16th & 17th c. English Literature

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“A collection of the flowers of antiquities and histories” for the Elizabethan Reader

Allott, Robert (active 1600); Bodenham, John (active 1600)
Wits Theater of The Little World

London: Iames Roberts for Nicholas Ling, 1599

Octavo: 12.4 x 7.8 cm. [iv], 269, [7] lvs. Collation: A4, B-2M8, 2N4

$18,000.00

“Wits Theater” was produced as part of a publishing project conceived by John Bodenham. The “series” began with Nicholas Ling’s “Politeuphuia: Wits Commonwealth” in 1597, and also included the poetic miscellany “Englands Parnassus” of 1600.

“Wits Theater”

Like the later “Englands Parnassus”, “Wits Theater” was compiled by Robert Allott and may be regarded as the prose equivalent of the poetical “Parnassus”.

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STC 382; ESTC S100300; Grolier, Langland to Wither 15; Pforzheimer 1094; Hoe catalog I: 59

First Edition in English of Three 17th century South American Voyages & Travels

AMERICAS. Acuña, Cristóbal de, S.J. (1597-1676?); Acarete, du Biscay (17th c.); Grillet, Jean, S.J. (1624-1677); Béchamel, François, S.J. (1637-1676)
Voyages and discoveries in South-America. The first up the river of Amazons to Quito in Peru, and back again to Brazil, perform'd at the command of the king of Spain. By Christopher D'Acugna. The second up the river of Plata, and thence by land to the mines of Potosi. By Mons. Acarete. The third from Cayenne into Guiana, in search of the lake of Parima, reputed the richest place in the world. By M. Grillet and Bechamel. Done into English from the originals, being the only accounts of those parts hitherto extant. The whole illustrated with notes and maps.

London: Printed for S. Buckley, 1698

Octavo: 19 x 11 cm. viii, 1-176, (169)-(176), 177-190, [ii], 79, [v], 68 pp. Collation: A4, B-M8, *M4, N-Y8, 2Y4. Illustrated with two folding engraved maps.

$12,500.00

FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH of the narratives of the first Europeans to traverse these regions. Part I of this collected work is "Voyages and Discoveries... up the River of Amazon to Quito in Peru, and back again to Brazil by Acuña;" Part II is "An Account of a Voyage up the River de la Plata, and thence over Land to Peru" by Acarete du Biscay; Part III is "A Journal of the Travels of John Grillet and Francis Bechamel into Guiana, in the Year 1674.

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Borba de Moraes I: 12 ("It is a rare book"); Hill 1788 (pp.311-312); Palau 2487; Sabin 152; Streeter sale VII: 4132; Wing V-746.

Printed on the English Secret Press at Birchley Hall, Lancashire

Anderton, James [pseud. John Brereley] (1557-1613)
The lyturgie of the Masse: wherein are treated three principal pointes of faith. 1. That in the Sacrament of the Eucharist are truly and really contained the body and bloud of Christ. 2. That the Masse is a true and proper sacrifice of the body and bloud of Christ, offered to God by preistes. 3. That Communion of the Eucharist to the laity vnder one kind is lawful. The ceremonies also of the Masse now vsed in the Catholicke Church, are al of them deriued from the primitiue Church. By Iohn Brereley preis [sic].

"Printed at Colen": [i.e. Birchley Hall Press, Lancashire: Roger Anderton?], 1620

Quarto: [6], 9-463, 462-468 Collation: [par.]⁴(-[par.]3) A-V⁴ W⁴ X-2V⁴ 2W⁴ 2X-3K⁴ [3L]² (Complete with blank leaves G1 and [3L]².)

$4,800.00

A good, complete specimen of a book printed on a secret Catholic press. The press was located at the Anderton family’s own Birchley Hall in Lancashire and was likely operated by James Anderton’s brother, Roger Anderton, after the former’s death. The press produced books, including three by James Anderton himself, from 1613 to 1621, when the press was seized by the English authorities.

