716G John Fisher 1469-1535

Defesio Regie asser=tionis cotra Babylonica captiuitate, per Reuerendum patre & D.D. Joha- nem Roffensem Episcopu. In qua re- spondet pro illustrissimo, eodeq[ue] doctissimo Anglor[um] Rege Henrico .viij. fidei defensore, ad maledicen- tissi-mum Martini Lutheri libellu, in eunde Rege scriptu plusq[uam] im-pudentissime

716G Defesio Regie assertionis cõ(n)tra Babylonica captiuitate
716G Defesio Regie assertionis cõ(n)tra Babylonica captiuitate

[bound with]
Sacri sacerdotij defensio cõtra Lutherum, per Reuerendissimu Dominum, dominum Johannem Roffeñ. Episcopum, virum singulari eruditione omnifariam doctissimum, iam primum ab Archetypo euulgata. Cum tabula et repertorio tractatorum.

716G Sacri sacerdotij defensio cõ(n)tra Lutherum
716G Sacri sacerdotij defensio cõ(n)tra Lutherum

Colonie : In officina honesti ciuis Petri Quentel, 1525                          $6,000

Octavo Ad II: A8 [B4] a-g8

John Fisher has been named, though without any real proof, as the true author of the royal treatise against Luther entitled “Assertio septem sacramentorum”First published 1521, Henry VIII’s “Assertio” was written in response to Luther’s “De captivitate babylonica ecclesiae”. It is a vindication of the Church’s dogmatic teaching regarding the sacraments and the Sacrifice of the Mass. Henry’s insistence on the supremacy of the papacy in this work pleased Pope Leo X and earned the King the title “Fidei Defensor ” (Defender of the Faith). Henry was advised in the arrangement of the “Assertio” by Sir Thomas More; and in later years this was the basis of one of the charges against More. This edition also includes Luther’s response to the “Assertio”, entitled “Contra Henricum Regem Anglicum”.Luther attacked Henry VIIILuther’s reply to Henry’s “Assertio” is perhaps one of the most scurrilous pieces of theological polemic on record. It was felt that it would be beneath the dignity of the monarch to engage in further debate with the ribald Luther, and so both Fisher and Sir Thomas More were persuaded to come to his rescue. This resulted in Fisher’s “Defence of the Assertions of the King of England against Luther’s Babylonian Captivity.” The printing of this work was delayed by reports of a possible reconversion of Luther, but when this proved to be unfounded, the book was finally published in Cologne in 1525.18 The “Defensio” was a short book and concentrated on Luther’s denial of the Church’s doctrine on the Eucharist. Simultaneously with the “Defensio,” Fisher published his work on the Catholic priesthood.19 This was in reply to Luther’s “De abroganda Missa privata” (1522) in which he rejected the doctrine of the sacrifice of the Mass, and denied the institution by Christ of a ministerial priesthood essentially different from that of the common priesthood of the laity.Fisher tells his readers that he will make three rejoinders to Luther’s attacks with which he will “try to sponge away all the filthy and blasphemous things that have proceeded from his mouth against priests,” and then outlines the plan of his argument. Firstly he demonstrates the prescriptive right of existing truth drawn from Tradition. In his second argument he enuntiates a series of axioms, drawn from Sacred Scripture and arranged in due order, which establishes the existence of a visible priesthood. His third argument is a clear and direct rebuttal of Luther’s objections, one by one. In developing his argument for the existence of a visible priesthood from Tradition, the bishop of Rochester shows an extraordinary familiarity with, and knowledge of, the writings of the Fathers of the Church, all the more remarkable in that he must have been working mostly from manuscript copies. After marshalling an astonishing array of patristic testimony he says that “from the unanimity of so many Fathers we may conclude with fullest certainty that the priesthood was instituted not in recent times, but in the very cradle of the Church. Wherefore, since Luther can adduce no orthodox writer who in any book that has ever appeared gives the contrary witness, nor can quote a syllable of Holy Scripture in opposition to the assertions of the Fathers, we lay down with the utmost justice against Luther as a matter of prescriptive right the truth of the priesthood.”20 “How can it be imagined,” Fisher asks not without a certain irony, “that at length for the first time has shone upon Luther the light of a truth that no one of the early Fathers should have so much as suspected, the contrary indeed, of which they have unitedly asserted from the very beginning?”21At the same time Sir Thomas More was writing his reply to Luther’s diatribe under the pseudonym Gulielmus Rosseus. He had obviously read Fisher’s work before he published his own. In his “Responsio ad Lutherum” he writes: “The Reverend Father John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, a man illustrious not only by the vastness of his erudition, but much more so by the purity of his life, has so opened and so overthrown the assertions of Luther, that if he had any shame he would give a great deal to have burnt his assertions.”22Fisher published in 1523 his “Lutheranae Assertionis Confutatio,” in answer to Luther’s challenge to the Pope after he had burned the bull “Exurge Domine” and the books of canon law in Wittenberg as an act of public defiance to papal authority. He writes in defense of the Pope yet with undisguised sadness at the state of things in the Holy See: “If the Roman Pontiffs, laying aside pomp and haughtiness, would but practice humility, you would not have a word left to utter against them. Yes, would that they would reform the manners of their court, and drive from it ambition, avarice and luxury. Never otherwise will they impose silence on revilers such as you.”23Fisher wrote well in defense of the Pope as is evident from the effect his “Confutatio” against Luther had on St. Thomas More. In a letter to Cromwell (1534) More admitted that he had at one time thought the Pope’s supremacy was of merely ecclesiastical and not of divine institution. Yet after reading Fisher’s work he was able to write in his “Responsio”: “As regards the Primacy of the Roman Pontiff, the bishop of Rochester has made the matter so clear from the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and from the whole of the Old Testament, and from the consent of all the holy Fathers, not of the Latins only, but of the Greeks also (of whose opposition Luther is wont to boast), and from the definition of a general council . . . that it would be utterly superfluous for me to write again on the subject.”The bulk of the volume consists of Bishop John Fisher’s defense of Henry’s Assertio, written in response to Luther’s own response. “An eminent spiritual figure in the circle around Thomas More, Fisher preceded More to the scaffold; on June 22, 1535, he was executed for refusing to take the oath required of him in the administration of the Act of Succession. [Fisher’s head was on display on London Bridge for two weeks. When it was removed and thrown into the river, it was replaced with More’s own.] On May 19, 1935 Fisher was canonized in Rome with More.” (Contemporaries of Erasmus)In 1525, a strange and inaccurate rumor had been circulating in Europe that the English monarch, Henry VIII, was becoming sympathetic to Lutheran ideas. Luther had insulted Henry in September of 1522, by writing a work that attacked Henry’s defence of the seven sacraments in the “Assertio septem sacramentorum adversus Martin Lutherum” (1521). The Pope conferred upon Henry the title “Defender of the Faith” for this work and Luther furiously condemned Henry in his “Contra Henricum regem Angliae.” Following Luther’s attack upon the monarch, and the compromise in which the King found himself because protocol denied the right of reply from a monarch to a commoner, Thomas More was asked to write a defence and produced the Renaissance anti-Lutheran polemical work, “Responsio ad Lutherum.” At around the same time (1525), John Fisher produced a series of theological treatises, both bound together in this volume, that critically examined the basic tenets of Lutheranism: “Defensio regie assertionis contra Babylonicam capituitatem” and the “Sacri sacerdotii defensio contra Lutherum.” The first is a defense of Henry VIII against Luther’s attack that qualifies him, according to Fisher in this work, as a philosophic king in the Platonic tradition. The second work, “Sacri sacerdotii defensio contra Lutherum” is a defense of the priesthood by arguments in favor of tradition against innovation and a divine sanction of the priesthood.Fisher, the strongly ascetic, loyal Catholic, whose interest in the classical revival existed alongside an appreciation of the Cabala, is perhaps the best representative of the religion in possession at the very beginning of the English Reformation.

