A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A site


June 2018

Two Bifolia of a early 12th century Manuscript on vellum writes in proto gothic book hand.


218J   Two Bifolia written in a minuscule from  late 11th or early 12th century proto gothic book hand.(early form of Gothic script of the 11th and 12th centuries)

¶One bifolum. measures 340 x 234 mm and consists of 32 lines on both sides .                    ¶ Bifolum two measurse 330 x223mm and consists of 28 and 28 1/2

These two bifolia at one time  were the paste down and end pages for a 13th century brevary, they have been expertly removed from the binding ard are very legable.  These leves are  from the library of Herbert Bloch, Pope Professor of the Latin Language and Literature, at Harvard from 1941 to 1983 He served as President of Fellows of the Medieval Academy of America (1990–93).   He was the author of   The Atina Dossier of Peter the Deacon of Monte Cassino. A Hagiographical Romance of the Twelfth Century published in the series Studi e Testi 346 (1998).



The second Bifolium…

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What I can say about identification:

The script is easy to read as the letters conform to the type of the Caroline minuscule predecessor, except that the letters have-not  become angular but DO have developed feet. The individual letters are well separated and there are no incomprehensible rows of minims. Letters such as h, b and l have wedged ascenders .  The letter s is tall and t is short sometimes . There is no j, k, y or z in the example, but the letter w DOEs Not appear. The ST ligature appears, as found in some very formal Caroline minuscule text.

The vellum is swarthy and is with easily visible guide incisions.


The wonder fold!

The binder who (had to?) use these leaves as scrap was thinking of use, waste and time. DSC_0020 2On the first (larger) Bifolia, He decided to fold rather than trim the text!

Yes bad picture but a reverse “Z” fold.

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and The Binder watched the margins!


CLaMM (Classification of Latin Medieval Manuscripts) corpus, which is the basis for the Competitions on the Classification of Medieval Handwritings in Latin Script, jointly organized by Computer Scientists and Humanists (paleographers) at ICFHR2016 and ICDAR2017.

