The Reformation: English & Continental

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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

$4,800.00

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.)

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

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

$15,000.00

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

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).

A Fine, Large 13th c. "Proto" Paris Bible

BIBLE MANUSCRIPT, with prologues and the Interpretations of Hebrew Names
Decorated manuscript on vellum, in Latin

France (Paris?), early 13th century

$175,000.00

Contents: The books of the Bible and prologues are very close to the standard Paris sequence (f.1), omitting Psalms, and with a capitula list for Genesis; the Interpretations of Hebrew Names in the version from Aaz to Zuzim (f.167), alphabetised to the first two letters; preceded by added notes on the four types of biblical exposition (historical, tropological, anagogical, typological) and the seven rules of theology (f.

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Bunyan’s Evolving Doctrine of Justification & An Attack on the Church of England - The First Edition - Complete With the Engraved frontispiece

Bunyan, John (1628-1688)
A discourse upon the Pharisee and the publicane. Wherein several great and weighty things are handled: as the nature of prayer, and of obedience to the law, with how far it obliges Christians, and wherein it consists: wherein is also shewed the equally deplorable condition of the Pharisee, or hypocritical and self-righteous man, and of the publicane, or sinner that lives in sin, and in open violation of the divine laws: together with the way and method of God’s free-grace in pardoning penetent sinners; proving that he justifies them by imputing Christs righteousness to them. Written by John Bunian, author of the Pilgrims progress

London: Printed for Jo. Harris, at the Harrow, over against the Church in the Poultry, 1685

$15,500.00

Duodecimo: 14 x 8 cm. [8], 202 p. A4, B-I12, K7 (with the first blank. Lacking final blank).

Printed one year after the appearance of the second part of “The Pilgrim’s Progress” and in the same year that the Bedford magistrates ordered penal laws against nonconformists to be enforced, Bunyan’s “Discourse upon the Pharisee and the Publicane” is a fiery critique of the tyranny of the Church of England and of those among his readers who, like the residents of Vanity Fair and the Pharisee in the parable, prided themselves on superficial religiosity.

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ESTC R3995; Wing (2nd ed., 1994), B5512A; Harrison 34

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

$16,000.00

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.)

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

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

$22,000.00

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

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

England's Descent into Tyranny

Elyot, Thomas, Sir (1490?-1546)
The image of gouernaunce compiled of the actes and sentences notable, of the most noble emperour Alexandre Seuerus, late translated out of Greke into Englishe, by sir Thomas Elyote knyght, in the fauour of nobilitee

London: Imprinted in the house of Thomas Berthelette, 1549

$16,000.00

Octavo: 14 x 9.5 cm. [11], 167 [i.e. 174], [3] lvs. A-Z8, Aa4

The amusing, manuscript poem on the final leaf reads:

This booke is I knowe not wose [whose]

wherefore he may go wipe

his nose yffe he haue the pose

"The last of Elyot’s great works, 'The Image of Governance', a life of the Roman Emperor Alexander Severus, is far from being a straightforward life of an ideal emperor. The 'Image' is actually a complex, bitter, and at times savagely satirical rumination on princely power and its perversions, probably prompted at least in part by the fall of Elyot’s patron and friend Thomas Cromwell.

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ESTC S111496; STC (2nd ed.), 7666

“My yoke is sweet and my burden light.” A Vernacular Translation of Erasmus’ Annotation on Mathew 11:29-30

Erasmus, Desiderius (ca.1466-1536)
Herr Erasmus von Ro||terdam/ verteutschte außlegung/|| über das/ go[e]ttlich tro[e]stlich wort || vnsers lieben Herrñ vnnd selig=||machers Christi/ Nement auff || euch mein Joch/ vnd ler=||nent von mir.

