[UDALL, William. Camden, William.]


The Historie of the Life and Death of Mary Stuart Queene of Scotland.

London, John Haviland for Richard Whitaker, 1624


FIRST EDITION. Folio. pp. [xii], 250, [ii]. A(±A3), B-2H, 2I. Roman and Italic letter, text within box rule. Fine engraved portrait of Mary as frontispiece within roundel, Mary’s arms above, signed: R: Elstrack, title within large woodcut border, epistle signed “Wil. Stranguage” [i.e. William Udall], “One of three imprint variants of this edition. In this state the dedication, with pseudonymous signature, is a cancel.” ESTC. “.Hadinton” in a contemporary hand on title. another autograph erased dated 1651 above, engraved armorial bookplate of Thomas Hamilton (1721-1794), 7th Earl of Haddington, on verso of t-p, contemporary inscription on fly erased, early shelf marks on t-p and and frontispiece. Light age yellowing, very rare spot or mark, t-p fractionally dusty in lower outer margin. A fine, large paper copy, crisp and clean in handsome contemporary calf, covers double gilt and blind ruled to a panel design, corners stopped with small gilt fleurons, gilt fleurons to corners of inner panel, arms of John Bill, Kings Printer at centres, spine blind ruled, slightly later morocco label gilt, edges gilt ruled, a.e.r. endpapers renewed, extremities slightly rubbed.

A remarkable, large paper copy bound with the arms of the Kings printer John Bill, almost certainly made for presentation; The University of Toronto, British Armorial Bindings, records two vols with John Bill’s armorial device, one of them being another copy of this work. At this late stage in his career John Bill was a hugely successful, influential and wealthy printer. “In the Jacobean period the King’s Printers were Robert Barker (1570–1645), and the two Shropshire men, Bonham Norton (1564–1635) and John Bill (1576–1630). At this time the office of the King’s Printer included the privilege to print the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer in English. .… But the rights to the office of King’s Printer in English were in dispute, and Robert Barker, Bonham Norton and John Bill—who held the office either alone, or together in various partnerships from 1603–1645—fought bitter legal battles in the Court of Chancery for more than a decade to establish their rights to a share in the business. …. through John Bill’s good managing of the business (which drew in overseas investments through his Continental contacts) the office began to pay. These Continental contacts emerged from a joint-stock partnership which Bonham Norton, John Norton, and John Bill had set up in 1603. This long-running partnership, from 1603-1619 was designed to import continental books and stationary, and to produce books at home and abroad. It operated through an intricate web of book-trade contacts and markets, which John Bill was able to draw into the operation of the King’s Printing House. The KPH institutions extended their power as instruments of cultural production in Jacobean England. James’s desire to define a national culture and influence European thought through the printed word meant that the Salopian’s book-trading became as important culturally for the king as it was financially for the partners.” ‘A Brief History of the King’s Printing House (KPH) in the Jacobean Period’

Attractive principal edition of the classic early ‘Life’ of Mary, Queen of Scots and the author’s only printed work. Though drawn almost exclusively from the Latin history of the period by Camden (probably with Camden’s sanction), it achieved considerable popular success. Mary was one of the most attractive and fascinating figures of British history of the late C16th., and the establishment of her Stuart line on the throne of England of course heightened the interest of Englishmen in her life and unhappy fate. “Anticipating that his portraits of Elizabeth and Mary would met with objections, Camden appears to have opposed publishing his Annales in English during his lifetime. As evidence, historians usually point to Jame’s commission for Abraham Darcie’s translation, which was not printed until 1625, over a year after Camden’s death. Udall’s neglected ‘Historie of the Life and Death of Mary Stuart Queene of Scotland’ appeared even earlier, in 1624, evidence that James was getting what was for him the most significant part of the text out to the English public as soon as possible. Udall, who first published this book under the name ‘William Stranguage’ does not credit Camden as his source, and up through the nineteenth century, many, if not most, readers assumed Udall wrote it himself. Udall’s history popularises a version of Mary’s tragedy that argues for James’s legitimacy against those who might challenge him.”. By John D. Staines ‘The Tragic Histories of Mary Queen of Scots, 1560-1690.’

A stunning copy of this important work.

ESTC. S117760. STC 24509a. Pforzheimer I 123. Arber IV 158.


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BG. [Mazzella Scipione.] [with] DE BRY, Theodor.



