BIBLE

IN A TAPESTRY WORK BINDING AND THE ONLY COPY

BIBLE. The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, newly translated out of the original Greek: and with the former translations diligently compared and revised by His Majesties speciall command.

Edinburgh, printed by Robert Bryson, and are to be sold at his shop …, 1641

[with]

PSALMS. The Whole Booke of Psalmes. Collected Into English meter by Tho. Sternhold, Jo. Hopkins, W. Whittingham and others, conferred with the Hebrew.

London, imprinted by I. L. for the Company of Stationers., 1643.

£8,500

24mo. Two vols. in one. 1) 264 unnumbered leaves, A-Y12. 2) pp. 282 [vi]. A-M12. Roman letter. First title with typographical border within line border, second title with typographical border, woodcut initials and other woodcut and typographical ornaments in both vols. Early woodcut bookplate of Edwards or Edwardes, baronets, of Shrewsbury on pastedown, “Mary Edwards, 1759” ms. below, autograph Margarett Haynes on front fly. Light age yellowing, X6 with tiny tear with slight loss to a few letters, a few creases in places, the rare marginal spot or mark. Very good copies, crisp and clean, in a charming contemporary tapestry-work embroidered binding on fine canvas, covers and turn ins with a sliver thread border, all over designs of two large flowers, with birds and insects interspersed, on covers, spines with embroidered bands with small flowers in compartments, all edges gilt. Extremities a little worn, upper joint with small crack, small losses to the silver thread border.

Exceptionally rare; most probably the unique surviving copy of the second work, which is not recorded in ESTC, and the only complete surviving copy of the first, in a fine contemporary embroidered binding worked in colours with tapestry-stitch. It is in itself a rare example of a near miniature tapestry work binding.“English books bound in embroidered canvas range over a period of about two hundred and fifty years, the earliest known specimen dating from the fourteenth century, and instances of the work occurring with some frequency from this time until the middle of the seventeenth century. The majority of these bindings are worked in tapestry-stitch, or tent-stitch, in designs illustrating Scriptural subjects in differently coloured threads.” Davenport. English Embroidered Bookbindings.

This copy has been finely worked with minute stitching, with flowers on both covers in blues, greens, yellows, browns and reds, the delicate stitching creating subtle grades of colour. The spine has been worked in bands with small embroidered flowers in imitation of an normal binding. It is possible that the binding was made in Scotland, though the later provenance is English.

“In the sixteenth century embroidered work was very popular with the Tudor princesses, gold and silver thread and pearls being largely used, often with very decorative effect. The simplest of these covers are also the best—but great elaboration was often employed …..Under the Stuarts the lighter feather-stitch was preferred, and there seems to have been a regular trade in embroidered Bibles and Prayer-books of small size, sometimes with floral patterns, sometimes with portraits of the King, or Scriptural scenes.” Davenport.

Davenport also notes that ladies often made embroidered gloves to match the binding “in hands thus gloved these little bindings, always pretty, often really artistic, must have looked exactly right, while their vivid colours must have been admirably in harmony with the gay Cavalier dresses.” Embroidery or needlework had been employed on ms. service books in medieval times but almost no English examples survive. The majority of surviving examples, and the only ones appearing on the market, date from the first half of the C17 when they again became fashionable on small service books or works of piety, particularly among ladies of rank. Few have endured in anything like their original condition. Fragile at best, many have become dilapidated through usage and later neglect, some were defaced or completely destroyed by disapproving Puritans during the Civil War, whilst the richest were invariably looted for their gold and silver threads. Where as here, they have  survived virtually intact, few artefacts are more redolent of the feminine culture and society of Stuart England.

The only institutional copy recorded of this edition of the New Testament is in the National Library of Scotland (imperfect). For the second work ESTC records a 32mo edition of the Psalms by the same printer in 1643 (Wing B2394) but no copy of this 24mo. edition.

