SANDYS, George


A relation of a iourney … Containing a description of the Turkish Empire, of Ægypt, of the Holy Land, of the remote parts of Italy, and ilands adioyning.

London, Printed [by Thomas Cotes] for Ro: Allot, 1627.


Folio pp. (iv) 309 (i). A², B-2D, two fldg. engraved plates, without last blank. Mostly Roman letter, some Italic. Fine engraved architectural title by Delaram depicting Isis, the Sibyl and ‘Achmet’, Truth and Constance above, the Cumaean Sibyl below, with early hand colouring, double full page map of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East, smaller double-page engraved view of the sultan’s seraglio with early hand colouring, 46 fine illustrations of places and costumes engraved in text, a few with early hand colouring, many after Natale Bonifacio, variant issue without the engraving, often missed, intended to fill a blank spot left on D4v. General light age-yellowing, minor, very light marginal water-staining in places, t-p very slightly soiled, rare mark or spot. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in handsome contemporary calf, covers blind and double gilt ruled to a panel design, fleurons gilt to outer corners, central arabesque gilt, rebacked to match, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, corners restored.

Third edition of the story of Sandys’ great journey throughout 1610 through north Italy, Venice, Turkey, Egypt, the Greek Islands and Palestine; George Sandy’s Relation is one of the most interesting and important travel books of the English Renaissance. He was an observant traveller as well as an able writer and the work was immediately popular, as well as regarded as authoritative. Izaak Walton noticed in his ‘Compleat Angler’ (pt. i, ch. i) Sandys’ account of the pigeon courier service between Aleppo and Babylon, and Milton derived hints for his ‘Ode on the Passion’ (st. viii) from Sandys’ ‘Hymn to my Redeemer’ composed on visiting the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. One of the works responsible for reviving English interest in the ‘Near East’, it is still important for its references to contemporary customs and commerce and its contribution to the geography and ethnology of the area (see J.F.B. S90 of 1st ed.). Its faithful engravings of maps, views, costumes and antiquities doubtless contributed to the work’s wide popularity.

“Sandys was a perceptive observer of other peoples and cultures, noting details from everyday life as well as those of more obvious importance, and he was able to move easily from one to the other in his writing. He comments on the significance of the crocodile in Egyptian cultural and religious life, as well as recognising the achievements of Egyptian civilisation. Sandys account of the Jews is notably sympathetic to their plight and the anti-semitic prejudice they have suffered, and he includes comments on Jewish women (again, sympathetic in the main.)”. Andrew Hadfield. ‘Amazons, Savages, and Machiavels: Travel and Colonial Writing in English. 1550 -1630.’

Sandys was also deeply interested in America. He was one of the undertakers named in the third charter of the Virginia company and later treasurer and member of its Council. His celebrated translation of Ovid was actually completed in America.”These travels written in a pleasant style are distinguished by erudition, sagacity and a love of truth” Lowndes.

ESTC S114571. STC 21728. See Blackmer 1484 and Gay 2232. Lowndes VI 2189. Taylor 1089. Alden 637/89 – includes references to the Turks’ use of tobacco.


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Church of England. The primer in Englishe [and] Latin: set forth by the kynges maieste [and] his clergie to be taught learned, [and] read: [and] none other to be vsed throughout all his dominio[n]s.

London, by Eduuard VVhitchurche, 1548.


[BIBLE] The epystles & gospels, of euery Sondaye, and holye daye, thorow oute the hole yere, after the vse of the Church of Englande.

London, by Thomas Raynalde, 1550.


8vo. Two works in one. 1) 126 of 136 unnumbered leaves: a, B, A-P. (a1 [t-p] and a2 in excellent facsimile, lacking A1-8. 2) 162 of 164 unnumbered leaves. A-U, X. (lacking C8 and X8), missing leaves with blanks inserted. Black letter, some Roman and Italic, text of book one in red and black in double column, white on black criblé initials in both works, “Natal Society Library” old stamp on a few leaves. Light age yellowing, margins of first and last leaves restored, minor worm holes and damp stains to lower margin of first few quires, holes just touching a few letters, expertly restored on a few leaves, very light waterstaining in places, last few leaves a little dust soiled, minor marginal mark or spot in places. Good copies, generally crisp and clean in dark calf over bevelled wooden boards antique, circa 1900, signed “WHS[mith]”, covers double blind ruled to a panel design, two blind stamped lozenges at centres, ‘Henry VIII Primer’ blind lettered to upper panel of upper cover, spine with raised bands, blind worked in compartments, title gilt lettered. clasps and catches

