A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A site


January 2019

Country House-Wife’s Garden 1631

273J William Lawson (1553/4–1635)

A nevv orchard and garden or The best way for planting, grafting, and to make any ground good, for a rich orchard: particularly in the north, and generally for the whole kingdome of England, as in nature, reason, situation, and all probabilitie, may and doth appeare. Wit the country housewifes garden for hearbes of common vse their vertues, seasons, profits, ornaments, varietie of knots, models for trees, and plots for the best ordering of grounds and walkes. As also the husbandry of bees, with their seuerall vses and annoyances all being the experience of 48. yeares labour, and now the second time corrected and much enlarged, by William Lawson. Whereunto is newly added the art of propagating plants, with the true ordering of all manner of fruits, in their gathering, carring home & preseruation.


London: Printed by Nicholas Okes, for Iohn Harison, at the golden Vnicorne in Pater-noster-row, 1631.    $1,900


Quarto.A⁴ B-I⁸ K⁴ (last leaf blank).

This copy is disbound  in a folding cloth binder  There are a few woodcut illustrations.    Minor wear, one leaf cropped close with slight loss; a very nice copy.

This is an early issue of this horticultural classic, first published in 1618, and notable for the inclusion of Lawson’s Country House-Wife’s Garden, the first book on the subject specifically written for women, and one of the most delightful gardening books in the language, illustrated with the oft-reproduced cuts of knot designs.

aha2_orchardWilliam Lawson was a writer on gardening and Church of England clergyman, was probably a member of the extensive northern English gentry family of Lawson, but his parents’ names are not known. He was ordained deacon in 1580, and became vicar of Ormesby, near Teesmouth, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, in 1583. He spent the rest of his life there. His first wife, Sibille, with whom he had two children, was buried at Ormesby in 1618; on 28 April 1619 he married Emme Tailer, who survived him.  Lawson was a long-lived Yorkshire parson and a real ‘hands on’ gardener: he declares his book to be written from ‘my meer and sole experience, without respect to any former-written Treatise’. His two passions were orchards and bees and he covers all aspects of his subjects, soil management, planting and pruning, the construction of beehives, the control of various ‘nuisances’ (including birds, deer and moles) and the harvesting of fruits and honey.

Lawson refers several times to the difficulties of the local environment and warns his fellow northern gardeners to ‘meddle not with Apricockes nor Peaches, nor scarcely with Quinces, which will not like our cold parts’. He also stresses how important it is to keep bees in weatherproof accommodation using a good northern term to explain that the ‘nesh Bee can neither abide cold or wet’!  However, he writes lyrically of the pleasures of an orchard: ‘your trees standing in comely order which way soever you look … your borders on every side hanging and drooping with Feberries, Raspberries, Barberries, Currents and the roots of your trees powdred with Strawberries, red,white and green, what pleasure is this?Interestingly, in his advice to the country housewife, Lawson advises that every household should maintain two gardens, a kitchen garden and a flower garden. He suggests that the reason for this is that ‘your garden flowers shall suffer some disgrace if among them you intermingle onions, parsnips etc’.

The woodcuts which illustrate the book are delightful (Lawson tell us that he instructed the publisher to expend ‘much cost and care … in having the Knots and Models by the best Artizan cut’) They include patterns for knot gardens (the little prancing horse and the man with a sword represent topiary designs) and images of gardeners, sporting some very jaunty headwear, digging and planting.

Lawson’s summary of the satisfaction to be gained from gardening remains as true today as it was for his seventeenth century readers: ‘whereas every other pleasure commonly fills some one of or senses, and that only, with delight, this makes all our senses swim in pleasure’.

aha2_tpcropThis is Lawson’s only book, A new orchard and garden, has a dedication to a connection of one branch of the Lawsons, Sir Henry Belasyse. It was the first published work on gardening in the north of England, and its second section, Aha2_countrytp.jpeg

The Countrie Housewifes Garden, was the first horticultural work written specifically for women (there would not be another in English for a century). The ‘sound, clear, natural wit’ manifested in it was praised by John Beale forty years later (Beale, 14), Illustrated with cuts of tools, a garden plan, and knot designs.


ESTC S4739;  STC 15331.3; Henrey 228n, p. 160; Rohde, p. 54; British Bee Books 20; Poynter, p. 176.

