Ta tōn Mousōn eisodia: The Muses vvelcome to the high and mighty prince Iames … At His Majesties happie returne to his olde and natiue kingdome of Scotland, after 14 yeeres absence in anno 1617.

Edinburgh, [s.n.], 1618


Ta tōn Mousōn exodia. Planctus, & vota Musarum in augustissimi monarchæ Iacobi Magnæ Britanniæ, Franciæ, et Hiberniæ Regis, &c. recessu è Scotia in Angliam, Augusti 4 anno 1617.

Edinburgh, Excudebat Andreas Hart, anno 1618.


FIRST EDITION, second issue. Folio. 1) [x], 44 -[138], 137-289, [i]. 2). pp. 18, [2].  A-B C². [Leaf of Latin verses normally between pp. 44-5 placed as prelim, outer margin restored] Italic letter with some Roman and Greek, text within box rule. Woodcut portrait of James I with his arms below as frontispiece, (backed with tear to lower outer corner, touching box rule, replaced in ms.) large historiated initial on first leaf, with large grotesque headpiece with James I arms above, woodcut floriated initials many grotesque and floriated woodcut head and tail-pieces, typographical ornaments, “A reissue of STC 140 (Edinburgh: Thomas Finlason, 1618) with cancel title page and dedication printed by A. Hart; three preliminary leaves cancelled and replaced by two. In this reissue line 3 of title reads “to the high and mighty prince”. Page 109-12 are a cancel bifolium printed in London by the Eliot’s Court Press. … Quire M also a different setting to STC 140. In this setting signature “M2” is below the “frugi” of “frugibus”.” ESTC. Very light age yellowing, very rare marginal mark or spot, t-p and portrait a little dusty, outer margin of third leaf torn, just touching box rule, completed in ms. A very good, clean copy, in excellent early C19th calf, covers gilt ruled to a panel design, fleurons to outer corners, central panel of original binding, probably Irish, inlaid, large gilt stamped hatched cornerpieces, arms of James I at centres, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, large harps gilt at centres, green morocco label gilt, edges and inner dentelles gilt, a.e.g. joints restored.

First edition, second issue, with the portrait of James I, of this important collection of neo-latin poems, epigrams, and panegyrics, all dedicated to James I on his return to Scotland in 1617. On the 15th of May, 1617, King James VI & I landed at Port “Seatown” (now Seton) to begin what would be his only homecoming tour of Scotland. since leaving Scotland 14 years earlier. James stayed in Scotland until the beginning of August of that year and, although primarily resident in Edinburgh, he spent much of his time touring his northern kingdom. James visited Scotland under the pretence of celebrating his fiftieth year as King of Scotland; however, the political motives of James’s trip to his homeland are now clear in hindsight: his main objective was to try to align the Church of Scotland more to the Anglican Church, evident in his passing of the Five Articles of Perth in the year following this tour. During James’s visits to the cities, towns, villages and boroughs of Scotland many formal presentations of verse and addresses were given to the King. In 1618 a collection of these poems, addresses and a record of where the King and his entourage visited was printed in Edinburgh. The first work is a collection of poems, speeches and philosophical discussions, mostly in Latin. It is found in various states and is frequently accompanied by the second work, a further collection of Latin poems written by Scottish authors including David Hume of Godscroft and David Wedderburn on the occasion of James’s return to England. It was edited by John Adamson who refers to the work in the dedication to the first work.

“With over sixty individual contributors, it includes many more Latin poets that the Delitae Poetarum Scotorum, and all of them write at the same point in time and in the same context, namely the return of King James VI and I to Scotland, after fourteen years, in 1617. Its acclamations are delivered with considerable ingenuity and skill in more than 130 poems, which range in length from short epigrams to much longer hexameter panegyrics. Such an assembly of verso to celebrate an itinerant sovereign has few if any parallels in any neo-Lain context. Moreover the Muses Welcome is presented as a travelogue: a record, with precise dates, of the king’s journey or ‘progress’ through some fifteen towns and other places in his northern realm, from Dundee to Drumlanrig (two visits are noted for Stirling and at least two for Edinburgh). .. The Muses Welcome is a snapshot of Scotland in a particular summer, or rather a group photograph (one of the livelier kind). A real work of cerebration as well as celebration by Scottish towns and cities The Muses Welcome is testimony to Scotland’s cultural and educational achievements, at a moment which coincides with the zenith of Scottish Latin verse. Finally … The Muses Welcome is a delight to handle and peruse, because of its generous dimensions its use throughout of a large Italic font, its ample spacing…This fine appearance is hardly surprising, for it was commissioned by the King himself .. and entrusted by him to Edinburgh’s leading printers. He also made careful provision for the distribution of eighty copies, which may or may not comprise the whole print run.” Roger P.H. Green. The King Returns: The Muses’ Welcome (1618).