Exceptionally rare editions of these two early vernacular ‘Books of Hours’ the first is the last of Henry VIII’s Primers and the second ‘The Sunday Epistles and Gospels’ was printed two years later during the reign of Edward VI. Both works are of great importance, made at the very foundation of the Anglican Church. The Primer is a book of devotion and instruction, a prayer book to be used by ordinary people on a daily basis that contains “prime texts” such as the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. “The period 1544-1560 is important for the study of the Anglican litany. Composed in 1544, it was revised slightly in 1547-1548 and again in 1558-1559. The litany was first printed in a booklet entitled An exhortation to prayer… Also a litany…. From 1545 it was included in the primer issued by Henry VIII and subsequently by Edward VI. From 1549 it was included in the Book of Common Prayer in its several editions. .. The Catholic litany of the saints was also printed and used during the period 1544-1560, especially during the reign of Queen Mary I but occasionally during other reigns as well.” J. Frank Henderson ‘Anglican and Catholic Litanies and Primers in England 1544-1559.’

“The King (Henry VIII) had issued a letter on August 20th, 1543, desiring ‘general rogations and processions to be made’ owing to the rain and bad weather; other troubles, such as war and pestilence, were also pressing upon people both at home and abroad. The people responded but slackly, and this slackness was put down partly to the fact ‘that they understode no parte of suche prayers or suffrages as were used to be songe and sayde’: consequently (June 11th, 1544) there were ‘set forthe certayne godly prayers and suffrages in our natyve Englishe tongue’ to this ‘Letanie with suffrages to be said or songe in the tyme of the said processyons’ there was prefixed ‘An exhortation unto prayer, thoughte mete by the Kinges Maiestie and his clergy to be read to the people in every church afore processyons.’ This litany represents the present English Litany in its actual form, with the exception of three clauses of invocation, and very nearly in its present words. The work was no doubt done by Cranmer, and was probably his first essay in this direction. .. It is important, however, to consider the relation of reform to the books of private devotion, and especially to call attention to the King’s Primer, which was issued about the same time as the Litany. .. Shortly after this, about the year 1541, the King began to exercise some modifying influence on the Primers, and this led up to the issue, in 1545, of King Henry’s Primer, which quickly brought to an end the series of Primers of the old type. This included the new form of Litany as issued in the previous year, with revised forms of the Hours of Our Lady and the Services of the Dead, besides other prayers both old and new. Here for the present things rested, both with regard to public and private worship.” Francis Proctor ‘A New History of the Book of Common Prayer’. This edition printed three years later was the last of the Henry VIII primers. It is exceptionally rare; ESTC records two copies only one at the BL the other at Yale University. The second work is even rarer, recorded in one copy only at St. Pauls Cathedral.

ESTC S91038. STC 2975.7. ESTC S91038 STC 2975.7


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AELFRIC, Abbot of Eynsham

A Saxon treatise concerning the Old and New Testament.

London, Iohn Hauiland for Henrie Seile, … at the signe of the Tygers head, 1623.


FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. [lxi], 43, 43, [xx], 14, 14, [xxv] : pi², [par.], a-f, A-V. “A testimony of antiquitie” and “A sermon of the Paschall Lambe, and of the sacramental body and bloud of Christ our Sauiour” have separately dated title pages; “Here follovveth the words of Elfrike Abbot of S. Albons” and “The Lords Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten commandements in the Saxon and English tongue” have divisional titles; register is continuous.” ESTC. Roman, Saxon and Italic letter. Woodcut device of Prince Charles at head of dedication, woodcut initials, typographical ornaments, bookplate of Eric Stanley on pastedown. Light age yellowing a few leaves a little browned, minor dust soiling in places the rare mark or spot. A very good, crisp copy, in C17th speckled calf, covers box ruled with a double blind rule, two blind floriated rolls, rebacked, raised bands, gilt ruled in compartments with gilt fleurons, red morocco label, a.e.r.

Rare first edition of William L’isle’s translation of these important Saxon texts. Lisle was a pioneer in the study of Anglo-Saxon. He is one of the known owners of the E manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the so-called Peterborough Chronicle, in which he made notes on interleaved pages. Interest in the doctrinal position of the early English church on various points in controversy in his day first led him in that direction. In this work he printed for the first time, with an English translation, the ‘Treatise on the Old and New Testament,’ by Ælfric Grammaticus, whom Lisle wrongly identified with Ælfric of Abingdon the archbishop of Canterbury. Lisle found the manuscript in Sir Robert Cotton’s library. An appendix contains ‘the Homilies and Epistles of the fore-said Ælfricus,’ and a second edition of ‘A Testimonie of Antiquitie, etc., touching the Sacrament of the Bodie and Bloud of the Lord,’ first issued by Archbishop Matthew Parker and Parker’s secretary, John Joscelyn in 1566. There follow two extracts from (a) Ælfric’s ‘Epistle to Walfine, Bishop of Scyrburne,’ and (b) his ‘Epistle to Wulfstan, Archbishop of York,’ expressing disapproval of a long preservation of the consecrated elements after Easter day. The book concludes with the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and Ten Commandments in Anglo-Saxon, with a verbal interlinear translation intended to serve as exercises for beginners. L’Isle, with the publication of this book, really set in motion the seventeenth-century project of publishing Old English texts (only a few texts had been had been printed in the C16th), and before the century was out, a good many of the familiar Old English prose and verse works would have been set into type at least once.

