The second part of The principles, of the art militarie, practized in the warres of the Vnited Provinces.

London [i.e. Delft : By Jan Pietersz. Waelpot] for Mr Robert Younge, anno 1638.


FIRST EDITION. folio. [iv], 18, 40. 19 engraved plates (17 double-page) all with fine contemporary outlining and colouring, some signed by Hondius. “A reissue, with cancel quire pi, of the edition with imprint: Printed at Delf, by Ian Pieters VValpote”. ESTC. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut ornament on the t-p, woodcut initials and headpieces, typographical ornaments, engraved armorial bookplate of William Charles de Meuron, Earl Fitzwilliam, (1872-1943), various early shelf marks of pastedown and fly. . Light age yellowing, very minor spotting, t-p fractionally thumbed in lower corner, one plate with small closed tear in lower blank margin. A fine copy, crisp and clean with good margins, the plates with good impression in contemporary hand colouring, in contemporary vellum over thin boards, remains of label, small stain on lower cover.

Extremely rare first edition of this important military work, printed in Holland, one of two variants; this with the cancel title in English. This copy has the plates in fine contemporary hand colouring. Both editions are extremely rare. This variant is recorded in ESTC in three copies only, two at the Huntington Library and one at Harvard. The variant with the Dutch title page in recorded a unique copy, also at the Huntington. There is no copy of either in UK libraries. The work was reprinted in 1642 in England.

“Hexham’s long military career began when he was fifteen or sixteen. He was born in the Netherlands to English parents in circa 1585 and first served with Vere at Ostend and remained with him until his departure for England in 1604. … His three instruction manuals … were a tour de force of English military literature and a veritable catalogue of the Dutch contributions to the transformation of warfare in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. .. Hexham was one of the most prolific soldier-authors of the early Stuart period and his contributions to English military literature are quite significant. His ties to Horace Vere and to many of the soldiers in the Vere circle is one more instance of the strong conections between Englands military writers and the countries leading military figures.” David R. Lawrence ‘The Complete Soldier: Military Books and Military Culture in Early Stuart England.

“A number of British writers were influenced by this ‘Dutch-drill’. Most notably John Bingham in his work on The Tactiks of Aelian (1616), John Cruso’s Military Instructions for the Cavallrie (1632) and The Art of War, or Militarie Discourses (1639) and Henry Hexham’s Principles of the Art Militarie …Hexham was Quartermaster to Colonel George Goring in the Dutch Wars (he became a royalist general in the civil war) and his work is a recognition of Maurice’s achievements. It outlines, again in great detail, the structure of an army and roles of the officers and key non-commissioned officers; provides extremely detailed accounts of musket and pike drills with excellent diagrams; includes details and rates of pay as well as the ransoms to be paid for officers and finally a section on military law and the punishments. The second section concentrates on the various battles fought during the Thirty Years’ War, but provides little explanation of how those formations were fought. A final section covers the artillery and engineers. While Hexham does not consider combined operations per se, he includes a pivotal section on the inclusion of cavalry squadrons to support the first line infantry in which he describes placing ‘Battallions of horse, interlaced, and placed betwixt the intervals, and distances of the Foote, as the ground necessity may require. For, if an Enemies Horse should be ranged betweene his Battallions of foote, it is needed then, that the other side should observe the same form likewise, and have horse to encounter horse, lest they should breake in upon the foote divisions’. Nicolas Lipscombe, ‘Combined Arms Tactics in the English Civil War’.

ESTC S1197323; STC 13264.4. Not in Cockle (1642 edn. only).


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CLOWES, William

A profitable and necessarie booke of observations, for all those that are burned with the flame of gun powder, &c., and also for curing of wounds.

London: Edmund Bollifant for Thomas Dawson, 1596


FIRST EDITION thus. Two parts in one. 4to. [iv], 52, 57-229, [iii]: A-2F. “A revised edition of A prooved practise for all young chirurgians, concerning burnings with gunpowder’, with an enlarged edition of ‘A short and profitable treatise touching the cure of the disease called morbus Gallicus by unctions’. ‘A briefe and necesary treatise, touching the cure of the disease now vsually called lues venerea’ has separate dated title page; pagination and register are continuous.” ESTC. Black letter, some Roman and Italic. Small woodcut ornament on t-p, large royal arms on verso, four full-page woodcut illustrations of surgical instruments and ‘The surgery Chest’ on pp. 136 and 137, woodcut printer’s device on second t-p, Clowes woodcut arms on verso, bookplate of Thomas Francis Fremantle, Lord Cottlesowe on pastedown. First title dusty and a little soiled in outer margins, first quire dusty in margins, mostly marginal water-staining, a little heavier in places, the occasional thumb mark, spot or small stain, lightly browned. A good copy in early C19th calf, covers bordered with a blind rule and scrolled border. spine hatched in blind at head and tail small repair to head of spine.