BG. [Mazzella Scipione.] Regum Neapolitanorum vitae et effigies. 

Augsburg, sumpt. Dominici Custodis. Coelo Raphael Custodis, 1605


DE BRY, Theodor. Indiae orientalis pars vndecima,

Frankfurt, typis Hieronymi Galleri, 1619


Folio. Two works in one. 1) C-T² lacking first two quires [4 leaves, A-B2 title and prefatory material]. Roman letter. 31 full page engraved genealogical tables and portraits with typeset explanations on verso, one tear with marginal loss, one affecting plate. 2) pp. 62 (ii); (ii) X engraved plates. [A-H⁴; a-c⁴] without last blank. Roman and Italic letter, first title with engraved portrait of Olivier van Noort with two natives at sides and with two map hemispheres, large grotesque head and tail pieces and initials, second part with separate t-p with grotesque woodcut ornaments, and 10 half page engraved plated with printed explanations, tiny single worm trail in lower blank margin of last four ff. Light age yellowing. A fine copy in stunning contemporary English olive morocco, covers double gilt ruled to a panel design, outer panel with a dentelle border made of small gilt tools, and a second border two blind rules and gilt laurel scrolls, inner panel with corner pieces of gilt laurel branch fleurons, filled with semée of gilt stars, large arms of James I within grotesque border, crown at head, gilt stamped at centres, spine double gilt ruled in compartments, gilt fleurons at centres with gilt star tools, edges gilt ruled, all edges gilt, upper joint repaired at foot, remains of blue silk ties, a.e.g.

The beautifully illustrated, rare and important eleventh vol of Theodor De Bry’s Small voyages containing three important travel accounts including the relation of Vespucci’s third and fourth voyage to America, in a stunning, finely preserved, contemporary morocco binding from the library of James I, very much in the style of Bateman. The first part contains all the plates from Mazella’s history of the kings of Naples.

The Small Voyages were printed in a total of 13 parts and an Appendix, at Frankfurt from 1597 to 1633; this is the sole Latin edition of part eleven of the Small voyages.“This eleventh part contains three narratives: 1) [p. 5-10] The relations of the third and fourth voyages of Vespuccius to America, in 1501 and 1503; it is a reprint of selections of the author’s: Mundus novus, first printed under title: Albericus Vespuccius Laurentio Petri Francisci de Medicis salutem plurimam dicit Amerigo Vespucci, Paris, 1503 but generally known as: Mundus novus. 2) [p. 11-46] An account of Robert Coverte’s travels by land through Persia and Mongolia [here, Church is incorrect. Instead of Mongolia, it is the Mogul Empire], after his shipwreck off Surat. This relation was first printed in English, at London in 1612; it is a translation of ‘A true and almost incredible report of an Englishman, that (being cast away in the good ship called the Assention in Cambaya the farthest part of the East Indies) trauelled by land through many vnknowne kingdomes, and great cities, by Robert Coverte, first printed London, 1612’ 3) [p. 47-62] A geographical description of Spitzbergen and a refutation of the claims of the English to the northern whale fisheries, with the journal of the voyage of Willem Barentsz and Jan Corneliszoon Rijp, in 1596, Cf. Church. It is a translation of: Histoire du Pays nommé Spisberghe collected and edited by Hessel Gerritsz, printed in Amsterdam, 1613, which is, in turn, a translation of selections of his: Descriptio ac delineatio geographica detectonis freti; sive Transitus ad occasum, supra terras Americanas, in Chinam atque Japonem ducturi, recens investigati ab M. Henrico Hudsono Anglo, first printed in Amsterdam, 1612. There are two states of the title page: in the first one, the vignette has two natives and a centre engraved portrait of Olivier van Noort, with two map hemispheres; the other has a native woman on the left with her child and a native man on the right with two ships in the centre. This copy contains the rare Plate VII, of a woman being carried in state to be burned with the body of her husband. This is often replaced by the plate, in which a woman is represented as throwing herself into the funeral pyre of her husband, used as plate IX.” JCB. 

“The language of Vespucci’s first public letter is compatible with the idea of a “new world” under and subordinate to the known configuration of lands. But in his second published letter Vespucci treats the southern and northern parts of the area he and Columbus explored as a single continent that is not Asia. This was a stunning breakthrough in the state of knowledge, one Columbus never achieved” Wills, Letters from a New World. 