This copy, bound with the arms of James I shares identical gilt stamped corner-pieces with a copy in the Royal Collection at Windsor (RCIN 1081383) also with James I arms, and is almost certainly one of the copies made for distribution by the king. The Muses Welcome is truly a treasure trove of early seventeenth-century poetry and includes unattributed dedications by Sir Francis Bacon, identified by his family’s motto “Mediocra Firma” found at the foot of his dedications (3rd leaf recto, pp. 115, 153, 168). A very good copy of this most important work, most probably a presentation from James I.

1) ESTC S126015.  STC 141. 2) ESTC S106780 STC 142.


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Relacion verdadera de la insigne vitoria que los catolicos del reyno de Irlanda han obtenido contra los ingleses que no son catolicos romanos.

[Madrid, Catalina del Barrio, 1642.]


FIRST EDITION?. Folio. 2 unnumbered and unsigned ll., [*]2. Roman letter, little Italic. Uniform slight age browning, minimal marginal spotting, bifolium partly torn at centre fold. Disbound, traces of sewing, ‘225’ and ‘226’ inked to upper outer corners.

Exceedingly scarce ephemeral survival—an important witness to Spain’s perception of Ireland during the Siglo de Oro and the life of the Irish exile community in Spain. Also issued with the same title in Seville by Juan Gómez de Blas in the same year (priority has not been established), this work belongs to the popular European genre of ‘relaciones’, two-leaf folio news reports on major international events, here concerned with Ireland. It is one of several news sheets reporting on the Irish Rebellion of 1641, answering rumours of a possible invasion by the English and Scots. It praises the ‘clear understanding’ of the ‘beloved’ King and the importance of Laud’s ‘Prayer Book’ of 1637, harshly rejected by the Scots. Aware of the ‘deformity and monstrosity of the religions practised by his subjects’, Charles had thus reaffirmed the principles of the High Church, closer to Catholicism, much disliked by Protestants, Puritans and Calvinists (e.g., the use of sacred images and crucifixes in churches ‘to differentiate them from profane houses’). With mentions of Laud and Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Stratford and Lord Deputy of Ireland, the ‘relacion’ describes the Catholic occupation of cities and regions in Ulster and the rest of Ireland in 1641, especially the Irish victory led by General Roe O’Neill over the English in Carrickfergus. It stops short of Wentworth’s execution in 1641 and the English counterattack of early 1642. The ‘relacion’ sought to make Spain more sympathetic to the Irish exile community, which had sensibly increased in the early C17. It was ‘designed to spread information about the Irish and their situation at home and abroad’ among both the elites and middle classes; as propaganda sheets, such ‘relaciones’ sought to smooth negative public opinion against the Irish exiles and ‘to ensure that the ruling Spanish elite were aware of the suffering of the Irish and of their duties to them as fellow Catholics’ (Tostado, ‘Irish Influence’, 49). A scarce ephemeral work portraying a major event with long-lasting effects on Irish national identity.

Only 4 copies recorded, none in the US.

USTC 5018314; Palau 258270. Not in Wilkinson. I. Pérez Tostado, Irish Influence at the Court of Spain in the Seventeenth Century (Dublin, 2008).


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MOLLOY, Francis

Lucerna fidelium, seu Fasciculus decerptus ab authoribus magis versatis, qui tractarunt de doctrina Christiana: 

Rome, typis Sacræ Congreg. de Propaganda Fide. 1676


FIRST EDITION. 8vo. pp. [iv], 391, [i], VIII. Gaelic letter, some Roman. Small  woodcut roundel on verso of A2, typographical ornaments. Light age yellowing, some browning in places, occasional minor light spotting, tiny worm trail in blank margins of a two quires. A very good copy, entirely untrimmed with full margins, in modern quarter brown calf over boards, spine with raised bands, title gilt lettered.