Three libraries hold copies in the US!, Berkeley :University of Illinois :Yale


Book of the Month

July 2006

William Lawson 

A New Orchard and Garden with The Country-Housewifes Garden for Herbs

London: 1648.     Sp Coll Ferguson Ah-a.2

Our July choice is a popular Renaissance work on gardening, A new orchard and garden by William Lawson. It was printed together with the first horticultural book written solely for women, The country housewife’s garden. Both are full of sensible and practical advice, imbued with Lawson’s charming philosophy. For Lawson, working in the orchard and garden was the ideal kind of rest and relaxation: ‘For whereas every other pleasure commonly fills some one of our senses, and that only, with delight, this makes all our senses swim in pleasure, and that with infinite variety joyned with no lesse commodity’.
William Lawson (1553/4-1635) was the vicar of Ormesby, a country parish in Yorkshire.  First and foremost a religious man who carried out his clerical duties most diligently, he was obviously also a keen gardener with considerable land. A man of some learning, he evidently read widely on agriculture and gardening, and his two works are also scattered with references to the classics. When he died he willed ‘all my latine books & mie English books of contraversie’ to his son William, which suggests that he may well have owned a relatively substantial library of books for the period.
A New Orchard and Garden and The Country Housewife’s Garden were Lawson’s only published works. They were first printed together in 1618* and proved popular enough to warrant further reprints in quick succession. The copy featured here is a later, enlarged edition from 1648, part of A Way to Get Wealth, a compilation of treatises on husbandry and other household matters by Gervase Markham.
Lawson dedicated his work to Sir Henry Belloses (Belasyse), a prominent Yorkshire baronet who was also an orchard enthusiast. In his dedication, Lawson thanks him for the profit he received from his ‘learned Discourse of Fruit trees’. However, in the preface following he is at pains to point out that his book is in fact a product of ‘my meer and sole experience, without respect to any former-written Treatise’. It is a result of forty eight years experience in working a northern garden. Occasionally in the text he refers to the difficulties of this environment. He advises his fellow northerners, for instance, to ‘meddle not with Apricockes nor Peaches, nor scarcely with Quinces, which will not like our cold parts’. This book can therefore be credited with being the first to deal with the northern garden.
Gardening had become a national passion in the Sixteenth Century. Then, as now, it was a recreation that brought peace and contentment, and Eyler suggests that it provided a welcome escape from the trials of a turbulent age. Renaissance interest was certainly sparked by the influence of Protestant refugees from the Continent, while an increase in travel abroad and geographical discovery brought back new plants and ideas. There was a subsequent demand for new knowledge and exchange of information, spurring the production of horticultural manuals such as this.
Although not published until 1618, Lawson’s work is really the product of an Elizabethan life. But it is interesting to note that in its practicality, it is also an example of the age of reason; at this time there was a growing preoccupancy with the workings of nature and science, and a burgeoning interest in subjects such as botany, concentrating on the useful qualities and medical virtues of plants. Such a utilitarian outlook was also to be found in the tenets of Puritanism: good husbandry was keenly pursued, physical toil being regarded as a form of devotion to God. It should be remembered that Lawson was a Protestant preacher, and as Thick points out, his religious convictions were broadly puritan; as he states, he had no time for ‘popery and knavery’.
The heading preceding the first chapter sums up the aim of Lawson’s New Orchard: ‘the best, sure and readiest way to make a good orchard and garden’.  He begins with the traits to be sought in a good gardener should the reader be in the position to employ one: he should be honest, and certainly not ‘an idle, or lazie lubber’. If lucky enough to have the services of such a paragon, ‘God shall crowne the labours of his hands with joyfulnesse, and make the clouds drop fatnesse upon your trees’. For those who have to roll up their own sleeves, however, Lawson has written this book and ‘gathered these rules’ together.

