A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A site


March 2019

Certainly a quite rare Pigouchet Heures .

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172J [Printed Book of Hours (Use of Rome) In Latin and French]

DSC_0027 8Ces presentes heures a lusaige de Ro[m]me ont este faictes pour Simon Vostre Libraire domourant a Paris a la rue neuue nostre dame a le enseigne sainct Jehan l’evangeliste. [this is the exact title]

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No date here…

maybe from the calendar

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DSC_0027 7“He who wishes to know [the dates of] Lent, Easter, the Golden Number, the Sunday Number and leap year, from the year 501 to the year 520 inclusive, look at this figure of the line of this date and he’ll find there the things mentioned above”

Calendar on [a]1 verso for the years [1]501-[1]520.

Paris  [Philippe Pigouchet per] Simon Vostre.  1500            $28,000

Quarto 8 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches  a-l 8, ; A 8: (A 1-8 lacking).    88 of 96 leaves printed on vellum, lacking the “Sensuiuent les sept pseaulmes en françoys”(not surprisingly  other copies are lacking the final ‘A’ quire) .Initial spaces and spaces for initials within the line. Initials, paragraph marks and line fillers illuminated in gold on alternating red and blue grounds, red-ruled. (Some wear and darkening.) This copy is bound in full 18th century chagrin. It is a beautiful wide margined copy.

(Shagreen ,The word derives from the French chagrin, is a type of rawhide consisting of rough untanned skin, historically from a horse’s or onager‘s back, or from shark or ray.)

Large printer device of Adam and Eve.

DSC_0025 The present Horae are illustrated with 22 full-page engravings in the text and numerous and smaller cuts, metalcut historiated and ornamental borders on every page, many with criblé grounds ,depicting biblical scenes, the Virtues, the stag hunt, apple harvest and memento mori vignettes depicting including Pigouchet’s Dance of Death series (Claudin II, 53-53)

Pigouchet appears to have introduced the criblé technique, in which the black areas of a woodblock are punched with white dots, giving the page a lively tonality. Philipee Pigouchet’s collaboration with Simon Vostre lasted for over 18 years, during which period the duo produced hundreds of Books of Hours for European readers. The almanac was apparently kept standing in type for use in several Pigouchet editions .

Here are the 22 full page images

a.ii Astronomical man , with black criblé ground and the representations of the four temperaments as cornerpieces.


a.ii  the Holy Grail


b.i Martyrdom of St John


b.iii betrayal The Arrest of Christ . Judas with his bag of Gold.


b.Vii  The tree of Jesse

&. b.viii Mary: Annunciation

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c .vi The Virgin Mary the visitation Mary& Elizabeth

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d.iii Crucifixon

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d.iiii. Pentecost

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d.v  Christs Birth,in the manger.


d.vii   Shepherds at work

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e.i Adoration of the Shepherds “Gobin le Gay & Le Jean Roger” e.ii Virgin and child  adoration of the Magi.

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e.iii Presentation at the Temple

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e.v Flight into Egypt

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e.viii Death of the virgin “Pieta”

DSC_0029  Death of Uriah & f.vii Bathsheba

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g.vii Last judgment & g.viii Feast

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i.iii Holy trinity and church(Master of Anne of Brittany)or Meister Apokalypsenrose

DSC_0028 6 The Deposition Christ post cross Entombment.

DSC_0027 6k.viii assumption

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Pigouchet  used woodcuts based on designs by two of the leading illuminators of the period, the Master of the Très Petites Heures of Anne of Brittany and Jean Pichore. DSC_0032 5The Adoration of the Magi, Presentation to the Temple, Escape to Egypt, Death of the Virgin, David and Betsabea .

These gorgeous engravings belong to the First series of illustrations of Pigouchet’s Hours Books, : “The large and small cuts and the borders are from the same blocks as in the editions of 1496” with the exception of those that decorate the lives of the Virgin and Jesus, “in addition, there are series of border-panels with crible ground illustrating the seven cardinal virtues … »; Fairfax Murray French 289; Reinburg 33: «Pigouchet has apparently engraved these extraordinary miniatures and borders following designs created by a small network of artists and workshops, generally associated with an artist or artists styled differently as the Master of the Anne of Bretagne, the Master of the Very Small Hours etc. .. “. in the Office of the Dead, skeletons are pictured performing the cycle of the “dance of death;” panels of the calendar borders for each month contain the sign of the Zodiac, and vignettes of seasonal labors; DSC_0034 3.jpgnumerous panels filled with flowers, leaves, vines, animals, and grotesque figuresand  »; :  in the Office of the Dead, skeletons are pictured performing the cycle of the “dance of death;” panels of the calendar borders for each month contain the sign of the Zodiac, and vignettes of seasonal labors; numerous panels filled with flowers, leaves, vines, animals, and grotesque figures.

NO Holdings in the United States of America

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Goff H412; C 3106; Bohatta, H. Livres d’Heures;(1924) 730 = 705; Lacombe 109; Pell Ms 5892 (5878); Castan(Besançon) 554; Adams H1007; GW 13263

British Isles :Cambridge UL
Oxford Bodley

Canada:         Quebec Laval UL (vell)

France:          Besançon BM
Paris BN

Number of Holding Institutions. 5


Also give a look at :

Four Reformation Pamphlets I Like


197J Martin Luther      (1483-1546)

Vrsach vnd antwort. das Junckfrawen. Kloster. Götlich verlassen mügen.

Augsburg : Heinrich von Steiner 1523   $SOLD

Quarto 6 ¾x 5 ½inches. A4,B2 . Bound in 19thcentury boards.

The catalyst for this famous Luther letter was the escape of nine nuns from the cloister of Nimbschen bei Grimma at Easter in the year 1523. Luther supported this with a pamphlet giving the storyof a girl named Florentina, who had been taken into a convent at the age of six. At eleven she was forced to take the veil. When at age fourteen she told her abbess that she felt no calling for a nun’s life, the abbess told the girl that she was a nun for life and must make the best of it. Florentina tried to make her situation known to Martin Luther and later to her relatives, but each time she was caught and punished with severe penances. Eventually she was condemned to lifelong imprisonment in a cell. Later she escaped, and Luther published her story saying that he could tell many others like it.

To leave the cloistered life at that time was a capital offense. In 1522 twelve nuns were smuggled out of a convent in empty beer barrels. They were taken to Wittenberg, and Luther found husbands for eleven of them. When no husband could be found for the twelfth nun, Luther married her himself. The bride’s name was Catherine von Bora.

Luther names the nine, which include a sister of the Catholic theologian Johann von Staupitz (c. 1460–1524), Luther’s father confessor, and Katharina von Bora (1499–1552), who was to become Luther’s wife in 1525.


VD16 L 6882; Benzing. Lutherbibliographie; 1989, 1565; |B|Luther: WA T,; 11, 389; Druck E; |B|Kratzsch: Verzeichnis der Lutherdrucke, Nr.; 453; Kuzynski 3299.

171J Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531)

Qvo pacto ingenvi adolescentes forma[n]di sint, praeceptiones pauculae, Huldricho Zuinglio autore.

IMG_1055Basileae : Apud Joannem Bebelium,1523                    $SOLD

Octavo 6 x 4 inches.[12] f. ; 8° A8, B4. The very rare, First Edition, bound in manuscript vellum with a long tie.

