BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER [with] THE WHOLE BOOK OF PSALMES Book of common prayer and administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the Church of England [with] The whole book of psalmes

(1)London, Robert Barker, 1613 (2) London, printed for the Company of Stationers, 1614


4to, two works in one. 1) pp. [504]. A-C D¹ E-R S¹ T-2H . 2) ff. 96. A-M . Black letter with some Roman and Italic. First title page in red and black within woodcut border [McKerrow and Ferguson 165], calendar in red and black, floriated woodcut initials, typographical ornaments, Psalter with separate title page using the same border, title of second Psalter within woodcut border [McKerrow and Ferguson 264], woodcut music, early manuscript list of the signs of the Zodiac with predictions for each on rear endpaper, bookplate of Andrew K. Hichens on front and rear pastedowns. Light age yellowing, first title fractionally dusty. A fine copy in beautiful contemporary calf, covers gilt and blind ruled to a panel design, fleurons gilt to outer corners, central panel with gilt scroll work blocked stamped corner-pieces on a hatched ground, large central strap-work block stamped arabesque with a pointillé ground, with central ovals with two square compartments, on the upper cover filled with “TI” in blind, on the lower cover “IT”, the same initials stamped in outer border by joints, semée of gilt star tools, spine (rebacked with most of original spine laid down) with raised bands, double gilt ruled in five compartments, ornately gilt, original brass clasps and catches, edges gilt and gauffered, a little rubbed, endpapers renewed, in modern folding box.

A fine copy of this beautifully printed and rare Jacobean Book of Common Prayer in a stunning contemporary binding. The second books of Psalms is particularly rare and recorded in one copy only, at Trinity College Cambridge. This binding has many similarities to Hobson, English Bindings 1490-1940 in the Library of J.R. Abbey, nos. 16 (a binding probably by the printer Robert Barker) and no. 18. It is also similar in style to two London bindings from 1613 and 1615 in Henry Davis Gift, vol II no 67 and 68. It houses a beautifully printed edition of the James I Book of Common Prayer.

The Book of Common Prayer replaced the Breviary, Missal, Manual, Pontifical and Processional required for daily and yearly worship. It provided “The Common Prayer” to be used in services by the Church of England and “The Administration of the Sacraments”. The Hampton court Conference of 1604 held response to the Millenary Petition, in which the Puritans set forth their demands for reform of the Church of England, leading to some changes in the Books of Prayer. The conference was presided over by King James I and attended by the bishops and the Puritan leaders. Among the reforms discussed were changes in church government, changes in The Book of Common Prayer, and a new translation of the Bible. “In February, 1604, less than a month after the Hampton Court Conference, the Fourth or Jacobean Prayer Book was issued. It did not contain very important alterations, and did little to satisfy the Puritans; but, unlike its two immediate predecessors, it had the direct sanction of Convocation, which in the new Canons of 1604 ordered it to be used. The most important addition was the fifth part of the Catechism, that ample concluding section which so admirably defines the Sacraments; this is supposed to have been written by Dr. Overall. The Prayer for the Royal Family.. was added, though only at the end of the Litany; and the Thanksgivings for Rain, Fair Weather, Plenty, Peace, Deliverance from the Plague, were also put in. On the other hand, to please the Puritans who disapproved of the possibility of feminine ministrations, Private Baptism was restricted to a “lawful Minister” (a term which, strictly understood, does not exclude lay Baptism in case of necessity); the explanatory subtitle to Confirmation, “Or laying on of hands,” etc. was added ; and similarly to the title “The Absolution” were joined the words “or Remission of sins.” The Puritans had demanded the abolition of all Lessons from the Apocrypha (some of which are of extreme value and beauty); and as a concession, the quaint history of Bel and the Dragon, and the much-loved romance of Tobit were given up. In the same year the Canons of 1604, which had been drawn up by Convocation in 1603, received the sanction of the Crown. These Canons pronounced excommunication upon those, whether Puritans or Romanists, who “impugned” the Prayer Book or refused to use it, and they asserted the historical claim of the English Church to be a part of the Church Catholic.” Percy Dearmer. ‘Everyman’s History of the Prayer Book.’

1)ESTC S2778. STC 16337a. 2) ESTC S90712. STC 2548.5
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