This marvellous copy, with two works of particular interest to the English, comes from the library of James I (1566-1625), the first and probably the most learned ‘King of Great Britain’ as ruler of both Scotland and England. ‘He studied Greek, French, and Latin and made good use of a library of classical and religious writings that his tutors, George Buchanan and Peter Young, assembled for him. James’s education aroused in him literary ambitions rarely found in princes but which also tended to make him a pedant.’ EBO. His numerous books were often customised with his arms by the royal binder, John Bateman, who employed various style, material and techniques (M. Foot, The Henry Davids Gift, I, pp. 38-49, 52). This copy is of exceptional quality even within Bateman’s refined and wide-ranging output.

Church II 223. “Sole edition” t-p reproduced. JCB I 383. Brunet I 1341. Graesse VII 129. 


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FOXE, John


Acts and monuments of matters most speciall and memorable, happening in the Church,  with an vniuersall historie of the same. .. Whereunto are annexed certaine additions of like persecutions, which haue happened in these later times.

London, Adam Islip, Fœlix Kingston, and Robert Young, anno Domini, 1632.


Folio. Three vols. pp. [cxxviii], 756, 767-1034; 113, 112-788, [ii]; [iv], 584, 595-1030; [xiv], 106, 105-106, [cxiv]. [3] plates (2 folded). pi⁴, 2[par.]⁸, 3[par.]⁸, (-)⁶, (A)-(H)⁴, (I)⁶, A-4P⁶, 4Q⁸; ²A-I⁶, K⁸, L-3T⁶, 3V⁴; ³A-4P⁶, 4Q⁸; ⁴A-O⁴, P⁶, 4R-5G⁴. {without first blank in vol 1, last blank in vol 2, and first and last blanks in vol. 3] Black letter, some Roman and Italic, double column. Title pages to each vol. within fine woodcut border, representing the Last Judgement, the burning of martyrs, the celebration of the Mass, and Protestant and Roman preaching (McKerrow & Ferguson. Title-page borders, no. 120.), three folding woodcut plates, after 2E4, ²2Z6, and ³2V1, with a monumental broadside “A table of the X first persecutions of the primitive Church under the heathen Tyrannes of Rome, continuing the space almost of CCC yeeres after Christ” bound after page 44 in vol. 1, many column width and half page woodcuts in text, woodcut initials head and tail-pieces. Light age yellowing with some offsetting, spotting and browning in places, minor light occasional waterstains, occasional small tears to lower margins, 3B6 in volume 2 with closed tear through lower third of leaf, broadside with several closed tears at folds, endpapers renewed in vol. 3. A very good copy in handsome contemporary calf, covers single gilt and double blind ruled to a panel design, fleurons gilt to corners of outer panel, large lozenge with olive wreath and scrolls gilt stamped at centres, spines with raised bands, gilt ruled in compartments, large fleuron gilt at centres, titles gilt on morocco labels, wide brass clasps and catches, stamped and engraved, small loss to head of vol 2, volume 3 rebacked with original spine laid down, upper compartment lacking, a little rubbed at extremities, covers a little scratched. Early shelf mark and monogram B:E to upper margin of t-p in vol. 3

A very handsome copy of this enlarged and beautifully illustrated copy of Foxe’s monumental and hugely influential work containing a very large and exceptionally rare broadside not mentioned in ESTC or Copac. It was most probably made for this edition, as it contains instructions as to where it should be placed in the text, (after page 44) which are not found on the previous version made for the 1622 edition. This broadside on the martyrdom of the early Christians, is printed from three woodblocks, each filled with separate incidents of persecution, each described by text in a cartouche; with letterpress title along the top and description below. It was first published for the 1570 edition of Foxe’s ‘Book of Martyrs, and was also published separately. See Sheila O’Connell, ‘The Popular Print in England’, BM 1999, no.4.24, and D. Loades, ‘John Foxe and the English Reformation.’ We can find no mention of it in another copy. 