  1. ESTC R172929 One copy only at National Library of Scotland (incomplete lacking three leaves). Wing B2645A.
  2. Unrecorded.

L2264

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FITZRALPH, Richard

Ricardi Archiepiscopi Armachani Hyberniae Primatis Defensorum Curatorum aduersus eos qui privilegiatos se dicunt –

Paris, Apud Petrum Billaine, 1633.

8vo. pp. [xvi] 168. á8, A-K8, L4. (á7+8 blank). Roman letter, some Italic. Small woodcut ornament on title, floriated woodcut initials and woodcut headpieces. Light age yellowing, the very occasional marginal spot or mark. A very good copy in modern three-quarter calf over marbled boards, spine with raised bands, blind ruled in compartments, blind fleurons.

Extremely rare edition of the major published work of the C14th Archbishop of Armagh, Richard Fitzralph, the first printed book by an Irish author, a work which defended the secular clergy in their contest with the mendicant orders; this edition was most probably printed at Paris at the instigation of the secular priest Paul Harris who was himself involved in a similar dispute at Dublin over three centuries later. Richard FitzRalph, Archbishop of Armagh, one of the most eminent Irish churchmen of the middle ages, was born at Dundalk about the end of the 13th century, and was educated at Oxford where he became Chancellor in 1333. He was made Chancellor of the church of Lincoln in 1334, became Archdeacon of Chester in 1336, and was installed Dean of Lichfield in 1337. He was advanced to the see of Armagh By Pope Clement VI. and was consecrated at Exeter, on 8th July 1347.“Fitzralph’s controversy with the friars came to a crisis when he was cited to Avignon in 1357. Avowing his entire submission to the authority of the Holy See, he defended his attitude towards the friars in the plea entitled “Defensorium Curatorum”. He maintained as probable that voluntary mendicancy is contrary to the teachings of Christ. His main plea, however, was for the withdrawal of the privileges of the friars in regard to confessions, preaching, burying, etc. He urged a return to the purity of their original institution, claiming that these privileges undermined the authority of the parochial clergy. The friars were not molested, but by gradual legislation harmony was restored between them and the parish clergy. Fitzralph’s position, however, was not directly condemned, and he died in peace at Avignon.” Catholic Encyclopaedia.

This edition contains an additional foreword under the title, ‘Ad Lectorem prfatio apologetic’ which has been attributed to the secular Priest Paul Haris then involved in a violent dispute with Thomas Fleming, Franciscan archbishop of Dublin. Paul Harris was not the only Secular Priest to oppose the Friars and it is certain that the secular priests looked to FitzRalph’s work for inspiration. “David Rothe, Bishop of Ossory, and first member of the new counter-reformation episcopate being established in Ireland from 1618, was alleged to hold the view that members of religious orders had forfeited their rights to the old monastic impropriations and even speculated that members of religious orders were not, in the strict sense members of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Rothe’s regular opponents even dubbed him ‘un Segundo Richardo Armachano’ after Richard FitzRalph the anti-mendicant fourteenth-century archbishop.” John McCafferty. ‘The Reconstruction of the Church of Ireland’. A very good copy of a very rare work.

Not in BM STC Fr. C16th. Shaaber F118. Three locations only, none in the US.

£2500

L2066

He espoused the cause of the secular clergy in their contests with the mendicant orders, whose abuses he discerned and exposed both by writings and preaching. The heads of the Irish Franciscans and Dominicans cited him to Avignon, where he appeared, and in presence of Pope Innocent VI. undauntedly maintained the conclusions he had arrived at. The examination of the matter was committed to the cardinals, who, after a long controversy, decided against him. FitzRalph was silenced, and the rights of the friars in relation to preaching, confession, and free sepulchre were maintained. FitzRalph died at Avignon, 16th November 1360. Ten years afterwards, in 1370, his bones are said to have been translated to Dundalk, by Stephen de Valle, Bishop of Meath.