[Mainz: Johann Schöffer], 1521

$5,200.00

Quarto: [8] pp. Collation: AA4

A German translation of Erasmus’ annotation on Mathew 11:29 (taken from his “In Novum Testamentum annotationes”) in which Erasmus differentiates between the divine order and human positive law. He laments that people ignore the commands of God and follow human law instead: ‘Christ’s law is inviting and easy, but it becomes onerous and difficult through the addition of human prescriptions and dogmas.

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Bezzel 1228; VD16 E 3106

A Painter turned Pamphleteer

Greiffenberger, Hans (fl. 1524)
Ein trostliche ermanung den angefocht(e)n gewissen vo(n) wegen gethoner sünd, wye un(d) wamitt Sye getröst werdenn, den Sathan, sich nit erschrecken lassenn.

Augsburg: M. Ramminger, 1524

$4,800.00

Quarto: 20.5 x 15.5 cm. [12] p. Collation: A6

Hans Greiffenberger was a Nuremberg painter who ran afoul of the authorities for both his art and for his subversive religious activism. In October 1524 he was investigated on the charge of creating an unsuitable and offensive painting and "because he seduces the people to a new sect." The artwork was described as "a shameful painting that he made against papal sanctity."

While he lacked the literary skills of Hans Sachs, Greiffenberger's works had a similar immediacy.

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VD 16, G 3155; Kuczynski 939

With Four Tracts on Demons, Exorcism & Spells - In a Contemporary Nuremberg Binding

Hemmerlin, Felix (1388-1460)
Opuscula et tractatus

[Strasbourg: Printer of the 1483 Jordanus de Quedlinburg (Georg Husner), or Johann (Reinhard) Grüninger, or Printer of Hemmerlin (Wilhelm Schaffener?),] after 13 August 1497

$24,000.00

Chancery folio: 27 x 19.5 cm. π4, a-z6, aa-gg6. Complete with the blank leaves π4 and gg6)

Felix Hemmerlin (also known under his Latin name Malleotus), was a Swiss scholar and adherent of the reform party at the Councils of Constance (1414-1418) and Basel (1431-1449). This collection of his works was edited by the Nuremberg humanist Sebastian Brant. 

Hemmerlin is well known to historians of witchcraft and demonology, and this collection includes his four works on spells, witches, demons, and exorcism: 1.

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ISTC ih00017000; HC *8424; GW 12187; BMC I 172 (& 102); CIBN H-9; Bod-inc H-010; BSB-Ink H-42; Goff H-17

Henry VIII's "Assertion of the Seven Sacraments against Martin Luther"

Henry VIII, King (1491-1547)
Assertio septem sacramentorum adversus Martinum Lutherum

Lyon: Guillaume Rouillé, 1561

$6,500.00

Quarto: 21 x 15.5 cm. xxxxvj, 195, [1] p. Collation: bb-nn, a-z, A4, B2

Written in 1521 in response to Martin Luther’s “The Babylonian Captivity of the Church” -the reformer’s radical exposition of the Protestant faith and attack on the papacy- Henry VIII’s “Defense of the Seven Sacraments” won for its author the coveted title of “Defensor Fidei” (Defender of the Faith) from Pope Leo X. Coming as it did from such a powerful Christian prince, Luther was forced to respond to Henry’s work, which he did with more than his usual severity, insulting the king and challenging his theological points.

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Adams H 250

“We Demand that the Doctrine we Confess be properly Heard and Tested against Holy Scripture.” Henry VIII Defies Pope Paul III

Henry VIII, King of England (1491-1547)
Schrifft, an Keiserliche Maiestat, an alle andere Christliche K'nige und Potentaten, inn welcher der k'nig ursach anzeigt, warumb er gen Vincentz zum Concilio (welchs mit falschen titel, general genent) nich komen sey, Und wie fehrlich auch den andern allen sey, welche das Evangelium Christi angenomen, de zu erscheinen, Aus dem Latin verdeudtscht durch Justum Jonam.