Four rare English pamphlets

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212JFrance. Sovereign (1589-1610 : Henry IV)
Articles made and published by the King of France, touching the re-establishment and re-appeale of the Iesuits to their liberties in France. With a sentence or decree made and published against them, by the Court of Parliament in Paris, the 23. day of December last past. 1611                                          SOLD
Quarto 7 3/4 x 5 1/2 inches..  First and only edition Leaf A1 is blank and missing, A-B4 complete  Pasted in paper wrapers. A very large copy with deckel edges and a tear and loss of 6 or so words on leaf A4 STC (2nd ed.), 13121.5 (Formerly STC 16829.5.); ESTC Citation No.   S92933
No copies outside of the British Isles!
  This was especialy important to the french Jesuits in North america at the time.
 British Isles Copies – Brit.Isles   British Library  Cambridge University Trinity College  Cambridge University Trinity College  Hatfield House  Middle Temple Library  Oxford University Christ Church  Oxford University Queen’s College
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214J Charles I, King of England, 1600-1649 — Drama.
The famous tragedie of King Charles I basely butchered by those who are, omne nesas proni patare pudoris inanes crudeles, violenti, importunique tyranni mendaces, falsi, perversi, perfidiosi, fædifragi, falsis verbis infunda loquentes : in which is included, the several combinations and machinations that brought that incomparable Prince to the block, the overtures hapning at the famous seige of Colchester, the tragicall fals of Sir Charls Lucas and Sir George Lisle, the just reward of the leveller Rainsborough, Hamilton and Bailies trecheries, in delivering the late Scottish army into the hands of Cromwell, and the designe the rebels have, to destroy the royal posterity.
[London?] : [publisher not identified]1649              $1,000
Quarto    3/4 x 5 inches A-F4 (lacking G1-3, as far as I can guess) First edition?
Wing (2nd ed.), F384 , ESTC R3816:
213J     JohnKeymores
John Keymors observation made upon the Dutch fishing, about the year 1601. Demonstrating that there is more wealth raised out of herrings and other fish in His Majesties seas, by the neighbouring nations in one year, then the King of Spain hath from the Indies in four. And that there were twenty thousand ships and other vessels, and about four hundred thousand people then set on work by both sea and land; and maintained only by fishing upon the coasts of England, Scotland, and Ireland
London: printed from the original manuscript, for Sir Edward Ford in the year 1664         . $2,800
Copies – N.America   Columbia University, Rare Book & Manuscript Library   Folger Shakespeare   Harvard University Graduate School of Business, Baker Library   Harvard University Houghton Library   Harvard University Houghton Library   University of Illinois   University of Minnesota   Yale University,
Quarto, 7 1/2 x 5 3/4 inches A-B . complete First edition (and only)
This copy is disbound. but in good condition.
Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), K390
More trade wars :
215J Stepney, George, 1663-1707.
An essay upon the interest of England; in the present circumstances of affairs, to which are added the proceedings of the House of Commons in 1677. upon the French king’s progress in Flanders.
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Dublin : re-printed, for Rob. Thornton, 1701.        $900
Quarto 8 x 6 inches A-E4  Second edition, the same year as the first.  While the London edition of 1701 is common, the Dublin edition is quite rare. ESTC Listing only two copies Copies – N.America: University of Minnesota and Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. This is a wonderful copy with deckles on the bottom and outside edges and is disbound.
Stepney was the son of George Stepney, groom of the chamber to Charles II, and was born at Westminster. He was admitted on the foundation of Westminster School in 1676, and in 1682 became a scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge, becoming a fellow of his college in 1687. Through his friend Charles Montagu, afterwards Earl of Halifax, he entered the diplomatic service, and in 1692 was sent as envoy to Brandenburg. He represented William III at various other German courts, and in 1702 was sent to Vienna, where he had already acted as envoy in 1693. In Nov 1697 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society In 1705 Prince Eugene of Savoy requested Stepney’s withdrawal on the grounds of his alleged favouritism towards the Hungarian insurgents, but the demand was taken back at the request of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, who had great confidence in Stepney. He was, nevertheless, removed in 1706 to The Hague. In the following year he returned to England in the hope of recovering from a severe illness, but died in Chelsea, London, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.Stepney had a full and accurate knowledge of German affairs, and was a great letter-writer. Among his correspondents was Gottfried Leibniz, with whom he was on friendly terms. Much of his official and other correspondence is preserved in the letters and papers of Sir John Ellis (Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 28875-28947), purchased from the earl of Macclesfield in 1872, and others are available in the record office. He contributed a version of the eighth satire of Juvenal to the translation (1693) of the satires by John Dryden and others. . This is a wonderful copy with deckles on the bottom and outside edges and is disbound. 6/25/2018 () An essay upon the interest of England; in the present circumstances of affairs, to which are added the proceedings of the House of Commons in 1677. upon the French king’s progress in Flanders Second edition, the same year as the first.  the same year as the first.  While the London edition of 1701 is common, the Dublin edition is quite rare. ESTC Listing only two copies Copies – N.America: University of Minnesota and Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript .
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Murder and suicide and the Rye House plot.

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Essex’s innocency and honour vindicated: or, Murther, subornation, perjury, and oppression, justly charg’d on the murtherers of that noble lord and true patriot, Arthur (late) Earl of Essex. As proved before the Right Honourable (late) committee of Lords, or ready to be deposed. In a letter to a friend. Written by Lawrence Braddon (of the Middle-Temple) Gent. who was upwards of five years prosecuted or imprisoned, for endeavouring to discover this murther the third day after the same was committed.


207J.  Braddon, Laurence, d-1724.

London : printed for the author; and sold by most booksellers, 1690.  $2,700.                   This copy is bound in half speckled calf.

A principal contemporary source of the still mysterious death of Essex while imprisoned in the Tower, leading to Braddon’s own trial and imprisonment which lasted untill the landing of William III in 1688. 

The Rye House Plot, (1683), alleged Whig conspiracy to assassinate or mount an insurrection against Charles II of England because of his pro-Roman Catholic policies. The plot drew its name from Rye House at Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, near which ran a narrow road where Charles was supposed to be killed as he traveled from a horse meet at Newmarket. By chance, according to the official narrative, the king’s unexpectedly early departure in March foiled the plot. Ten weeks later, on June 1, an informer’s allegations prompted a government investigation.