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Allison & Rogers, Catholic Books, #137; Allison & Rogers, Counter-Reformation, #22; Milward, Religious Controversies, no. 676; STC 3607

Two of the most important literary works of the English Renaissance, Together with Ascham’s Essay on Historiography - With Manuscript waste from a 15th c. Breviary with several lines in Middle English

Ascham, Roger (1514/15-1568)
The Scholemaster or plaine and perfite way of teaching children, to vnderstand, write, and speake, the Latin tong, but specially purposed for the priuate bringing vp of youth in Ientlemen and Noble mens houses b/w Toxophilus, the schole, or partitions of shooting b/w A Report and Discourse written by Roger Ascham of the affaires and state of Germany and the Emperour Charles his court, duryng certaine yeares while the said Roger was there.

London: Printed by Iohn Daye, dwelling ouer Aldersgate, [1571], London: In Fletestreate neare to Saint Dunstones Churche by Thomas Marshe, 1571, London, Printed by Iohn Daye, dwelling ouer Aldersgate, ca. 1570

Quarto: Three volumes bound as one: 19.5 x 14.2 cm. I. [manicule]2, B-T4. II. *4, A-H8, III. A-I4

$45,000.00

I. “The Schoolmaster”:

“The indispensable link between the earlier Tudor writers and the great Elizabethan and Jacobean writers of English prose”(Ryan, 292)

The Cambridge-educated Ascham, one of the best known of the English humanists, produced two works that had a great influence on the use of English as a literary language as well as on the education of children and the conduct of English gentlemen.

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ISTC S100261, S100277, S100282; STC 834, 838, 830

The City of God

Augustine, Saint, of Hippo (354-430 AD); Vives, Juan Luis (1492-1540); Healy, John [translator] (d. 1610)
Saint Augustine, Of the citie of God : with the learned comments of Io. Lodouicus Viues. Englished first by J. H. and now in this second edition compared with the Latine originall, and in very many places corrected and amended.

London: Printed by G. Eld and M. Flesher, 1620

Folio: 32.3 x 21.5 cm. ¶4, A-Z6, Aa-Zz6, Aaa-Zzz6, Aaaa-Dddd6 (lacks blank ¶1).

$8,500.00

This second edition was revised by William Crashaw (1572-1626), father of the poet Richard Crashaw, and includes the commentary of Juan Luis Vives (first published in Basle, 1522), which Vives wrote at the suggestion of Erasmus.

"Fifteen years after Augustine wrote the Confessions, at a time when he was bringing to a close (and invoking government power to do so) his long struggle with the Donatists but before he had worked himself up to action against the Pelagians, the Roman world was shaken by news of a military action in Italy.

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STC 917; Estelrich 119. Pforzheimer 19

One of the First Attempts to Write a “Protestant” History of the English Church

Bale, John (1495-1563)
The first two partes of the Actes, or vnchast examples of the Englysh votaryes, gathered out of their owne legendes and chronycles by Iohan Bale, and dedycated to our most redoubted soueraigne kynge Edward the syxte.

London: [S. Mierdman] for A Vele and [S. Mierdman], for Iohan Bale, 1550 and 1551

Octavo: 15.4 x 9.5 cm. [4], 79 lvs; cxx, [4] lvs. Collation: I. *4, A-K8 (with blank K8 present); II. A-P8, Q4

$15,000.00

This book consists of two volumes, the first (STC 1273) printed by S. Mierdman for A. Vele, the second (STC 1273.5) by Mierdman for John Bale. As bound, the first four leaves of STC 1273.5, consisting of a general title page ("The first two partes of the Actes..") and the dedicatory epistle, precede the whole of STC 1273, which comprises the first book. The bulk of STC 1273.5 (beginning "The Second Part…" and concluding with the errata) is bound last, as intended by the printer.

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ESTC 100594. Comprises STC 1273 and 1273.5; Davies, “A Bibliography of John Bale”, Number 23 (b) and (c).

