini: containing the warres of Italie and other partes
London: imprinted by Richard Field, 1599
This translation of Guicciardini’s L’historia d’Italia, first published in 1579, was the greatest literary undertaking of Sir Geoffrey Fenton. It was extremely popular, and seems to have recommended the author to the Queen’s favour permanently. Soon after its publication, he went to Ireland, under the patronage of Arthur, Lord Grey de Wilton, where he was sworn into the Privy Council, in 1580. He was knighted in 1589 and remained in Ireland as principal secretary of state through a succession of lord deputies.
Guicciardini’s history extends over forty years from 1494 to 1534. During the latter half of this period Guicciardini was in the papal service as governor successively of Modena, Reggio, Parma, the Romagna, and Bologna. The fact that he was himself a conspicuous actor in the scenes enabled him to write with a peculiarly intimate knowledge of the events and the personages of contemporary politics. Keenly observant, he was in the habit of recording his impressions of men and things, and it was his mental turn to record them in the form of aphorisms. His history is, therefore, rather the maxims and memoranda of a statesman, scientifically arranged, than a philosophical view of human affairs.

Peter Short

Peter Short may be considered the last of the more famous printers of the sixteenth century, for his active career extended from 1590 to his death in 1603. Although he printed many books for his own account he was also a trade printer, working for William Ponsonby and other well-known London stationers. For John Harrison the younger he printed in 1598 an edition of Shakespeare’s Lucrece and for Andrew Wise, in the same year, he printed Henry IV, part I, in a quarto which bore no author’s name. Short took over Henry Denham’s business and material after the latter’s death, and completed the edition of Foxe’s Booke of martyrs begun by Denham. He was an active printer for he issued about one hundred and thirty books. He was admitted a freeman of the Stationers’ Company by redemption on a March, 1589, and died in 1603.

MORLEY, Thomas
A plaine and easie introduction to practicall musicke
London: imprinted by Peter Short, 1597
The most famous of Elizabethan teatises on music, this book went through several editions and was reprinted as late as 1771. Morley’s work on the theory and practice of music has enabled scholars to understand the full scope of music in the time of Shakespeare. Commentators have stated that this is the source from which many of his references to music were derived. Thomas Morley (1557-1604?) was a pupil of William Byrd. He was organist of St Paul’s Cathedral and a gentleman of the Chapel Royal. He composed graceful madrigals and church music.

GILBERT, William
De magnete
Londini: excudebat Petrus Short, 1600
This is a copy of the first edition of a book which has been described as the first major original contribution to science which was published in England. In it Gilbert established the magnetic nature of the earth; and he conjectured that terrestrial magnetism and electricity were two allied emanations of a single force. He was the first to use the term ‘electricity’, ‘electric force’ and ‘electric attraction,’ and to point out that amber is not the only substance which when rubbed attracts light objects. The gilbert unit of magneto-motive power is named after him.
Gilbert (1540-1603) was elected fellow of St John’s, Cambridge, in 1561, and in1573 settled in London. He became president of the College of Physicians and was physician to Queen Elizabeth I and James I. On the title-page of this book is the device of the brazen serpent on a Tau cross printed from the identical block used by Reyner Wolfe fifty years before in his edition of Cranmer’s Defence of the ... doctrine of the Sacrament, 1550. From his widow it passed to Henry Bynneman, thence to Denham, and so to Peter Short.

