A discouerie of the manifold corruptions of the Holy Scriptures by the heretikes of our daies, specially the English sectaries, …

Rhemes, By Iohn Fogny, 1582.


FIRST EDITION. 8vo. pp. [xxviii], 322, [vi]. [a8, b6, A-V8, X4.] Roman letter, some Italic, Hebrew and Greek. Small historiated woodcut initials, typographical ornaments, woodcut tail-pieces, marginal scribbles in a contemporary hand on a few leaves, shelf mark in early hand at head of fly, library stamp of Milltown Park on title, their label and William O’Brian’s ex legato label on pastedown, engraved armorial book plate of Edw. Dyneley, on pastedown, R. Dyneley’s on verso of fly, another, anonymous, on recto, bibliographical note in C19th hand on fly. Light age yellowing, title page dusty, worm trail in lower blank margin of quires E-G, cut a little close in upper margin, just trimming a few running headlines, the odd mostly marginal spot or mark, otherwise a good copy in late C19th polished tan calf, covers blind ruled with a floral roll to a panel design, spine with double gilt ruled raised bands, red morocco label gilt, extremities a little rubbed.

First edition of this important and rare counter-reformation work by the renowned English scholar, Priest and translator, Gregory Martin. “although his life is relatively unstudied, his works – particularly the Douai-Rheims translation of the Bible – continue to play a significant role in history and life of the Roman Catholic Church. Before he went into Exile, probably in 1569, Martin was a fellow at St John’s College, Oxford, where he became good friends with the future Catholic martyr, Edmund Campion. After his patron Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, was arrested following his participation in the northern rebellion (a Catholic revolt against Elizabeth’s reforms in 1569), Martin joined the ranks of the English College at Douai” David J. Davis. ‘From Icons to Idols: Documents on the Image Debate in Reformation England.’

“Before becoming a Bishop in the 1590s, he (Thomas Bilson) was involved in the Rheims New Testament controversy. This was sparked by the appearance in 1582 of the Catholic translation of the new Testament by Gregory Martin of Saint John’s College, Oxford, then licentiate in theology at the English College at Rheims, France. Following in the counter-Reformation tradition of Catholic polemical Bibles dating back to Luther’s early Catholic opponents, this version of the New Testament included not just a vernacular translation from the Latin Vulgate but also copious annotations denouncing Protestant heresies, alleging that false and heretical corruptions had been deliberately made in Protestant English translations of the Bible. In the same year, also from the pen of Gregory Martin, a treatise on the subject was published under the title ‘A discoverie of the Manifold Corruptions of the Holy Scriptures by the Heretikes of our daies’. The Rheims new Testament and ‘A Discoverie’ formed a companion set of sorts, and in conjunction with the arrival of Jesuit Priests in England, and Edmund Campion’s Rationes Decem, also known as ‘Campion’s brag,’ they prompted many establishment replies and counter-replies from the Catholic camp. Not by Gregory Martin However, who died in 1582.” Torrance Kirby. ‘Paul’s Cross and the Culture of Persuasion in England, 1520-1640.’

“It was at Douai that he wrote his translation of the Latin Vulgate and, simultaneously, ‘A Discoverie’… During his research and study for the translation, Martin seems to have compared English Protestant editions with both his own translation and with one another. ‘A Discoverie’ is an unprecedented assault upon the legitimacy and veracity of Protestant translations, particularly in regards to how much they differ with one another and, more importantly, how much they vary from the original Greek and Hebrew.” David J. Davis.

Rare first edition of this important work.

ESTC S112358. STC 17503. Allison & Rogers, 525.


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