With Verses by Aphra Behn. A Fantastic, Large-Paper Copy

Behn, Aphra (1640-89); Aesop (ca. 620-564 B.C.); Barlow, Francis (1626?-1702)
Aesop’s fables with his life: in English, French and Latin. Newly translated. Illustrated with one hundred and twelve sculptures. To this edition are likewise added, thirty one new figures representing his life. By Francis Barlow.

London: Printed by H. Hills jun. for Francis Barlow, and are to be sold by Chr. Wilkinson at the Black-boy against St. Dunstan’s Church in Fleet-street, Tho. Fox in Westminster-hall, and Henry Faithorne at the Rose in St. Paul’s Church-yard, 1687

Folio: 36.3 x 22.8 cm. [8], 40; 40; 17, 2-221, [3] p. COLLATION: π1(printed title), a2, B-L2; B-L2, B-Z2, Aa-Zz2, Aaa-Ppp2.

$28,000.00

For this second edition of his magnificent production, Barlow commissioned Aphra Behn, then at the height of her popularity as a playwright and poet, to write verses to be engraved on the 110 plates illustrating the fables. In order to substitute Behn’s verses for those of Thomas Philipot (d. 1682), the lower area of the plate needed to be burnished down and the new verses engraved onto the plate in place of the earlier ones.

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Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), A703

The Cornerstone of Prison Literature. The Heber-Britwell copy

Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus (480-525 A.D.); Coleville, George, translator (fl. 1556)
Boetius de Consolationae [sic] Philosophiæ. The boke of Boecius, called the comforte of philosophye, or wysedome, moche necessary for all men to read and know, wherein suche as be in aduersitie, shall fynde muche consolation and comforte, and suche as be in great worldly prosperitie may knowe the vanitie and frailtie therof, and consequently fynde eternall felycytie. And this boke is in maner of a dialoge or communication betwene two persones, the one is Boecius, and the other is Philosophy, whose disputations and argumentes do playnly declare the diuersitie of th lyfe actiue, that consisteth in worldly, temporall, and transitory thynges, ... Translated out of Latin into the Englyshe toungue by George Coluile, alias Coldewel, to thintent that such as be ignoraunt in the Latin tongue, and can rede Englyshe, maye vnderstande the same. And to the mergentes is added the Latin, accordynge to the boke of the translatour, whiche was a very olde prynte

London: In Paules churche yarde at the sygne of the holy Ghost, by Ihon Cawoode, prynter to the Kynge and Quenes Maiesties, 1556

Quarto: 20 x 14 cm. [A]4, B-Z4, Aa-Ff4 (blank Ff4 lacking)

$30,000.00

Dedicated to Queen Mary Tudor, Coleville’s English translation of Boethius’ masterpiece is the only early English translation to include the original Latin text, indicating that, in addition to those readers with no knowledge of Latin, the author took into consideration the more educated, Latin-literate English audience. Coleville provides interesting marginal glosses and explanatory notes, including the tale of the sword of Damocles.

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STC 3201

With 23 Woodcuts of the Canterbury Pilgrims

Chaucer, Geoffrey (d. 1400)
The Workes of Geffrey Chaucer, newlie printed, with divers addicions, whiche were never in print before: With the siege and destruccion of the worthy Citee of Thebes, compiled by Jhon Lidgate, Monke of Berie. As in the table more plainly doeth appere.

London: John Kyngston for John Wight, 1561

Folio: 33 x 22 cm. [14], ccclxxviij leaves. Collation: [fleuron]⁴ [Maltese cross]⁶ A⁴, B-V⁶, 2A-2P⁶, ²Q-T⁶, ²V-X⁸, ²Y-Z⁶, 3A-3T⁶, 3V⁸. Leaves 03/4 reversed. Complete.

$70,000.00

There were two series of woodcut illustrations used in 15thand 16thc. editions of the "Canterbury Tales": one by William Caxton, used in his 1483 edition, in 1498 by Wynkyn de Worde, and the 1532 and 1542 editions of the "Works". The second set, modeled on Caxton's, was made for Richard Pynson's 1492 edition of the "Tales". For the second Pynson edition (1526), some of the original 1492 blocks were used while others were re-cut on new blocks.