The Actes and Monuments, popularly known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, is a work of  Protestant history and martyrology including a polemical account of the sufferings of Protestants under the Catholic Church, with particular emphasis on England and Scotland. This text, and their scholarly interpretations, helped to frame English consciousness (national, religious and historical), for over four hundred years. Evoking images of the sixteenth-century martyred English, of Elizabeth enthroned, the Enemy overthrown, and danger averted, Foxe’s text and its images served as a popular and academic code. The book was highly influential and helped shape lasting popular notions of Catholicism. It went through four editions in Foxe’s lifetime. The three volumes here amount to 2,300 pages of over 3 million words and very numerous woodcuts. This 1632 edition adds a chronology and a topical outline as well as a continuation of foreign martyrs.

“Even today ..the Acts and Monuments … is an impressive tome, vastly more ambitious than anything previously printed in England. John Foxe’s text – itself drawing on the work of many other writers – not only tells the stories of the men and women persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church, but prints vast amounts of documentary support in the form of letters, interrogations, and debates, .. It is also ,… the single most important body of biographical life-writing in post Reformation Britain. Although initially conceived as a new ecclesiastical history for the English Protestant Church, and as a repository for the documentary evidence for that history, Acts and Monuments became most celebrated as a collection of martyr’s lives, a Book of Martyrs, as it became popularly known.” The Oxford history of Life-Writing.

John Foxe began his great work while a refugee in Rhineland Europe and away from Queen Mary’s persecution back in England. Its intellectual genesis therefore lay at the heart of the revolutionary changes inspired by the sixteenth-century protestant reformation – which is to say, on the continent of Europe. Yet, successively reworked and republished in English.., the cultural impact of Foxe’s work was to sever England from the catholic roots of continental Europe. After his death, Foxe’s work became a vehicle that sustained anti-catholic sentiment which, in turn, cloistered a fundamental suspicion of continental Europe -.. Foxe’s  Book of Martyrs had played an important part in creating a sense of English national identity.” Mark Greengrass, Thomas S. Freeman ‘The Acts and Monuments and the Protestant Continental Martyrologies.’

A very handsome copy, rare complete and in a contemporary binding, with the exceptional, large broadside.

ESTC S123057. STC 11228. Lowndes II 829. 


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UBALDINI, Petruccio


Le vite delle donne illustri. Del regno d’Inghilterra, & del regno di Scotia,

London, Appresso Giouanni Volfio, 1591


FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. [xiv], 117, [iii]. A(-A1+[par.]) B-Q. Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut ‘Fleur de lys’ device on title, woodcut headpieces and floriated initials, eleven line presentation inscription to William Cecil, Lord Burghley in Ubaldini’s celebrated Italic hand on verso of first fly, 1592, bookplate of Robert S. Pirie on pastedown. Light age yellowing, occasional marginal spotting, one or two quires a little browned, mostly marginal soiling and spotting in places. A very good copy in contemporary vellum over thin boards, covers bordered with a gilt rule, gilt-stamped oval at centre, a little soiled, recased.

A precious copy of the first edition, second issue, of this very rare work, beautifully  inscribed by the author Ubaldini in his fine, clear Italic hand, for presentation to William Cecil,-Lord Burghley. Ubaldini (1545-1599), was born in the Florentine state and was learned in classical languages. He sought patronage in both Venice and England with his writings and settled in London. In May 1574 debts caused him to petition Lord Burghley, the lord high treasurer, for financial assistance from the crown. His inscription, in elegant italic, includes four lines of poetry and a seven-line dedication to Burghley “great treasurer of the Kingdom of England” dated “1592.”

“In Lewis Einstein’s words, Petruccio Ubaldini is ‘an example of the better type of the Italian adventurers then to be found at every European court’ (Einstein, 1902, p 190); and an adventurer he was, like many of the Italian expatriates in Tudor England. What is to be noticed in his self-introduction to ‘Militia del Gran Duca di Thoscana’, his last volume, published in London in 1597, is that Ubaldini emphasises his many years of service to the Tudors, first under Henry VIII in 1545 and later under Edward VI; having left for Italy on Mary’s accession to the throne, Petruccio is intentionally vague here about the date when he got back to England; .. as a matter of fact, he says in the passage referred to that he has been in the service of Queen Elizabeth since 1563. What this service consisted in is not clear at all: since Ubaldini was no longer young enough to be a soldier, a modern critic writes that ‘from 1562 onwards, he was able to fill the vacuum left by the rupture in official diplomatic and ecclesiastical contacts between England and Italy. He became almost the only well-placed Italian reporter of English affairs during the second half of the sixteenth century. … Ubaldini, .. corresponded with the secretaries of the Dukes of Florence and numbered Henrey Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, Walsingham, William Cecil, Lord Thomas Howard and other important personages amongst his acquaintances. Certainly Queen Elizabeth thought his services were valuable enough to grant him a salary.’ (Bugliani). .. Ubaldini is the author of 12 works, all of them composed and/or published in England between 1564 and 1597.” Giovanni Iamartino. ‘Representations of Elizabeth I in Early Modern Culture.’

