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THERE is reason to suppose that Mr. Douce was wrong in his judgment, and that an Edition was printed in March 1549 according to the modern computation. Copies of this Edition are of very rare occurrence; and it is probable that neither Herbert, nor Douce, two names of the greatest eminence in bibliography, had ever met with one. But there is a copy in the library of Brasen-nose College, and another at New College; and as much interest attaches to this Edition not merely from incidental circumstances, but from its own real importance, it may be well to describe the former of these two copies, the more complete of the two, with some minuteness. Its title is, “ The booke of the common praier and administracion of the Sacramentes, and other rites and ceremonies of the Churche : after the use of the Churche of Englande. Londini, in officina Richardi Graftoni Regii impressoris. Cum priuilegio ad imprimendum solum. Anno Domini MDXLIX. Mense Martii.” The colophon to the whole book is, “Imprinted at London in Fletestrete, at the signe of the Sunne ouer against the conduyte, by Edvvarde Whitchurche. The seuenth daye of Marche, the yeare of our Lorde. 1549.” But it is evident that different portions of the book were printed at different times. The service of the communion beginning at fol. cxxi. (incorrectly printed for cxxiii.) with the words, “The supper of the Lord, and the holy communion, commonly called the masse,” ends at fol. cxxxiiii. with the following colophon, “Imprinted at London, the viii daye of Marche, in the third yere of the reigne of our sovereigne Lorde Kyng Edvvard the .V.I. by Richard Grafton, printer to his moste royall Majestie. Cum priuilegio ad imprimendum solum :” and as this service goes on, with respect both to foliation and to signatures, in regular sequence with the preceding portion of the book, we cannot reasonably suppose that it was printed at an earlier period. We infer therefore that the whole book was printed in the third year of king Edward, and in the year 1549 of our computation. The service of the communion is followed by two leaves having no foliation nor any consecutive signatures, but containing the Te Deum, the Benedictus, the Magnificat, and the Nunc dimittis, which had not been given at length in their respective places in the Morning and Evening Prayer. They were not printed to be sold separately, but for the express purpose of being added to some other book, it being ordered in the last page, “that no manner of person do sell thys present boke, unbounde, aboue the pryce of two shyllynges the pece.” Then follows another colophon, “Imprinted at London, the .xvi. daye of Marche in the third yere of the reigne of our sovereigne Lorde Kyng Edvvard the .V.I. by Richard Grafton, printer to his moste royall Majestie. Cum priuilegio ad imprimendum solum.” The remainder of the volume, containing the occasional offices, begins with fresh foliation and signatures, and ends with the colophon, already quoted, of Edward Whitchurche. A question might be raised as to the year to which this portion of the volume belongs; but even here the probability is in favour of the earlier date. On a close comparison between the contents of the editions printed in March and May we are also led to the conclusion that the edition of March is the earlier. It omits the Litany altogether; it supplies the Te Deum and other hymns in a supplemental sheet; it contains a greater number of errors both of copy and of press, some of them being very remarkable in their kind; and in one instance (in the Burial of the Dead) a marginal note has been added directing that the Psalm which it accompanies “is to be saied after the other that foloweth.” In the edition of May the Litany, the Te Deum &c. are in their proper places, and the two Psalms of the Burial Service are printed in the order in which they were intended to be read, the marginal note being omitted. It is clear however from what has been stated, that although the edition of March must be acknowledged to be of earlier date, it is not so convenient for the purposes of this reprint as the edition of May. It does not contain the Litany at all; the place of the Te Deum and other hymns must have been altered in order to bring them into juxtaposition with the same hymns in the book of 1552; it has many and extraordinary misprints, such as (in the collect of the sixth Sunday after Trinity) “living in all things” for “loving thee in all things,” (in the introit of the twenty-third Sunday after Trinity) the omission of a whole verse, and (in the introit of the Purification) “ye that might” for “ye that by night;" objections which do not attach to the edition of May: and when to these considerations we add, that with the exception of misprints the other differences between the two books are utterly unimportant, there can be no doubt that the object of this publication was best answered by