Rare first edition of the first book in Irish from the Propaganda Press, by Francis Molloy (c. 1606-1677?); this Catechism is by far the most famous and most widely read of his works. A year later he also  published the first printed Irish grammar, from the same press. The project to publish this Irish catechism dated back to 1670, when it was instigated by the secretary of Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, Monsignor Baldeschi, who, along with Cardinal Altieri (later Pope Clement X), were among Molloy’s most influential friends and contacts in the city. “Francis Molloy theologian and grammarian, was a native of the county of Meath, Ireland. The family of which he was a member had extensive landed possessions in the district known as O’Molloys’ Country, and some of them engaged actively in the Irish movements from 1641 to 1652. Francis Molloy entered the order of St. Francis, became a priest, was appointed professor of theology at St. Isidore’s College, Rome, and acted as agent for the Irish catholics at the papal court in the reign of Charles II. .. A catechism of the doctrines of the catholic church in the Irish language was published by Molloy in 1676 with the title : ‘Lucerna fidelium, seu fasciculus decerptus ab authoribus magis versatis qui tractarunt de doctrina Christiana.’ It was printed at Rome at the press of the Congregation ‘de propaganda fide,’ from which, in 1677, issued another book by Molloy, entitled ‘Grammatica Latino-Hibernica,’ 12mo, the first printed grammar of the Irish language.” DNB.

“Another popular text that circulated in Ireland in both printed and manuscript form was Francis O’Malloy’s Lucerna Fidelium,.. Like most other Irish catechisms, the Lucerna Fidelium was not an original work, but rather a composite of old and new, including sections from the Parrthas an Anma and a translation of Bossuet’s ‘Exposition de la doctrine de l’Eglise catholique’ printed in Paris in 1671. The book was composed in a question and answer format: its sections on the Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the sacraments must have been of great use to Irish catechists.”  Samantha A. Meigs ‘The Reformations in Ireland: Tradition and Confessionalism, 1400–1690’.  “Though not a great a centre for writing and printing Irish language texts as Louvain was, still Rome could boast some Irish firsts: the first travel narrative in the Irish language .. and the first ever printed grammar  of Irish by Francis O’Molloy, published by the Propaganda Fide in 1677. The publication of this grammar and a catechism in Irish by the Congregazione di Proapaganda Fide are examples of how this Counter-Reformation institution aimed to strengthen the Church in National context through strengthening the national cultures”. Clare Lois Carroll. ‘Exiles in a Global City: The Irish and Early Modern Rome, 1609-1783.’

A very good copy, entirely untrimmed, of this rare Gaelic imprint.

ESTC R41480. Wing O291C. Sweeney 3279


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Scathan shacramuinte na haitridhe ar na ĉuma don ḃráṫ[air?] ḃoŕ dord San Froinsias…

[Louvain] Iar na chur a ccló maille ré húgdardhás, 1618


FIRST EDITION. 12mo. pp. [xii], 581 [i.e. 569], [xliii]; *⁶, A-3F⁶. Gaelic letter. [Louvain type A] Title within typographical border, ‘Emanuel Telaph’ within typographical ornaments, small woodcut initials, woodcut tail pieces, mss prayer in Latin on verso of last fly, “Joachim compensis” in early hand below. Light age yellowing some browning in places, title a little dust soiled, light occasional waterstaining. A very good, entirely unsophisticated copy in contemporary limp vellum, darkened and a little soiled, in morocco backed folding box, HP Kraus book-label loosely inserted. 

Exceptionally rare first edition of the first original work by a living author in Irish. The few works printed in Irish appearing prior to this were the Bible, liturgy, or translations. This is one of a small group of books from the first press to print and promote Irish writing in the vernacular. The press was an outgrowth of a concentration of scholars skilled in Irish and other languages at St. Anthony’s, the Franciscan college at Louvain, which acquired the press in 1611. Though their primary purpose was to train priests for the Irish and Scottish missions, they also published literary works for a wider Irish audience, later using commercial publishers (after the demise of this press). Mac Aingil [or MacCaghwell] came from an old Irish family. He was born in Co. Tyrone and early in life entered the service of Hiugh O’Neill, earl of Tyrone, as tutor to his sons. In 1604 in Spain he entered the Franciscans, and in 1606 went to the Spanish Netherlands where he helped set up the Franciscan College in Louvain, and played an active role in Irish spiritual and intellectual life. For the publication of this work the author used his Irish name Aodh Mac Aingil, although the Latin form of his name is given at the end of the book. The title means ‘A mirror of the sacrament of penance’, and the work is devotional in nature. “Although this acknowledged James I as the rightful ruler of Ireland, it also identified Ireland as a Catholic nation and demonstrates a very modern sense of national consciousness. Moreover, the work is a prominent example of how the literary language of contemporary Irish poets was used to produce a readable prose text” ODNB. 

“The word ‘Emanuel’ serves as an invocation or prayer. Another example on a Louvain book is the obscure phrase ‘Emanuel Telaph’ on the titlepage of Scathan shacramuinte (1618). The use of Emanuel as an invocation can be found in Irish manuscripts as far back as the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. … ‘It was customary with the Irish scribes to use that word at the heads of chapters and pages, implying that in the Holy Name of Emanuel they began that work, chapter, or page’.” Clóliosta – ‘Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies’. 

