A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A site


March 2013

DSC_0121Today I am reading about Edmund Campion 1540-1581, He had a truly amazing life. He changed his faith at a great cost, and he seems to have never backed down or even hid his faith. There are many books on Campion, and more articles on Jstor that I can scroll through.

Here are some links to Websites that give a little more basic information on him.

“His brilliance attracted the attention of such leading personages as the Earl of Leicester, Robert Cecil, and even Queen Elizabeth. He took the Oath of Supremacy acknowledging Elizabeth head of the church in England and became an Anglican deacon in 1564. Doubts about Protestanism increasingly beset him, and in 1569 he went to Ireland where further study convinced him he had been in error, and he returned to Catholicism. Forced to flee the persecution unleashed on Catholics by the excommunication of Elizabeth by Pope Pius V, he went to Douai, France, where he studied theology, joined the Jesuits, and then went to Brno, Bohemia, the following year for his novitiate. He taught at the college of Prague and in 1578 was ordained there. He and Father Robert Persons were the first Jesuits chosen for the English mission and were sent to England in 1580. His activities among the Catholics, the distribution of his Decem rationes at the University Church in Oxford, and the premature publication of his famous Brag (which he had written to present his case if he was captured) made him the object of one of the most intensive manhunts in English history. He was betrayed at Lyford, near Oxford” Catholic Online.

SO, The reason I’m doing all this Campioning, is because, I have a first edition of Campion’s History of the English Church on my book shelf now.  In this book,There is an very detailed   “Narratio de Divortio Henrici VIII Regis” as well as a  History of Wycliff. I will be having a lot more Jesuit books to come this spring!


271G    Campion, Edmund.  1540-1581     and  Harpsfield, Nicholas, 1519-1575. Gibbons, Richard,; 1550?-1632.  Speed, John,; 1552?-1629.    

Historia Anglicana ecclesiastica : a primis gentis susceptae fidei incunabulis ad nostra fere tempora deducta, et in quindecim centurias distributa.

Duaci : Sumptibus Marci Wyon, Typographi Iurati, sub signo Phoenicis, 1622


Folio, 332 X 210 mm .   a4, e4, i4, A-4Z4, 5A-5E4. This copy is bound in original full vellum.

Shortly after dawn on July 18, 1581, the cry went out: “I have found the traitors!” With a crowbar the false wall at the head of the stairs was torn away, revealing the huddled figures of Edmund Campion and two companions, three priests lately returned to their native England to minister to those resisting the oppression from the new English Church. Their discovery set them upon the path to martyrdom.

Edmund Campion was born on January 25, 1540 into an England of religious and social upheaval. Protestantism had usurped the Catholic Church as the spiritual authority; the dissolution of monasteries and the suppression of Catholic beliefs and believers intensified as land-hungry nobles and men of power continued, in the name of the young, sickly Edward VI, the transformation begun by Henry VIII.   Campion was 13 and the most promising scholar at Christ’s Hospital school in London when he was chosen to read an address to Mary Tudor upon her arrival in London as queen in 1553. Campion received a scholarship to Oxford at age 15, and, by the time Elizabeth rose to power (“restoring” Protestantism as the national religion) upon Mary’s death in 1558, he was already a junior fellow.

At Oxford Campion’s erudition, charisma, and charm gained him noteriety; his students even imitated his mannerisms and style of dress. Queen Elizabeth visited in 1566 and for her entertainment was treated to academic displays. Campion, the star of the show, single-handedly debated four other scholars and so impressed the queen that she promised the patronage of her advisor (and one of the principal architects of the Reformation in England) William Cecil, who referred to Campion as the “diamond of England.”

It was the hope of the crown that Campion would become a defender of the new faith which, though favored by the temporal power, lacked learned apologists. Yet even as he was ordained to the Anglican diaconate, he was being swayed toward Rome, influenced in great part by older friends with Catholic sympathies. In 1569 he journeyed to Dublin, where he composed his <History of Ireland>. At this point Campion was at the summit of his powers. He could have risen to the highest levels of fame had he stayed his course. But this was not to be. By the time Campion left Ireland, he knew he could not remain a Protestant.

Campion’s Catholic leanings were well-publicized, and he found the atmosphere hostile upon his return to England in 1571. He went abroad to Douay in France, where he was reconciled with the Church and decided to enter the Society of Jesus. He made a pilgrimmage to Rome and journeyed to Prague, where he lived and taught for six years and in 1578 was ordained a Jesuit priest.

