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Hampstead, June 8/ 1877. 

Now that the Caxton Celebration is close at 
hand, it may not be uninteresting to your readers 
to point out a piece of fresh evidence— hitherto 
unknown, as far as I can ascertain — with regard 
to the exact date of Caxton's return into England. 
In a volume of the 'Collectanea' of Camden, 
among the Cotton MSS., I discovered the follow- 
ing entry in his own hand, " In the year 1471, 
William Caxton, Mercer and Merchaunt of 
London, brought it into England, where the 
Abbot of Westminster, well likinge the deuice, 
imprinted the destruction of Troyes, the first 
booke w''^ was ever imprinted in England." This 
gives a strong support to the independent testi- 
mony of Stow, who also gives the date 1471 in 
his ' Survey of London.' It is quite impossible 
to believe that Caxton, who had held such a high 
position at Bruges, and had lived for thirty years 
in connexion and correspondence from abroad with 
the Mercers' Company at home, could sink sud- 
denly into such utter oblivion and silence as not 
to be once mentioned in his adopted city for more 
than six years. On the other hand, it is only 
natural that, returning to his native country after 
an absence of so many years, he should have 
passed a life of retirement and obscurity, holding 
no ofiicial position, and unknown by fame in the 
vicinity of his new residence. »As to any data 
founded on his well-known device, no conclusions 
could be more erroneous or absurd. It is abso- 
lutely certain that Caxton never saw or heard of 
the use of such a figure as is taken for the numeral 
seven on his device, it was invariablv formaA lika^ 
a pair of open compasses at that time, and that is 
the shape of that figure as always used by him. 
As regards the other character, it is, undoubtedly, 
like the numeral four as used about that period, 
but our printer never used it himself, his figure 
being almost identical with the four now in use, as 
may be seen in many of his books. 

EpwARD Scott. ^ 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

Microsoft Corporation 







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HE "Caxton Celebration'* is in 
full progress, and many per- 
sons are requiring information 
about our first Printer, his life 
and works. To supply that demand the present 
Volume is issued. In 1861-63, two volumes 
quarto were published, entitled " The Life and 
Typography of William Caxton," in which the 
most full information then obtainable was 
afforded; but being both costly and cumber- 
some, it has been thought desirable to issue a 
new **Life " in a more handy form. 

The particulars of the biographical portion 
have, where necessary, been re-cast ; but only 
one additional fact of any importance has been 
added, viz., that Caxton was married, and left 


behind him a married daughter, information 
kindly supplied to me by Mr. Gairdner, of 
the Eecord Office. 

The bibliography has been necessarily cur- 
tailed, the account of the old manuscripts of 
Caxton's printed books having been omitted, 
as well as the details under " Existing Copies " 
and "statistics." On the other hand, some 
new works, of which the "Ars moriendi," 
"Sex Epistolae," and the "Officium beatse 
Mariae," are the chief, have been added to the 
Catalogue of Caxton's productions, and de- 
scribed in full. It has also been thought 
necessary to retain the full Collation of each 

It is a pleasing task to acknowledge assist- 
ance, and to E. A. Graves, Esq., of the British 
Museum, I owe my best thanks for revising 
the proofs of the biographical portion, and for 
numerous suggestions. 

The Plates, as in the former edition, are from 
the skilful hand of G. I. E. Tupper, Esq., of 
Pudding Lane, Eastcheap, whose ability in this 
description of work is beyond praise. To him 
also are due many of the remarks on the various 
types, both in this and the former edition. 


But chiefly I am indebted to Henry Brad- 
shaw, Esq., Librarian to the University of 
Cambridge, for the use of his annotated copy 
of *'The Life and Typography of William 
Caxton," which has enabled me to rectify 
several mistakes in that work, and to assign 
with a greater degree of accuracy the undated 
books to their proper years. 

Mr. J. C. C. Smith, Probate Registry, Somerset 
House, kindly informed me of the discovery of 
another portion of the Will of Robert Large, 
Caxton's Master. 

The woodcut head-pieces, tail-pieces, and 
initials are from the hand of Noel Humphreys, 
Esq., who on this occasion kindly resumed his 
pencil for the subject's sake. 

W. B. 




William Caxton — His Birthplace and Parentage ... 1 

William Caxton — An Apprenticeship 7 


Caxton Abroad 15 

Literature in the Fifteenth Century 88 

Development of Printing 39 

Cplard Mansion 59 

Caxton a Printer 55 



Caxton at Westminster ... ... ... ... ... 69 


The Master Printer — the Paper — the Type — Presses — 

Pressmen — Ink — the Bookbinder — the lUuminator 94 


Containing Mercers' Records — Will of Robert Large — 
Burge's Records — St. Margaret's Records — Docu- 
ment from Record Office 1 43 


Books printed in Type No. 1 165 

Books printed in Type No. 2 181 

Books printed in Type No. 3 235 

Books printed in Type No. 4 243 

Books printed in Type No. 5 309 

Books printed in Type No. 6 329 

Doubtful Works 359 

Index 371 



WAS bom and lerned myn enj^lissh in 
Kente in the weeld where I doubte not is 
spoken as brode and rude englissh as is in 
ony place of euglond." Thus briefly does 
William Caxton record the place of his 
birth and early years, and notwithstand- 
ing prolonged and careful research nothing 
more precise has been ascertained. 

The name of " weald," rendered by Halliwcll " forest," or 
" woody country," betokens the nature of the district, which at 
the time of the Conquest, and for centuries after, was covered 
with dense woods where thousands of wild hogs roamed and 
fattened. This extensive tract of country had no legally 
defined boundaries, and one can easily understand how Lam- 
barde, the Kentish historian, was so puzzled when he attempted 
to describe it, that he declared it easier to deny altogether 
the existence of the weald than to define its boundaries with 
any accuracy. An approximate idea of its geographical 
position may be gained by observing that a traveller, starting 
from Edenbridge, and journeying through Tunbridge, Harden, 
Biddenden, and Tenterden to the Romney marshes, would 
pass through its centre. 

A century before Caxton's birth a great change had com- 
menced in the weald of Kent. Hitherto the wool for which 



England was famous had been purchased by merchants and 
carried over to Flanders, for the purpose of being made into 
cloth, which was brought back for sale in England. Edward 
III, struck by the wealth and power which accrued to Flan- 
ders from the cloth manufacture established there, determined 
to try the experiment of establishing a factory in England. 

The weald, covered as it then was with forests, was of 
little value as land ; and hither, aided in his design by the 
sanguinary feuds at that time raging among the trade guilds 
of the Low Countries, the King induced about eighty respect- 
able Flemish families to migrate and carry on the manu- 
facture of cloth in the country which produced the wool. 
Exempt from taxation, and favoured by the royal patronage 
and many special privileges, the colony throve and grew 
rapidly. The Flemish settlers soon became naturalised, and 
increased in wealth and influence year by year ; so that in 
the fifteenth century " their trade was of great importance, 
and exercised by persons who possessed most of the landed 
property in the weald." Thus writes Hasted in 1778, and 
adds, " Insomuch that almost all the antient famihes of these 
parts, now of large estates, are sprung from ancestors who 
have used this staple manufacture." 

"We read Caxton's narrative of his birth in a new light, 
when we bear in mind that the inhabitants of the Weald had 
a strong admixture of Flemish blood in their best families, 
and that cloth was their chief, and, probably, only manufac- 
ture. "We understand why the Kentish dialect was so broad 
and rude, and we enter more heartily into the amusing 
anecdote in Caxton's preface to the "Eneydos," where he 
tells of the good wife of Kent who knew what the Flemish 
word " eyren " meant, but understood not the Enghsh word 
"eggs." "Certayn marchaunts," says Caxton, "were in a 
ship in tamyse for to have sayled over the see into zelande, 
and for lacke of wynde thei taryed atte forlond . and wente 
to lande for to refreshe them And one of theym named 
shefiTelde a mercer cam in to an hows and axed for mete . and 
specyally he axed after eggys And the good wyf answerde . 
that she cotide speke no frenshe. And the marchaunt was 


an^rj . for he also coiide speke no frenshe . but wolde hare 
hadde egges, and she undersfcode hym not, And thenne at last 
a nother sajd that he wolde have eyren, then the good wyi* 
sayd that she understod hym wel." Dr. Pegge, in his 
" Alphabet of Kenticisms," gives " eiren " as the equivalent 
of "eggs" in the Kentish dialect of old English. 

Here, then, in some rural homestead, surrounded by people 
who spoke English " not to be understonden," was Caxton bom. 
Kentish historians, anxious to localise the honour of having 
given birth to so famous a man, claim the ancient manor of 
Caustons, near Hadlow, in the Weald of Kent, as the original 
seat of the Caxton family. In the fifteenth century the name 
Caxton was usually pronounced Cauxton or Causton, the letter 
a having a broad sound, and the u being frequently inserted 
after it. Numerous instances are given in the " Archaeologia 
Cantiana," Vol. V., of names of Kentish towns having this 
broad pronunciation. Thus Francklyn occurs in old deeds as 
Frauncklyn ; Mailing as Mauling, and Wanting as Waunting. 
The letters s and x were often interchanged, and so Caxton 
writes AUsaumUr for Alexander, while to ask appears in the 
" Chess Book " as to axe. We may further note that Caxton^ 
in Cambridgeshire, is spelt in old documents, Caustoriy and, 
in the records of the Mercers* Company, a certain Thomas 
Cacston appears as one of the liverymen appointed to wel- 
come King Edward IV on his entry into London, and is 
immediately after entered as Thomas Cawston. Many years 
before Caxton's birth, the manor of Caustons had been alie- 
nated from the Caxton family, by whom it had 'long been 
held ; and although some offshoots may have remained in the 
neighbourhood, the most important branch appears to have 
taken root in Essex, and there adopted the name of the old 
Kentish hundred for their new residence; for among the 
wills now preserved at Somerset House is that of Johannes 
Cawston, of Hadlow Hall, Essex, dated 1490. Nothing, how- 
ever, of interest can be gleaned from it. 

We therefore conclude that William Caxton probably de- 
scended from the old stock of the Caustons, who owned the 
manor of Caustons, near Hadlow, in the Weald of Kent. The 

B 2 


evidence is not strong, but yet there is no other locality in 
the Weald in which can be traced the slightest connection, 
either verbal or otherwise, with the family. 

Caxton's pedigree is quite unknown, no trace of any of his 
relatives, except a married daughter, having been discovered. 
The "William Caxton" who was buried in 1478, in the church 
of St. Margaret, Westminster, is asserted by some biographers 
to have been the father of our printer. This may be possible ; 
but no relationship can be assumed from mere identity of 
name, for Caxtons, Caustons, or Cauxtons are to be found in 
many parts of England during 


the fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries. William de Caxtone 
owned a house in the parish of 
St. Mary Abchurch, London, 
in 1311 : a man of the same 
name paid his tax to the City 
authorities in 1441 : and there 
was a family of Caxtons fa- 
mous for centuries as mer- 
chants at Norwich, who used as their trade-mark three Cakes 
and a Tun. The will of Robert Caxton, alias Causton, is pre- 
served at Canterbury; and at Sandwich, Tuxford, Newark, 
Beckenham, Westerham, and frequently in the early records 
of London does the name appear. The will of John Caxton, 
of Canterbury, likewise still exists : he was " of the parish 
of St. Alphage, Mercer," and left to the church some wooden 
" deskys," upon which the following device may still be seen. 


When was Caxton bom ? To this question a more satis- 
factory answer can be given, for the date of his apprenticeship 
has fortunately been preserved in the records of the Mercers* 
Company. It has generally been assumed that 1412 was the 
date of his birth, upon the sole ground that Caxton himself 
complained, in 1471, that he was gro\Ning old and weak, from 
which the inference has been drawn that he must then have 
seen at least sixty years. That this date, however, must be 
advanced is proved by the following extract from the earliest 
volume of the "Wardens' Accounts" in the Archives of the 
Mercers* Company. The entry occurs in a list of fees for the 
binding and enrolment of apprentices "pur Ian deunt passe 
cest assauoir des Fest de Saynt John Bap** Ian xvj du Roy 
Henr sisme ; " that is, " for the year last passed that is to say 
from the Feast of St. John Baptist in the 16th year of King 
Henry YI. [June 24, 1438]," and is literally as follows : — 

Entres des Appiitices. 

Item John large, i les appntices de .... 

Item Will'm Caxston, ) Kobert Large 

We have here recorded the interesting fact that in 1438 
Caxton was apprenticed to Robert Large. It is the first 
genuine date in his life with which we are acquainted, and 
affords us a starting point from which can be reckoned, with 
some degree of certainty, the date of his birth. 

The age of twenty-one has always been considered as the 
period when a man arrives at his legal majority ; but in the 
fifteenth century there was also what may be termed the civic 
majority, which was not attained until three years later. This 
custom prevailed to the end of the seventeenth century; for 
in 1693 an Act of Common Council was passed enjoining the 
Chamberlain to ascertain that every candidate for admission 
to the freedom of the City had "reached the full age of 
twenty-four." The phrase " quousque ad etatem suam xxiiij 
annorum peruenerit," so commonly found in old wills, refers 
to this custom ; and in \iew of it the indenture of an appren- 
tice was always so drawn that on the commencement of his 


twenty-fifth year he might issite from his apprenticeship. 
This necessarily caused a considerable variation in the length 
of servitude, which ranged according to the age of the youth, 
from seven years, the shortest term, to fourteen years. Taking 
the "entries" and "issues" in the Mercers' records as a guide, 
ten years appears to have been the term most usual in the 
fifteenth century ; but if we calculate his servitude to have 
lasted but seven years, Caxton could not have been more 
than seventeen years of age when apprenticed, and would 
therefore have been bom not later than the year 1421. 
That he was not much younger is evident from the position 
he had gained for himself at Bruges only eleven years after he 
entered his apprenticeship, when he was accepted as surety 
for a sum equal to £1500 at the present day; so that we 
cannot be far \^Tong if we assume 1422-3 as the date of his 



AXTON tells us, in his prologue to 
" Charles the Great," that, previously to 
his apprenticeship, he had been to school, 
but whether in Kent or in London he 
does not say. He only thanks his 
parents for their kind foresight in giving 
him a good education, by which he was enabled in after 
years to earn an honest living. No other particulars of his 
early history being known, we will pass at once to the year 
1438, and imagine him, fresh from the Weald, already in- 
stalled in the household of Alderman Large, and duly invested 
with all the rights and privileges of a London apprentice. 

"When we remember how many of these apprentices were 
young men about four-and-twenty years of age, we can readily 
believe that very strict rules were required to keep them 
■within bounds, and that when they did break loose it was 
sometimes beyond the combined power of all the city autho- 
rities to restrain them. The Evil May Day, as it was called, 
in 1517, when the apprentices rose against the foreigners, 
especially the French, and, notwithstanding the efforts of the 
Lord Mayor and aldermen, ravaged the City, burning houses 
and killing many persons, is recorded by the old chroniclers. 
The day was long remembered by the masters vvith fear, and 
by the apprentices "with pride — although twelve of the latter 
ignominiously perished by the hands of the hangman after 
the suppression of the riot by the King's troops. 


The master's duties to his apprentice were to feed him, 
clothe him, and teach him well and truly his art and craft. 
Failing the fulfilment of these duties, the apprentice could, on 
complaint and proof shown before the Court of Aldermen, 
have his indentures cancelled, or be turned over to another 
master. On the other side, the apprentice made oath to serve 
his master well and truly, to keep all his secrets, to use no 
traffic on his own account, and to obey all lawful commands. 

The London merchants of those days were very exclusive 
in their reception of apprentices, and perhaps none of them 
more so than the Mercers, who took precedence of all the 
City companies. The leading men of the great companies, as 
was natural, apprenticed their sons to one another, and thus 
the family names of Caxton's fellow-apprentices are the names 
also of the wardens, and the most substantial citizens of the 
period. The family name of " Caxton " does not, indeed, figure 
among those of the City mag-nates, but William Caxton's 
admission to the household of one of London's most eminent 
merchants, and his being apprenticed at the same time as his 
master's son, go far to prove the family to have been well 
connected. In one case only does there seem a probability 
of relationship. The records of the Mercers' Company contain 
many notices of the " entries " and " issues " of apprentices, 
and in 1447 it is recorded that one Kichard Caxton finished 
his term of servitude with John Harrowe, whose son was one 
of the apprentices of Eobert Large at the same time as 
William Caxton, Large and HaiTowe were fellow Mercers, 
and evidently on friendly terms, so that it is probable the two 
young Caxtons were of the same family. 

Robert Large, Caxton's master, was one of the richest and 
most influential merchants in the City. He was a Mercer, 
and the son of a Mercer, and a native of the City of London. 
In 1430 he filled the office of Sheriif, and in 1439-40 that 
of Lord Mayor. The Mercer's Company was then, as now, 
the oldest chartered company in existence, and among its 
members were comprised the merchants of highest standing 
in the City. It paid more money to the king's revenue, sent 
to a "riding" more well-mounted men, spent larger sums on 

Plate I. 

From Aygas's Map of London, showing the Home of Alderman Large, 
Caxion's Master (marked f J. The Arms of Large in right hand comer. 


its "liveries," and yielded from its ranks more sheriffs and 
majors than any two City companies besides. Large was 
elected "Gardein" (the old term for Warden) in 1427, and 
apiKjars to have made himself very popular, if we may judge 
from the unusual expenditure on the Lord Mayor's Day when 
he succeeded to the mayoralty. Carriages not having yet 
come into use, the procession to Westminster was on horse- 
back, the Mercers on that occasion riding in new robes, 
preceded by sixteen trumpeters, blowing silver trumpets pur- 
chased for the occasion. A few liverymen who absented 
themselves were heavily fined. 

The house in which Alderman Large resided no doubt 
presented a great contrast to Caxton's home in the Weald. 
It stood at the north end of the Old Jewry, and appears to 
have been a very ancient and extensive mansion. Stow, 
writing in 1598, gives a curious account of its vicissitudes, 
and sums up its history thus: — "sometime a Jews' Syna- 
gogue, since a house of friars, then a nobleman's house, after 
that a merchant's house, wherein mayoralties have been kept, 
but now a wine tavern." Large resided there until his death. 

The household of which Caxton had become a member 
consisted of at least, eighteen persons, exclusive of domestic 
ser\^ants — Alderman Kobert Large and his second wife 
Johanna ; four sons, Robert, Thomas, Richard, and John, all 
under age (24 years), the last being bound apprentice at the 
same time as Caxton; two daughters, Alice and Elizabeth, 
both mider age (21 years) ; two "servants," or men who had 
served their apprenticeship, and eight apprentices. Large did 
not long survive his mayoralty. His mU is dated April 11th, 
1441, and he died on the 24th of the same month. He was 
buried in St. Olave's, Old JewTy, in the same grave as his 
first wife Elizabeth, and their monument, with the following 
inscription, existed in the time of Stow : — " Hie requiescat in 
Gratia et misericordia Dei, Robertus Large, quondam Mer- 
cems et Maior istius civitatis." An imperfect copy of Large's 
will is preserved iu the Principal Registry of the Court of 
Probate at Somerset House. From it we learn that he owned 
the manor of Horham, in Essex, and that he left various sums 


to the parish churches of Shakeston, Aldestre, and Overton, 
where some of his relatives were buried. It would have been 
interesting to find that Large had a family connection mth 
Caxton's native county ; but although no trace of this can be 
discovered, it is remarkable that two of his apprentices should 
have had Kentish names, Caxton being merely another form 
of Causton, a manor near Hadlow, and the hundred of Strete 
being represented by Caxton's fellow-apprentice, Randolph 
Streete. He left liberal bequests to his parish church of St. 
Olave, Old Jewry, and for religious purposes generally, as well 
as considerable sums for the completion of a new aqueduct 
then in coui'se of construction, for the repair of London 
Bridge, for cleansing the watercourse of Walbrook, for mar- 
riage portions of poor girls, for relief of domestic servants, 
and for the use of various hospitals of London, among which 
may be noticed " Bedleem," Bishopsgate Without, St. Thomas 
of Southwark, and the Leper Houses at " Hakeney-les-lokes." 
Among the many bequests in Large's will, the following are 
worthy of notice as showing the names and approximate ages 
of Caxton's fellow apprentices, of whom he appears, both by 
the order in which he is mentioned, and by the dates in the 
Mercers' records, to have been the youngest. 

Richard Bonyfaunt (issued 1 440) ... 50 marks. 

Henry Okmanton (entered 1434) ... 50 pounds. 

Robert Dedes ( ). . .20 marks. 

Christopher Heton (issued 1443). . .20 pounds. 

William Caxton (entered 1437)... 20 marks. 

Besides the above there were Randolph Streete, who issued 
in the same year as that in which Caxton was bound, Thomas 
Neche, who issued in 1440, and John Harrowe, who issued 
in 1443. These are all entered in the Mercers' books as 
" appiitices de Rob*- Large." 

Before proceeding with the account of Caxton, we may 
here briefly state what is known of the subsequent history of 
the family in which he lived. Mistress Large (whose son 
Richard Tumat, by her first husband, is mentioned in Large's 
will) was now again a widow, with a large fortune of her own 


and the care of two stepsons, each of whom was also well pro- 
\ided for. Her second bereavement appears for a time to 
have affected her most deeply. Over the body of her deceased 
husband she thus solemnly and publicly vowed to devote the 
remainder of her days to charity and chastity : — " I, Johanna, 
that was sometime the wife of Robert Large, make mine 
avow to (tod and the high blissful Trinity, to our Lady Saint 
Mary, and to all the blissfiU company of Heaven, to live in 
chastity and cleanness of my body from this time forward as 
long as my life lasteth, never to take other spouse but only 
Christ Jesu." At the same time a ring was placed upon her 
wedding finger, and a coarse bro^Ti veil thrown over her by 
the priest. Her celibacy was not, however, of long duration, 
as in about three years she married for the third time, as we 
learn from the following quaint entry in the second edition 
of Stow's " Survey of London." Writing of John Gedney, 
Lord Mayor in 1427, he says, "This Godnay in the yeare 
1444 wedded the widdow of Robert Large late Maior, which 
widdow had taken the Mantell and ring, and the vow to Hue 
chast to God tearnie of her life, for the breach whereof, the 
marriage done they were troubled by the Church, and put to 
penance, both he and she." 

All the children menti(jned by Tiarge in his ^\'ill were by 
EHzabeth, his first wife. Robert and Thomas did not long 
survive their father; John died soon after the expiration of 
his apprenticeship, which, as we have seen, was contempo- 
raneous with that of Caxton, and his name, accordingly, does 
not occur in Large*s will. Richard, the sole survivor, suc- 
ceeded, as was his father's wish, to all the property demised to 
his two elder brothers, and his claims were allowed by the 
Court of Aldermen on his "attaining his age of 24 years" in 
the year 1444. Large's daughter Alice does not appear to 
have claimed her patrimony on arriving at her majority ; she 
therefore, in all probability, died previously; but Elizabeth 
maiTied soon after her father's death, and her husband, 
Thomas Eyre, son of the Lord Mayor, received her dowry in 

The three years which Caxton passed as apprentice with 


Large were very eventfiil, and, as it was during this period 
that he must have received his most vivid impressions of life, 
it may not be amiss to take a rapid glance at a few of the 
events which agitated the minds of the people. Caxton, no 
doubt, was witness of the great jousts in Smithfield in 1438, 
which lasted three weeks, and are so graphically described in 
one of the Lansdowne Manuscripts in the British Museum 
(No. 285), and his intense love for knightly sports may have 
there been first developed. But though sights of knights at 
tournaments were to be seen for nothing, common bread was 
very dear, and many deaths from starvation occurred in the 
same year. An old chronicle tells us that, "Men ate rye 
bread and barly, and bred mad of benes, peses, and fetches : 
and wel were hym that myghte haue ynowe thereof." In his 
own additions to the " Polycronicon " Caxton is more than 
usually minute in his record of the events which occurred 
during the time of his apprenticeship. Speaking of this year, 
he recounts that "Come was soo skarce that in some places 
poure peple made hem brede of fern rotes." This makes one 
cease to wonder at tumults and rebellion, and possibly some 
chord of pity was struck in Caxton's breast when certain men 
from his native county of Kent, called "Risers," were beheaded, 
and the heads of five of them were stuck on poles and left 
to rot over the southern gateway of London Bridge. In 1439 
Large was elected Mayor, and at his "riding" to Westminster 
and back, all his apprentices no doubt assisted to sweU the 
shout in honour of their master, and to drink the wine which 
flowed freely from the conduits. But ere that year was ended 
a sad spectacle was seen on Tower Hill, when Richard Wyche, 
Vicar of Deptford, an old man of eighty years of age, was 
burnt for Lollardism. An old chronicler, at the end of his 
account of this martyrdom, adds, " for the which Sir Richard 
was made grete mom among the comyn peple ;" and well they 
might moan, for his love and charity had won for him the 
strongest affection among the poor. He was first degraded 
" at Powly's," and then taken away to Tower Hill, where he 
was roasted over a slow fire. The excitement among the 
people was intense, and on the night of this event all the 


watches throughout the city were doubled, bo great were the 
fears entertained of a general rising. The impression made 
on the mind of Caxton may be gathered from his own rela- 
tion : — " This yere Syr Rychard wiche, vycary of hermettes- 
worth was degrated of his prysthode, at powlys, and brente 
at toure hylle as for an heretyk on saynt Botolphus day, how 
wel at his deth, he deyde a good crysten man, wherefore after 
his dethe moche people cam to the place where he hadde ben 
brente, and oflryd and made a heepe of stones, and sette vp 
a crosse of tree, and helde hym for a saynt till the mayer 
and shreves, by commaundement of the kynge and bisshops 
destroyed it, and made there a donghyll." Another grievous 
event appears, in the following year, to have excited the com- 
passion of our young apprentice. On three alternate days 
Eleanor Chobham, the beautiful wife of Duke Humphrey, was 
landed on the banks of the Thames, and, accompanied by the 
mayor, sheriffs, and guilds of the city, walked to St. Paul's 
barefooted, clad in a white sheet, and holding a taper, as 
a penance for her presumed sorceries with the witch of Eye. 
Caxton has narrated this at unusual length. There were great 
tournaments again this year in the Tower, as well as a despe- 
rate fight between the citizens and a body of courtiers, for 
which the former, although first attacked, were heavily fined 
by the king. The old chronicler describes the fray as "a 
great debate by the night time, where through shots of bows 
there were many hurt foul and slain." But the chief event of 
this period, considered in its bearing upon Caxton's destiny, 
was the conclusion of a three years' peace between England 
and Flanders. This, coupled with the termination of the war 
which had raged furiously between Holland and Zealand and 
Hamburgh, was probably a material cause in determining 
Caxton's departure from England. 

We do not know what were the exact duties which de- 
volved upon Caxton during his apprenticeship; but as an 
assistant to Large, who had extensive connections, and was 
doubtless in frequent correspondence mth Bruges, the great 
centre of English commerce abroad, he must have obtained 
considerable insight into the customs of foreign trade, and 


become personally known to many Flemish merchants, who, 
when in London, would probably stay in Large's house. 

We must not forget that Caxton was not released from 
his indentures by the death of his master. If he wished to 
continue his career as a merchant, whether in England or 
abroad, he was obliged to serve out his apprenticeship ; and 
that he did so we gather from his admission in after years to 
the livery of the Mercers' Company. Executors were bound 
to pro\ide the apprentices of a deceased trader with a new 
home; and it would seem that the original master might 
appoint a new master by his will, or of his ovm accord assign 
the apprentice during his lifetime, without making the appren- 
tice himself a party to the assignment. So far as we know, 
Large made no arrangement of this kind; and it appears 
probable that the usual course of pro\'iding a new master for 
the bereaved apprentice was adopted by the executors in 
Caxton's case. Moreover, it was not uncommon for young 
men in his position to be sent to some foreign town to obtain 
experience in trade. Wheeler says, " The Merchants Adven- 
turers send their yong men, sonnes, and servantes or appren- 
tices, who for the most parte are Gentlemens sonnes, to the 
Marte Townes beyonde the seas, there to leame good facions 
and knowledge in trade." Whether Caxton left England by 
his own desire, or at the instance of his new master, or by 
the invitation of a foreign friend, is unknown ; but that he 
took up his abode in the Low Countries, and probably at 
Bruges, in 1441, the year in which his first master died, we 
gather from his own words in the prologue to " The Eecuyell," 
where he states that he had then, in 1471, been abroad for 
thirty years. Thither probably he carried with him no more 
than the twenty marks (equal to about £150 at the present 
day) bequeathed to him by Alderman Large. 



HE City of Bruges had long been not 
only the seat of government of the 
Dukes of Burgundy, but also the metro- 
polis of trade for all the neighbouring 
countries. Thither resorted merchants 
from all parts of Europe, certain of 
finding there the best market for 
their wares. English traders especially abounded, having been 
greatly favoured by Philip the Good, who had been almost 
from a child brought up in the Court of England, and who 
in 1446 gave great privileges to the Merchant Adventurers 
under the name of The English Nation^ by which title they were 
ever after commonly known in foreign parts. So greatly were 
the Duke's dominions indebted to the trade in wool and cloth 
with England, that Philip the Good, when he instituted in 
1429 a new Order of Knighthood, adopted for its title and 
badge " The Golden Fleece." The " Athenaeum" for Decem- 
ber 5th, 1863, gives a curious account of the choice of this 
name. " Philip, wearied with suggestions for the name and 
badge of his new Order, at last said it might be named in 
some reference to the season of the year in which the matter 
had been discussed. That season included the months of July, 
August, September, October and November. As the initial 
letters of those months (the same in French and Dutch as in 
English) made the word Jason, the name of the Hero of the 
Golden Fleece, the conclusion was hilariously arrived at that 
the new Order should be named accordingly." 


Caxton issued out of his apprenticeship about 144G, and 
became a freeman of his guild, though, as this happened 
abroad, no notice of it occurs in the Company's books. It 
would appear that he immediately entered into business on 
his own account, and that he prospered, for in 1450 we find 
him in Bruges, and so far successful as to be thought sufficient 
security for the sum of £110 sterling, more than equal to 
£1,500 now. This appears from the following curious law 
proceedings preserved in the archives of the City of Bruges. 
William Craes, an English merchant, in the year 1450, sued 
in the Town Hall of Bruges, before the burgomasters, mer- 
chants, and councillors of the city, John Selle and William 
Caxton, both English merchants, for a sum of money. William 
Craes deposed that John Granton, of the Staple at Calais, was 
indebted to him in the sum of £110 sterhng, for which the 
said John Selle and William Caxton had become sureties, 
and that the said John Cranton having departed from the 
city without payment made, he, the said Craes, had caused 
his sureties to be arrested. The defendants admitted that 
they were tho. sureties for John Granton, but pleaded that as 
Granton was very rich, complainant should wait and look to 
him for payment, if indeed the money had not been already 
paid. Judgment was given by Roeland de Vos and Guerard 
le Groote in favour of the complainant, the defendants having 
to give security for the sum demanded, but it was also decreed 
that if John Granton on his return to Bruges should prove 
payment previously to his departure, the complainant should 
then pay a fine double in amount to that of the sum claimed. 

We learn from their records that the Mercers were, at this 
period, engaged in a considerable trade with the Low Coun- 
tries, but this soon after received a check from an edict of 
the Duke of Burgundy which prohibited the importation of 
all English cloths. The item in the Mercers' accounts — " To 
Richard Burgh for bearing of a letter over the sea, 6s 8^," 
probably refers to this, although from the small sum paid 
in comparison with several similar entries, it may be inferred 
that he was not a special messenger, but that he took charge 
of the letter, having to go to Bruges on his own account. 