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Pforzheimer 176; ESTC S107206 (STC 5075); Langland to Wither, 42; Literature: E.P. Hammond, Chaucer, p. 119-122; David Carlson, "Woodcut Illustrations of the Canterbury Tales, 1483-1602", The Library, Vol. s6-19, Issue 1 (1 March, 1997), pages 25-67; David Carlson, "Woodcut Illustrations in Early Printed Editions of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales", in Chaucer Illustrated: Five Hundred Years of The Canterbury Tales in Pictures.

The Scandalous Life of Elizabeth Chudleigh

Chudleigh, Elizabeth (c. 1720-1788)
An Authentic Detail of Particulars relative to the Late Duchess of Kingston.

London: Printed for G. Kearsley, at Johnson’s Head, No. 46, Fleet-Street, 1788

Octavo: 21 x 13 cm. pp. [ii], ii, 178, [18]. Collation: [A]2, B-Z4, A1. With an added engraved frontispiece of the Duchess, with breasts exposed "as she appeared at the Venetian Ambassador

$3,800.00

Duchess of Kingston, granddaughter of the poet Mary Chudleigh (1656-1710), from whom “she seemed to have inherited no notable literary tastes or talents”(Rizzo) Elizabeth was notorious for her sexual escapades, daring, and profligacy. She studiously cultivated this image, referring to herself (in the third person) thus: “She was both wasteful and penurious; the most enormous sums were expended to gratify her love of display, at the same time that she refused to incur some trifling necessary expense in her household….

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ESTC T92902

The First Edition. A Fine Copy in a Contemporary Binding

Chudleigh, Mary Lee, Lady (bap. 1656- d. 1710)
Poems on several occasions. Together with The song of the three children paraphras’d. By the Lady Chudleigh

London: printed by W[illiam]. B[owyer]. for Bernard Lintott at the Middle Temple Gate in Fleetstreet, 1703

Octavo: 19.5 x 12 cm. [16], 125, [17], 73, [1] pp. Collation: A-O8, P4

$15,000.00

Mary Chudleigh was a friend of Elizabeth Thomas and an admirer of Mary Astell, with whom she corresponded and whose ‘Defence of the Female Sex’ she tried to emulate. Dedicated to Queen Anne, her ‘Poems on Several Occasions’ was widely noticed, achieving a second edition in 1709. The poems include a wide range of subjects, from lyrics and satires of the age of Dryden, to philosophical and more contemplative verse in keeping with the solitary and often melancholy life that she led in Devon.

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Foxon p. 121; ESTC t97275; Maslen and Lancaster, Bowyer ledgers, D36

The Protestant Martyrs. With the Ballad of John Careless, Later adapted by Shakespeare in King Lear

Coverdale, Miles (1488-1568)
Certain most godly, fruitful, and comfortable letters of such true saintes and holy martyrs of God, as in the late bloodye persecution here within this realme, gaue their lyues for the defence of Christes holy gospel: written in the tyme of theyr affliction and cruell imprysonment.

London: By Iohn Day, dwelling ouer Aldersgate, beneath Saint Martines, 1564

Quarto: 18 x 13.5 cm. [8], 46, 49-689, [5] p. Collation: A4, B-C8, D8(-D8), E-I8, K8(-K6), L-Y8 2A-2X8, 2Y8 + [hand]Y4 (Leaves D8 and K6 are canceled, as intended.)

$16,000.00

An important collection of writings by English Protestants, many of whom had been martyred, compiled and with a preface by Miles Coverdale. There are letters by Lady Jane Gray (1536/7-1554) (a letter written “to her syster the Ladye Katheryne, immediately before she suffered”), John Bradford (1510?-1555) (including a partial reprint of \"An exhortacion to the carienge of Chrystes crosse\", STC 3480.