By tradition this was the first printing of a book by an author of whose Irish birth there is no doubt and the only two copies of the 1st edition are to be found in the British Library and the Bibliothque Nationale in Paris. The former consists of 34 leaves, 30 lines to the page, without a titlepage, pagination or catch-words. The earliest usage of a titlepage is in the Paris edition, c.1485. Fitzralph, also called Radulphus in the Latin version, was born in Dundalk and was archbishop of Armagh from 1347 until his death in 1360. His Oxford tutor, John Bakenthorp, had been a great antagonist of the friars and Fitzralph took the same position, eventually being summoned to Avignon in 1357 to defend himself before Pope Innocent VI. This edition is attributed to Paul Harris, then involved in a violent disputation with Thomas Fleming, Franciscan archbishop of Dublin. With an additional foreword under the title, Ad Lectorem prfatio apologetic. In the expert opinion of Fr Ignatius Fennessy OFM gives credence to the Harris connection. Sweeney 1931 quoting 1st edition of 1475?.

á8, A-K8, L4. (á7+8 blank).

PSALTER

Psalterium in quatuor linguis Hebraea, Graeca, Chaldaea, Latina.

Cologne, [Johann Soter for Johann Potken], 1518.

£6,950

Small fol., 144 leaves, a-y6, ç6, &6. Roman, Hebrew, Greek and Ethiopic letters; title within elaborate border with interlacing floral decoration; occasional dust-soiling and marginal foxing, couple of tiny wormholes at foot and, in the first gathering, also to outer margin, old marginal repair to first five leaves, light dampstain at foot of final gathering. A good copy in late seventeenth-century English calf with gilt border; rebacked and restored, a little scuffed; on title, shelfmark and ink stamp of the Royal Society ‘ex dono’ of Henry Howard (1628-1684).

The second book to be printed in liturgical Ethiopic (Ge’ez) and the first polyglot psalter including that language. The editor, Johann Potken (c.1470-c.1525), was also responsible for the previous and earliest appearance of Ge’ez in print with his Alphabetum seu potius Syllabarium chaldaearum, published in Rome with Marcellus Silber in 1513. A Hebraist and clergyman from Cologne, Potken was at the time in the Papal city to serve Leo X. There, he got in touch with the Ethiopic community flourishing around the Church of St Peter of the Abyssinians, learnt Ge’ez from the pilgrim monk Thomas Walda Samuel and cut (or commissioned) an Ethiopic type for Silber, which he later brought back to Cologne and used for this Psalter. Curiously, Potken, the pioneer of Ethiopic printing, incorrectly called this language ‘Chaldea’, an ambiguous term which was commonly used in relation to Aramaic. An earlier polyglot Psalter featuring Arabic and Aramaic in addition to the Hebrew, Greek and Latin text was edited and published by Agostino Giustiniani in Genoa in 1516.

This copy was presented by Henry Howard, 6th Duke of Norfolk, to the Royal Society. The gift probably took taken place in 1667 along with donation of large part of the Arundel-Howard family library, including the beautiful manuscript copy of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britanniae, later acquired by the British Museum and now BL, MS Arundel 10.

BM STC Ger., 95; Adams, B1371; Brunet, IV, 920; Graesse, V, 469; Darlow & Moule, 1413; Fumagalli, 1243.

L1174a

LATIN, GREEK, HEBREW AND GE’EZ

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LUTHER, Martin

Jena, Donat Richtzenhan et Thomas Rebart (vols 1, 3) and Christian Rödinger & heirs (vols 2, 4), 1557-1579.