The date when Caxton was admitted to the freedom of hw 
Company does not appear, but it was doubtless shortly after 
he had issued from his apprenticeship. It must have occurred 
before 1453, for in that year he made a journey from Bruges 
to London, accompanied by Richaert Burgh and Esmond 
Redeknape, when all three were admitted to the Livery of the 
Mercers' Company, a privilege to which the admission to the 
freedom was a necessary step. Like Caxton, Burgh and Rede- 
knape were probably English traders settled at Bruges : Rede- 
knape was most likely a relative of the W. Redeknape of 
London, who appears farther on as a merchant trading ^vith 
Bruges, and we have already noticed Burgh as the bearer of a 
letter to that city. We may likewise remark that the usual 
fees on their taking up the livery seem to have been remitted, 
the whole entry in the volume of accounts being erased by 
the pen. The Mercers' accounts of the same year show 
charges for sending two letters to the Duchess of Burgundy, 
who was not above trading in cloth on her owti account, with 
the special privilege from her brother, Edward lY, of being 
freed from the payment of import and export duties. In 
1453 Geoffrey Felding, Mercer, was mayor, and the names of 
William Caxton, Ric. Burgh, Thos. Bryce, and William Pratt 
appear, charged with fines of 35. 4^. each for not attending 
at his riding (quils fautent de chiuachier ouesque le mair). 

As an English merchant residing in Bruges, Caxton would 
necessarily be subject to the laws and regulations of the 
Chartered Company called the Merchant Adventurers, 
whose Governor had control over all English and Scotch 
traders in those parts. All foreign trade was then carried 
on by means of Trading Guilds. These associations, which 
occupy a prominent position in the early history of European 
commerce, had in most cities a common place of residence, 
and were governed by laws and charters granted on one side 
by the government of their own country, and on the other 
side by the government of the country in which they had 
settled. They appear to have originated in a common 
necessity. The trader in a foreign country was always an 
object of suspicion to the inhabitants, and often found him- 


self restricted by its laws as to the articles he should buy 
or sell, and to the prices he should give or receive. These 
laws being frequently imjust and subversive of all legitimate 
trade, besides being often strained to the great injury of indi- 
viduals, it was found expedient for all traders in foreign lands 
to unite, and by combined ax^tion to secure that recognition of 
their rights which the individual could not obtain. Hence 
arose the Association of Merchant Adventurers, which con- 
sisted of English merchants, who ventured their goods in 
foreign markets. The Mercers, whose foreign trade far ex- 
ceeded that of all other Companies, appear to have originated 
this Association in the thirteenth century, under the name of 
the Guild or Fraternity of St. Thomas-a-Becket, and to have 
retained the principal management of its affairs until their 
disconnection in the sixteenth century. Although Grocers, 
Drapers, Fishmongers, and several other trade guilds yielded 
their quota of members, and added their influence when 
support was needed, yet there were more Mercers among the 
Merchant Adventurers than liverymen of any other company ; 
the meetings of the Association at their head-quarters in 
London were held in Mercers' Hall, and their transactions 
entered in the same minute-book with those of the Mercers' 
Company itself until 152G, when they became entirely inde- 
pendent, although the last hnk was not severed before the 
Great Fire of London in 1666 destroyed the office which the 
Merchant Adventurers held of the Mercers under their Hall. 
It appears, however, from the records of the Founders' Com- 
pany, that the Merchant Adventurers became their tenants in 
1565; that the Founders borrowed a large sum of money 
from them, for which, in 1647, £200 was paid for interest; 
and that in 1683 the Founders leased the Sising Eoom and 
the Gown Room of their new Hall in Lothbury to the Mer- 
chant Adventurers for £16 per ammm. Several charters were 
granted by English kings to their subjects in various parts of 
Europe for their internal government. In 1407, Henry IV 
granted authority to the English merchants in Holland, Flan- 
ders, Prussia, and other States, to assemble and elect governors, 
with power to nile all English merchants repairing thither. 


and to make reasonable ordinances. Henry VI renewed these 
powers in 1444. On the accession of the House of York, 
the Mercers consulted the City Recorder and "Rigby" re- 
specting their Corporation, and by the statute 1 Ed. IV, c. i., 
passed for confii-ming the titles of those who held under 
grants of any of the three preceding kings, therein described 
as " in fact and not in right " kings of England, all grants to 
the wardens of the Mercers were specially confirmed. The 
Merchant Adventurers now obtained a larger charter, dated 
April IGth, 1462, which Hakluyt calls " The Merchant Adven- 
turers' Patent," for the better government of the English 
merchants residing in Brabant, Flanders, &c., and under its 
provisions William Obray was appointed " Governor of the 
English Merchants " at Bruges. 

Whether Obray died about this time is not known, but he 
does not appear to have acted long in his new capacity, for 
between June 24th,- 1462, and June 24th, 1463, the Mercers' 
books record that William Caxton was performing the official 
duties of governor, and was in correspondence not only with 
the wardens of the Mercers' Company, but also with the Lord 
Chancellor, writing to both about the best method of regu- 
lating the buying of ware at Bruges. The charge for boat- 
hire incurred by the wardens in delivering Caxton's letter to 
the Lord Chancellor is thus entered in the annual accounts : — 

Item for botehyre for to shewc to ye lords of ye coiiscU the I're 

y* came from Caxton & ye felaship by yond ye See vjd. 

Wlien Caxton's name next appears in the Mercers' books 
there is no doubt of his position, as he is addressed by the 
title of " governor." It was one of the duties of the governor 
at Bruges by his "correctors" to see that all goods exported 
to England were of just weight and measure, and at a Court 
of Adventurers, held in Mercers' Hall on August 16th, 1465, 
WiUiam Redeknape, William Hende, and John Sutton com- 
plained that they had received both cloth and lawn deficient 
in breadth as weU as length ; whereupon it was decided that 
a letter should be dispatched to " William Caxton, Governor 
heijond the Sea" for reformation of the abuse. This being 


an unusually interesting entry, we quote it here as it is 
on folio cxl. of the original minute book : — 

A° xiiij° Ixvo- Courte of aventurers holden the xvj*^ daye of 
August the yere aboue written. 

ffor euell mesure ffor asmuche as Will™ Kedeknape Will™ hende 
of cloth & lawne. & John Sutton w* other complayne as well for 
lak of mesure in all white clothe and brown 
clothe as in brede of the same/ and in lykewise 
in lawne nyvell & purpell hit is accorded that a 
letter shal be made to Will™ Caxton gouno*" by 
yonde the see as well for refourmacion of the 
p'sidentes as other &c. 

A lettre of the same and other was sent by henry 
Bomsted the iiij*^ day of September A^ Rs e. iiij'i 

Whether Henry Bomsted was a special courier does not 
appear ; but the same year another letter was sent at a cost 
representing more than £15 at the present day, and entered 
thus : — 

Item to Jenyne Bakker, Currour for berying a letter 

to Caxton ovir ye see xviiij s viij d 

Caxton being now established in the city of Bruges, in the 
influential position of Grovernor of the English Nation in the 
Low Countries, it may be as well to take a brief survey of 
his duties and emoluments at this period. These are expressly 
laid down in the charter already noticed, granted only two 
years before. The governor had full power to govern by 
himself or deputies all merchants and mariners, to make such 
minor regulations for the conduct of trade (not contrary to 
the International Treaties) as seemed needful, to decide all 
quarrels, and to pass sentence in a court composed of himself 
as governor and twelve justicers to counsel and advise him ; 
the justicers to be chosen by the " common merchants and 
mariners," subject to his approval, six sergeants being allowed 
" to do the executions and arrests of the said court." He was 
to appoint at pleasure correctors and brokers to witness all 
bargains, as well as folders and packers to make up the packs 
of the merchants (who were not allowed to pack their own 


goods, lest any prohibited articles should be included), and he 
was to be present at the unpacking of goods newly arrived. 
No parcel was to leave the city without being sealed. The 
officers were paid by a fee charged on packing or unpacking 
every pack : the governor being paid at the rate of 2d. for 
every pack sealed for exportation, and Id. for every bargain 
witnessed by his deputies, besides several smaller levies which 
•are not mentioned in the charter, except under the tei-m 
" accustomed dues." From all this it will be seen that the 
governor ruled over his countrymen with almost unlimited 
authority. His duties must at times have been very onerous, 
involving much responsibility, and requiring talents of no 
mean order. To him likewise would be made all communi- 
cations from the Government under which they lived, and to 
his diplomatic skill and influence would be due to a large 
extent the comfort or discomfort of all the English residents. 
By the charter Obray would appear to have been the 
nominee of the king himself, but this was only a form, as the 
custom seems to have been for the Court of the Adventurers 
to recommend "a fit person" to the king, who thereupon 
appointed him. The following example will show in whose 
hands the executive power really resided : — Tlie name of John 
Pykering appears in the Mercers' books as the successor of 
Caxton in the office of " Governor of the English Nation." 
This Pykering, who was a Mercer of reno^\Ti, having spoken 
against the wardens of his Company, was summoned before 
an assembly of the "Adventurers of the different Fellowships " 
•in London. There disdaining to "stond bare bed," and 
speaking " alle hawty and roiall," he was by the advice of the 
Court of the Mercers discharged from his office of governor, 
and heavily fined. Shortly after, he appears to have repented 
his boldness, for we find him humbly asking pardon on his 
knees before a full Court. Nothing could more fiilly prove 
the power exercised by the Mercers' Company, which was, in 
fact, mainly instrumental in obtaining the new charter for 
the Adventurers, or, as they are usually termed, "our felawship 
by yond the See," for which in the year following they are 
charged by the Mercers' Company £47 Os. lOd. 


The " English Nation," as we have ah-eady remarked, was 
a very important body at Bruges, and hke the Esterlings, the 
Florentines, and other merchants, had their o^ti " House," 
which existed in its original state when Sanderus, who calls 
it " Prastorium peramplum," wrote his " Flandria Illustrata." 
The engraving of the Domus Angliae, occupied by the Mer- 
chant Adventurers, and in which William Caxton resided for 
many years, is taken from this work, which contains numerous 
illustrations of the ancient buildings of Bruges, including the 
residences of the various guilds. 

A great similarity prevailed in the internal management 
of all foreign guilds, arising from the fact that foreigners 
were regarded by the natives with jealousy and suspicion. 
The laws which governed the Esterlings in London, who lived 
in a strongly-built enclosure, called the Steel Yard, the site of 
which is now occupied by the City station of the South Eastern 
Kailway Company, were much the same as those under which 
the English Nation lived in Bruges and other cities. The 
foreign merchant had, in Caxton's time, to brave a large 
amount of popular dislike, and to put up Adth great restraints 
on his liberty. Not only did he trade under harassing re- 
strictions, but he resigned all hopes of domestic ties and 
family life. As in a monastery, each member had his o^ti 
dormitory, whilst at meal-times there was a common table. 
Marriage was out of the question, and concubinage was 
followed by expulsion. Every member was bound to sleep in 
the house, and to be in-doors by a fixed time in the evening, 
and for the sake of good order no woman of any description 
Avas allowed within the walls. 

When Caxton entered upon his duties as governor, he 
acted under the articles of a treaty of trade between the two 
countries, which had been many years in force, but which 
would terminate on November 1st, 14G5. It was highly neces- 
sary that a renewal of this treaty should be made before that 
date, and we accordingly find that the king issued a com- 
mission, dated October 24:th, 1464, in which he showed great 
wisdom by joining in one mission a clever statesman and a 
ELiccessfiil merchant. These were Sir Richard Wliitehill, who 

Plate II. 

The House in which Caxton lived nt Bruges. 


had already been employed in several important embassies, 
and William Caxton, who, as the chief Englishman in Bruges, 
and well acquainted with all trade questions was " a most fit 
person." They were, however, unsuccessful, although for what 
reason does not appear, and the treaty being still unrenewed, 
a " convencion of lordes " was fixed to meet at St. Omer on 
October 1st, 1465, to consider the matter. This convention 
does not appear to have taken place, for on the 14th of the 
same month, the wardens of the Mercers' Company wrote a 
long letter to Caxton, informing him that " the convention 
holdeth not ;" that the king, taking into consideration the 
near approach of the term of the existing treaty, had written 
to the mayor of London requesting him " to provide a person " 
to go over to the Duke of Burgundy about the prorogation 
of the intercourse ;" that the wardens of the Mercers with the 
wardens of divers Fellowships, Adventurers, considering that 
hitherto in similar cases the kmg, "with the advice of his 
council, had made provision in that behalf," and that it was 
not their part to take upon themselves a matter of such great 
weight, had urged the mayor to \^Tite a letter to the king 
in the most pleasant wise that he could, beseeching him " to 
provide for this matter ; " and that, considering the near 
approach of the term of the treaty and the uncertainty of any 
speedy action by the king, Caxton had better consult with his 
fellow merchants at Bruges in as " goodly haste " as possible 
as to the best means of protecting their goods and persons 
mitil such time as the treaty might be renewed. This inte- 
resting letter, which appears in fall in the Mercers' books, was 
signed by the four wardens, and addressed " a W. Caxton." 

A very anxious year must this have been with Caxton, for 
not only was the treaty unrenewed, but the Duke of Bur- 
gundy decreed the exclusion of all English-made cloth from 
his dominions. This of course induced retaliation, and the 
importation of all Flemish goods into England was prohibited 
by Act of Parliament ; but neither the Flemish nor the English 
merchants could suffer their trade to be paralyzed, and so the 
traffic was carried on by a more circuitous and expensive 
route, being smuggled through the neighbouring States. Next 


year the Earl of War\\'ick (the nobleman to whom Caxton 
afterwards dedicated the first edition of his " Chess Book "), 
wrote to Caxton, calling upon him to enforce the Act of Par- 
liament forbidding the purchase of wares by English traders 
in the Duke of Burgundy's dominions. Caxton immediately 
communicated this order to the lord mayor and to the wardens 
of the Mercery at London, in a letter dated 27th May, 146G, 
desired to be informed what the " lordes intent " was, and 
whether they had received a letter which he had sent by way 
of St. Omer, at the same time requesting early news of any 
" ioperdy that shulde fall." The letter arrived in London on 
June 3rd, when a full court of Adventurers w^as instantly 
summoned, at which it was determined that an immediate 
answer should be returned. This was accordingly despatched 
next day by the hands of Simon Preste, addressed " a Will""- 
Caxton, Gunor de la nac' deng'" and signed by the four 
wardens. In it Caxton was instructed that the Act of Par- 
liament must be observed and the fines enforced in every case 
of infringement ; that, being themselves ignorant of the 
intention of the Lords, they could give no information on 
that point ; and, that as to any threatened jeopardy, it was 
likely to be known sooner in Bruges than in London.* 
Matters remained in this unsatisfactory state until the death 
of Philip the Good, June 15th, 1467, who was succeeded by 
his son, Charles the Bold. 

The tide of affairs now turned in favour of England, and 
in the following year the Lords Hastings and Scales, John 
Kussell, and others were sent as ambassadors to conclude a 
treaty of marriage between Charles the Bold, Duke of Bur- 
gundy, and the Princess Margaret, sister of King Edward IV. 
Lord Scales, afterwards Earl Rivers, w^as in later years one of 
Caxton's most liberal patrons, and his translation of "The 
Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers " was the first book 
with the date of imprint which issued from Caxton's press. 
John Russell, " Docteur en Decret, and Arcediacre de Berk- 

* Verbatim copies of all these letters may be seen in " The Life 
and Typography of William Caxton," Vol. I., pp. 90-92. 


suir," who subsequently became Bishop of Lincoln and Lord 
High Chancellor, appears to have l)een an ancestor of the 
Bedford family, and his oration delivered at the investiture of 
the Duke of Burgundy with the Order of Garter, on February 
4th, 1470, is also one of the earliest works printed by Caxton. 
The marriage was solemnized in Bruges on the 5th of June, 
1468, with the greatest possible pomp ; and long accounts of 
the splendour of the ceremony, and of the accompanying 
festivities, are given by the old chroniclers. Caxton, by reason 
of his position as " governor," would no doubt take part in 
them, and be in close intercourse with the many English 
nobles frequenting the Flemish court. It is not improbable 
that it was at this period that he attracted the notice, and 
gained the good-will, of the duchess herself, for he was cer- 
tainly in her service two years later. 

The nuptial feasts were soon followed by negociations for 
treaties of trade. The king having, by the advice of his 
counsel, determined to send an embassy to the Duke of Bur- 
gundy for the " enlarging of woollen cloth in his dominions," 
issued a special command to the Mercers' Company that they 
would present unto liim certain persons of their number " to 
go out in^embassage with diverse ambassadors into Maunders," 
the Mercers thereupon nominated William B;edeknape, John 
Pykeryng, and William Caxton. This took place on Septem- 
ber 9th, 1468, and the three ambassadors having been approved 
by the king, the Court of the Mercers met again on the 28th 
of the same month, and voted £40 " out of the Cundith mony " 
for the costs and charges of Redeknape and Pykeryng in this 
embassy. The omission of Caxton's name from this grant 
leads us to infer that he was then engaged in the discharge of 
the duties of governor at Bruges, and would therefore not 
require any travelling expenses. The mission was successful, 
and the intercourse was renewed between the two countries 
in October of the same year. 

The duties of Caxton's office must necessarily have occu- 
pied a great portion of his time, and obliged him, in the 
interests of the traders he represented, to pay visits to the 
various towns in which the English merchants resided. The 


old records of Utrecht of the years 1464, 1465, and 1467, 
mention free passports having been granted to Caxton, his 
servants and goods. Nevertheless, he seems to have found 
leisure for those literary pursuits to which he was so much 
attached. It was in March, 1468, or, as we should now say, 
1469, that he began to translate the favourite romance of that 
age, " Le Recueil des Histoires de Troye." This, he informs 
us in a Prologue, he undertook to avoid sloth and idleness ; 
and indeed the constant use of phrases in which he excuses 
himself for his translations by urging the duty of eschewing 
sloth and idleness, vvould almost lead one to imagine that 
Caxton was of an indolent nature, did not the whole of his 
life, and especially those few last years in which he performed 
such prodigies of literary labour, give a satisfactory denial. 
Phrases of this kind were among the conventionalities of the 
age, and nearly every writer in the fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries seems to have considered the avoidance of sloth as 
the proper excuse for bringing forward any literary work. 
In the manuscripts of Caxton's time, these deprecatory pre- 
faces are very common ; and a comparison with the French 
original will shov/ that these sentiments, although adopted by 
Caxton, are in reality those of the original author, and not 
the spontaneous avowal of the translator. This explana- 
tion is necessary in order to prevent too great weight being 
attached to Caxton's phraseology in the Prologue to the 
"^Histories of Troy," for he was stiU " governor," an office 
necessarily entailing a considerable amount of responsibility 
and work, when he commenced that translation. Indeed, if 
Anderson be correct when he states in his " History of Com- 
merce," that there were at this period sometimes more than a 
hundred vessels in Sluis, the port of Bruges, Caxton must 
have had ample work upon his hands. But whether he really 
had " no great charge or occupation," or whether he w^as too 
busy to devote the needful time to his translation, he himself 
tells us that he then proceeded no further than with five or 
six quires. Each quire or section consisting of eight or ten 
leaves, this would amount to between forty and sixty leaves 
of manuscript. At this point, dissatisfied with the results of 


his labour, he laid them aside, without any intention of ever 
completing his translation. 

About two months later Caxton appears to have had more 
" occupation " than he could get through alone ; for, although 
still acting as " governor," a judgment was delivered in his 
name, wherein he was styled ""William Caxton marchant 
dangleterre maistre et gouvemeur des marchans de la nation 
dangleterre par deca." The case in dispute being between an 
EngUshman and a Genoese merchant, they agreed to submit 
it to the arbitration of William Caxton and Thomas Perrot as 
mutual friends ; but Caxton being obhged to leave Bruges 
for some cause not mentioned in the document, a full court 
of merchants was summoned, and the judgment delivered in 
the names of the arbitrators. This judgment is dated May 
12th, 14 G 9, and is the latest instance, as yet discovered, in 
which. Caxton's name appears in his oJEcial capacity. 

There is, however, another notice of Caxton lately dis- 
covered in the archives at Bniges, but whether it is to be 
referred to a period before or after his resignation of office is 
uncertain. It is a document containing a list of persons who, 
on August 13th, 14G9, were considered by the town council 
to be of sufficient importance to share in the gifts of the 
"Vins d'honneur" usually distributed on gi'cat public occa- 
sions. Caxton received four kans of wine, but whether it was 
presented to him as " governor," or as an official m the ser- 
vice of the Duchess of Burgimdy, is unkno\\ii. Treaties were 
certainly being negociated by ambassadors from England who 
were at Bruges in 1469, and received, on June 11th, a present 
of " trois pieces de viu," but this was two months earlier than 
the date of the gift to Caxton. 

On February 4th, 1470, an imposing ceremony took place 
at Ghent, ambassadors being sent by Edward IV to invest 
the Duke of Burgundy with the Order of the Garter, but there 
is no direct evidence to support the supposition that Caxton 
was present on this occasion. That he was at Ghent, though 
appai-ently a year later, is stated in his prologue to " The 
RecuycU," and he appears to have been connected with the 
printing of the Latin oration delivered by Dr. RusseU. 


In October of the same year Edward IV, accompanied by 
many of his nobles, took refuge in the capital of the duke's 
dominions from the machinations of the Earl of Warwick. 
Here Caxton, either as "governor" or as a servant of the 
duchess, had an excellent opportunity of assisting his country- 
men, who were in great need, until the restoration of their 
sovereign. That he did so may be inferred from the royal 
favour extended to him in after years. 

The exact date when Caxton entered the service of the 
duchess, as well as that when he relinquished his governor- 
ship, is uncertain. The two events may have borne the rela- 
tionship of cause and effect. Caxton's own narrative shows 
that about two years after his first essay at translating " The 
Recuyell," or about March, 1471, he was in the service of the 
duchess, receiving a yearly salary and other benefits. He was 
then instructed to resume his literary work, and the " dreadful 
command " of his royal mistress seems to have been obeyed 
with wonderful alacrity ; for, although he was at one time at 
Ghent and at another time at Cologne, the translation was 
not again neglected till, on the 19th of September, 1471, the 
whole was completed, and offered by Caxton to the duchess, 
by whom he was handsomely rewarded for his trouble. 

The nature of the service rendered by Caxton to the 
duchess is very uncertain. He says of himself that he was 
her servant, receiving a yearly fee, and other good and great 
benefits. That it was an honourable office admits of no doubt, 
and that it was moreover one in which Caxton's knowledge 
and talents as a merchant would be serviceable seems very 
probable. We must not forget that in those days princes, 
nobles, and even ecclesiastics, did not consider it inconsistent 
with their dignity to trade on their own account, and this 
they frequently did under special exemptions from the taxes 
to which the ordinary merchant had to submit. Edward IV 
and many of his nobility owned ships of merchandise. In 
1475 the Wardens of the Mercers' Company TVTote to 
Antwerp concerning a ship called "The Sterre," belonging 
to Earl Rivers, and a document of the year 1472 throws some 
light on the nature of the services which a merchant like 


Caxton might have rendered to his royal mistress. Edward 
IV in that year granted to his sister, the Duchess of Bur- 
gundy, special privileges and exemptions with regard to her 
own private trading in English wool. The late duchess, wife 
of Philip the Good, likewise engaged in similar transactions, 
in which, if we may judge from the following entries in the 
Mercers' accounts, her ladies also were apparently in some 
degree interested : — 

1450, Item paid to John Stnbbes for peiys to the 

Gentilwoman of the Duchesse of Bnrgeyn vj d 

1461. Item paid to Hewe Wyche for a writ directe 
to Sandewyche for the gownys of the 
gentil womans of the duches of Bm-geyn ij s vj d 

1454. Item — Pour la copie dune lettre enuoie a la 

duchesse de Burge xij s 

1455. Item — a M Gervers pour une lettre & la copie 

enuoi a la duchesse de Burg* xx s 

The question naturally arises — How was it that Caxton, 
holding the influential and lucrative position of "Governor 
of the English Nation " at Bruges, resigned that post to enter 
upon duties of a much less ambitious character ? There is. 
no reference in the Mercers* records to any disagreement 
between Caxton and the home authorities, nor had he at this 
time (1469) entertained the idea of returning to his native 
country. We must, however, remember that during a very 
eventful and anxious period he had for some years held an 
office of the gravest responsibility, and we may assume from 
his complaint of two years later, that age was daily creeping 
upon him and enfeebling his body, that the troubles of official 
life had undermined his health. We can, therefore, easily 
imagine that he would gladly embrace the opportunity of 
exchanging the cares of office for the easy service of the 
Duchess of Burgundy, which would allow him to indulge 
in the congenial pursuit of Hterature and the "strange 
meruaylous historyes" in which he so much delighted. Or 
perchance his complaint of "age creeping upon him" was 
simply one of the conventional self- depreciating remarks 
common to writers of his time, while the real cause of. bia 


resignation was a wish to marry and to enjoy those home 
joys and comforts which had hitherto been impracticable. 

That Caxton was a married man, and that he could not 
have married much later than 1469, is a new fact in the 
biography of Caxton, discovered by Mr. Gairdner, of the 
Public Eecord Office, who recently came across a paper docu- 
ment, without seals or signatures, and therefore only a copy 
of the original, made for production in court in connection 
with some law-suit. It was found among the miscellaneous 
records of the Exchequer, formerly preserved in the Chapter 
House at Westminster, and was first printed in the "Academy" 
for April 4th, 1874. The tenor of the document, which is 
given in fall in the appendix, is as follows: — ^A variance 
having arisen between Gerard Croppe, merchant tailor, of 
Westminster, and Elizabeth his wife, daughter of William 
Caxton, the matter was brought before the archdeacon and 
the king's chaplain, who heard the case in St. Stephen's 
Chapel, Westminster. It was then agreed that they should 
live apart, and not vex, sue, or trouble one another, each 
being bound under a penalty of £100 (which vrould represent 
about £1500 at the present day). Upon the signing of a 
deed to that effect, the said Gerard Croppe was to receive 
from the executors of William Caxton "twenty printed 
legends," valued at 13s id each (the sum total of which 
would now be equivalent to £200), and to give the executors 
a fall acquittance of any farther claim upon the estate. This 
document, which is dated May 20th, 1496, throws no light 
upon the cause of quarrel, unless it were concerning a legacy 
left by Caxton to his daughter. 

Now, assuming that Caxton was married in 1469, which 
was about the period when he resigned his official position 
and entered the royal service, and that his daughter Eliza- 
beth was bom soon after, she would have been about twenty- 
one years of age at the time of her father's death in 1491, 
and twenty-six years of age when separated from her hus- 
band. We have already seen how John Stubbs and Hugh 
Wyche were in communication with the gentlewomen of the 
Duchess of Burgundy. Caxton, no doubt, was also in fre- 


quent attendance upon them, and may perhaps have induced 
one of them to become his wife. Whether this be so or not, 
it is now an ascertained fact that after some forty-six years 
of compulsory celibacy, Caxton took to himself a wife, who, 
it may be hoped, was truly his helpmate and solace of his 
decHning years. It is not unlikely that the following entry 
in the Churchwardens' Accounts of St. Margaret, Westmin- 
ster, under the year 1490, may refer to Caxton's wife : — 

*' Item. — Atte bureying of Mawde Caxton for torches & tapres iij s ij d." 

Reverting to the " Histories of Troye," and the presenta- 
tion of a manuscript copy to the duchess, no doubt can be 
entertained that this was the turning-point in Caxton's life. 
In the Prologue to Book I. he nan*ates in simple language 
the causes which led him to undertake the translation: — 
" Whan I remembre that euery man is bounden by the 
comandement & counceyll of the wyse man to eschews 
slouthe and ydelness whyche is moder and nourysshar of vyces 
and ought to put myself \Tito vertuous occupacion and besy- 
nesse/ Than I hauynge no grete charge of ocupacion folow- 
ynge the sayd counceyll/ toke a frenche boke and redde 
therein many strange and meruayUous historyes where m I 
had grete pleasyr and delyte/ as well for the nouelte of the 
same as for the fayr langage of frenshe . whyche was in prose 
so weU and compendiously sette and wreton/ whiche me 
thought I understood the sentence and substance of euery 
mater/ And for so moche as this booke was newe and late 
maad and drawen in to frenshe/ and neuer had seen hit in 
oure englissh tongue/ I thought in my self hit shold be a 
good besynes to translate hyt in to oure englissh/ to thende 
that hyt myght be had as well in the royame of Englond as 
in other landes/ and also for to passe ther\N7th the tyme . and 
thus concluded in my self to begynne this sayd worke." 

The new "Historic" was a welcome novelty to his 
countrymen, who had hitherto been accustomed to read such 
works only in French, which still retained its pre-eminence 
as the language of the court and of literature, notwithstand- 
ing the great advance and improvement which had been 


made in English. The demand for Caxton's translation soon 
became greater than could possibly be supplied. His hand 
grew "wery and not stedfast" with much writing, as he 
states in the epilogue of the printed edition, and his eyes 
were "dimed with overmoch lokyng on the whit paper." 
Then it was, with Colard Mansion at hand to teach and 
help him, that he turned his attention to the new-born Art 
of Printing, 



&iP^amBi^| HE revival of literature in Europe, com- 
K8™M^BSH menciug with the latter part of the four- 
'hmSbTjio ^JH teenth centuiy, its steady growth, and 
its wonderful development in the suc- 
ceeding age, have been dwelt upon by 
many wTiters. Nowhere was this revival 
more strongly marked than in France and the Low Countries. 
The French kings and the princes of the royal blood had 
been for many generations the constant patrons of authors 
and of all engaged in the production of books. In 1350, 
John II, who has the credit of having founded the library 
of the Louvre, ascended the throne of France. No parti- 
culars concerning the library of this monarch ha\'e been 
preserved, and it was probably of no gTcat extent; but his 
literary tastes descended to each of his four sons, and from 
the inventories which have come down to us of the libraries 
of these princes, we obtain very interesting information a»s 
to the number, the description, the illuminations, the bind- 
ings, and the market value of the books which they contained. 
Charles, the eldest son, who succeeded his father in 1304, 
had a highly-developed taste for every thing connected with 
the fine arts. He greatly increased the number of volumes in 
the Louvre library, so that in the ninth year of his reign, 
when Gilles MaUet drew up a catalogue, they amounted to 
1)10, the greater number of which were written on fine 



vellum, and were magnificently bound, and enriched with 
gold clasps and precious stones. This library, the Duke of 
Bedford, when Regent of France, is supposed to have trans- 
ported to England in 1429. In after years, a few of the 
volumes returned to France, but the famous library of the 
Louvre never recovered its ancient splendour. Louis, Duke 
of Anjou, second son of King John, shared to a gi-eat degree 
the love of books and works of art displayed by his elder 
brother. The third son, John, Duke of Berry, formed an 
extensive library at his chfiteau at Bicetre, near Paris, inferior 
only to that of the king himself. But of all the king's sons, 
Philip, who soon equalled his eldest brother in power, far 
surpassed him in the number and splendour of his literary 
treasures. King John's second wife was Jane, widow of the 
Duke of Burgundy, and in her right he succeeded to that 
duchy on the death of her only son. When dividing his 
kingdom among his four sons. King John apportioned Bur- 
gundy to the youngest, Philip the Hardy, who, by his marriage 
with Margaret, only daughter and heiress of Louis, Count of 
Flanders, inherited, on the death of his father-in-law in 1384, 
a large extent of territory. Philip, who has the character of 
having been a generous prince, was well read in the literary 
lore of his age. He was passionately addicted to music and 
to the collection of fine books, and he spared no expense in 
the employment of artists, and in the purchase of their most 
choice productions. Nor did he rest satisfied with the en- 
couragement of artists alone, but gathered round him some 
of the most learned and able authors of his time, who enriched 
his library with new works. This prince died in 1404, and 
was succeeded by his son, John the Fearless, who, although 
distracted by continual wars, maintained and even added 
somewhat to his father's library. Christine de Pisan received 
one hundred crowns for two books which she presented to 
him. But all previous patronage is eclipsed by the encourage- 
ment given to literature by Philip the Good, who succeeded 
to the dukedom of Burgundy upon the decease of John in 
1419. At Bruges, where he kept his court, he gave continual 
employment to a crowd of authors, translators, copyists, and 


illuminators, who enriched his library with their best pro- 
ductions, and did not forget to sing the praises of their 
generous patron. David Aubert, a celebrated scribe, thus 
describes the duke in 1457: — "This renowned and virtuous 
prince has been accustomed, for many years past, to have 
ancient histories read to him daily. His library surpasses all 
others, for from his youth he has had in his service numerous 
translators, scholars, historians, and scribes in various coun- 
tries, all diligently working, so that now there is not a prince 
in all Christendom who has so varied and so rich a library." 
In the account which M. Barrois gives of the library of this 
sovereign, he enumerates nearly two thousand works, the 
greater part being magnificent folios on vellum beautifully 
illuminated, and bound in velvet, satin, or damask, studded 
with gems, and closed by gold clasps, jewelled and chased. 
Many of these are still preserved in the Royal Library at 

The taste of successive rulers spread its influence among 
their subjects, and fashion lent its aid in multiplying libra- 
ties. No present was more acceptable than a beautiftdly 
executed manuscript, and the opulent nobles of the French 
and Burgundian courts offered costly books to their sove- 
reigns and their friends. The records and inventories of this 
period contain numerous entries of such gifts, often with their 
estimated value. 