815G John Fisher 1469-1535

Sacri sacerdotij defensio cõtra Lutherum, per Reuerendissimu Dominum, dominum Johannem Roffeñ. Episcopum, virum singulari eruditione omnifariam doctissimum, iam primum ab Archetypo euulgata. Cum tabula et repertorio tractatorum.


Colonie : Petri Quentel, 1525.                   $3,000

A8B4,a-G8. This copy is bound in modern full calf.

One of three eds. printed by Quentel in 1525. One of the others is in 4to (Kuczynski 821)–and This example, in 8vo, has title 1st line: “Sacri sacerdotij defensio” (Kuczynski 823)./ Ed. by “frater Johãnes Romberch” (leaf [2])./ Signatures:/ Royal arms on t.p. Initials. Date in roman numerals. Marginal notes printed throughout./ Includes index, leaves [3]-[9]…. Kuczynski, A. Thesaurus libellorum historiam Reformationis,; 823; BM STC German, 1465-1600,; p. 458; Pegg, M. Pamphlets in Swiss libraries,; 2493; VD-16,; F-1238; Adams,; F-547


548G Edmund Campion 1540-1581

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            $4,400

Folio 332 X 210 mm a4, e4, i4, A-4Z4, 5A-5E4. This copy is bound in original full vellum. This book has uniform humidity browning through out. 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.