This Book has been referred to by W. Boyd in his History of western Education 1964, as :
“ The first book to be written on education from a Protestant point of: view”
“Whereas critics deem it a loose collection of personal observations about raising teenagers, the treatise in fact contains a clear summary of the biblical principles supporting Christian education. More precisely, it is one of the first treatises to discuss nurture of the young from an explicitly Reformed point of view. And “On the Education of the Youth” makes an eloquent case for the role of education in developing the moral as well as intellectual qualities of the young. Zwingli makes observations about the basis of IMG_1060Reformed instruction, the formation of an upright moral character, and the service to others that should result from proper nurture.” … Zwingli states that the object of learning is the universe and all that it contains. As the created order, the universe is subservient to the Creator. When we study the elements that make up the universe, “we learn that all these things are changing and destructible, but that he who conjoined them … is necessarily unchanging and immutable (104).” Thus the very things studied by humans reveal that there is someone superior to them and their learning, namely God. As human creatures fashioned by the eternal, omnipotent God, mortals should be humbled rather than exalted in their learning. In studying things brought into existence by the word of God, we are “taught that all things are ordained by the providence of God (104).” Wisdom is not to be sought in human philosophies, for they are as mortal and fallible as the people who conceive them. Rather, since all the objects of human enquiry are in the hands of God, “if we desire wisdom or learning, we are taught to ask it of Him alone (105)” and to seek it in His infallible Word. (Huldrych Zwingli on Reformed Instruction – Dr. R. Faber
Taken With permission from Clarion Vol. 48, No. 1 (1999)

Zwingli was during a time of emerging Swiss patriotism and increasing criticism of the Swiss mercenary system, he attended the University of Vienna and the University of Basel, a scholarly center of Renaissance humanism. He continued his studies while he served as a pastor in Glarus and later in Einsiedeln, where he was influenced by the writings of Erasmus.

In 1519, Zwingli became the pastor of the Grossmünster in Zürich where he began to preach ideas on reform of the Catholic Church. In his first public controversy in 1522, he attacked the custom of fasting during Lent. In his publications, he noted corruption in the ecclesiastical hierarchy, promoted clerical marriage, and attacked the use of images in places of worship. In 1525, Zwingli introduced a new communion liturgy to replace the Mass. Zwingli also clashed with the Anabaptists, which resulted in their persecution. Historians have debated whether or not he turned Zürich into a theocracy.

The Reformation spread to other parts of the Swiss Confederation, but several cantons resisted, preferring to remain Catholic. Zwingli formed an alliance of Reformed cantonsIMG_1061 which divided the Confederation along religious lines. In 1529, a war between the two sides was averted at the last moment. Meanwhile, Zwingli’s ideas came to the attention of Martin Luther and other reformers. They met at the Marburg Colloquy and although they agreed on many points of doctrine, they could not reach an accord on the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

In 1531 Zwingli’s alliance applied an unsuccessful food blockade on the Catholic cantons. The cantons responded with an attack at a moment when Zürich was ill-prepared. Zwingli was killed in battle at the age of 47..

An English translation of this Latin treatise appears in G.W. Bromiley, ed., Library of Christian Classics Vol. 24: Zwingli and Bullinger (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1953), 102-118. Quotations derive from this edition.

VD 16, Z-855.


189J    Anonymous; attributed to George Joye (1495-1553)


Our sauiour Iesus Christ hath not ouercharged his chirche with many ceremonies.  


[At Zijrik] [i.e. Antwerp : Widow of C. Ruremond?], M.D.XLIII. in Febru. [1543]                                  $11,000


Octavo, First and only edition A-B8 C6 .   Bound in beautiful red Morocco.

IMG_1064Like Coverdale, Joye was probably also employed in the printing business as proofreader, translator, and author of religious books.

His first, now lost publication was a Primer, the first Protestant devotional book ever published in English Based on contemporary accounts, it probably contained the translation of the seven penitential psalms, “Mattens and Euensong” with the Commendations (Psalm 119). The book was criticized by Thomas More for omitting the Litany of the Saints, the hymns and anthems to the Blessed Virgin, and the Dirge.

After the publication of his Primer, containing perhaps as many as thirty psalms, Joye set out to translate the rest of the Book of Psalms, which appeared in 1530. Joye used Martin Bucer‘s recent Latin translation of the Hebrew text, which was published under the pseudonym Aretius Felinus. In the same year Joye produced a revised version of his earlier primer with the title Ortolus animae. The garden of the soule.

In 1531, Joye’s translation of the Book of Isaiah appeared, which seems to have been intended as a twin volume to Tyndale‘s translation of the Book of Jonah. In 1531 Joye also published a defence countering the charges of heresy put against him by Ashwell in 1527.

By 1532 he married. Butterworth and Chester suggest that Joye published the translations of the Book of Proverbs and of Ecclesiastes in 1533 in Antwerp, of which only later London reprints have survived It is now also believed that Joye is the author of an anonymously published treatise entitled The Souper of the Lorde, which was earlier attributed to Tyndale. In this Joye described his position on the Eucharist, based on that of Zwingli.

Joye’s translation of the Book of Jeremiah, of Lamentations, and a new translation of the Psalter followed (this time from the Latin Psalter of Zwingli, whose Latin commentaries and translations had also served as source texts for Joye’s translations of the other books of the Old Testament). All these translations were the first of these books ever printed in English.

In 1534 Joye undertook the proofreading of Tyndale‘s New Testament edition that had been reprinted three times without any English-speaking corrector by the Flemish printing firm of the family Van Ruremund. Joye, however, not only corrected the typographical errors, but he also changed the term “resurreccion” as found in Tyndale’s text by expressions such as “the lyfe after this” in some twenty occurrences of the word. Joye believed, as he later explained, that the original term in the Bible in those places did not refer to the bodily resurrection but to the intermediate stateof the soul At the same time, Joye retained Tyndale’s original formulation at the some 150 other IMG_1067occurrences of the word, where he agreed with Tyndale that the term did refer to the bodily resurrection. Tyndale reacted by bringing out his own revised version of his New Testament in November 1534, in which he inserted a second foreword attacking Joye and his editorial work. Tyndale accused Joye of promoting the heresy of the denial of the bodily resurrection and causing divisions among Protestants. After an inconclusive attempt to reconcile the parties, Joye published an apology to refute Tyndale’s accusations in February 1535.

STC (2nd ed.), 14556 Copies  N.America

Folger ,Pierpont Morgan  , University of Illinois

Much of this information is from “Charles C. BUTTERWORTH, & Allan G. CHESTER, George Joye (1495?–1553). A Chapter in the History of the English Bible and the English Reformation, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1962” and Graham Hardy’s Wiki page on Joye.

187J      Martin  Luther(1483-1546

Ein Brieff D.M. Luther Wider die Sabbather : an einen guten Freund.



Wittemberg , 1538                    $6,000

[Nickel Schirlenz]
Quarto, 6 ¾x 5 inches A4-D4. This copy is bound in limp manscript vellum wrapper. From a 14th century Breviarium, forming a semi wallet.

This treatise was published by Luther in the form of an open letter. This is a responce to Luthers friend Graff Wolfgang Schlick. This Anti-Jewish polemic was to refute those who argued that Christians ought to observe practices of God’s covenant with Israel (the Old Testament, or Judaism) that Christians historically either had set aside or had changed with the coming of Christ, but which the Jewish people had continued to practice. One of these Old Testament practices, to observe the Sabbath on Saturday (rather than on Sunday, as Christians had done historically), gave rise to the name that Luther uses for his opponents: “the Sabbatarians.” In Part One of the work, Luther argues that God’s covenant with Israel, also called the Law of Moses, is not in force for
Christians. Yet he goes on below to say that those parts of the Ten Commandments that are based on the universal moral law remain in force for everyone because that law preceded the Law of Moses.

Benzing 2394




The Fourth Crusade: Invia virtuti nulla est via [Ovid] No way is impassable to virtue.