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STC 5886

Ignatius of Loyola Establishes Hell on the Moon - Donne’s Scathing Satire Against the Jesuits

Donne, John (1573-1631)
Ignatius his conclave: or, his inthronisation in a late election in hell: wherin many things are mingled by way of satyr. Concerning the disposition of Iesuites, the creation of a new hell, the establishing of a church in the moone. There is also added an apology for Iesuites. All dedicated to the two adversary angels, which are protectors of the Papall Consistory, and of the Colledge of Sorbon. By Iohn Donne, Doctor of Divinitie, and late Deane of Saint Pauls.

London: Printed [by Augustine Mathewes] for Iohn Marriott, and are to be sold by W. Sheares at the Harrow in Britains Bursse, 1635

Duodecimo: 12.4 x 6.8 cm. [6], 135, [3] p. A-F12

$8,500.00

Donne’s ‘Ignatius his Conclave’, a damning, satirical exposé of the Jesuits and the order’s founder, Ignatius of Loyola, appeared one year after his ‘Pseudo-Martyr’, a work of deadly seriousness in which Donne argued that English recusants, rather than risking martyrdom in refusing the oath of allegiance, risked suicide instead. “Pseudo-Martyr” was a work of serious controversial literature; “Ignatius”, while still revealing its author’s erudition, is rich in comedic –if biting- episodes.

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STC 7030; ESTC S116961; Grolier/Donne 9; Keynes, Donne 9

"Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls."

Donne, John (1573-1631)
Letters to Severall Persons of Honour: Written by John Donne, Sometime Deane of St Pauls London. Published by John Donne Dr. of the Civill Law.

London: Printed by J. Flesher, for Richard Marriot, and are to be sold at his shop in St Dunstans Church-yard under the Dyall. 1651

Quarto: 17.5 x 13 cm. [5] (title page plus dedicatory epistle), 318 pp. Collation: A4 (-blank leaf A1) B-Z4, Aa-Ss4 (with blank leaf Ss4 present). With the added engraved portrait.

$12,000.00

Provenance: This copy was once the property of the author and essayist Sir Thomas Pope Blount (1649-1697) and bears his familiar ms. note “Tittenhanger library” on the free endpaper. Blount inherited the Tittenhanger estate in Hertfordshire in 1678. In his “Essays on Several Subjects” (1692), Blount wrote: “If learning happens to be in the possession of a Fool, ‘tis then but a Bawble, and like Dr.

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Pforzheimer, 295; Wing D1864; Keynes 55

With the Engraved Portrait of Donne

Donne, John (1573-1631)
Poems, by J.D. VVith elegies on the authors death

London: Printed by M[iles]. F[lesher]. for John Marriot, and are to be sold at his shop in St Dunstans Church-yard in Fleet-street, 1639

Octavo: 13.5 x 9.1 cm. [8], 300, [4], 301-388, [32] pp. A-Z8, Aa-Dd8. With the engraved frontispiece portrait.

$16,500.00

“The poetry of Donne represents a sharp break with that written by his predecessors and most of his contemporaries. Much Elizabethan verse is decorative and flowery in its quality. Its images adorn; its meter is mellifluous. Image harmonizes with image, and line swells almost predictably into line. Donne’s poetry, on the other hand, is written very largely in conceits— concentrated images that involve an element of dramatic contrast, of strain, or of intellectual difficulty.

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STC 7047; Keynes 80; Pforzheimer 297

“No man is an Island”

Donne, John (1573-1631)
Devotions vpon emergent occasions, and seuerall steps in my sicknes: digested into 1. Meditations vpon our humane condition. 2. Expostulations, and debatements with God. 3. Prayers, vpon the seuerall occasions, to him. By Iohn Donne, Deane of S. Pauls, London. The third edition.

London: Printed [by Augustine Mathewes] for Thomas Iones, and are to be sold at the signe of the Black Rauen in the Strand, 1627

Duodecimo: 13.8 x 8.4 cm. [8], 589, [1] p. A-Z12 (lacks blank A1); Aa-Bb12

$20,000.00

“[The ‘Devotions’] present a more vivid and intimate picture of Donne than anything else written by himself or others.” –Sparrow

“Donne’s ‘Devotions’ is the source of the author’s famous meditation on the interconnectedness of all human lives: ‘No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;… any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.