The work goes on to deal comprehensively with all aspects of orchard management, covering: the kind of soil required (‘blacke, fat, mellow, cleane and well tempered’) and how to improve it; the best kind of site and how to protect it with fencing, or even better, ‘quickwood, and moates or ditches of water’; how to deal with ‘annoyances’ such as animals, birds, thieves, disease and the weather (not to mention the evils of a ‘carelesse master’); how to plant, space and prune your trees; the different types of fruit trees and bushes and their qualities; and how to gather, store and preserve the fruits of your labours. As Lawson sums up, ‘skill and pains, bring fruitful gains’.
Lawson’s advice is eminently sensible. His instructions are clear and obviously draw on the considerable personal skills he accrued over his lifetime. However, it is the underlying philosophy of the author and his frequent lyricism and rhetorical eloquence that still makes this book such a pleasure to read today. This is apparent even in the most technical of chapters, where Lawson deals with topics such as raising sets, planting and grafting. A typical example is found in the section on pruning where he emphasises the need for man’s intervention by drawing a comparison with an uncultivated wood full of neglected, rotten, and dying trees, as he rails: ‘What rottennesse? what hollownes? what dead armes? withered tops? curtalled trunks? what loads of mosses? drouping boughes? & dying branches shall you see everywhere?’
But Lawson’s sentiments rarely override his practicality. For instance, he devotes a considerable section to the measures required to counteract the ‘whole Army of mischiefs’ that plague the gardener. He ruefully acknowledges that ‘Good things have most enemies’ and catalogues a whole host of enemies ranging from deer to moles (they will ‘anger you’). He even advises that sparrowhawks are useful against plundering garden birds: although he acknowledges the delight of hearing blackbirds and thrushes singing on a May morning, ‘I had rather want their company than my fruit’.
Despite his problem with flying cherry thieves, the overall impression gained from reading the book is that Lawson’s ideal garden would be a delight. As well as abundant fruit trees, there would be sweet scented flowers, humming bees (whom, he assures us, do not sting their friends), beautiful ornaments, silver sounding music, broad and long walkways, a maze, and even a bowling alley for exercise.
The satisfied gardener should ‘view now with delight the works of your owne hands, your fruit trees of all sorts, loaden with sweet blossomes, and fruit of all tasts, operations and colours: your trees standing in comely order which way soever you look … Your borders on every side hanging and drooping with Feberries, Raspberries, Barberries, Currents, and the roots of your trees powdred with Strawberries, red, white and green, what a pleasure is this?’
Having gathered in the  harvest, Lawson recommends a period of reflection: ‘Now pause with your selfe, and view the end of all your labours in an Orchard: unspeakable pleasure, and infinite commodity’. But although the yield will hopefully be profitable, the means is not all about the end: ‘For what is greedy gaine, without delight, but moyling, and turmoyling in slavery? But comfortable delight, with content, is the good of every thing, and the patterne of heaven … And who can deny but the principall end of an orchard, is the honest delight of one wearied with the works of his lawfull calling?’
The book is also loved for its woodcut illustrations. In the preface, Lawson explains that no expense was spared in producing these for the ‘common good’: much ‘cost and care’ was bestowed by the publisher in having them produced by ‘the best Artizan’.
The illustration depicting the ‘overall plan for the form of a garden’ is a simplified view of a typical late Elizabethan garden. The overall rectangular shape is split into six square sections set over three levels or terraces, negotiated via flights of stairs and intercrossing walkways. Its design demonstrates the Tudors love for symmetry and patterns. A mount (‘M’) at each corner overlooks the garden and the countryside beyond it, and a fountain plays at one of the walkway crossings. There are two still houses in the top corners (‘N’). The individual gardens within gardens are variously landscaped with trees, kitchen gardens, flowerbeds, knots, and topiary (signified by the horse and sword wielding man). A river runs at the top and bottom of the garden. The presence of water nearby is lauded as being both practical (in providing moisture for thirsty trees and in acting as a barrier) and pleasant for sport, for ‘you might sit in your mount and angle a peckled trout, sleighty eel or some other daintie fish’. According to Malcolm Thick, this garden would have been considered old-fashioned by the most fashion-conscious gentlemen of the early Seventeenth Century who were more interested in Italian influenced grand ‘Renaissance’ gardens, preferably laid out by a Continental gardeners. But is should be remembered that Lawson was hearkening back to the 1570s when writing his work, and the gardens he favoured ‘had an intimacy never regained once the impact of the high Italian Renaissance and the French grand manner reached England’ (Miles Hadfield, quoted by Thick).
The second work in Lawson’s book, The Country Housewife’s Companion, lacks the philosophical discourses of its companion volume. This is perhaps because it was written specifically for women (‘my country housewife, not skillful artists’), and its simple tone is therefore pitched at a less learned readership. Nonetheless, it frequently refers to the text of The New Orchard and it seems that the two books were intended to be read and used together.
The book is split into a series of short chapters that offer advice on a number of topics, including the soil and layout of the ideal garden, the properties of various herbs and plants, general rules for gardening, and the husbandry of bees.
Lawson suggests that each household should have two gardens: a kitchen garden and a flower garden. He explains that the distinction between the two does not have to be perfect but that ‘your garden flowers shall suffer some disgrace if among them you intermingle onions, parsnips,etc.’ The division is for both practical and aesthetic reasons: that ‘for your kitchen’s use must yield daily roots or other herbs and suffer deformity’ while ‘the herbs of both will not be both alike ready at one time either for gathering or removing’.
The flower (or ‘summer’) garden could be set out in  in squares and knots. Lawson recommends using a mix of flowers and herbs, mentioning roses, rosemary, lavendar, hyssop, sage, thyme, cowslips, peonies, daisies, clove-gilliflowers, pinks, and lilies. Several illustrations of patterns for knot gardens are provided, but Lawson concedes that for these ‘speciall formes in squares’  there are as many devices as ‘gardeners braines’ and prefers to ‘leave every house-wife to herself.’
plans for knots (pages 80-82 [ie 81])
This work also provides detailed information about bee-keeping, covering everything from constructing a hive to extracting honey. This again was based on personal experience, Lawson telling us that he was a ‘Bee-master’ for many years. He goes against conventional wisdom in preferring a straw hive for his bees over a wooden one, but says that he recommends them for ‘nimblenesse, closenesse, warmnesse and drynesse.’ He emphasises the tenderness of bees on several occasions, saying, for example, that the ‘nesh Bee can neither abide cold or wet’.
Two short pamphlets are appended to the end of Lawson’s work: A most profitable new treatise, from approved experience of the art of propagating plants by Simon Harward (pages 109-123) and The husbandmans fruitfull orchard (pages 125-134). Harward’s work is an in-depth explanation of the methodology for layering and grafting trees. The last work is a common sense guide to picking, packing, transporting and preserving fruit.
We do not know who originally owned this copy of the book, but the volume does bear intriguing glimpses of its past life. An annotation in an Italic hand at the foot of the main title-page indicates that the book was in Durham and purchased for six shillings at some unspecified point in its history. This inscription is followed by a more obscure annotation – possibly the initials ‘J.G.’, the initials ‘I.G. also being blind stamped on the front board of the binding.
Glasgow University Library acquired the book as part of the collection of John Ferguson, purchased in 1920. Ferguson (1838-1916) was a Professor of Chemistry at Glasgow University from 1874 to 1915. Although his library is justly renowned for its strengths in Alchemy and Chemistry, it also contains many interesting books and manuals on practical topics such as gardening, husbandry and cookery. According to a note in the front pastedown, Ferguson bought this book on 16 February, 1906.
This book will be on display in the Special Collections foyer (on level 12 of Glasgow University Library), along with a small selection of other gardening books, until the end of September 2006.

‘To conclude, what joy may you have, that you living to such an age, shall see the blessings of God on your labours while you live, and leave behind you to heirs or successors (for God will make heires) such a work, that many ages after your death, shall record your love to their Country? And the rather, when you consider to what length of time your worke is like to last’.


Hugh Latimer The First& …. Sermon preached before King Edward, March 8, 1549

“Of all the English Reformers, Bishop Hugh Latimer was the most popular in his time and probably has the greatest place in the affections of posterity.   Although a passionate preacher and a zealot for reform, in a day when religious executions were all too common, he completed his three-score years and ten, before sealing his testimony with his blood”

Edward VI listening to a sermon by Hugh Latimer at St. Paul’s Cross, London on January 29, 1548.

(Harold S. Darby, Hugh Latimer (London: Epworth Press, 1953), p. 7.)

Latimer preaching to Edward VII From John Foxe’s Acts and Monuments, artist unknown.

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.

[London: by Jhon Day, dwellynge at Aldergate, and Wylliam Seres, dwellyng in Peter Colledge, 1549]                                                                  $14,200.  $10,000



DSC_0076Octavo 137 x 88 mm A-D8, A-Y8, Aa-Ee8 (Lacking Ee7 and 8, undoubtedly 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 but holding strong.

DSC_0078 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.


Article reprinted from Cross†Way Issues Winter 1994, Spring 1995, Spring 1996, Summer 1996 & Autumn 1996 (Nos. 55, 56 60, 61 & 62)

(C)opyright Church Society; material may be used for non-profit purposes provided that the source is acknowledged and the text is not altered.



“With the accession of Edward VI at the beginning of 1547, the danger to Latimer’s life receded and he was released from the Tower of London under a general pardon. He returned to preaching and as Darby says in his book, Hugh Latimer (1953):-

Latimer’s fame is most secure as a preacher. It was in that way that he served best in the days of Henry VIII: it was almost the only way that he served during the short reign of his son. The six years gave him his fullness of opportunity to follow his natural bent.