Among the nobles at the court of Philip the Good, many 
emulated the literary taste of their sovereign, but none 
showed greater judgment and liberality in the formation of 
his library than Louis de Bruges, Seigneur de la Gruthuyse. 
This nobleman, who had risen by his talents to the highest 
position, received, at his chAteau of Oostcamp, near Bruges, 
in 1470, Edward IV of England, when he sought refuge 
from the Lancastrians in Flanders, and was afterwards re- 
warded by that king with the title of Earl of Winchester. 
His library was scarcely inferior to that of his sovereign, 
and nearly the whole of the manuscripts were the production 
of Flemish artists at Bruges or Ghent. The large size of the 
volumes, thebeauty of the vellum, the elegance of the writing, 



the artistic merit of the illuminations and ornaments, and 
the luxury displayed in the bindings, are evidences of the 
deep interest taken by the Seigneur de la Gruthuyse in the 
formation of his library. On his death it passed to his son, 
Jean de Bruges, and was soon after added to the collection 
already existing at the chateau of Blois, belonging to the kings 
of France. Great pains were then taken to obliterate the 
armorial bearings, devices, and monograms which showed the 
former ownership of the manuscripts, which efforts were but 
partially successful, as about a hundred volumes, now among 
the most precious treasures of the Bibliotheque Rationale at 
Paris, still attest that they once belonged to this celebrated 
collection. As the patron of literary men and of artists, 
Louis de Bruges takes a high place in the annals of his 
country, whilst the friendly attitude he assumed towards 
Colard Mansion, in the early career of that unfortunate 
pioneer of the press, should ever endear his name to biblio- 
graphers. This passion for beautiful books was not confined 
to the dukedom of Burgundy, but existed equally in France, 
Italy, Germany, England, and other countries. Henry YI of 
England had a valuable library, and many of the books \mtten 
and illuminated for him are still among the Eoyal MSS. in 
the British Museum. The Duke of Bedford, whose love for 
literature was no doubt gi-eatly stimulated during the time he 
held the office of Regent of France, was surpassed by none of 
his countrymen in his patronage of the fine arts, and the 
celebrated Missal, ^\Titten and illuminated for him, still re- 
mains as one of the choicest productions of his age. Hum- 
phrey, Duke of Gloucester, the protector of England during 
the minority of Henry YI, was also greatly attached to his 
library, and many manuscripts are extant, over which the 
antiquary pauses with respect and interest as he reads the 
boldly-written autogTaph, " Cest a moy Homfrey." 

Owing to these causes, the various artists connected with 
bookwTiting and bookbinding, as well as the trades necessary 
to them, received much encouragement, while, to ensure ra- 
pidity as well as excellence of workmauship, division of labour 
was carried out to a great extent. Indeed, so important a 


branch of commerce had the manufactui-e of books now be- 
come, and BO numerous were the different classes of craftsmen 
thus employed in Bruges, that there sprang up in that. city a 
guild, apparently very similar to the trade companies m 
London, to which, in 1454, the duke granted a formal charter 
and special privileges. The company is styled "der ghilde 
van sinte jan Ewagz," or " The Guild of St. John the Evan- 
gelist," who was the patron saint of scribes ; and the volume 
of receipts and expenditure of this guild, beginning with the 
entrance fees of the original members, exists still in a perfect 
state of preservation in the city archives of Bruges. Van 
Praet gives some interesting extracts from this volume, which 
show that .the guild comprised members of both sexes, to 
whose names their respective trades are affixed, thus indicat- 
ing the various branches of industry employed at that time in 
the manufacture of books. 

Librariers et bockvcrkopers {Boohsellersi). 

Prenter-vercoopers {Printsellcrs) . 

Scilders (^Painters). 

Vinghette makers {Painters of Vignettes). 

Scrivers et bouc-scrivers {Scriceners and copyvits of hooJa). 

Verlichtcrs (^Illuminators). 

Prenters (^Printers, whether from blocks or typea). 

Bouc-binders {Boohhinders). 

]^eimmakers (^Curi'iers). 

Drooch-scherrers {Cloth sihearers). 

Parkement makers et fransyii makers {Parchment and Vellum 

Guispel snyders {Boss carvers). 
Letter sniders {Letter engravers). 
Beelde makers {Figure engravers). 

Similar corporations existed in other cities. Thus, at 
Antwerp, the Guild of St. Luke was formed before 1450, and 
included trades like those of the Guild of St. John at Bruges ; 
and at Brussels there was a guild of writers called " Les 
Freres de la Plume." These guilds supported their own 
chapel and chaplain, and sometimes had considerable pro- 
perty. Nearly all the early printers whose names are now 
famous in the annals of Flemish typogi'aphy were enrolled 
in one or other of these associations. 


The object of the foregoing sketch, and its bearings on the 
subject of this memoir, will be evident to the reader who 
recalls to mind that it was while the pursuit of literature in 
Bruges was most ardent — that it was during the reign of the 
greatest bibliophile of the fifteenth century, when Bruges 
teemed with authors, translators, scribes, and illuminators, 
who resorted thither from all parts of Europe to Philip the 
Good as to a second Maecenas — that it was during the time 
when the bibliographical treasures of Philip the Hardy, en- 
riched by the numerous additions of his son and grandson, 
and the libraries of Louis de Bruges and other nobles of the 
Flemish court were concentrated in the same city — that 
William Caxton was, for thirty-three years at least, a resident 
in Bruges. Access to these libraries would be easy to him, 
and that he availed himself of the privilege seems all the 
more probable, since we find, without exception, that the 
books which he translated for his own press may be traced 
in the catalogues of these noble libraries. As " Governor of 
the English Nation," through whom all negotiations between 
the English and the Burgundian governments would be car- 
ried on, Caxton would be well acquainted with the nobles and 
oflicers of the court, and hence he would naturally become 
the agent for the literary wants of his countrymen. He 
would also be brought into close contact with the most clever 
authors, scribes, and illuminators of the time, among whom 
were Colard Mansion and Jean Brito, originally artistic book- 
writers, but afterwards the first to introduce the art of print- 
ing into the city of Bruges. 



OSTUME, that sure guide of the historian 
and the antiquary, is perhaps nowhere 
more discernible than in Uterature, not 
km]HKKn||klM merely in the dress of language and ex- 
^ M^j^g ^ pression, but also in the visible exponents 
^"^^' ""^^l: of that dress — writing and printing. Thus, 
a manuscript or a printed book may, by the character of its 
writing or printing alone, be ascribed to a determinate era. 
In other words, a careful investigation of the mode of con- 
struction wiU, in most cases, enable us to determine the 
approximate age of any book, from the early manuscript to 
the machine-printed volume of the present day. 

In tracing the early development of printing, we are able 
to note those successive deviations from the form of its parent, 
Caligraphy, which were necessitated by the peculiarities of 
the new art. Commencing simply as a substitute for manu- 
script, it was naturally a close imitation thereof, and hence 
the first printers laboured under many inconveniences, which 
were shaken off as the capabilities of the new discovery be- 
came better understood. These changes often afford the only 
satisfactory evidence of the place and date of printing, as well 
as well as of the printer's name. We propose, therefore, as an 
aid to chronological arrangement, to notice the points of 
similarity between the earliest printed books and manuscripts, 
especially wiih. reference to the productions of Colard Mansion 


and William Caxton, and then to trace the novelties, purely 
t}"pographical, introduced by the printers. 

1. There was a selection of material. The scribe natu- 
rally wrote his choicest productions on fine vellum, carefully 
sorted in order to secure evenness in tone and quality; and 
with the same idea the early printers sorted out their paper 
before beginning to print. This is frequently seen when two 
or three copies of the same book are compared together. One 
is found to be printed entirely on thick, while another is 
wholly on thin paper — one has no defects, whereas another is 
made up of what the modern stationer calls " outsides." The 
two copies of Caxton's " Knyght of the Toure " preserved in 
the British Museum present a remarkable instance of this 
plan of selection. 

2. It was a common practice with the scribes, when em- 
ploying paper for their books, to use parchment for the inmost 
sheet of every section. The object of this was to give a firm 
hold to the thread of the binder, and thus strengthen the 
volume, but the alternation of paper and parchment did not 
present a pleasing appearance to the eye. Caxton adopted a 
modification of this plan, and instead thereof pasted a strip of 
vellum dovvii the centre of the section. In books which have 
had the good fortune to escape the modern bookbinder, the 
observer may still sec either the slips themselves or their 
traces in the b^o^^^l stains left by the paste. 

3. When commencing a book, the scribes had a custom of 
passing o^'er the first leaf, and beginning on the third page, 
probably with the intention of protecting the first page during 
the execution and binding of the work. This practice was 
followed in the early works which issued from the presses of 
Flanders and of England, but unfortunately, in most of these 
books, on which an expensive modern binding has been 
placed, the blank leaf has been rejected as too coarse for a 
fly-leaf, thus causing many volumes, although perfect as re- 
gards the print, to be described by bibliographers as wanting 
the title-page. 

4. The scribe necessarily wrote but one page at a time, 
and, curiously enough, in this the early printers also assimi- 


lated their practice. Whether from want of sufficient type to 
set up the requisite number of pages, or from the small size 
of the platen of the early presses, there is certain evidence of 
the first books from Caxton's press having been printed page 
by page. Thus, in all the books printed with type No. 1, 
instances are found of pages on the same side of the sheet 
being out of parallel, which could not occur if two pages 
were printed together. A positive proof of the separate print- 
ing of the pages may, however, be seen in a copy of " The 
Recuyell of the Histories of Troye," in the Bodleian Library ; 
for there the ninth recto of the third quintemion has never 
been printed at all, while the complementary page, which falls 
on the same side of the sheet, has been properly printed. A 
variation in the colour of the ink, though often very notice- 
able, is not a sure proof that the two pages so differing were 
printed separately, as that may have occurred through imper- 
fect beating. 

5. Many bibliographers, neglecting the study of manu- 
scripts, and confining their examination of early books to the 
products of the printing press, have WTitten and argued as if 
" signatures " were an invention of printers. This is an erro- 
neous idea. It was as necessary for the scribe to mark the 
sequence of the sheets which he wrote as for the typographer 
to mark the order of those which he printed ; because when 
the sheets, whether manuscript or printed, had to be bound, 
it was an absolute necessity for the binder to have every sheet 
signed, for the signatures were his only guide in the collation 
of the volume. There would seem to have been, for a long 
time, an antipathy to these useful little signposts, which, being 
needed only so long as the book remained unbound, were 
placed by the scribe as near as possible to the bottom of the 
leaf, that they might disappear under the plough of the binder. 
This is what has happened in the great majority of cases, but 
in every instance of the manuscript being preserved uncut 
they may still be seen. 

It is interesting to notice the manner in which the early 
printers adopted and afterwards modified this custom of the 
scribes. As it was very inconvenient for them to print sig- 


natures of one or two letters away from the solid page, at 
the extreme margin of the sheet, and as the idea of disfiguring 
the text by making them a part of it was objectionable, they 
continued the old practice for some time, and actually signed 
every sheet by hand with pen and ink after it was printed. 
The uncut copy of " The Recuyell," at Windsor Castle, is an 
example of a book with manuscript signatures at the extreme 
foot of every sheet. After some time, however, the prejudice 
was overcome, and the signatures were printed close up to 
the bottom line of the page. They were first introduced at 
Cologne in 1472 and adopted by Caxton in 1480. 

6. The upper portion of the first written leaf of a manu- 
script was frequently left blank, for an illustration by the 
vignette-painter. Space was also left at the beginning of 
every chapter, and sometimes of every sentence, for an illu- 
minated initial. For many years the early printers likewise 
followed this plan, every book they issued requiring the hand 
of the illuminator to complete it. This illumination was a 
distinct branch of trade, and the workmen employed in it 
did nothing but paint in the initials and paragraph marks. 
Through carelessness or ignorance a wrong initial was occa- 
sionally painted in, but as far as possible to prevent this, both 
scribes and printers inserted a smaU letter as a guide, which 
was usually covered over by the coloured capital. 

7. When transcribing a book, it was seldom thought a 
matter of any importance to add the date of transcription 
and the writer's name, though occasional instances of this 
are found. It was probably a Hke feeling which made the 
early printers foUow a practice which has caused the modern 
bibliographer much doubt on many chronological points of 
the greatest interest. So needless was it thought to inform 
the reader when, where, or by whom a book was printed, that 
out of twenty-one works known to have issued from the press 
of Colard Mansion at Bruges, not more than five have a date 
affixed to them, and of nearly one hundred publications 
assigned to Caxton's press, considerably more than two-thirds 
appear without any indication of the year of imprint. 

8. The similarity, amounting almost to identity, between 


the printed characters of the early typographers and the 
written ones of their contemporaries, must also be noted. 
It was this similarity which probably first gave rise to the 
now admitted fable of Fust selling his bibles at Paris as 
manuscripts, his impeachment before the parliament as a 
sorcerer, and the necessity he was under of revealing his 
secret to save his life. 

The first printer, when he set about forming his alphabet, 
could not have been troubled as to the shape he should give 
his letters. The form which would naturally occur to him 
would be that to which both he and the people to whom he 
hoped to sell his productions had been accustomed. It is not 
therefore at all wonderful, that the types used in the earliest 
printed books should closely resemble the T\Titten characters 
of the period, nor that this imitation should be extended to 
all the combinations of letters which were then in use by 
the scribes. Thus the bibles and psalters which appeared in 
Germany, among the first productions of the press, were 
printed in the characters used by the scribes for ecclesiastical 
service-books, while the general literature was printed in the 
common bastard-roman. When Sweynheym and Pannartz, 
emigrating from Germany, took up their abode in the famous 
monastery of Subiaco, near Rome, they cut the punches for 
their new types in imitation of the Roman letters indigenous 
to the country. In the dominions of the Duke of Burgundy, 
where the labours of the scribes had been most extensively en- 
couraged, the same plan was pursued. Colard Mansion, the 
first printer at Bruges, was also a celebrated caligrapher, and 
the close resemblance between his printed books and the best 
manuscripts of his time is very marked. The same character 
of wTiting was also in use in England, and Caxton's types 
accordingly bear the closest resemblance to the hand-TVTiting 
in the Mercers* books, and to the volumes of that period in 
the archives at Guildhall. Nevertheless Dibdin thus censures 
Caxton for not adopting Roman types : — " That perfect order 
and symmetry of press work, so immediately striking in the 
pages of foreign books of this period, are in vain to be 
sought for among the volumes which have issued from 


Caxton's press; and the uniform rejection of the Roman 
letter so successfully introduced by the Spiras, Jenson, and 
Sweynheym and Pannartz is, unquestionably, a blemish on 
our printer's typographical reputation." 

9. The short spacing of the early printers also deserves 
remark.* — The uneven length of the lines, so noticeable in 
manuscripts, was a necessity, as the "writer could not forecast 
the space between the words so as to make all the lines of 
an even length. But it certainly was no necessity with the 
printer ; for although in this respect the time-honoured custom 
of the scribes was followed for a few years, the improved 
appearance which evenness gave to the work was soon 
observed, and thus a typographical step in advance was estab- 
lished. At Mentz and Cologne this occurred at a very early 
stage. The first Psalter, printed in 1457, and the Mazarine 
Bible of 1455 show, now and then, lines slightly deficient in 
length, as do some of the earliest productions of Ulric Zel ; 
but this rudeness soon gave way to a systematic plan of 
spacing the lines to one even length. In the early specimens 
from the Bruges and Westminster presses, the practice of 

* We may here observe, that bibliographers often misuse the word 
"justification" when referring to the practice of placing all the space 
at the end of lines. The printer's term " justification " does not neces- 
sarily refer to the spacing out of the words in a line. Every line in 
a page must be "justified" or made of the normal length, and the 
last line in a paragraph, containing perhaps no more than one word, 
must be justified equally with the full-length line. Short lines are 
justified with quadrats, or pieces of metal, which fill up the line, but, 
being lower than the type, do not print. What is called " short," or 
"bad," or "imperfect justification," is sure to reveal itself, to the 
dismay of the compositor, by allowing the faulty line to drop out when 
the " fortoe," or mass of type, is lifted. The probable reason why 
Colard Mansion and Caxton did not space their lines to an even length 
is, that at that time they had not begun to use the setting-ride. This 
useful little slip of metal enables each letter as it is picked up by the 
compositor, to be passed along on an even surface to its destination, 
instead of catching in every unevenness or burr of the previous line. 
Its absence would entail many obstractions to the spacing-out of lines, 
and render the plan of leaving all the spare space at the end, which 
was actually adopted, at once more easy, expeditious, and free from 


placing all the spare space at the end of the lines, instead of 
dividing it between the words, gives a very rude appearance 
to the page, and in these books it is carried to a greater extent 
than in the works of any German, Italian or French printers. 
Colard Mansion abandoned this practice in 1479, and Caxton 
in 1480. 

It. will be apparent, from the foregoing remarks, that the 
books of our first printers bore no slight resemblance to 
manuscripts, and indeed, until quite recently, a copy of the 
Mazarine Bible, in the Library of Lambeth Palace, was so 
regarded ;* but this resemblance was soon modified, in many 
particulars, to suit the requirements of typography. 

The execution of manuscript capitals being both tedious 
'and expensive led to the early introduction of large letters en- 
graved on wood, which were either printed in black at the same 
impression as the other portion, or in red by a subsequent 
operation. Colard Mansion seems never to have adopted them, 
although several of his books are illustrated by large and 
numerous woodcuts. Caxton inserted illustrations engraved 
on wood in two or three books before 1484, the date of 
"^sop," in which woodcut initials first appear. 

Title-pages, likemse, are purely typographical in their 
origin, the scribes having been content with heading their 
page with "Hie incipit" and the name of the treatise. 
Caxton followed the usage of the scribes in this particular; 
for, with one exception only, and at the very end of his 
career, where the title of the book is printed alone in the 
centre of the first page, his books appear without any title- 
page whatever. 

Wynken de Worde adopted, the use of title-pages imme- 
diately after the death of his master, but Machlinia of 
London, and the schoolmaster-printer of St. Alban's, never 
used them. 

♦ In 1856, an old established bookseller, in one of our largest cathe- 
dral towns, marked a copy of Caxton's " Statutes of Hen. VII " as an 
old MS., and »old it for 2a'. Qd. ! See also the remarks on Verard's 
" Euryalus ct Lucrecc," in the Catalogue of the Harleian MSS., vol. III, 
No. 4392. 


These minute details may appear, at first sight, to be 
hardly worthy of record ; but when we remember that two- 
thirds of Caxton's books are without any date, and that, by 
careful examination of the workmanship, we can trace the 
printer gradually developing the changes from manuscript to 
typographical character, we appreciate the existence of a mass 
of technical evidence which, like the strata of the earth, or the 
mouldings of a cathedral arch, afibrds chronological data quite 
independent of any other source, and enables us, with a near 
approach to accuracy, to determine the age of any undated 
book. To this evidence may be added some other important 
signs which sometimes bear witness to the date when a book 
was printed. Such are the size of the printed page, its depth 
and width, the number of lines in a page, the number of 
sheets in a section, and, above all, the sequence in the use of 
various types. In Caxton's books this sequence is very re- 
markable, as will be seen by the annexed table, where only 
books with fixed dates are entered, so that the reader may 
form his own judgment as to the chronological order of the 
above-mentioned peculiarities. 

Some interesting facts may be gathered from this table. 

1. The types used by Caxton bear a definite chronological 
relation to one another. Type No. 1 goes out of use, and is 
succeeded, in 1477, by No. 2. Type No. 3 is principally em- 
ployed for headlines during the use of Nos. 2 and 4. In 1480 
type No. 4 makes its appearance, but not till No. 2 is about 
to disappear. In 1483 type No. 4* supersedes its predecessor, 
and, in its turn, makes way for Nos. 5 and 6, which close the 
list. If the books were added which give the dates of their 
translation, which almost always coincide with those of their 
printing, the result would be the same. 

2. All the books printed before 1480 were with hues of an 
uneven length, whilst aU printed subsequently were spaced out 

3. Signatures and even spacing of the lines were syn- 
chronous improvements, and both, when once adopted, were 
never afterwards abandoned. In the signatures themselves a 
curious fact may be noted — that whereas the custom of Caxton 









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was generally to use letters and Roman numerals, as t ), for 
his signatures, yet in the three years 1481 to 1483, and at no 
other period, he used Arabic numerals, thus t 1, or 2 1. 

We may further add that the use of the paragraph mark 
(IT) never appears before 1483 ; that the great device makes 
no appearance, till 1487, the printed date to the third edition 
of the "Dictes" notwithstanding; and that initials in wood 
first appear in the "^sop" in 1484. 

By the application of these tests to the undated books we 
are enabled to assign each of them, with tolerable certainty, 
to a particular period. 








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RUGES, the old metropolis of Flanders, 
offers many points of the greatest inte- 
rest to the historian and the antiquary. 
In the fifteenth century, it was the chosen 
residence of the sovereigns of the House 
of Burgundy, and to its marts resorted 
the most opulent merchants of Europe. There the arts, as 
well as commerce, were developed to a degree of excellence 
unequalled since the Augustan age, and even Paris was sur- 
passed in literary and artistic treasures. Artists and crafts- 
men were consequently numerous, and, as we have already 
seen, those of them who were connected with the production 
of books, were enrolled as a trade guild. And this pre- 
eminence is not immaterial to our enquiry, for William 
Caxton was not only for more than thirty years a constant 
resident in Bruges, holding for a considerable period a posi- 
tion of great authority, but in this city likewise took his first 
lessons in typography and obtained the materials necessary 
for the introduction of the New Art into his native country. 

Colard Mansion is generally admitted to have been the 
first printer at Bruges, but of his history little is knoTVTi. His 
name occurs many times in the old records still preserved in 
the municipal library, and always in connection either with 
his trade of fine-manuscript writer, or with the guild of St. 
John. The first time it appears it is written "Collinet," 
a diminutive of Collaert, from which Van Praet, his first 



biographer, thinks he was at that time under age. In 
1450 "Colinet" received fifty-four livres from the Duke of 
Burgundy for a novel, entitled " Eomuleon," beautifully 
illuminated and bound in velvet. This copy is now in the 
Eoyal Library at Brussels, and another copy, ^wTitten in 
characters exactly like the types used twenty years later by 
Colard Mansion, is in the British Museum. Both the Seig- 
neur de la Gruthuyse and the Seigneur de Creveceur were his 
patrons ; the former, indeed, was at one time on such fi'iendly 
and familiar terms with Mansion, that he stood godfather to 
one of his children. It does not, however, appear that in 
later years, when poverty laid its heavy hand on the unfor- 
tunate printer, any of his patrons came to his assistance. 

From 1454 to 1473 the name of Mansion is found, year by 
year, as a contributor to the guild of St. John, the formation 
of which has been already noticed. In 1471 he was "doyen" 
or dean, an office which he held for two years, at the expira- 
tion of which time he is supposed to have left Bruges for a 
twelvemonth in order to learn the new art of printing. This 
is a needless assumption, grounded solely on his subscription 
for 1473 having been paid through a brother of the guild. 
From 1476 to 1482 his name does not appear at all as a 
contributor, although the dates of the " Boece," the " Quadri- 
logue," and the "Somme rurale," show that he was still at 
Bruges, and pursuing his vocation. His subscription to the 
guild is again entered in 1483, and his name occurs in the 
guild records for the last time in 1484. This was a disas- 
trous year to Colard Mansion ; for, although not overtaken 
by death, as his early biographers have assumed, disgrace, 
poverty, and expatriation awaited him. He appears to have 
been in straitened circumstances for some years, as in 1480 
he could not execute the commission of Monseigneur de 
Gazebeke for an illuminated copy of " Valerius Maximus," in 
two volumes, without several advances of money. The re- 
ceipts for these instalments are still preserved, as is also a 
notice of Mansion's place of residence, which was in one of 
the poorest streets in Bruges, leading out of the Rue des 
Carmes. ^is typographical labours were carried on in one of 


two rooms over the porch of the church of St. Donatus, for 
which we may assume that he paid the same rent as the next 
tenant, six livres per annum. It was in this room that 
Colard Mansion, in May 1484, finished his beautiful edition 
of Ovid's "Metamorphoses," a magnificent folio of 386 leaves, 
full of woodcuts, printed-in separately from the text. We 
know nothing of the sale of this noble production ; but the 
expenses connected with it were probably his ruin, for about 
three months later he left the city. The Chapter of St. 
Donatus, feeling uneasy about their rent, soon made inquiries 
afi to the probability of his return, there being an opportunity 
of letting the room to a better tenant ; but all was in vain, 
and in October 1484 the apartment in which Mansion had 
for so many years been labouring at those volumes which are 
now prized as among the glories of Bruges, was made over to 
Jean Gossin, a member of the same guild as Mansion, and, 
like him, engaged in the manufacture of books. The Chapter, 
however, took care not to lose by their tenant's flight, for the 
conditions upon which his room (and probably a large stock 
of printed sheets besides) was made over to Gossin were that 
the latter should pay up all arrears of rent. Nothing more is 
known of Mansion after this sad event ; and it is mournful to 
contemplate the poor man turning his back upon his native 
city, to begin life anew at the age of nearly sixty, after so 
many years spent in literary labour. It has been suggested 
that he took refuge in Paris, as the names of Paul and Robert 
Mansion appear as printers in that city in 1650 ; but on this 
point there is no evidence whatever. 

In examining the productions of Colard Mansion's press, 
it is somewhat perplexing to the lover of accuracy to find that 
he, like all the earliest printers, issued most of his produc- 
tions without date, and many without even name or place. 
In this he merely followed the example of his predecessors, 
the scribes, who seldom afl&xed their names, or the date of 
the transcript. Van Praet enumerates twenty-one works from 
his press, and another has been since discovered. These, to 
the eye of a printer, naturally divide themselves into two 

E 2 


1st. Those printed in a large bold Secretary type. 

2nd. Those printed in a smaller semi-roman character, 
known as " Lettres de Somme." 

No one acquainted, although but slightly, with the prac- 
tical features of typography can doubt that the early books 
attributed to Caxton, and the early books issued by Mansion, 
came from the same press. Mansion employed for his first 
type a very bold secretary, exactly similar in character to 
the type first used at Westminster. In PL II and III they 
may be seen in juxtaposition. It also closely resembled in 
shape and size in the character in which Mansion was accus- 
tomed to execute his manuscripts. He likewise printed, at 
the head of each chapter, the summary in red ink ; and here 
he displayed so curious an instance of typographical ingenuity 
that the reader's attention is particularly requested to it. If 
we closely examine into the appearance which the red ink, 
as used by Mansion in his "Boccace" "Boece," "Somme 
rurale," and "Ovide," presents, it will be noticed that it is 
very du'ty in colour, and moreover that the black lines, nearest 
the red, have their edges tipped with red, a defect Avhich the 
separate printing of lines in red ink afibrds no opportunity 
for producing. The following explanation will satisfactorily 
show the modus operandi. The two colours were printed by 
one and the same pull of the press, all the type, both for 
black and red, being included in the same form. But it was 
impossible to beat the form with the balls, and leave a single 
line in the middle untouched ; so the whole page was inked 
black, and then (a space for play being always left above and 
below) the black ink was carefuUy wiped from the intended 
red line, and that line re-inked with red by the finger, or by 
other means, after which the sheet was puUed. A two-fold 
inconvenience attended this clumsy process, — the black could 
never be removed so completely that it would not taint the 
ensuing red, and the utmost care would not usually prevent 
the black lines nearest the red receiving a slight touch from 
the red finger, or ball. Iil fact, both these defects appear in 
every book printed by Colard Mansion, in which the two 
colours were used, and to these was frequently added a third 


— the loss of a portion of the black ink nearest to the red 
caused by the wiping process. Actual experiment shows that 
this mode of working both colours at once is the only solution 
of the appearance, and the inducement for its adoption waa 
in all probability the perfect accuracy of " register " it secured, 
as there was thus no fear of the red lines not fitting exactly 
in their proper places — an accuracy very difficult to obtain, by 
separate printings, at a rudimentary press. This peculiarity 
of workmanship in the Bruges printer is not found in any 
book from the Mentz or Cologne presses ; indeed all the typo- 
graphical habits of the Bruges and Cologne printers were so 
distinct and opposite that it is difficult to believe in any con- 
nection between them. 

It has been already shown that in early books uneven 
spacing is a sure sign that the workmanship is prior to that 
of books from the same press in which the lines are all of 
equal length. The dated books of Colard Mansion are only 
six in number, which fully bear this out. 

Le Jardin de Devotion before 1476 uneven lines 

Boccace du Dechiet des Nobles Hommes 1476 „ 

Boece de la Consolation de Philosophie 1477 „ 

Le Quadrilogue d'Alaiu Chartier 1478* even lines 

La Somme rurale 1479 „ 

Les Metamorphoses d'O vide 1484 „ 

Taking, then, 1478 as the year in which Mansion changed 
his practice, we may assume, without fear of error, that all 
the undated books, with short-spaced lines, were anterior, and 
all the undated books, with their Hues spaced to one length, 
posterior to the " Quadrilogue." On this basis his undated 
productions may be thus arranged. 

Before 1478, having lines of an uneven length : — 

Les Dits moraux des Philosophes short-spaced 

Les Invectives contre la Secte de Vanderie „ 

La Controversie de Noblesse ,, 

Debat entre trois valeureux Princes 

* The only date in the volume is 1477, which was the year when 
the Prologue was composed : the printing must have been later than 


After 1478, having lines of an even length : — 

Lea Advineaux amoureux. Edit. 1 full-spaced 

Le Doctrinal du temps present „ 

La Doctrine de bien vivre ., 

L'Art de bien mourir ,, 

La Purgatoire des man vais Maris „ 

Ii 'Abuse en court „ 

Les Evangiles des Quenouilles „ 

Le Donat espirituel „ 

Les Adeuineaux amoreux. Edit, 2 „ 

Dionysii Areopagiticte liber „ 

Colard Mansion seems never to have produced works from 
his press with rapidity; therefore, as the "Boccace of " 1476 
contained nearly 600 pages in large folio, and the " Boece " of 
1477 about the same, we may fairly assume that the five other 
short-spaced works were anterior to the "Boccace." This 
hypothesis would make Mansion a printer in Bruges about 
the time when Caxton finished his translation of " Le Recueil 
des Histoires de Troyes." 

In the next Chapter it is proposed to show how all the 
peculiarities noticeable in the printed productions of Colard 
Mansion may be traced in those attributed to William Caxton. 