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Keynes, G. Donne (4th ed.), 38; STC 7035a; ESTC S114971; Grolier/Donne 20 (this copy)

A fine Copy with the Portrait of Donne

Donne, John (1573-1631)
Poems, by J.D. With elegies on the authors death. To which is added divers copies under his own hand never before in print.

London: Printed for John Marriot, and are to be sold by Richard Marriot at his shop by Chancery lane end over against the Inner Temple gate, 1650

Octavo: 14.2 x 9 cm. [8], 392, [32] p. A4, B-Z8, Aa8, (aa)8, (bb)4, Bb-Cc8. Lacking blank A1. With an added portrait frontispiece.

$9,000.00

“The poetry of Donne represents a sharp break with that written by his predecessors and most of his contemporaries. Much Elizabethan verse is decorative and flowery in its quality. Its images adorn; its meter is mellifluous. Image harmonizes with image, and line swells almost predictably into line. Donne’s poetry, on the other hand, is written very largely in conceits— concentrated images that involve an element of dramatic contrast, of strain, or of intellectual difficulty.

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Wing D1869; ESTC R32767; Grolier/Donne 86 (this copy); Grolier/Wither to Prior 290; Keynes, Donne 82

Two Rare Books in 17th c. Dos-à-dos binding

DOS-à-DOS BINDING. BIBLE.
The Whole Booke of Psalmes… with apt notes to sing them withall.

London: Company of Stationers, 1638

$6,700.00

Two works bound as one: 24mo: 10.5 x 5.5 cm. I. 330, [6] p. Collation: A-O12. II. 528 p. Collation: A-Y12

Bound in white satin, embroidered with a large central flower on both boards in shaded white, green, red, yellow, and copper, with a threadwork surround and four flowers in silver thread. Spines with stylized flowers. Edges gilt and gauffered. The binding is lightly soiled, with small losses and some wear.

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ESTC S711 (variant) & S91022; STC 2681.3 & 2953.3

Two Rare Books in an Exceptional 17th c. Dos-à-dos binding - The Huth Copy

DOS-à-DOS BINDING. BIBLE.
The Whole Booke of Psalmes.

London: Company of Stationers, 1636

Two works bound as one: 24mo: 10.8 x 5 cm. I. A-O12. II.A-Y12

$18,500.00

Rare editions of the Psalms and New Testament in a very fine, contemporary English dos-à-dos binding, richly embroidered with iris motifs. The dos-à-dos (literally "back-to-back") binding form is believed to have originated in the late 15thcentury, possibly in the vicinity of Strasbourg. Embroidered dos-à-dos bindings such as this one were popular in England from the 16thinto the 18thcentury.

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Darlow and Moule 507; ESTC S1199 & S5126; STC 2667 & 2951.5; Davenport p.89, plate 39

First Edition of Queen Elizabeth’s Visitation Articles

ELIZABETH I, Queen of England (1533-1603)
Articles to be enquyred in the visitation, in the fyrst yeare of the raygne of our moost drad soueraygne Lady, Elizabeth by the grace of God, of Englande Fraunce, and Irelande, Quene, defender of the fayth. &c. Anno 1559

London: Imprinted… in Povles Churcheyarde by Richard Iugge and Iohn Cavvood, Printers to the Quenes Maiestie, 1559

Quarto: 18 x 13 cm. [14] pp. Collation: A-B4 (lacking blank leaf B4)

$22,000.00

With the signature of the 16th c. book collector Humphrey Dyson (1582-1633) at the foot of the title page. The bookplate of Albert Ehrman, with his motto “Pro Viribus Summis Contendo” is affixed to the front pastedown. This was lot 270 in the 1978 sale of Ehrman’s library. Very rare. ESTC locates 4 copies in the U.S.: Folger, Huntington, Harvard, Yale.

First edition of the first visitation articles established for the reformed church after Elizabeth’s accession.

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STC 10118

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