printing from the edition of May instead of the impression of the preceding March. Although it is admitted in the foregoing statement that copies are to be found of March 1549 according to our modern style, it will be seen from what follows, that a different opinion might very easily have been formed. There is in the Bodleian library a Prayer book without a title, but bearing date in March 1549, as appears from its final colophon of Edward Whitchurche, the same colophon which has been quoted above. In this book no one portion is of the same impression with the corresponding portion of the Brasen-nose copy, except the last, consisting of the occasional offices. There is moreover no colophon except the final one; but the book is free from the many and great errors to be found in the early portions of the Brasen-nose copy. An examination, in short, of the Bodleian book without reference to others, would naturally lead to the conclusion that it was printed in March 1550, the date in the final colophon being interpreted in relation to the usage of those times. And were there not in the Brasen-nose copy a sequence both in foliation and in signature between the Order of the Communion imprinted on the 8th day of March in the 3d year of Edward VI. and the earlier portion of the book bearing date 1549, it might still be maintained that though the Order of the Communion, and the two leaves containing the Te Deum and other hymns, were printed in the preceding year, the bulk of the book did not appear till the month of March 1550. The reader is already aware of the great anomalies to be met with in those early editions, as compared with the extreme regularity of modern press-work. It has been stated that in the two copies of March 1549 compared above, which may severally have been printed in five different portions, the only portions that are of the same impression are the last, containing the occasional offices. But even these two differ from each other; for on the last page of the Bodleian copy appears the following notice, which is wanting in the other: “The King's Majesty by the advice of his most dear uncle the Lord Protector, and other his Highness' Council, straitly chargeth and commandeth that no manner of person do sell this present book unbound above the price of two shillings the piece: and the same bound in paste or in boards not above the price of three shillings and four pence the piece. God save the King.” Since the foregoing note was in type I have met with a copy of King Edward's Prayer-Book of 1549, formerly in the collection of the late Duke of Marlborough, which is so peculiar, and so perfect in condition, that it deserves to be noticed. Its title runs thus: “ The boke of . the common praier and administratio of thee Sacramentes, and other rytes and ceremonies of the Churche, after the use of the churche of

Englande. &ligorniae in officina Ioannis Ostpaeni. Cum priuilegio ad imprimendum solum. Anno Do. 1549. Mense Maii.” The colophon is as follows: “ X. Imprinted the, xxiiii. day of May. Anno. M.D.XLIX. At Worceter by D Ihon Oswen. (I They be also to sell at Shrewesburye. Cum priuilegio ad imprimendum solum.” The book is in 4to, its signatures are in proper succession throughout, and the foliation is regular, always making amends for omissions or errors, until it reaches the office for Confirmation, where it begins afresh. It also introduces the Te Deum, the Benedictus, the Magnificat, and the Nunc dimittis (which had not previously been given at full length), together with the Litany and Suffrages, between the CommunionService and the occasional offices. But the most remarkable fact is, that 16 different readings, some of them extravagant errors, which had been selected as characteristic of the Brasen-nose copy and the March edition, are all repeated exactly in this Worcester book. It even retains the two psalms of the Burial Service in their wrong order; and adds the marginal note to rectify the mistake. So that it was printed at Worcester in May, from a copy of the impression struck off hastily and in distinct portions in the preceding March, and adds to the evidence already given, in favour of the earlier publication of that edition to which the Brasen-nose copy belongs.


This edition of Whitchurche was selected because it exhibits the Book of Common Prayer in the precise form adopted by the parliament, and contains all the hymns (such as Te Deum &c.) printed at full length. Although no exact time is specified in the title or colophon, (whereas Grafton's are dated Mense Augusti,) it is probably one of the earliest copies issued, as it does not contain the celebrated declaration “touching the kneeling at the receiving of the communion,” which had been subsequently approved by the king, and was added to the Book of Common Prayer by an order of council bearing date the 27th day of October. The book was to be in general use on the ensuing first of November; it is plain therefore that large impressions must have been worked off before the declaration was issued ; but the wish of the sovereign and his advisers was so urgent in its favour, that we meet with few copies now, where it is not found carefully inserted, either by cancelling a leaf, or by some other contrivance. The declaration itself was not printed in the first edition of this work, having been reserved for the History of Conferences, the continuation of the subject, where it is considered at sufficient length (p. 34. note); but as it was thenceforth reputed to be part of the Book of Common Prayer and much interest has been expressed respecting it, it is added in this

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note, being taken from the rubrics, of which it is the fourth in
order, at the end of the Communion Service in Grafton's edition of
August 1552.
“Although no order can be so perfectly devised, but it may be of
some, either for their ignorance and infirmity, or else of malice and
obstinacy, misconstrued, depraved and interpreted in a wrong part ;
and yet because brotherly charity willeth, that so much as conveniently
may be, offences should be taken away; therefore we willing to do the
same : whereas it is ordained in the Book of Common Prayer in the
administration of the Lord's Supper, that the communicants kneeling
should receive the holy communion; which thing being well meant
for a signification of the humble and grateful acknowledging of the
benefits of Christ, given unto the worthy receiver, and to avoid the
profanation and disorder, which about the holy communion might else
ensue; lest yet the same kneeling might be thought or taken
otherwise; we do declare that it is not meant thereby, that any
adoration is done or ought to be done, either unto the sacramental
bread or wine there bodily received, or unto any real and essential
presence there being of Christ's natural flesh and blood. For as
concerning the sacramental bread and wine, they remain still in their
very natural substances, and therefore may not be adored; for that
were idolatry, to be abhorred of all faithful Christians: and as concerning
the natural body and blood of our Saviour Christ, they are in heaven.
and not here; for it is against the truth of Christ's true natural body,
to be in more places than in one at one time.”

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