£3,750

In 4 vols. Folio: 1): ff. [12], 540, [4]; 2): ff. [6], 603, [1]; 3) ff. [4], 540, [2]; 4): ff. [4], 822, [2]. Predominantly Roman letter, little Italic and Greek; large historiated initials, titles within elaborate border with the symbols of the Evangelists, Christ on the cross with John Frederick I, Elector of Saxony and Luther kneeling, background landscape and castle and their coats of arms; in vols 2-4, full-page portratis of the dedicatees, the Protestant Saxon princes and brothers Johann Frederick II, Johann Wilhelm and Johann Frederick III, continuous chronological diagram on many leaves of vol. 4; lightly age browned, small dampstains occasionally to blank margins, a few leaves lightly foxed. A fine set in contemporary German alum-tawed bevelled pigskin, elaborately blind-tooled with various rolls of palms, Biblical figures and scenes, personifications of virtues, medallion portraits of Roman emperors, floral decoration, central plate with Jael killing Sisera in vol. 1 (Einbanddatenbank, p003434); remains of the eight original clasps, three functioning; minor rubbing and a few small stains; title and shelfmark inked on spine by contemporary and later hands; late seventeenth-century ex libris of Johann Theodor Eckhart ‘Volkholfheimensis p.’ on front pastedown of vol. 1; armorial bookplate of Johann Georg Sigward (1554-1618) on front pastedown of 2 and, dated 1607, on title verso of 3, along with his portrait by Lukas Kilian, dated 1614, on front pastedown; inscription of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Pierre de Senones dated 174[0] on titles of 1, 3 and 4 and related shelfmark on verso of front endpaper of all four vols; contemporary German marginalia in De servo arbitrio in vol. 3 and by later hand in commentary on Psalm 127 in 4.

A finely bound complete set of the Latin works by the initiator of the Reformation. With his prolific activity as a religious writer and polemicist, Luther (1483-1546) was one of the fathers of modern German language, but his extensive output in Latin was equally important and influential. This mixed set is formed by the two contemporary Jena editions, published from 1557 onwards. The first comprehensive collection was made in Wittenberg with Melanchthon’ and other Reformed scholars’ contributions and the sponsorship of the Elector of Saxony; yet, the Jean imprints, particularly those of Rödinger and heirs, are considered of better philological quality (Graesse, IV, 300).

The set has an interesting provenance. It first belonged to Johann Georg Sigward (1554-1618), prominent Evangelic theologian and professor in Tubingen, who penned several Latin religious treatises elucidating Lutheran articles of faith, including predestination. Later, it went into the hands of Johann Theodor Eckhart, apparently a pastor in Hofheim, in the area of Frankfurt. In 1740, it was catalogued in the vast Benedictine library of Saint-Pierre de Senones, which was being enlarged by the erudite abbot and Biblical exegete Antoine Augustin Calmet (1672-1757). It may have served for his studies, which won him the esteem of many Protestant theologians and, despite later attacks, of Voltaire, who was a guest in the Senones monastery in the early 1750s.

Not in BM STC Ger. Adams, L1738 (vol. 1), L1747 (vol. 3); Brunet, III, 1240; Graesse, IV, 300 (vols 2 and 4); VD16 ZV 10105, L3424, L3435, L3427.

L2042

LATIN

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BIBLIA

Biblia utriusque Testamenti.

[Geneva], Robert Estienne, 1556-1557.

£65,000

In 2 vols. Fol., ff. [10], 188, 316, [2], 436, 336, 41, [1]. Predominantly Roman letter, some Greek and Hebrew; large printer’s device and decorative head-piece with vine and peasants on title and half-title, a few detailed illustrations, one full-page; title slightly dust-soiled with torn outer lower corner, a few leaves age yellowed, occasional light foxing mainly to margins, small marginal waterstain to final gatherings of vol. 2. A stunning, well-margined copy in exceptional morocco by the King’s binder of Geneva (cf. M. M. Foot, The Henry Davis Gift, pp. 279-285, nos 226-229), elegantly tooled with gilt and painted black border with panel of interlacing ribbons, painted black, and gouges, unpainted, on background powdered with dots, one mask at head and one at foot, some elements carved after gilding; spine similarly tooled, all board edges gilt with horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines, all edges gauffered with gilt floral and grotesque motifs; joints possibly strengthened, a little rubbed at corners; eighteenth-century English annotation on front pastedown of vol. 1, quoting from the 1732 English translation of Calmet’s Dictionnaire historique, critique, chronologique, géographique et littéral de la Bible; c19 stamp of ‘G. W. Oxenham’ on front pastedown of both vols, Magg’s acquisition labels (March 1940) on rear pastedown of vol. 2.