A Saxon Treatise is by Abbot Aelfric of Eynsham (c.955-c.1010), author of the Catholic Homilies and Lives of the Saints and the most prominent known figure of Old English literature. Its editor and translator, William Lisle (c.1569-1637), was significant as an Anglo-Saxon scholar who pioneered the recovery of Old English. But equally important here is Lisle’s religious and political purpose in translating the work, which he explains in a forty-page preface, extremely long in proportion to Aelfric’s text, with its own table of contents. Just as in the previous generation Archbishop Matthew Parker had collected works, including Aelfrician manuscripts, to find evidence for the existence of Protestantism in Britain’s past to rebut the Catholic taunt of where the Protestant church was before Luther, Lisle explains his desire to preserve ‘an auncient monument of the Church of England’ (b1r), and therefore to validate the Church of England as an ancient body. He further emphasises the value possessing the Scriptures in a known tongue to promote clear understanding, and stresses the long tradition of the English Scriptures, as shown by the existence of much of the Bible in Anglo-Saxon.” Senate house library.

A good copy of this rare work.

ESTC. S100438. STC 160. Lowndes. 13.


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Ludus literarius: or, The grammar schoole; shewing how to proceede into learning…

London, imprinted by Felix Kyngston for Andrew Hobb, 1627.


4to. [xxviii], 339, [i]. “One of four variants with different publishers’ names in the imprint.” ESTC. Roman letter, some Italic and Greek. Floriated woodcut initials, grotesque woodcut headpieces, typographical and woodcut ornaments, ‘For Mr. John Robinson’ in early hand on verso or t-p. bibliographical notes in later hands on fly, the odd marginal doodle. Light age yellowing, t-p a little soiled, a little spotting on first few leaves, pale waterstain in a few places, the odd mark or spot, last leaf with small tears in blank upper and lower margins, backed on blank verso. A good copy in handsome late C19 polished calf, covers bordered with a double gilt rule, arms of James Elwin Millard (1824 – 1894, Toronto Stamp 1) gilt on upper, spine with raised bands, double gilt ruled, red morocco label gilt, inner dentelles double gilt ruled, all edges yellow.

Rare edition of this important work on teaching in Grammar schools, one of the earliest such in English, giving tremendous insight into the methods of teaching in the Elizabethan period. “John Brinsley (fl. 1581–1633) was a schoolmaster in Leicestershire who used Lily’s Latin grammar but branched out to develop a reading survey method that was praised by Samuel Hartlib. He married a sister of Bishop Joseph Hall and moved to London, where he wrote and lectured. This work, as the subtitle announces, is ‘intended for the helping of the younger sort of teachers’. It adapts aspects of the traditional humanist education for use in smaller towns. Unlike earlier pedagogical treatises, however, emphasis is placed on close reading, instruction in the vernacular and using translations of the classics. The interlocutors are two schoolmasters, Spoudeus (in Greek, ‘diligent’), who goes to his old friend, Philoponus (‘lover of toil’), for advice about preparing lesson plans”. William E. Engel. ‘John Brinsley, Ludus literarius.’

“John Brinsley (1566-1624) graduated with an MA from Christ’s College, Cambridge in 1588, becoming schoolmaster at Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, only a few years after Shakespeare putatively attended the grammar school in Stratford, 50 miles away. These schools were a burgeoning feature of local education in the 16th century, catering to the children of a growing middle class in market towns across England and often endowed by successful merchants or, as in the case of Stratford, newly formed town councils. Brinsley’s Ludus literarius (first published in 1612) was intended to guide ‘the younger sort of teachers, and of all schollers’ in a tried and tested application of conventional pedagogical theory. The author advocates an increased use of the vernacular in learning that parallels the contemporary divergence from the original purpose of the schools (to teach Latin grammar), alongside a familiarisation with traditional Latin texts such as those of Ovid, Cicero and Virgil. The text takes the form of a dialogue between two schoolmasters discussing the most effective teaching methods. They refer to perfecting ‘the accedence’ or inflections of Latin, an emphasis later echoed by John Milton in his Accedence commenc’t grammar (written ca 1640), which stresses the importance of familiarisation with the language first, and its grammatical rules second, in order to understand and imitate the classical literary canon. Shakespeare’s infamous ‘small Latin and less Greek’, in the words of his friend Ben Jonson, is commensurate with a formal education not necessarily extending to a university degree; yet his familiarity with classical authors, along with other supposedly advanced literary training, would not have been beyond the reach of a diligent grammar school boy developing his reading and classroom exercises in later life.” Kings College London. ‘The very age and body of the time, Grammar School Education.’