The facts remain cloudy, but the named figures in the plot included James Scott, Duke of Monmouth; Arthur Capel, Earl of Essex; Lord William Russell; Algernon Sidney; Sir Thomas Armstrong; Robert Ferguson; and Lord William Howard. All had allegedly met at the house of one Sheppard, a London wine merchant, and at their own houses and discussed various means of ridding the country of Charles II or denying the succession to his openly Roman Catholic brother, the future James II. The Rye House assassination was but one of the schemes discussed. After the plot’s exposure, Essex was arrested and died in the Tower of London, probably a suicide; Russell, Sidney, and Armstrong were tried, convicted of treason, and beheaded; the other figures escaped punishment.

Wing (2nd ed., 1994), B4101

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Richard Archdekin 1618-1693 (alias McGillacuddy)

833G Richard Archdekin 1618-1693 ,

THEOLOGIA QUADRIPARTITA :POLEMICA, Praecipuas Fidei Controversias, ad brevem, ac facilem Metrodum redactas, PRACTICA, Resolutiones Theologicas, ac omnia prope SACERDOTIS munia accommodatas, SACRA, Apparatum alphabeticum, cum Praxi et Conceptibus Contionum pro singulis anni Dominicis; CATECHETICA, Summam Doctrinae Christianae, selectissimis exemplis, et brevi explicatione illustratam complectens.

Pragæ : Typis Universitatis Carolo- Ferdinandae in Collegio Societ. Jesu ad S. Clementem,1678                              $2,800 
DSC_0038Octavo 6 1/2 X 4 inches π1,)(6, )o(8,A-Z8, Aa-Pp8,Qq4. {[XXVIII], 582, [XXXI]}(Ee6 is a medial blank)

First and only edition. This copy is bound in the original Vellum binding, two brass clasps, manuscript title on spine.It is printed on (bad) iron rich paper with quite a bit of natural browning. OCLC only lists one other copy Czech Republic STATE RES LIBR, OLOMOUC which is also uniformly brown.DSC_0037
The ‘ Controversias Fidei’ had a wonderful success. A few copies of the work which found their way to the university of Prague were received with such enthusiasm that some transcripts of the whole were made for the use of the students; and in 1678 the book was reprinted, without the knowledge of the author, at the University

Press.ARCHDEKIN, or ARSDEKIN, RICHARD an Irish Jesuit, who has adopted both forms of his name on his own title-pages, and is also known as Mac Cuddy, was the son of Nicholas Archdekin and his wife Ann Sherlock, and was born at Kilkenny 16 March 1618. He went through a course of classical studies, and for two years applied himself to philosophy before he entered the Jesuit order; and he studied theology for four years at Louvain. Entering the Society of Jesus at Mechlin 28 Sept. 1642, he was in due time enrolled among the professed fathers of the order. He was teaching humanities in 1650; he studied under the Jesuits at Antwerp and Lille; and arrived at the Professed House at DSC_0036Antwerp 26 March 1653. For six years he taught humanities, and he was professor of philosophy, moral theology, and Holy Scripture for a long period, chiefly at Louvain and Ant werp. His death occurred in the latter city 31 Aug. 1693.Father Archdekin, who was proficient in the Latin, Irish, English, and Flemish languages, composed the following works:— 1. ‘A Treatise of Miracles, together with New Miracles, and Benefits obtained by the sacred reliques of S. Francis Xaverius exposed in the Church of the Society of Jesus at Mechlin,’ Louvain, 1667, 8vo, in English and Irish. This very scarce book is supposed to be the first ever printed in the two languages in conjunction. 2. ‘Precipure Controversiie Fidei ad facilem methodum redactae; ac Resolutiones Theologicoe ad omnia Sacerdotis munia, pnesertim in Missionibus, accommodatse,’ Louvain, 1671, 8vo. At the end of this volume, which is a summary of theology, is usually found: 3. ‘ Vitie et Miraculorum Sancti Patricii Hiberniie Apostoli Epitome, cum brevi notitia Hibernioe et Prophetia S. Malachise’ (Louvain, 1671,8vo), a life of St. Patrick, with a short notice of Ireland, and the prophecy of St. Malachi respecting the succession of the popes. The ‘ Controversias Fidei’ had a wonderful success. A few copies of the work which found their way to the university of Prague were received with such enthusiasm that some transcripts of the whole were made for the use of the students; and in 1678 the book was reprinted, without the knowledge of the author, at the University Press. The third edition, which was printed at Antwerp with the author’s corrections and additions, was followed by a fourth and fifth at Cologne and Ingolstadt; and the sixth, again at Antwerp, by a seventh again at Cologne. These particulars are gathered from the prefaces to the eighth edition, which appeared at Antwerp in 1686 and where the title, the bulk, and the arrangement of the work are so altered that it would hardly be recognised as the same. 4The ‘ Controversioe Fidei’ of 1671 is a small octavo of 500pages. In the edition of 1686 the title is ‘Theologia Tripartita Universal and the three volumes quarto, of which it consists, comprise in all about 1,100 pages closely printed in double columns, containing about five times the matter of the ‘Controversial’ The work includes a life of Oliver Plunket, the catholic archbishop of Armagh, who was executed at London in 1681r and a life of Peter Talbot, the catholic archbishop of Dublin, who died in imprisonment at Dublin in 1680. In addition to these Archdekin’s work contains a number of anecdotes connected with the history of Ireland, introduced as examples in support of his theological doctrines. Archdekin’s work displays much order, knowledge, and precision, but some of his decisions in cases of conscience have been controverted by higher authority in the catholic church. In 1700 it was prohibited until correction should be made by the Congregation of the Index. The first edition published with the necessary corrections appears to have been also the last. It appeared at Antwerp in 1718, and was the thirteenth of the whole. (DNB)