It was during these years that the First Prayer Book of 1549 and the Second, more Protestant, Prayer Book of 1552 were drawn up with the Forty Two Articles and the First Book of Homilies. With such a programme of reform, it was clear that Latimer would be the natural choice to return to

the See of Worcester. He was invited to do so but he declined the appointment on the ground of age and infirmity. This was accepted, and as preaching was his high calling, he preached extensively before the young king. Most of our knowledge of his sermons dates from this period of his ministry. He became a champion, not only of the spoken word, but of the Word preached directly to the present congregation. It was a word relevant to the condition of the nation as a whole.

His earlier convocation sermon which had attacked the lethargy and worldliness of the clergy had won Latimer the respect of the nation. His refusal of high office and the wealth which went with it gained their hearts. It would be true to say that no other English preacher has ever been held in such high esteem, including the Wesleys and George Whitefield, as well as Charles Spurgeon. It would also be true to say that no other preacher has ever accomplished as much good in the life of the nation. The records of the State Paper Office and British Museum bear out this testimony. But Latimer was now ageing and after Lent 1550, he resigned as the King’s preacher and he returned to his home country, his beloved Midland Counties, continuing to preach from Lincolnshire to Warwickshire.”

Latimer preaching to Edward VII From John Foxe’s Acts and Monuments, artist unknown.

Hugh Latimer preaching to King Edward VI of England, a woodcut in John Foxe’s Acts and Monuments, better known as Foxe’s English Martyrs. By the time this book was published in 1563, Edward VI was revered as a pious patron of the English Reformation, a new Josiah who loved nothing better than to hear sermons, during which he often took notes. He is depicted here listening from a gallery to a sermon by Bishop Hugh Latimer, who, along with Thomas Cranmer and Nicholas Ridley, was a key figure in the development of Protestantism in Edward’s reign and, like them, a martyr under Edward’s Catholic successor Queen Mary I. Historian Diarmaid MacCulloch stresses the accuracy of this image of Edward, though fellow historian Jennifer Loach cautions against too ready an acceptance of the portrayal of Edward by Reformation propagandists such as Foxe, who called Edward a “godly imp”. The pulpit in the Privy Garden at the Palace of Whitehall had been built by Henry VIII in an enclosure which continued to be used for animal-baiting and wrestling. The king’s pulpit became the most fashionable preaching place in London, provoking Latimer to complain: “Surely it is an ill misorder that folk shall be walking up and down in the sermon-time, as I have seen in the place this Lent: and there shall be such huzzing and buzzing in the preacher’s ear that it maketh him oftentimes to forget his matter”. (References: Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Boy King: Edward VI and the Protestant Reformation, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002, pp. 21–25, 107; Jennifer Loach, Edward VI, New Haven (CT): Yale University Press, 1999, pp. 180–81.) & Chris Skidmore, Edward VI: The Lost King of England, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2007, ISBN 9780297846499.

Saint Raymond of Peñafort Saint of the Day for January 7

234J  Magister Adam [de Aldersbach ](d1408.) also Raymmundus de Pennaforti. (1180-1275)

“Su[m]mula clarissimi iurisco[n]sultissimiq[ue] viri Raymu[n]di : demu[m] reuisa ac castigatissime correcta : breuissimo co[m]pe[n]dio sacrame[n]torum alta co[m]plectens mysteria. de sortilegis. symonia. furto. rapina. vsura. etq[ue] [sic] varijs casibus”


[Cologne]: [Retro Minores, for Heinrich Quentell], 18 July 1500

$ 9,500

img_0580(Colophon (leaf cc3v): … Imp[re]ssa Colonie impensis Henrici Quentell. Anno salutis .M.ccccc. Die .xviij. mensis Iulij)


Quarto. 8 x5 1⁄2 inches : a-s6 t-v4 x-z6 (lacking one leaf x2 ( folio cxvii) aa-cc6 dd4.. This copy is bound in late 19th century quarter calf & marbled paper boards, rubbed with, light soiling and water stains. Numerous early or contemporary notes. And three full of notes at the end of the text.

This interesting book is an epitome in verse of Raymond of Peñafort’s Summa de poenitentia et matrimonio, with commentary and interlinear glosses. More than simply a list of sins and suggested penances, it discussed pertinent doctrines and laws of the Church that pertained to the problem or case brought to the confessor, and is widely considered an authoritative work on the subject.[1] 

 This versification is ascribed to Adamus, a 13th cent. Cistercian monk of Aldersbach in Lower Bavaria; sometimes attributed to Adam Coloniensis. Cf. F. Valls Taberner, “La ‘Summula Pauperum’ de Adam de Alderspach,” Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Kulturgeschichte Spaniens, Bd. 7 (1938), p. 69-83   In this edition Adam’s Summula de summa Raymundi itself receives a detailed prose commentary. This edition contains Raymond’s Summa with his commentary on the trees of consanguinity and affinity, which indicated whether couples were not permitted to marry because of blood kinship or sexual contact.” Thomas Izbicki [3]


Saint Raymond of Peñafort is the Patron Saint of: Lawyers

In 1229 Raymond was appointed theologian and penitentiary to the Cardinal Archbishop of Sabina, John of Abbeville, and was summoned to Rome in 1230 by Pope Gregory IX, who appointed him chaplain and grand penitentiary.[2]  

“Raymond of Peñafort’s Summa de casibus conscientiae, including its fourth book, the Summa de matrimonio, was one of the most successful texts for pastors and confessors composed in the Middle Ages.. The Summa was subject to detailed commentary by William of Rennes, updates by John of Freiburg reflecting new papal pronouncements, and abridgment for pastors’ greater convenience. “(Ghezzi, Bert. “Saint Raymond of Penyafort”, Voices of the Saints, Loyola Press)

img_0581San Raimundo de Peñafort; compiled the Decretals of Gregory IX, which remained a major part of Church law until 1917. 
As a novice Raimundo was assigned to develop a book of case studies for confessors. The Summa de casibus poenitentiae is a guide book for Confessors made up as a case book and papal decrees and decretals concerning eucharist, celibacy, abortions, helping the poor, women with leprosy, curses, etc.{3}

He studied canon law at Bologna and taught there from 1218 to 1221. Among his works of this period were unpublished annotations of the Decretum of Gratian (flourished c. 1140; the father of the scienceof canon law) and an uncompleted treatise on canon law, Summa juris canonici.