“John Brinsley.. became a ‘minister of the Word,’ and had the care of the public school at Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire. The famous astrologer, William Lilly, was one of his pupils, as he himself informs us in his curious autobiography. ‘Upon Trinity Sunday 1613,’ he says, ‘my father had me to Ashby-de-la-Zouch to be instructed by one Mr. John Brinsley; one in those times of great abilities for instruction of youth in the Latin and Greek tongues; he was very severe in his life and conversation, and did breed up many scholars for the universities. In religion he was a strict puritan, not conformable wholly to the ceremonies of the church of England’ (Hist, of his Life and Times (1774), 5). Again he says: ‘In the eighteenth year of my age [i.e. in 1619 or 1620] my master Brinsley was enforced from keeping school, being persecuted by the bishop’s officers; he came to London, and then lectured in London, where he afterwards died’ (ib. 8)”. DNB.

ESTC S125203. STC 3770. Lowndes I 272.


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BUTLER, Charles

The Feminine Monarchie.

Oxford, Joseph Barnes, 1609.


FIRST EDITION, 8vo. 90 unnumbered ll. a, b, A-N, O. Roman letter, some Italic. Small woodcut printer’s device on t-p, floriated woodcut initials, typographical head and tail-pieces, woodcut music and diagrams in text, book plate of James Elwin Millard (1824 – 1894) on pastedown, his blind-stamp with monogram on t-p. Light age yellowing, t-p a little dusty at fore-edge, very minor marginal spotting in places, the occasional mark or stain, small tear to lower outer corner of F2 affecting side note on recto. A very good copy, crisp and clean in C19 dark olive morocco, covers bordered with a double gilt-rule, spine with raised bands gilt-ruled in compartments, gilt acorn fleuron at centres, a.e.r., fractionally rubbed at extremities.

Rare and important first edition of the first full-length, practical English treatise on Beekeeping. Known as the Father of English Beekeeping, Butler addresses in his preface the great classical tradition that relies upon “the Muses birds” as models of religion, government and labor, “worthily to bee most admired”, but notes that Philosophers “in al their writings they seeme vnto me to say little out of experience”. Butler’s treatise is the first to argue that worker bees were female, not male, and the first to popularise the idea in England that the hive is lead not by a king but a queen bee. Not only do these points ground Butler’s practical treatise firmly in methods of entymological observation that would be refined by the end of the century in books such as Robert Hooke’s Micrographia (1665), but they also relate directly contemporary political debates that made use of bee hierarchy as a model for government.

The book identifies the habits of bees, the importance of hierarchy, the tools necessary in breeding them (“for the behoofe of men”), their enemies, and the months during which to care for and harvest the hives. It also provides in great detail an account of swarming and its prevention, even to the extent that Butler includes scored music that replicates the sound “Bee-masters” can expect to hear in their hive before swarming (“the Queene in a deeper voice”). In the aftermath of a swarm, Butler also offers chapters for each of the places the bees might go, from “upon a high bough” to “into a hollow tree”, and their recovery.

Butler also wrote an important treatise on musical theory and includes in this work a remarkable section in which he attempts to transcribe the sound of the Queen bee in musical notation. “Charles Butler was a highly original scholar whose books included a treatise on bees entitled ‘The feminine monarchie’, … In this work Butler attempted to transcribe into musical notation the ‘piping’ and ‘quacking’ sounds produced by rival queens within a hive. Quacking is the responsive sound of rival queens who have not yet emerged from their cells, and piping is the regal identification of a virgin queen soon after she has emerged from the cell in which she developed. The 1609 edition shows a four line staff with the letter G on the second line from the bottom indicating that this is a treble clef. There are no bar lines but the two semibreve rests at the beginning of the staves indicate that we are in a triple metre, and indeed the text states that the bees ‘sing’ in triple time. The notation indicates that the two most common results of the simultaneous piping and quacking of the rival queens are the musical intervals of either a perfect fifth or a major third.” The Moir collection.

A rare book, especially in good condition.

ESTC S107149. STC 4192, Lowndes I 333. Madan 73.1 “the first music printed at Oxford”.


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LLWYD, Humphrey

The breuiary of Britayne. Together with the geographicall description of the same.

London, By Richard Iohnes, 1573.


FIRST EDITION thus. 8vo. ff. [xxii], 96 leaves. A 2*² [par.] [par.]* B-N. Black, Italic and Roman letter. Title within typographical border, grotesque woodcut initials and tail-pieces, typographical ornaments, armorial bookplate of Albert Ehrman on pastedown, his library stamp with monogram A. E. on rear pastedown,  bookplate of Fox Pointe collection on rear f.ep. Very light age yellowing. A fine copy, crisp and clean with good margins, a few deckle edges, in handsome early 19th century vellum, covers bordered with a gilt scrolled rule, fleurons gilt to corners, central arabesque gilt, red morocco label gilt lettered on spine, very slightly soiled.