Splendidly bound copy of the fifth edition of the renowned Latin Bible of Robert Estienne (1503-1559). It was the first to include Theodor Beza’s translation and commentaries on the New Testament, following Estienne’s conversion to Calvinism and subsequent move to Geneva. The book retains the detailed woodcut illustrations of the 1540 edition and the Latin version of the Old Testament by Sante Pagnini. Although this was not exactly the first attempt to separate and number biblical verses, the vast influence of the edition made this practice accepted once and for all.

The extraordinarily rich and detailed binding on both volumes can be attributed with certainty to the King’s binder, who was arguably the best in Geneva in the second half of the sixteenth century and probably a Parisian craftsman who emigrated due to unorthodox religious belief (I. Schunke, ‘Die Genfer Einbände in U. Fuggers Bibliothek’, in Die Einbände der Palatina, I, Vatican, 1962, pp. 218-236 and M. M. Foot, ‘The Geneva King’s binder and other 16th-century bindings decorated with masks’, Association International de Bibiliophilie: XXIVe Congrès 2005, pp. 17-29). His elaborate style, influenced by Parisian models, is characterised by lavish gauffering and use of grotesque and bizarre masks (here a sad-looking king and a staring ram) as decorative elements at head and foot of covers, from which the rest of the interlacing decoration usually springs.

BM STC Fr., Supplement, 11; Adams, B 1055 ; Darlow & Moule, 614; Renouard, 87 (‘depuis long-temp fort rare’); Schreiber, 113; Brunet, I, 876; Graesse, I, 394.

K94

LATIN (WITH SOME GREEK AND HEBREW)

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JESUIT RELATIONS

Nuovi avisi dell’Indie di Portogallo … terza parte.

Venice, Michele Tramezzino, 1562.

£3,750

8vo, pp. [8], 316. Italic letter; large printer’s device on title, floriated initials; small traces of glue at foot of first three leaves, tiny marginal stain to outer upper corner of f. 27. A fine, wide-margined copy in late sixteenth-century limp vellum; yapp edges, early title inked on spine and later gilt on morocco label, pasted stubs from a dictionary or glossary.

First Italian edition of an epistolary account of the Jesuit missions from all over the early modern world, translated from Spanish. It concerns in particular the vast maritime domain of the Portuguese Empire, consisting of numerous strategical harbours on the coasts of Africa, South Asia and South America. This network was instrumental in controlling the trade of spices and precious metals, but offered also safe starting points for Catholic evangelisation. This collection of letters narrates travels to and fro and daily missionary life in Brazil, India, China, Japan and Ethiopia, providing details of the Jesuit activities, including mass conversions, as well as relevant information on local people, flora and fauna. Often, missives are sent to or from the St Paul’s College of Goa, which was established about 1542 by Francis Xavier as the educational and cultural centre of the Jesuit expansion in the East, and housed the first printing press in India from 1556. These letters were highly sought after in secular Europe, often providing the only reliable information available on the political, economic, commercial and social conditions of large and increasingly important part of the globe.

Not in Adams. BM STC It., 349; Alden, 562/16; Sabin, 5640; Borba de Moraes, I, 51; Cordier, Japonica, 47.