In 1230 Pope Gregory IX called Raymond to Rome to serve as a papal chaplain to examine cases of conscience. Gregory also commissioned him to codify the papal statutes and rulings on points of canon law that had been issued since the appearance of Gratian’s Decretum. Raymond’s compilationof Gregory’s Decretals was formally promulgated in 1234. The following year he revised and reissued his Summa de casibus, with an added part on the law of matrimony.

He returned to Spain (1236) and in 1238 was elected master general of the Dominican Order. Although he resigned after only two years, he revised the constitutions of the order. The remainder of his life was devoted to various papal commissions and to missionary interests. Later he organized schools of Arabic and Hebrew studies for missionaries in Tunis and in Murcia (c. 1255), an independent Muslim kingdom in Spain. It was at his request that St. Thomas Aquinas wrote the Summa contra gentiles, a theological exposition against the heathens.

Raymond died at the age of 100 in Barcelona in 1275 and was canonized by Pope Clement VIII in 1601. He was buried in the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia in Barcelona.

The Miracle:

Raymond of Penyafort served as the confessor for King James I of Aragon, who was a loyal son of the Church but allowed his lustful desires to shackle him. While on the island of Majorca to initiate a campaign to help convert the Moors living there, the king brought his mistress with him. Raymond reproved the king and asked him repeatedly to dismiss his concubine. This the king refused to do. Finally, the saint told the king that he could remain with him no longer and made plans to leave for Barcelona. But the king forbade Raymond to leave the island, and threatened punishment to any ship captain who dared to take him. Saint Raymond then said to his Dominican companion, “Soon you will see how the King of heaven will confound the wicked deeds of this early king and provide me with a ship!” They then went down to the seashore where Raymond took off his cappa (the long black cloak the Dominicans wear over the white tunic and scapular), and spread one end of it on the water while rigging the other end to his walking staff. Having thus formed a miniature mast, Raymond bid the other Dominican to hop on, but his companion, lacking the saint’s faith, refused to do so. Then Raymond bid him farewell, and with the sign of the cross he pushed away from the shore and miraculously sailed away on his cloak. Skirting around the very boats that had forbidden him passage, the saint was seen by scores of sailors who shouted in astonishment and urged him on. Raymond sailed the ~160 miles to Barcelona in the space of six hours, where his landing was witnessed by a crowd of amazed spectators. Touched by this miracle, King James I renounced his evil ways and thereafter led a good life.[4]

St. Raymond of Peñafort’s feast day was inserted in the General Roman Calendar in 1671 for celebration on 23 January. In 1969 it was moved to 7 January, the day after that of his death.[10]   He is the patron saint of canon lawyers, specifically, and lawyers, in general, in addition to being the unofficial patron saint of making a superb exit, due to the nature of his most famous miracle.

Copies in the U.S.:   1)Harvard                                                                                                2)Library of Congress,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         3)Univ. of California                                                                                                                            4)Yale Univ.

Goff A48; H 13710*; Voull(K) 998; Pell Ms 9995 (9785); Polain(B) 11; IBE 29; IDL 11; IBP 21; Voull(B) 996; Sack(Freiburg) 21; Wilhelmi 1; Kind (Göttingen) 1214; Walsh 467; Pr 1366; BMC I 292; BSB-Ink A-23; GW 216.

{1&2 }O’Kane, Michael. “St. Raymond of Peñafort.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 30 Jan. 2014

  1. O’Kane, Michael. “St. Raymond of Peñafort.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 30 Jan. 2014

{3}Thomas Izbicki.  “Manuscript Studies:A Journal of the Schoenberg
Institute for Manuscript Studies University of Pennsylvania Press Volume 2, Number 2.


  1. ^ Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-14-051312-4.
  2. ^ Lindberg, David C. (1978). Science in the Middle Ages. p. 77. ISBN 9780226482330.
  3. ^ McAbe, Ina Baghdiantz (2008). Orientalism in Early Modern France. Oxford: Berg Publishing. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-84520-374-0.
  4. ^ Ghezzi, Bert. “Saint Raymond of Penyafort”, Voices of the Saints, Loyola Press
  5. ^ This story was derived in part from Saint Raymond of Peñafort written by Michael Morris, OP, published in Magnificat, January 2004/Vol. 5, No. 12
  6. ^ Smith, Damian J., Crusade, Heresy and Inquisition in the Lands of the Crown of Aragon, Brill, 2010ISBN 9789004182899
  7. ^ “Calendarium Romanum” (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), pp. 85 and 114



Free Will ~ William of Auxerre, on Peter Lombard.

The first medieval theologian to develop a systematic treatise on free will, the virtues, and the natural law.

245J Guillermus Altissodorensis , or  William of Auxerre, c.1150-1231 (sometimes also called William of Beauvai)

Summa aurea in quattuor libros sententiarum : a subtilissimo doctore Magistro Guillermo altissiodore[n]si edita. quam nuper amendis q[uam]plurimis doctissimus sacre theologie professor magister Guillermus de quercu diligenti admodum castigatione emendauit ac tabulam huic pernecessariam edidit.