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HE evidence as to where and from whom 
Caxton acquired his knowledge of the Art 
of Printing has been considered by nearly 
every bibliographer as being confined en- 
tirely to the information obtained from 
Caxton's own Prologues and Epilogues, 
with the one addition of the well-known quatrain of Wynken 
de Worde, at the end of his " Bartholomaeus de Proprietatibus 
Rerum." The argument from technical peculiarities in the 
books themselves has hitherto been almost entirely overlooked, 
although a mass of the truest, because unintentional evidence 
may be found from the attentive study of these dumb witnesses. 
Mr. Bradshaw, of Cambridge, has most truly observed, in 
his " Classified Index," that the bibliographer should " make 
such an accurate and methodical study of the types used and 
haUts of printing observable at different presses as to enable 
him to observe and be guided by these characteristics in 
settling the date of a book which bears no date upon the sur- 
face." * But the great difficulty in the way of this systematic 
study is the impossibility of having the books side by side, for 
their rarity is so great that in no one existing library can 
they all be found. 

The books printed in Caxton's type No. 1, used only at 

* A classified Index of the fifteenth-centnry books in the collection 
of M. J. de Meyer. 8vo. London, 1870. 


Bruges, are five in number, althougli we can trace his direct 
connection with but two of them. 

1. "The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye," with Pro- 

logues and Epilogues. 

2. " Le Recueil des Histoires de Troye." 

3. " The Game and Playe of the Chesse," with Prologue by 


4. " Les Pais et Proesses du Chevalier Jason." 

5. " Meditacions sur les Sept Pseaulmes penitenciaulx." 
To these must be added one book printed at Bruges in type 

No. 2. 
ry^ 6. " Les Quatre Derrennieres Choses." 

Before analysing the evidence supplied by Caxton's re- 
marks and dates, it is necessary to explain how easily a 
mistake may be rtiade, and an erroneous conclusion drawn, 
unless care be taken to remember the effect of the change of 
style upon the commencement of the year. In England, from 
the thirteenth century until 1752, the new year began on 
March 25th ; while in Holland and Flanders it commenced on 
Easter Day. Neglect of this fact has led to many historical 
errors. Thus, one historian states that Charles I. was be- 
headed on January 30th, 1C48, whereas others assert that the 
event took place on the same day in 1649 ; one dates the 
flight of James II. from his kingdom in February, 1688, 
whilst others date it in 1689. In these and many other 
instances one WTiter takes the old style of beginning the year, 
whilst others take the new style, each being right from his 
own stand-point. In a lately discovered tract printed by 
Caxton, and kno^^Ti as the " Sex Epistolae," we have the text 
of several letters which passed between the Pope and the 
Doge of Venice, which will be more particularly described 
under " Books in type No. 4." It is merely mentioned here 
as affording an apt illustration of the foregoing remarks. 
The letters commence on December 11th, 1482, and succeed 
one another in due order until the 7th of January, 1482, and 
the end of February, 1482. This was no blunder, for the old 
year continued until March 25th, which was New- Year's Day, 
1483. Returning now to the consideration of Caxton's first. 


lessons in the Art of Printing, we will examine each of the 
books attributed to him, commencing with 

"The Recuyell." — This occupies the foremost place, 
because Caxton himself tells us that with it he began his 
career as a printer. Its Prologues and Epilogues contain 
curious and interesting gossip from Caxton's own pen, telling 
us how the Duchess of Burgundy, in whose service he then 
was, commanded him to complete the translation, which he 
had begun but not advanced with. He tells us that he began 
to translate the work at Bruges on March 1st, 1468, which, 
as the year in Flanders did not then commence till Easter, 
was really 1469, that he continued it at Ghent, and finished 
at Cologne on September 19th, 1471, thus making a period 
of two years and a half ; that on its completion he presented 
it it to the Duchess, who rewarded him handsomely; that 
many persons desired copies of it, so that, finding the labour 
of writing too wearisome for him, and not expeditious enough 
for his friends, he had practised and learnt, at his great 
charge and expense, to ordain the book in print, to the end 
that every man might have them at once. As was natural 
to a person making practical acquaintance for the first time 
with the effects of typography, Caxton ends ^vith noticing 
what in his eyes, accustomed to see one copy finished before 
another was begun, was the most wonderful feature of the 
new art, namely, that all the copies were begun upon one day, 
and were finished upon one day. 

The periods of time here mentioned by Caxton require 
notice. He began to translate on March 1st, 1469, but soon 
relinquished his self-imposed task, after writing no more than 
five or six quires (or sections of four or five sheets each). 
After the lapse of two years, in March, 1471, he resumed the 
translation, and in the following September he presented the 
Duchess with the completed work. Now, six months would 
have been a very likely time for the translation and a fair 
copy thereof to take ; but it would have been impossible to 
have accomplished the printing also in that space of time, 
especially as the whole translation was finished before the 
first sheet was printed, as will be hereafter shown. We may 


also notice, that the duration of Caxton's visit to Cologne 
must have been very short, as his absenee from Bruges lasted 
no more than six months. 

"Le Recueil" has but one date, and that evidently 
refers to the literary compilation alone, and affords no clue 
whatever to the year of printing. Indeed, the numerous 
copies still extant in manuscript prove that the work enjoyed 
considerable popularity before it came under the hands of the 
printer. The date of the printing of this book has been 
fixed, by several writers, between 1464 and 1467, from the 
consideration that Le F^vre, the compiler, is spoken of in the 
prologue as chaplain to the Duke of Burgundy, and in such 
a manner as to signify that the duke was then living. But 
in the English version there is a material difference : Le 
Fdvre is not styled there as in the French, " Chappellain de 
montres redoubte seigneur MonseigTieur le Due Phillipe de 
Bourgoingne," but " chapelayn vnto the ryght noble glorious 
and mighty prynce, in his tyme, Phelip due of Bourgoyne." 
Philip, therefore, was alive when " Le Recueil " was printed, 
but dead when "The Recuyell" went to press. The duke 
died in 1467; and it is therefore inferred that "Le Recueil" 
must date between 1464 and 1467, while "The Recuyell" 
must be later than 1467. That this should be considered as 
proving anything more than that the original French was 
compiled during the lifetime of Philip, and that when Caxton 
translated the same the duke was dead, seems unaccountable. 
AU the copies of " Le Recueil," both manuscript and printed, 
followed the wording of the original, and the printer would 
no more think of altering it in 1476, the probable date of 
imprint, than the transcriber would in copying the same 
twenty-five years later. The National Library at Paris has a 
manuscript of this very book written after 1500, but repro- 
ducing exactly the clause which, in the printed edition, is 
considered to be a proof of its having been executed prior to 
1467. Caxton altered the prologue of Le Fevre to suit his 
own time, because he was translating ; but, in printing from 
the manuscript of another (assuming his connection with " Le 
Recueil"), he would have been in opposition to the practice 


of his age had he altered the original. His translation was 
in its turn printed and reprinted, word for word, long after it 
was out of date. 

There is, therefore, no reason whatever for asserting that 
"Le Recueil," written in 1464, was printed before "The 
Recuyell," translated in 1474, and sent to press about the 
same date. In fact, the whole tone of the epilogue to Book 
III. of " The Recuyell," leads unquestionably to the conclu- 
sion that that was the very first occasion on which Caxton 
had busied himself with typography. He would never have 
said, "I have learned to ordain this loolc in printe at my 
great charge and expense," if he had already printed one or 
two others. M. Bernard assumes that Caxton had nothing 
to do with the printing of "Le Recueil," and that it was 
executed before he turned his attention to the new art. This 
opinion, however, has not a single fact to support it. 

" The Chess Book " affords but little evidence of value, 
its prologue being, for the most part, merely a translation of 
that written by Jehan de Vignay for the French original. It 
offers, indeed, one date ; but that is open to question in its 
application. " Fynysshid the last day of marche, 1474," are 
the concluding words of the epilogue. But what was finished, 
the translation, or the printing ? From the context it was 
probably the translation, although the printing was not many 
months later. This date also must be advanced a year ; for, 
as already noticed, the new year did not commence, in 
Flanders, till Easter Day, which fell, in that year, on April 
10th ; so that March 31st, 1474, was, according to the 
modern reckoning, March 81st, 1475. 

The prologue to the second edition throws a httle light 
on the history of the first. Caxton there says, in reference to 
his connection with the book : " .... an excellent doctor of 
divinity .... made a book of the Chess moralised, which, at 
such time as I was resident in Bruges^ came into my hands. 
.... And to the end that some which have not seen it, nor 
understand french nor latin, I deUberated in myself to translate 
into our maternal tongue ; and when I had so achieved the 
said translation, / did do set in imprinter a certain number of 


them which anon were depesshed and sold." He here appears 
to mean that upon the completion of the translation he em- 
ployed some one else to print it : — " I did do set in imprinte." 
" Did do," according to the idiom of those days, was commonly 
used for doing a thing through the medium of another. The 
phrase was borrowed from the French — "plain pouoir de 
prendre et faire prendre les larrons," is the wording of an 
ordinance dated in the fifteenth century. "He did do be 
said to the messenger," for " he caused to be said," is found 
on folio 22 of the " History of Jason." " The Emperor did 
do make a gate of marble" occurs in the second edition of the 
" Chess Book," fol. 85. Similar examples abound, so that we 
may fairly conclude that Caxton did not himself print the 
first edition of the " Chess Book," but that both the transla- 
tion and the printing were executed in Bruges. 

The other books, namely, the French "Jason," the "Medi- 
tacions," and the " Quatre Derrennieres Choses," contain the 
bare text without remark or date of any kind, being, as 
bibliographers say, sine uUd notd. 

The whole of the literary evidence therefore may be briefly 
summed up thus: "The Eecuyell" was translated in 1471, 
and printed some time after ; the " Chess Book " was printed 
after 1474, and probably in the latter half of 1475 ; and " Le 
Recueil" was compiled in 1464, but, like the other four, 
affords no evidence of date of the printing, which was pro- 
bably about 1476. 

We will now examine the testimony afforded by a com- 
parison of the technical peculiarities of these six books. In 
collating " The Recuyell," the make-up of the sections, at the 
beginning of the volume, is worth noting. It was the practice 
of Caxton, as of other printers, to commence the printing of 
his books mth the text, any preface which might be requisite, 
being added afterwards in a separate section, with a different 
kind of signature. When, however, the whole of the manu- 
script, prologue as well as text, was complete before it came 
into the printer's hands, there was no occasion for any such 
arrangement. This appears to have been the case with regard 
to "The Recuyell," where nothing has been added at the 



fit ^ ^ 



If J lit 




beginning, as the first section of five sheets includes all the 
introductory matter, as well as a portion of the text. Now 
the first page, which bears the date of the conclusion of the 
translation, being on the same sheet as a portion of the text, 
it is evident that the whole volume must have been in 
manuscript before any part was set up in type. We may 
infer, indeed, from his own description of the effect that so 
much T\Titing had upon him, that Caxton issued several 
manuscript copies before he thought of using the printing- 
press. The copy presented to the Duchess was undoubtedly 
manuscript ; or else how could Caxton have chronicled in the 
printed w^ork her acceptance of the book and his reward for 
the present ? And this again leads to the supposition that 
the portion of the epilogue relating to the printing was added 
by Caxton to his original manuscript when he determined to 
print it. 

For precisely similar reasons, Caxton's prologue to the 
" Chess Book," which was a translation or adaptation of the 
original French, is also a portion of the first section of the 
volume. None of the other books under review having pro- 
logues, we will proceed to a comparison of some other typo- 
graphical particulars. 

The following table ^ill show some of the technical features 
of each book, and some of what may be called the " habits " 
of the printer : — 

No. Title. Size. 


No. of 


in a 


No. of 
in a 

ment of 






1 TheRecyuell Fol. 

2 LeRecueil Fol. 

3 The Chess Book ... Fol. 

4 Les Fais du Jason . Fol. 

5 Meditacions Fol. 

6 Les 4*™ derrennieres 

choses Fol. 






5 X 7f 
5 X 71 
5 X 7f 
5 X 7| 
5 . 7| 

5 X 7| 









From this table we perceive,— 

First, That the first five books are printed with the same 


types, are all of the same size, and all without signatures; 
that all agree exactly in the size of the page ; and that the 
even spacing of the lines in the "Meditacions" and the 
"Jason" proves that they were produced later than the 

Secondly, That the five books in type No, 1 may be con- 
sidered as the production of one printer. 

^Yho, then, was this printer ? When we attentively ex- 
amine the shape of the letters in type No. 1, we notice a 
remarkable similarity between it and that of the writing of 
many Bruges manuscripts of the same period, which would 
induce us, at first sight, to attribute the design of the type 
to some artist of that city. 

M. Bernard, whose opinion is of great weight, where his 
nationality is not concerned, traces the pattern of type No. 1 
directly to Colard Mansion of Bruges. Speaking of a manu- 
script in the National Library at Paris, written by Colard 
Mansion's own hand, he says, " This book is ^vritten in old 
batarde, and in exactly the same character as the types of 
' Le Kecueil des histoires de Troyes ;' " yet he attributes the 
cutting of the types to a French artist, and the printing to a 
German, Ulric Zel. The paper he also claims for a French 
mill, on account of the fleurs de Us, and the Gothic p with the 
quatrefoil, ignoring the fact that these are common Flemish 
watermarks of the fifteenth century, and found in abundance 
in the books from the Bruges and Westminster presses. 

That any of these books in type No. 1 were printed by 
Ulric Zel, or any other Cologne printer, I cannot for a moment 
believe. It is possible, of course, that Zel, if employed to do 
so, could have designed and cut types of the gros-bAtarde 
pattern, although, as a fact, he never used such types himself ; 
but all the Cologne printers of that period had their own 
peculiarities and habits, which were not at all those of the 
Bruges printers. Zel, from an early period, printed two pages 
at a time, as may be easily verified where a crooked page 
occurs; for the other page printed on the same side of the 
sheet wiU in every case be found crooked also. Now, the 
" Recuyell " was certainly printed page by page, as were like- 


wise all the books from Mansion's press. And Caxton, when 
printing liis smaller books, even cut the paper up and printed 
one page only at a time. This accounts for the entire rejec- 
tion by Mansion,* and the sparing use by Caxton of the 
quarto size for their productions, as it necessitated twice as 
much press-work as the larger size. But stronger evidence 
is to be found in the fact that Zel, after 14C7, always spaced 
out the lines of his books to an even length, and would have 
taught any one learning the art from him to do the same j 
yet this improvement was not adopted by either Mansion or 
Caxton until several years later. Whoever may have been the 
instructor of Mansion and Caxton, and whatever may have 
been the origin of their typography, the opinion that either 
of them, after learning the art in an advanced school such 
as that of Cologne, would have adopted in their first produc- 
tions, without any necessity for so doing, primitive customs 
which they had never been taught, and returned in after years 
by slow degrees to the rules of their original tuition, has only 
to be plainly stated to render it mitenable. 

The printer of all these works was undoubtedly Colard 
Mansion, who had just before established his press at Bruges 
— who cast the types on his own model for Caxton, and in- 
structed him in the art while printing * iviih and for him 
"The Recuyell" and the "Chess Book"— who ceriuinhj 
printed "Les Quatre Derrennieres Choses" — ^who supplied 
Caxton with the material for the establishment of a press 
in England — ^who, about the time of Caxton's departure, used 
the same type for "Le Recueil" — and who, at a still later 
period, printed alone the "Jason" and the "Meditations." 

We will now examine "Les Quatre Derrennieres Choses," of 
which the only copy knoTVTi is in the Old Royal collection in 

* Van Praet, Bninet, and especially Campbell in his " Annales de 
la Typographie Neerlandaise," err in describing "Le purgatoire des 
mauvais Maris," printed by Colard Mansion, as a *' petit in-4o." The 
copy described is cut a little more than usual, but the watermark which 
i* in the middle of tlie page proves the size to be folio, whereas had it 
been quarto the watermark must have been in the back and partly 
hidden by the binding. 


the British Museum. Like all Colard Mansion's books, and 
unlike any one of Caxton's, it is in French. It is printed in 
type No. 2, the type of the " Dictes " of 1477, and all the 
early books which issued from the Westminster press. Then 
the peculiar appearance of the red ink at once attracts atten- 
tion. The two colours have been evidently printed at the 
same pull of the press, as was Colard Mansion's practice. 
Here the same process of wiping the black ink off lines 
purposely isolated, and then re-inking them with red, has 
been resorted to, and here, too, as in the acknowledged 
productions of the Bruges press, the same defects have been 
produced; the red ink having a tarnished appearance from 
the subjacent remains of the black, and the black lines nearest 
the red having received a red edging which, however inter- 
esting as a connecting link between two celebrated printers, 
by no means increases their typographical beauty. Now, as 
no Cologne printer is known to have resorted to this unique 
method of working in colours, .1 feel no hesitation in ascribing 
" Les Quatre Derennieres Choses " either to Colard Mansion or 
to Caxton working under his tuition ; and as this peculiarity 
is nowhere found in Caxton's productions of the Westminster 
press, the former would seem the more likely conjecture. 

The connection thus established between the types used 
by Caxton in his first attempts in England and those used by 
Colard Mansion is still further strengthened by the fact that 
the form of the &c., peculiar to type No. 1, is in several 
instances, by an evident mixing of the founts, used instead 
of the proper sort belonging to type No. 2. This famishes 
positive proof that the two founts were under one roof, whether 
at Cologne or Bruges, or elsewhere. Whoever printed the five 
books in type No. 1 most certainly owned type No. 2 also. 

Against all this, however, has to be placed the direct 
assertion of Wynken de Worde, who, in the proheme to his 
undated edition of " Bartholomasus de Proprietatibus Rerum," 
gives the following rhyme : — 

" And also of your chary te call to remembraunce 

The soule of William Caxton first prynter of this boke 
In lateh tonge at Coleyn hyself to auauce 

That euery well disposyd man may thereon loke." 


The phraseolo^ of this rerse is very ambiguous. Arc we 
to understand that the editio princeps of " Bartholomaeus " pro- 
ceeded from Caxton's press, or that he only printed the first 
Cologne edition ? that he issued a translation of his own, 
which is the only way in which the production of the work 
could advance him in the Latin tongue ? or, that he printed 
in Latin to advance his own interests ? The last seems the 
most probable reading. But though the words will bear 
many constructions, they are evidently intended to mean that 
Caxton printed " Bartholomaeus" at Cologne. Now this seems 
to be merely a careless statement of Wynken de Worde ; for 
if Caxton did really print " Bartholomaeus " in that city, it 
must have been with his own types and presses, as the 
workmanship of his early volumes proves that he had no 
connection with the Cologne printers, whose practices were 
entirely different. The time necessary for the production of 
so extensive a work would have been considerable ; therefore, 
as Caxton's stay at Cologne on the occasion of his finishing 
the translation of " Le Recueil " was but short, the printing 
of this apocryphal "Bartholomaeus" would have been at a 
subsequent ^isit, of which there is no record. No edition has 
yet been discovered which can, by any stretch of the imagina- 
tion, be attributed to Caxton, although there is more than one 
old undated edition belonging to the German school of print- 
ing. Accuracy of information was in those days not much 
studied, and to a general carelessness about names and dates 
Wynken de "VVorde added a negligence peculiarly his own. 
We may excuse him for using Caxton's device in several 
books which by their dates and types are knowii to have been 
printed by himself, as well as for putting Caxton's name as 
printer to the edition of the " Golden Legend," printed in 
1493, two years' after his master's death. Such inaccuracies 
were at that time thought but little of. But how can we 
account for the blundering alteration in the 1495 edition of 
the " Polycronicon," where Wynken de AVorde, making himself 
the speaker in Caxton's prologue, promises to carry the history 
down to 1485; or for the still greater error in the "Dictes" 
of 1528, in which, while adopting Caxton's epilogue, but 



substituting his own for Caxton's name, he makes all the trans- 
actions there related happen between Earl Elvers and himself ? 
Wynken de Worde's blunders in statements are well matched 
by his blunders in workmanship, of which, however, we will 
quote but two. In Caxton's edition of the " Stans Puer ad 
Mensam," the third and fourth pages of the poem were acci- 
dentally transposed ;. yet Wynken de Worde, notwithstanding 
the break of sequence, blindly reprints the error ! Again, in 
his edition of " The Horse, the Shepe, and the Ghoos," he 
actually omits a whole page without discovering his mistake ! 
Other examples might easily be quoted, but enough has been 
adduced to show that Wynken de Worde was by no means 
careful in his statements.* 

We must remember that Wynken de Worde, moreover, 
was too young to have had any personal knowledge of Caxton's 
early efforts, and that the vast importance of the art to the 
entire world, and the interest attaching to its origin, were 
ideas which would find no place in the mind of a fifteenth- ^ 
century printer. We must not, therefore, regard De Worde's 
statement as deliberately made for the purpose of telling 
posterity something about Caxton. Lewis, Caxton's first 
biographer, was very sceptical concerning this Cologne edition 
of " Bartholomaeus." "Its ha^dng a Latin title," he says, 

* William Caxton, except in the occasional interchange of i and y, 
which were at that period considered as equivalents, never altered the 
orthography of his name, a fact the more noticeable as the name 
certainly varied in pronunciation : but Wynken de Worde, although 
mentioning his master's name but eight times, contrived to make the 
four variations of Caxton, Caxston, Caston, and Caxon. With regard 
to his own name Wynken de Worde appears to have tried how many 
variations he could invent, of which the following list is not even 
complete : — 

Wynken de Worde. Wynandus de Worde. 

Wynden de Worde. Wynandus de word. 

Wynkyn de Worde. winandus de worde. 

Wynkyn Theworde. Vunandus de worde. 

Wynkyn the Worde. Vuinandi de vuorde. 

Wynkyn de Word. Winand i Wordensi. 

VVinquin de Worde. Winandi de Wordensis. 


"might possibly deceive De Worde, and make him think it 
was printed in Latin. However this may be, it does not 
appear that any edition of it, printed by Caxton or any one 
else, either in Latin or English, that year, is now in being." 

Perhaps De Worde, who reprinted the "Recueil," had 
some vague recollection of Caxton having stated that he had 
been at Cologne, and so carelessly adopted the idea as giving 
point and rhyme to his verses. 

The following anecdotes illustrate in a curious manner 
the typographical connection between Mansion and Caxton. 
A bookseller of Paris purchased an old volume for the moderate 
sum of one louis. He took it to M. de La Serna Santander, 
and asked him if he thought two louis too dear. "No," 
replied the wary bibliographer, and gave him the money. 
That volume is now in the National Library at Paris, and 
contains, bound together in the original boards, the " Quadri- 
logue," printed by Mansion at Bruges, and the French "Jason," 
printed in Caxton's type No. 1. Something similar to this 
happened in 1853, when Mr. Winter Jones discovered in the 
Library of the British Museum, "Les Quatre Derrenieres 
Choses," in Caxton's type No. 2, bound up with the " Medi- 
tacions," in type No. 1, and with contemporary handwTiting 
running from the last page of one work to the first of the 
other, the volume being evidently in its original state, just as 
it was printed and bound at Bruges, in the little workshop of 
Colard Mansion over the church porch of St. Donatus. 

Here, perhaps, I may be excused if I venture to build a 
brief history, founded, in the absence of sure foundation, 
in many parts on probability only, but which may neverthe- 
less be welcome to some as an attempt to draw into a con- 
sistent narrative the scattered threads of Caxton's career 
between 1471 and his establishment at Westminster. 

Caxton, having finished and been rewarded for his trouble 
in translating " Le Eecueil " for the Duchess of Burgundy, 
found his book in great request. The English nobles at 
Bruges wished to have copies of this the most favourite 
romance of the age, and Caxton found himself unable to 
supply the demand with sufficient rapidity. This brings us 

F 2 


to the year 1472 or 1473. Colard Mansion, a skilful cali- 
grapher, must have been known to Caxton, and may even 
have been employed by him to execute commissions. Man- 
sion, who had ol)tained some knowledge of the art of printing, 
although certainly not from Cologne, had just begun his typo- 
graphical labours at Bruges, and was ready to produce copies 
by means of the press, if supported by the necessary patron- 
age and funds. Caxton found the money, and Mansion the 
requisite knowledge, by the aid of which appeared "The 
Recuyell," the first book printed in the ncAV type, and more- 
over the first book printed in the English language. This, 
probably, was not accomplished till 1474, and was succeeded, 
on Caxton's part, in another year, by an issue of the " Chess 
Book," which, as we are informed in a second edition, was 
" anone depesshed and solde." Mansion, finding success at- 
tended the new adventure, printed the French "Recueil," 
and, after Caxton's return to England, the French " Jason " 
and the " Meditacions." The three French works were 
doubtless published by Mansion alone, as Caxton is not 
known to have printed a single book in French, although 
perfectly acquainted with that language. Caxton, having 
thus printed at Bruges "The Recuyell" and the "Chess 
Book" with types either wholly or in part belonging to 
Mansion, now obtained a new fount of the pattern of the 
large batarde already in use by Mansion, but smaller in size, 
with the intention of practising the art in England. To test 
its capabilities, "Les Quatre Derrennieres Choses" was then 
produced under the immediate supervision of Mansion. 

Early in 147G Caxton appears to have taken leave of the 
city where he had resided for five and thirty years, and to 
have returned to his native land laden with a more precious 
freight than the most opulent merchant-adventurer ever 
dreamt of, to endow his country with a blessing greater than 
any other which had ever been bestowed, save only the intro- 
duction of Christianity. 



N^ the preceding chapters Caxton's career as 
an Apprentice, as a Merchant, as Governor 
of the Merchant- Adventurers, as a Magis- 
trate, and as an Ambassador, has been 
traced; the revival of literary tastes in 
P]nrope has been briefly sketched, as well 
as the literary influences by which Caxton was surrounded ; 
and we have seen his translation of a romance for the 
Duchess of Burgundy obtain such popularity that he was 
forced to have recourse to the new art of printing, in order 
to multiply copies quickly: but we have yet to investigate 
the most important period of his history — those last fifteen 
years, to which the whole of his former life seems but the 
introduction — that short period which alone has caused the 
name of Caxton to be inscribed on the tablets of history, and 
the typographical relics of which form the best and only 
memorial which England possesses of her first printer.* 

We left Caxton early in 1476 preparing to return to Eng- 
land, after having disposed of his printed copies of the "Chess 
Book" in Bruges. The next certain notice of him is after 

* There is certainly the Roxburghe tablet in St. Margaret's Churcli, 
Westminster ; and, better still, there is a " Cajrton Pension" in connec- 
tion with the " Printers' Corporation," by which the needs of sonic 
afflicted successors in Caxton's ci'aft are alleviated ; but a memorial 
worthy of our first printer and of his countrymen has never yet been 


his settlement at Westminster, when, in Novemher 1477, he 
had printed his first edition of the "Dictes and Sayings of 
the Philosophers." This book is, in fact, the earliest we have 
from Caxton's press with an indispntable imprint. It is 
evident that his arrangements for settling in England, the 
engagement of assistants, and all the other matters inseparable 
from a novel nndeitaking, mnst have occupied a considerable 
time. If, therefore, we assume that Caxton commenced his 
new career in this country about the latter half of 1476 we 
cannot be far wrong. A cautious man, he began to try his 
powers, and ascertain the probable sale for his productions, by 
printing small pieces. Copland, one of his workmen, who 
served with Wynken de Worde after his first master's death, 
has a curious remark upon this in the prologue to his edition 
of " Kynge Apolyn of Thyre," with which romance he appears 
to have commenced his career as a printer. " Whiche booke 
I, Roberte Copland, have me applyed for to translate oute of 
the Frenshe language into our maternal tongue, at the exhor- 
tacyon of my forsayd mayster [Wynken de Worde], gladly 
foUowynge the trace of my mayster Caxton, J)pgynnynge tvith 
small storijes and immfleteSj and so to other'' That West- 
minster was the locality in which Caxton first settled, there is, 
fortunately, no room to doubt; but as the exact spot has 
given rise to considerable discussion, it may be useful to 
collect all the instances in which Caxton connects his o\mi 
name with a definite locality. We therefore give the follow- 
ing extracts taken verlatim et literatim from his works : — 

1477. DiCTES AND Sayings. First edition. Epilogue, en- 
prynted by me william Caxton at trestmestre. 

1478. Moral Proverbs. Colophon. Ihaue enprinted .... 
At westmestre. 

1480. Chronicles of England. First edition. Colophon. 
enprinted by me William Caxton Jn thabbey of west- 
mynstre by london. 

1480. Description of Britain. First edition. Prologue. 
ths comyn cronirles of enylond ben .... now late en- 
printed at westmynstre. 


1481. MiRROUR OF THE WoRLD. First edition. Prologue. 
Ajid empriscd hy me .... to translate it i?ito our 
maternal tongue .... in thahhay of tvestm/'sfre by 

1481. Reynard THE Fox. First edition. Epilogue, ly m^ 
tvilVm Caxton translated . ... in tlmlhey of tvest- 

1481. Godfrey of Bologne. Epilogue, sette informs and 
emjjrynted .... i?i thabiey of icestm£ster. 

1483. Pilgrimage of the Soul. Colophon. Enprynted at 
tvestmestre hy ivilliam Caxton. 

1483. Liber Festivalis. First edition. Colophon. Em- 
prynted at Westmynster by tvyUyam Caxton. 

1483. Quatuor Sermones. First edition. Colophon. En- 
prynted by Wylliam Caxton at Westmestre. 

1483. CoNFESSio Amantis. Colophon. Enprynted at tvest- 
mestre by me ivillyam Caxton. 

1483. Golden Legend. First edition. Epilogue, fynysshed 
it at westmpstre. 

1483. Caton. Colophon. Translated . ... by William 
Caxton in thabbey of Westmynstre. 

1483. Knight of the Tower. Colophon, enprynted at 


1484. ^sop. Epilogue, enprynted by me uHliam Caxton 
at westmynstre in tMbbay. 

1484. The Order of Chivalry. Epilogue, translated 

.... by me William Caxton divellymje in Westmynstre 
besyde london. 

1485. King Arthur. Colophon, emprynted and fynysshed 
in thabbey westmestre. 

1485. Paris and Yienne. Colophon, translated . ... by 

wylliam Caxton at Westmestre. 
[1489.] DiRECTORiUM Sacerdotum. Colophon. Impresstim 

.... ajmd Westmonesterium. 
1489. Doctrinal of Sapience. Colophon, translated .... 

by wyllyam Caxton at Westmestre. 
To these must be added Caxton's Advertisement, printed 
about 1480. 


" If it plese ony man spirituel or temporel to bye ony pyes 
of two and thre comemoracios of salisburi vse enpryiitid after 
the forme of this preset lettre whiche ben wel and truly cor- 
rect, Mg liijm cmne to tvestmomster in to tJw aJmonesrye at the 
reed pale and he shal haue them good chepe." 

The following quotations are from titles or colophons of 
books printed by Wynken de Worde in the house of his late 
master, only three of which are dated. 

ScALA Perfectionis, 1493. 

And Wynkyn de Worde this hath sett in print. 

In William Caxstons hoics so fyll the case. 
DiRECTORiUM Sacerdotum, 1495. In domo Caxton Wynlcyn 

fieri fecit. 
Lyndewode's Constitutiones, 1496. A2md Westmonaste- 

rium. In domo caxston. 
The XII Profytes of Tribulacyon. Enprynted at West- 

myster in Caxtons Jwiis. 
DoxATus Minor. In domo Caxton in tvestmonasterio. 
Whital's Dictionary. Imp)rynted in the late hous of Wit- 

liam Caxton. 
Accedence. Prynted in Caxons house at westmynstre. 
The Chorle and the Byrde. Emprynted at westmestre in 

Caxtons house. 
DocTRYNALLE OF Dethe. Enprynted at westmynster Jn 

Caxtons hous. 
Ortus Vocabulorxjm. prope ceUherrimum monasterium quod 

ivestmy7istre appellatur imjjj^essum. 

Adding to the foregoing the testimony of Stow, we shall 
have before us all the evidence of any authority. 

" Neare vnto this house westward was an old chappel of 
S. Anne, oner against the which the Lady Margaret, mother 
to King H. the 7. erected an Almeshouse for poore women 
.... the place wherein this chappell and Almeshouse standeth 
was called the Elemosinary or Almory, now corruptly the 
Ambry, for that the Almes of the Abbey were there distri- 
buted to the poore. And therin Islip, Abbot of Westmin. 


erected the first Pres^e of booke printing that euer was in 
England about the yeare of Christ 1471. William Caxton, 
cittizen of London, mercer, brought it into England, and was 
the first that practised it in the sayde Abbey." 