Rare and important compendium of the surgical writings, expanded in this edition, of William Clowes (c.1540-1604) which were amongst the most significant of the Elizabethan age. Clowes had been a naval surgeon and accompanied the expedition of the Earl of Leicester in the Low Countries. “William Clowes was the foremost Elizabethan-era military and naval surgeon and an expert on syphilis.. Clowes completed his training at 19 years of age and joined the Earl of Warwick’s unsuccessful venture to Normandy in support of the Protestant cause and its leader the Prince of Condé. The English forces were pushed back into Le Havre and, crowded into the city and poorly supplied from across the English channel, were devastated by a combination of plague and scurvy. Clowes, hampered by a lack of supplies wrote that he found his fingers the best of surgical instruments and scabbards quite satisfactory splints. When the defeated English forces came home, Clowes joined the Royal Navy and served as a surgeon’s mate for the next five years during which time he acquired the experience treating syphilis that resulted in his work ‘De Morbo Gallico’, which he published in 1585. With Queen Elizabeth’s support, Clowes was appointed assistant surgeon to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in 1576.  .. In 1588, he was named surgeon to the fleet that had gathered to meet the Armada.. His 1581 ‘A proved Practise for all young Chirurgions  Concerning Burnings with Gunpowder and Wounds Made with Gunshot’ was the first book in English that dealt with gunshot wounds in a Naval context. In 1596 Clowes published ‘A profitable and necessarie booke of observations’ a compendium of his extensive surgical and medical experience.” Jack Edward McCallum ‘Military Medicine: From Ancient Times to the 21st Century’.

“Clowes’ most important publication is ‘A profitable and necessarie booke of observations’  .. He indicates in these writings an earnest desire to pass on the benefits of his observations to younger surgeons ‘for the good of my countrymen’ .. In keeping with this purpose, he wrote in English rather than Latin. Like his German contemporaies, Clowes was a wound surgeon, and he makes no mention of elective operative surgery. His observations consist of a series of case reports, dealing chiefly with gunshot wounds or burning with gunpowder. Contrary to widely held early opinion, he did not believe gunshot woounds to be poisoned, although .. he became convinced that it was possible for a bullet to be intentionally smeared with poison before firing. He also describes the experiments he conducted by which he learned that the bullet was not sufficiently exposed to heat, as it was being discharged, to neutralise the poison applied. .. This early application of scientific investigation of a clinical problem is of great interest and merits special attention. .. He .. displayed an open mind and the courage to make independent observations and to profit from them. .. Thus he represents and example of the best type of practical wound surgeon of his time.” Leo M. Zimmerman ‘Great Ideas in the History of Surgery.’

Cockle 56. ESTC S108096. STC 5445.5 Osler 2325 ‘The best surgical writings of his time in English. ..his books are full of pictures of daily life in the reign of Elizabeth.’ Welcome 1507. Durling 971. Morton 2373.


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CATANEO, Girolamo


Le capitaine Contenant la maniere de fortifier places, assaillir, & defendre.

[Geneva]: Jean de Tournes, 1600.


4to (pp. [viii] 151 [i]. ¶4, a-d4, e-n2, o4, p-s2, t4 ,v-z2, A-E2, F-G4, (q1v blank). Roman letter some Italic and civilité. Title within architectural woodcut border, woodcut initials and headpieces, typographical ornaments, many woodcut illustrations (some double-page), 4 folding woodcut plates (one double-sided), De Tounres’ woodcut device on verso of final leaf, armorial bookplate of Thomas Francis Fremantle, Lord Cottesloe on fly. Light age yellowing, very minor dust soiling in upper margin in places, the rare spot or mark. A very good, clean copy, with folding plates in perfect condition, in handsome C17th english panelled sheep, covers double blind ruled to a panel design, outer panel sprinkled, inner panel with dentelle rule, spine with gilt ruled bands red morocco label gilt, all edges blue, head band chipped, a little rubbed.