L2144

ITALIAN

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BIBLE

GENEVA MARRIAGE BINDING

La Bible (with) Les CL. Pseaumes de David, … mis en rime francoise par Clément Marot, & Théodore de Besze. Avec la forme des prières ecclésiastiques, et la manière d’administrer les sacremens, & célébrer le mariage…

Geneva, de l’imprimerie de Matthieu Berjon, 1605

£9,500

8vo. 2 vols in 1. 1)ff. [iv], 412, 96, 130, [ii]. *⁴ a-z⁸ A-Z⁸ Aa-Ee⁸ Ff⁴, aa-mm⁸, AA-QQ⁸ RR⁴ 2) 80 unnumbered leaves. Aa-Kk8. Entirely ruled in red. Roman letter, some Italic, double column, copious woodcut musical notation in second work, bookplate of Madeleine and René Junod and label of the exhibition ‘Dix siècles de livres français’ organised by the Musée des Beaux-Arts at Lucerne on the 9 July to 2 October 1949 (cat., n°357) on pastedown. Light age yellowing, some water staining to title and last leaf, the odd marginal spot or mark. A very good copy in a stunning, exceptionally preserved, contemporary mosaique binding of tan morocco with darker morocco inlays, covers double gilt ruled to a panel design, outer dentelle border made with a series of repeated gilt tools, outer panel with inlaid ovals at corners, gilt fleurons, and small inlaid circles with gilt fleurons repeated with semé of gilt pointillée tools around, central panel with corners of small inlaid ovals and circles with gilt fleurons finely worked with small tools, central arabesques of inlaid circles around a large central oval, gilt, worked in gilt fine small fleurons, pointillée tools, and leafy sprays, spine worked to a very similar panel design with the same use of inlays and fine tools, very finely worked silver clasps and catches, catches with grotesques heads and clasps with small musicians and grotesque heads, ‘Louis Du Four 1616’ stamped on verso of upper clasp, “Catherine Franconis” to lower, all edges gilt and finely gauffered, later endpapers.

A rare edition of this finely printed Protestant bible in a beautiful and richly worked contemporary mosaique morocco binding, immaculately preserved, with its original silvers clasps and catches, a most handsome present commissioned for the wedding of in Geneva in1617 of Louis Dufour and Catherine Franconis. The Société Genevoise de Généalogie states that Catherine Franconis married, on 2nd February 1617, at the Temple of Saint-Gervais in Geneva, Louis Dufour and they later had a daughter Madeleine Dufour which confirms that this bible must have been made as a wedding gift. Their names are jointly stamped on the verso of the catches with the date 1616. The lovely Geneva binding is a very fine example of the best bindings of the period, extremely finely and delicately worked for its small size, with tiny inlays of darker morocco, making for a subtle all over design. The shape of the Bible with its large flat spine allowed the binder to create a most unusual panel design on the spine mirroring those of the covers. The silver clasps and catches are very beautifully worked in very fine grotesques and survive in perfect condition, as does the rest of the binding. This Bible was exhibited in the exhibition ‘Ten centuries of the French Book’ (Dix siècles de livres français) organised by the Musée des Beaux-Arts at Lucerne on the 9 July to 2 October 1949 (cat., n°357)

This Geneva Bible, beautifully printed in a very fine minuscule Roman type, imitates, on a small scale, the great Estienne folio Bibles of the previous century. It is completed with the addition of a Psalter, by the same printer, probably intended to accompany this Bible, though they are not always found together. The Psalter is followed with the ‘forme des prières ecclésiastiques’, the catechism, and the confession of faith in 40 articles by the Reformed Church of France. (“Confession de foi faite d’un commun accord par les François qui désirent vivre selon la pureté de l’Evangile de Nostre Seigneur Jésus-Christ”). A finely printed Bible remarkably preserved in a most beautiful contemporary binding.

BM STC Fr. C17th p. 50, B791. Darlowe and Moule. 3744 ‘French Geneva version. A close reprint of the edition of 1588”.

L2196

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ZEROLA, Tommasi [with] VISCONTI, Zaccaria

THE ART OF EXORCISM

Sancti Iubilaei ac indulgentiarum … tractates [with] Complementum artis exorcisticae.

Venice, Giorgio Varisco, 1600 [with] Venice, Francesco Bariletti, 1600.