“Shortly after dawn on July 18, 1581, the cry went out: “I have found the traitors!” With a DSC_0429 (1)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 . 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, ”

“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 , 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.” by Todd M. AglialoroCampion



812G  Serre, M. de (Jean-Puget), [1600-1665] Translator’s dedication signed: H.H., i.e. Henry Hawkins.

The sweete thoughts of death and eternity (bound with)Thoughts of Eternity.


Paris [i.e. Saint-Omer : Printed by the English College Press], 1632        $1,950

Octavo 5 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches π1 ã A-X Y . First and only edition This copy s bound in its original limp vellum binding, soiled and rumpled.

HAWKINS, HENRY (1571?–1646), jesuit, born in London in 1571 or 1575, was second son of Sir Thomas Hawkins, knt., of Nash Court, Kent, by Anne, daughter and heiress of Cyriac Pettit, of Boughton-under-the-Blean, Kent. John Hawkins [q. v.] and Sir Thomas Hawkins [q. v.] were his brothers. After studying classics in the college of the English jesuits at St. Omer, he entered the English College at Rome, under the assumed name of Brooke, on 19 March 1608–9. He received minor orders in 1613, was ordained priest about the same time, and, after spending two years in the study of scholastic theology, left for Belgium and entered the Society of Jesus about 1615. A manuscript ‘status’ of the English College at Rome for 1613 says that he was the ‘son of a cavalier, lord of a castle, a man of mature age, intelligent in affairs of government, very learned in the English laws, and that he had left a wife, office, and many other commodities and expectations, to become a priest in the seminaries.’ Hawkins on coming to England was captured and imprisoned. In 1618 he was sent into perpetual exile with eleven other jesuits, but, like most of his companions, soon returned to this country, where he laboured, principally in the London district, for twenty-five years. He is named among the ‘veterani missionarii’ in the list of jesuits found among the papers seized in 1628 at the residence of the society in Clerkenwell. In his old age he withdrew to the house of the English tertian fathers at Ghent, where he died on 18 Aug. 1646. STC (2nd ed.), 20492Copies – N.America Folger Shakespeare , Huntington Library ,University of Texas

822G John Fisher (saint) 1469-1535.

A treatise of prayer, and of the fruits and manner of prayer. By the most Reuerend Father in God Iohn Fisher Bishop of Rochestre, Preist and most eminent Cardinall of the most holy Catholike Church, of the title of S. Vitalis. Translated into English by R.A.B.


Printed at Paris : by Will: Baudry, M. DC. XXXX [1640]                   $5,500

Duodecimo á A-G H . The fourth edition of Fisher, John. A godlie treatisse declaryng the benefites, fruites, and great commodities of prayer.

This copy has had heavy stainging and chipping repaired. bound in contemporary full calf in need of rebinding.

Written in latin “Tractatus de orando Deum : et de fructibus precum, modo [ue] orandi, numquam antehac Latiné editus”. ; First published in English in 1560/3 as A Godlie treatisse declaryng the benefites, fruites, and great commodities of prayer and also the true vse therof. Written in Latin, fourtie yeres past, by an Englyshe man, of great vertue [and] learnyng. And lately translated into Englyshe. Only one copy in the US at Williams College, then in, 1577 ,no US copies then 1600 only one copy listed St. Mary’s Seminary, New Oscott NO U.S. Copies, and Then this edition Estc shows only folger in the US Oclc adda Catholic University of America. Prayer for Holy Bishops by Saint John Fisher Lord, according to Thy promise that the Gospel should be preached throughout the whole world, raise up men fit for such work. The Apostles were but soft and yielding clay till they were baked hard by the fire of the Holy Ghost. So, good Lord, do now in like manner with Thy Church militant, change and make the soft and slippery earth into hard stones. Set in the Thy Church strong and mighty pillars that may suffer and endure great labors–watching, poverty, thirst, hunger, cold and heat–which also shall not fear the threatenings of princes, persecution, neither death, but always persuade and think with themselves to suffer with a good will, slanders, shame, and all kinds of torments, for the glory and laud of Thy Holy Name. By this manner, good Lord, the truth of Thy Gospel shall be preached throughout the world. Therefore, merciful Lord, exercise Thy mercy, show it indeed upon Thy Church. Amen

STC (2nd ed.), 10890 showing only Folger add Catholic Univ of America,Allison & Rogers. Catholic books, 305


393G Silvester, Jenks, 1656?-1714.

An essay upon the art of love, containing An Exact Anatomy of Love and all the other Passions which attend it.