“Domestic conditions made establishment of a Gaelic press in Ireland impossible. It fell, therefore, to the fledgeling Irish colonies in Europe to organise a print response to the Protestant offensive. The Franciscans were already familiar with the products of the Protestant press and even deigned to use them…. In 1611 the Irish Franciscans cut the Gaelic front and set up a printing press in Antwerp, which is soon moved to Louvain. It was in order to help the youth and others in Ireland against the false doctrine of other religions that the Franciscan press produced a small number of catechetical and devotional texts. Their circulation appears to have been limited to the Gaelic-speaking community then resident in Flanders though there is evidence that they also circulated in manuscript form in Ireland. Only a small number of publications came off the Irish press.. and between 1619 and 1641 the press does not appear to have been used at all. .. The meagre production was due, in part, to financial constraints, which exacerbated existing problems of composition, printing, and distribution. Low literacy rates in Irish were a factor and it seems Irish speakers who learned to read tended to become literate in English only.” Raymond Gillespie. ‘The Oxford History of the Irish Book, Volume III.’

“The Franciscans, for example, were at the forefront of the drive to print devotional works in Irish for the Gaelic speaking part of the Irish catholic church. .. And not only the language involved but also the format of these particular works indicate their intended audiences .. such smaller works were more easily hidden on the person… In Ireland, where possession of such recusant works could prove dangerous, it made sense to produce clandestine works in these smaller formats”. Crawford Gribben. ‘Enforcing Reformation in Ireland and Scotland, 1550–1700.’

ESTC S2226. STC 17157. Allison & Rogers, Catholic 489. Allison & Rogers Counter-Reformation II, 507. Bradshaw 8612. Shaaber M4. Bradshaw 8612. Best, 248. McGuinne, 35 


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Leabhuir ná seintiomna… The books of the Old Testament translated into Irish by… Doctor William Bedel. 

London, [s.n.], anno Dom. 1685.


FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. [ii], 1142, [ii]. [without first blank] Gaelic letter, title in Roman and Gaelic, ruled in double column. Title within double line border woodcut initials. Light age yellowing, very occasional minor spotting. A very good copy, clean and crisp in contemporary speckled calf, covers bordered with a blind rule, spine with raised bands blind ruled in compartments, edges speckled red, pastedowns (but not endpapers) renewed. 

The rare, beautifully printed and important first edition of the Old Testament in Irish, translated by William Bedell with the assistance of O Cionga, revised by Andrew Sall, Narcissus Marsh, and others. This version of the Old Testament was published over 40 years after the death of the principal translator William Bedell, Bishop of Kilmore (1571-1642), and 83 years after the first edition of the New Testament in Irish (Dublin, 1602). It was printed anonymously in an edition of about 500 copies, largely at the expense of Robert Boyle, who provided the type.

“Although the Irish Old testament was published in 1685, the Genesis of the translation dated as far back as the late 1620’s. William Bedell, whose experience as chaplain during the years 1607-10/11 to Sir Henry Wotton, English ambassador to Venice, refined his appreciation of cultural and linguistic diversity, conceived and funded the project for the Irish translation of the Old Testament. .. As early as 1628, Bedell had enlisted the expertise of Muircheartach O Cionga, a member of a midlands bardic family, first to translate the Psalms and afterwards the rest of the Old testament and Apocrypha. Bedell had ordained O Cionga and provided him with a living in Kilmore Diocese .. By 1634 Bedell reported that the translation of the Old Testament was in hand and that he was having a fair copy of the text compiled. The Irish translation was made from the King James Bible of 1611 and complemented by revisions to the text made by Bedell based on comparative readings of the original Hebrew text, the Septuagint, and Giovani’s Diodati’s Italian translation of the Bible. However the contribution of O Cionga was central to the translation process. The publication of Bedell’s Old Testament in 1685 were made possible by the financial support and evangelical commitment of Robert Boyle (1627-91) .. Boyle funded the casting of a new font of Irish type, produced by the printer and globe maker Joseph Moxon in London and modelled on the type produced by the Irish Franciscans in Louvain. Henry Jones provided Sall with the surviving manuscript of Bedell’s Old Testament in 1681. Sall in a letter to Boyle described the manuscript as a ‘confused heap, pitifully defaced and broken’. .. Although it had been planned to publish the Old Testament by public subscription, ultimately Boyle appears to have funded the entire project. The first sheet of Genesis was printed in 1682 and the Psalms were being printed by early 1685. The remaining work, with the exception of the Apocrypha, which Boyle decided not to print, was completed by the end of 1685. .. (Despite) the various editorial interventions during the preparation of the Old Testament, the printed text is essentially that translated under Bedell’s supervision.” The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Early Modern England, C. 1530-1700. 