£3,950

Two works in one volume. 8vo: 1): FIRST EDITION: pp. [48], 336, [8]; 2): FIRST EDITION: pp. [6], 716, [36]. Roman letter, little Italic; printer’s devices on titles and end of 1), initials floriated or historiated and decorative tail-pieces; minor wormtrails on blanks of first gathering, a few leaves aged browned, occasional light foxing to margins. A good copy in fine contemporary German alum-taw pigskin, blind-tooled with external floral roll and central panel with fleur-de-lys at corners and monogram of Christ on front, of Mary on rear; contemporary titles inked on labels at spine, remains of ties, edges diagonally sprinkled in red and blue; faint armorial library stamp on verso of front pastedown, contemporary shelf marks and inscription ‘Pro conventu Suazensi Fr[atr]um Min[orum]’ on first title.

Elegantly bound volume comprising two uncommon first edition treatises connected with the Catholic Jubilee of 1600. Little is known about their authors. Tommaso Zerola (1548-1603) was an acclaimed canon lawyer of Benevento and later bishop of Minori, while Zaccaria Visconti, professional exorcist of the Barnabite Congregation of St Ambrose in Milan and teacher of this art, flourished between the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. The first work, dedicated to the pope’s nephew Cardinal Cinzio Aldobrandini, deals extensively with the practice of indulgence or remission of sins – a highly relevant topic for pilgrims going to Rome on the occasion of the Holy Year. The second and more curious treatise addresses exorcism, providing the theological and theoretic framework as well as a manual of instruction on techniques, prayers, formulae, rituals and all sorts of remedies to expel the Evil within. As pointed out in the initial dedication, Visconti hoped that his books would help reduce the number of cases of demonic possession recently recorded in the Milanese area.

This copy belonged to the Franciscan convent of Schwaz, in Tyrol, once a prominent silver-mining centre of the Augsburg Empire.

1): Not in Brunet or Graesse. BM STC It., Suppl., 83; Adams, Z 140.

2): Not in Brunet or BM STC It. Adams, V 629.

L2205

LATIN

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HARRIS, Paul

A PLEA AGAINST THE CORRUPTION OF RELIGIOUS FAITH IN IRELAND

Fratres sobrii estote. I. Pet. 5. 8. Or, An admonition to the fryars of this Kingdome of Ireland, to abandon such hereticall doctrines as they daylie publish to the corruption of our holy faith, the ruine of soules.

Dublin, The Society of Stationers, 1634.

£3,500

FIRST EDITION. 4to., pp. (ii), 30, 35-92 (i.e. 82), 84-99. Roman letter, some Italic. Small woodcut ornament on title, woodcut initials, typographical and woodcut headpieces. Light age yellowing, very occasional minor marginal marks. A very good copy in modern three-quarter black morocco over marbled paper boards, all edges red.

Very rare first Dublin printing of Paul Harris’ dispute with the Franciscan Archbishop in Dublin, Thomas Flemming, commencing with the publication of his letter to Pope Urban VIII complaining of impious publications made by the Franciscans in Ireland. He concludes the work with an epistle to the Archbishop in which he outlines his complaints in the most forthright of terms.

“Paul Harris (1573–1635?), catholic divine, although often assumed to be an Irishman, distinctly states that he was a native of England. He became a secular priest of the Roman catholic church, and lived for many years in Dublin, where he was rector of a seminary for boys. He engaged in several acrimonious disputes with the Franciscans. It was alleged that Thomas Fleming, archbishop of Dublin, himself a Franciscan, had formed the design of displacing the secular priests in order to introduce Franciscan friars into the parishes of his diocese. The seculars vehemently opposed the scheme, and Harris, being more active than the rest, and a man of great spirit, incurred the censure of excommunication from the archbishop, who eventually procured an order from Rome for his banishment out of the diocese of Dublin. The date of his death is unknown, but he says that he was sixty years old when he published his Ἀρκτόμαστιξ in 1633.” His works, all of which were probably printed in Dublin, are generally all very rare.