A very good copy of the third edition of this influential translation into French by Jean de Tournes of Cataneo’s ‘Opera nuova’, beautifully illustrated with many fine woodcuts. Cataneo (or Cattaneo, active 1540-1584) was a military engineer who worked in Brescia and Mantua, and he also helped design parts of the new town of Sabbioneta for Vespasiano Gonzaga. He ran a school in Brescia and was held in high regard by his contemporaries in the field of military architecture. The work is an argument on how to build fortresses to make them safer, both in theory and practice, a reminder of the prestige Cataneo enjoyed as a military architect and mathematician whose treatises had a powerful influence on military building across the Mediterranean and the coast of Africa.“Lanteri’s mathematics teacher, Girolamo Cataneo, was a geometric planner by inclination, but his ‘Opera nuovo di fortificare’ (1564) shows that he was realistic enough to allow that the paper designs need to be modified by and adjusted to the local conditions of the terrain in which the fortress is to be built.” Horst de la Croix. ‘The Literature on Fortification in Renaissance Italy’.

“Girolamo Cataneo was probably born sometime after the beginning of the 16th. century. He seems to have been interested in warfare and cultivated Mathematics from his youth on. At some time he served Charles V in Lombardy. Details of the sort of life Girolamo led are scarce. Lanteri featured him as the protagonist of his, dialogue, of his earlier work, teaching fortification through mathematics at Brescia in the 1550’s; he also mentioned him as likewise teaching at the Castle of Arco in 1542. In his first work on fortification Girolamo stated that he had taught verbally in the area for many years; which matches Lanteri’s picture. Girolamo began publishing with a calendrical work in 1562. 1563, saw the appearance of his mathematical treatment of arrays of soldiers and the next year his first work on fortification was published. Girolamo had no new publications until his more elementary work on fortification appeared in 1571, although his earlier works had appeared in different combinations in later editions, in between. His final work on surveying appeared in 1572: All these works appeared at Brescia. It seems likely, then that Girolamo spent much of his life in courts and castles propounding mathematical topics, with particular emphasis on the use of mathematics in warfare. At a number of points Girolamo indicated that he considered there to be two main sources of understanding in practical knowledge. On the one hand experience, and on the other mathematical knowledge. His concern with mathematics, particularly geometry, ran through all his published works. At the same time the sort of geometry he presented was never of a particularly high level. The instructional section to his ‘Opera Nuova de fortificare’ for instance contained mainly simple constructions such as in replicating an angle, discussed at some length.” ‘Christopher Malagh. Science, Warfare and Society in the Renaissance, with particular reference to fortification theory.’

A handsome copy of this most influential work.

USTC 53137. Brunet I:1655. Gilmont ‘Les éditions imprimées à Genève, Lausanne et Neuchâtel aux XVe et XVIe siècles’ 4100. 


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[UDALL, William. Camden, William.]


The Historie of the Life and Death of Mary Stuart Queene of Scotland.

London, John Haviland for Richard Whitaker, 1624


FIRST EDITION. Folio. pp. [xii], 250, [ii]. A(±A3), B-2H, 2I. Roman and Italic letter, text within box rule. Fine engraved portrait of Mary as frontispiece within roundel, Mary’s arms above, signed: R: Elstrack, title within large woodcut border, epistle signed “Wil. Stranguage” [i.e. William Udall], “One of three imprint variants of this edition. In this state the dedication, with pseudonymous signature, is a cancel.” ESTC. “.Hadinton” in a contemporary hand on title. another autograph erased dated 1651 above, engraved armorial bookplate of Thomas Hamilton (1721-1794), 7th Earl of Haddington, on verso of t-p, contemporary inscription on fly erased, early shelf marks on t-p and and frontispiece. Light age yellowing, very rare spot or mark, t-p fractionally dusty in lower outer margin. A fine, large paper copy, crisp and clean in handsome contemporary calf, covers double gilt and blind ruled to a panel design, corners stopped with small gilt fleurons, gilt fleurons to corners of inner panel, arms of John Bill, Kings Printer at centres, spine blind ruled, slightly later morocco label gilt, edges gilt ruled, a.e.r. endpapers renewed, extremities slightly rubbed.