This catalogue of the famous women of England and Scotland was a popular form of work at the period; there were many such catalogues such as Garzoni’s “Le Vite delle Donne illustri Della Scrittura Sacra” “Catalogues of women are lists enumerating pagan and sometimes Christian heroines, who jointly define a notion of femininity. They therefore offer a unique perspective on the problem of femininity by presenting women as entities participating in and formed by historical currents. Such an approach is of immense significance at any time of great change, when historical perspectives were under going transformations. G. McLeod. Virtue and Venom: Catalogs of Women from Antiquity to the Renaissance’ This work was written by Ubaldini and presented as a manuscript to Elizabeth I in 1576 (now lost).

William Cecil, Lord Burghley, was one of the great statesmen of the Elizabethan period, the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth I for most of her reign, at the heart of most of the major events of the period. “From 1558 for forty years the biography of Cecil is almost indistinguishable from that of Elizabeth and from the history of England.” Pollard. He was also a great book collector. On his death in 1598, his will directed that his elder son, Thomas, should inherit ‘all my books in my upper library over my Great chamber in my…. house in Westminster’ together with ‘all my evidence and rolls belonging to my pedigrees’. On a sale of some of the Cecil family’s possessions in 1687, the inventory for books listed some 3,645 books and 249 volumes of manuscripts said to be his. The collection is now in four main parts – a great many are in the Cotton Collection at the British Museum, some are in the National Archive, a substantial portion is at Trinity College, Dublin, of which Cecil was Chancellor, and many remain at Hatfield House.

STC 24488; ESTC S118916. Lowndes 2738. Not in Erdmann.


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DIONYSIUS, Halicarnassensis


Antiquitatum siue originum Romanarum libri 10. Sigismundo Gelenio interprete.

Basel, per Hier. Frobenium et Nic. Episcopium, 1549.


Folio. pp. (48), 518, (34). 2A⁴, 2B-2C⁶, 2D⁸,a-z⁶, A-T⁶, V⁸, ²A-B⁸. Roman letter. Froben’s large woodcut device on title, a smaller version on verso of last, very fine white on black historiated initials. Autograph in contemporary hand of “Robertus Lindesius” with price mark at head of fly, “Initium Sapientiae, timor est dominii” in his hand at head of title “Robertus Lyndesius” around woodcut device on title, repeated below, “Dum Spiro spes”and “Caelum patria Chrystus via” on title, armorial bookplate of ‘Howard Granville Hanrott’ on pastedown, Robert S. Pirie’s above, note c1800 of Jean [?] rear pastedown. Title fractionally dusty, tiny water-stain at blank upper margin of first few leaves. A fine copy, crisp and clean, in contemporary Scottish calf, covers bordered with a single gilt rule, arms of John Stewart, 5th Earl of Atholl gilt at centres, monogram MM gilt above, spine with blind ruled raised bands, fleurons gilt at centres, all edges blue. Small tear to upper corner of lower cover.

A fine copy of this beautifully printed edition, in a beautiful contemporary Scottish armorial binding, with the arms of John Stewart, 5th Earl of Atholl, and remarkable Scottish provenance. The M M monogram above the arms could have been added later, possibly the initials of one of John’s descendants from the Murray family. Early Scottish armorial bindings are particularly rare. Of particular interest is the autograph Robertus Lindesius on the title which could very well be that of the Scottish chronicler Robert Lindesay of Pitscottie (c. 1530—c. 1590). “Scottish historian, of the family of the Lindesays of the Byres, was born at Pitscottie, in the parish of Ceres, Fifeshire, which he held in lease at a later period. His Historie and Cronicles of Scotland, the only work by which he is remembered, is described as a continuation of that of Hector Boece, translated by John Bellenden. It covers the period from 1437 to 1565, and, though it sometimes degenerates into a mere chronicle of short entries, is not without passages of great picturesqueness. Sir Walter Scott made use of it in Marmion; and, in spite of its inaccuracy in details, it is useful for the social history of the period. Lindesay’s share in the Cronicles was generally supposed to end with 1565; but Dr Aeneas Mackay considers that the frank account of the events connected with Mary Stuart between 1565 and 1575 contained in one of the MSS. is by his hand and was only suppressed because it was too faithful in its record of contemporary affairs. The Historie and Cronicles was first published in 1728. A complete edition of the text (2 vols.), based on the Laing MS. No. 218 in the university of Edinburgh, was published by the Scottish Text Society in 1809 under the editorship of Aeneas J. G. Mackay. The MS., formerly in the possession of John Scott of Halkshill, is fuller, and, though in a later hand, is, on the whole, a better representative of Lindesay’s text.”