It is my experience that is is not often that the printer’s device matches the subject of the book, but in this case Opornius’ device is fitting  and optimistic for a History of the Fourth Crusade from the Byzatine perspective.DSC_0013

199g    Nicetas Choniates, or Niketas Choniates  ca. 1155 to 1215 or 1216

Nicetae Acominati Choniatæ, magni logothetæ secretorum, inspectoris & iudicis veli, præfecti sacri cubiculi : LXXXVI annorum historia, uidelicet ab anno restitutæ salutis circiter MCXVII, in quo Zonaras desinit, usque ad annum MCCIII, libris XIX descripta, quorum hic ordo est I liber de rebus gestis Ioannis Comneni, Alexij filij, quem uulgò Caloioannem uocant. VII libri de rebus gestis Manuelis Comneni, filij Ioannis. I liber de Alexio Porphyrogenito, Manuelis Comneni filio. II libri de rebus gestis Andronici Comneni. III libri de imperio Isaacij Angeli Comneni. III libri de imperi Alexii Angeli Comneni, post fratrem isaacium c catum & eiectum. I liber de Isaacio, & filio eius Alexio,post recuperatum, Germanorum & Venetorum ope, imperium: in quo etiam de Alexio Duca cognomento Murzuflo, seu supercilioso, & confusione status publici, & constantinopolitano excidio agitur. I liber de initijs imperij Balduini & Herrici fratrum Flandriæ comium.    

Basil : Apud Ioannem Oporinum,1557       $4,100   SALE PRICE $ 3,200

Folio, 14 ¾ X 9 ½ inches.    å4, 4a-z6A-F6G8  This copy is bound in its original blind stamped pigskin binding.

Crusades — Fourth, 1202-1204.
Geographic: Latin Empire, 1204-1261 — History.
Byzantine Empire — History — Angeli, 1185-1204.
Byzantine Empire — History — Comneni dynasty, 1081-1185.

Nicetas , sometimes called Acominatos, was a Greek historian – like his brother Michael Acominatus, whom he accompanied from their birthplace Chonae to Constantinople. Nicetas wrote this history of the Eastern Roman Empire from 1118 to 1207. Nicetas Acominatos was born to wealthy parents around or after 1150 in Phrygia in the city of Chonae (near the modern Honaz in Turkey). Bishop Nicetas of Chonae baptized and named the infant; he was later called “Choniates” after his birthplace. When he was nine, his father dispatched him, with his brother Michael, to Constantinople to receive an education. Niketas’ older brother greatly influenced him during the early stages of his life. He initially took up politics as a career, and held important appointments under the Angelus emperors (amongst them that of Grand Logothete or Chancellor) and was governor of the theme of Philippopolis at a critical period. After the capture of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade in 1204, he fled to Nicaea, where he settled at the court of the Nicaean emperor Theodore I Lascaris, and devoted himself to literature. He died c. 1215–16.

His chief work is This History, in twenty-one books, of the period from 1118 to 1207. In spite of its florid style, it is of value as a record (on the whole impartial) of events of which he was either an eyewitness or which he had heard of first hand (though he should be balanced with the other Greek historian for this time, John Kinnamos). Its most interesting portion is the description of the occupation of Constantinople in 1204, which should be read with Geoffroi de Villehardouin’s and Paolo Rannusio’s works on the same subject.

His little treatise On the Statues destroyed by the Latins (perhaps altered by a later writer) is of special interest to the archaeologist and art historian.

His theological work, (Thesaurus Orthodoxae Fidei), although extant in a complete form in manuscripts, has only been published in part. It is one of the chief authorities for the heresies and heretical writers of the 12th century.

Nicetas Choniates  provides the sole major Byzantine account of the sack of Constantinople by western Christian armies during the Fourth Crusade. Other sources include the minor account of the Byzantine eyewitness Nicolas Mesarites, as well as the crusader sources of Geoffroy de Villehardouin, Robert of Clari, and Gunther von Pairis.

His work details both the Third and Fourth Crusades, but is especially valuable as an eyewitness account of the Fourth Crusade.

After the capture of Constantinople in 1204, Nicetas fled to Nicaea, the site of the Byzantine government in exile under the leadership of Emperor Theodoris Lascaris. There he completed his Byzantine account of the Fourth Crusade

His descriptions of the crusader’s sack of Constantinople are exceptionally vivid. He describes the looting of relics from the churches, as well as the desecration of the churches, particularly Hagia Sophia. Below is a translated selection from the work that best demonstrates the tone and spirit of the account:
Nay more, a certain harlot, a sharer in their [the crusaders] guilt, a minister of the furies, a servant of the demons, a worker of incantations and poisonings, insulting Christ, sat in the Patriarch’s seat, singing an obsene song and dancing frequently. Nor, indeed, were these crimes committed and others left undone, on the ground that these were of lesser guilt, the others of greater. But with one consent  all the most heinous sins and crimes were committed by all with equal zeal. Could those, who showed so great madness against God Himself, have spared the honorable matrons and maidens or virgins consecrated to God?  

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Here is more than a little bit on the fourth crusade!

The Fourth Crusade


The Fourth Crusade is one of the most important of all the major crusades. It is also one of the most complex and certainly one that is easily misunderstood, or at least is often understood in much too simplistic a manner.

The general outline is this: the Third Crusade having failed in its essential objective of recovering Jerusalem, the popes almost immediately began preaching a new crusade. This turned out to take longer than anyone wanted, for a variety of reasons. By the time a new crusade was really under way, soon after the turn of the century, events were afoot in Constantinople that would cause the Fourth Crusade to take a dramatic turn away from Palestine. The Fourth Crusade did not recover Jerusalem–in fact, it never even made it to Outremer; rather, the Crusaders ended by attacking Constantinople, driving out the Byzantine Emperor, and installing one of their own in the ancient capital of Constantine.

Conquering Constantinople was hardly on the agenda when the Fourth Crusade began. How could things have gone so wrong? Was it a case of severe muddle-headedness? Or was it cynical opportunism from start to finish? Or (hush) was it a conspiracy?

The options are many, the players in the drama myriad. There is really nothing for it except to dive into the politics of Byzantium in the 1190s, as well as looking at the pontificate of Innocent III, the mess the Holy Roman Empire was in after the death of Henry VI, and the role of Venice as the actor on the center stage. If you come out the other end shaking your head and still a bit befuddled, rest assured you won’t be the only one feeling that way!

A Conflict of Emperors

The Comnenus family was ruling Byzantium in 1095, when the First Crusade began, and they were still ruling ninety years later. The last of the Comneni was Andronicus Comnenus, a fellow with a most remarkable history behind him before he ever ascended the throne, in 1182. He ruled with a heavy hand, was widely hated, and when the provinces rebelled, the people of Constantinople rioted and killed Andronicus in 1185. He was succeeded by Isaac II Angelus.

Isaac had his hands full. Bulgaria rebelled successfully, as did Serbia. A few years later, Frederick Hohenstaufen marched through his lands with a huge army; Isaac was unable to prevent the Emperor from temporarily capturing both Adrianople and Philippopolis. In the end, Frederick continued on, but only after Isaac pretty much granted him everything he wanted. He managed to recover a bit of lost ground in the ensuing years, but at the same time he lost control within the palace itself. In April of 1195, his brother Alexius III usurped the throne and had Isaac blinded.

Alexius III Angelus was no more effective than his brother and was rather more corrupt. When Emperor Henry VI pressured him, he levied a special tax to buy him off. When the Bulgars rebelled again, Alexius was unable to control them. When Serbia threw its allegiance to Hungary, Alexius could do nothing. And all the while, he continued to drain the treasury. And when the Fourth Crusade drew near, he put up a token resistance, then grabbed all the money he could find and ran.