A remarkable, large paper copy bound with the arms of the Kings printer John Bill, almost certainly made for presentation; The University of Toronto, British Armorial Bindings, records two vols with John Bill’s armorial device, one of them being another copy of this work. At this late stage in his career John Bill was a hugely successful, influential and wealthy printer. “In the Jacobean period the King’s Printers were Robert Barker (1570–1645), and the two Shropshire men, Bonham Norton (1564–1635) and John Bill (1576–1630). At this time the office of the King’s Printer included the privilege to print the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer in English. .… But the rights to the office of King’s Printer in English were in dispute, and Robert Barker, Bonham Norton and John Bill—who held the office either alone, or together in various partnerships from 1603–1645—fought bitter legal battles in the Court of Chancery for more than a decade to establish their rights to a share in the business. …. through John Bill’s good managing of the business (which drew in overseas investments through his Continental contacts) the office began to pay. These Continental contacts emerged from a joint-stock partnership which Bonham Norton, John Norton, and John Bill had set up in 1603. This long-running partnership, from 1603-1619 was designed to import continental books and stationary, and to produce books at home and abroad. It operated through an intricate web of book-trade contacts and markets, which John Bill was able to draw into the operation of the King’s Printing House. The KPH institutions extended their power as instruments of cultural production in Jacobean England. James’s desire to define a national culture and influence European thought through the printed word meant that the Salopian’s book-trading became as important culturally for the king as it was financially for the partners.” ‘A Brief History of the King’s Printing House (KPH) in the Jacobean Period’

Attractive principal edition of the classic early ‘Life’ of Mary, Queen of Scots and the author’s only printed work. Though drawn almost exclusively from the Latin history of the period by Camden (probably with Camden’s sanction), it achieved considerable popular success. Mary was one of the most attractive and fascinating figures of British history of the late C16th., and the establishment of her Stuart line on the throne of England of course heightened the interest of Englishmen in her life and unhappy fate. “Anticipating that his portraits of Elizabeth and Mary would met with objections, Camden appears to have opposed publishing his Annales in English during his lifetime. As evidence, historians usually point to Jame’s commission for Abraham Darcie’s translation, which was not printed until 1625, over a year after Camden’s death. Udall’s neglected ‘Historie of the Life and Death of Mary Stuart Queene of Scotland’ appeared even earlier, in 1624, evidence that James was getting what was for him the most significant part of the text out to the English public as soon as possible. Udall, who first published this book under the name ‘William Stranguage’ does not credit Camden as his source, and up through the nineteenth century, many, if not most, readers assumed Udall wrote it himself. Udall’s history popularises a version of Mary’s tragedy that argues for James’s legitimacy against those who might challenge him.”. By John D. Staines ‘The Tragic Histories of Mary Queen of Scots, 1560-1690.’

A stunning copy of this important work.

ESTC. S117760. STC 24509a. Pforzheimer I 123. Arber IV 158.


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The spared houres of a souldier in his travels. Or The true marrowe of the French tongue, where in is truely treated (by ordre) the nine parts of speech.

Dort, Par Nicolas Vincentz. Pour George Waters, Ano. 1623


FIRST EDITION. Folio. pp. 523, [5]: [dagger] A-2V. “Pages 427-447 contain the first hour of “Doomes-Day” by William Alexander, Earl of Stirling. Quires [dagger] and Z-2V have horizontal chain lines and watermarks through quire folds.” ESTC.  Roman and Italic letter, text in double column. Typographical border on verso of title page with woodcut arms at centre, pasted over with the engraved armorial bookplate of Thomas Hamilton (1721-1794), 7th Earl of Haddington, woodcut initials and tail-pieces, contemporary autograph ‘Hadington’ on t-p, early shelf mark on pastedown. Light age yellowing, rare thumb mark or very minor stain. A very good copy in fine contemporary Scottish calf, covers gilt and blind ruled to a panel design, large thistles gilt to outer corners, centre-piece of four gilt thistle tools, crowned above and below, initials at side and above excised, spine with raised bands double bind ruled, gilt fleurons at centres, slightly later tan morocco label gilt, holes for ties, all edges blue, ‘Marrow of the French Tongue’ in contemporary mss in large letters on fore-edge, extremities fractionally rubbed.