This beautifully printed edition of Dionysius’ most important work is edited by by Sigmund Gelenius, with an additional chronology supplied by Henri Glareanus. “Gelenius at one time studied Greek under Marcus Musurus and visited Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and France before returning to Prague, where he lectured privately on Greek authors and entered into correspondence with Melanchthon. … Probably in 1524 he moved to Basel, where he lived in Erasmus’ household. He spent the remainder of his life working for the Froben press as a scholar, editor, corrector, and translator from the Greek, even declining a position as professor of Greek at Nuremberg for which he was recommended by Melanchthon in 1525 and 1526. … in his day there cannot have been many major productions of the Froben press which did not benefit from his selfless scholarly devotion. … There is also evidence that he collaborated on a number of editions by Erasmus … Erasmus held Gelenius in high regard as is attested to by himself and others” Contemporaries of Erasmus, II, pp. 84-85. “Glareanus’ annotations arose from a cultural, intellectual and even religious background that was very different from that of his predecessors. In sixteenth-century Basel, Henricus Glareanus was part of a flourishing community of scholars and printers engaged in the business of bookselling and publishing. Both emulating the Aldine model and pursuing the footsteps of Erasmus of Rotterdam, they collaborated to produce new editions of classical and patristic texts, which were based on a critical study of the manuscripts. This marked in the words of Hans-Hubertus Mack, the origins of classical philology as a scholarly discipline.” Marijke Crab. ‘Exemplary Reading’.

Historian and rhetorician of the first century BC, Dionysius of Halicarnassus left Greece for Rome where he researched and composed a history of the city in twenty books. This tenth book is nearly complete while later ones are fragmentary.  Informed by the classical concept of history as a source of exemplary and instructive ethical models, the text aimed to justify Roman rule over Greece and argued for a Greek origin of Roman ancestry. It is followed by De compositione, seu orationis partium apta inter se collocatione, a work on different styles of rhetoric.

A remarkable copy; beautifully bound with extraordinary provenance.

Adams D630. Hoffmann I, 586. Not in BM STC.


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I.G. de rebus auspiciis serenissimi, & potentissimi Caroli gratia magnæ Britanniæ, &c. sub imperio illustrissimi Iacobi Montisrosarum marchionis…: Supremi Scotiæ gubernatoris anno 1644, & duobus sequentibus præclarè gestis, commentarius.

Paris, ex Typographia Ioannis Bessin, propè Collegium Remense. 1648.


8vo. pp. (xxiv), 563 (i). Large paper, Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut and typographical headpieces, small woodcut initials, printed label, ‘6506’ from the sale of Bolongaro-Crevenna at head of front pastedown, bookplate of Robert Maxtone Graham below. Light age yellowing, the very rare marginal spot. A fine, large paper copy in exceptional contemporary French red morocco in the style of Le Gascon, covers double gilt ruled to a panel design, outer panel filled with a fine scrolled roll, middle panel with two fine dentelle scrolls elaborate fleurons to corners, central panel bordered with a small pointillé roll, elaborate corner pieces with scrolled and pointillé tools around a central oval worked to a lozenge form with fine scrolled tools, spine richly gilt with gilt ruled raised bands, double gilt ruled with further pontillé rules to compartments, richly gilt with scrolled tools and semé of small tools, edges with gilt dentelle roll, combed marble endpapers.