The Western Empire

Not long after Alexius made himself emperor, Philip of Swabia married Irene Angelus. Philip was the brother of Emperor Henry VI. Irene was the daughter of the deposed emperor Isaac II. Henry, as King of Sicily, was heir to all the old Norman claims to Greek territories they had once conquered. So now the Hohenstaufen had a direct interest through Irene in the claims of Isaac II over against his brother. Confused yet? Keep reading!

Henry VI was in fact on the verge of asking for a new crusade, to be directed against Constantinople, after which he would command the combined strengths of the empires against Jerusalem. This scheme never got off the ground because Henry died in 1197. But the idea of somehow taking over the Greek Empire and using its resources in support of the liberation of Jerusalem was an attractive one to Westerners. They would pick it up again.

In 1197, however, the Holy Roman Empire was in no position to do much of anything. Henry VI had been Holy Roman Emperor, King of Sicily, King of Burgundy, King of the Romans, and King of Italy. His son, however, was only an infant and was in no position to rule. In Germany there promptly rose two rivals: Philip of Swabia and Otto of Brunswick. Both, of course, had been elected by a faction of German princes. Neither were able to make their presence felt even in Italy, much less in Sicily, and even less could either of them contemplate going on Crusade. They might lend support but not much more.

Pope Innocent III

Almost immediately upon being elected pope, Innocent III decided that the papacy itself should assume the leadership of the next Crusade. He issued his crusading letter in August of 1198, sending it to all the archbishops of the West. He directed the call to arms not to kings and emperors, but to counts and barons and even to cities. The archbishops and bishops of the Church were likewise to contribute soldiers, or an equivalent amount in money.

The tone of the encyclical makes it clear that Innocent believed the Church itself was the true leader of the Crusades. Even so, he wrote separately to the kings of France and England, ordering them to cease their war. Not, you will note, that they should go on crusade themselves, but only that their quarrel should not interfere with the raising of troops and money for the Crusade. He likewise sent a papal legate to try to persuade Genoa and Pisa to make a truce between them, for much the same reasons, except that he wanted the Pisans and Genoese to participate in the Crusade.

The original date set by Innocent for the departure of the Crusade was March 1199, but no one left. Richard and Philip declared a truce, but Richard died soon after, and the war between England and France was on again. Preachers preached, Innocent wrote more letters and tried to raise money, but still nothing much happened. Only in November 1199 did the first significant lords take the cross and formally commit enough men to the enterprise for it to be called an army.

Almost immediately, Innocent began to lose control of the Crusade. He had intended for the Crusaders from all over Europe to assemble at Venice, where that city would agree to provide the ships to transport the hosts to the Holy Land. This service would not be free, of course; but only Venice could even contemplate building enough ships to carry an entire Crusader army. Innocent had asked Venice to participate in the Crusade, but this matter of being the primary provider of transportation was something arranged between Venice and the lay lords. From that moment on, the course of events were affected far more by Venice than by the pope.


Venice in 1200 was the richest city in the West, and one that had a direct interest in developments in the eastern Mediterranean. The city was ruled by a tightly-knit upper class of merchants and property owners, who were represented by the Doge, an executive who was elected for life by a small ruling council. The city’s wealth came almost entirely from its role as an entrep�t, moving goods from the eastern Mediterranean to Lombardy and over the Alps to northern Europe. She ruled much of the Adriatic and had outposts on the Dalmatian coast and in Greece. She also had significant trading interests in Outremer. She even had a major colony of merchants in Alexandria, even though that was a Muslim city.

Relations with Constantinople were not good. Venice had long enjoyed special trading rights in the city, but lately she had seen her privileges erode. Emperor Manuel had ordered a mass arrest of Venetians throughout the Empire in 1171, and all Latins in Constantinople were massacred in a paroxysm of anti-Western sentiment in 1182. Isaac II had renewed their privileges, and so had Alexius III, but the latter did so only for form’s sake. In practice, he had been harassing the Venetians and favoring Genoa and Pisa.

This was the situation in 1201, when six representatives of French lords arrived in the city to negotiate a deal. They wanted Venice to contract with them to carry the Crusader army over the sea, and they named a price. The city council thought about it for a few days, then made an even more generous offer in return, offering to become an equal partner in the enterprise. The city agreed to provide ships for 4,500 knights and their horses, 9,000 squires, and 20,000 foot soldiers. There was a formula for calculating the price for each type of soldier, and the whole price came to 94,000 marks. This was to be paid in installments, and the fleet was to be at the service of the army for one year and was to be ready by June 29, 1202 (the following year). In addition, Venice would supply fifty warships, and would share equally in any conquests.

Clearly Venice wanted to do more than just provide transport, which was all the original offer contemplated. She saw an opportunity to win territory. Since the French and Venice agreed secretly that the object of the Crusade would be Egypt, the city was probably thinking of the great wealth of that country and what a prize it would be should Venice be able to win half of Alexandria or Damietta or even Cairo.

The Crusaders Assemble

The first Crusader army formed in a gallant, chivalric manner, as a by-product of a tournament help in Champagne in November 1199. The count of that land, Theobald, hosted a grand event that was attended by knights from all over northern France. As part of the festivities, Count Theobald and Count Louis of Blois took the cross. Champagne and Blois both had a long crusading tradition, and the preachers had been active in northern France, so they were likely inspired to exert their leadership. As word spread of their deed, other lords likewise too the cross: Count Baldwin of Flanders, Theobald’s brother-in-law; Count Hugh of St. Pol, Counts Geoffrey and Stephen of Perche, and many others besides. Theobald’s older brother, Henry, had participated in the Third Crusade and had become the King of Jerusalem, so Theobald had very close ties with the Holy Land.

Before the Crusade ever left, however, Count Theobald died (May 1201). The Crusaders then chose Boniface of Montferrat (a marquisate in northwestern Italy) as their leader. Boniface, too, had close ties wtih the Holy Land. He was descended from crusaders. His oldest brother (now dead) was the father of King Baldwin V of Jerusalem. Another brother was the same Conrad of Montferrat who had saved Tyre from Saladin and who had been assassinated in 1192. Boniface brought in yet another Byzantine tie, as well. Another of his brothers, Renier, had married a daughter of Manuel Comnenus. Although he was killed in 1183, Renier may have been given rulership over Thessalonica by Emperor Manuel, and Boniface may have from the beginning had his eye on recovering what he regarded as a family estate. One other connection was made with Boniface: he was a close friend to Philip of Swabia, who was married to Irene, the deposed Isaac Angelus’ sister. So, Boniface brought to the leadership of the Crusade an interest in championing the cause of Isaac against Alexius III.

The Crusaders assembled first at Soissons, then moved south to C�teaux in September, where they were joined by a large number of Burgundians. They then moved on to Italy, not in a single organized army, but in separate parties, trickling in to Venice over the course of that summer, thereby delaying the agreed departure date. Moreover, a number of leaders decided to set sail from Marseilles rather than from Venice. The number of soldiers who actually made it to Venice was far less than had been originally estimated.

The result was that by autumn of 1201, the Crusaders were late and were behind in their payments, for those who did show up could not possibly pay the fee that had been set for a much larger army. The original agreement had calculated 33,500 men, whereas perhaps only 11,000 or so actually showed up in Venice. The Crusaders had assembled, but Venice was not about to transport them until it had received the amount stipulated in the contract. Crusades were crusades, but business was business.

A New Deal

The Venetians were practical businessmen, and no one of them was more pragmatic than their doge, Enrico Dandolo. There the Crusaders sat, unable to pay for their passage, unwilling to go home, and in the meantime running up bills with all the locals and equally unable to pay those. He could not play it too tough, however, for Pope Innocent III was already angry with how matters were proceeding and would not hesitate to place the city under interdict.

