850G Hugh Latimer 1485-1555

The fyrste Sermon of Mayster Hughe Latimer, whiche he preached before the kynges Maiest. wythin his graces palayce at Westminster M. D. XLIX. the viii. of Marche. (,’,) Cu gratia et Privilegio ad imprimendum solum.

[bound with]

The seconde Sermon of Maister Hughe Latimer, whych he preached before the Kynges maiestie, iv in his graces Palayce at Westminister y. xv. day of Marche. M. ccccc.xlix. Cum gratia et Privilegio ad Imprimendum solum.

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[London: by Jhon Day, dwellynge at Aldergate, and Wylliam Seres, dwellyng in Peter Colledge, 1549]                          $14,000

Octavo 137 x 88 mm A-D8, A-Y8, Aa-Ee8 (Lacking Ee7 and 8, probably blank.)  First editions, each of the two works is one of three or four undated variants, attributed to the year 1549.

This copy is bound in nineteenth century calfskin, the hinges starting to crack. The Encyclopedia Britannica calls Hugh Latimer’s sermons, “classics of their kind. Vivid, racy, terse in expression; profound in religious feeling, sagacious in their advice on human conduct. To the historical student they are of great value as a mirror of the social and political life of the period.”“All things which are written, are written for our erudition and knowledge. All things that are written in God’s book, in the Bible book, in the book of the Holy Scripture, are written to be our doctrine.” (from Hugh Latimer’s Sermon of the Plow)“This was the first of Latimer’s famous Lenten sermons on the duty of restoring stolen goods which resulted in the receipt of considerable sums of ‘conscience money.’” (Phorzimer Catalogue)“The seven sermons which he preached before the king in the following Lent are a curious combination of moral fervor and political partisanship, eloquently denouncing a host of current abuses, and paying the warmest tribute to the government of Somerset.” (DNB)

STC 15270.7; STC 15274.7; Pforzheimer #581 and 582; McKerrow & Ferguson 64.

15270.7 Copies – Brit.Isles                                                                                                                                                          Aberdeen University Library

British Library

Cambridge University Trinity College

Oxford University Bodleian Library

Oxford University Wadham College

Copies – N.America                                                                                                                                                             Folger Shakespeare

Harvard University

University of Virginia

Yale University, Sterling Memorial

15274.7 Copies – Brit.Isles                                                                                                                                                               British Library

Cambridge University Corpus Christi College

Cambridge University Library

Oxford University Bodleian Library

Peterborough Cathedral Library

Copies – N.America

Folger Shakespeare

Harvard University

Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery

University of Illinois

University of Texas



939G Erasmus Sarcerius 1501-1559

Commo[n]places of Scripture orderly and after a compendious forme of teaching, set forth with no lit[t]le laboure, to y great profit & help of all such studentes in Gods word as have not had longe exercise in the same, by the right excellent clerke Eras. Sarcerius. Translated into English by Rychard Taverner.


London: Nycolas Hyll for Abraham Vele, 1553                                       $12,000