Christopher Barker

An outstanding figure in the printing trade towards the end of the sixteenth century was Christopher Barker, a shrewd businessman who managed to acquire the most lucrative of all patents, namely the Bible patent. Born around 1529, Barker was a wealthy member of the Drapers’ Company with powerful friends at court, for he was closely connected with the Walsingham family. He is thought to have been the grand nephew of Sir Christopher Barker, a former Garter King of Arms, which would explain his wealth, since the various properties of Sir Christopher ultimately passed into the possession of his nephew, Edward Barker, thought to have been the printer’s father.
Barker became interested in the printing trade and is first heard of as a publisher in 1569. In 1576 he started on his career as a Bible printer, having obtained a privilege to print the Geneva version of the Bible in England. In 1577 he purchased from Sir
Thomas Wilkes, Clerk of the Privy Council, an extensive patent which included the Old and New Testament in English, with or without notes, of any translation. The full patent granted to Barker the office of royal printer of all statutes, books, bills, Acts of Parliament, proclamations, injunctions, Bibles, and New Testaments, in the English tongue of any translation, all service books to be used in churches, and all other volumes ordered to be printed by the Queen or Parliament.
Barker’s business continued to thrive and from 1588 onwards he conducted it mainly through his deputies, George Bishop and Ralph Newbery. On the disgrace of Wilkes in 1589, Barker managed to obtain a renewal of his exclusive patent with reversion for life to his son Robert. Father and son lived in London at Bacon House in Noble Street, Aldersgate. Christopher Barker also had a house at Datchet, to which he retired after 1588, and there he died in 1599. He and his deputies had supplied the country with about seventy editions of the Scriptures between 1575 and 1599 and they were accurate and well printed. He was succceeded in the post of royal printer by his son Robert.

LA PLACE, Pierre de
A treatise of the excellencie of a Christian man, and how he may be knowen
London: imprinted by Christopher Barkar [sic], 1576
A translation of Traitté de la vocation et manière de vivre à laquelle chacun est apellé by Laurence Tomson.
Pierre de la Place was born about 1520 at Angoulème. He studied at the University of Poitiers and subsequently went to Paris where in time he became President of the Cour des Aides. In 1560 he became a Protestant and had to leave Paris because of persecution. On his return he was made overseer of the household of the Prince de Condé. A few years later he was again persecuted - his house was sacked, his library pillaged, his money sequestered and he was deprived of his office. Finally he was murdered in the massacre of St. Bartholomew, 1572. Laurence Tomson (1539-1608) was secretary to Sir Francis Walsingham. He was a graduate of Oxford, had travelled extensively and knew many languages. He translated and revised the Geneva New Testament.

BIBLE. Geneva version
The Bible that is, the Holy Scriptures conteined in the Olde and Newe Testament
London: imprinted by Christopher Barker, 1576
Christopher Barker prined two folio editions of the Geneva version of the Bible in 1576. These were the first folio editions of his version printed in England. The Geneva version was a translation made by William Whittingham, Anthony Gilby, Thomas Sampson, and perhaps others, at Geneva, where a band of English reformers had found asylum. It was the first printed, in a quarto edition, by Rowland Hall at Geneva in 1560. This first edition was printed in roman type and Barker printed his editions in roman type too, instead of the black letter usually favoured by English printers of the Bible at that time.
In this edition a large two-page plan, The forme of the Temple and citie restored, is inserted at Ezekiel. Some of the initials contain the arms and crest, or the crest alone, of Sir Francis Walsingham, Barker’s patron. This copy has the bookplate of Lt. Col. Edwin Richbell.

CHURCH OF ENGLAND. Liturgy and ritual
The booke of common prayer
London: imprinted by Christopher Barker, [1581?]
in G.x.27
The book of common prayer was first published by Edward Whitchurch in 1549. It was the first single manual of worship in a vernacular language directed to be used universally by, and common to, both priest and people. Its original simplicity, which has not been lost in the many subsequent revisions, has ensured its permanence; and deservedly so, becuase it is one of the greatest of all liturgical rationalizations, combining as it did the four main service books of pre-Reformation days, the Missal, Breviary, Manual and Pontifical, and abolishing all the different regional variations contained in the diocesan uses. From these four service books came the main structure of the Prayer Book, and with translations from other liturgical sources, they formed the contents. To these were added the Collects, which were Archbishop Cranmer’s own contribution, along with the translation into English whose simplicity and vigour are still apparent.
The Litany was compiled and published in 1544, the English version of the Epistles and Gospels followed in 1548 and the first complete Book of common prayer was issued and enjoined by the Act of Unifomity of 1549. A considerably altered text was introduced in 1522 to satisfy a more extreme Protestant point of view, and minor alterations of a Catholicizing tendency were made in 1561 and again in 1604. The last major alteration took place after the Restoration in 1662, when several hundred alterations were made.