A fine, large paper copy of this most interesting contemporary biography of the feats of the great Scottish General, James Montrose, in a stunning contemporary morocco binding attributable or very close to the great French binder Le Gascon, from the exceptional library of Bolongaro-Crevenna. “Dr. George Wishart was born in 1599… In 1626 he moved to St. Andrews as second charge, and it has been conjectured that is was there that he first met the Earl of Montrose, who matriculated at the University of St. Andrews in 1627… When the Presbyterians obtained the ascendancy, Dr. Wishart fled to England with Archbishop Spottiswood. On 19th October 1639, he was appointed to a lectureship of All Saints Church, Newcastle, and in 1640 he was presented at St. Nicholas Church, Newcastle. When Leslie and the Scots army took Newcastle on 19th October 1644, Wishart was taken prisoner, and, on the charge of corresponding with royalists, was imprisoned in the Thieves’ Hole, Edinburgh. After 7 months in prison, Wishart was liberated when the Marquis of Montrose arrived in Edinburgh after his victory at Kilsyth on 15th August 1645. Wishart joined the royal army at Bothwell, and was appointed private chaplain to the Marquis of Montrose. In this capacity he accompanied the Marquis in his campaign both at home and abroad, and his narrative of Montrose’s campaign is that of an eye-witness and biographer. It was first published in Amsterdam … 1647. When the Scottish Parliament tried Montrose in abstentia in 1649, Wishart’s book was brought as evidence against him. A bounty was pledged by Parliament and the Church of Scotland for his capture, and he was sentenced in abstentia to be hanged with Wishart’s book around his neck. The sentence was carried out in the following year after Montrose was captured and brought to Edinburgh.” The Wishart Society.

“Les reliures de Le Gascon sont de veritables objets d’art.” Edouard Rouveyre. ‘Connaissances nécessaires à un bibliophile.’ This binding is very similar in style and the tools are nearly identical to a binding attributed to Le Gascon in a Sotheby’s sale at Paris,  2011, sale PF1113, lot 51, the 1595 edition of the works of Montaigne. It shares the same oval centre surrounded by near identical scrolled tools and pointillé work. “The style of Le Gascon, so-called, was in vogue between the years 1640, and 1665” Herbert P. Horne ‘An Essay in the History of Gold-Tooled Bindings’.

The binding is also very similar in design and tools to another binding attributed to Le Gascon in the Tenschert Catalogue ‘Biblia Sacra’ 2004, no. 59, a Greek New Testament. Many of the best binders of the period imitated the work of Le Gascon, who was then at the height of fashion, and if this binding is not by Le Gascon or his atelier, it is by someone who was imitating him as closely as possible. The gilding and use of pointillé tools is particularly fine, the morocco is of the highest quality. As this is a large paper copy in a very rich binding, it was almost certainly made for presentation, though there is no indication of to whom.

A wonderful copy from the extraordinary library of Bolongaro-Crevenna, the francophile Italian merchant from Amsterdam, whose magnificent collection was sold in Paris between 1775 and 1793. This work was in his sale of History books in 1789 lot 6506; see ‘Catalogue des livres de la bibliothèque de M. Pierre Antoine Bologaro-Crevenna … Volume 4” Amsterdam, chez Changuion 1789.


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SCOT, Sir John


Delitiae poetarum Scotorum hujus aevi illustrium.

Amsterdam, Iohannem Blaeu, 1637.


FIRST EDITION. 12mo. Two volumes. pp. 1) 1-12, (ii), 13-699, (i): 2) pp. 573, (iii). Roman letter some Italic. Blaeu’s woodcut printer’s device on both titles, small woodcut initials “Bought at Amsterdam Sept. 25 1877, H. A. B.” on front fly. Light age yellowing, the odd marginal spot or mark. Very good copies, crisp and clean; volume I in contemporary vellum over boards, nearly matching vellum, titles inked on spines in same C17th hand.

First edition of the largest anthology of Scottish neo-Latin poetry ever produced, edited by the Fife laird Sir John Scot of Scotstarvit and the Aberdonian poet Arthur Johnstone. The two volumes were printed at the sole cost of Scot and preserved the last fruits of Scottish latinity. Scottish neo-Latinists saw themselves first and foremost as part of an international community of renaissance humanists fascinated by the Classical past. Despite James VI’s accession to the English throne in 1603, and subsequent negotiations over closer Anglo-Scottish Union, the majority of the Scots featured in the Delitiae poetarum Scotorum identified much more closely with the cultural and intellectual life of Continental Europe than they did with that of England.