In spite of its numerous editions, beginning with the year 1671, it was put on the Index in 1700, donec corrigatur. Although at least the Antwerp edition of 1718 was corrected, especially as regards the peccatum philosophicum, and the Cologne edition of 1730 was “revised and corrected”, yet in the Index of 1900 he is still referred to as an author previously condemned. He left in manuscript a “Theologia Apostolica”. Hurter speaks of him as auctor gravis et probabilista. Webb in his “Compendium of Irish Biography” (Dublin, 1878) declares of the treatise on miracles that “it is said to have been the first book printed in English and Irish conjointly.” (CE)

HURTER, Nomenclator, II, 399; SOMMERVOGEL, Bibliothèque de la c. de J. I, 515, WARE-HARRIS, Writers and Antiquities of Ireland (Dublin, 1764)Foley’s Records, vii. 15; Oliver’s Collectanea S. J., 231; O’Reilly’s Irish Writers, 198 ; Ware’s Writers of Ireland, ed. Harris, 203; Thomas Watts, in Biog. Diet. Soc. D. U. K.; Ribadeneira, Bibl. Scriptorum Soc. Jesu,,ed. Southwell, 718; Backer, Bibliotheque des Ecrivains de la Compagnie do Jesus (1869), 267; Foppens.Bibl. Belgica, 1066.] T. C. Sweeney? see DeBacker Sommervogel vol I col 515-521

A more complete list of his books:
1. Theses Sacrae in Epist. Pauli Ad Romanos et Primum Ad Corinthianos (Louvain, 1668).

2. Theses Sacrae in Sancta Jesu Christi Evangelia, (Louvain, 1669), Quarto.

3. Praecipuae Controversiae Fidei Ad Facilem Methodum Redactae (Louvain, 1671), Octavo.

4. Theses Sacrae de Verbo Dei et Creatione Mundi (Louvain, 1671), Quarto.

5. Vitae et Miraculorum Sancti Patricii Hiberniae, Apostoli Epitome Cum Brevi Notitia Hiberniae et Prophetia S Malachiae (Louvain, 1671), Octavo.

6. Theses Theologicae de Deo Uno et Triuno ([Antwerp], [1676]), Quarto.

7. Apparatus Materiae et Formae Pro Doctrina Sacra in Quavis Dictione Facile Methodo Paranda, et Pro Catechesi Cum Exemplis Illustranda. Cum Praxi Varia Assistendi Aegris Ac Moribundis, et Alias Functiones Sacras Rite Obeundi, (Antwerp, 1678), Octavo.

8. Theologia Quadripartita (Prague, 1678). {His Theologia Quadripartita, a guide to essential Catholic teachings and controversies with Protestants, was extremely popular, quickly selling out, and he produced an expanded form of the work in the same year, the Theologia Tripartita. The work received censure from the Inquisition and was thus emended at various points during the production of subsequent editons. Brussels MS 7299, f.71r-75v contains a summary of things to be emended by Archdekin. }

9. Theologia Tripartita Universa, Complectens Nunc Bibliothecam Perfectam Viri Ecclesiastici, Ordine Sequenti, (Antwerp, 1678), Octavo.


INDEX TITULORUM of Theologia Quadripartita


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