A table to al the statutes made from the beginning of the raigne of Kyng Edwarde the. vi. vnto this present. xii. yeare of the reigne of oure moste gratious and soueraigne ladye Queene Elizabeth. -The Second Volume, Conteininge those Statutes which have beene made in the time of… Henry the eight

[London] : In ædibus Richardi Tottelli. Cum priuilegio, [1570] etc.


Folio. 35 works in 2 vol., black letter, many titles within decorative woodcut borders, large and small historiated initials throughout. Light age yellowing, the very rare mark or spot. Fine copies in wonderful contemporary London blindstamped calf bindings by Oldham’s “F.D. binder” (English Blind-stamped Bindings, p.32 and pl.XXIX), covers triple blind ruled to a panel design, outer panel filled with a double quatrefoil diaper roll (Oldham DI a (10) 600), middle panel with Protestant heads in medallion roll signed F.D. (Oldham HM. b (3) 795), spine with triple blind ruled raised bands, lower compartment hatched a tail, clasps renewed with original brass catches, endpapers renewed

Beautiful copies in a fine contemporary bindings, seemingly remarkably complete, covering most of the Tudor period, of thirty five volumes of statutes, in fine contemporary bindings by the London binder F.D. These works are each listed separately by ESTC but may have been intended to be bound together as collections, either per reign (eg Henry VIII) or as here in a complete set. However they are almost never found complete. They were probably all printed by Richard Totell, the official law printer in the reign of Elizabeth I. It is not clear why Tottell printed these statutes with false dates and printers information, maybe he wanted them to look original to give them an air of authenticity. The second volume contains a remarkable collection of 18 sets of statutes, and a table, covering most of the reign of Henry VIII but omitting the years 1516-20. The various parts were originally printed over a number of years between 1538 and 1557, and “Possibly because some sessions of Henry VIII’s reign were always in stock, Berthelet and his successors — T. Powell and T. Marsh — preferred to continue printing them individually, with 9303.4 sqq. functioning as general title-page and table…..” (STC I 420). For the reign of Henry VIII as to be  expected, the king’s marital instability and issues concerning the succession spawned an excessive quantity of paper work: there are Acts relating to the divorce of Catherine of Aragon and of Anne of Cleves, the alleged treason committed by Anne Boleyn (already executed), the recognition of Lady Jane Grey as queen, the exclusion of Elizabeth from the succession (though she was later reinstated), and the death sentence for Catherine Howard. Of greater long-term importance are the Act of Supremacy (1534) which transferred the pope’s juridical powers in England to the king, the statute dissolving the monasteries (1536), and the Statutes of Wales (1534-36) which brought the Principality into legal union with England. The bulk of the text, however, consists of miscellaneous legislation chiefly on social and economic affairs, including i. a. labour and wages; the wool, leather and other trades, the prohibition of the export of brass and copper, the maintenance of highways, ports and rivers; the Navy; crossbows and hand-guns, beggars and vagabonds, and sumptuary laws. United with the preceding volume, they provide the earliest complete edn. of the English statutes and are almost never found together.

“The Binder F. D., whose signed roll appears on thirty five bindings which date mainly from 1554 to 1580, is easy to recognise through his work, and is of some interest… He appears to have used only two rolls, one with the heads of Erasmus, Huss, Luther, and Melanchthon, with his initials on either side of the last named head, and a heavy quatrefoil diaper roll. And his design was, with very few exceptions always the same, one roll used doubled for a frame, with an inner frame touching the outer at sides, but leaving a plain space at top and bottom; the central panel is divided into three by horizontal fillets, and horizontal fillets hold the bands to the outer frame. In other words he uses the typical London design, with the variation, as far as I know peculiar to him in England .. of the plain space above and below the inner frame. Now this is precisely the typical German design, but used as a rule with panel stamps… He must clearly have been a German immigrant, and as the initials seem distinctly crowded, it is possible that he added them later to a German roll.” Hobson ‘English Blind-stamped Bindings, p.32.’

STC 9546, 9421.2, 9426, 9431, 9437.5, 9440.2, 9444.4, 9440.14, 9449.6, 9454, 9455, 9460.5, 9467, 9469, 9477a, 9478, 9482; 9304, 9360.7, 9362.2, 9363.4, 9368.5, 9371.5, 9375.7, 9378.5, 9384.5, 9389.5, 9393.5, 9396.5, 9400.3, 9403, 9406.5, 9409.3, 9411.5, 9414.5.


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