A fine copy of this rare and most interesting French Grammar made for the use of British Soldiers fighting in the Netherlands; the work is full of contemporary poetry, aphorisms, ‘Godly songs’ and proverbs. The binding is noble and Scottish. The thistle and crown device with two leaves, gilt stamped on the covers is very intriguing. The work is dedicated to Charles I however this crowned thistle device was used by Charles’ brother Henry on is bindings (see Toronto Armorial bindings.) It was also a device used on coins by James I. The early owner of the work was Thomas Hamilton 1st Earl of Haddington and the work stayed in the family library for the next four hundred odd years, so it is also possible that this was bound for him as Earl of Haddington. The removal of the initials on the covers makes it impossible to be more precise as to whether it was made for royalty or for the Earl. Hamilton was on very friendly terms with James VI, his legal talents being useful to the king, and he was one of the eight men called the Octavians who were appointed to manage the finances of Scotland. Widely regarded as an able administrator, Hamilton was entrusted with a large share in the government of Scotland when James removed to London in 1603. In 1612 he was appointed Lord Clerk Register to the Privy Council to succeed John Skene. After the death of James VI the earl resigned his offices, but served Charles I as Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland. In 1619, he was created Earl of Melrose. Upon the death of the first and last Viscount of Haddington (1626), the king agreed to exchange the title of Earl of Melrose to that of Earl of Haddington.

John Wodroephe took advantage of his experiences as a soldier in the Netherlands to publish this most interesting French grammar. “What seems so far to have been overlooked is Woodrophe’s most distinguishing characteristic, which is also the most curious aspect of his book, namely that he compiled a French grammar for British Soldiers in the Netherlands, the country where it was also first published in 1623, a combination of circumstances which is rare indeed. .. True, the author describes it as useful for all other potential students of French, but much of the book is specially directed at members of the British forces serving on behalf of the States General under Prince Maurice of Orange against the Spanish army in the Netherlands. More, a thin but persistent personal note runs through the first edition, to be excised from the shortened London edition of 1625. In this the military connection is hidden from view, its title now reading ‘The marrow of the French tongue’. As the soldier no longer dominates the titlepage, so the author has deleted, or has had deleted for him, whatever appeared as a personal revelation in the first edition. .. The book is dedicated to Charles in both prose and verse: King James and Anne receive their poetic due is several sonnets; Frederick, King of Bohemia, and his wife, the Princess Elizabeth, follow their royal parents.” Anna Simoni. ‘John Wodroephe’s Spared Hours.’

“Writing in the early seventeenth century, the French teacher John Wodroephe warned of the dangers of competence acquired through oral practise alone, without the intervention of grammatical rules. To illustrate ‘what Advantage hee gaineth above him who thinketh to obtaine the said Tongue by the eare only’, Wodroephe gave the story of three sons of gentlemen who learnt more in six months from Wodroephe’s rule-based tuition than they had over four years in Paris .. Wodroephe’s instance on rules to accompany oral experience is particularly interesting because it betrays a concern not only with grammatically correct speech but with the acquisition of a prestige variety” Learning Languages in Early Modern England. John Gallagher

A beautiful copy of this rare work in a significant contemporary Scottish binding.

ESTC S118592. STC 25939.


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Briseux, Charles Etienne

L’ Art de batir des maisons de campagne ou l’on traite de leur distribution, de leur construction, & de leur decoration …

Paris, chez Prault pere, a l’entree du quay de Gevres, au paradis …, 1743


FIRST EDITION. Two vols. 4to. 1) pp. xvi, 162: [a]-b4, A-V4. 2) pp. xii, 195, [i]: [-]2, a4, A-2A4, 2B. Engraved frontispiece and, 260 engraved plates, many double page folding. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut initials, fine woodcut head and tail-pieces, bookplate of Jacques Laget on pastedown, early ms shelf mark on fly. Very rare marginal mark. A fine copy, fresh, with very good margins, the plates in excellent impression, in contemporary tree calf, spines with raised bands richly gilt in compartments, red and tan morocco labels gilt, edges gilt rolled, marbled end papers, a.e.r. head band of vol two a little chipped, with fine cracks in upper joints of both vols, corners slightly worn.