Impressa est Parisiis : Maxima Philippi Pigoucheti cura impensis vero Nicolai vaultier et Durandi gerlier alme vniuersitatis Parisiensis librariorum iuratorum,  3 Apr. 1500/01.                                $28,000

H19386-L153309897 4

Folio, 306, [20] ; A-z8, §8ç8A-M8, N10,A-B6,C8.    First edition. Large woodcut device (Davies 82) on title, Durand Gerlier’s woodcut device (Davies 119) within 4-part border at end. Gothic types, double column. Small marginal tear, old ms. marginalia.H19386-L153309911This is a wonderful copy which is well preserved. Bound in contemporary Flemish blind stamped calf over wooden boards, rebacked with old spine, endpapers renewed, manuscript author’s name on fore-edge.  Fine blind-stamped panelled calf over beveled wooden boards with pineapple stamps in lattice pattern, within a border of double eagle and round rose stamps. Clasps and catches missing the boards have metal strips .

Provenance:old ms. inscription ‘Societatis Jesu Brugensis’ on title page ; Bibliotheca Broxbourniana (1949) ; heraldic ex libris with the letters A and E of Albert Ehrman (motto: pro viribus summis contendo)  John Ehrman (1920 – 2011) received the library that his father Albert had started; he used a bookplate with the script “Bibliotheca Broxbourniana”  In addition to his historical scholarship, he worked to enhance his father’s library, and disposed of it by gift and auction sale in the late 1970s, ending with a final sale in 1978.

H19386-L153309886-1 2

FIRST EDITION of the major work by William of Auxerre. In his commentary on Peter Lombard, William treats creation, natural law, the nature of man, a tripartite God, usury, end the Last Judgment, among other topics. He applies the critical reasoning of classical philosophy to his writing, He was an Archdeacon of Beauvais before becoming a professor of theology at the university in Paris. In 1231, he was made a member of the commission (the others were Simon of Authie and Stephen of Provins, both canons of Rheims)  appointed by Gregory IX to examine Aristotle’s writings on the natural sciences and to offer amendments where religiously necessary.   And “correct” the corpus of Aristotle and his Arab commentators (which had been banned at the university of Paris since 1210) and extirpate dangerous passages.  Contrary to the papal legate Robert of Courçon and other conservatives, who in 1210 condemned Aristotle’s Physics and Metaphysics as corruptive of Christian faith, William saw no intrinsic reason to avoid the rational analysis of Christian revelation. Confident of William’s orthodoxy, Gregory urged the King to restore him to the university faculty so that he and Godfrey of Poitiers might reorganize the plan of studies. William fell ill and died before any of these projects were begun.The work of the committee was never completed.

The Summa Aurea, written between 1215 and 1220, the Summa Aurea, is divided into  four books as a  commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, that was an important precursor to Aquinas.  It contains an ample disquisition on usury and the natural law basis of economic matters.  William was one of the H19386-L153309903first theologians to be influenced by Aristotle. Preceding as he did the Aristotelian revival, William was largely influenced by St. Augustine, St. Anselm of Canterbury, Richard and Hugh of Saint–Victor, and Avicenna.  He is considered the first medieval theologian to develop a systematic treatise on free will, the virtues, and the natural law. His Summa Aurea shows an intellectual awareness and insistence on the physical which had not been seen in earlier philosophers.  Both in method and in content it shows a considerable amount of originality, although, like all the Summæ of the early thirteenth century, it is influenced by the manner and method of the Lombard.  William was probably a student of the Parisian canon and humanist Richard of St. Victor  but the teacher  whom William was most profoundly influenced was Praepositinus, or Prevostin, of Cremona, Chancellor of the University of Paris from 1206 to 1209.  William was, in turn, the teacher of the Dominican, John of Treviso, one of the first theologians of the Order of Preachers. The importance of the “Summa Aurea” is enhanced by the fact that it was one of the first Summæ composed after the introduction of the metaphysical and physical treatises of Aristotle.

H19386-L153309892 2

The Summa aurea, in four books, selectively treated such theological matters as God as one nature in three persons, creation, man, Christ and the virtues, sacramental worship, and the Last Judgment.

William’s emphasis on philosophy as a tool for Christian theology is evidenced by his critique of Plato’s doctrine of a demiurge, or cosmic intelligence, and by his treatment of the theory of knowledge as a means for distinguishing between God and creation. He also analyzed certain moral questions, including the problem of human choice and the nature of virtue.

William also wrote a Summa de officiis ecclesiasticis (“Compendium of Church Services”), which treated liturgical, or common, prayer, sacramental worship, and the annual cycle of scripture readings and chants. This systematic study served as the model for the late-13th-century noted work on divine worship, Guillaume Durand’s Rationale divinorum officiorum (“An Explanation of the Divine Offices”).

É. H. Gilson, History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages (New York 1955) 656–657. J. Ribaillier, ed., Magistri Guillelmi Altissiodorensis Summa aurea, 7 vols. (Paris 1980–1987).                                                                                                                                                       P. Glorieux, Répertoire des maîtres en théologie de Paris au XIIIe siècle (Paris 1933–34);     v. 17–18 of Bibliothèque Thomiste (Le Saulchoir 1921–) 1:293–294. c. ottaviano, Guglielmo d’Auxerre                                                                                                                                               . J. VanWijnsberghe, “De biechtleer van Willem van Auxerre in het licht der vroegscholastiek,” Studia catholica 27 (1952) 289–308.                                                                  G. Bonafede, Enciclopedia filosofica, 4 v. (Venice–Rome 1957) 2:934–935.

Goff G718; BMC VIII, 122 ; Hain 8324 ; Proctor 8206 ; Polain 1787 ; IGI 4600; IBP 2614; IDL 2170; IBE 2788; IBPort 821; SI 1815

United States of America:

 Astrik L. Gabriel, Notre Dame IN
Boston Public Library
Bryn Mawr College, Goodhart Medieval Library
New York, Columbia University, Butler Library
San Marino CA, Huntington Library
Univ. of Chicago Libraries
Univ. of Wisconsin

Open this link for a very good introduction to Guillermus

Notes, Annotations more notes translations …


261J   Marcus Tullius Cicero   edited by Jacques-Louis Strébée( 1480-1550)

 M. Tullii Ciceronis ad M. Brutum oratorJacobi Lodoici Strebaei commentariis ab authore ipso recognitis illustratus.


Parisiis : ex officina Michaëlis. Vascosani, 1540             $4,200

Small Folio 8 X 6 1/2 inches . *6, A-08, P4, Q6  complete ([12], 224, [20]) .