So, the Venetians offered a new arrangement to replace the old one. Venice had for some time ruled much of the Dalmatian coast, mainly as a way to secure control of the Adriatic and its shipping lanes. Recently, however, the King of Hungary had been inciting rebellion in the Dalmatian towns, offering them his protection. One town that had defected was Zara, which for fifteen years Venice had been trying to recover.

The doge offered to delay the payment of the contract (cancelling it was out of the question). In return, the Crusaders would help Venice recover Zara. The Crusade leaders had little choice, since the alternative was to abandon the Crusade, violate their crusading vow, and return home broke and humiliated. Even so, many in the army objected vigorously, and some even refused to go. But the Doge himself took the cross, and many Venetians followed his example.

Some time around now, a fortuitous concidence happened. Isaac II Angelus was blind and in prison in Constantinople, but his son Alexius IV had managed recently to escape and flee to the West. Early in 1202, as the Crusaders were preparing at last to depart (to attack Zara), young Alexius was in Italy and appealed to the Crusaders to help him drive out the usurper Alexius III and to him (the prince) on the throne. If they should do so, the young prince promised an extravagant amount of help for the Crusade–men, money, weapons, ships.

This appeal fits so neatly with the agenda of the principal leaders of the Crusade that many historians have smelled a plot. We won’t enter here into that controversy. Whether through chance or through careful planning, it so happened that Bonficace of Montferrat would be glad to participate because he might recover Thessalonica; and Venice would be glad because the prince promised to restore all their old privileges and more besides; and the rest of the Crusaders could look forward to that great pooling of resources of East and West that had been repeatedly touted in crusading thought.

So the agenda was set before the fleet ever sailed on October 1, 1202. The Crusaders would capture Zara for Venice, then would capture Constantinople for the young prince Alexius, and then would proceed on to Outremer. By this time, it was not at all clear whether the ultimate objective was still Egypt, for most of the leaders were no longer thinking much past Constantinople.


So, off went the Crusaders, a huge fleet of over 200 ships. Zara was not a Muslim city, but was a Christian one. Pope Innocent thundered angrily in letters, specifically forbidding the Crusaders from attacking Zara. But the papal threats were ignored, and the Crusaders landed at Zara on 10 November.

Not all the Crusaders thought it was a great idea to be attacking Christians as part of a Crusade. As the siege of the city began, these people finally spoke up openly. Most were eventually persuaded at a general council that they had to do this in order to pay Venice, and they took comfort in shifting the blame to the Venetians. A few, however, flatly refused to participate in the siege. Nevertheless, the city surrendered after only two weeks.

The Crusade spent the winter at Zara. It was here that the army in general learned of Alexius’ offer. Again, many in the army objected and some among them refused to go any further. But most of the army stayed. By attacking Zara they had automatically been excommunicated according to Innocent’s threats, so going on to Constantinople could scarcely to any more damage. They sent emissaries to Innocent to try to be reconciled. There ensued an exchange of letters, but Innocent would bend only a little and he still forbade the Crusaders from attacking Constantinople.

To no avail. The army sailed in April 1203. After capturing the island of Corf� in May, and making a few other stops, it arrived at Constantinople June 24 1203. Emperor Alexius III demanded to know what the Crusaders intended, and they replied that they intended to drive him out as a traitor. The Crusaders then appealed directly to the people of Constantinople, but the Greeks would not accept anyone who was being supported by the hated Latins. If the Crusaders were going to put their young prince on the throne, they would have to do it by force.

The Battle for Constantinople

On July 5, 1203, the Venetians were able to break the great chain that blocked the harbor, enabling the Crusaders to attack the city from both land and sea. The Franks drew up near the Blachernae palace, which lies close to the Golden Horn, while the Venetians prepared to attack from the harbor side. They built platforms in the spars of ships and put catapults on the decks.

On July 17 the Crusaders attacked in force. Defending the land side was the Varangian Guard, the Imperial palace guard that was made up of English and Danish mercenaries, and they were able to repulse the Franks. But the Venetians, led by Enrico Dandolo himself (who was at least in his 80s) were able to land on the narrow beaches and reached the top with scaling ladders. They took possession of a number of towers, descended into the city and set fire to part of it.

Meantime, Alexius had a assembled a large army for a counter-attack against the Franks. For some reason, however, his nerve failed him and he never made the attack. The Venetians in the meantime withdrew from the section of wall they had held, for they could not keep it without a victory on the Frankish side as well. Despite the fact that the Crusader assault had only partially succeeded, that night Alexius grabbed what wealth he could and fled the city with his daughter.

Those who remained in the palace thought quickly, then brought Isaac II Angelus out from his prison cell. They then turned to the Latins and declared that since Isaac was the rightful ruler, there was no need for anyone to fight on behalf of the young prince. The Crusaders countered that they would accept Isaac if his son were named co-Emperor. It was agreed, and Alexius was crowned August 1, 1203.

Pretenders and Contenders

Alexius IV quickly found Constantinople an unpleasant place. By the time he had handed out gifts all around, he did not have enough money to pay the Venetians. The tax he levied to raise the money was bitterly resented by the citizens, who didn’t much like the Westerners who were infesting their streets anyway. The Franks were rude and violent, didn’t pay their bills, and sometimes pillaged the countryside. One group decided to burn down a mosque, but the flames got out of control and a whole section of the city burned. For their part, the Franks were angry that the great promises made by Alexius were not being fulfilled. They had turned aside from their true destination, risked excommunication, and for what? To be duped once again by the wily and treacherous Greek.

Isaac II was blind and old and took little part in government. As the months passed, Alexius IV likewise steadily withdrew from public life, spending more and more time in the palace. A foreign army stalked the city, the citizens were angry and restless, and no one was steering the ship. In this atmosphere, yet another Alexius stepped forward, this one known to the Crusaders as Alexius Murzuphlus.

This Alexius was a member of the Ducas family and was a descendant of Alexius Comnenus. More importantly, he positioned himself as the leader of the anti-Latin faction and so rode a popular tide. Late in January 1204, he seized power openly, murdered Alexius IV and put Isaac back in prison again, where the poor man soon died. As Alexius V, he reinforced the city’s defenses, most of the Latins having meantime withdrawn from the city to their camp across the Golden Horn. There was now open skirmishing between the Greeks and the Latins.

A Momentous Decision

Some time in February, the Crusader leaders decided they would again capture the city, but this time they would install a Latin as emperor. This would of course solve everything, as far as they were concerned. The long split in Christendom would be healed, the wealth of the eastern Empire would be put at the disposal of the effort to liberate Jerusalem, and no longer would Outremer be betrayed by the faithless Greeks.

They had it all planned. In March a committee drew up an agreement that laid out the details. Venice would get three quarters of the booty, up to the amount needed to pay off the Crusader debt, with the remainder being divided equally. Venice would recover all properties within the Empire that it had ever held. Twelve electors, six Venetians and six non-Venetians, would then elect a Latin emperor. The Emperor himself would get a quarter of the empire, and the rest would be divided evenly between Venice and the rest of the Crusaders. A Latin clergy would be set up, and the Greek Orthodox church would be plundered to provide land and income for them. A Latin patriarch would be elected for Constantinople. The Crusaders would remain for one year in the East to assist the new Emperor; any who remained thereafter would have to take an oath of fealty to him.

There were many other provisions, but this much is enough to show how influence Venice was in these events. The city essentially got first pick, with the remains being divided among everyone else. There is no word of Jerusalem in the agreement. The Emperor got a quarter of the Empire, but Venice got three-eighths. Moreover, the Emperor was utterly dependent on his vassals to defend the Empire, while Venice was essentially an independent power within it. Similarly, the Church was to have only enough property to sustain itself, with all surplus wealth being divided among the laity. It was without doubt Enrico Dandolo’s most brilliant diplomacy.

