CRANMER, Thomas [with] ASCHAM, Roger

CRANMER, Thomas (with) ASCHAM, Roger Defensio veræ et catholicæ doctrinæ de sacramento corporis & sanguinis Christi seruatoris nostri,(with) Apologia doctissimi viri Rogeri Aschami, Angli,

[Emden] (with) London, [Egidius van der Erve] (with) Pro Francisco Coldocko, 1557 (with) 1577


8vo. Two works in one. FIRST EDITION of the second work. 1) ff. [xvi], 154, [ii]. A-X Y . 2) (without first blank except for signature-mark). Roman and Italic letter in both works some Greek in the second. T-p of the second work within typographical border, woodcut of Robert Dudley’s arms on verso of second ll., extensive contemporary marginal annotations in the first work, bookseller’s ticket, ‘J. Leslie of Holborn’ on pastedown, engraved bookplate ‘H.I.’, with motto ‘Vive ut vivas’, below, small ‘Selbourne Library’ stamp on verso of title, and blank lower margins of a few leaves. Light age yellowing, first t-p a little dusty, occasional ink spot, verso of last a little stained. Very good copies in contemporary English calf, covers bordered with a triple blind rule, blind stamped oval arabesque at centres, spine with blind ruled raised bands, rebacked with original spine laid down, title manuscript on fore-edge, a.e.r.

Excellent and rare edition of Cranmer’s ‘Defensio’ published at Emden by the Protestant community in exile during Queen Mary’s reign, bound with the first edition of this rare anticlerical tract by Ascham, whose role in the Protestant Reformation has recently received more scholarly attention. “Early in 1550 Cranmer gradually withdrew from attending the Royal council and began to devote his time to theological writings, and for the last three years of Edward’s reign. In July 1550 he published a book entitled ‘The Defence of the True and Catholic Doctrine of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ”. In it he made his position abundantly clear…He made it plain that he rejected transubstantiation and any High Church view which might attribute something of God’s presence to the bread and wine after consecraton and bow to it. All this Cranmer now denied publicly though his beliefs on this matter had been settled as early as the autumn of 1548.” Thomas Cranmer. By J.R. Broome. This edition was published a year after his execution by burning at the stake (despite his renunciation of Protestantism) at Emden which became a centre for the clandestine printing of Protestant tracts. “We also have it on Strype’s authority that Emden was the centre of protestant propaganda and Co. F.S. Isaac has now established a strong presumption that it was the press of Egidius van der Erve at Emden which published not merely this new edition of the Defensio but many of the pamphlets which were circulated in London and the eastern counties by such agents as Trudgeover” “The Apologia is a treatise .. which vigorously denounced the Mass, its sacrifice, and priests. It was written by Roger Ascham as a direct response to a series of religious debates held at Cambridge University at the start of Edward VI’s reign. The work’s evident aim to direct government discussion on the best way to restore the Lord’s Supper in England raises interesting questions about the relationship between University and State during this reign. It also offers fresh insights into the evolution of Edwardine Protestantism, not least because the orientation of the Apologia’s theology was distinctly Lutheran. It may be possible to make the case that Luther’s writings and theological emphases had a greater impact on Edwardine religious debates about the Eucharist than scholars had assumed.” Lucy R. Nicholas. ‘Roger Ascham’s Defence of the Lord’s Supper.’ “The most eloquent testimony of Ascham’s full involvement in the theological conflicts of the reformation was his Apologia. It represented as assertive interjection into one of the most controversial and divisive theological conflicts of the Edwardian reformation – that concerning the Eucharist. It was composed early on in the reign of Edward VI, between the very end of 1547 and the start of 1548. .. Ascham’s views about sin and salvation could not be clearer: ‘I speak on behalf of the Lord’s Supper against the Mass, since the supper constitutes a sign and a memorial of redemption and the whole of our salvation; the Mass, however, (as I will speak very truthfully) constitutes the Illiad of every evil and the Odyssey of all errors’.” Lucy R. Nicholas. ‘Sin and Salvation in Reformation England’. Very good copies of these rare works.

1) STC 6005. ESTC S105121. 2) STC 825. ESTC S100257 ‘In most copies the imprint date is altered by hand to 1578.’
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