A fine copy of the first edition of this important and influential work on the construction of country houses in France, beautifully illustrated with 260 finely engraved plates, by Moreau, Mutel, de la Marquade and Babel after Briseux’s drawings, the first section containing a series of extremely detailed plans, with front and rear facades, side cuts and ground plans, beginning with smaller country houses rising to large chateaux. This is followed by a 96 detailed plates of interior and exterior ornaments including pediments, vases, window frames, carved paneling, doors, and bed niches, living room panelling and parts for locksmiths. “Not much is known about the buildings created by this architect.. His treatises unmistakably reflect the changing views of building during the 18th century.. unlike the illustrious buildings commissioned by the nobility in the 17th century, buildings were now constructed for a large number of people with taste, and consequently architects and workmen had to receive precise instructions. Briseux’ work on country house and châteaux, ‘l’Art du Batir’ .. published in 1742 had a similar thrust. The general aim was to prioritise comfort in house building, admittedly a comfort that in each case had to comply with the social appropriateness and the stability of the architecture. Several suggestions are presented and described, for example how a single winged building with side pavilions of abbreviated wings could be constructed in various sizes. The ground floor was always meant to house the main rooms, with a separate kitchen located elsewhere in an annex. The staircases are frequently very modest as in the smaller country houses they were merely a means of communication with those rooms in the upper storey not used as reception rooms. The main room, the ‘salle de l’Assemblé’ in the smaller types of house and the salon in the summer residences, both defined the size proportion and layout of the other rooms. Furthermore the width of every room determined the height appropriate for it. The position of the building was aligned with the position of the sun, so that those rooms leading to the garden face north or east, preventing it becoming unpleasantly hot in the summer. Gradually Briseux developed these model types into genuine chateaux with more complicated ground plans. … This treatise, which even today is most instructive for an understanding of neo-classical French architecture, is rounded off by instructions for laying foundations, and several examples of panelling for walls and doors as well as for the balustrades of balconies and staircases. Taking into account Briseax’ strictly Classical note, their exquisite asymmetrical rocailles seem a little surprising, yet these are in line with a certain tolerant breadth in the appreciation of architecture which was possible in France up to that time.” Bernd Evers ‘Architectural Theory: From the Renaissance to the Present : 89 Essays.’

A fine, fresh copy.

Fowler 68. Berlin Kat. 2401. Millard, I, 41. Brunet 1 1261.


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Daemonomania Pistoriana: magica et cabalistica morborum curandorum ratio.

Lauingen, typis Palatinis, 1601.


FIRST EDITION. 8vo. pp. (lii) 134. Roman letter, with Italic, occasional Hebrew. T-p with typographical border and ornament. Slight age browning (poor paper), lower outer corner of B 1 torn just touching catchword. A good copy in cloth boards c.1900 eps, paper label to spine, modern ex-libris of Emile Lafuma Voiron to fly.

The scarce first edition of this demonological-medical controversy on the Practical Kabbalah, between two important German theologians, one Catholic, the other Protestant. The German Johann Pistorius (1546-1608) was physician to Margrave Karl II of Baden-Durlach; in 1588, he converted from Lutheranism to Calvinism and later Catholicism. This edition features excerpt from ‘De arte cabalistica’ (Basel, 1587), on the Jewish mystic tradition and esotericism, which Pistorius wrote the year before his Catholic conversion, inspired by Reuchlin’s of 1517. In ‘De operatione’, the focus is on Practical Kabbalah, or the part concerning ‘white magic’: ways of making amulets and talismans, and the nature of angels and demons. In particular, it discusses Pistorius’s key observations on its use for treating illnesses. Each excerpt by Pistorius is followed by a ‘glossa’ devised to confute it, by the Lutheran theologian Jacob Heilbronner (1548-1618). Heilbronner begins with an introduction on the figure of the ‘magi’, often confused with astronomers or astrologers, but truly people ‘who entertain commerce with demons’. He even associates Pistorius with them: ‘a magus […] is very rapacious for money and honours, vices which everyone knows are shared by the obnoxious Pistorius’. Heilbronner considered Pistorius’s theories on the cabbalistic treatment of illnesses as black magic. The most important issue he sought to confute was the mystic power, especially the healing power, of words from the Scriptures, in the form, for instance, of charms used to treat people, even of the plague. Heilbronner’s criticism often extends to Practical Kabbalah as a whole—a ‘corruption of the Holy Scriptures, when from letters, numbers, figure, anagrams, conjunctions, spaces and similar details one draws allegorical meanings and mysteries’.