Capture of Constantinople

The Crusaders began their assault on April 9, 1204. The initial attack was driven back and the Crusaders took a couple of days to re-group. They returned to the assault on the 13th. After some sharp fighting, the Venetians were able to go over the walls, while almost at the same time, another group broke down one of the city gates along the sea wall. Murzuphlus abandoned the city almost immediately, taking with him some jewels plus the widow and daughter of Alexius IV.

The first time the Crusaders captured the city, it was done in the name of Alexius IV, ostensibly to drive out a usurper and to restore the rightful emperor. This time, however, the attack was purely one of conquest and the Latins put the city to the sack. It was the worst looting the city ever experienced.

Constantinople was the richest city in Christendom, for it had been accumulating its wealth for almost a thousand years. Over the next three days, the Latins managed to carry off a great deal of it. According to the terms of the agreement, after three days, the loot was collected in great piles and apportioned out: three-eighths of it to Venice, one quarter to the new emperor, and the rest divided among the remaining Crusaders. Literal shiploads of gold, silver, jewels, art work, and sacred relics left the city that year. Between the plunder and the fires that broke out during the two captures of the city, Constantinople was ravaged so badly that it simply never recovered. It would not return to anything like its former glory until the Ottomans had conquered it and turned it into a great Muslim city.

Results of the Fourth Crusade

The fall of Constantinople in April 1204 marks the end of the Fourth Crusade.  The Crusaders did not immediately turn the wealth of the Empire to the conquest of Jerusalem, for they were fully pre-occupied with simply preserving what they had won. They captured Murzuphlus a year later and had him killed, but rival Greek claimants appeared immediately, the most important of which were the Empire of Nicaea and the Despotate of Epirus. In addition, Bulgaria also emerged as a deadly foe, with the result that although the Latin Empire of Constantinople lasted until 1261, its knights and rulers spent the entire time fighting for their own survival.

Some Crusaders stayed on, to be granted various fiefs. Most, however, returned home, brimming over with plunder. They were still technically excommunicants, but the great victory at Constantinople persuaded Innocent to remove the ban.

While there were those who were bitterly critical of the Crusaders for lining their own pockets under the protection of a Crusade, the acquisition of the Greek Empire was a very great prize, indeed.  Great things were expected, and disappointed on that score set in only gradually as people began to realize that the Latin Empire was turning out to be just another state, rather than a bulwark of Crusading.

Rather than condemning the Fourth Crusade has a terrible travesty of a grand ideal, most people continued to support crusading and the idea of crusading. The next generation would produce more crusades than any other, for people continued to believe that all that was needed was one more large effort and the Holy Land would be returned to Christendom.

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Copyright 1999, Ellis L. Knox This file may be copied on the condition that the entire contents, including the header and this copyright notice, remain intact.

Thomas Aquinas Summa Pars prima (second edition)

269J Thomas Aquinas 1225-1274

Summa theologiae: Pars prima. Ed: Franciscus de Neritono, Petrus Cantianus, and Joannes Franciscus.

IMG_1009Venice : [Nicolaus Jenson] 1477.   $ 13,000IMG_1014


Folio 10 ½ x 7 inches. a8, b-z8, [&]8, [Rho]8,[Psi]8, A8-H8, I-L10, M12  (lacking three Blanks)

This copy is bound in full contemporary calf over wooden boards, with only the the remains of the clasps. The corner pieces have been.  It is rubricated through out.


This is the second Printed edition of the ‘pars prima”, the first was 1473. The Summa was written 1265–1274 and also known as the Summa Theologica or simply the Summa) is the best-known work of Thomas Aquinas.

Although unfinished, the Summa is “one of the classics of the history of philosophy and one of the most influential works of Western literature.”  It is intended as an instructional guide for theology students, including seminarians and the literate laity. It is a compendium of all of the main theological teachings of the Catholic Church. It presents the reasoning for almost all points of Christian theology in the West.

The Summa Pars Prima addresses the God’s existence and nature;  first cause, himself uncaused”(primum movens immobile) and as such existent only in act (actu) – that is, pure actuality without potentiality, and therefore without corporeality. His essence is actus purus et perfectus.

But before it gets off in the weeds, Saint Thomas is quite readable and structuresd in a very sensible way. As it says in the prologue:

 “As onto the little ones in Christ, I gave you milk to drink not meat”                                                                                   (I Cor. iii. I,2)

And so His first question is in ten parts, followed by ten articles  followed by an objection and then a Reply to the objections. The questions Outline “the nature and extent of sacred doctrine” The first Article asks wether we need more than Philosophy. In his reply to the second objection Aquinas tells us:

“Sciences are differentiated according to the various means through which knowledge is IMG_1048 2obtained. For the astronomer and the physicist both may prove the same conclusion—thar the earth, is for instance, is round: The astronomer by means of mathematics (abstracting from matter) but the physicist by means of matter itself. Hence there is no reason why those things which may be learned from philosophical science….. hence theology included in sacred doctrine differs in kind from that theology which is Philosophy” 3


Here, many basic premises of Christianity, the Creation and the Existence of God are discussed. The knowledge of God, How God is Known to Us, ideas of Truth and Falsity, The Book of Life, the Power and Beatitude of God, the nature of Man, and many more are some of the metaphysical questions discussed. The Summa deeply influenced contemporary artists and writers like Dante.

As God rules in the world, the “plan of the order of things” preexists IN him; in other words, his providence and the exercise of it in his government are what condition as cause everything which comes to pass in the world. Hence follows predestination: from eternity some are destined to eternal life, while as concerns others “he permits some to fall short of that end”. Reprobation, however, is more than mere foreknowledge; it is the “will of permitting anyone to fall into sin and incur the penalty of condemnation for sin”. 2



  1. Gilson, Etienne (1994). The Christian Philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press. p. 502. ISBN 978-0-268-00801-7.
  2. “Thomas Aquinas” The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. XI, (1911), pp. 422–427.
  3. The Summa Theologic of St. Thomas Aquinas. London 1920
  4. Goff T198; HC 1442*; Mich 118; Pell 1038; CIBN T-170; Zehnacker 2241; Castan(Besançon) 95; Polain(B) 4759; IGI 9573; IBP 5300; Sajó-Soltész 3263; IDL 4392; IBE 5623; IJL2 354; SI 3796; Coll(U) 1431; Madsen 4397; Voull(Trier) 1820; Voull(B) 3669; Ohly-Sack 2743; Sack(Freiburg) 3444; Borm 2610; Bod-inc T-167; Sheppard 3283; Pr 4103; BMC V 177; BSB-Ink T-273GW M46455



United States of America:

Columbia University, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Free Library of Philadelphia
New York, The Morgan Library and Museum
San Marino CA, Huntington Library
Univ. of California at Los Angeles
Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library


Hardouyn Heures on vellum!


Heures a lusaige de Romme tout au long sans riens requerir : avec les figures de la vie de lhomme: et la destruction de hierusa=lem.

Tout pour le Mieulx.


Paris : Par Gillet Hardouyn imprimeur, 1509     $Sold

Large Quarto 9 x 5 3/4   inches (a very Large copy)  [92] Vellum leaves A-L8, M4  complete.

Printed in red and black. 21 full -page Illustrations,  and 28 small woodcuts along the text, from the Master of the Apocalypse Rose, and IMG_0336Pichore design. All the borders are painted . ILLUMINATED IN GOLD AND  very vivid COLOURS BY A CONTEMPORARY HAND, liquid-gold initials and line-filler the illustrations are mostly of Gospel scenes; numerous small illustrations of saints and miscellaneous subjects; each text page within varying historiated border. One- and two-line initials in gold on blue or red ground throughout. The imagery in this book combines metalcut designs by Jean Pichore with the rich illumination of a painter.