A very well preserved and fresh copy of this important and rare first edition. 

ESTC R23375 Wing B2759A. Darlow & Moule 5534. 


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[CONRY, Florence.]

Emanuel Leabhar ina Bhuil Modh Iarrata agus Fhagala Fhonbhtheachda na Beathadh Riaghaltha ar Attugadh Drong Airighthe Sgáthan an Chrábhaidh Drong eile Desiderius.

Louvain, Ar na chur a ccló maille ré hughdadhás 1616


FIRST EDITION thus. 8vo. in fours. pp. [viii], 344. (*), A-2U. Gaelic letter. Small woodcut of Christ with cross on title, another of the Virgin and Child on **2 verso, small woodcut initials, “Desiderius Hibernice” in contemporary hand at foot of title, “Speculum vitae vel Desiderius Hybernice” in C19th century hand on fly, C19 armorial bookplate of the Earl of Macclesfield on fly, Shirburn Castle blindstamp to head of first three ll. Title page and verso of last a little dusty, light age yellowing, minor light water-staining in places, the odd marginal thumb mark. A very good copy, crisp and clean, with good margins, in C18th three-quarter speckled calf over marbled boards, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, gilt fleurons at centres, red morocco label gilt, a.e.r., upper corners a little worn.

Exceptionally rare first edition of this fine Gaelic printing from Louvain, made for the Recusant market in Ireland, by the Irish Franciscan Florence Conry, from the extraordinary library of the Earls of Macclesfield. The work is an incomplete translation of books 1-3 of the ‘Tratado llamado el Desseoso, y por otro nombre, Espejo de religiosos’, which takes the form of an allegorical pilgrimage, first published anonymously in Catalan (Barcelona, 1515) under title: ‘Spill de la vida religiosa’. Considerable additions meant to encourage Irish Catholics to remain steadfast in the face of religious persecution were made by the translator, Florence Conry. The work is often wrongly ascribed to Miguel Comalada. The translator Conry (or Conroy) was an Irish Franciscan and Archbishop of Tuam (1560/1-1629), who was born in Galway and died in Madrid. An ardent Irish patriot, he was involved in Tyrone’s rebellion and in other Irish movements, and founded the Irish Franciscan College at Louvain, largely with monies provided by Isabella, the daughter of Philip II of Spain. “Florence Conry archbishop of Tuam, . was a native of Connaught. After receiving a suitable education in Spain and the Netherlands he became a Franciscan friar of the Strict Observance at Salamanca, and he was for some time provincial of his order in Ireland He was nominated by Pope Paul V to the archiepiscopal see of Tuam 30 March 1609, and was consecrated the same year by Cardinal Maffei Barberini, protector of Ireland, afterwards Urban VIII (Brady, Episcopal Succession, ii. 138).At Conry’s solicitation Philip III founded for the Irish a college at Louvain under the invocation of St. Anthony of Padua, of which the first stone was laid in 1616.” DNB.

“Domestic conditions made establishment of a Gaelic press in Ireland impossible. It fell, therefore, to the fledgeling Irish colonies in Europe to organise a print response to the Protestant offensive. The Franciscans were already familiar with the products of the Protestant press and even deigned to use them…. In 1611 the Irish Franciscans cut the Gaelic front and set up a printing press in Antwerp, which is soon moved to Louvain. It was in order to help the youth and others in Ireland against the false doctrine of other religions that the Franciscan press produced a small number of catechetical and devotional texts. Their circulation appears to have been limited to the Gaelic-speaking community then resident in Flanders though there is evidence that they also circulated in manuscript form in Ireland. Only a small number of publications came off the Irish press.. and between 1619 and 1641 the press does not appear to have been used at all. .. The meagre production was due, in part, to financial constraints, which exacerbated existing problems of composition, printing, and distribution. Low literacy rates in Irish were a factor and it seems Irish speakers who learned to read tended to become literate in English only.” Raymond Gillespie. ‘The Oxford History of the Irish Book, Volume III.’