BL Ger. C17 P693; Durling C17, 9040; Graesse V, 306; Caillet IV, D2 3333: ‘très rare’; Bib. Esoterica 3673: ‘très rare’.


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Thesaurus exorcismorum.

Cologne, Sumptibus haeredum Lazari Zetzneri, 1626.


8vo. pp. (xxiv) 1232 (xlii). Roman letter, with Italic. Woodcut printer’s device to t-p, woodcut initials and headpieces. Title a little dusty, paper a bit softened, upper edge trimmed, affecting running title in places, water stain to upper outer corner of 2S-2Y 8 and (lighter) last few gatherings. A good copy in contemporary calf, double blind ruled, raised bands, wanting fly. Later autograph ‘J. Van Kempen’ to front pastedown, contemporary annotation (mostly illegible male names) to verso of last.

A good copy of the second edition of this important collection of six popular treatises on exorcism written by Franciscans, originally published separately in the 1580s-90s. First printed in 1608 and republished after the codification of exorcism in the ‘Rituale Romanum’ (1614), it became ‘the most authoritative collection of exorcisms of the Renaissance’ and ‘the undisputed reference for the ritual of Catholic exorcism’ (Maggi, ‘Satan’s Rhetoric’, 103). With their attraction for mystical practices—which even led to occasional accusations of black magic—Franciscans Observant were the monastic order keenest on exorcisms, as compared to the Dominicans, who generally occupied official, inquisitorial offices. The first work, ‘Practica exorcistarum’, was written by the Paduan Valerio Polidori. It begins with a theoretical section on the names of the devil, the exorcist’s behaviour and the nature of demons, proceeding to practical arguments on the phases of exorcisms, touching for instance on confession, the exorcist’s clothing, readings, blessings or the delivery of a house from the demon. The second and third, ‘Flagellum daemonum’ and ‘Fustis daemonum’, were the work of Girolamo Menghi (1529-1609), the most renowned exorcist of the time. ‘Flagellum’ focuses on the exorcist, providing instructions on his behaviour (patience and perseveration, formulas and gestures), the time and place for exorcisms, and whether they should be carried out privately or publicly. ‘Fustis’ devotes greater room to the nature and power of demons, including causing illnesses. The fourth, ‘Complementum artis exorcisticae’, was written by the Milanese demonologist Zaccaria Visconti (d.1600). Interesting are his sections on the physical signs by which one can recognise a person possessed by a demon, and a long list of herbal remedies in the form of oils, fumes, eye drops, etc., which can be given to ‘indaemoniati’ to make them expel the demons, for instance, by throwing up or evacuating. The fifth, ‘Fuga Satanae’, was a very popular manual by Pietro Antonio Stampa. Among the usual practical instructions, he added a section on the ritual burning of effigies (one of the demon, the other of the agent of the ‘maleficium’), accompanied by the reading of Revelation. The sixth, ‘Manuale exorcismorum’, by Maximilianus Eynatten, is the most practical, being almost entirely devoted to formulas, readings and adjurations for exorcisms, reported in full, and often several pages long.

Wellcome I, 6272a; BL STC Ger. C17 T301 (1608 ed.); Thorndike VIII, 543 (1608 ed.). Not in Caillet, Graesse and Bib. Esot. A. Maggi, Satan’s Rhetoric (Chicago, 2001);


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TORRE, Raphael de la, TANNER, Adam, LAYMANN, Paul, PELLEGRINI, Marco Antonio


Diversi tractatus de potestate ecclesiastica coercendi Daemones circa Energumenos & maleficiatos.

Cologne, Sumptibus Constantini Munich bibliopolae, 1629.


FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. 8, 236, 166 (ii), last blank. Roman letter, little Greek, double column. Engraved printer’s device to t-p, in red and black, woodcut initials and ornaments. T-p softened, paper browning or spotting (poor quality paper) throughout. An acceptable copy in contemporary vellum, yapp edges, title inked to spine. Contemporary purchase note and autograph ‘Jok i m Schots’ to ffep, C18 inscription ‘(?) Wachler’ to t-p, early monogram(?) ‘D.V. d’em’ to rear pastedown.