Wittenberg: Joseph Klug, 1539

$4,800.00

Quarto: 19 x 14.5 cm. 10 leaves. A4, B2, C4 (with the final blank leaf present)

This is Justus Jonas' (1493-1555) German translation of Henry VIII's account of why he did not attend the Council of Vicenza. The first edition, " Ad Carolum Cesarem Augustum epistola" was published at London in 1538. An English translation followed soon after. This is an extremely rare work in any edition. Only a single copy of the English edition is held in the United States (Folger).

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Schrodt & Vogelstein 95; Kuczynski 1000; Pegg 1353; Schaaber 160

Hutten’s Final Reckoning With Erasmus - A copy once owned by Hutten’s Friend

Hutten, Ulrich von (1488-1523)
Ulrichi ab Hutten cum Erasmo Roterodamo, presbytero, theologo, expostulatio.

Strasbourg: J. Schott, 1523

$8,500.00

Quarto: [70] p. A-I4 (complete with final blank.)

In the ‘Expostulatio’, Hutten expressed his indignation at Erasmus’ refusal to receive him in Basel, and to stand by his Lutheran convictions against the hostile Basel City Council. The “Spongia” was Erasmus’ answer to Hutten’s reproaches.

“Their mutual accusations document the breakdown of their friendship as well as the fundamental misunderstandings that governed their relationship from the beginning.

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VD 16 H 6313; Benzing 186

The First Edition of Maffei’s Life of Ignatius

IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA, SAINT (1491-1556), Maffei, Giovanni Pietro (1536-1603)
De Vita et Morib. Ignatii Loiolae: qui Societatem Iesu fundavit, libri III

Rome: Apud F. Zannettum, 1585

$5,500.00

Quarto: 20 x 14.5 cm †2, A-Z4, Aa-Cc4, Dd2

Maffei, author of the influential history of the Jesuit missions in Asia, wrote his life of Ignatius to advance the Jesuits’ case for the canonization of the Society’s founder. In his opening letter to the Jesuit General Claudio Acquaviva, Maffei tells us that he composed the work at the behest of the previous general of the order, Everard Mercurian. The year in which this biography appeared (1585) was an inauspicious year for the Jesuits, for it was the first year of the reign of Pope Sixtus V, who was hostile to the order.

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Backer-Sommervogel V, 296; Palau 14, 6954

The Spiritual Exercises

Ignatius, of Loyola, S.J., Saint (1491-1556)
Exercitia spiritvalia S.P. Ignatii Loyolæ, fundatoris ordinis Societatis Iesv : cum bullis pontificum, tum approbationis Exercitiorum; tum indulgentiæ plenariæ, pro omnibus, qui octiduò illis vacant in domibus ejusdem Societatis. Brevi insuper instructione meditandi quæ omnia & dilucidantur & illustrantur pluribus ex ære impressis imaginibus.

Antwerp: Apud Michaelem Knobbaert, sub signo S. Petri, 1676

$2,800.00

Octavo: 19 x 11.8 cm. 279, [9] p. Collation: A-S8

"The 'Spiritual Exercises' encapsulated the essence of Ignatius' own spiritual turn-around and presented it in a form meant to guide others to analogous changes of vision and motivation. Ignatius used the 'Exercises' as the primary means of motivating his first disciples and prescribed it as an experience for all who later entered the Society of Jesus. Although at no point intended exclusively for Jesuits, the 'Exercises' remain the document that told Jesuits on the most profound level what they were and what they were supposed to be.

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Backer-Sommervogel, Vol. 5, col. 64, no. 1

A Dominican Preacher in 13th c. Iraq

ISLAM. Montecroce, Riccoldo da (ca. 1243-1320): Luther, Martin, (1483-1546)
Verlegung des Alcoran Bruder Richardi, Prediger Ordens, Anno 1300

Wittenberg: Durch Hans Lufft, 1542

$7,500.00

This is the first edition of Luther's German translation of a Latin translation by Bartholomaeus de Monte Arduo that Arduo made from the Greek translation by Demetrius Cydones of the Latin original by Riccoldo da Montecroce.