“In all theses P. H. is very severe against the Friars, but his pieces contain numerous and curious points of history, especially the ecclesiastical history of his own time and place of residence in 1635.” Richard Robert Madden. ‘The History of Irish Periodical Literature: Volume 1.’ These pamphlets also are particularly important as they constitute the first of their kind in Irish publishing. “Taken together with the pamphlets of Paul Harris published in the early 1630’s accusing the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Thomas Fleming, of masterminding an ‘impious plot’ to displace the secular clergy and ‘bring all into the hands of the friars,’ these exchanges may be considered the first political debates conducted in print in Ireland.” The Oxford History of the Irish Book, Volume III.

An exceptionally rare and interesting work. ESTC cites no copies in libraries in the USA.

ESTC S116531. STC 12812.

L2068

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FITZRALPH, Richard

ON MEDIEVAL RELIGIOUS ORDERS IN IRELAND

Ricardi Archiepiscopi Armachani Hyberniae Primatis Defensorum Curatorum aduersus eos qui privilegiatos se dicunt.

Paris, Apud Petrum Billaine, 1633.

£3,250

8vo., pp. (xvi) 168. á8, A-K8, L4. (á7+8 blank). Roman letter, some Italic. Small woodcut ornament on title, floriated woodcut initials and woodcut headpieces. Light age yellowing, the very occasional marginal spot or mark. A very good copy in modern three-quarter calf over marbled boards, spine with raised bands, blind ruled in compartments, blind fleurons.

Extremely rare edition of the major published work of the C14th Archbishop of Armagh, Richard Fitzralph, the first printed book by an Irish author, a work which defended the secular clergy in their contest with the mendicant orders; this edition was most probably printed in Paris, at the instigation of the secular priest Paul Harris, who was himself involved in a similar dispute in Dublin over three centuries later.

Richard FitzRalph, Archbishop of Armagh, one of the most eminent Irish churchmen of the middle ages, was born at Dundalk around the end of the 13th century, and was educated at Oxford where he became Chancellor in 1333. He was made Chancellor of the church of Lincoln in 1334, became Archdeacon of Chester in 1336, and was installed Dean of Lichfield in 1337. He was advanced to the see of Armagh By Pope Clement VI, and was consecrated at Exeter, on 8th July 1347.

“Fitzralph’s controversy with the friars came to a crisis when he was cited to Avignon in 1357. Avowing his entire submission to the authority of the Holy See, he defended his attitude towards the friars in the plea entitled “Defensorium Curatorum.” He maintained as probable that voluntary mendicancy is contrary to the teachings of Christ. His main plea, however, was for the withdrawal of the privileges of the friars in regard to confessions, preaching, burying, etc. He urged a return to the purity of their original institution, claiming that these privileges undermined the authority of the parochial clergy. The friars were not molested, but by gradual legislation harmony was restored between them and the parish clergy. Fitzralph’s position, however, was not directly condemned, and he died in peace at Avignon.” Catholic Encyclopaedia.

This edition contains an additional foreword under the title, ‘Ad Lectorem prefatio apologetic’ which has been attributed to the secular priest Paul Harris, then involved in a violent dispute with Thomas Fleming, Franciscan archbishop of Dublin. Paul Harris was not the only Secular Priest to oppose the Friars, and it is certain that the secular priests looked to FitzRalph’s work for inspiration.

“David Rothe, Bishop of Ossory, and first member of the new counter-reformation episcopate being established in Ireland from 1618, was alleged to hold the view that members of religious orders had forfeited their rights to the old monastic impropriations and even speculated that members of religious orders were not, in the strict sense members of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Rothe’s regular opponents even dubbed him un Segundo Richardo Armachano after Richard FitzRalph the anti-mendicant fourteenth-century archbishop.” John McCafferty. ‘The Reconstruction of the Church of Ireland’. A very good copy of a very rare work.

Not in BM STC Fr. C16th. Shaaber F118. Three locations only, none in the US.

L2066

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