Reviewing the foregoing quotations, it will be noticed 
that although the precise expression, Printed in t/te Ahhey of 
Westminster f is affixed to some books, yet the more general 
phrase Printed at Westminster is also used, and e\'idently 
refers to the same locality, for otherwise we must suppose 
Caxton to have carried on two separate printing-offices for 
many years. The word "Abbey" did not assume its modern 
sense, as applying only to the fabric, until after the Refonna- 
tion; and the phrase "dwelling at Westminster," used in 
1484, just after "printed in the Abbey," 1483, and before 
"printed in the Abbey," 1485, proves that Caxton himself 
attached to the word no very restrictive idea. We find also, 
from the above-mentioned advertisement, that "Westminster" 
in that instance meant "The Almonesrye," where Caxton 
occupied a tenement, called " The Red-pale." The Almonry 
was a space within the Abbey precincts, where alms were dis- 
tributed to the poor ; and here the Lady Margaret, mother of 
King Henry VIL, and one of Caxton's patronesses, built alms- 
houses. Other houses were also there ; and we therefore con- 
clude that by the words in the Ahhey Caxton meant nothing 
more than that he resided within the Abbey precincts. 

The position of St. Anne's Chapel and the Almonry, in 
relation to that of the Abbey Church, seems to have been 
misunderstood by all the biographers of Caxton. Dr. Dibdin, 
Charles Knight and others, place them on the site of the 
Chapel of Henry YII, which is the east end of the Abbey. 
The Almonry was considerably to the west, and the following 
statements, gathered from Stow, will give its exact locahty. 
After describing the monastery and the king's palace, he pro- 
ceeds to say, "now \vill I speake of the gate house, and of 
Totehill streete, stretching from the west part of the Close .... 
The gate towards the icest is a Gaile for offenders .... On 
the Southside of this gate, king H. the 7. founded an almes- 
house .... Neare vnto this house westward was an old chappel 


of S. Anne .... the place wherein this chappel .... standeth 
was called the Almory." The Almonry was therefore west- 
south-west of the western front of the Abbey. 

It has been argued that Caxton was permitted by the 
abbot to use the "Scriptorium" of the abbey as a printing- 
office. Printing, even in these days of improvement, is neces- 
sarily in some parts a very unclean operation, but it was much 
more so in its earlier years, some of the processes employed 
being extremely filthy and pungent. The Abbot of West- 
minster would never have admitted into the scriptorium any 
thing so defiling, much less within the sacred walls of the 
church itself. There is, indeed, no evidence that any portion 
of the abbey was ever appropriated as a scriptorium: no 
mention of such a place is made by any historian, nor has 
any manuscript been recognised as having issued thence. 

The Abbot of Westminster, at the time of Caxton's arrival 
in England, was John Esteney, who succeeded to that office 
in 1474, upon the promotion of Thomas Milling to the 
Bishopric of Hereford. Those \vTiters who maintain that 
Caxton returned to England before 1474 have mentioned 
Milling as his patron. George Fascet succeeded Abbot 
Esteney in 1498, and was in turn succeeded by John Islip in 
1500. Stow's chronology is very faulty in ascribing to Abbot 
Islip any connection with Caxton, whose death occurred about 
nine years before Islip's election to the abbacy. 

There is nothing to lead to the supposition that Caxton 
and Abbot Esteney were on intimate terms ; indeed, the pro- 
bability is that they knew but little of each other. Our 
printer mentions Esteney but once, and that only casuaUy, as 
illustrating the difficulty which even educated men experienced 
in deciphering documents of a bygone age. In the prologue 
to the " Eneydos," Caxton says, " My lord abbot of West- 
mynster did do shelve to me late certayn euydences wryton 
in old Englisshe, for to reduce it into our Englisshe now 
vsid." The sense of "Did do shewe," as already noticed, 
would seem merely to signify "caused to be shewn;" or in 
other words, the abbot only sent the documents. Caxton 
always appears to have recorded, in prologue or epilogue, the 


names of those by whom he was employed; and if he had 
received any favour or patronage from the abbot, he would in 
all likelihood have dedicated one of his numerous translations 
to him, as he did to so many of his patrons, some of whom, 
like Hugh Brjxe and William Praat, were plain " Mercers " 

It is unlikely, therefore, that Caxton went to Westminster 
by invitation of the abbot, or that he occupied any place 
within the church itself, or that he stood in any other rela- 
tion to the abbot than that of tenant. The rent-roll of the 
abbey was under the immediate charge of the abbot's cham- 
berlain, and with him Caxton would have to agree as to his 
tenure of "The Red-pale" in the Almonry. 

The reason of Caxton's preference for the Almonry is not 
at all evident, though his being a Mercer may, possibly, have 
had some connection with his choice, as the Mercers' Com- 
pany held certain tenements of the abbots of Westminster. 
Some of these were in the parish of St. Martin Otewich 
(Broad Street Ward), within the city walls ; and there was 
also a tenement called " The Pye," and another called " The 
Grehounde," the localities of which are not mentioned. The 
rents paid for these are duly entered in the " Renter Wardens' 
Account-books," at Mercers' Hall. But whatever induced 
Caxton to settle at Westminster, we may safely infer, from his 
own mention, not more than two or three years later, of " The 
Red-pale" as his house, that it was there he originally estab- 
lished himself, that there his translations were made and works 
printed, and that there, surrounded by his books and presses, 
and soothed by the loving attentions of his daughter, he 
breathed his last. 

Wynken de Worde, his immediate successsor, printed 
several books in the same place, dating them from " Caxton's 
house in Westminster." This phrase was considered, by the 
early biographers of Caxton, as proving that he had migrated 
from the side chapel, where they assumed he first set up his 
press, and established himself in a new residence. Bagford, 
with his usual fertility of invention, identified the very street 
and house into which Caxton moved, and assigned reasons 


for his ejection from the abbey. For many years an old 
house in the Almonry was currently believed to have been 
that in which our first printer dwelt ; but Mr. Nichols, who, 
as well as Knight, gives a T^^oodcut of it, is of opinion that 
the house could not be older than the time of Charles I. 
Upon its demolition in 184G, portions of the beams were 
made into walking-sticks and snuff-boxes, and presented to 
various patrons of literature as genuine relics of the famous 
printer. Interesting, indeed, would it have been if we could 
have identified the exact spot where the first press was placed 
on English soil, and still more so if we could have stood in 
the very room where Caxton worked ; but uncertainty hangs 
over all this part of our history. 

The printers of the fifteenth century, especially in Hol- 
land and Flanders, very frequently used armorial bearings for 
their trade-marks, the shield being repre- 
sented as hanging from the branch of a tree. 
A broad band do^Tn. the centre of the shield 
is, in heraldic language, called a " pale," and 
this, if painted red, would be a " red pale." 
Doubtless this was the sign used by Caxton 
to designate his house. The woodcut oppo- 
site, taken from Holtrop's " Monumens Typo- 
graphiques," pi. 71, shows a house of the 
fifteenth century, which has two tenants, both printei*s, each 
of whom has a sign. This was in Antwerp. The printers 
at Delff, in Holland, used a "black pale" for their 

"We have already mentioned " The Greyhound " as being 
held by the Mercers' Company from the Abbots of West- 
minster. From the same " Account-book " it appears that in 
1477 the "livelihode" made a "visitation," and "kept a 
dinner" at "The Greyhound," which cost them 26s Sd, be- 
sides 2d for washing the table-cloth. There is nothing to 
indicate the locality of this tenement ; but from the fact that 
mercers, as wtU as drapers, dealt largely in cloth and various 
woollen goods, they would necessarily be much interested in 
the great staple of wool, held at fixed intervals, not far from 



the abbey walls.* They would therefore require a place in 
the neighbourhood for meeting during their visitation which 

would, at the same time, afford them good accommodation for 
a dinner at its close. 

And here we may remark that, although so much of his 
attention was devoted to translating and printing, Caxton 
probably still took considerable interest in his old vocation. 
The wool-staple at Westminster was an important mart, and 
many of the merchants resorting thither were fellow mercers 

* Stow says the Abbots of Westminster had six wool-honses in the 
Staple granted them by King Henry VI. 


and benefactors to St. Margaret's Church. Some of them 
were also fellow members with Caxton of the "Fraternity 
or Guild of our Blessed Lady Assimiption." Several of the 
"Account-books" of this brotherhood are still preserved in 
the vestry of St. Margaret's ; and although they nowhere state 
its objects, it seems, from the entries of salaries paid to 
priests, from money spent in obits, wax, and vestments, and 
from the granting of a few pensions, to have been somewhat 
like the "benefit societies" of the j^resent day, with the addi- 
tional advantage of prayers for the repose of the souls of 
deceased members. And yet, if only a religious guild, it is 
not apparent why they required certain tenements in Alder- 
mary, which they leased of the Mercers' Company, not far 
from the Steel Yard of the Hanse merchants, w^here large 
quantities of raw wool were stapled. But whatever may have 
been the objects of this guild, their accounts, made up by 
their clerk every three years, show that towards the end of 
the fifteenth century they were in a flourishing state, mth a 
good balance to their credit; and that, on Midsummer-day, 
they, too, had a " general feast," on which they spent a large 
portion of their income. The expenses of these lavish feasts, 
each time filling at least two folio pages, are entered in the 
accounts mth gi-eat minuteness, from the amount paid to the 
"chief cok" as a reward (which Avas more than twelve guineas 
of modem money), down to the boat-hire for the " turbuts," 
and nearly £l for "pottes broken and wasted at the same 
fest." * Of this guild Caxton was a member for some years 
before his death. 

* After an entry of the payment of six priests' salaries, there occur — 
" Costes and pcelles allowed by the hole Brotherhode toward thexpenccs 
of the j^eiiall fest in iij'ie yere of this accorapt." 
These " Costs and Parcels " occupy two folio pages, and contain the 
following among other items : — 

*' A tonn of wyne vj li " 

" Paide to John Drayton chief sole for his re- 
ward XXV s " 
" Also for the hire of xxiiij doseyn of erthen 

pottes for ale & wyne iiij s " 


It is pleasant to think of our printer as retaining the 
friendship of the city merchants after all official relationship 
between them had been dissolved. That this was the case is 
proved by his warm eulogy of the City of London, and his 
continuance as a member of the Mercers' Company. He, no 
doubt, had many personal friends and supporters ; indeed, it 
would be hardly a stretch of the imagination to fancy that, 
during the holding of the great wool-staple at Westminster, 
Caxton would be no disinterested observer, and that at its 
close, when the wardens and the " livelihode " flocked to the 
"dener kept at the grehounde," if not there by right as a 
liveryman of the Mercers* Company, the printer would be 
always a welcome guest. Surely, before parting, in remem- 
brance of past associations and services one of the drinking 
pledges would be, " The health of William Caxton, late gover- 
nor of our fellowship beyond the sea." 

But to return to facts. There is no doubt that Caxton 
was residing in his tenement in the Almonry when he printed 
the " Dictes" in 1477. He would, therefore, be in the parish 
of St. Margaret : and it is somewhat remarkable that a person 
bearing the same name was buried there about two years 
later. In 1479 the parochial records show an entry among 

** Also for ertlien pottes broken & wasted at 

the same fest vj s viij d " 

" Also to iiij players for their labour xij s x d " 

" Also to iij mynstrelles ix s xd " 

" Also for the mete of diuers strangers xvj s " 

'* Also for russhes ij s iiij d " 

" Also for vj doseyn of white cnppes iij s " 

" Also for portage and botehyre of the Turbut iiij d " 

" Also for ix Turbutts xv s ij d " 

Besides scores of " Capons, chekyns, gese, conyes, and peioncs 

(pigeons), the chief "cok" provided them with "swannys" and 

" herons," with all sorts of fish, including oysters and '* see pranys," or 

prawns, with all sorts of meats and game, with jellies in " ix doscn gely 

dishes," and with abundance of fruits. The quantity of ale, wine, and 

ypocras provided by the butler is marvellous, and one cannot wonder at 

the heavy entries for "pottes and cnppes broken and wasted." The 

cook seems to have been paid much more liberally than the wardens, 

who had but xxx s between them " for their diligence." 


the receipts of the burial fees of twenty pence for two torches 
and three tapers at a low mass for William Caxton. Dibdin 
assumes this man to have been our printer's father : possibly 
so, but there is no evidence of kindred. We may notice, 
however, that although the amount paid may to us seem 
trifling, yet it was more than double the average burial fees 
of that period, as is evidenced by the same accounts. About 
this time the king ordered a payment of £30 (equal to £400 
or £450 now) to be made to Caxton for "certain causes or 
matters performed by him for the said Lord the King." 
Might not this have been for assistance to Edward IV and 
his retinue when fugitives at Bruges ? 

Caxton, as might be expected, held a high position in his 
parish ; and, within a very short time of his amval, his name 
appears as auditor of the parish accounts. The parish audit 
seems to have been a very simple affair. It was open to all 
the parishioners, and the accounts were probably read aloud 
by the clerk who was engaged by the churchwardens to keep 
them. The balance in cash, and the custody of the "trea- 
sures" in the church, were then handed over to the incoming 
wardens, and the names of the most substantial parishioners 
present were added by the clerk to the usual form declaring 
the correctness of the accounts. The business on these occa- 
sions, was fitly concluded by a good "supper." Caxton's 
name appears annexed to the audit for the years 1478-80, 
1480-82, 1482-84 ; and it would have been most gratifying 
to have found that the signatures at the end of these and 
other accounts were genuine autographs. All the names, how- 
ever, are in the same handwriting, which is that of the scribe 
or priest engaged to keep the parish books. 

Caxton did not enter upon his new adventure of printing 
books without good and able patronage. Edward IV, as we 
have seen, paid him a sum of money for certain ser\dces per- 
formed; and Caxton printed "Tully" and "Godfrey" under 
the king's "protection." Edward's sister Margaret, Duchess 
of Burgundy, was his friend and supporter, and perchance may 
have paid a visit to her old servant at the " Eed-pale," when 
she visited England in 1480. Margaret, Countess of Rich- 


raond, mother of King Henry VII, also favoured his designs. 
Earl Rivers, brother to the queen, was a fast friend, with 
whom Caxton seems to have enjoyed a considerable degree of 
intimacy, and the Earl of Warwick likewise must have had 
some knowledge of him, as Caxton dedicated to him the 
"Chess-Book." The "Order of Chivalry" was dedicated to 
Richard III. Henry VII personally desired Caxton to trans- 
late and print the "Fayts of Arms," and the "Eneydos" was 
specially presented to Arthur, Prince of Wales. Master 
William Daubeney, King Henry VI's treasurer, was his " good 
and synguler friend." William, Earl of Armidel, took great 
interest in his progress, and allowed him the "yearly fee" of 
a buck in summer and a doe in winter. Sir John Fastolf, 
a great lover of books, of whose library several volumes still 
exist; Hugh Bryce, mercer and king's ambassador; William 
Pratt, a rich mercer ; and divers unnamed " gentylmen and 
ladyes," are known to have employed him. Some of these, 
like the " noT)le lady with many faire doughters," for whom 
he produced "The Knyght of the Toure," engaged him to 
translate as well as to print. 

In 1486 death deprived Caxton of his old friend William 
Pratt, who, on his death-bed, requested him to print " The 
Book of Good Manners." The terms in which Caxton men- 
tions Pratt as a fellow mercer, an honest man, and " a singular 
friend of old knowledge," show that a close bond of union 
existed between the two. It is to be hoped that their mutual 
object — "the amendment of manners, and the increase of 
virtuous living" — ^w-as promoted by the publication. 

In 1490 died, and was buried at St. Margaret's, one 
"Mawde Caxton," of whose relationship to William Caxton 
there is no direct evidence. It may have been the Maude 
who, twenty-nine years earlier, became his mfe while he was 
yet in Bruges : if so, it will explain, in a most interesting 
manner, the reason why he in that year suspended printing 
the " Fayts of Arms," until he had finished a new under- 
taking, "The Arte and Crafte to Die Well." 

The history of Caxton after his settlement at Westminster 
is almost confined to a catalogue of the productions of his 



press. Fortunately many were printed from his own manu- 
script, and have additions which often afford the date of 
translation or of printing. The foUomng table presents an 
arrangement of these books, from which we may obtain some 




1477— Nov. 18... 
1478— Feb. 20... 
1479— Feb. 3... 

Mar. 24... 
1480— Apr. 22... 

June 10... 

Aug. 18... 
1481— Jan. 2... 

Mar. 8... 

Mar. 12... 

June 6... 

June 7... 

Aug. 12... 

Nov. 20... 
1482-Julv 2... 

Oct. 8... 
1483— June 1... 

June 6... 
June 30... 
Sept. 2... 
Not. 20... 
Dec. 23... 
1484— Jan. 31... 
Mar. 26... 

Sept.' 13... 
1485— June 18... 

July 31... 

Aug. 31... 

Dec. 1... 

Dec. 19... 
1480- June 8... 
1487— May 11... 
1489— Jan. 23... 

May 7... 

July 8... 

1490— June 15... 
June 22... 
July 14... 

Dictes, 1st edition (e) 
Moral Proverbs (e) 
Cordyale (b) 
Cordyale (c) 

Chronicles, 1st edit, (e) 
Description, 1st ed. (<?) 

vid, 15th Book (c)... 

Mirrour, 1st edit (&)... 
Mirrour, 1st edit. («)... 
Godfrey (b) 

Reynart, 1st edit. (6^)... 
Godfrey (e) 

Tully (e) 
Godfrey (e) 

Polycronicon (e) 

Chronicles, 2nd ed. (e) 

Knight of the Toure (e) 
JEiSoip (e) 

Pylgremage (<?) 
Festival (e) 
Confessio (<?) 
Golden Legend (e) 

Knight of the Tourc (e) 

^.sop (e) 

Order of Chivalry (e) 

Caton (e) 

Ryal Book (e) 

Charles (e) 

King Arthur (e) 

Charles (^0 

Paris and Vienne (e) 

Paris and Vienne {e) . 

Good Manners (e) 

Good Manners (<?) 

Fayts (b) 

Doctrinal (e) 

Favts (e) 

Directorium, 2nd ed. (c) 

Art and Craft (e) 

Enevdos (e^ 

Fayts (e) 

(ft) means begun. 

{c) means ended. 


idea of the time occupied in their translation and printing. 
The majority of Caxton's works, however, ])ear no date what- 
iever ; and here the only basis of a correct arrangement must 
be a careful examination and comparison of the peculiarities 
of the various types. In tliis table variations may be noticed 
from some of the dates as printed by Caxt<^)n ; but these are 
merely apparent discrepancies caused by the difference l^tween 
the old and new style of reckoning the commencement of the 
year, and aim by the custom, then so common, of dating by 
the regnal year of the sovereign. 

The same table shows that Caxton took ten weeks for the 
translation of the " Mirrour of the World," containing 198 
pages ; twelve weeks for " Godefroy of Bologne," 284 pages ; 
and nearly six months for " Fayts of Arms," 2SG pages. The 
period occupied in printing "Cordyale," 152 pages, was only 
seven weeks, whilst "Godfrey," supposing the printing imme- 
diately to follow the completion of the translation, took nearly 
six months. The " Knight of the Tower," 208 pages, required 
eight months ; " Charles the Gix^at," 188 pages, five and a half 
months ; " Paris and Yienne," 70 i>age8, three and a half 
months; "Good Manners," lo2 images, eleven months; and 
" Fayts of Arms," 286 pages, more than a year. 

Caxton's o^\^l translations made in this country were The 
Whole Life of Jason ; the Mirror of the World ; Reynart the 
Fox; Godfrey of BuUoyn; the Golden Legend; the book 
called Caton ; the Knight of the Tower ; ^sop's Fables ; the 
Order of Chivalry ; the Royal Book ; the Life of Charles the 
Great ; the History of the Knight Paris and the Fair Vienne ; 
the Book of Good Manners ; the Doctrinal of Sapience ; the 
Fayts of Arms ; the Art and Craft to Die Well ; Eneydos ; 
the Curial ; the Life of St. Winifred ; Blanchardin and Eglan- 
tine; the Four Sons of Aymon; and the Gouvernayle of 
Health. These contain more than 4,500 printed i)ages. The 
total produce of his press, excluding the liooks printed at 
Bruges, reaches to above 18,000 pages, nearly all of folio size. 
These figures speak more forcibly than any argument for the 
great industry and pei*8everance of Caxton ; and to this list 
must be added the translation of the "Yitfe Patnim," w'hich 


he finished only a few hours before his death, but did not 
live to print. 

Those who have blamed Gaxton for not choosing the 
Bible, or the works of Greece and Rome for the use and 
instruction of his countrymen, have quite overlooked the 
impossibility of making a business profitable (and Caxton 
tells us, in " Charles the Great," that he earned his living by 
it), unless it supplied the wants of the age. The demand in 
England in the fifteenth century was not for Bibles in the 
vernacular, nor for Horace, nor for Homer, whose ^\Titings 
very few could read in the original texts;* but the clergy 
wanted Service-books, and Caxton accordingly provided them 
with Psalters, Commemorations, and Directories ; the preachers 
wanted Sermons, and were supplied with the "Golden Legend," 
and other similar books ; the " prynces, lordes, barons, knyghtes 
& gentilmen" were craving for "joyous and pleysaunt his- 
toryes" of chivalry, and the press at the " Bed-pale" produced 
a fresh romance nearly every year. Poetry and history require 
for their appreciation a more advanced mental education, and 
of these, therefore, the issue was more scanty. By thus bring- 
ing his commercial experience to bear upon his new vocation, 
and by accommodating the supply to the demand, while, at 
the same time, he in no slight degree directed the channel 
in which that demand should flow, Caxton contrived to earn 
an honest living by the produce of his press, and to avoid 
the fate of his typographical brethren at Rome, Sweynheim 
and Pannartz, who, having printed too many works of the 

* The historian Gibbon regrets that in the choice of authors 
Caxton '* was reduced to comply with the vicious taste of his readers ; 
to gratify the nobles with treatises on heraldry, hawking {^Caxton 
printed notJiing of the sorf^y and the game of Chess ; and to amuse 
the popular credulity with romances of fabulous knights and legends of 
some fabulous saints. The father of printing expresses a laudable desire 
to elucidate the liistor}' of his country ; but instead of publishing the 
the Latin chronicle of Kadulphus Higden {^wJiich very few could liave 
read'] he could only venture on the English version by John de Trevisa 
.... the world is not indebted to England for one frstt edition of a 
classic author! " 


classic authors, about 12,000 volumes in five years, became 
bankrupt, and sank under the dead weight of their unsold 

Thus, in the selection of books for his press, some of 
which he obtained "with grete instaunce, labour, and coste" 
— in translating and printing — in friendly communication 
and intercourse with the best educated men of his day — in 
the discharge of the social duties of his position — Oaxton 
passed the few remaining years of his life. In 1491, when 
close upon seventy years of age, but still in full vigour of 
mind, he undertook the translation of the "Vitas Patrum." 
Whether disease was at this time gradually undermining his 
health, or whether, as the following colophon renders more 
probable, he was taken off suddenly, is unknoT^^l ; but it is 
an interesting fact that he was spared to work at his favoiuite 
task of translation till within a few hours of his death. 

The following is Wynken de Worde's colophon to the 
" Vit^e Patrum : " — " Thus endyth the moost vertuouse hys- 
torye of the deuoute and right renowned ly^-es of holy faders 
lyuynge in deserte, worthy of remembraunce to all wel dysposed 
persones which hath be translated oute of Frenche into 
Englisshe by William Oaxton of Westmjiistre late deed and 
fynysshed at the laste daye of hys lyff," 

The exact date of his death has not been ascertained ; but 
the burial is entered in the parish accounts for 1490-92, and 
from the position of the entry would appear to have taken 
place towards the close of the year 1491. .This date is con- 
finned by the following manuscript note, quoted by Ames : — 
"There is wrote dowTi in a very old hand in a Fnwtm 
Tpmpoi'um of my friend Mr. Ballard's, of Cambden, in Glou- 
cestershire : — * Of your charitee pray for the soul of Mayster 
Wyllyam Caxton, that in hys time was a man of moche oniate 
and moche renommed Avysdome and connyng, and decessed 
fill crystenly the yere of our Lord MCCCC lxxxxj.' " 

" Moder of Merci shyld him fro thorribul fynd, 
And bryng hym to lyff eternall that ucuyr hath }Tid.'* 

He was buried in his o^^^l parish churchyard, and in the 


account-books of the churchwardens appear the ft)llowin^ 
funeral charges : — 

Item atte Burcyng of William Caxton for iiij torches ... vj s viij d 
Item for the belle atte same bureyng vj d 

These fees are considerably higher than those paid by the 
majority of the parishioners, and ai-e equalled in but very few 
instances; they thus afford farther evidence of the superior 
position held by our printer in his parish. 

Caxton's property consisted probably of little more than 
his stock in trade. He nevertheless left a will, as fifteen 
copies of the "Golden Legend" are recorded in the parish 
accounts as having been " bequothen to the chirch Ixihove by 
WiUiam Caxston." The " Golden Legend " was first printed 
in 1484, but the second edition, of which the bequest proba- 
bly consisted, was not executed till four or five years later. 
By the churchwardens' account for 1496-98, it appears that 
by that time they had disposed of three of the fifteen copies : 
one for 6s Sd, and another for 6s 4^, by the agency of William 
Ryolle ; and one for Gs Sd to the parish priest, probably for 
his own use. Within the next two years William Geiffe 
took five copies at an average of 5s 4:d each ; John Crosse 
one copy at 5s 8^; Walter Marten one at 5s 11^; and Daniel 
Aforge one at 5s 10^; another being sold in "Westmynster 
halle" for 5s 8^. This should have left remaining, in 1500, 
four copies to be accounted for, but the "Memorandum" 
acknowledges only th?^ee ; probably one copy had been appro- 
priated by the churchwardens to the use of their church. 
Two more copies were sold in the ensuing two years, and one 
left unaccounted for. 

The discovery of Caxton's will would probably settle satis- 
factorily many questions about his family and relations, but 
all the registries in which it might possibly have been depo- 
sited have been searched without success. 

That our knowledge of William Caxton is confined ahnost 
entirely to his public life, is much to be regretted. We can 
trace to some extent his career in commerce as well as in 
diplomacy. As a printer too, we can judge of him by an 


examination of his works ; but when we wish to portray the 
man as a master, or in domestic life, or we desire to know 
what his neighbours thought of him, we fail for want of reliable 
material. From his appending a bitter satire on " women " 
to the " Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers," we might 
have inclined to think him a bachelor, did we not know that 
he had a wife and daughter when he came to England ; but 
that he was unmarried while " governor " at Bruges is almost 
certain, as the rules of celibacy were very strict among mer- 
chants living out of their own countries. The Steel Yard 
merchants had a stringent law on the subject, and the Mer- 
chant Adventurers were doubtless guided by the same policy. 
We naturally turn to the prologues and epilogues attached 
to Caxton's translations for traits of character, but here again, 
we are surrounded by difficulties. There existed in those 
days no rights in literature. Every author took from others 
what best suited his puri)ose, and that without acknowledg- 
ment, except to give authority to his o\^ii opinions. This 
practice has involved many of the worlds of that period in 
considerable obscurity. Caxton was not free from this charac- 
teristic of his age, and we accordingly find him appropriating 
whole prologues and epilogues from the French originals, 
altering them only when inapplicable to himself Such in- 
stances may be seen in the "Chess Book," the "Mirror," 
the " Golden Legend," " Charles," and others. Great care is 
therefore requisite to distinguish between Caxton's o\^ii 
thoughts and the mere translation of those of others. But, 
after making due allowance for all this, there yet remains, 
in Caxton's prologues and epilogues, a substratum of indi- 
viduality, which muist be the basis for any right appreciation 
of his character. His repeated eulogies of Edward IV, and 
the members of his family, indicate that all his political 
sympathies were with the House of York. This wiis but 
natural, for the development of trade consetiuent upon amity 
between England and the princes of the Low Countries, made 
all the English merchants staunch adherents to the White 
Rose. His AVTitings also reveal that he had a deep sense of 
religion, and was strict in the observance of his Christian 


duties. Although in one sense the greatest reformer that this 
country has ever known, he was quite unconscious of the 
tendency of the art wliich he introduced. In the tone of his 
mind he was indeed eminently conservative, comparing the 
good old times of his apprenticeship mth the degeneracy of 
the succeeding generations, when in the youth of London there 
was " no kernel nor good corn found, but chaff for the most 
part." Much concerned was he to note in his latter days the 
decline of chivalry, and he urged his Sovereign to take imme- 
diate measures for its revival, even to the extent of engaging 
in a new crusade against the Turks for the recovery of the 
" holy cyte of Jherusalem." Conservative as he was in theory, 
there seems reason to believe that he was no less so in practice. 
Caxton never gave in to the new-fangled ideas of printers 
about the advantage of title-pages to books, though if we may 
judge from the fact of Wynken de Worde using them imme- 
diately after his master's death, he was of the reverse opinion. 
In the adoption of signatures, initials, and lines of an even 
length, he was very tardy, and from the use of red ink he was 
evidently averse. 

As a linguist, Caxton undoubtedly excelled. In his native 
tongue, notwithstanding his self-depreciation, he seems to 
have been a master. His Amtings, and the style of his trans- 
lations, will bear comparison Mith Lydgate, with Gower, with 
Earl Rivers, the Earl of Worcester, and other contempo- 
raneous writers. Many of his readers, indeed, thought him 
too " ornate " and " over curious " in his diction, and desired 
him to use more homely terms ; but, since others found fault 
with him for not using polished and courtly phrases, we may 
fairly presume that he attained the happy medium, " ne over 
rude, ne over curious," at which he aimed. When excited by 
a favourite subject, as the "Order of Chivalry," he waxed 
quite eloquent ; and the appeal of Caxton to the knighthood 
of England, has been often quoted as a remarkable specimen 
of fifteenth-century declamation. AYith the French tongue 
he was thoroughly conversant, although he had never been in 
France ; but Bruges was almost French, and in the Court of 
Burgundy, as well as in that of England, French was the 


chief medium of conversation. With Flemish he was also 
well acquainted, as shown by his translation of " Reynart ;" 
indeed, this language, after so long a residence in Bruges, 
must have become almost his mother-tongue. 

Caxton's knowledge of Latin has often been denied or 
underrated ; but as goveni(fr of the EngUsh nation in Bruges, 
and as ambassador, he must have been able to read the 
treaties he assisted to conclude, and the correspondence )i\ith 
the king's council. Moreover, he printed books entirely in 
the Latin tongue, some of which were full of contractions, 
and could only ha^'e been undertaken by one well acquainted 
with that language. These were the "Infancia Salvatoris," 
three editions of the "Directorium Sacerdotum," a "Psal- 
terium," " Horae," " Tractatus de Transfiguracione," and 
several "Indulgences." To "ordain in print" a Latin manu- 
script of the fourteenth or fifteenth century required a 
knowledge of the language on the part of the workman as well 
a£ of the master ; for, as the letters n and u were identical in 
shape, and as m and t varied only in the number of strokes, 
the latter being without a dot, it was impossible to read some 
words — for instance, mitiiiiiuiii (minimum), where fifteen 
parallel strokes distract the eye — apart from their context. 
We have, however, in the English translation of the " Golden 
Legend" positive evidence on this point; for, in the "Life 
of Saynt Rocke," the printer says, "which lyff is translated 
oute of latyn in to englysshe by me wyllyam Caxton." 

