The Continental Reformation

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Gruesome scenes of torture and martyrdom

A collection of engravings demonstrating all manner of torture.

N.p. N.d, before 1779

Oblong album: 20.5 x 15 cm. 63 engraved plates, undated.


63 engraved plates, taken from at least three works, showing scenes of torture and martyrdom, from antiquity to the 18th century. Although the scenes are not identified on the plate, they include near-contemporary scenes (e.g. the execution of Mary Queen of Scots), scenes from the Bible, Christian martyrologies, and mythology. Most of the plates show six roundels with various scenes of torment often grouped by a theme (water tortures, torture by fire, binding and racking, by scalding, grilling and branding, suspension by ropes or chains, wild beasts, etc.


The Cult of Sir Thomas More - Comfort for English Catholics in Exile - Printed by John Fowler at his Antwerp Press

More, Sir Thomas (1478-1535)
A Dialogue of Cumfort against Tribulation, made by the Vertuous, Wise and Learned man, Sir Thomas More, sometime L. Chanceller of England, which he wrote in the Tower of London, An. 1534. and entituled thus: A Dialogue of Cumfort against Tribulation, made by an Hungarian in Latin, and translated out of Latin into French, & out of French into English. Now newly set foorth, with many places restored and corrected by conference of sundrie Copies.

Antwerp: apud Iohannem Foulerum [John Fowler], 1573


More wrote "A Dialogue of Comfort in Tribulation" in 1534/35, while imprisoned in the Tower of London awaiting execution. More’s imprisonment lasted a little over a year, from April 17, 1534 until his execution on July 6, 1535.

This edition was edited and published by John Fowler (1537-1579), the most important English Catholic publisher of the 1560s and 1570s. Fowler left England soon after Elizabeth I’s accession, and set up a printing press first in Louvain, then in Antwerp.


STC 18083. Gibson, More, 52. Allison & Rogers, Contemporary Printed Literature of the English Counter-Reformation, II, 553.

The Twelve Articles of the Peasants

PEASANTS' WAR. Beuschel, Johannes Matthias (called Tiberinus)
Tiberinus Keiſer/ licher Maieſtat capellon cum priuilegio an denn hellen vnd ſchwartzen hauffenn.

Speyer: Johann Eckhart, 1525

Quarto: 17.6 x 14.3 cm. [10] ff. Collation: A4, B2, C4


A very rare document from the German Peasants' War, one of the most important (and most violent) episodes of the early Reformation, and a signal moment in the long and ongoing quest for freedom from tyranny, the rule of law, and for the right of self-rule. In this very rare diatribe, Beuschel challenges the manifesto known as the Twelve Articles of the peasants, a document regarded as the first promulgation of civil liberties in Europe.


VD16 B 2374; Panzer, D. Georg Wolfgang, Schaffers an der Hauptpfarrkirche zu St. Sebald in Nürnberg Annalen der ältern deutsch Litteratur oder Anzeige und Beschreibung der jenigen Bücher welche von Jahre MDXXI bis MDXXVI in deutscher Sprache gedruckt worden sind. Nürnberg: Johann Leonhard Sixtus Lechner, 1805, No. 2778

Death: The End of All Earthly Things

Sachs, Hans (1494-1576)
Der Todt ein Endt, aller yrdischen ding.

Nürnberg, Georg Merckel, around 1554

Quarto: [24] pp.


A humorous poem by the "Meistersinger" Hans Sachs in which a man dreams that Death, in the form of a skeleton, has come to take him. Frightened and too weak to resist, the man calls upon some helpers: Youth, Beauty, Health, Strength, Bravery, Skill, Medicine, and Wealth. But these fail him. The virtues (Nobility, Honor, etc.) all spurn him; the vices (Audacity, Lust, Violence, Anger, Indolence, etc.


VD16, S-560; Weller 205(2); Keller/Goetze Enr. 190a

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