In 1580 he was called by superiors to join fellow Jesuit Robert Parsons in leading a mission to England. He accepted the assignment joyfully, but everyone was aware of the dangers. The night before his departure from Prague, one of the Jesuit fathers wrote over Campion’s door, “<P. Edmundus Campianus, Martyr.>”

Campion crossed the English Channel as “Mr. Edmunds,” a jewel dealer. His mission was nearly a short one: At Dover a search was underway for Gabriel Allen, another English Catholic expatriate who was rumored to be returning to England to visit family. Apparently Allen’s description fit Campion also, and he was detained by the mayor of Dover, who planned to send Campion to London. Inexplicably, while waiting for horses for the journey, the mayor changed his mind, and sent “Mr. Edmunds” on his way.

Upon reaching London, Campion composed his “Challenge to the Privy Council,” a statement of his mission and an invitation to engage in theological debate (see “Classic Apologetics” in this issue). Copies spread quickly, and several replies to the “Challenge” were published by Protestant writers, who attached to it a derogatory title, “Campion’s Brag,” by which it is best known today.

The power and sincerity of the “Brag” is accompanied by a degree of naivete: Campion’s statement of purpose was of no value during his later trial for treason, and the challenge to debate, repeated later in his apologetic work <Decem  Rationes>, was as much an invitation to capture. And his capture seemed almost inevitable: Elizabeth had spies everywhere searching for priests, the most sought after of whom being her former “diamond of England.”  Campion and his companions traveled stealthily through the English countryside in the early summer of 1581, relying on old, landed Catholic families as hosts. They said Mass, heard confession, performed baptisms and marriages, and preached words of encouragement to a people who represented the last generation to confess the faith of a Catholic England.

There were close calls. Many homes had hiding places for priests some even had secret chapels and confessionals and the Jesuits had to rely on these more than once. Campion took extraordinary risks, never able to turn down a request to preach or administer the sacraments, and more than once he escaped detection while in a public setting.

His fortune changed while visiting the home of Francis Yate in Lyford Grange, which was west of London. Yate was a Catholic imprisoned for his faith who had repeatedly asked for one of the Jesuit fathers to tend to the spiritual needs of his household. Though it was out of the way and the queen’s searchers were reportedly in hot pursuit, Campion was unable to resist the request.

He traveled to Lyford, heard confessions, preached well into the night, and departed without difficulty after saying Mass at dawn. Some nuns visiting the home shortly thereafter were upset to hear they had just missed Campion, and so riders were dispatched to pursuade him to return, which he did. Word of his return reached George Eliot, born and regarded as Catholic but in fact a turncoat in the pay of the queen; he had a general commission to hunt down and arrest priests. Eliot arrived at Lyford with David Jenkins, another searcher, and attended a Mass. He was greatly outnumbered by the Catholics, and, fearing resistance, made no move to arrest Campion. He departed abruptly to fetch the local magistrate and a small militia and returned to the Yate property during dinner. News of the approaching party reached the house, and Campion and his two priestly companions were safely squirreled away in a narrow cell prepared especially for that purpose, with food and drink for three days.

Later Eliot and Jenkins both claimed to have discovered the priests, offering the same story: A strip of light breaking through a gap in the wall leading to the hiding place was the giveaway both men took credit for noticing it, and each reported being the one to break through the wall. No doubt each sought the credit for capturing the infamous Campion, for no priest was more beloved by the Catholics nor more despised by the crown.

Campion was taken to the Tower and tortured. Several times he was forced to engage in debates, without benefit of notes or references and still weak and disoriented from his rackings and beatings. He acquited himself admirably, all things considered: a testament to his unparalled rhetorical skills.

His trial was a farce. Witnesses were bribed, false evidence produced; in truth, the outcome had been determined since his arrival. Campion was eloquent and persuasive to the last, dominating the entire procedure with the force of his logic and his knowledge of the Scripture and law, but in vain. He and his priestly and lay companions were convicted of treason on November 14 and were sentenced to death. His address to the court upon sentencing invoked the Catholic England for which he had fought, the Catholic England which was about to die: “In condemning us, you condemn all your own ancestors all the ancient priests, bishops and kings all that was once the glory of England.”

On December 1,1581 the prophecy hanging over his door in Prague was fulfilled: Campion was hanged, drawn, and quartered. The poet Henry Walpole was there, and during the quartering some blood from Campion’s entrails splashed on his coat. Walpole was profoundly changed. He went overseas, took orders, and 13 years later met his own martyrdom on English soil. Campion was beatified by Leo XIII in 1886.  Quoted from   Todd M. Aglialoro .

“Historia Wicleffiana eivsdem avctoris”: p. [661]-732./ “Catalogus. Ex Anglico Ioannis Speed Latinva, in quo suo uno aspectu videre est omnium tum monasteriorum …” p. 741-779.



When I look for books, or rather as I look for books, it seems as though I am always looking at books, book descriptions, bibliographies or reading histories of ideas, I look for authors and titles, which I have never seen before, or mentioned in other sources. Leo Magentinnus is an author, who some how escaped most of the books on the philosophy of the middle ages I have read, thus I begin a re-education and will try and locate his place in the world of obscure commentators!