As translator, editor, and author, Caxton has not received 
his due meed of praise. The works wliich he undertook at 
the suggestion of his patrons, as well as those selected by 
himself, are honestly translated, and, considering the age in 
which he lived, are well chosen. Romances, the favourite 
literature of his age, were Caxton's great delight — and that 
not merely for the feats of personal prowess which they nar- 
rated, although no quality was more desirable in the fifteenth 
century, but rather, a« he himself says, for the examples of 
"courtesy, humanity, friendliness, hardiness, love, cowardice, 
murder, hate, \'irtue, and sin," which " inflamed the hearts of 
the readers and hearere to eschew and flee works vicious and 


dishonest." In Poetry Caxton shows to great advantage, for 
he printed all the works of any merit which then existed. 
The prologue to his second edition of the " Canterbury Tales" 
proves how anxious he was to be correct, and at the same 
time shows the difficulty he had in obtaining manuscripts 
free from error. The poetical reverence with which Caxton 
speaks of Chaucer, " the first founder of ornaie eloquence in 
our English," and the pains he took to reprint the " Canter- 
bury Tales " when a purer text than that of his first edition 
was offered to him, show his high appreciation of England's 
first great poet. In History the only available works in 
English were the "Chronicle of Brute" and the "Polycroni- 
cou;" the latter Caxton carried down, to the best of his 
ability, to nearly his owii time. It was, indeed, as a writer of 
history that Caxton was best knoTNoi to our older authors, some 
of whom, while including his name among those of English 
historians, have overlooked the far more important fact that 
he was also England's prototypographer. 

AU reference to the literary forgery of Atkyns, who, in the 
seventeenth century, to support his claim to certain exclusive 
privileges of printing under the king's patent, invented the 
foolish story of the abduction, by Tumour and Caxton, of one 
of the Haarlem workmen, and his settlement at Oxford in 
1464, has here been purposely omitted. The whole account is 
so evidently false, so entirely at variance with the known facts 
in Caxton's history, and has been so often disproved in works 
on English typography, that it needs no further refutation. 

As to Caxton's industry, it was marvellous : at an age when 
most men begin to take life easily, he not only embarked in 
an entirely new trade, but added to the duties of its general 
supervision and management, which could never have been 
light, the task of supplying his workmen with copy from his 
own pen. The extraordinary amount of printed matter, 
original, and translated, which he put forth has already been 
noticed ; but there seems reason to beheve that some of his 
works, both printed and manuscript, have been entirely lost. 
Of his translation of the " Metamorphoses of Ovid," only Book 
XV has been preserved ; but we may be certain that Caxton 


never would have begun to translate at the end of a work ; 
and it seems probable, as the manuscript is evidently intended 
for the press, that the whole was printed as well as translated. 
Moreover several of Caxton's works being unique, and others 
having been but recently discovered, we may conclude that 
time will yet reveal to us other specimens. 

Great interest would attach to a veritable portrait of 
Caxton, but although two or three have been published, they 
are all apocryphal. The only one that has any appearance 
of probability is the small defaced illumination in the maim- 
gcript of " Dictes and Sayings" at Lambeth Palace, which has 
received too much praise from Horace Walpole, who engraved 
it for his " Royal and Noble Authors." King Edward IV is 
represented on his throne, with the young prince (to whom 
Earl Rivers was tutor) standing by his side: there are two 
kneeling figures, one of which. Earl Rivers, is presenting to 
the king a copy of his own translation, which Horace Walpole 
assumes to have been printed by the other, who of course 
would then be Caxton. If this were the case it would be 
very interesting ; but unfortunately the second figure is evi- 
dently an ecclesiastic, as shown by his tonsure, and apparently 
represents " Hay wardc " the scribe, who engrossed the copy, 
and probably executed the illumination. The portrait com- 
monly received as that of Caxton, and which first appeared in 
his " Life," by Lewis, is thus accounted for by Dr. Dibdin : — 
" A portrait of BurcMeUo, the Italian poet, from an octavo 
edition of his work on Tuscan poetry, of the date of 1554, 
was inaccurately copied by Faithorne for Sir Hans Sloane, as 
the portrait of Caxton." In Lewis's " Life," this portrait was 
"improved" by adding a thick beard to Burchiello's chin, and 
otherwise altering his character ; and in this form the Italian 
poet made his appearance, upon copper, as Caxton. Ames, 
Herbert, Marchand, and others, have reproduced this absurd 
engraving. From a note, however, TVTitten by Lewis to Ames, 
it appears that, although Lewis admitted the portrait, it was 
Bagford's creative genius that invented it, as may also be 
inferred from Lewis's own subscription " mv. Bafifard," upon 
the plate. 


As an instance of his appreciation of a higher life than can 
be obtained from riches alone, we will quote an anecdote which 
Caxton himself wrote, and added as an appendix to " JSsop's 

" There were dwelling in Oxford two priests, both Masters 
of Art, of whom that one was quick and could put himself 
forth, and that other was a good simple priest. And so it 
happened that the master that was pert and quick was anon 
promoted to a benefice or two, and after to prebends, and for 
to be a dean. So after long time this worshipful man, this 
dean, came riding into a good parish with ten or twelve 
horses, like a prelate, and came into the church of the said 
parish, and found there tliis good simple man, sometime his 
fellow, which came and welcomed him lowly. And that other 
bade him. Good morrow. Master John, and took him slightly 
by the hand and axed him where he dwelled. And the good 
man said. In this parish. How ! said he. Are ye here a 
soul-priest or a parish-priest ? Xay, sir, said he ; for lack of 
a better I am parson and curate of this parish. Then that 
other availed his bonnet and said. Master parson, I pray you 
be not displeased, I had supposed you not to be beneficed; 
but, master, said he, I pray you, what is this benefice worth 
to you a year ? Forsooth, said the good simple man, I wot 
not, for I make never account thereof, although I have had 
it four or five yeai-s. And know you not what it is worth ! 
it should seem a good benefice? No, forsooth, said he; 
but I wot well what it shall be worth to me. Why, said he, 
what shall it be worth ? Forsooth, if I do my true dihgence 
in the cure of my parishioners in preaching and teaching, and 
do the part belonging to my cure, I shaU have heaven therefor. 
And if their souls be lost, or one of them by my default, 1 
shall he punished therefor, and hereof am I sure. And with 
that word the rich dean was abashed. This was a good answer 
of a good priest and and honest." 

No attempt has been made in the preceding sketch to 
exalt Caxton at the expense of historical truth. As England's 
first typographer, a never-dying interest will surround his 
name. Except as a printer, he nowhere shines forth pre- 



eminent. But although we cannot attribute to him those 
rare mental powers which can gra«p the hidden laws of nature, 
nor the still more rare creative genius which endures through- 
out all time, we can claim for him a character which attracted 
the love and respect of his associates — a character on which 
history has chronicled no stain — a character which, although 
surroimded, through a long period of civil war, by the worst 
forms of cruelty, hypocrisy, and injustice in Church and State, 
retained to the last its innate simplicity and truthfiilness. 



HE question of the exact spot upon which 
England's first printing press was estab- 
lished has already been discussed. The 
well-kno^^^l advertisement of Caxton, 
which states that pies of Salisbury use 
were on sale at the "Red-pale," in the 
almonry, at Westminster, not only indicates the position of 
his house, but also the sign by Avhich it was known. The 
precise appearance of the almonry in the fifteenth century 
nnist be to some extent imaginary, but we know that alms- 
houses were there, and probably two or three structures besides 
that occupied by Caxton. 

We will now ask the reader to imagine fourteen years 
passed since Caxton first began working at his new art. It 
is not difficult to picture the wooden building in the almonry 
occupied by his sedate but busy workmen. We can look in 
at yonder window, and see the venerable master printer him- 
self "sittjiig in his studye where lay many and dyuerse 
paunflettis and bookys." The great towers of Westminster 
Abbey cast their shadow across the room, for he is an early 
riser and already at work upon his translation of the new 
French romance, called "Eneydos." The "fayre and ornate 
termes" of his author give him "grete plasyr," and he 
labours, almost without intermission, till the low sun, blazing 
from the western windows, w-ams him of the day's decline. 


Again, we watch him pass with observant eye through the 
rooms where his servants are at work ; we see the movements 
of the Compositors, who ply their rapid fingers close to the 
narrow windows ; we hear the thud-thud of the wooden presses 
as the workmen "pull to" and "send home" the "bar," 
discussing meanwhile the latest news; and we sympathise 
with the binder, who, hammering away at the volume between 
his knees, looks in despair at the ever-increasing progeny of 
his master's art. Piles of books and printed " quayers " rise 
on all sides, and many a wise head is ominously shaken at the 
folly of supposing that purchasers can be found for so many 
books. Nevertheless Caxton pursues his busy course, ever at 
work with mind and body, preparing copy for the press, and 
guiding and instructing his workmen in the art which he had 
learned in Bruges at " grete charge and dispense," and the 
practices of which are to be explained in the following 

Of all the workmen employed at the " Red-pale," the names 
of three only have descended to us. 

Wynken de "Worde, who was probably a native of the 
town of Worth in Belgium, appears to have been the chief 
man. When he entered Caxton's service is unknown ; it was 
probably at an early age, as he was still living in the year 
1535. In 1491 he succeeded to the stock in trade of his 
deceased master, but he did not append his ovm name to his 
books until 1493. He used many varieties of Caxton's " mark." 

Richard Pynson speaks respectfully of Caxton as " my 
worshipful master." He at first set up a press just outside 
Temple Bar, and used Caxton's device in his books. 

William Copland remained for some time after Caxton's 
death in the service of Wynken de Worde. He, too, in his 
prologue to "Kynge Apolyne of Thyre," mentions "my 
master Caxton." Doubtless there were many others, and some 
have supposed that Machlinia, Lettou, and Tr^eris were 
among the number; but there is no evidence that these 
printers were ever reckoned among Caxton's workmen. 

We come now to the mechanical means by which, during 
fourteen years, Caxton carried on his business. Was the 


process of book-making the same as it is at the present 
time ? What sorts of types, and how many founts were 
used ? How were the types made, and what were their sizes ? 
Did the compositors use upper and lower case, sticks, chases, 
brass rule, reglets, farniture, and the various appliances of a 
modern composing-room ? What were the presses like, and 
the practices of the pressmen ? And lastly. In what form 
were Caxton's books issued to the public ? To most of these 
questions it would, at first sight, seem as though no definite 
answer could be given ; but when attention is directed to the 
books themselves, undesigned, and therefore most trustworthy, 
evidence will be fomid in them as to many technical customs 
and peculiarities of the early printers. 

Before the invention of printing, the art of book-making, 
mechanically considered, was divided into three departments : 
the manufacture of the material upon which to Avrite, almost 
entirely parchment or vellum ; the ink making and the writ- 
ing, the scribe being his own ink maker ; and the binding. 
Illuminators there were, of course, but their work was merely 
ornamental, and by no means necessary to the idea of a book. 
In monasteries famous for the diffusion of learning all these 
branches were carried on together. So- has it been with 
printers, who, from the infancy of their art to the present 
time, have occasionally included everything necessary to a 
perfect book in one establishment. If all the trades which, 
either directly or indirectly, are called into operation by 
printers were to be enumerated, few indeed would be omitted ; 
nevertheless, the absolute necessaries for the production of a 
book are — the material upon which to print, the types and 
presses mth which to print, and the workmen to handle them. 
We will, therefore, consider Caxton's books under the follow- 
ing heads : — 

The paper. j To these may be added, al- 

The types. | though not as necessary 

The compositor. | assistants : 

The press, the pressman, 

and the ink. 
The bookbinder. 

The rubricator, illuminator, 
and wood-engTaver. 



Fortunately, there is no need to enter here upon the 
obscure origin of the manufacture of paper. The only ques- 
tion which concerns us is — What kind of paper did C ax ton 
use, and whence did he obtain it ? He certainly had several 
sizes ; the largest, which was probably found too unwieldy, was 
used only for the first two editions of the " Golden Legend," 
an uncut copy of which, in the University Library at Cam- 
bridge, gives 22 X 15| inches for the full measurement of a 
whole sheet. The large size of this ' book was, doubtless, 
suited to its intended use — ^in the public services of the 
church. He likewise used several smaller sizes, which varied 
according to the moulds in which the sheets were made, from 
18i X 13 inches to 16 x 11 inches. 

The quality of the paper varied considerably, though not 
to the extent apparent in the books as they now exist — 
chemical " doctoring " and washing, which have in many 
instances been resorted to for cleansing purposes, having 
weakened and rotted much of the paper so treated, whilst 
the untouched specimens remain strong and fibrous. We 
observe in books still in the original bindings, and apparently 
untouched, that the paper was rough — sometimes very rough 
— on the surface, with long hairs frequently imbedded in it, 
and marks where many more had been removed ; of a strong 
fibrous texture, unbleached, and of a clear mellow whiteness, 
indicating an absence of colouring matter in the pulp. 

The axicompanying woodcut shows a paper-mill of this 
period. A water-wheel was arranged to turn a wooden shaft 
upon which were rows of cogs which continually hfted up to 
the height of a few inches a number of wooden pestles, and 
then let them fall upon the material, which was always in 
shallow water. The whole of the fibre was thus retained with 
its length and strength uninjured. Wlien the pulp was ready 
it was taken up, in small quantities, into the hand-mould, 
and formed into a sheet. There would be no difficulty what- 
ever in making paper nowadays in a similar manner, only no 
one in the trade would spare the time and labour, and no one 




out of the trade would pay for the cost and trouble of its 

The unevenness in thickness and colour to which the 
manufacture was liable at this early period, appears to have 
necessitated a sorting of the sheets after they came from the 
mill ; those nearest to each other in colour and weight being 
put together. This system of selection was adopted occa- 
sionally for single copies, economy being doubtless the induce- 
ment. When two or three examples of a book can be com- 
pared together this fact is often very evident, as in the two 
copies of "The Knight of the Tower" which are in the 
British Museum, where the variation in quality is too great 
to be accounted for except by this practice of selection. 
Several other instances show that Caxton, when preparing to 
print a new volume, told off the paper separately for certain 
copies. This custom also accounts for the astonishing variety 
of water-marks frequently found in one volume. 

Some possessors of uncut specimens of Caxton's press have 
imagined them to be " large paper copies," but we have no 
evidence that Caxton designedly printed special copies, except, 
perhaps, in the instances of the vellum " Doctrinal " and 


" Directorium," hereafter to be noticed, but of these the 
appearance is by no means that of livres de luxe. 

Watermarks are of much less value in bibliography than 
some writers have ima^ned. In but very few instances can 
a hmit of time be fixed for their use ; and as the marks might 
be repeated, or the paper itself kept for any length of time, 
and imported to any place, they cannot be used as evidence 
either of the date when, or the place where, a book passed 
through the press. The arms of France — three fleurs-de-lis 
on a shield, surmounted by a crown — ^which appear as a 
watermark in "Le Recueil des Histoires de Troyes," have 
been adduced by M. Bernard as evidence of the French origin 
of the printed work. He was doubtless unaware that the same 
watermark appears in " The Eecuyell," " Canterbury Tales," 
1st edition, "Mirrour," 1st edition, "Jason," "Chronicles," 
"Polycronicon," "Speculum Vitae Christi," "Dictes," 2nd 
edition, and many others, embracing the whole of Caxton's 
typographical career. When, however, paper bears the arms 
of a nation or a city, Ave may, in such a case, fairly conjecture, 
although not with certainty, the seat of its manufacture. It 
appears likely that all Caxton's paper was imported from the 
Low Countries, and it was in all probability purchased from 
some old connection in the great mart of Bruges. But where- 
ever obtained, there was a great intermixture of quaUties, 
including the make of several mills. "We have never yet seen 
one of Caxton's books in which the same watermark runs 
through the whole volume, and in many cases the variety is 
astonishing. Thus, in a copy of the first edition of the 
" Canterbury Tales," now in the library of Mr. Huth, there 
appear no less than fifteen distinct watermarks. 

A few of the marks found in Caxton's books are here 
given. As already remarked, they indicate the Low Coun- 
tries as the land of their origin, and most of them are found 
also in the block-books, the works of Colard Mansion, Gerard 
Leeu, and other early printers. 

No. 1. The Bull's Head, which appears in the earliest speci- 
mens of paper known, and was a favourite symbol with 

H 2 



No. 1. 

No. 4. 


No. 5. 

No. 6. 


paper makers of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. 
The varieties of it are very numerous. 

No. 2. The Arms of John the Fearless, son of Philip the 
Hardy. As eldest son the field is charged with a label : 
the superimposed cross referring to his crusade in 1395. 
This and the six succeeding marks have a direct 
connection with the ruling dynasty in Flanders and the 
Low Countries. 

No. 3. The letter p is very common in Caxton's books, and 
is perhaps the initial of Philip the Good ; although 
paper bearing a p had also been made in the reign of 
Philip the Hardy. Its varieties are very numerous. 

No. 4. The letter g is thought by Sotheby to be the initial 
of Ysabel, third wife of Philip the Good. 

Mr. Sotheby, in his hst of Caxton's watermarks, 
mentions the p and g combined, as occurring in the 
British Museum copy of "Jason." During a careful 
search, however, in the same copy, I was unable to 
detect any such mark. 

No. 5. The Unicorn — a symbol of powder adopted by PhiUp 
the Good, who chose two unicorns as supporters of his 
coat-of-arms. The same figure was used extensively as 
an ornament in his palace and furniture. 

No. 6. The Arms of France. These were frequently used by 
paper-makers of the Low Countries, probably in refer- 
ence to the direct descent of the House of Burgundy 
from the Kings of France. 

No. 7. The Arms of Champagne. This province was ceded 
to the Duke of Burgundy in 1430 by the King of 

No. 8. The Hand, over which is a single fleur-de-lis, the 
peculiar badge of the House of Burgundy. 
In Caxton's books the p is the most common among the 

watermarks, the order of frequency among the others being 

as follows : — The Hand or Glove ; the Arms of Champagne ; 

the Bull's Head ; the Arms of France ; the Greyhound ; the 

the Arms of John the Fearless ; Shears ; a Pot ; an Anchor ; 

an Unicorn ; a Bull ; a Cross ; Grapes ; a Pelican, &c. 


The reader curious on this point may see numerous other 
watermarks figured by Mr. Sotheby in the third volume of his 
" Principia Typograpliica." Many of these are merely varia- 
tions of the mark, the paper being made in the same mould. 
An accidental injury, or even the wear and tear of the mould 
by constant use, often caused a contortion of the wires. In 
rare instances the watermark occurs uninjured in shape, but 
quite at the edge of the paper. This has been accounted 
for by supposing the fine wires which held the watermark 
in its place on the mould to have become loosened by decay, 
or some accident, and so allowed the mark to slide along the 
face of the mould, but it is more probably caused by the use 
of large sheets of paper cut down to a smaller size. 

Of the value of paper in Caxton's time we may form some 
idea from the prices paid by the directors of the Kipoh press, 
at Florence, between 1474 and 1483. An originaT "Cost 
book" of this establishment is still extant in the Magliabechian 
library at Florence. It is one of the most interesting docu- 
ments connected with early typography, and has been edited 
and published by the Padre Vincenzio Fineschi. From this 
it appears that the following nine sizes or qualities of paper 
were then in use, the EngUsh prices given being about the 
present equivalent, reckoning the lira at 3s 9^?. 


1. Large paper of Bologna in common folio, about £l 4 2 

2. Middling ditto ditto . . 33 2 J 

3. Small ditto ditto . . 11 3^ 

4. Paper of Fabriauo, with a crossbow for water- 

mark 12 4J 

5. Ditto, with a cross for watermark .... 8 7^ 

6. Paper of CoUe 8 7^ 

7. Paper of Prato 9 4J 

8. Paper of Pescia, with spectacks for watermark 10 10 J 

9. The same, with a ^Zoi'e for watermark ... 9 

Zanetti quotes a document, dated 1483, which states the 
price of paper in Florence to have been, at that period, for 
" Carta reale, quaderni 10... 3 lir. 6 sol.8d ;" and for " Carta da 


Bcrivere il quademo...l8 sol.;" that is, royal paper about 
12s 5d per ten quires, and writing paper 3s 4^ per quire. 

The first paper maker in England was John Tate. He 
manufactured specially for Caxton's successor, Wynken de 
Worde, who thus announces the fact in his edition of " Bar- 
tholoma3us de Proprietatibus," printed about the year 1498 : — 

"And John Tate the younger, 

Joye mote he broke, 
Whiche late hath in Englond doc 

Made this paper thynne, • 

That now in oure englisshe 

This boke is prynted Innc." 

Tate, who died in 1514, and whose A\ill is preserved in the 
principal registry of the Court of Probate, left considerable 
property, several of his legacies being in paper. 

It is somewhat remarkable that Caxton should have made 
so sparing a use of vellum for his books, and should have been 
so indifferent about the quality of the skins which he did 
employ. The only examples known are a copy of the " Doc- 
trinal of Sapience," at Windsor Castle, for a long time thought 
to be unique, and a "Speculum vitas Christi," now in the 
British Museum, to which may be added a few slips on which 
Indulgences are printed. 


The question of the invention of moveable types, like that 
of the origin of paper, is one into which we have no need 
here to enter. The majority of writers on this subject having 
been unacquainted with the characteristics of type, have 
strayed far and wide in the discussion. M. Bernard, however, 
WTiting as a practical printer, has done much to dispel 
numerous misapprehensions, and especially that common 
error of supposing that the first moveable types were cut in 

We now proceed to lay before the reader the earliest 
notices of typefounders, and such evidence as may explain the 
mechanics of typefounding in the fifteenth century, especially 
with reference to the types of Caxton. 


Perhaps no part of the Typographic Art is hidden in more 
utter darkness than the early manufacture of the types. 
Oonsiderable secrecy no doubt accompanied all the operations 
of the first printers, and was maintained down to a com- 
paratively late period. Moreover, it was but natural that the 
results of the new art should hold a more prominent place 
in men's minds than the processes by which those results 
were produced, and thus, although printers and printing were 
often mentioned, we find nothing concerning the mechanical 
part of typefounding anterior to that curious little book of 
trades, with illustrations by Jost Amman, which was issued at 
Frankfort in 1568 The author, in the few lines which accom- 
pany the illustration, omits all reference to the process, but, 
from the woodcut of the " SchriflFfcgiesser " and his tools, we 
shall further on draw some practical inferences concerning 
early typefounding. 

Whether Caxton, whose account of his first typographical 
venture is contained in the prologue to the Third Book of 
" The Recuyell," made himself acquainted with the manufac- 
. ture as well as with the use of his types there is no evidence 
to prove. He simply remarks, " Therefore I have practysed 
and lerned at my grete charge and dispense to ordeyne this 
said book in prynte." If he only procured types and presses, 
and the requisite knowledge to control their use, it no doubt 
cost him a considerable sum. The probability is that his first 
two founts were cast at Bruges according to his instructions, 
and that he brought the second over with him to Westminster. 
But, when once settled in his native country, we may weU 
consider whether he would not, for convenience sake, have 
become his own typefounder. No stray hint or remark can 
be found to incline us to the one opinion or the other. 
Several generations of printers passed away before we find in 
any work the slightest allusion to English typefounders. The 
earliest appears in Archbishop Parker's preface to Asser's 
Chronicle of King Alfred, where, in speaking of the Saxon 
types with which the book was printed, the editor states that 
as far as he knew. Day, the printer, was the first to cut 
them : — " lam ver5 cumDayus typographus primus (& omnium 


certe quod sciam solus) has formulas seri inciderit : facile quae 
Saxonicis Uteris perscripta sunt, iisdem typis diuulgabuntur." 
This leads us to suppose that John Day was only one type- 
founder among others, and that therefore the art was at that 
time by no means a novel one in England. Seventy years 
later we find typefounding a distinct trade in London, and 
under rigid Government protection, as we learn from the 
following decree : — 

"Decreed by the Court of Starre-Chamber, 11th July, 

"That there shall be Four Founders of letters for 

printing and no more. 
"That the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Bishop 

of London, with Six other High Commissioners, 

shall supply the places of those four as they shall 

become void. 
"That no master Founder shall keep above two 

Apprentices at one time." 
Despite this restrictive care, however, the typefounders of 
Holland and Flanders supplied English Printers with better 
types than native art could produce, until the estabhshment 
of a foundry by the first Caslon. 

The only English author before the rise of encyclopsedias, 
who described the process of type manufacture was Joseph 
Moxon. This ingenious author, writing in 1683, gives an 
account of the whole Art of Printing, as practised in an im- 
proved style by himself, and devotes several chapters to the 
various methods of punch cutting, matrix sinking, and type 
founding. The process then adopted was very similar to that 
still in use, and difiered greatly from that of Caxton, or 
Caxton's typefounder. The practice of Moxon, like that of 
modern typefounders, was to cut each letter in relief on a 
piece of steel to form the punch — to strike this punch into a 
small piece of copper, which made the matrix — and then to 
fit this matrix to the bottom of an iron mould into which the 
liquid metal was poured. The mould, which formed the 
shank of the type, was capable of a sliding adjustment, 
widthwisc, to the width of the various letters (from an i to 


an ^); the depth or size of the bodi/ always remaining 
the same throughout the fount. Thus, by using each matrix 
successively in the same mould, exactness in size of body was 

The want of this exactness, indicated by the uneven appear- 
ance of the lines, and other considerations, lead to the con- 
clusion that the fifteenth-century printers did not practise 
this method, but is very difficult even to speculate upon that 
which they did employ in the production of their types. The 
examination of many specimens has led me to conclude that 
two schools of typography existed together. The ruder con- 
sisted of those printers who practised their art in Holland 
and the Low Countries, and who, by degrees only, adopted 
the better and more perfect methods of the school founded 
in Germany by the celebrated trio — Fust, Gutenberg, and 
Schoeffer. None of these divulged the secrets of their art. 
One fact, however, we know with certainty, and that is that 
the German school employed the very best artists that Europe 
could produce to cut the patterns, or rather punches, for 
their types. In an interesting tract from the pen of Sir 
Anthony Panizzi it is proved that the celebrated Bolognese 
goldsmith, medallist and painter, Francia, was the artist w-ho 
cut all the Aldine types, the elegance of which ^N-ill for ever 
associate the name of Aldus with the perfection of printing. 
From the " Cost Book " of the Ripoli press, at Florence, we 
find also that steel, iron, and tin were used in the manufacture 
of types about 1480. But the English printers, whose prac- 
tice seems to have been derived from the Flemish school, 
were far behind their contemporaries in the art. Their types 
show that a very rude process of founding was practised, and 
the use, as will be described presently, of old types as patterns 
for new, evinces more of commercial expediency than of 
artistic ambition. 

That Caxton's types were really cast is evident from 
identity in the face of the same letter, w^here even a flaw may 
be noticed as recurring continuously; but the material of 
which the matrices were formed must be to a great extent 
conjectural. M. Bernard has given an interesting account of 

108 WILLIAltf CAXTOir. 

some successful efforts to cast letters in sand, but his speci- 
men has not a single overhanging letter in it, and, from its 
size, was certainly much easier to produce than would have 
been the small types of Caxton ; yet in one respect, the " bad 
lining," or irregular heights of the letter, it has an interesting 
similitude to Caxton's types. In the office of Messrs. Caslon 
there are still in existence some large Roman capital letters 
(about 3 -line pica), which an old workman assured me he had 
himself used in by-gone years to form sand-moulds for type, 
a practice then by no means uncommon. 

We will now turn to the little book of engravings already 
mentioned as giving the earliest notice of the art. We there 
see somewhat of the practices of the Frankfort typefounders 
in 1568. The woodcut shows that even a century after the 
invention of the art there was an important difference from 
the modem plan, although probably the principle of punch, 
matrix and mould, was the same. There is a small furnace, 
with the pan of metal sunk in the top ; by the side are the 
bellows, basket of charcoal, and tongs. Close to the type- 
founder is the bowl into which he drops each type as it is 
cast ; and the artist has correctly dra^vn these types with the 
" break " of the letter still attached. The workman holds the 
mould in his left hand, and is pouring in metal from a ladle. 
On the table at his back is what appears to be a nest of very 
shallow drawers, which hold the matrices in alphabetical 
arrangement, while upon the top of the drawers are three or 
four matrices for immediate use. On the wooden shelves 
opposite are three moulds, some sieves, and crucibles. The 
sieves were probably for sifting the sand in which might be 
cast the large types, and in which the small ingots for use in 
the melting pot would be run. The main interest of this 
woodcut lies ui the type moulds, in which we notice a differ- 
ence in shape from those now used ; while the absence of the 
long wire spring which holds the matrix firm up to the mould 
indicates that, during its use, the matrix was a fixture in the 
mould. The foremost of the three moulds on the shelf shows 
in its side a hole which may possibly have been used for the 
insertion of a matrix. 


As the early moulds were so dissimilar to those of modem 
use, let us look to the types themselves for evidence. Antici- 
pating the result of the analysis of the various founts used 
by Caxton (which will follow in its proper place) we find 
the conclusion inevitable that hard-metal punches were not 
used, and that even types themselves were used either as 
punches, or in some analogous way for the production of new 
founts. The use of large types to fonn matrices in sand (as 
in the case of Messrs. Caslon's foundry, above alluded to), was 
not uncommon in bygone years ; and that letters of a much 
smaller size can also be effectively employed as punches is 
interestingly illustrated by the shifts to which Benjamin 
Franklin, America's pioneer-printer, was put in the early 
days of the Transatlantic press. Franklin thus narrates his 
own practice : " Our printing-house often wanted sorts, and 
there was no letter-foundry in America ; I had seen types 
cast at James's in London, but without much attention to 
the manner ; however, / contrived a mouldy and made use of 
the letters we had as puncheons, struck the matrices in lead, 
and thus supplied, in a pretty tolerable way the deficiencies. 
/ also engraved several things on occasion." 

The metal of which Caxton's types were cast can only be 
conjectured. The probability is that it was soft, and if even 
BO soft as lead it would have been sufficiently durable to have 
performed the work for the small impression required of each 
book. In demonstration of this the author procured, by the 
kindness of Messrs. Figgins, a fount of their Caxton types in 
pure lead, and composed a page of Caxton's " Chess Book," 
working it in the usual way, at a common hand press, and 
numbering each impression as it came from the tympan in 
order to note its gradual wear. The paper was royal cartridge 
of the common rough quality, and was worked dry. After 
500 pulls, perceiving no appreciable wear, the author stopped 
the experiment, being sufficiently satisfied. 

Our conclusions then, in respect of the founding, are 
mainly negative. The moulds were unlike those now in use, 
and the punches were not of steel. The process, whatever it 
may have been, admitted of contrivances incompatible with 


our present mode ; and we conjecture that the type-metal, if 
not of lead, was jet sufficiently soft to allow of it being easily 
trimmed up with a chisel. This trimming up, so often visible 
in Type No. 2*, misled the late Mr. Vincent Figgins, who, 
when examining the second edition of the " Game and Play of 
the Chess," came to the erroneous conclusion that the whole 
book was printed from types cut separately by hand, a con- 
clusion which he would never have adopted had he extended 
his examination to other and earlier works of Caxton in the 
same types. 

Let us now see what the founts of types really were that 
Caxton used. 

When we look at the long list of English authors who 
have written upon early typography, and when we recognise 
among the names those of Moxon, Palmer, Smith, Bowyer, 
Nichols, Stower, Watson, Hansard, and Timperley, all of 
whom were, as printers, practically acquainted with the art 
which employed their pens, it is a matter of some surprise 
that nothing like a correct account of Caxton's types ap- 
peared. Nor is it less remarkable that the only history of 
English typefounding is that by Rowe Mores, a well-knoTvn 
antiquarian, who was brought up for the Church, and who 
devoted many of the later years of his life to the collection of 
old moulds and matrices. He purchased all the old stock of 
the last of the old race of lelterfounders, Mr. James, of Bar- 
tholomew Close, whose extensive collection was said to date 
from the days of Wynken de Worde ; and it is much to be 
regretted that, after the death of Mr. Mores, his collections 
were not preserved intact. His catalogues of matrices exist- 
ing in his own day, or in his own possession, are probably 
exact enough ; but his account of the types used by Caxton 
and Wynken de Worde is ftdl of errors. 