First English translation of a historical, linguistic and topographical tour of Britain, originally sent by the dying author to the famous geographer-mathematician Abraham Ortelius of Antwerp, that he might “Take therfore, this last remembrance of thy Humfrey, and for ever Adieu” (Llwyd’s dedication). The Latin text (Adams L 1378) was published in Cologne in 1572.

Llwyd (1527-1568), geographer, astrologer, antiquary and M.P. for Denbigh, was the private physician to Henry Fitzalan, 12th Earl Arundel, a book-collector whose library, much of which is now in the British Library, contained not only many of Cranmer’s library-books but also arguably the finest geography collection of Elizabethan times, to whose assembly Llwyd lent his expertise, along with his friend John Leland. Llwyd also numbered amongst his friends Elisabeth I’s astrologer Dr. John Dee. His original Latin text was described by Lowndes (IV, 1377) as an “excellent work,’ much followed by Camden’ (Nicholson)”.

Twynne (1543-1613), physician, master of Canterbury free school, and another friend of Dee, made this translation with a full index. He includes a list of authors cited and, at the end, a list of ‘Certayne Welsh, or rather true British woordes, conuerted into Latin by the Author, & now translated into English’. “Llwyd] wrote the Commentarioli Britannicae descriptionis fragmentum, a short historical and geographical description of Britain which he dispatched to Ortelius on 3 August 1568; it was published in Cologne in 1572 and is dedicated to Ortelius. It was translated by Thomas Twyne under the title The Breviary of Britayne and published in 1573. It was the first attempt to compile a chorographia of Britain as a whole. Central themes of Llwyd’s work are his defence of Geoffrey of Monmouth (particularly countering the attacks of Polydore Vergil), and his belief in the integrity of the early British church.” DNB.

“For Humphrey Llwyd, writing in or before 1568, the Welsh are ‘the very true Britaynes by birth’, a nation which, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, could trace its descent back through Arthur to Britain’s founding father Brutus, grandson of the Trojan warrior, Aeneas. Llwyd writes that his welsh contemporaries had inherited the warlike spirit of their Trojan ancestors and were themselves ‘most valiant in warlike affayres’, a Welsh myth of origin that persisted into the seventeenth century and found echo even among writers, like Camden, otherwise sceptical Galfridian lore.” Stewart Mottram ‘Ruin and Reformation in Spenser, Shakespeare, and Marvell.’

A fine copy of this rare work from the library of Albert Ehrman, distinguished collector and generous benefactor whose collection was partly presented to the Cambridge University Library in 1978 and now forms the so-called “Broxbourne Collection” (after the village of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, where Ehrman lived); the rest of the library was sold at auction (Sotheby, Parke, Bernet & Co., 14 Nov. 1977-8). See `The Broxbourne Library’, BLR 10 (1979), 78-80. Nicolas Barker, `Albert Ehrman’, Book Collector, 19 (1970), 455-64; `News and comments’, Book Collector, 27 (1978), 83-7, 552-3; John Bidwell, `Albert Ehrman’, in Grolier 2000: A Further Grolier Club Biographical Retrospective in Celebration of the Millennium (New York, 2000), 84-7.

ESTC S108126. STC, 16636. Lowndes IV 1377.


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BUTLER, Charles

The principles of musik, in singing and setting: vvith the two-fold use therof, ecclesiasticall and civil

London printed by Iohn Haviland, for the author, 1636.


FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. [xiv], 135, [i]. [par.]-2, [par.], A-R. Roman letter, some Italic and Greek. Title within box rule with woodcut of King David with typographical ornaments, woodcut initials, headpieces and typographical ornaments, type set music, several woodcut diagrams in text, one full page, book plate of James Elwin Millard (1824 – 1894) on pastedown, his blind-stamp with monogram on fly.  First quire browned, age yellowing with some spotting thereafter, T-p dusty, occasional mark or stain. A good copy, in C19th three-quarter tan morocco over cloth boards, spine with raised bands, title gilt lettered, spine a little rubbed.

First edition of this rare and most important theoretical work on music, the most influential of the C17th, by the remarkable Charles Butler who was also the author of “The Feminine Monarchy”, a seminal work on beekeeping. Book One of ‘The Principles’ concerns itself with the rudiments of music and provides elementary instruction in the art of composition. It is divided under four comprehensive chapter headings, The Moods, Singing, Setting, and the ways of Setting. Chapters two, three and four are broken into sections and sub-sections; the section treating of an individual topic, and sub-section of a particular aspect of that topic. Butler supplies annotations after each section, making the detailed and often lengthy explanations more accessible to the reader.