Octavo 5 1/2  x 3 3/4 inches  A-Y8.1156193_view_05

Second edition. Aside from its text and content, as an artifact, this book has its own story. The parchment guards folded around the end leaves are leaves from a Medieval hymnal. One can imagine the Latin service in the times before the Reformation. The end leaves themselves are paper printed with the Act of Uniformity of the common prayer book, which was legally enacted after Henry’s schism from Rome, in an effort to define Anglicanism in its infancy. Inside, marginal notes of a contemporary reader give us The binding too is complete, original, sixteenth century full English blind tooled calfskin over boards, perfectly intact. The materials of the binding themselves give silent testament to the turbulence of the day in sixteenth century England. “Erasmus Sarcerius, German Lutheran, born at Annaberg, 1501; died at Magdeburg, 1559. He was matriculated at Leipzig in 1522, but in 1524 seems to have migrated to Wittenberg, and in 1528 was a teacher at Lubeck and a firm supporter of Protestant tenets. He likewise taught in Graz, and apparently received his master’s degree at Vienna, but was forced to leave because of his religious convictions and in 1530 was matriculated at Rostock. Finally completing his studies, he was recalled to Lubeck, where he remained until 1536, when Count William of Nassau called him to Siegen as rector of the Latin school. In the following year he was appointed superintendent and chaplain to the count, and henceforth all his energies were devoted to the cause of Lutheranism. […] He also came into momentary contact with the English movement against the Roman Church, this being the occasion of his Loci aliquot communes et theologici (Frankfort, 1538); English translation, under the [above] title. As a distinguished theologian Sarcerius could boast that he had framed church orders for twenty-four counties. […] The course of events [circa 1562] lead him further and further away from Melanchthon, and at the colloquy of Worms in 1557 he was on the side of the Weimar theologians.” (Schaff-Herzog)“In [1532] Taverner appealed for help to Cromwell, to whom he was unknown, not daring, as he said, to ask for the king’s liberality without first communicating with Cromwell. Cromwell induced the Duke of Norfolk to promise him a small pension, and in 1533 Taverner was described as ‘last year master of Greek in Cambridge, and now Cromwell’s client.’ He also entered as a student at the Inner Temple, and probably with a view to Cromwell’s service, devoted himself to a study of law. In 1536 Cromwell secured his appointment as clerk of the privy seal, and in August 1537 he was enabled to marry. Meanwhile, Taverner, under Cromwell’s direction, was actively engaged in producing works designed to encourage the reformation of England. […] [In the year before Taverner produced his translation of the Bible, the first edition of the current work was published.] In 1539 appeared Taverner’s English version of the Bible. […] The fall of Cromwell put a stop to Taverner’s literary activity and endangered his position. […] Taverner retained his position as clerk of the signet throughout Edward VI’s reign. On 13 May 1552, though a layman, he was licensed to preach, and he is said to have frequently officiated in this capacity before Edward VI. On Mary’s accession, he lost his place in the signet office, but lived unmolested at his house at Norbiton, Surrey, through the reign. He is also said to have been in the habit of preaching in the streets and catechizing children on religious topics. He died at Wood Eaton on 14 July 1575, and was buried with some ceremony in the chancel of the church.” (DNB)

STC 21755a.5


932G Saint Augustine 354-430

Certaine select Prayers gathered out of S. Augustines Meditations, whiche he calleth his selfe Talke with God.[with] S. Avgvstines Manuell, or little Booke of the Contemplation of Christ, or of Gods worde,wherby the remembraunce of the heauenly desires which is falne a slepe may be quickned vp againe.

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London: Printed by Iohn Day dwelling ouer Aldersgate, 1575          $11,000

Octavo 139 x 90 mm A-S8, T4. Second edition. The first title-page is a bit browned and worn. It has been mounted. The following three leaves have very old minor, marginal paper repairs. One affects the woodcut border at the fore edge with some loss of the woodcut, which has been drawn in pencil. One text leaf has a minor paper repair in the blank margin at the foot of one leaf. The corner of one other page was folded up when 1156124_view 09_09 2the book was printed. This is a minor fault, which is really rather interesting. The leaf in question is K6. What first draws the eye is a little tear and a blank spot. The leaf was evidently torn and folded over at the exact moment of printing. This copy is bound in eighteenth century red morocco, tooled elaborately in gilt on both boards. It was rebacked somewhat recently in red leather, and tooled in gilt. On the front board the owner’s name, “A. Bunbury,” is tooled in gilt. The corners of the boards have been repaired. The edges of the leaves are gilt. The end-papers are embossed in red and gilt, the gilding has tarnished somewhat. Overall this is a very nice copy, in good condition, with an attractive binding. This selection of extracts from Saint 1156124_view 05_05 2Augustine’s Meditations contains two separate title-pages, although the collation is continuous, and the two together are considered a single work. It is a hand-sized devotional work, meant for pious reflection and inspiration, produced in the midst of the Elizabethan Reformation in England. As the Puritans in Parliament and the Queen wrestled over the details of the official church doctrine and the rights of non-Anglicans, English Catholics suffered with their own private dilemmas. In 1571 Parliament passed the Subscription Act, ordering that all clergy ordained under Henry VIII or Mary I, and any new ordinand or appointee to a benefice, should swear obedience to the Thirty-Nine Articles. In 1572 the Puritans attempted to introduce a bill into Parliament which would permit individual congregations to amend the Book of Common Prayer as they saw fit and which would enforce the Act of Uniformity only against Catholics. Elizabeth insisted on its withdrawal. In 1574 the first Catholic missionary priests arrived from Douai and Rheims to establish contact with Catholic families. The works of Augustine, and other Saints common to Protestants and Catholics could be published without controversy, and provide solace to all in this difficult time.

STC 925.

Copies – Brit.Isles                                                                                                                                                              British Library

Cardiff Central Library

Cardiff University

Oxford University Bodleian Library

Oxford University Bodleian Library

Oxford University Bodleian Library (includes The Vicar’s Library, ST. Mary’s Church, Marlborough)

St. Edmund’s College

Copies – N.America  

Folger Shakespeare

Henry E. Huntington Library

Pierpont Morgan Library

University of Illinois

Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

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