During Caxton's career as a printer, viz., from about 
1476 to 1491-2, or a period of seventeen years, he used 
eight separate founts or castings of letters. These eight 
founts we have called, according to their chronological 
appearance. No. 1, No. 2, No. 2*, No. 3, No. 4, No. 4*, 
No. ,5, and No. 6. 


If we divide them into character of letter we find tliree 

1st. Type No. 1 is distinct in character, and unlike any 
other known type. On comparison with a manuscript 
in the holograph of Colard Mansion, of Bruges, M. 
Bernard came to the conclusion that it was formed 
upon the handwriting of that celebrated caligrapher. 

2nd. Types 2, 2*, 4, 4*, and 6, are of the same cha- 
racter as the early type of Colard Mansion, known as 
" gros batarde." 

3rd. Types 3 and 5, were designed, like the characters of 
the Bible and Psalter of the early Mentz printers, 
upon the Church Text of the scribes, and approach 
nearer than any other of Caxton's types to what 
modem printers call " black letter." 

If, however, we divide the eight founts into distinct 
cuttings, we find five : — 

1st. Type No. 1. 

2nd. Type No. 2, modified first into No. 2*, and again 

into No. 6. 
3rd. Type No. 8. 

4th. Type No. 4, modified into No. 4*. 
5th. Type No. 5. 

Type No. 1. 

Although we believe that Caxton had less to do with this 
than with any of the later types, yet, as it is the first with 
which his name is associated — as it is that by using which he 
obtained a knowledge of the art of printing — and as it is the 
type of the first English-printed book, — ^it is clothed with an 
interest peculiarly its o^n. 

The books printed with this fount are five : — 

The Recuyell of the Histories of Troy .... 1472-74 -^^^^5 ^^-6 ^x(^ 
The Game and Play of the Chess, 1st edition . . 1475-76 -5/V; ^''^> ^'^/ 

Le Recueil des Histoires de Troyes 1475-76 ^-i^ ^^/^, 

Les Fais du Chevalier Jason after 1476J7.^^n^ 'P!:i>'S, 

Les sept Pseaulmes penitenciaulx after 1476 >^JVT 


From the rarity of " Les Fais du Jason," only one copy 
being in England, and that inconvenient for prolonged ex- 
amination, its peculiar features, if any, are not noticed in the 
following remarks. 

The first thing we observe in type No. 1 is, that its gene- 
ral appearance is more free and manuscript-like than would 
be thought the case from the square-set figure of each indi- 
vidual letter. This is, to a considerable extent, caused by 
the great variety of letters, there being only five for which 
there were not more than one matrix, either as single letters 
or in combination : for, although the differences between the 
various matrices of the same letter may be but very slight, 
we have here the fundamental principle of freedom, namely, 
a recurrence of modified sameness. The execution of the type 
is good, sharp, and decided, with sufficient difference between 
the repetitions of the same letter to indicate independence of 
of tracing or mechanical contrivance; hence probably the 
work of one accustomed to cut letters. The body of the type, 
which is identical throughout the five books, is the same as 
the recognised Great Primer of modern printers. 

The complete fount embraced at least 163 sorts, of which 
we remark upon the following : — 
a is not used in the English books, but often occurs in the 

French books. 
t is not used in " The Eecuyell " or the " Chess Book," but 

often occurs in " Le Recueil " and " Les sept Pseaulmes." 
It is often used for an 1^ in the French books, but always 

correctly in the English books. 
/I. — This incongruous and badly-cut letter appears about 

twelve times, in various grades of bad casting, before the 

recto of folio 36 of " The Recuyell," after which it is not 

i^ is only found in the English books, where it is sometimes 

used for a M. 
Arabic numerals do not occur in this fount. 
There are only three marks of punctuation, which may be 

called — the comma, or oblique stroke (/), the colon (:), 

and the full point (.). They are used arbitrarily as to 


power, and in numerous varieties of combination, such as, 

•/ V A ./' •/• // :. ♦:• ••.:••. &c., &c. 

From the foregoing remarks it wall be seen that there are 
certain letters peculiar to the English and others peculiar to 
the French books printed in this type ; and as these are not 
in any way attributable to the fashion of the language, the 
fact strongly corroborates the opinion that, although from the 
same printer, the compositor, and perhaps the cases, were 

Type No. 2. 

This was the first fount used in England when Caxton set 
up his presses at the " Eed-pale" in the Almonry, and, before 
remarking upon its peculiarities, we will give a list of the 
books knoA^Ti to have been printed from it. Of these, as will 
be shown further on, there are two easily-distinguished classes; 
those printed first, with type No. 2, and those printed after- 
wards, with a re-casting of the fount, which we call type 
No. 2*. 

TYPE No. 2. 

Les quatre derrenieres choses anU 1477 -^-^^ » 

History of Jason circa 1477 ^^V'. cvir^ 

Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers, 1st edition . 1477 ^A', ^^r^^^^ 

Horae, 1st edition circa 1477 <^^-0 

Canterbury Tales, 1st edition ante 1478 

Moral Proverbs 1478 

Propositio clarissimi Johannis Russell .... ante 1479 

Stans Puer ad Mensam ante 1479 

Parvus Catho and Magnus Catho, 1st edition . ante 1479 

Ditto ditto 2nd edition . ante 1479 

The Horse, the Sheep, and the Goose, 1st edition ante 1479 

Ditto ditto 2nd edition . ante 1479 

Infancia Salvatoris ante 1479 

The Temple of Glass ante 1479 

The Chorle and the Bird, 1st edition .... ante 1479 

Ditto 2nd edition ante 1479 

The Temple of Brass ante 1479 

The Book of Courtesy, 1st edition ante 1479 



Anelida and Arcyte circa 1478 

Boethius de Consolatione Philosophise 1478 

TYPE xo. 2*. 

Cordial 1470 

Laurentius Griilielmus de Saona de Nova Rhethorica, circa 1479 

Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers, 2nd edit., circa 1480 

An Indulgence 1480 

Parvus Catho and Magnus Catho, 3rd edition . circa 1480 

Mirrour of the World, 1st edition 1480 

Eeynard the Fox, 1st edition 1480 

Tully of Old Age, and of Friendship 1481 

The Game and Play of the Chess, 2nd edition . circa 1481 

Tliis type has a more dashing, picturesque, and elaborate 
character than type No. 1. It is an imitation of the "gros- 
batarde " type of Colard Mansion, with same variation in the 
capital letters, which are extremely irregular, not only in size 
but also in design, some being of the simplest possible con- 
struction, whilst others have spurs, lines, and flourishes. 

The general appearance of type No. 2 is very different 
from that of No. 2*, many letters in the earlier fount having 
a bolder and thicker face than in the later ; and the fact of 
there being a perfect division of the books into two distinct 
classes prevents our attributing this difference to either wear 
of type or faulty printing — the former would be gradual, the 
latter irregular. 

On comparing the two classes, letter by letter, we find 
several single and compound letters occurring in the one and 
not in the other. Thus tXi (not final) is peculiar to the first 
class, while two forms of fe without a loop in the head, double 
U without loops, X% toa, toe, and toO are found in the second 
class only. Other letters are so entirely different that a single 
example is convincing of their not having been printed from 
the same founts; and the remainder, although often very 
nearly alike, so constantly preserve some slight characteristic 
peculiar to each section, that a close examination of numerous 
instances, after making allowance for faulty printing, leads to 


the conclusion that no letters of the first section are identical 
with those of the second. 

A minute examination discloses the general fact, that the 
letters of Type No. 2* are somewhat thinner than those of 
Type No. 2, and that, in numerous instances, the tops, the 
descending tails, and the titles generally, have been truncated. 
For example, examine the letter f and its combinations in the 
two types; the second shows always a thinner-faced letter 
than the first. Again, notice how the tops of the various tjs, 
the tails of eit and in, and the tails generally appear in the 
second, state. Observing that the two founts (2 and 2*) are 
never mixed, and that all the books dated before 1479 occur 
in Type No. 2, and all those dated after 1479 in No. 2*, the 
two types appear to indicate two distinct periods; and, taking 
into consideration the peculiarities just noticed, it would seem 
that, upon the types becoming worn, some of the best were 
selected, trimmed up with a graver, and used for making 
matrices for a new casting. If this were not the case, how 
should we account for the new fount being so nearly like the 
old? for, the two not having been used together, there was 
no reason for such care to make them match. 

The body of Type No. 2 is the same as that of Type No. 
2*, and is exactly equal to two lines of " Long Primer " 
(Caslon's standard), w^hich is very near to " Paragon." A 
complete fount of Type No. 2 consisted of 217 sorts, and 
Type No. 2* of 254 sorts. 

The $ct of Type No. 1, which, if it occurred at all, might 
have been expected in the first fount used in England, is 
found only in books printed with Type No. 2*. 

We may notice here that the sorts If, e^, bt, and others, 
presume an intended French use of Type No. 2, a probability 
strengthened by the tj? and the combinations of to, l>eing 
• later additions to the fount in No. 2*. 

Type No. 3. 
This grand type, which was in use from about 1479 to 
1483, has perhaps less direct interest for us than any of the 
others. No English book in this type is known, and until a 

I 2 


very recent period it was considered merely as a supple- 
mentary fount used by Caxton for headings, &c. But the 
discovery of a ** Psalterium," fragments of a " HoraB," and a 
**Directorium" proves that three works at least were printed 
entirely with this fount. Upon these, especially the "Psal- 
terium," and upon the headings of '* Boethius," the " Golden 
Legend," and " Tully," the following remarks are based. 

The small letters 'are an exact copy of those cast by the 
early German founders, Fust and Schoeffer, and are equally 
well executed. The capital letters, however, are very unlike 
Fust's, being for the most part a modification of the Flemish 
"Secretary," as already presented to us in the gros-bAtarde 
type of Colard Mansion. 

The body is identical, or very nearly so, with type No. 2, 
and is used with it to distinguish proper names, &c., in the 
" Cordial " and in " Tully," but, having a much larger face, 
it is never in line. 

The complete fount comprised 194 sorts. The stops 
generally are smaller than those of type No. 2, which is 
remarkable, as the face of the letter is much larger. 

This type was intended for Latin works, as the contrac- 
tions sufficiently prove. All the books we have in it are in 
Latin, except headings in the first edition of the "Golden 
Legend," &c., and proper names, as in the "Cordial" and 
" Tully." Used almost entirely for Church Service books, it 
does not seem to have been much in favour with Caxton ; but 
upon his death his successor, Wynken de Worde, came into 
possession of it, and used it continually. 

Type No. 4. 
Types No. 4 and 4* may be spoken of generally as onej 
there being the same intimate connection between them as 
between Nos. 2 and 2*; unlike them, however, there is a 
slight variation in the body, type No. 4 being, as compared 
with the re-casting of it, or type No. 4*, as 20 is to 19. In 
other words, the body of type No. 4 is rather smaller than 
that of Type No. ,4*. This of course would only be possible 
by direct intention with modem typefounders, who use the 


same moulds and matrices for as many founts of the type as 
are required ; but as is shown in the chapter on typefounding, 
the moulds and matrices were in those days very different. 

The engraving of the types is neat, and appears to have 
been executed by the same hand that cut type No. 2 ; but 
there is this difference between the second states of the two 
founts — type No. 2* was, as already shown, cast from matrices 
formed by the use of old casts of type No. 2 as punches, after 
being trimmed by hand, but for types Nos. 4 and 4* there 
is the strongest evidence of the same punches having been 
used, and therefore the variation of body is the more remark- 
able, as it would have been as easy to make the re-casting 
agree in size with the original as to make the letters of each 
fount agree among themselves. The variation, however, is 
a fact. 

The body of type No. 4 is very near indeed to modem 
English (Caslon's standard), and is the smallest of any used 
by Caxton. The re-casting, or type No. 4* (which loses 1 in 
20 — that is to say, 19 lines of type No. 4* take up only the 
same depth as 20 of type No. 4) is exactly two lines of 
minion. The total number of sorts in type No. 4 appears to 
have been 194, and in No. 4* 187, a few sorts not having 
been re-cast. 

We will now give a list of the works for which this type, 
in its two states, was employed. 

TYPE Na 4. 

The Chronicles of England, 1st edition 1480 

The Description of Britain 1480 

An Indulgence 1481 

Curia Sapientiae circa 1481 

Godfrey of Boloyne 1481 

The Chronicles of England, 2nd edition 1482 

Polycronicon 1482 

The Pilgrimage of the Soul 1488 

A Vocabulary 1488 

Servitium de Visitatione circa 1488 

Confessio Amantis {mostly) 1488 


The Knight of the Tower {partly) 1484 

Sex Epistolas (mostly) 1483 

TYPE No. 4*. 

The Festial, 1st edition 1483 

Quatuor Sermones, 1st edition 1483 

Confessio Amantis {partly) 1483 

The Knight of the Tower {mostly) 1484 

Caton circa 1484 

Golden Legend circa 1484 

Death-Bed Prayers circa 1484 

^sop 1484 

Order of Chivalry circa 1484 

Canterbury Tales, 2nd edition circa 1484 

Book of Fame circa 1484 

The Curial circa 1484 

Troylus and Creside circa 1484 

Life of our Lady circa 1484 

Life of St. Winifred circa 1485 

Life of King Arthur 1485 

Life of Charles the Great 1485 

Paris and Yienne 1485 

The commas have a notable chronological bearing. The 
short comma (/) was used alone up to the second edition of 
the " Chronicles," in 1 482 — is used occasionally with the long- 
comma (/) in 1483 — and disappears entirely after that year. 

A good test by which to distinguish 4 and 4* is the shape 
of the lower-case \U; the letter with the curled top distin- 
guishing the book at once as belonging to type No. 4, whereas 
its absence is a sure sign that the type is No. 4*. 

Type No. 4* makes its first appearance among Caxton's 
founts in a very peculiar manner. In the autumn of 1483 
he was engaged in printing two works, Gower's "Confessio 
Amantis" and the "Knight of the Tower." At sig. g of 
" Confessio Amantis" we find that the inmost sheet is in type 
No. 4*, the three other sheets of the section being in type 
No. 4. Several pages in sig. ^ are also in No. 4*, and on 


sig. ^ iiii recto the first column is in No. 4, while the second 
column is in No. 4*. This mixture of founts by no means 
proves that the two were in use at the same time ; it only 
shows that before the cases containing type No. 4 were finally 
emptied out to make room for the new fount, one compositor 
had worked ahead of his fellows, who had not finished their 
taking of copy when the new letter supplanted the old. The 
table, although placed at the commencement of the book, was 
necessarily printed last, and therefore, as a matter of coursCj 
we find type No. 4* used for it. In the "Knight of the 
Tower," sig. f introduces the new fount to us, all that follows, 
as well as the introductory matter, being type No. 4*. 

Type No. 5. 

There is much similarity of design between this and type 
No. 3, the likeness between some of the letters being so close 
as lead to the conclusion that one artist cut both. 

The books printed in this letter are as follows : — 

The Royal Book circa 1487 

The Book of Good Manners . 1487 

Directorium Sacerdotum, 1st edition .... circa 1487 

Speculum Yitae Christi circa 1488 

Commemoratio Lamentationis circa 1488 

The Boctrmal of Sapience 1489 

Horae circa 1490 

Servitium de Transfiguratione circa 1491 

In the 2nd edition of the "Golden Legend" (1487?), all 
the headings, both of chapters and pages, are in this type. 

Type No. 5 has no exact counterpart in the bodies of 
modern foimders. The nearest would be two lines of brevier, 
than which it is slightly larger, losing one line in thu*ty-five. 
The total number of sorts in use appears to have been 153. 
The comparative scarcity of double letters is very noticeable. 
No Arabic numerals are used. 

The large Lombardic capitals used with this fount have a 
bold and striking appearance. Unlike any former fount of 


Caxton's) they are all cast with the largest face the body will 
bear, and without the least beard. They are used, more or 
less, in every book printed with this type, although in some 
books {e.g. "Royal" and "Speculum") they appear very 
seldom. They do not look at all well when used as initials 
to a word, on account of their size preventing them ranging 
with the sequent letters, and this may have been the cause 
why Caxton, except in the " Directorium," made a very 
sparing use of them, save indeed that he converted them 
into quadrats. For this purpose they were doubtless adapted 
by some shortening process, which, however, has not pre- 
vented them cropping out continually in the blank spaces of 
the head lines and signature lines, where they often assume a 
very puzzling appearance. In the latest books printed with 
type No. 5 these Lombardic capitals appear as red initials, 
printed at a separate operation. This use for them was, 
doubtless, the invention of Caxton's successor, Wynken de 
Worde, who appears to have inherited his master's working 

Type No. 6. 

The body of this fount is great primer (Caslon's standard) 
within a shade, being almost the same as type No. 1. The 
number of sorts in the fount is, for Caxton, very small, 
amounting to only 138. It may be called Caxton's last 
fount, for it came into use in 1489, and was used for books 
up to 1491, the date of Caxton's death. Indeed, there seems 
good reason for supposing that for some time after Caxton's 
death it served his successor, Wynken de Worde. With it 
the following works were printed : — 

The Fayts of Arms . 1489 

Statutes of Henry YII circa 1489 

The Grouvernal of Health circa 1489 

Reynard the Fox, 2nd edition circa 1489 

Blanchardin and Eglantine circa 1489 

The Four Sons of Aymon circa 1489 

Directorium Sacerdotum, 2nd edition .... circa 1489 

Eneydos circa 1490 


The Fifteen Oes, &c circa 1490 

The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers 3rd 

edition circa 1490 

The Mirrour of the World, 2nd edition . . . circa 1490 

Divers Ghostly Matters circa 1490 

The Art and Craft to know well to Die . . . circa 1491 
The Book of Courtesy, 2nd edition .... circa 4491 

The Festial, 2nd edition circa 1491 

Quatuor Sermones, 2nd edition circa 1491 

The Chastising of God's Children circa 1491 

A Treatise of Love circa 1491 

We have in this fount another remarkable instance of the 
contrivances employed by the early typefounders. A new 
fount was required, but whether Caxton gave the founders 
instructions concerning its size, or whether the fount was cast 
first, and then sold to our printer, there seems no possibility 
of discovering ; but this we can prove from the pages them- 
selves, that the greater portion of type No. 6 was made from 
the punches, or from old letters of Caxton's Nos. 2 and 2*. 
The body is rather smaller, nine lines occupying the same 
depth as eight lines of No. 2 ; and it is amusing to observe 
the shifts and contrivances resorted to for reducing those 
letters which, in type No. 2, occupied the full body. For 
instance, the ^, |H, and ^ have the flourish which passes 
under the letter brought close up to the letter itself. The Wi 
was also treated in the same way, but the violence used has 
damaged the flourish so much that, in most instances, it broke 
away ; in some cases, however, it remains in a most pitiable 
and crippled condition. The corresponding flourish in the 
^ has been boldly cropped off. Jf and 3 are strangely 
transformed, evidently by a blow on the soft metal, length- 
wise. A few characters altogether new appear, and a few 
interpolations from other founts, besides a quaint set of Lom- 
bardic capitals, among which occurs now and then a letter 
from the Lombardic fount used with type No. 5. The total 
number of sorts was 141. 

But here the question may very naturally be asked, How 
do we know that the books in the foregoing lists which are 


without date, witliout place, and without printer's name, 
although printed with the same types as those of Caxton, are 
not really from the workshop of another printer, who had 
obtained his material from the same source as our printer ? 
The evidence is entirely negative, but it is nevertheless very 

When a new branch of industry becomes sufficiently deve- 
loped, one of the immediate consequences is a division of 
labour. Thus typefounders became separated from printers, 
as soon as the latter became sufficiently numerous to keep the 
former in constant employment. The earliest printers were 
almost of necessity their own typefounders, and it appears 
that they each made or otherwise exclusively possessed those 
patterns of types which they used. There is certainly no 
evidence that prior to the end of the 15th century the tj^es 
of one printer were at the same time in use by another. This 
exclusive use of types has been accepted as a fact by the best 
authorities, and has been of great use to the bibliographer 
in identifying the printer of books sine ulld 7iofd, for a printer 
may thus be recognised at once by his types, just as a man 
may be distinguished by his handwriting. 

We will now suppose a fount of type delivered -over to 
the compositors to be laid in the cases, an operation requiring 
much more care than in the present day, on account of the 
numerous double letters and combinations. One effect of the 
combinations would be to equalise the size of the boxes, as 
the letter "e" for instance, which now requires the largest 
box, would then most frequently occur in combination with 
one of the consonants, and not be used alone oftener than 
many other letters. Counting the respective numbers used 
of each sort throughout many pages of diffisrent books, the 
fact is ascertained that single vowels and single consonants 
were more often required than any one particular combina- 
tion. Arranging a case on the basis that the sorts most in 
use should be placed before the compositor in the position 
most accessible to his fingers, and remembering that in all 


the old representations of a " case " there is no division into 
upper and lower as now, we arrive at the accompanying plan, 
which is doubtless a tolerably exact representation of a com- 
positor's case as used by Caxton. There are 209 boxes, which 
would lead to some little difficulty in keeping " clean cases ;" 
and one need feel no surprise at finding \\Tong letters so often 
making their appearance in Caxton's pages. The combina- 
tions of illy niy uUf nUf nn, tm, mi were often found in the 
WTong boxes, and have brought down to the present day the 
strongest evidence against the usefulness of logotypes. 

In the earliest representation of a printing office the press 
is always made the most prominent object ; very often, how- 
ever, as in Plate VII, with a compartment for the compositor. 
Figure 1 is the earliest instance, and we there see a com- 
positor at work. Before him is the case divided into even 
boxes, and raised on a cleft stick is the copy. The composing- 
stick is in his ric/ht hand, doubtless owing to the engraver not 
having reversed the drawing from which he copied : it is held 
correctly by the man in PI. YIII. We have already noticed 
the use of a composing-stick and setting-rule, and the even- 
ness of lines consequent thereon. It was not adopted at 
Westminster until 1480, although Caxton must often have 
seen the improved appearance which lines of an even length 
gave to the page in the numerous works pre\iously issued 
from all the Continental presses. He would, doubtless, have 
imitated them had his mechanical appliances permitted ; but 
we do not find evenness of page until the arrival of type No. 
4, in the year 1480; and then, probably for the first time, 
composing-sticks, setting-rules, and chases were seen in the 
Westminster printing office. Before this the types were 
no doubt, as M. Bernard has shown to be the case in the 
later block books and the early examples of Dutch printing, 
taken straight from their boxes, and placed side by side in a 
sort of cofiin, made of hard wood, with a stout bottom, and 
screws at the foot to tighten the page when completed. The 
width of the page could not be extended beyond the internal 
measurement of the " coffin," but might be reduced at plea- 
sure by placing down either side a straight piece of wood. 


The depth would be regulated in a similar manner, by varying 
the thickness of the foot-block against which the screws 

Let us, then, imagine the workman with his wooden box 
before him. The further end would be slightly raised, to 
keep the types from falling forward. He begins at the left- 
hand corner, and adding, from the case, letter to letter, soon 
gets to the end of the first line, and, not ha^dng room for the 
next word, makes it quite tight with quadrats or spaces. 
Then comes the second line, and this, as well as all the rest, 
would not be so easy. Placing rough types upon rough types 
admits of very little shifting or adjustment, and to this fact, 
I imagine, we must attribute the practice of leaving the lines 
of an uneven length in early books. Any attempt to push 
along the words of a line in order to introduce more space 
between them, without some plan of easing the friction, would 
l)e certain to break up the line altogether — and so the lines 
were left just as they happened to fall, whether frill length or 
short. Sometimes, when a word would come into the line 
with a little reduction of the space between the last two 
words, the space was reduced accordingly ; but more often a 
syllable at the end of the line was contracted, such as "men" 
into "me," or "vertuous" into "vertuo^" Most often the 
compositor, knowing the practice to be understood by his 
readers, would finish his line with just so many letters as his 
measure would take, and accordingly it is common to find 
words divided thus: — why-|che th|at wjymen w|iche 
m I an. But when once the " setting-rule " was brought into 
use all that was altered, and the various words of a line could 
be pushed about, and the spaces between them augmented or 
reduced with ease. Having completed his proper number of 
lines, the foot-piece would be placed after the last line for the 
foot-screws to work upon, and the "form" would be ready 
for press. There being a bottom to the box, nothing could 
fall out, and, although doubtless not very tight in some parts, 
the sloppy ink then used would not, like modern stiff ink, 
draw up any loose letters. 

If the sides of these cofiins, or wooden boxes, were equal 


in height with the types they enclosed they would, like them, 
leave their mark on the paper. This was the case in some of 
the early Dutch block-books, where the sides of the chase 
appear occasionally printed in the margin. I have searched in 
vain for any marks of the chase in the margins of Caxton's 
books. But whatever method he used — ^^vhether he screwed 
up the types in wooden boxes, or whether he used iron chases, 
— one thing is very plain in nearly every book he issued 
either the "justification" was bad, or the pages were "locked 
up" very loosely, for quadrats and spaces are continually 
"working up" and showing themselves. 

The composing-sticks were originally of hard wood, with- 
out any sliding adjustment ; one set, all the same, were for 
folio pages, another for quai'to, another for octavo. 

" Reglets," or thin pieces of hard wood the length of a line, 
appear never to have been used. Wlien a "white" line was 
wanted under a chapter head or over a colophon, em quadrats 
were ranged side by side for the purpose, and very often 
capital letters which had been reduced in height for the pur- 
pose, although often not sufficiently. These low capitals 
would often W'Ork up while at press, and make undesirable 
appearances in very conspicuous places. For examples the 
reader may examine the " Royal Book," and " Speculum vitae 
Christi," in the British Museum. 

The "balls" with which the page was inked before taking 
an impression appear to have midergone no change in shape 
or make from the earliest times until the very beginning of 
the present century. TVlien, however, the flexible composi- 


tion now in use was invented it soon superseded entirely the 
old plan, and now it is a matter of great difficulty to find an 
old pair of balls. These balls were hollow hemispheres of 
wood with a handle. Wool was fitted into the hollow, upon 
which the skin, or " pelt," was nailed on the side more than 
half-way round ; then more wool was pushed in till the skin 
was extended and tight : the last nails were then hammered 
in, and the balls fit for use. 

The page having been completed by the compositor, it 
went to press in its chase or wooden box without any further 
operation. The business of "reader" as yet was not. All 
the workmen's blunders and errors, the turned letters, the 
wrong sorts, and the numerous literal mistakes were, left 
uncorrected. ' Even whole lines were occasionally omitted by 
the workman, and the omission remained throughout the 
edition, affording indisputable evidence that "proof sheets" 
after composition were quite unknown. At page 125 of 
Lewis's " Life of Caxton," we read concerning our printer — 
" As he printed long before the present Method of adding the 
Errata at the End of Books was in Use and Practice, so his 
extraordinary Exactness obliged him to take a great deal 
more Pains than can easily be imagined; for, after a Book 
was printed off^ his way was to revise it, and correct the 
Faults in it with red Ink, as they then used to correct their 
^\Titten Books. This being done to one Copy, he caused one 
of his Servants to run through the whole Impression, and 
correct the Faults he had noted with a Stanesil or Red-lead 
Pencil, which he himself afterwards compared with his own 
corrected Copy, to see that none of the Corrections he had 
made were omitted." A most laborious task indeed, had so 
foolish an idea ever entered the mind of so practical a man as 
Caxton, but the whole assertion is a mere fiction, started by 
Bagford, adopted by Lewis, and repeated by every subsequent 
writer, without a shadow of evidence to support it. The only 
books in which manuscript additions were made at the time 
of publication were the " Polycronicon " and " Mirrour of the 
World." The former, in the majority of copies, has the year 
of the world and the regnal year engrossed in red ink on the 

Plate VII. 

The oldest knaum representation of a PrinttTig Press. Paris, 1507. 

Luther's Press. Av^stmrg, 1522. 

Plate VIII. 

TJie ''Prelum Asc^nsianum." Paris, 1520. 


b3 3 





1: ^^^^^W^^^^^S 


side margins; and the latter, in the woodcut of the seven 
concentric circles whicli represent the astronomical heavens, 
has the names of the celestial spheres written in black ink 
between each circle. But although I have examined about 
five hundred of Caxton's books, 1 have never seen anything 
approaching to a grammatical correction coeval with the date 
of the book. 

The method adopted by the earliest printers to obtain 
impressions from their blocks was to lay the sheet to be 
printed on the already inked block, and to rub it carefully. 
Wood-engravers of the present day take proofs in the same 
manner. The plan was continued for block printing many 
years after the invention of moveable types. The method 
of obtaining an impression by a direct pressure down- 
wards is generally supposed to have been synchronous with 
the use of moveable types. Mr. Ottley, however, describes 
several of the earliest wood-blocks, which he had no doubt 
were printed by means of a press. Of one he states, "I am 
in possession of a specimen of wood engraving, printed in 
black oil colour on both sides the paper by a downright pres- 
sure, which I consider to have been, without doubt, printed 
in or before the year 1445." There can be no question, 
therefore, that the earliest type printers found a press ready 
to their hands ; but as we have no description of the mechan- 
ism of the early presses, we must, as in the instance of type 
founding, have recourse to the first dated engravings. The 
earliest representations of a printing-press are found in the 
works of Jodocus Badius Ascensius, the celebrated printer of 
Paris. Two of these are delineated in Plates VII and VIII, 
whereof the earlier is found as a printer's device in the title 
of a work dated 1507. The large press, Plate IX, having 
upon its basement the date 1520, was taken from the Bagford 
collection, and has hitherto been generally considered as the 
earliest representation of a printing-press. The small press 
was taken from a tract of Luther's dated 1522. The other 
comes also from the Bagford fragments, and appears to be 


about the middle of the sixteenth century, as the mechanism 
of the spindle is evidently improved. It is represented here, 
however, principally on account of the figure of a type- 
founder seen through a door in the background, a feature 
very rarely pourtrayed: I have not been able to trace the 
work for which this woodcut was designed. In aU these 
presses the principle is the same. There is a simple worm 
screw, with a long pin for a lever ; the head of the press and 
the table bear the pressure, and the " hose," as the transverse 
piece between the screw and the platen was called, served to 
steady the downward pressure. The girths, dram, and handle 
served to run the table out and in, and the tympans and 
frisket were identical in principle, if not in appearance, with 
those now used. In Plate IX we see some of the pressman's 
appliances exposed to view. There is the shears for cutting 
out his tympan-sheet, and for general purposes ; next to it is 
a pick-brush for cleaning out picks in the type; a pair of 
compasses for accurately testing the "furniture" between the 
pages ; and, lastly, a screw point for making " register." 

To each press is assigned two workmen; one is pulling 
lustily at the bar, while the other is distributing ink upon 
the balls previously to beating the form. The two heaps of 
printed and white paper, in Fig. 2, appear to our modern 
notions very awkwardly placed, being both on the off side of 
the press, so that the workman had to reach over the form 
whenever he took up or laid do\Mi a fresh sheet of paper. As 
however this peculiarity is represented continually, and so 
late as the seventeenth century, it was doubtless a common 

No doubt the ink was better and the impression harder in 
the time of these presses than in Caxton's time. His ink was 
of the weakest description, and the amount of power required 
for a " pull " of the press proportionately weak, the one neces- 
sitating the other. His presses, in the earlier part of his 
printing career, did not take more than a post folio page; 
and, with a very sloppy ink, the pull, if strong, would have 
made a confused mass of black instead of a legible impression. 
As it is, the ink has been almost invariably squeezed over the 


edge of the letters, and has contorted their shape. Few indeed 
although practical men, would imagine the deceptive nature 
of an impression taken from new types with weak ink and 
light pressure. In such a case the type appears at one time 
much thicker than it is, from the "spuing" of the ink — at 
another time battered, with some portion of it broken — and 
again, to use a technical term, as if it were all " off its feet." 

The representation of the "Printer" in the "Book of 
Trades," 1569, shows that the presses then were fitted with 
both ''tympans" and "frisket;" and many signs lead to the 
belief that similar appliances were used by Caxton's workmen. 
In short pages we often find a few lines of matter put at the 
bottom, which was blocked out by the frisket, and answered 
the purpose of a " bearer." Several instances occur in the 
"Godfrey," at the Public Library, Cambridge; also in the 
" Life of Our Lady," at the British Museum. In " Speculum 
vitae Christi" we actually find "a bite," half of the bottom 
line remaining unprinted. 