Bound in modern carta rustic ,recently resewin on three leather cords It is bound in the

IMG_0570 style of mid-sixteenth century,  thinner cartonnage with turn-ins to stabilise the edges of IMG_0566the cover.  This is a very solid and stable copy , ready to be researched with, despite the water staining.

This copy has Extensive sixteenth-century MS marginal and interlineal annotations, underlinings etc., throughout; in Latin. There is inter linear notes on every section of Cicero’s text but very few notes on Strébée’s commentary. 

Of the 224 pages, about 150 have notes in a small and sometimes very faint sixteenth century hand.

On the Printed title there is quite a bit of pen-starts and doodles as well as faint ownership signatures .   ( There is a copy in the University of Manchester Library UML copy at R229539, whisk is catalogued as having extensive notes as well.)



Before the Printed text the annotator has written an “Argumentum”


Quoted from Tore Janson (see below for citation)


We have now to deal with another important preface by Cicero, that to Orator. It begins thus:


(Orat. 1.1) Vtrum difficilius aut maius esset negare tibi saepius idem roganti an efficere id quod rogares diu multumque, Brute, dubitaui. Nam et negare ei quem unice diligerem cuique me carissimum esse sentirem, praesertim et iusta petenti et praeclara cupienti, durum admodum mihi uidebatur, et suscipere tantam rem, quantam non modo facultate consequi difficile esset sed etiam cogitatione complecti, uix arbitrabar esse eius qui uereretur reprehensionem doctorum atque prudentium.

23 P. 196: “Ainsi donc, les trois prooemia semblent bien subordonnés à une unité supérieure, grâce à un ensemble de thèmes repris sur différents plans.”

 Again we have a personal preface with a dedication. There is also a request from the dedicatee, here of even greater importance than in the prefaces to Rhetorica ad Herennium and De Oratore. The entire preface is about Cicero’s reaction to Brutus’ request for a work on the accom­ plished orator. Cicero pretends that he has been put in a dilemma by being asked for this. For while he feels himself obliged by his friendship with Brutus to comply with his request, he also finds the task so great that he does not believe himself capable of performing it in a satis­ factory way.

Here the theme of a request is for the first time exploited in the way that later became so enormously popular. With this theme, the author can emphasize as much as he wants both the difficulty of the task and his dependence on the dedicatee. It is worth while considering Cicero’s reasons for giving this form to the preface of Orator.

IMG_0552Naturally Cicero wishes everyone to regard his subject as important. Every author does. In his case, however, there were special reasons for dwelling unusually much on the weightiness of the things he will treat. His book is a treatise on the accomplished speaker, and in it Cicero pronounces on the central problems of oratory, a sphere in which his word of course carries great weight. As has been said before, he was the uncontested master of speaking in Rome, with the most brilliant oratorical career behind him. In the year 46, when Orator was written, he was especially interested in safeguarding his position as a speaker. His political career seemed to have come to an end, and quite an inglorious end at that. In his compulsory leisure he must have felt it was by no means certain that he would be regarded by posterity as a great statesman. Consequently, he was all the more anxious to appear really great in the sphere of oratory at least. Therefore, at a time when his mode of speaking was being attacked rather sharply by the atticists Brutus and Calvus,24 he felt obliged to repel the onslaught as authorita­ tively as possible. Hence his insistance on the importance of his task:

(Orat. 1.2) Quid enim est maius quam, cum tanta sit inter oratores bonos dissimilitudo, iudicare quae sit optima species et quasi figura dicendi?

But Cicero is also considering the direct relation between himself and his work. The greater the task is made to seem, the more natural it is that Cicero should hesitate before undertaking it:

24 See for instance Clarke pp. 80ff.

 {ibid.) Quod quoniam me saepius rogas, aggrediar non tam perficiendi spe quam experiendi uoluntate.

The author is here being modest about his own capacity, yet it is hardly likely that Cicero entertained such a fear of his subject as he pretends. As Curtius has pointed out {Eur. Lit. p. 93) we have here an evident instance of affected modesty.25 This is the first time we meet with this phenomenon, to which a great deal of attention will be paid in the following.

What, then, do these statements of Cicero really amount to? First he emphasizes as strongly as possible the importance and the difficulty of his subject. Then he expresses a modest doubt as to whether he is capable of complying with the request. This doubt must not be interpreted to mean that the author is not sure of his own importance as a writer. Cicero never questions his greatness in that respect, least of all in Orator. The real import of these sentences, therefore, is approximately this: The great Cicero has set about an unusually difficult task: Behold! According to the rules of rhetoric, the reader’s attention may be excited by laying stress on the importance of the subject. So Cicero’s pretended diffidence aims in reality at pointing out to the reader how well the author has succeeded.

The two themes of the preface hitherto dealt with, elevation of the subject and doubts about the author’s ability to treat it, are intimately connected with each other. But for logical reasons they cannot form a closed unit. For if the subject is so difficult that the author does not believe that he will accomplish it, why should he grapple with it? Even if the modesty is affected and not real, it will seem ridiculous unless the author adds something to make his action seem reasonable. Consequently these two themes have to be modified by a statement to the effect that the author is compelled to write the work. This compulsion, for Cicero as for his innumerable successors, is embodied in the request from the dedicatee. The preface ends as follows:

{Orat. 1.2) Malo enim, cum studio tuo sim obsecutus, desiderari a te pruden- tiam meam quam, si id non fecerim, beneuolentiam.

This solves the dilemma we talked about in connexion with the first words of the preface. The author declares himself willing to be guided by the wish of his friend and not by his own doubts as to the possibility of performing the task.