“The Delitiae Poetarum ltalorum opened the floodgates to a series of national anthologies, all in Latin, all entitled Delitiae, all printed in Frankfurt. Along came collections for France, Belgium, Germany, Hungary and Denmark. (…) There was a strange irony in all this. Neo-Latin was, of course, the international language par excellence, transcending national boundaries. (…) Yet the collections clearly had competitive, nationalistic ambitions. It was as if the new chauvinism and confidence of the Renaissance vernacular languages had been diverted into Neo-Latin. (…) (John Scot of Scotstarvet) had the time, motivation and, most importantly, the money to undertake the Herculean labor. John Scot of Scotstarvet, a Fife laird and a dilettante poet himself, had the education and finances to win friends and influence people, particularly in Europe. What makes the subsequent enterprise of special interest is the fact that we have a detailed account of its progress, for Scot scrupulously preserved all incoming mail. The correspondence, now in the National Library of Scotland, reveals a great deal: how Scot accumulated and edited the material and why it took almost twenty years before the Delitiae found its way into print. (…)

From about 1619, Scotstarvet had been collecting and receiving specimens of Scottish latinity. (…) Work by thirty-seven poets was finally chosen. Many of those included had made a name for themselves abroad: James Crichton in Italy, George Crichton in Paris, Thomas Dempster almost everywhere; John Barclay’s Latin novels were widely read in Europe; John Johnston used European presses almost exclusively; Andrew Melville was well-known among Continental Calvinists; James Halkerston wrote witty epigrams on the Pope and Henri III. (…) The work avoided overt antiquarianism which by this time would probably have lacked popular appeal. Still Scotstarvet could be proud of his labours; the text was sound and Blaeu did it justice. In the next century, Samuel Johnson would call it “a collection to grace any nation.” Perhaps the greatest satisfaction to those who produced it was that the English never had the like.” Christopher A. Upton. ‘National Internationalism: Scottish Literature and the European Audience in the Seventeenth Century’.

Very good copy of this important national anthology.

Shaaber S83/J238.


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De Scotorum fortitudine, Doctrina & Pietate, ac de ortu & progressu haeresis in Regnis Scotiae & Angliae nunc primum in lucam editi.

Paris, Petri Baillet, 1631.


FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. (xviii) 288 (iv). Roman letter. Engraved printer’s device on title, woodcut initials and headpieces, modern bookplate of Duncan Shaw to pastedown, early press mark on fly, later autograph on fly. Title page fractionally dusty, very occasional minor marginal damp staining, light browning and largely marginal foxing (very poor quality paper). A good copy in contemporary polished vellum over thin boards, remains of ties, red morocco label gilt on spine.

First edition, second issue, with the dedicatory epistle to Charles I and not Cardinal Francesco Barberini, Protector of Scotland; “an ‘Index rerum’ and an ‘Index alphabeticus omnium sanctorum’ have been added; otherwise this is a reissue of the sheets of no. 208 (the first issue)”. Allison and Rogers. The book was seen through the press during the author’s absence from France by Jean Morin of the Paris Oratory. Chalmers (c. 1580-1642) was head of the Scots College in Paris, while his brother was a priest at the Paris Oratory. The authorship of the work is often erroneously given to David Chambers, Lord Ormond (c. 1530-1592), historian and jurist. Very little is known of the real author.

The work includes a history of the Scots from the earliest days to the author’s own time, and their interaction with various peoples, i.a. the English, Danes and Norwegians, as well as discussing the Scottish Church and the introduction and spread of ‘heresy’ in both England and Scotland. It was said of him that he “loved Scotland more than the truth” and this work is an undeniably nationalistic and Catholic interpretation of events. This second issue includes a list of saints with Scottish connections. He claims i.a. that the Scots were responsible for the foundation of four major European Universities. Given that the work includes, in the appendix, a chapter detailing the Elizabethan persecution of Mary Stuart and Scottish Catholics in general it is surprising that the dedicatory epistle was changed to Charles I. However, Jean Morin was one of the Priests who accompanied Queen Henrietta to England for her marriage to Charles in 1626, and Chalmers was perhaps using this connection to attempt to further the cause of Scottish Catholics.

A very good copy of this interesting and rare history of Scotland.

Allison & Rogers I, 209; Shaaber C-182; Brunet I, p. 1514 “Livre rare et recherché”; Lowndes I, p. 359.


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