Large R (for Rome) on first four leaves of each quire, in a line with the signature.

This copy is bound in 18thcentury tan calf recently rebacked.

HARDOUYN (Gilles or Gillet), son of Guillaume, born in 1455, libr. – juror and printer, 1491-1521; resigns his duties as a free juror on 9 Sept. 1519. He was first a bookseller and IMG_0319then also a typographer, he was, together with Germain Hardouyn, one does not know if his son or brother, among the first to introduce in the decoration of the Livres d’heures the style of the Italian Renaissance.   He published exclusively books of hours. Before the fall of Pont-Notre-Dame (25 Oct. 1499), he lives in the 8th house of the bridge. Then He can be found: – “At the end of the bridge at the Change, at the sign of the Rose, below the beautiful Ymaige; – On the bridge at the Change near the beautiful Ymaige Notre Dame at the sign of the Rose “; At this location he is listed as  was only bookseller. And almost IMG_0331every Hours that bears this address have the name of another printer than him. In 1509, he became a printer and established himself: – “At the end of the bridge Notre Dame before saints Denis de la Chartre at the sign of the Rose dor; – In confinio pontis Nostræ Dominæ, ante ecclesiam sancti Dionisii of carcere, ad intersignum Rosæ deauratæ; Several books of hours bearing this address and his name as imprint. With an almanac beginning earlier, are not earlier than 1509. He keeps this address until the end .

Documents: Arch. Nat., ZIH 24, 364; L. DOREZ, Notes … n ° 11; P. LACOMBE, Books of Hours, Passim. We admit here with Leon Dorez, that the libr.-juror who resigns his office in 1519 and who is called Gilbert is the same as Gillet; however it is qualified factor , which seems to apply with difficulty to a printer having produced as much as him. – The ancestors of the Hardouyn had always lived and “exposed their days” on the bridge Notre Dame. 

IMG_0325Sig. A1r (Hercules and the centaur Nessus* ), a1v almanac for 1508-20, a2r-7r calendar, a7v-B1v Gospel sequence [Martyrdom of St. John, two portrait cuts], B2r-6r Passion according to St. John [Crucifixion], B6r-7r Obsecro te, B7v-c8r Hours of the Virgin: Matins-Lauds [Adam and Eve, Annunciation, Visitation], C8v-F2r Hours of the Cross and of the Holy Ghost, intermingled with Hours of the Virgin: Prime-Compline [Flagellation, Pentecost, Nativity, Annunciation to the Shepherds, Adoration of the Magi (x 2), Flight into Egypt, Coronation of the Virgin], F2v-3v prayers for saying on weekdays, F4r-8r prayers for saying on Saturday and others, F8v- G5r Seven Penitential Psalms [a Prophet, David],IMG_0332 G5r-8r Litany of Saints, G8v-I6v Office of the Dead [a Prophet, Job on his Dungheap], I7r-8v prayers to the Virgin and to St. John the Evangelist, I8v-K5v suffrages, K5v-7v prayers to the Virgin, Missus est Gabriel, K8r-L3v seven prayers to St Gregory, Seven joys of the Virgin, and other prayers in Latin and French, L4r contents, L4v colophon, M1-6 Office of the Immaculate Conception).M4 Prayer: Jesus soit en ma teste; M4v colophon..

Full page woodcuts:
A1 Hardouin Device, the Centaurus Nessus, Heracles and the abduction of Deianira;
A1v Planetary man, in the form of a Skeleton;
A6 Martyrdom of Johannes the Evangelist, in the cauldron of boiling oil;

A8v Impotence of the soldiers in the capture of Christ in Gethsemane-Ego Sum;
B4v Divine Decree, the Church and the virtues;
B5 Annunciation;
C3v The meeting of Joachim and Anna at the Golden Gate;
C8V Flagellation of Christ;
D1 Crucifixion;

D2 Pentecost;
D3 Nativity;
D5v Annunciation to the Shepherds;

747915_view 02_02-2

D6 Nativity (from Simone Vostre Quart Series);
E1 Adoration of the Magi;
E3v Presentation in the Temple;
E6 Massacre of the Innocents;

F1v Death of the Virgin;

F8v battle and Death of Uriah;

747915_view 03_03
G1 King David and Bathsheba bathing;
G8v The poor Lazarus at the banquet of the rich, “Lazarus and Dives”;
H1 Massacre of the Innocents (Repeated);
L 8v Mary Immaculate;
M4v Hardouin Device.

Small Woodcuts:
A7, San Luca Evangelist in the Scriptorium;
A7v, San Matthew Evangelist in the Scriptorium;
A7v, San Mark Evangelist in the Scriptorium;
C8, Sanhedrin trial of Jesus;
I8 Man of Sorrows on a sarcophagus;
I8v Man of Sorrows on a sarcophagus (repeated);
I8v miracle of Pentecost;
K1v Annunciation;
K4v Archangel Michael as a conqueror of the Satan;
K4v Beheading of John the Baptist;IMG_0329
K5 John the evangelist with the cup of poison;
K5 decapitation of the Apostle Peter;
K5v St. James at pilgrimage with book;
K6 Martyrdom of St. Stephen standing with book and stones;
K6 St. Lawrence on the grill;
K6 St. Christopher carrying the Christ;
K6V Martyrdom of St. Sebastian;
K7v St. Nicholas with the three boys;
K7v St. Claudius as a bishop with book;
K8 St. Anthony as a hermit with his pig;
K8 St. Anne teaches Maria to read;
K8v St. Mary Magdalene standing with the Ampulla;
K8V St. Catherine with wheel, sword and book;
L1 St. Margaret escaping from the Satan, in the shape of a dragon;
L1 St. Barbara standing with tower and palm branch;
L1v Beheading of St. Barbara;
L3 Crucifixion with Mary and John;
L6 Annunciation to Mary. The words on the fourth line of the colophon and the entire 3 lines below that obliterated. Contemporary owner’s motto and arms painted in colors and gold on vellum leaves at beginning and end; early 19th-century booklabel of Bettison’s of Cheltenham & Leamington; 19th-century armorial bookplate of George Folliot.IMG_0340

In these Hardouyn Hours the metal cuts are emulating those of “Vostre”s new style of illustration”(see the next item in this catalogue).


Bohatta 887, 891, ; Brun, pages 18 and 210 (“la meilleure production des presses d”Hardouyn”); Fairfax Murray/French 270; Lacombe 199. Brunet, Manuel , V, Paris 1864, coll. 1628-1644; Ph. Renouard, Imprimeurs Parisiens , etc., Paris 1898; P. Lacombe, Livres d’heures etc., Paris 1907; Bohatta, Bibliographie des livres d’heures .Vienna 1909; R. Brun, Le livre illustré en France au XVI and siècle , Paris 1930, pp. 22-26.
  1. Newberry Library IMG_0365

2.Huntington Library,

3.Morgan Library & Museum

4.University of British. Columbia

5.University of Cambridge

  1. 6 Koninklijike Bibliotheek

747915_view 04_04

Nessus is well known for his part in the story of the Shirt of Nessus. He was a ferryman, and one day, he had to carry Deianeira, wife of Heracules, across the river. After they crossed the river, Nessus tried to have sex with her, but Hercules watching from the other riverbank, shot an arrow straight into Nessus’ chest. Before he drew his final breath, Nessus told Deianeira that his blood would ensure that her husband would be faithful to her in eternity. Deianeira believed him and collected some of the centaur’s blood.



Very Rare Boethius Incunabulum

No copy of this Edition in North America.