The scarce first edition of this rare collection of treatises on canon law, demonology and exorcism. The first and second were produced to instruct judges on the procedures and pitfalls of witch trials. The first, ‘Tractatus de potestate ecclesiae’, was written by the Spanish Dominican Raphael de la Torre, a prolific but obscure author, whose works of canon law were studied and used in the tribunals of Europe and the New World. Each of its sections (‘disputatio’) addresses questions concerning the best practice for exorcism—e.g., the moral integrity required of the exorcist, the nature of ecclesiastical power in chasing demons away, instruments which can be used (relics or crucifixes) and how they work. The second, ‘Tractatus theologicus de processu adversus criminal excepta’, was written by the Austrian Jesuit Adam Tanner (1572-1632), to discuss trials for special crimes, in particular sorcery. It instructs on the behaviour becoming to judges, the value of evidence for arrest and torture, and the ‘arbitrium’ of judges. Interestingly, after his sudden death during a journey, Tanner was initially denied Catholic burial as the inhabitants of the small village where his body was taken found a ‘hairy little imp’ among his things (Carus, ‘History of the Devil’). The third work, ‘De Sagis et Veneficiis’, was written by the Austrian Paul Laymann SJ (1574-1632), an advocate of milder treatment against those accused of witchcraft. Especially concerned with female witches, it recommends that women accused of witchcraft who die in prison before confession should be buried in consecrated ground, that the reputation of accused women who were not found guilty or did not confess should not be tarnished posthumously. The fourth, ‘Consilium de sagis’, by the Paduan jurist Marco Antonio Pellegrini (1530-1616), begins with 157 ‘dubia’ or debated questions, including the evidence necessary for torture, whether women can testify and the behaviour of lawyers towards the accused. An important collection in the legal history of witchcraft.

St Bonaventure, GW and Columbia copies recorded in the US.
VD17 23:292158Y. Not in BL STC C17, Caillet, Thorndike, Graesse or Bib. Esot.


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Liber aggregationis, seu Liber secretorum de virtutibus herbarum, lapidum et animalium.

[Cologne, Cornelis de Zierikzee, c.1506].


Small 4to. 24 unnumbered ll., A 8 B 4 C 8 D 4 . Gothic letter. Two woodcut panels to t-p, handsome, large woodcut printer’s device to verso and verso of last. T-p a little dusty, light marginal foxing or occasional slight water stain, minor marginal repair to B 4 , couple of early marginalia. A very good, well-margined copy in a C13 ms. leaf on vellum (double column, initials and line headings rubricated in red and blue), modern eps, lightly oilstained on lower cover.

Handsomely bound in a C13 ms. leaf, on vellum, with Chapter XXIII of St Matthew’s Gospel.

A very good, well-margined copy of this very rare edition of one of the most influential medieval ‘books of secrets’. Albertus Magnus (1200-80) was a German friar, later canonised, responsible for the establishment of the curriculum studiorum of the Dominicans, including the study of Aristotle. He was also conversant in the natural sciences, philosophy and astrology. After his death, several works on the secrets of nature were attributed to him. The ‘Liber aggregationis’ first reached the press in 1477 after centuries of successful ms. circulation. Its three main works are short handbooks on the natural, medical and occult properties of herbs, stones and animals: i.e., ways of preparing and administering herbs to treat abscesses or chest infections, the use of stones to create a perpetual fire or chase away visions (‘phantasmata’), or the ways in which parts of animals could produce beneficial effects (e.g., wearing a hoopoe’s eyes on one’s chest could pacify friends, keeping its head in one’s purse would make one immune to merchants’ frauds). The fourth work, ‘De mirabilibus mundi’, is concerned with the beneficial exploitation of the wondrous properties of nature to solve everyday problems, from preventing pregnancies by making women drink ram’s urine or hare’s blood to ways of capturing moles—this last of interest to the early annotator of this copy. The last work, ‘Regimen sanitates contra pestilenciam siue epidimiam’, was attributed to the bishop and physician Ranutio; it provides useful suggestions, according to the months and zodiac, to keep a healthy life and avoid epidemics, e.g., avoiding blood-letting in August and, for Pisces, avoiding gout treatment when the moon meets their sign.

LC copy only recorded in the US.
ISTC ia00267020; Goff Suppl. A266a; VD16 A1366; GW 657; Schuh, Albertus Magnus 62; NLM 83 (but Goff A267); BM STC Ger., p. 15 (1500 ed.); Index Aureliensis 102496 (but attributes to Cologne, H. Quentel). Ferguson, Wellcome, Osler and Houzeau-Lancaster do not list this edition.


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