Leo Magentinnus flourished around  1200 while others place him as late as 1350 AD, what we know about him is that he wrote commentaries on the works of Aristotle, giving definitions and explanations and not really adding any profound interpretations. But in the High Middle ages, the aftermath of the Golden Age of Aristotelian commentators including: Averroes, Avicenna, Aquinas, and Peter Lombard, there was little room left in the controversy between Faith and Reason, Leo seems to have kept his head down and worked at ‘divine recapitulation’ of ‘’The Philosopher’s’ work

849F    Magentinus, Leo.                   Magentini In Aristotelis librum de Interpretatione explanatio, Joanne Baptista Rasario interprete.
Venice: Girolamo Scoto, 1545                        $1,900
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Quarto,7.75 x 6 inches .   A-I4,K6 (lacking final blank k6)  Bound in modern half calf. .
      Leo Magentinus – bishop of Mytilene (Lesbos) was widely read in the late Medieval and Renaissance periods. Several of his works are listed in bibliographical records of late Medieval commentators and commentaries on the works of Aristotle. Georgius Scholarius (Gennadius) records that his exegesis on “Ars vetus” was among the favored sources of 15th Century scholars. Some in the 16th Century still read Leo. His commentary of “Prior Analytics” was printed in several editions and even translated into Latin.
Leo’s life remains indeterminate and shrouded in mystery, but he probably worked primarily sometime between 1200 and 1250, though some questionable sources (Papadopoli) conjecture the early 14th Century as a possible period of scholarship for Bishop Leo.
There is an interesting discussion of Leo at
OCLC lists only three copies of this


A Rare Law book by König. in a contemporary binding. !!!

Today, I have a very rare book on Criminal Process Law, according to the OCLC, the only copy is North America is at the University of Alberta! 

307G König, Robert. (1658-1713)        

Tractatus theorico-practicus de Processu Criminali iuxta ordinem titulorum libri V. decretalium Gregorii IX. p. m. scientifica methodo concinnatus Quem In Alma & Archiepiscopali Univeristate Salisburgensi Praeside P. Roberto Kînig …publicë disputationi exposuit Jacobus Vitalis Priggl  
     [bound with]
Principia Juris Canonici ex Libro I. & II. Decretalium Gregorii IX. Pontificis M. Antehac in Alma & Archiepiscopali Universitate Salisburgensi …Publici juris facta.


Salzburg : ex typographéo Joannis Baptistë Mayr typographi aulico-academici(IS),1695
  [bound with]
Salzburg : ex typographéo Joannis Baptistë Mayr typographi aulico-academici(IS),1698       $2,800        


Quarto, )(4,)()(4,A-Z4,Aa-Gg4 (gg4 blank and present) )(3, )()(2, )(3,A-Z4, Aa-Ii4, A-Z4, Aa-Yy4.

 First edition of the “ Theorico-Practicus”   These three books are bound together in  blind stamped pigskin over wooden boards with working clasps.


         König was a Canonist and professor at Salzburg. He was born in Gmunden, Upper Austria 1658, In 1676  he entered theBenedictine monastery  at Garsten he was awarded a doctorate in  law, and then taught Cannon law  12 years .   In 1697, he made a trip to Romeand was made the parish priest to ZurÅkkunft Steyer in Austria.  On the 13th of Aug. 1705, he was unanimously chosen as president of the University in Salzburg, but resigned in 1708 He recieved this honor again  and in 1711 chosen by the Salzburg University  as rector,a post he held  until 1713, when he died of apoplexy.

Table of Contents of the Principia:
Tl. 1 :Principia juris canonici ex libro I. et II. Decretalium Georgi IX. Ponteficis M. antehac in Alma et Archi-Episcopali Benedictina Universitate SalisburgensiTl. 2 :Principia juris canonici ex libro III. IV. et V. Decretalium Georgi IX. Ponteficis M. antehac in Alma et Archi-Episcopali Benedictina Universitate Salisburgens


James Gray Bookseller Princeton MA tel-617-678-4517




As each day passes it seems, in a struggle for ‘new and better’ modes of communication, speed outstrips content, perhaps making both content and time rarer. My Blog promises to be slow, but still iI endevour to make additions as soon as new old books arrive.  In December 2012 with the closing of the store in Harvard Square, it has been hard to share the new books which arrive with more than a few customer, So I’ve decided to use this blog as a way to make it easy to see what is coming in and going out.

Today I’ll begin with a great Little Book of Hours.Image

155G                            Book of hours in Dutch 


((Diocese of ) Utrecht, ca. 1420-1430                      $42,000


Thick Octavo on vellum, 108 X 64 mm. 