“As a text it was quite obviously designed to be read at different levels and in different ways, but its principal appeal is to the educated amateur, aiming at the same type of audience as Morley’s ‘Plaine and Easie Introduction’ had sought. The Principles is basically a scholarly book which provides a good deal of sound practical advice. Reading without reference to the Annotations, the diligent amateur must have found a sensible and very sane book, often cutting through an enormous amount of arcane mystery in a deft sentence, while at the same time leaving the reader in no doubt that composers are born not made. The amateur who was something of a scholar could not fail to have been impressed by the precise and accurate documentation of Butler’s annotations, by the masterly command of sources, particularly of the classical and medieval authorities. The professional musician, too, could well have gained immense profit and pleasure from Butler’s text, which does not simply provide rules and regulations but explains the nature and antiquity of his art from Old Testament to modern times. …The number of surviving copies indicates a fairly large edition, perhaps as high as seven or eight hundred copies. Playford’s Sale Catalogues at the British Museum prove that copies were still changing hands at the end of the seventeenth century and a copy was offered for two and a half guineas at a Calkin and Budd Sale in l844, there described as “excessively scarce”, and selling at a higher price than all the English theorists, Morley included. ..’The Principles , of Musik in singing and setting’ is unique in one important aspect: it is the only book which sets out with a two-fold purpose, to instruct the musical reader, and to justify music’s existence. The first part of Butler’ s purpose needs no explanation, nor does it merit defence, but the apology for music stands in need of both. It may have been written as an academic exercise, or even perhaps as a provider of mere bulk to an otherwise slender volume, but it is much more likely to have been written because Butler seriously believed that forces were abroad in society that were determined to stamp out music and not simply from church worship.” John Shute. ‘The English theorists of the seventeenth century’ “Butler argued that the ‘reprehensible conduct of ‘debosht Balad-makers and Dance-makers’ in leading their silly proselytes hedlong into hell’ did not amount to a justification for the silencing of all musical sound. Instead, it argued the need for control.” Christopher Marsh ‘Music and Society in Early Modern England.’

ESTC S106982. STC 1496; Lowndes p. 333: “This tract, dedicated to King Charles I, was the only theoretical or didactic work on the subject of music, published in that king’s reign.”


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PSALMS (Hebrew)


Psalterium Hebraicum.

Paris, Excudebat Robertus Stephanus, typograph. regius, 1565.


16mo. 160 unumbered leaves, A-V8. (lacking title A1). Hebrew letter, colophon in Roman. Foliated headpiece with dolphins, extensive marginal annotations c1600 in very legible English, numbering of verses and pages, ‘James Prosser, Eius Liber’, later autograph to front endpaper, (probably the Hebraist, Anglican clergyman and author of ‘A Key to the Hebrew Scriptures, 1838’), ’D.S. Maw, Wadham College Oxford, May 1923′, on rear pastedown with an inscription in Greek in his hand opposite (teacher at Uppingham school and sometime correspondent of John Piper). Light age yellowing, some minor water-staining, light mostly marginal foxing, a little heavier at beginning and end. A good copy in early C19th black morocco, covers bordered with a double gilt rule, fleurons to outer corners, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, gilt ruled in compartments, all edges gilt, extremities a little rubbed.

A most interesting copy of the Hebrew Psalms, finely printed by Robert Estienne the younger, as King’s Printer in Hebrew, with extensive early annotation in English, both translations and commentary; a very rare and important insight into the beginnings of an English appreciation of the original Hebrew Psalms. We have not been able to identify the commentator but Hebrew scholars of that level were not abundant in England in 1600. The Psalms had been translated into English many times, most popularly by Sternhold and Hopkins. However these were invariably based on Latin, French or German translations; indeed Sterhold and Hopkins version was most probably based on the French version by Clement Marot. “Questions of originality and the authority of the “original” were complicated for Renaissance psalms by the fact that most translators did not read Hebrew and therefore relied on previous Latin, English, or other vernacular translations, and by the fact that there was universal ignorance regarding the specific formal workings of Hebrew poetry. To what extent were these questions raised by Renaissance translators themselves?… The fact that Hebrew was so little known in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England meant that there was essentially no “original,” no accessible, authoritative text with which to compare a translation, and as a result, for the vast majority of their readers, the English Psalms were the only Psalms (supplemented for some by “cognate” versions in Latin, German, or French). More importantly, English translations of the Psalms held a different status than English translations of either classical literature or vernacular works in other European languages, in that they were not intended as a crib for those who couldn’t get at the original texts, nor as a kind of second-best version for the monoglot. The Psalms were not really conceived of as “texts” in the way that translations of Catullus or Petrarch were. They were holy Scripture and, as such, had a unique function, being used by English Christians every day, or at least every week, of their lives: ..they were among the most familiar texts in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. Because of the central place of the Psalms in English daily life, and their vital functions within the body of English culture, they were thus, in a powerful if peculiar sense, English works.” Hannibal Hamlin,Psalm Culture and Early Modern English Literature.’