Provincial Presses

St. Albans. The Schoolmaster-Printer
The Croniclis of Englonde, with the Frute of timis
St. Albans: [the Schoolmaster-Printer, ca. 1485] Bv.2.17
This is one of the eight books printed by a man of whom we know next to nothing, but who was referred to by Wynkyn de Worde as ‘sometyme scole master of Saynt Albans.’ He used three bastarda types and one text, all very like Caxton’s types. His books were printed between 1479 and 1486.
The St Albans Chronicle is not a reprint of Caxton’s, but a separate compilation, comprising the same text, with a history of the Popes and other ecclesiastical matters interpolated throughout. This was the first book printed in England to contain a printer’s mark; it consists of a double cross and orb with the arms of St Albans and it strikingly resembles the devices of the Italian printers. The illustrations consist of two woodcuts, of a tower and a castle. They are simple in the extreme but serve to represent the Tower of Babel and London. The second is repeated to stand for Rome.

John Oswen

John Oswen printed nine books at Ipswich in the latter half of 1548, all of them works of the reformers; he stayed in Ipswich only for a few months, moving to Worcester before the end of the year. On 6 January, 1549, he received a privilege from Edward VI to print service books and books of instruction for his subjects ‘Of the principality of Wales, and the marches thereunto belonging’ for the space of seven years. He had his press in the High Street, Worcester, and, from the colophons of some of his books he printed some twenty books, the last ones being dated 1553. In addition to various theological works he printed quarto and folio editions of The Book of Common Prayer, as well as the New Testament and the Psalter. He probably gave up printing on the accession of Queen Mary, and quite possibly went abroad.

The godly saiyngs of the old auncient faithful fathers up on the Sacrament of the bodye and bloude of Chryste
Worcester: imprinted by Jhon Oswen, 1550. They be also to sell at Shrewesburye in Cm.2.22
John Véron was born near Sens and studied at Orleans. He came to England in 1536, was a student at Cambridge, and became rector of St Alphage, Cripplegate, London. From 1553 to 1558 he was imprisoned for seditious preaching. Later he became a prebendary of St Paul’s, rector of Martin’s, Ludgate, and vicar of St Sepulchre, London. He published controversial tracts and translations and a Latin-English dictionary by him was published in 1575. he died in 1563.
At the beginning of the work is the following crude verse:
Because I was in Fraunce, which is so wyde,
Borne & bought up, & not in ye english
Sins my birthes dai, as other writers be
Learned and taught: do I earnestlye,
Now you al that in England do dwell,
And professeChrist, yt ever springing wel
Desyre and pray, to take in good worth,
That I have here wrought & set furthe.
This was John Ratcliffe’s copy.

John Siberch

John Siberch’s name was really Johann Lair; ‘Siberch’ indicated his place of origin, Sieburg, a small town south east of Cologne, where he was brought up, although he was born (in 1476) at Sieglar or Lair. He studied at Cologne University and later became a travelling bookseller. In 1520 or 1521 he set up his press at Cambridge. He was encouraged by the humanist group there and obtained a loan of £20 from the University Chest, which he never repaid. During his residence in Cambridge he published ten books. He left there in 1522 or 1523 and no further attempt was made to set up a press at Cambridge until 1584.

De temperamentis, et de inaequalia intemperie
Impressum apud praeclaram Catabrigiam per Ioannem siberch, 1521 Cf.2.18
This translation by Thomas Linacre of Galen on the temperaments is by far the most important of Siberch’s books. It is the first edition of Linacre’s version and it is dedicated to Pope Leo X, with whom, as Linacre recalls, he was a fellow-pupil under Poliziano in Florence learning Greek.
Linacre is best remembered now as the founder and first president of the Royal College of Physicians, but in his lifetime he was a European celebrity as one of the earliest and foremost scholars to use his knowledge of Greek for translating the Greek medical and scientific books into Latin. His Latin versions of Galen form an impressive series of which the present work was the third to be published.