“The Franciscans, for example, were at the forefront of the drive to print devotional works in Irish for the Gaelic speaking part of the Irish catholic church. .. And not only the language involved but also the format of these particular works indicate their intended audiences .. such smaller works were more easily hidden on the person… In Ireland, where possession of such recusant works could prove dangerous, it made sense to produce clandestine works in these smaller formats”. Crawford Gribben. ‘Enforcing Reformation in Ireland and Scotland, 1550–1700.’

A very good copy of this exceptionally rare early Gaelic printing.

ESTC S125534. STC 6778. Allison & Rogers 151. Shaaber 343

ESTC gives copies at Harvard and Huntington only.


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CAMDEN, William.



London, [printed at Eliot’s court press] impensis Georg. Bishop, 1600.


4to, pp. [16], 831, [27], 30, [2], [2] pls. Predominantly Roman letter, little Gothic, Italic, Greek and Old Saxon; engraved elaborate frontispiece by W. Rogers, with central map of British Isles and Neptune and Ceres at sides, title with large woodcut arms of Queen Elizabeth as dedicatee, half-title ‘Hiberniae’ with large printer’s device, two folding engraved maps of England under Roman Empire and Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy, several engraved illustrations in text, a few full- or double-page, floriated or historiated initials, typographical or grotesque head- and tail-pieces; a few central leaves lightly age browned, very occasional light marginal foxing, clean tear to outer lower corner of p.563. A fine copy in contemporary French red morocco, triple-fillet border, gilt-stamped armorial supralibros of Jacques-Auguste de Thou and his wife on covers, his monogram and title gilt on spine compartments, a. e. g.; minor repair to head and foot of spine and upper joint; on front pastedown, autograph and bibliographical note of Jean-Jacques de Bure (1765–1853), dated 10 October 1833, and bookplate of O. Vernon Watney; Pirie’s bookplate on front endpaper.

Exquisitely bound copy of the first comprehensive chorographical investigation of the British Isles, in the first edition with maps. Sir William Camden (1551-1623) was the most prominent antiquarian scholar of Elizabethan England. Educated at Oxford, Camden approached antiquarianism upon the encouragement of Philp Sidney and started a broad-ranging survey of the country which went on for nine years, eventually leading to the compilation of Britannia. The success of the work launched his career: Camden become headmaster of Westminster School, Officer of Arms and finally the official historiographer of Queen Elizabeth. Britannia is a county-by-county description of Great Britain and Ireland in relation to landscape, geography, antiquarianism and history. In addition the two folded maps at the beginning, the illustrations include antiquities, a series of Roman and ancient British coins as well as a view of Stonehenge (p. 219) and a map of Ireland. The final 30 pages addressing the reader contain Camden’s reply to Ralph Brooke (1553–1625), another Officer of Arms who had attacked the work in his A discoverie of certaine errours published in print in the much commended Britannia.

This beautiful copy comes from the library of a great collector, the French historian Jacques-Auguste de Thou (1553-1617). As typical of the many books forming his legendary collection, his arms are gilt on covers and his monogram is repeated over the spine. This binding was certainly made one or two years after the publication of the work, as de Thou’s arms and monogram are accompanied by those of his first wife, Marie Barbançon, died 1601 (Guigard, II, p. 452). In 1602, de Thou remarried and refashioned his binding style accordingly; bindings of this kind are far more common than those in the two earlier styles. In 1833, the book was collated by Jean-Jacques de Bure (1765–1853), scion of what was perhaps the most influential and learned dynasty of booksellers in France between the eighteenth and the early nineteenth-century. Jean-Jacques and his brother, Marie-Jacques, successfully took over their father’s business and sold some of the most significant collections of their times, including that of Mac-Carthy Reagh (1815).They offered for sale part of their own vast collection between 1835 and 1838, the rest being purchased by the Bibliothèque imperiale after Jean-Jacques’s death.

De Thou had only his most favourite volumes bound in this splendid red morocco and they constitute a small and highly prized part of his great collection.

ESTC S107386; CELM CmW 13.183 (record of this copy); Brunet, I, 1511 (mentioning this copy); Graesse, II, 24.


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A Catholike confutation of M. Iohn Riders clayme of antiquitie; and a caulming comfort against his caueat. … a replye to M. Riders Rescript; with a discouerie of puritan partialitie in his behalfe.

Roan [i.e. Douai] : [Pt. 1 by P. Auroi, pt. 2 by C. Boscard] with licence of superiours,. 1608.


FIRST EDITION. 4to. Two parts in one. pp. [xxxiv], 394, [xxviii]; [ii], 118. á⁴ é⁴ í⁴ ó⁴ ú⁴ A-3F⁴, ²A-P⁴. Roman letter some Italic. Both titles within typographical borders, second title with small woodcut ‘IHS’ device, floriated woodcut initials, woodcut and typographical ornaments, ’J. Barry’ in slightly later hand at head of t-p. Light age yellowing, the rare marginal spot or mark, t-p fractionally dusty. A very good copy in contemporary limp vellum, yapp edges, remains of ties.