10H Anicius Manlius Torquatus Severinus Boethius 480-525

De Consolatione Philosophiae : Sacti thome de aquino super libris boetii de solatoe philosophie comentum cu expositione feliciter incipit. [fol. 168 recto:] In diui Seuerini Boetij de scolarium disciplina commentarium feliciter incipit.. Add: Pseudo- Boethius: De disciplina scholarium (Comm: pseudo- Thomas Aquinas)


[Lyons: Guillaume Le Roy], 1487                                                       $16,000

DSC_0002Folio 9 1/2 X 6 3/4 inches 235 leaves. Sig. a2-8,b-v8(a1 blank and lacking) x6; A2-8, B-I8. 45 lines of commentary, which surrounds the text, to a page. Ff. 1, 166, 167, 238, blank, are wanting. 235 of 238 leaves, lacking ONLY three blanks: x6, A1, and I8; This copy is bound in modern calf over wooden boards. It is a nice clean copy.

Text surrounded by commentary ascribed to Thomas Aquinas, with a second work attributed to Pseudo-Boethius, De Disciplina Scholarium, with commentary of Pseudo-Aquinas; contemporary annotations, cropped, Bound in quarter calf over wooden boards.


“Boethius became the connecting link between the logical and metaphysical science of antiquity and the scientific attempts of the Middle Ages. His influence on medieval thought was still greater through his De consolatione philosophiae (written while in prison at Pavia) and the theological writings attributed to him. Whether Boethius was a Christian has been doubted; and it is certain that the Consolatio makes no mention of Christ, and all the comfort it contains it owes to the optimism of the Neoplatonic school and to the stoicism of Seneca. Nevertheless, for a long time the book was read with the greatest reverence by all Christendom, and its author was regarded as a martyr for the true faith” (Schaff-Herzog). GW ascribes the commentary on De consolatione to Thomas Waleys.

The colophon has an interesting Acrostic reading “CONRADUS”



Not in Goff. H 3402; C 1103 = 1114; Pell 2502 & 2557; CIBN B-576; Hillard 431; Aquilon 149; Arnoult 309; Parguez 229; Péligry 196; Polain(B) 4217; IGI 1827; Kind(Göttingen) 232; Pr 8513A; BMC VIII 238.


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 French and  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)


Manuscript Postilla of Nicholas deLyra

635G de Lyra, Nicolas. 1270-1340

Postilla super Actus Apostolorum, Epistolas Canonicales et Apocalypism.

The codex begins

Incipit praefatio sancti Hieronymi pr-bti De corpore epist bean Pauli apopot..

Untitled 6

Folio, 11 3/4 X 7 3/4. Manuscript on Paper 386 leaves, ca 1460 in several hands (see below),      This copy is bound in later full vellum.          $65,000

The Postillae constitute theUntitled 9
first Christian Bible
commentary to be printed.
The literalist approach led
Nicholas to *Rashi, whom he
often cites by name
(Salomo). In this he had been
anticipated by the Victorine
scholars, especially by
*Andrew of Saint Victor
whom he quotes (G.Calandra, De… Andreae Victorini… in Ecclesiasten (1948), 83–85). However, Nicholas, who records his perusal of a controversial tract hebraice scriptus (“written in Hebrew”; see Hailperin in bibl., p. 140), used Rashi directly as well. In addition he read some rabbinic material in Raymond *Martini’s Pugio Fidei. Soon after his death, Nicholas’ Postillae were available in virtually every library in western Christendom. Nicholas had abiding influence (Hailperin, p. 282f.). Wycliffe acknowledged his indebtedness to Nicholas in his (later) English version of the Bible (c. 1388). *Luther was particularly dependent on him, especially on Genesis. In his commentary to Daniel, Abrabanel controverts Nicholas’ christological exegesis.

[A full physical of the hands and decorative initals are available on request]

Thus begins the Pauline epistles :(two columns) fol 6 Romans
fol 19 first Corinthians
fol 31 second Corinthians

fol 39 Galations fol 43 Ephesians fol 47 Philippians fol 50 Colossians

fol 54 Laodocians
fol 53 first Thessalonians DSC_0079 2
fol 56 second Thessalonians
fol 57 first Timothy
fol 60 second Timothy
fol 63 Titus
fol 64 Philemon
fol 65-80 Hebrews
fol 80-97 John revelation( Apokalypse)
fol 98 James Apocalypse
fol 100 first Peter Apocalypse
fol 106 first-third John
fol 109 Jude
fol 111 preface to Acts
fol 113 Acts fol 146 ( new hand / single column)fol 146-170 (at 162 text switches to two columns [ Same hand]Postill (de Lyra?) Sup explanm Romans
fol 170-242 Paul vocatus Apls’- thessalonians
fol 242 Paul Secundum
fol 288 Quatuor
fol 353 Explicit postilla Apocalypum.fol 353 Incipit Postilla of Nicolai de Lyra sup apocalipsum-
fol 383 -Explicit Postilla of Nicolai de Lyra sup apocalipsum (End )

Nicholas was born at Lyra in Normandy 1270 and he died in Paris in 1340. The report that he was of Jewish descent dates only from the fifteenth century. He took the Untitled 8Franciscan habit at Verneuil, studied theology, received the doctor’s degree in Paris and was appointed professor at the Sorbonne. In the famous controversy on the Beatific vision he took sides withe the professors against John XXII. He laboured very successfully both in preaching and writing, for the conversion fo the Jews. He is the author of numerous theological works, some of which are yet unpublished. It was to exegesis that Nicholas of Lyra devoted his best years. In his second prologue to his monumental work “Postilla perpetu in universam S. Scripturam” after stating that the literal sense of Sacred Scriptureis the foundation of all mystical expositions, and that it alone has demonstrative force, as St. Augustine teaches, he deplores the state of Biblical studies in his time. The literal sense, he avers, is much obscured, owing partly to the unskilfulness of some of he correctors, and partly also to our own translation (the Vulgate) which not infrequently departs form the original Hebrew. He holds with St. Jerome that the text must be corrected from the Hebrew codices, except of course the prophecies concerning the Divinity of Christ. Another reason for this obscurity, Nicholas goes on to say, is the attachment of scholars to the method of interpretation handed down by others, who, though they have said many things well, have yet touched sparingly on the literal sense, and have so multiplied the mystical senses as nearly to choke it. Moreover, the text has been distorted by a multiplicity of arbitrary divisions and concordances. Hereupon he declares his intention of insisting, in the present work, upon the literal sense and

of interspersing only a few mystical interpretations. Nicholas utilized all available sources, fully mastered the Hebrew and drew copiously from the valuable commentaries of the Jewish exegetes, especially of the celebrated Talmudist Russia (Rashi).
“The Pugio Fidei” of Raymond Martini and the commentaries of St. Thomas Aquinas were also influences. His (Nicholas de Lyra) is lucid and concise; his observations are are judicious and sound, and always original. The Postilla soon became the favourite manual of exegesis. The solid learning of Nicholas commanded the respect of both Jews and Christians.

Untitled 7Luther owes much to Nicholas of Lyra, but how widely the principles of Nicholas differed essentially from Luther’s views is best seen from Nicholas’s own words:

“ I protest that I do not intend to assert or determine anything that has not been manifestly determined by Sacred Scripture or by the authority of the Church.. Wherefore I submit all I have said or shall say to the correction of Holy Mother Church and of all the learned men.’.
(Prol. secund in Postillas…)

Nicholas taught no new doctrine. The early Fathers and the great schoolman had repeatedly laid down the same sound exegetical principles, but owing to adverse tendencies of the

times, their efforts had partly failed. Nicholas carried out these principles effectively, and in this lies his chief merit – one which ranks him among the foremost exegites of all times.╙ (Catholic Encyclopedia , Vol. XI, Thomas Plassman, p. 63)

“what joy may you have, that you living to such an age, shall see the blessings of God on your labours while you live” 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.

‘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’

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’.


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