Thomas Thomas

Thomas was born in London in 1553, and educated at Eton and King’s College, Cambridge, where he became a Fellow in 1574. In 1583 he was appointed Printer to the University by virtue of letters patent issued fifty years previously. The Stationers’ Company regarded this as an infringement of their monopoly and seized Thomas’s press and the sheets of the book he was printing. Through Lord Burghley’s help matters were arranged and from 1584 to 1588 Thomas printed at least seventeen books, most of them Puritan in tone or associated with the Continental reformers. He was a scholar of distinction and author of a Latin dictionary which went through a very large number of editions.

A godlie exposition upon certaine chapters of Nehemiah.
Cambridge: imprinted by Thomas Thomas, 1585 in Bo2-h.9
James Pilkington (1520?-1576) was educated at Cambridge, becoming in 1550 President of St John’s College. Being a Protestant, he fled to the Continent in 1554, but he returned on the accession of Elizabeth and in 1561 became the first Protestant Bishop of Durham. He assisted in the revision of the Book of Common Prayer and in settling the Thirty-nine Articles promulgated in 1562.
This posthumous publication was edited by John Fox the martyrologist. The author was unable to finish the work ‘so there is added that for a supplie, which of late was published by Robert Some.’ Some was Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge,

John Legate

John Legate or Legatt is believed to have been a native of Hornchurch in Essex. He was apprenticed to Christopher Barker by whom he was presented for his freedom on 11 April 1586. He was appointed printer to the University of Cambridge in 1588. In 1606 his former apprentice, Cantrell Legge, was also appointed University printer, and in 1609 Legate moved to London, but still called himself ‘Printer to the University’ and continued to use the Cambridge device. Apparently he was justified in doing so since he is named in a document of 1617 as one of the University printers along with Cantrell Legge and Thomas Buck. He died in 1620.

MORE, John
A table from the beginning of the world to this day
Cambridge: printed by Iohn Legate, 1593 BD1-h.10
John More was known as the ‘Apostle of Norwich.’ He was a graduate and fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge, and was rector of St Andrew’s, Norwich, till his death. In 1573 he caused a stir by refusing to wear a surplice, and in the same year he entered into a controversy with Andrew Perne, Dean of Ely, who was known as ‘Old Andrew Turncoat.’ From 1576 to 1578 he was suspended for objecting to the imposition of ceremonies. He died in 1592. His literary works were edited and published by Nicholas Bownde, his succesor in the charge.

Joseph Barnes

Barnes was admitted as a bookseller in Oxford in 1573. In 1585 the University lent him £100 to enable him to set up a press, and an ordinance of Star Chamber in 1586 made provision for one press, together with a chief printer and one apprentice to be set up at Oxford. He remained printer to the University until 1617, his press being actively employed during the whole of that time, no less than three hundred books being traced to it. Barnes died in 1618; by his will he left bequests of money to the University Library and also the the libraries of Brasenose and Magdalen.

BURY, Richard de
Philobiblon sive De amore librorum, et institutione bilbiothecae, tractatus pulcherrimus
Oxoniae: excudebat Iosephus Barnesius, 1599 S.M. 1129a
This first ediion of Philobiblon was published at Cologne in 1473. This is a copy of the first edition published in England which was edited by Thomas James, the first librarian of the Bodleian.
Richard de Bury or Aungerville (1287-1345) was born at Bury St. Edmunds. He studied at Oxford, became a Benedictine monk at Durham, and having been tutor to Edward III, was made successively Dean of Wells and Bishop of Durham, besides acting for a time as high chancellor, as ambassador to the Pope and to France and Germany, and as commissioner for a truce with Scotland. He had a passion for collecting books, and Philobiblon, his principal work, was intended to serve as a handbook to the library which he founded in connection with Durham college at Oxford (afterwards suppressed), and describes the state of learning in England and France.

Back to Exhibitions page