Rare first edition of this most interesting controversial work by the Irish Jesuit Henry Fitzsimon published at Douai for distribution in Ireland. “Fitzsimon was educated a Protestant at Oxford (Hart Hall, and perhaps Christ Church), 1583-1587. Going thence to the University of Paris, he became a zealous protagonist of Protestantism, “with the firm intention to have died for it, if need had been”. But having engaged in controversy with “an owld English Jesuit, Father Thomas Darbishire, to my happiness I was overcome.” Having embraced Catholicism, he visited Rome and Flanders” Catholic Encyclopaedia. He joined the Jesuits in Rome and returned to Ireland where he was captured in 1600. He was reputed to have laughed at his capture stating “Now my adversaries cannot say that they do not know where to find me”. He was banished in 1604 “he visited Spain, Rome, and Flanders, 1611-1620, everywhere earnest and active with voice and pen in the cause of Ireland. At the outbreak of the Thirty Years War in 1620, he served as chaplain to the Irish soldiers in the imperial army, and published a diary, full of life and interest, of his adventurous experiences. He probably returned to Flanders in 1621 and in 1630 went back to Ireland where he continued to work with energy and success until the outbreak of the Civil War (1640)” Catholic Encyclopaedia. 

This work was a stinging refutation of John Riders’ ‘A Friendly caveat to Ireland’s Catholics’. “It was the Palesman/Jesuit Henry Fitzsimon who opened the long tradition of Irish counter-propaganda, and even in his early activities one can see a pattern which remained noticeable throughout the century: to attack English policy in Ireland as a combination of heretical persecution and insulting slander on the Irish fatherland. Fitzsimon had been imprisoned in Dublin in the years 1599-1604; in this period he had a dispute with the young student of divinity James Ussher and, more importantly, with John Rider, protestant dean of St. Patrick’s cathedral. Rider had challenged Fitzsimon to prove certain Catholic teachings from scripture, and Fitzsimon had answered in his manuscript treatise entitled ‘Brief collections from the Scriptures’ 1601. Rider rejoined with a printed pamphlet called ‘A Friendly caveat to Ireland’s Catholics’, whereupon Fitzsimon countered with another manuscript … By then Fitzsimon was freed from prison  … where he found the opportunity to have his answer printed. (Rouen 1608). ..Here as in nearly all later exile writings by Irish authors, it can be noticed that what looks like purely theological discussion is in fact full of political import. Fitzsimon’s ‘dedicatorie epistle’, addressed to ‘the Catholickes of Ireland and of all Estates, and Degrees’ is already a case in point. Part of its rhetoric consists of recalling to the readers ‘the quondam dignitie of your now debased countrye,’ and the defence of Catholicism against Protestantism is thus, ad ovo, mixed with a defence of Ireland against England, more especially of the old Irish dignity against modern debasement at English hands”. Joseph Theodoor Leerssen. Mere Irish & Fíor-ghael: Studies in the Idea of Irish Nationality.

A very good copy of this rare work.

STC 11025. ESTC S102272. C. Sayle. A Catalogue of the Bradshaw Collection of Irish Books in the University. Library Cambridge. 5721. Allison and Rogers II 289. Milward 573 and 574 “M. Riders Rescript is only known from the Appendix to this book.”


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Lawes and orders of warre, established for the good conduct of the seruice in Ireland.

London, Christopher Barker (?), 1599 (?).


FIRST EDITION. 4to., pp. 10. (lacking last blank). Roman letter. A large historiated woodcut initial and woodcut headpiece. Recto of A1 and last leaf dusty, the odd marginal spot or mark, minor repair to upper outer corner of first and last leaf. A good copy in modern three-quarter calf over marbled paper boards, spine with gilt title.

Extremely rare and most interesting pamphlet published by Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex, on the eve of his campaign in Ireland in 1599, the largest expeditionary force ever sent to Ireland with over 16,000 troops. Essex had orders to put an end to the Irish rebellion and departed London to the cheers of crowds. It was expected that the rebellion would be crushed instantly. Essex had declared to the Privy Council that he would confront O’Neill in Ulster. Instead, he led his army into southern Ireland, where he fought a series of inconclusive engagements, wasted his funds, and dispersed his army into garrisons, while the Irish won two important battles in other parts of the country. Rather than face O’Neill in battle, Essex entered a truce that some considered humiliating to the Crown and to the detriment of English authority. The Queen herself told Essex that if she had wished to abandon Ireland, it would scarcely have been necessary to send him there.