243 Leaves on vellum plus five leaves of blanks. There are six major initials and over 30 two to 4 line initials and numerous red and blue   This manuscript is bound in sixteenth century full calf.  


 Fol. 1r-12v Calendar of the Diocese of Utrecht (one leaf,2 pp., per month)

 Fol. 13r Blank

Fol. 13v Prayer in the same hand that wrote the notes on fol. 243, in a corse Hybrida libris hand, written around a diamond shaped engraving (55 X 48mm) of the crowned Mary holding the Christ Child. Inc.:  “O geode heren Here jhesus/ laet uwen verduldigen doot/ sijn mijn troost in alre not…”

Fol. 14r-61r  Getijden van O.L.V. (Hours of the Virgin)
Fol. 14r has a decorated inital, blue heightened with wight on burnished gold with pink stems with red and white dits (flowers) with marginal decoration (4 margins: left a gold/red stave, botton  a gold spacer with red and blue stems, with white,redblue and gold dits, with a blue dragon sitting on a slender column, In the right margin there is foliage and flowers).

Fol. 61r-91v  Getijden onzer Vrouwen liden ( Hours of Mary s Suffering)
Fol. 61v : Decorated inital,pink highlighted with white on burnished gold with pink stem with red and white dots, and masrginal decoration( left gold/blue stave and Bottom gold with red and blue stems with white, pink and blue trifolds).

Fol. 91v-117r Getijden van de Eeuwige Wijsheid (Hours of Eternal Wisdom).
Fol. 92v:  Historiated inital: a bule griffin, Highlighted with white, in the shape of a  S  on burnished gold; Marginal decoration of foliage with pink,white and gold trifolds.

Fol. 117r  Getijen vanden Heilighen cruce, mit  lessen (Hours of the Cross)
Fol. 117v: decorated inital in pink highlighted with white on burnished gold with blue stems and red,blue and white trifolds; the margins are decorated with foliage in pink,white and gold trifolds with a green crane in the left margin.

Fol. 145r-175r  Getijden van de Heilighen Gheest ( Hours of the Holy Ghost)
Fol. 145r Large decorated initial in pink, with pink stems with red,blue and white trifolds, with marginal decoration of foliage with pink,white and gold trifold.

Fol.175r-197v De zeven Psalmen ( The Seven penitential Psalms)
Fol. 175r Large decorated innital in blue highlighted with white on brunished gold woith blue stems with red and white dots, the bottom and right margins are decorated with foliage with red and gold trifolds, the right margin has a gold stave with blue stem and red,white and gold dots.

Fol. 197v-243r  Die Vigilie van ix lessen. 
Fol. 197v: Drcorated inital, pink Highlighted with white on burnished gold with blue stems and blue and white dots. The margin is decorated with foliage with red,white and gold trifolds.

Written in a clear Textualis Libraria.
Illumination: At the begining of each of the six sections of the text (Five Hours and Seven penitential Psalms and the Vigile):  Five decorated and historiated (with a griffin) initals (5-7 lines), blue or pink,heightened with white and with blue or pink stems, most have characteristic dots (see text above and image below). The marginal decoration is also very characteristic with spaces of burnished gold with red and blue stems with the same white dots or foliage or trifolds; with two animals in the margin; a dragon (a so-called  Utrecht-Dragon  characteristic for manuscript illumination from Utrecht. in the right margin of fol.14r, and a crane in the left margin of fol.117v. There are alternating blue and red lombasrds (some duplex) with contrasting red and blue pen work sprouting into the margins.

This lovely book is bound in sixteenth-century calf, spine gilt in compartments with later marbled end papers.


     (1) Nies Wybrants dochter, sister living in the Catharijne convent (of the Tertiarisse[following the Third rule of St. Francis] in Hoorn (in the north of Holland). In a slightly later hand,probably of the first owner, is written on fol. 243r  dit boec te hoert te hoern tot sinte katherinen convent”  and on fol. 243v the same hands has written ” Item sinte katherinen convent binnen hoern is gesticht int jaer ond heren  m ccc ende xlii (1342) (op de octave onser vrouwen gheboert [15 August] is den kerc ended at hoghe outaer ghewyt) Item sinte katherinen kerc inj hoern ended at hoghe outaer is ghewyt int jaer ons here mcccc hondert end xii [1412]. Item dit boeck hoert toe nies wybrants dochter van hoern.”
     (2) Mr P. Clarke, Sept 1828 (on verso of fly leaf)

     (3) The Congregational Library Boston.

The Catharina monastery (convent)  was founded in the middle of the fourteenth century.  The conventexisted until 1566 when the remaining sisters joined the St. Geerten monastery. According to Velius, the historiographer of Hoorn, the Catharijne convent was the wealthiest monastery in Hoorn.



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