CANTERBURY LAWS IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE FIRST ENGLISH CANON LAW

Provinciale seu constitutions Anglie.

Antwerp, Francis Brickman [Ruremond], 1525.

[with]

Constitutiones legitime seu legatine regionis Anglicane.

Paris, Wolfgang Hopyl and Hans de Coblenz, 13 September 1504.

£4,850

Two works in one volume. Folio, ff. cclv, (xxviii), (xvi) clv. Black letter in two sizes, extensive red, text in double column, notes surrounding. Five woodcut illustrations, four almost full-page on titles and part titles, two of St George slaying the dragon with onlookers, one Hopyl’s device (Silvestre 1066) incorporating title within ovals flanked by eagles, and one of a king enthroned surrounded by members of his court, woodcut initials. Clean tears to M8 and A3, touching text but without loss, light damp stain to outer margin of a few gatherings at beginning of second sometimes touching text, small marginal damp stains to upper edge at end, final leaf with three small holes to blank outer margin, lacking final blank, one or two ink spots. A very good, clean, wide copy, with attractive woodcuts and two-colour printing, in early 17th-century English speckled sheep, all edges red. Joints cracked, and split at head and foot, one corner slightly defective, small areas of rubbing on lower cover. Richard Rudd’s manuscript ex-libris dated 1557 in blank upper portion of title, partially visible manuscript ex dono adjoining, early scholarly marginalia in more than one 16th C hand intermittently throughout text, extensive scholarly notes and on verso of last, 19th-century armorial bookplate on upper pastedown of the Earls of Macclesfield, their blind stamp to title and subsequent two leaves.

“The ‘Provinciale’ is a digest in five books of the synodal constitutions of the province of Canterbury from the time of Stephen Langton to that of Henry Chichele, accompanied by an explanatory gloss in unusually good Latin, and is the principal authority for English canon law” (DNB). Lyndwood’s work collects the most important ecclesiastical legislation from the province of Canterbury between 1222 up to the time of its writing. It is also supplied with Lyndwood’s extensive marginal gloss and an authoritative index.

The book was completed in 1433, and was first published in Oxford c. 1470-80; it was also printed at Westminster in 1496 with Caxton’s cipher and de Worde’s colophon. That edition marked the first appearance of John Acton’s commentary on the ecclesiastical ‘constitutions’ of Otho and Ottobone, the papal legates in England in the 14th century, followed by a collection of unabridged provincial statutes of Canterbury. The second work here is frequently and erroneously attributed to Lyndwood. It is the first major treatise on English Canon Law. These works were often bound together, and were both edited by Jodocus Badius Ascensius, the printer.

STC 17111/17108; (part I) Renouard, Badius Ascensius, vol. III, p. 52; (part II) Moreau, Inventaire Chronologique des Editions Parisiennes du XVIe Siecle, vol I., p. 133; not in Adams, Brunet, Hodnett, Ames or Lowndes. First part is rare; two copies only on RLG.

L614

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