CANTERBURY HISTORY OF THE BRITISH PROVINCES IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY

De furoribus Norfolcensium Ketto Duce … eiusdem Norvicus.

London, Henry Binneman, 1575.

£1,450

FIRST EDITION, first issue. 4to., pp. (xvi) 156 + (xii) 207 (xiii). Two parts in one, text in large fine Roman letter, prefatory matter in italic. Both titles within ornate typographical borders, full page arms of Archbishop Parker on verso, narrow piece of blank margin (upper) cut away from first, removing manuscript autograph. Magnificent decorated initial at beginning of dedication, again at beginning of text, final leaf comprising printed tables. First gathering a little loose but sound, else a very good, clean copy in contemporary limp vellum, from the Evelyn library.

The chief work of Alexander Neville (1544 – 1614), Dean of Canterbury, which he undertook under the guidance of his mentor Parker. The first part comprises a contemporary history of Kett’s rebellion of 1549, when the people of East Anglia revolted against the harsh methods of the new post-Dissolution landlords. It was suppressed by the Earl of Warwick with considerable bloodshed.

On page 32 there is the famous passage speaking of the laziness of the Welsh levies, and comparing them to sheep, which at the insistence of an offended government was excised from later issues. The second part is a description of the city of Norwich and its antiquities, to which a list of its mayors and sheriffs is added. An important work on one of the principal popular protests against the social change in England resulting from the Reformation.

STC 18478. Lowndes 1662 (the table of Saxon kings is never present).

SNO

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