25 Curtius* and Norden’s term is “affektierte Bescheidenheit”.

 So Cicero, like the author of Rhetorica ad Herennium, makes his friendship a reason for writing. To appreciate this theme one has to consider the importance of friendship in Roman society by this time. Over the past fifty years there has been a great deal of research into the unique social and political structure of late republican Rome. The starting point was the fundamental book by Geizer, Die Nobilität der römischen Republik (1912), especially the second part (pp.43-116), where he treated “die sozialen Voraussetzungen der Nobilitätsherr- schaft”. Later research into friendship is surveyed in a recent book by Lossman, where the friendship between Cicero and Caesar is studied in the light of research into friendship in general. Another survey, from a different point of view, is made by Neuhauser (especially pp. 9-11), who has studied the pertinent concept of patronus. Wistrand (Chapter 2) has made a most interesting exposition of the subject, unfortunately available in Swedish only. I refer to these works and their biblio­ graphies for detailed information. Here I can only give a short account of the Roman concept of friendship according to modern research.

Roman society, Gelzer says, was interwoven with manifold bilateral connexions between the citizens, “Nah- und Treuverhältnisse”. These connexions were of paramount importance in the life of society. Among other things, their number and their strength decided the success of every politician; for every Roman citizen was bound to one or more of the important men of the state. In the elections he voted for the men he was bound to, and also supported them in other ways as required. So the politician who had tied to him the greatest number of citizens had the greatest chance of being elected to the offices he wanted. The groups of interconnected persons tended to be very large, and their heads were the very great men, like Pompeius, Crassus and Caesar. The political battles of the late Republic were fought between such politicians backed by vast numbers of people connected to them by ties of friend­ ship and fidelity. Of course the great politicians might also become connected to each other by ties of the same sort, whereupon their large bands of supporters co-operated. Such an agreement, on the highest level, was the first triumvirate.

We see that theseIMG_0573IMG_0574IMG_0575IMG_0577IMG_0576IMG_0578IMG_0578 2can be established both between an inferior and a superior and between equals. In the first case the parties may be called cliens and patronus, respectively, or they case. In both cases the fundamental mechanism is the same. One of the may be styled amici, which, of course, is the normal word in the second parties receives a service or a gift from the other and thereby becomes

 bound to repay this by performing such services as may be demanded from him. The prerequisite for the origination and function of this system is that there was in society a deeply rooted conception of every man’s duty to repay the services he had received, or in other words to show his gratitude through action.

IMG_0563It is to this fundamental concept that Cicero appeals when he pro­ poses his wish to show beneuolentia26 towards Brutus as a reason for writing the book. In this way he can count on every Roman accepting that he writes in spite of his scruples, as he is fulfilling the duty of repaying a friend—an obligation for every citizen. It must be pointed out that this conception of friendship differs considerably from the usual notion of friendship as an emotional tie. The latter view was cer­ tainly familiar to the Romans, and in particular to Cicero, but it was paralleled, if not dominated by the much more concrete and to us perhaps crass idea of services obliging to services, quite regardless of personal feelings.

So Cicero appeals to one of the fundamental moral concepts of the Romans, the duty of showing gratia to and doing officia for an amicus. At the same time, however, his relationship to Brutus, his dedicatee, was in fact a friendship also in the more emotional sense. Cicero was very capable of making real friends, and his friendship with Brutus was no doubt the most profound one of his later years.27 The ties between them were such that Brutus might well have had enough influence on Cicero to induce him to write a book, especially as he was writing all the time anyhow. So there was in this case not only the general reasons for talking about a friend’s demand, but also really sincere friendship between author and dedicatee.


Finally the subject matter of the book is such that it was natural that Brutus should be interested in getting Cicero to treat it. For the friends had quite different opinions about what constituted the accomplished speaker. Unlike Cicero, Brutus stood for a severe atticism, and there was a great dispute on this matter between, primarily, Brutus and Calvus on one side and Cicero on the other. Orator was a contribution to this discussion. In spite of these controversies it is mainly the friend Brutus who is addressed in the book, whereas the opponent Brutus is attacked

26 Beneuolentia was the word used by Cicero to denote the affection for an amicus. Cf. Lossman p. 102 n. 1, and p. 106.

27 On this see, apart from the extant letters, the still very readable chapter on Brutus in Boissier, Ciceron et ses amis.

 only cautiously and indirectly; for by this time Cicero had the strongest reasons, both political and emotional, for keeping Brutus as a friend.

The preface to Orator enables the author to stress how great and difficult his subject is, how he has hesitated to tackle it, and how amicably disposed and ready to render service he is. Cicero, as we have seen, had special reasons for emphasizing all this. On the other hand, practically every author presenting himself in a personal preface wishes to lay stress upon the same things. Consequently it is not astonishing that the line of thought in this preface has been repeated, with small changes, in so many later works.

Several important elements in the preface to Orator are the same as in the prefaces studied above, to Rhetorica ad Herennium and De Ora­ tore, namely the request from a dedicatee, the praise of the subject, and the emphasis on friendship with the dedicatee. In Orator, Cicero has on the whole used the same skeleton of content as in De Oratore, though with changes to suit his aims and his situation. On the one hand there is nothing about predecessors, and the value of his own work is not emphasized in the same way as before. On the other, he clearly expresses his unwillingness to treat the subject, and in this connexion mentions the dilemma in which he is put through the request. These modifications result in the preface of Orator being more logically coherent than the introductions of the earlier works. Even if this preface is adapted to the actual situation of the author, it also seems to me to have more of a fixed scheme in it than have its predecessors. 

Tore Janson  ACTAUNIVERSITATIS STOCKHOLMIENSIS  Studia Latina Stockholmiensia
XIII  LATIN PROSE PREFACES Studies in Literary Conventions By TORE JANSON  ALMQVIST &WIKSELL  STOCKHOLM GÖTEBORG UPPSALA (INAUGURALDISSERTATION  by due permission of the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the University of Stockholm to be publicly discussed in lecture room С on Friday, May 22, 1964, at 10 a.m. for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy)


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