Both Hebrew scholarship and printing were very restricted in the early Renaissance in England. “Friedberg informs that early as 1625 an English translation of the travels of Benjamin of Tudela was printed in London, but it was not until 1643 that the first book with a significant amount of Hebrew letters, a Psalms, with Hebrew, Greek, latin, and English, was printed here. He also observes, given the absence of a Jewish presence in England, that all the work had to have been done by non-Jews.”. The abundant scholarly early English annotations of this Hebrew book of Psalms are therefore of the greatest interest as they offer a very rare insight into sixteenth century English interest in the original Hebrew text. The annotator has numbered all the verses, made translations of a few lines and commented on the text with giving possible words for a translation to English. 

This copy also belonged to the Reverend James Prosser who introduced his important work, ‘A Key to the Hebrew Scriptures, 1838’, with the lines, “It is very much to be regretted that the treasures which are contained in the Hebrew Scriptures are so little understood… Whence is it that the language of the Patriarchs is so little studied.”

Renouard, Estienne, 162:1. Mortimer, Fr. I no. 73. Not in Darlowe and Moule.


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BUTLER, Charles

The English Grammar. (with) Rhetoricæ Libri duo. (with) Syngeneia. De propinquitate matrimonium impendiente, regula. (and) The femininʿ monarchiʿ, or the histori of beeʿs. Shewing their admirable naturʿ, and propertis.


Oxford, Printed by William Turner, for the author, 1634. (with) London, Excudebat Ioannes Hauiland impensis authoris, 1629. (with) Oxford, Excudebant Iohannes Lichfield & Guilielmus Turner, Academiæ typographi, 1625. (and) Oxford, Printed by William Turner, for đe author, 1634.

Four vols. in one. FIRST EDITION of the third. 4to. 1) pp. [viii] [xxiix] 2-63 [i]. 2) 252 unnumbered pages. A-P, pi², A-Q. 3) pp. [iv], 71, [i]: A-I, K². 4) [xvi], 112, 115-182: [par.]-2[par.], B-Z, 2A². Roman letter, some Italic, Greek and Black. Titles with printer’s devices, woodcut headpieces and initials, typographical ornaments, wood-type music in last volume, book plate of James Elwin Millard (1824 – 1894) on pastedown. Light age yellowing, very rare mark or spot. Very good copies, crisp and clean in contemporary calf, covers bordered with a double blind and single gilt rule, leafy arabesque gilt at centres, rebacked to match, spine with gilt ruled raised bands fleurons gilt, tan morocco label gilt lettered, a.e.r. a little rubbed at extremities.

An excellent sammelband of four major works of the extraordinary scholar Charles Butler. The first is the second edition of his remarkable treatise on Grammar (which he put into practise, cf. last of the work in this Sammelband ‘the Feminine Monarchy’). It is a reissue of the 1633 first edition, with preliminaries reset and an added dedication to Prince Charles.The work hopes to remedy “the imperfection of our alphabet, for it is come to passe; that sundry letters, of frequent use in our tongue, have yet no peculiar and distinct characters,”  and secondly “in many words we are fallen from the old pronunciation.” Thenceforward, the text is printed in a special phonetic manner, shunning orthography in favour of writing “altogether according to the sound now generally received” in an attempt at standardisation and simplification. “The author dwells upon the capriciousness of English orthography (‘neither our new writers agreeing with the old, nor either new nor old among themselves’), and proposes the adoption of a system whereby men should ‘write altogether according to the sound now generally received.’ DNB.

The Rhetoricase Libri Duo, here in an expanded edition, “was intended to be a school text book and was an edition in Latin for English school-children of the work of the French Scholar Pierre de la Ramée who had met his death at the hands of the mob in the notorious Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s day in 1572” John Shute. ‘The English theorists of the seventeenth century with particular reference to Charles butler.’ “The last of the Elizabethan Ramists was Charles Butler, whose Rhetoricae Libri Duo first appeared in 1598. A rare instance of an Oxford convert to Ramism, Butler took a degree at Magdalen Hall only a few years before Hobbes became an undergraduate there. Although Butler’s treatise amounts to little more than a further reworking of Talon’s Rhetorica, it proved extremely successful in its own right, and probably served more than any other work to popularise the tenets of Ramist Rhetoric in England” Quentin Skinner, ‘Reason and Rhetoric in the Philosophy of Hobbes.