[London?] : [s.n.], Printed MDCCII. [1702]                           $2,000
Octavo 5 X 2 3/4 inches First edition This is a very nice copy bound in contemporary calf.

Jenks was educated at Douai College, where he was professor of philosophy from 1680 to DSC_04311686. He was later a preacher in ordinary to James II. At the Revolution of 1688 he fled to Flanders. On his return to England he laboured as a missionary in or near London and was appointed by the chapter Archdeacon of Surrey and Kent.Jenks, Sylvester, bishop-elect of Callipolis in partihtu, He was a Catholic non-juror in 1717. At an early age, Sylvester Jenks was sent to Douay College, where he took the missionary oath, in the name of Medcalfe, Aug. 15, 1675. Lady Yate, of Harvington Hall, Worcestershire, undertook the principal part of the expense of his education. He progressed rapidly in his studies, and, having completed the course of divinity, publicly defended his tlieses on July 12, 1680. Dr. Edward Paston was moderator, and the occasion was honoured with the presence of Guido de Save, bishop of Arras, to whom the young divine dedicated his theses. He was then appointed professor of philosophy in the college. In the meantime he was ordained priest, Sept 23, 1684, and, after teaching philosophy for six years, was sent to England, Sept. 23, 1686.His first mission was Harvington Hall, the seat of his great friend and patroness, Lady Yate, widow of Sir John Yate, of Buckland, co. Bucks, and eldest daughter and co-heiress of Humphrey Packington, Esq. The quiet life which he-enjoyed there, however, was soon exchanged for more active scenes. James II., in his progress through the country, being made acquainted with his abilities, called him up to London, and appointed him one of his preachers in ordinary. It was but for a short time that he held this honorary position, for the revolution of 1688 necessitated his flight, and for some time he resided in Flanders. Subsequently he returned to England, and apparently was stationed in or near London, for he was appointed by the chapter archdeacon of Surrey and Kent In one of his letters he refers to a journey to his native county, Shropshire, which he commenced on June 18, 1706, but it would seem that it was only for a visit to his relatives and friends. His time in London seems to have been much occupied with matters of private controversy, his clear judgment being constantly called in requisition.His abilities and his strictly religious life were so highly appreciated by his brethren that he was proposed by Bishops Giffard and Witham for the vicariate of the northern district, vacant by the death of Bishop James Smith in 1711. In a particular congregation, held Aug. 13, the Propaganda unanimously elected Sylvester Jenks to be vicar-apostolic of the northern district, and the Pope gave his consent on Aug. 22, 1713. On the following Nov. 13, the agent in Rome for the English clergy applied to the Propaganda in congregation for faculties for Monsignor Jenks, Bishop of Callipolis in partibiis, and vicar-apostolic of England. In another particular congregation, held Feb. 4, 1714, it was reported that the arrival of the brief, sent in August, 1713, had not been notified to the Propaganda. It had been sent to the internuncio of Flanders through the Propaganda secretariat. In the congregation held on the following July 3, a letter was laid before the Propaganda, written on April 15, 1714, by Bishops Giffard and Witham, to thank their eminences, the cardinals of the congregation, for the election of Mr. Jenks, whom they had proposed for the northern vicariate. They at the same time mentioned, in excuse for Mr. Jenks, who had not himself written to Propaganda, the circumstance of his having been seriously ill. They added their opinion that it would be wise to defer his consecration until the dissolution of the English Parliament, in order to avoid disturbance.Dodd says that Mr. Jenks, out of humility, was averse to the acceptance of the dignity, though earnestly pressed to it by the internuncio at Brussels. It appears, however, that the illness referred to by Bishops Giffard and Witham proved of a fatal nature, and he died before his consecration, about the beginning of December, 1714, aged 58.He was possessed of singular qualifications, says Dodd, but most especially was he remarkable for the clearness of his conceptions, his well-balanced mind, and the elegance of his language. His theological learning and abilities were most eminent, and his strictly religious life was an example of solid piety and sterling humility. To conclude, his own words may be quoted from the preface to his “Blind Obedience”:—” I keep my name to myself, and my reason is, because I love a quiet life. I ever looked upon it as the greatest blessing which a bad world can afford, and am persuaded that being private is the easiest and securest way of being quiet. Besides, I see no good there is in being talked of, either well or ill. The one is good for nothing but to make a man vain; the other is apt to make him vexed; all to no purpose.”Dodd, Ch. Hist., vol. iii. p. 486; Mazicre Brady, Episc. Succession, vol. iii. ; Boiven, God’s Safe Way; Bcnveti, The Lavs, July to Aug. 1872, pp. 30, 36, 59 ; Jenks, Contrite and Hitmbl; Heart.

Gillow vol III page 619 #11