The thirty seven orders given in this pamphlet are of great interest for military historians, and are designed specifically for troops in Ireland. Essex prefaces the work with a short introduction, stating ‘And military discipline cannot bee kept where the rules or chiefe partes thereof bee not certainly set downe and generally knowen.’ The first orders include directions requiring troops to attend sermons, morning and evening prayer, to respect the ‘holy and blessed Trinitie.’ Many of the orders have a specific Irish connection and reflect the difficulties facing an invading force that needs both to maintain good relations with and simultaneously to discourage sympathy or collusion with the local population.

“No Souldier of the Armie shall do violence to the person, or steale, or violently take, or wilfully spoyle the goods of any Irish good subject, upon paine of death,” and “No man wether hee be souldier or other, English or Irish, shal have conference or intelligence with any enemy or Rebell, that is in open action against her Maiestie.” Many of the orders are of great social interest and concern such things as drunkenness and adultery; “No man shall ravish or force any woman, upon paine of death. And adulteries or fornications shal be punished by imprisonment,’ or “No Souldier serving on Foote, shall carrie any Boy, nor no Woman shall bee suffered to follow the Armie.”

This work is particularly rare. ESTC lists only one copy held in libraries in the USA, at the Huntington Library and ABPC records no copy at auction.

ESTC S107432. STC 14131. USTC 513940. Not in Cockle.


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Ricardi Archiepiscopi Armachani Hyberniae Primatis Defensorum Curatorum aduersus eos qui privilegiatos se dicunt.

Paris, Apud Petrum Billaine, 1633.


8vo., pp. (xvi) 168. á8, A-K8, L4. (á7+8 blank). Roman letter, some Italic. Small woodcut ornament on title, floriated woodcut initials and woodcut headpieces. Light age yellowing, the very occasional marginal spot or mark. A very good copy in modern three-quarter calf over marbled boards, spine with raised bands, blind ruled in compartments, blind fleurons.

Extremely rare edition of the major published work of the C14th Archbishop of Armagh, Richard Fitzralph, the first printed book by an Irish author, a work which defended the secular clergy in their contest with the mendicant orders; this edition was most probably printed in Paris, at the instigation of the secular priest Paul Harris, who was himself involved in a similar dispute in Dublin over three centuries later.

Richard FitzRalph, Archbishop of Armagh, one of the most eminent Irish churchmen of the middle ages, was born at Dundalk around the end of the 13th century, and was educated at Oxford where he became Chancellor in 1333. He was made Chancellor of the church of Lincoln in 1334, became Archdeacon of Chester in 1336, and was installed Dean of Lichfield in 1337. He was advanced to the see of Armagh By Pope Clement VI, and was consecrated at Exeter, on 8th July 1347.

“Fitzralph’s controversy with the friars came to a crisis when he was cited to Avignon in 1357. Avowing his entire submission to the authority of the Holy See, he defended his attitude towards the friars in the plea entitled “Defensorium Curatorum.” He maintained as probable that voluntary mendicancy is contrary to the teachings of Christ. His main plea, however, was for the withdrawal of the privileges of the friars in regard to confessions, preaching, burying, etc. He urged a return to the purity of their original institution, claiming that these privileges undermined the authority of the parochial clergy. The friars were not molested, but by gradual legislation harmony was restored between them and the parish clergy. Fitzralph’s position, however, was not directly condemned, and he died in peace at Avignon.” Catholic Encyclopaedia.

This edition contains an additional foreword under the title, ‘Ad Lectorem prefatio apologetic’ which has been attributed to the secular priest Paul Harris, then involved in a violent dispute with Thomas Fleming, Franciscan archbishop of Dublin. Paul Harris was not the only Secular Priest to oppose the Friars, and it is certain that the secular priests looked to FitzRalph’s work for inspiration.

“David Rothe, Bishop of Ossory, and first member of the new counter-reformation episcopate being established in Ireland from 1618, was alleged to hold the view that members of religious orders had forfeited their rights to the old monastic impropriations and even speculated that members of religious orders were not, in the strict sense members of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Rothe’s regular opponents even dubbed him un Segundo Richardo Armachano after Richard FitzRalph the anti-mendicant fourteenth-century archbishop.” John McCafferty. ‘The Reconstruction of the Church of Ireland’. A very good copy of a very rare work.

Not in BM STC Fr. C16th. Shaaber F118. Three locations only, none in the US.


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