The third work is the First edition of Charles Butler’s work on consanguinity in marriage. ‘Dealing with problems of consanguinity and in particular with affinity as a bar to Matrimony. Even the ‘broad-chested’ Fuller was content to quote the opinion of the learned Dr. Prideaux, Vivce- Chancellor of Oxford, who ‘commended it as the best ever written on that subject’… The book appears to have been prompted by the marriage of Butler’s son, William to a cousin, Mary Butler, at Wooton in 1624” John Shute.

The final work is Butler’s most celebrated, the third and best edition of his ‘Feminine Monarchy’ a classic English guide to Beekeeping, and the first to be translated into phonetic English, combining Butler’s love of bees with his work in orthography. In “De Printer to de Reader”, readers concerned with “de Ortograpi of dis Book” are encouraged to consult Butler’s English Grammar (1633), in which he put forth a new orthology where words were spelled “according to de sound”.

Known as the Father of English Beekeeping, Butler addresses in his preface the great classical tradition that relies upon “the Muses birds” as models of religion, government and labor, “worthily to bee most admired”, but notes that Philosophers “in al their writings they seeme vnto me to say little out of experience”. Butler’s treatise is the first to argue that worker bees were female, not male, and the first to popularise the idea in England that the hive is lead not by a king but a queen bee. Not only do these ground Butler’s practical treatise firmly in methods of entymological observation that would be refined by the end of the century in books such as Robert Hooke’s Micrographia (1665), but they also relate directly contemporary political debates that made use of bee hierarchy as a model for government.

An excellent sammelband of four rare works.

1) ESTC S106979. STC 4191. Madan, I.165-6. 2) ESTC S106985. STC 4200. 3) ESTC S106987. STC 4201 Madan, I, p.122. 4) ESTC S106981. STC 4194. Madan, I, p.177


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Gothic architecture, …To which is added an historical dissertation (With) A catalogue of modern books on architecture, theoretical, practical and ornamental: … on sale at I. and J. Taylor’s architectural library,

London, Printed for I. & J. Taylor, at the Architectural Library No. 59. Holborn, [1790?] (with) [London, I. & J. Taylor, 1796?]


Folio. 1) pp. [ii],7,[i]p.,64 full page engraved plates. 2) pp. 4. folded. Roman letter. Engraved title page, engraved armorial bookplate of the Earl of Guilford at Wroxton Abbey on pastedown. Light age yellowing minor marginal foxing on a few plates. A very good copy, crisp and clean with good dark impression of the plates, in contemporary sheep, rebacked original red morocco label mounted, a little rubbed corners worn

A very good copy of this beautifully illustrated and influential work on Neo-Gothic architecture from the library of the Earl of Guilford, Lord North, at Wroxton Abbey, bound with a very rare catalogue of the architectural works of the publisher. Batty Langley (baptised 14 September 1696 – 3 March 1751) was an English garden designer, and prolific writer who produced a number of engraved designs for “Gothick” structures, summerhouses and garden seats first half of the 18th century. He published extensively, and attempted to “improve” Gothic forms by giving them classical proportions. He inclined strongly towards a home-grown English architectural form, publishing articles in the Grub Street Journal under the pseudonym “Hiram” from July 1734 to March 1735, praising Gothic architecture (or as he termed it “native Saxon”) and rejecting the “imported” Palladian architecture favoured by Lord Burlington and his circle. He published a wide range of architectural books, from a huge folio on Ancient Masonry in parts from 1733 to 1736 with over 450 plates, through The Builder’s Complete Assistant of 1738 (also known as The Builder’s Complete Chest-Book) and The Builder’s Jewel of 1741, to the tiny The Workman’s Golden Rule in 1750, in vicesimo-quarto. He is best known for this work ‘Ancient Architecture, Restored, and Improved’ first published in 1742 and reissued in 1747 as Gothic Architecture, improved by Rules and Proportions. His book, with engravings by his brother Thomas Langley, attempted to improve Gothic forms by giving them classical proportions and to create a scheme of architectural orders for Gothic architecture. He provided inspiration for elements of buildings from Great Fulford and Hartland Abbey in Devon, to Speedwell Castle in Brewood in Staffordshire, and Tissington Hall in Derbyshire, and the Gothic temple at Bramham Park in Yorkshire, and gates at Castletown House in County Kildare.Langley’s books were also enormously influential in Britain’s American colonies. At Mount Vernon, for example, George Washington relied upon plate 51 of Langley’s The City and Country Builder’s and Workman’s Treasury of Designs as the source for the famous Venetian (or Palladian) window in the dining room; upon plate 54 of the same book for the ocular window on Mount Vernon’s western facade; and upon plate 75 of Langley’s The Builder’s Jewel for the rusticated wood siding.

A very good copy form the library at Wroxton Abbey.

1) ESTC N18448. RIBA 1728. Harris 411. 2) ESTC  T80563.


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