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VD 16; R 2331; Benzing, J. Lutherbibliographie, 3404; Luther, J. Titeleinfassungen der Reformationszeit, 39. Literature: John Tolan, Looking East before 1453, in Cultural Encounters Between East and West, 1453-1699, edited by Matthew Birchwood, Matthew Dimmock,p. 21 ff.

Counteracting Karlstadt's Radical Reformation

Luther Luther, Martin (1483-1546)
Acht Sermon geprediget zu Wittemberg in der fasten, Darinn kurtzlich begryffen, vo(n) den Messen, Byldnussen, bayderlay gestalt des Sacraments, von de(n) speysen un(d) haimlichen beicht etc.

Wittemberg [Augsburg, Heinrich Steiner], 1523

$6,900.00

Quarto: 20.5 x 15.5 cm. [32] p. A-D4

The “Eight Sermons by Dr. M. Luther, preached by him at Wittenberg in Lent, dealing briefly with the masses, images, both kinds in the sacrament, eating [of meats], and private confession, etc.” document Luther's efforts to counteract the chaos in Wittenberg that had been caused by Karlstadt, who had instituted radical reforms while Luther was in hiding at the Wartburg.

"In December, 1521, Luther returned secretly to Wittenberg from the Wartburg for a three day conference on how to meet the turbulence and confusion caused by the radical reformers.

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VD 16, L 3632. - Benzing 50. - Pegg 1768. For the border: Pflugk-Hartung 23

Written While in Hiding at the Wartburg

Luther, Martin (1483-1546)
Deütsche außlegung des siebenundsechtzigsten Psalmen: von dem Ostertag: Himelfart und Pfingsten.

Augsburg: Sylvan Otmar, 1521

$3,200.00

Quarto: 19.8 x 15.6 cm. [36] pp. A-C4, D6

“The first task Luther undertook at the Wartburg (his “Patmos”), after only a few days, was to write ‘Psalm 67 (68): About Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost.” This psalm had its special place in the Augustinians’ mass liturgy and at Matins between Ascension and Pentecost, again an indication of how Luther was still living in the accustomed liturgy. The exposition gave a contemporary interpretation of the struggle between God and his enemies.

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Benzing 940

Luther's Final Refutation of Tetzel

Luther, Martin (1483-1546)
Ein freyheyt des Sermons Bebstlichen ablaß und gnad belangend. wider die vorlegu(n)g. So zu schmach sein und desselben Sermons erdichtet.

[Nuremberg: Johann Gutknecht,] 1518

$9,500.00

Quarto: 21 x 15.5 cm. 8 lvs. A-B4 (B4 blank)

In March 1518 Luther published his "Sermon on Indulgences and Grace", in which he distilled his 95 Theses into a concise and comprehensive statement in German. John Tetzel responded with a series of 50 counter-theses. And in turn Luther responded with the present text.

"The theological debates sparked by Martin Luther’s posting of ninety-five theses on a church door in Wittenberg 1517 picked up new strength in 1518.

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Benzing 188; VD 16, L 4745; Knaake I, 52; Jackson 708

The Immaculate Virgin

Luther, Martin (1483-1546)
Ayn Sermon am tag unser Frawen Liechtmeß gethon zuo Witemberg durch Doctor Marthin Luther. Im Jar MDXXIII.

Augsburg: Melchior Ramminger, 1523

$4,500.00

Quarto: 20 x 15 cm. [8] pp. Collation A4

A sermon for Lichtmeß (Candlemas), the feast of the presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple and the purification of Mary (February 2). Jesus takes as his text Luke 2:22-39.

For the complexities of Luther’s evolving Mariology, see Thomas O'Meara, Mary in Protestant and Catholic Theology (1966). “Luther's attitude toward the theology of Mary and toward the devotion which a Christian should have to the Mother of God is a small-scale representation of his entire religious accomplishment.

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Benzing 1746; VD16 L-6084