We have already noticed that only one page at a time was 
worked in the earlier part of Caxton's career, although later, 
at the probable introduction of Wynken de Worde, two pages 
were managed. This necessitated great care in getting the 
unsigned pages in their right places, and that such care was 
needed is proved by several instances of transposition. 

Before leaving this portion of our subject, a peculiarity 
probably connected with the mechanism of the press must be 
noticed. A smaU hole at the four comers of each sheet 
appears in every book printed with type No. 1. Such holes 
(first noticed by Mr. Tupper), have not been observed in any 
books printed with the later types, except "Quatre derren- 
nieres choses." The employment of points by modem press- 
men to obtain accuracy of register, and the punctures (called 
"point holes") in the paper, consequent upon the use of 
them, are well known. The holes under notice certainly sug- 
gest a similar practice. 

After due time allowed for the ink to dry upon the paper, 
the printed sheets passed into the hands of the binder, whose 
operations come next under consideration. 




The art of bookbinding had not in England, in the fif- 
teenth century, reached the perfection seen in the beautiful 
Continental specimens of the same period. Nor indeed was 
any uncommon binding required for the cheap productions 
of Caxton's press. His sheets were not, as in modern prac- 
tice, pressed between glazed boards after being printed, but 
went, without further process, from the press side to the 
hands of the binder. The few specimens which have reached 
us in a pristine state show the indentation, more or less 
distinct, made by the types. The edition of "Eneydos," 
1490, was hurried through the binder's hands so soon after 
the first section (which, containing the prologue and table, 
necessarily went to press last) was printed, that all the leaves 
of that section, in every copy I have seen, show a very bad 
"set-off" from the type on the opposite pages. 

To enable the binder to collate the sheets of each section 
correctly, it was the custom, as weU with the scribes as with 
the printers, to place distinguishing marks on the first page 
of each sheet; these were called signatures, and as Caxton 
used only 4"^ for his boolcs, the binder (as a rule) was sure 
that when he had got sheets aj, ait, ail}, aiiif together 
his section was complete. Some printers, who were irregular 
as to the number of sheets in a section, adopted the plan of 
signing the centre sheet of every section upon the third as 
well as the first page, so that the binder by this distinguishing 
mark might directly see the number of sheets intended for 
each section, however great the irregularity. In such cases 
the 4*^ would be signed on the first five rectos, leaving only 
three unsigned. Caxton, however, never adopted this plan, 
his sections always containing the same number of unsigned 
as of signed leaves. The sheets having been collected into 
sections, the signatures served again to collate the sections 
into volumes, the only use for which they are now retained. 
All the early books from Caxton's press are described as 
unsigned, because the signatures were not printed, but 
inserted in manuscript at the extreme bottom of the page. 


The modem binder begins by folding all his sheets into 
quarto, octavo, &c., according to the size of the book, each 
folded sheet making a section; they are then collated and 
bound. In Caxton's books the collation of the sheets pre- 
ceded the folding. It has been already observed that the 
quarto sizes were treated, both in printing and binding, 
as folio, the paper being cut in half before going to press. 
The type was so arranged that when three, four, or five sheets 
were folded one inside another, quirewise, the pages should 
be in their proper sequence. The open sheets of each section 
being gathered were knocked even, and folded in the middle. 
This adoption of one plan for books of aU sizes was in accord- 
ance with the old usage of the scribes, who necessarily cut 
their veUum sheets to the intended size before the manuscript 
was commenced, and varied their sections from three sheets, 
if very thick, to six or seven, if very thin. The section of 
three sheets was called "temio" — of four sheets "quatemus" 
—of five sheets "quintemus" — and so on. Caxton adopted 
the "quaternus" or "quaternion" for all his books, using a 
larger or smaller section only if the beginning or end required 
it. Wynken de Worde, however, made frequent use of the 

From the foregoing remarks we see that the temion and 
quaternion must necessarily be arranged in the order of the 
following diagrams, by consulting which the reader may easily 
know the pages belonging to any given sheet. 

A Ternion — Three sheets of paper folded in half, quire- 
wise," or one inside another. This gives six leaves, or twelve 


A Quaternion — Four sheets of paper folded in half, 
quirewise, or one inside another. This gives eight leaves, 
or sixteen pages. 




If this arrangement be kept in mind it will be found very 
UBefiil in many ways. For instance, it is often important to 
know whether a leaf preceded the first printed page, and, if 
so, whether the blank leaf found in many volumes is that 
leaf. It is plain that if a quaternion was adopted for the 
first section, then the first and the eighth leaf would belong 
to the same sheet of paper; and therefore if sig. a 8 had a 
watermark sig. a j should not have any ; if a ij had a water- 
mark, a 7 should be without, and so on with a iij and a 6, and 
with a iiij and a 5, where we arrive at the middle sheet of the 
section, and where a careful examination in the fold will cer- 
tainly show the thread of the binder, always a true sign of 
the centre. These indications are often the only decisive 
evidence of the completeness or incompleteness of a volume, 
and enable us to decide, even where printed signatures are 
wanting, the true collation of a book. 

Catchwords are not found in any of Caxton's books, 
although here and there a word by itself at the foot of a 
page may look very like one ; but in every instance this word 
wlQ be found to form an integral part of the text, and there- 
fore in no sense a catchword, which by its very nature must 
be treated as the first word of the next page. 

In paper manuscripts of the fifteenth century it is not 
uncommon to find vellum used for the inmost sheet of each 
section, or to find a slip of parchment pasted down the 
centre of each section. This was to give an increase of 
strength to the back where the binder's thread would be 
likely to tear through the paper. Instances where these slips 
are used are common in " unwashed " specimens from Caxton's 
press. The manuscript volume at Althorp, containing " Pro- 
positio," is treated so throughout, and in the quarto poems at 


Cambridge the marks of the paste, where the slip was torn 
away at the rebinding of the volume, are very visible. 

The earliest pictorial representation of a binder at work is 
displayed in the little " Book of Trades," to which reference 
has already been made ; but as there is nothing in it peculiar 
to the age we will pass on to the material of the covers. This 
was very frequently only a stiff piece of parchment, with tlie 
edges tiu-ned in, and a blank leaf pasted down inside as a 
lining. A few books still remain in this state, just as issued 
from the " Ked-pale " by Caxton. Such are the copies of 
*' TuUy de Senectute " in Queen's CoUege, Oxford ; the " Art 
and Craft," " Directorium," and the " Game and Play of the 
Chess," in the Bodleian ; and the " Godfrey of Boloyne" in the 
library of Mr. Holford. If intended to be more durable, Caxton 
used "boards" sometimes made of oak, or beech, and some- 
times (fortunately for bibliographers) of waste sheets from the 
press pasted together. These were covered with browTi sheep- 
skin, upon which was a simple pattern of circles, or crosses, 
or dragons, &c. Instances may stiU be seen in the 2nd edition 
of the "Festial" at the British Museum; in the "Servitium 
de Transfiguratione," lately purchased for the same library ; 
in the 2nd edition of the " Mirrour of the World," at Bristol ; 
and at other libraries. In the last-mentioned volume four 
leaves of the unique " Fifteen Oes " were used as linings for 
the inside of the boards. An account of a " Boethius," of 
which the interior of the covers was composed entirely of 
"waste sheets," is given in the description of that work. 

When bound, we may consider that the book was generally 
ready for delivery to the purchaser. It was so with all Caxton's 
later publications, but the earlier books still required the 
services of the rubrisher. 


It has already been noticed that, in the latter half of the 
fifteenth century, the great development of book manufacture 
led to a corresponding division of labour. Thus in Bruges 
we find there were Scrivers, or persons who wrote the text 


only of books, Verlichters, or Eubrishers, who probably con- 
fined their attention to illuminated capitals, and Vinghetfe 
makers (miniatores), who were artists capable of designing 
and painting subjects. In only one instance do the books of 
Caxton suggest the idea that the services of the Vinghette 
maker were to have been employed. At the commencement 
of his edition of Gower's "Confessio Amantis" (sig. 1, 4), the 
prologue of the author is begun more than half-way down 
the page. The blank was evidently intended for a design of 
some sort, possibly for a large woodcut, after the fashion of 
Colard Mansion, who printed all the great cuts to his "Ovid" 
by a separate working. As a rule, however, Caxton's books 
required no help from the vinghette maker, although he 
certauily employed, so late as 1485, the services of a rubrisher, 
to insert the initial letters at the beginning of chapters, and 
to make paragraph marks in appropriate places. For this 
purpose a vermilion ink was nearly always used, although 
occasionally a light blue alternated. For the initial of the 
first chapter a square space was left equal to the depth of four 
or five lines of type : for succeeding chapters a space of two 
lines was generally considered suflacient. 

The first use of woodcut initials was in 1484, after which 
year they were never (except on rare occasions when a sort 
ran short) omitted. Caxton had only two or three of each 
letter, and sometimes only one, as may easily be seen by the 
recurrence of a particular initial. Some of them have their 
heavy blackness relieved by a few white dots punctured in 
the face of the letter, a practice frequently adopted by the 
German school to lighten the groundwork of early woodcuts. 
Caxton's initials are varied in shape, and often elegant in 
design, but with the exception of the floriated ^ at the begin- 
ning of the "Order of Chivalry," and "-^sop," and perhaps 
the IS in " Eneydos," they demand no especial notice. A few 
of them are given here. 

The woodcut illustrations to Caxton's books have not 
received much attention from the writers on the early his- 
tory of wood engraving. Strutt, Singer, and Ottley in his 
" Enquiry " have omitted to notice them. Dibdin and Jackson 


have devoted a few pages to their consideration ; and Ottley, 
in the posthumous work on the " Invention of Printing," has 
some interesting remarks on the early use of the art in Eng- 
land. His opinions are enforced by a facsimile of some rude 
woodcuts in his own possession, which he believed to have 
been executed as early as the celebrated S. Christopher of 
1423. From his arguments we may conclude that although 
no great amount of vitality can be attributed to the art of 
wood engraving in England in the early part of the fifteenth 
century, it nevertheless was known and practised by native 
artists ; and that the use of native talent for Caxton's books 
was therefore possible. 

At the same time it requires no artistic education to see 
that there is a great similarity in general appearance between 
the illustrations in some of the early Dutch books, and the 
woodcuts of Caxton's " Chess Book," " Golden Legend," and 
others. In the " Troy Book," folio, printed at Augsburg in 
1483, and the French-printed "^sop," 1476, the broad out- 
line and heavy black feet of the figures at once suggest a 
similarity of style if not identity of artist. But whether 
Caxton's cuts be native or foreign there can be little doubt 
of the origin of the designs. His artist merely copied the 
outUnes found in the manuscript from which the book was 
being (or to be) printed. At that period there were a certain 
number of standard works always in demand, and for each of 
these the illimiinators had a conventional treatment, which 
appears repeated over and over again in different books. To 
those who have examined the illuminated manuscripts of the 
fifteenth century, executed in the Low Countries (of which 
there are numerous examples in the Eoyal Collection of the 
British Museum), the identity of design and treatment in 
Caxton's engravings will be evident. 

It is somewhat remarkable that woodcut illustrations pre- 
ceded the use of woodcut initials in Caxton's books by about 
four years. In the " Fables of ^sop," 1484, we meet with 
printed initials for the first time, while woodcuts, illustrative 
of the text, had been used in great abundance for the "Golden 
Legend," the " Chess Book," the " Mirrour of the World," Ist 


edition, and " Parvus et Magnus Catho," the last dating about 

The following is a list of all the books printed by Caxton 
with woodcut illustrations : — 

Parvus et Magnus Catho.) _ ^ r^ 

3rd edit. ... :}U81? Two designs. 

Mirrour of the World, 1st ) ^^ , . 

Tj, y 1481 Numerous designs. 

The Game and Play of the) ^ ^. 

Chess, 2nd edit. . . .} 1481 ? Sixteen designs. 

Grolden Legend .... 1484 Very numerous designs. 

Canterbury Tales, 2nd edit. 1484 Yery numerous designs. 

-T^ .^. r Yery numerous designs. 

^°P 1^8*1 Initials first used? 

Order of Chivalry . . . 1484 Large floriated ^. 

Eoyal Book 1487? Seven small designs. 

Speculum vitse Christi . . 1488 ? Numerous designs. 

Doctrinal of Sapience . . 1489 Two designs. 

^ 1 -.., . ^^ (^ fragment, with one 

Hora=, 3rd edit. . ... 1490 ?| ^^/^^ 

Servitium Transfiguratione 1490? One small design. 

^, ^.^, ^ , r The Crucifixion cut and 

The Fifteen Oes. . . . 1490? { ^^^^^ 

Divers Ghostly Matters . 1490 ? One small design. 

Had Caxton's opportunities allowed, he would probably 
have used the wood-engraver's art to a much greater extent. 
The above table shows that in 1481, when he first employed 
woodcuts, he also discontinued them : that in 1484 he again, 
for one year only, used them ; and that in 1487 they took a 
permanent position in his typography. This seeming capri- 
ciousness was probably owing to the difficulty experienced in 
obtaining the services of a wood engraver. 

The engravings in 1481, 1484, and partly in 1487-8, 
appear to have come from the hand of the same artist. In 
the last year, however, we find considerable improvement, as 


shown in the illustrations to the " Royal Book," and " Specu- 
lum VitsB Christi ;" but Caxton's best specimen of the wood- 
engraver's art, and one which has been much praised by 
Dibdin, and especially Jackson, for its composition and 
feeling, is the well-known " Crucifixion." This design is fre- 
quently seen in the books of Wynken de Worde, who received 
great credit for it until its earlier use was discovered as a 
frontispiece to Caxton's " Fifteen Oes." 

The largest woodcut known to have been used in Caxton's 
books is the Assembly of Saints, at the beginning of all the 
editions of the " Golden Legend," and the smallest, of which 
there are four, are found in illustrations to the text in the 
" Speculum vitae Christi." 

This portion must not, however, be dismissed without a 
few words upon that most interesting of all Caxton's wood- 
cuts, the large device. Caxton used but one; the small 
device, of a similar design, which is commonly attributed to 
him, and which is first seen in the "Chastising of God's 
Children," being certainly not earlier than 1491. 

The interpretation of the device offers a question by no 
means of easy solution. The common reading W&i, (ft, 74, 
meaning William Caxton, 1474, is, I think, correct, and we 
may dismiss, as unworthy of serious notice, the suggestions 
that the figures should be reversed to read 1447, or that the 
74 or 47 refer to Caxton's age and not to a particular year. 
The problem to be solved is, does the design mean 74, and if 
if so, why did Caxton use the year 1474 on his device ? 
Bibliographers have hitherto assumed that it must be in 
reference to the introduction of printing into England, and 
quote the colophon to the 1st edition of the " Chess Book " in 
support of the argument. But, os already shown, the date of 
the " Chess Book " refers to the translation of the work, the 
printing having been certainly accomplished at Bruges, and 
probably in 1476, Caxton's settlement at "Westminster not 
having occm*red until late in that year, or in 1477. 

On the whole it seems most natural that a date used in 
that manner would refer to some turning point in Caxton's 
typographical career; and I therefore believe that the old 


reading of 1474 is correct, and that the reference is to the 
date of printing " The Eecuyell," which, although translated 
in 1471, was circulated for a considerable time in manuscript 
only. Caxton certainly learnt the art while assisting to print 
this book: it appears also from his description that it was 
the first-fruit of his authorship, and at the same time the 
first book printed in his native language — all which circum- 
stances might lead him to look back upon 1474 as an epoch 
to be commemorated. 

The theory has been started that the so-called figures are 
not meant as such, but are only a fanciful interlacement of 
lines, such as may often be seen in fifteenth-century merchants' 
marks ; that Caxton did not make his figures like these, nor 
would he have used Arabic figures but full Eoman numerals 
for any date he wished to note. In fact that this design is 
simply Caxton's trade mark, which he used as a merchant, 
revived with ornamentations. The reader must judge for 
himself: certainly, in the form adopted by Wynken de Worde, 
who used them all his life, the 74 are much less like Arabic 
figures than in Caxton's device. 

The opinion that the interlacement is a trade mark only 
is much strengthened by the discovery of its original use. 
In 1487, Caxton wishing to print a Sarum Missal, and not 
having the types proper for the purpose, sent to Paris, where 
it was printed for him by W. Maynyal, who in the colophon 
states plainly that he printed it at the expense of William 
Caxton, of London. When the printed sheets reached West- 
minster, Caxton wishing to make it quite plain that he was 
the publisher, engraved his design and printed it on the last 
page, which happened to be blank. This is the first occasion 
on which it is known to have been used. The unique copy 
of this Missal is in the possession of Stephen Legh, Esq., M.P. 

The following list of books in which the device is found 
shows that it was not until the end of Caxton's typographical 
life that he adopted this distinguishing mark. 

Missale ad Usum Sarum 1487 

Speculum vitae Christi circa 1488 

Doctrinal of Sapience 1489 


The History of Reynard the Fox, 2nd edition . circa 1489 

Directorium Sacerdotum, 2nd edition .... circa 1489 

Eneydos 1490 

The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers, 3rd 

edition circa 1490 

The Mirrour of the World, 2nd edition . . . circa 1490 

Divers Ghostly Matters circa 1490 

The Festial, 2nd edition circa 1490 

Four Sermons, 2nd edition circa 1490 

St. Katherine of Senis circa 1491 

The magnum opus of Caxton was undoubtedly the edition 
of "The Golden Legend," 1484. The translation alone of 
this great work must have been no slight task, while, as to 
number of leaves and size of both paper and printed page, it 
far exceeded his edition of " King Arthur," which was the 
next largest. The smallest pieces of his printing now extant 
are " The Advertisement " and the " Indulgences." 

The commercial results of Caxton's trade as a printer are 
unknown ; but as the fees paid at his bm-ial were far above 
the average, and as he evidently held a respectable position in 
his parish, we must conclude that his business was profitable. 
The preservation of the " Cost Book " of the Ripoh press has 
already been noticed, and some extracts of interest translated 
therefrom. We may presume that Caxton also kept exact 
accounts of his trade receipts and expenditure, and if such 
were extant the many doubts which now surround the opera- 
tions of his printing-oflSce would be definitely solved. We 
should then know the price at which he sold his books, how 
many pence he asked for his small quarto " quayers" of poetry, 
or his pocket editions of the "Horse" and "Psalter," how 
many shillings were required to purchase the thick foUo 
volumes, such as " Canterbury Tales," " King Arthur," &;c. 
That the price was not much dearer than that paid for good 
editions now, we may infer from the rate at which fifteen 
copies of the "Golden Legend" sold between 1496 and 1500. 
These realised an average price of Qs. Sd. each, or about 
£2 135. 4:d. of modem money, a sum by no means too great 



for a large illustrated work. This, however, would depend on 
the number of copies considered necessary for an edition, 
which probably varied according to the nature of the work. 
On a blank leaf in the 1st edition of "Dictes," at Althorp, is 
written, apparently by Bagford, "IST.B. — Caxton printed 44 
books, 25 of which were with Dates, and 19 without." One 
would imagine that so definite a statement must have had 
some foundation, but it appears to rest entirely on the writer's 
bare assertion. Some foreign printers issued so many as 275 
or 300 copies of editions of the " Classics," but it is not pro- 
bable that Caxton ventured upon so large an impression, as 
the demand for his publications must have been much more 



.,.A *..^. '^'*'^- -s:-^*^!^ 




(Mercers' Hall, London.) 

FOLIO Volume in the Archives of the Mercers' 
Company, written on parchment by yarions scribes 
in the I4th and 15th Centuries, extending from 
1344 to 1464. The contents of the volume include 
— a rent-roll — the oath of householders — of linen 
cloth meters — of liverymen — of brethren — of brokers 
—of apprentices on their entry and issue — of free- 
men — an almanack — and the balance-sheets of the 
whole Company. 

The accounts of the receipts and disbursements of the Company are 
annual, and reckoned by the regnal year of the King. These accounts 
are generally made up under the following heads :— The annual fee of 
every liveryman — fees paid on the entries of apprentices — fees paid on 
the issues of apprentices — fines — quit-rents — general expenses — and 
foreign expenses. The last head comprises all payments made for goods 
and service not included in the legitimate business of the Company. 

Oath taken by Caxton on " issuing" from his apprenticeship. 

Ye shall swere that ye shal be true vnto oure liege lorde the kyng 
and to his heires kynges/ ye shall also be obedient & Redy to come at all 
leffull Sumonns & Warnyng of the Wardenis of the mercery/ whan and 
as often as ye be duly monysshed & warned by them/ or by any of them/ 
by their Bedell/ or by ony other in their name/ leffuU excuse alwey 
except/ All Ordynaunces & Rules by the ffeliship of the merceri 
Ordeyned made and stablished and here after for the wele worship & 
profitt of the seid feliship to be made/ ye shall holde and kepe/ All 
coicacons necessarij Ordynaunces and Cowncels for the welfare of the 
seid ffeliship and the secrets therof to you shewed/ ye shall kepe secrete 


& holde for councell/ and them ne ony of theym to discoyer or shew by 
ony meane or collour vnto ony persoone or persoones of ony other ffeli- 
ship. Ye shall also be contributory to all charges to yon putt by the 
wardeins & ffeliship & to here & pay yo"" parte of charge sett for yo' 
degre like as other of the same ffeliship shall do for their degre. Moreou 
ye shall not departe oute of the seid ffeliship for to serve ne ye shall not 
accompany you w* ony persoone or persoones of ony other feliship wher- 
through preiudice & hurte may in ony wise growe vnto the seid ffeliship 
of the mercery And on this ye shall swere that during the tyme of your 
seruyce ye shall neither bey ne sell for yo'* owne self ne for ony other 
persone ne that ye shall Keceive ony goodes or marchandise by ony collour 
belonging vnto ony other p'soon than oonly to yo"" maist whiche that ye 
now serue or shall seme w^ynne the ffeliship of ye mercerie except by 
his speciall license & will And also that ye shall not take ony shop hous 
ch'mbre seller ne warehous by ony collo^ for to ocupie byeing and sellyng 
vnto suche tyme as that ye have ben w* the wardeins of the mercery for 
the tyme beyng and by oon of hem for shopholder amytted sworn and 
entred Ne that ye shall take ne haue ony apprentice or ony se for to 
ocupye vnto that he by yon vnto oon the seid Ward, for apprentice first 
presented & by the seid Wardein so amytted All which poynts & eny of 
hem to y"^ power wele & truly ye shall hold & kepe so help you god &c. 

The oath administered to Caxton upon taking up his freedom. 

Ye shall swcre that ye shal be good and trew vnto o"* liege Lord 
kyng of Englond and to his Eyres kyngs/ obeisaunt & obedyent to the 
Mayor &; to the minysters of this Cite/ The ffrunchises and Custumes 
thereof ye shal maynteyne and the cite kepe harmles in that that in you 
is/ ye shall be contributary to al man' charges w* in this cite as somons 
watches contribucions taskes tallays lotte and skotte and all other charges 
here yo' parte as ony other frema shall/ ye shall colo' no foreyns good 
wherby the kyng might lose his custume or his auauntage/ Ye shall 
know no foreyn to bey sell nor merchundise w* another fforeyn within 
this Cite nor the fraunches therof but ye wame the Chaumberleyn therof 
or some mynysters of the chamber/ ye shall emplede no frema out of 
this Cite while ye mow have right & lawe here within/ ye shall take none 
apprentice but if he be fre borne and for no lesse time than for vij yers/ 
within the first yere ye shall do hym be enrolled and at the termes end 
ye shall make hym fre if he have wele and truly served you/ ye shall also 
kepe the peace/ in yo' owne persone/ ye shall know no gader}'ngs con- 
venticles nor conspiracies made ayenst the peace but ye wame the Maier 
thereof & let it to yo' power All these poyntes ye shall wele and truly 
kepe accordyng to all the Lawes & Custumes of this Cite to yo'* power so 
help you god and holidame &; by this Boke/ 



The Fellowship in the 22nd year of Etlward III numbered 4 Wardens 
and 101 Liverymen, and in this year among those who paid their fees 
appear — 

Richard de Causton Theobald de Canston 

Michael de Causton Nichol de Causton 

William de Causton Roger de Causton 

Henry de Causton 
Also in the 2nd year of Henry VI. — Stevyn Causton. 


Under the 2nd year of Henry IV, among the " Entrees des Appren- 
tices," is — William Causton/ Appr. de Thos. Gedeney . . . ij s 


Under the 6th year of Henry VI the name of Robert Large appears 
for the first time. 

Cest la compte de John Whatley, Robert Large, Thomas Bataill, et 
John Pidiuyll fait alffeste de Seint John Baptist Ian vj™« aps. le con- 
quest en quils ils estoient gardeins de la mistere del mercerie come piert 

Under the same year, among " Entrees des Apprentices," — 
Robert Halle \a~. -tn^.x 
Randolf Streete(^PP"'y'^"^°^^^^"^ ' ' ' "'J« 


Under the 9th year of Henry VI, among the " Entrees des Appren- 
tices," — 

Item ress. de Thoms Nyche appnt de Rob* Large . ij s 
Item ress. de Rich Bonifaunt appnt de Rob* Large ) .... 
Item de James heton appnt de dit Rob* . . . . ) ^ 


The following item is from the Warden's Receipts in the 10th ye^r 
of Henry VI. — 

Item. lis soy chargent qilz ount ressu de Thos. Staunton flfrere et 
Attone de Robert Large de monye quil ad ressu outre mere en ptie de 
paiement de les xli prestres a John Wavyn pics gardenis de Ian passe. • 


Among the Entries of Apprentices in the 14th year of Henry VI. — 
It de Henr. Onkmanton le aprenticc de Robert Large ij s 




Among the Issues of Apprentices in the 16th year of Henry VI. — 
It Randolffe Streete lappfitice de Robert Large . . ij s 

Among the entries for the same year — 

It John large ), ^,. ■, r^ ■, , -r 

It Willm' Caxston 1 ^"' ^PP"^^^^^ ^e Robert Large . iiij s 


Among the Wardens' Receipts in the 17th year of Henry VI. — 

It lis soy chargeont pour argent ressu p^ fynes de dius persones en 
lo'^ temps p' ces qils fautent de chiuachier ouesqz le mair Robert large. 

In the same account, under " fforein expenses." 

Item paie a xvi trumpetts le xxix i'^ doctobre Ian xviij™^ du (jit Roy 
Hen vj"»e pour le chiuachee de Robert large maij v li vi s viij d 


From the Warden's Receipts in the 19th year of Henry VI. — 
It ils soy chargeont pour argent rescue des Executos Robert large del 
legace du dit Robert xx li 

In the same year under the Issue of Apprentices — 

It Thomas Neche qui fuist appntice de Rob* large . . i j s 
In the next year, under the Issue of Apprentices — 

It Rich Bonefant q fuist appntice de Rob* large . . i j s 


Among the Issues of Apprentices in 21 Henry VI. — 

Xrofer Heton appntice de Rob* large ij s 

Among the Entries — 

Richard large appntice de Geffrey Felding . . . . ij s 
Among the Issues of Apprentices in 22 Henry VI. — 

John Harrowe appntice de Robert large i j s 

Among the Issues of Apprentices in 2.5 Henry VI. — 

Richard Caxton* s'unt de John Harrowe i j s 

In Foreign Expenses for the 27th year of Henry VI. — 

To Richard Burgh for berynge of a I're our the See vj s viij d 


Under Foreign Expenses in the 29th year of Henry VI. — 

Item. Paid to John Stubbes for Perys to the Gentilwoman of the 

Duchesse of Burgeyn vj d 

Item paid to Hewe Wyche for a TVTit directe to Sandewyche for the 

Gowmys of the Gentil womans of the duches of Burgeyn ij s vj d 



Lan du grace m cccc liij Et del Roy Herry sizme puis le con- 
queste xxxje 

Under the heading "Entre en la lyvere pra' An" — 

It Emond Redeknape vj 8 viij d 

It™ Richaert Burgh v j s viij d 

It™ William Caxton v j s viij d 

These names have been erased with the pen, and the following memo- 
randum added beneath — " qz int' debitores in fine copot9." 

In the list of persona fined ''qils fautent de chiuachier ouesque le 
mair Geffrey Felding" in the same year are the names of — 

William Caxton iij s iiij d j Thomas Biyce iij s iiij d 
Richard Burgh iij s iiij d I William Pratt iij s iiij d 


Under Foreign Expenses in the 2nd year of Edward TV. — 
Item for botehyre for to she we to ye lords of ye coasell the I're y* 
came from Caxton & ye felaship by yonde ye See vj d 


At the end of the Wardens* Account for the 4th year of Edward IV. — 

Item. Ye ffelaship by yende ye see for yeir patents xlvij li x d 
Among the Foreign Expenses for the same year — 
Item to Jenyne Bakker, Currour, for berying of a letter to Caxton 
ovir ye see xxviij s viij d 


[Folio c xlj recto.] Anno xiiij« Ixv® . 

Courte holden of the hole felyshipp the xvij*i» daye of octobr' the 
yere aboue written. 


A lettre sent ou Welboloned we grete you well certifiyng youe that 
the see. as towchyng the convencion of the lordes that was 

appoynted to begyn at sent Omers the first daye of 
the p'sent moneth of October/ the whiche we trusted 
vppon/ it is so that it holdith not/ Neu the lesse oure souaign lorde the 
kyng Remembryng that thentrecourse expired the ffirst day of Nouembre 
next comyug/ hath written a letter to the maire of london/ whereof ye 
shall receyue a copye closed in this letter/ And where as the kyng by 
his lettre willeth that suche a p'sone as shulde go in message for the bro- 
gacion of thentrecours shulde be p'vided in suche fonrme as ye may con- 
ceyve by the lettre it is thougth here that it is not oure parte here in the 
Citie to take vppon vs a mater of so grete weyght where that all tymes 



here to fore the kyng by thavise of his lords of his Councell have made 
the p'vision in that behalfe and vppon this we have labored to the mayre 
w* the wardens of dius felyshippes aventerers that he will write an 
annsware to the kyng of his lettre in the most plesunt wise that he can 
that it will pleas his highnes by thavise of his Councell to p'vide for this 
mater for the weall of all his subietts/ wherfore consideryng that the day 
comyth nygh vppon and how that the kyngs wrytyng and his message 
shalbe spedde from hens we are not certen/ wherfor we pray youe for the 
welle of alle the kyngs subietts by thavise of the felishipp there in as 
goodly hast as ye can labo"" for a meane by the whiclie yo*" p'sones & 
goods may be in suretie for a reasonable tyme/ and in the mene whyle 
there com wrytyng from the kyng to the duke/ or eles from the duke to 
the kyng if it will so happen for p'rogacion of the same/ and suche costs 
as ye do vppon the suytt we will that they be generally levied there in 
suche man and fourme as ye seme most expedient/ written &c. 

John lambert John Warde | p . 
a W. Caxton. John Baker John Alburgh ) ^"s'^ses. 


[Folio C xliiij.] 

Courte of adventcrers holden the iij*^ (.§/c) day of June Ao xiiijc Ixvj. 
ffor a lettre send Hit is accorded by the said felishipp for by cause of a 
from Caxton lettre send from William Caxton and theryn a Copye 
Gouemo''- of a lettre sent to the said William by therle of 

Warwike for thabstinens of bying Wares forboden 
in the dukes londes of Burgoyne by acte of p'lement that a lettre shalbe 
made and sent to the said William by the Custoses and Adventerers 
whiche is made and sent in the fourme following &c. 

A lettre send Right trusty Sir We grete youe well/ lettyng youe 
ou to Caxton witt the dayc of makyng of this We receyved a lettre 
gouno'"- from you directed to the mayre and vs written at 

Brudgs the xxvij*^^ daye of maye last past and theryn 
closed a copye of a letter directed to youe from oure good lorde therle of 
Warwik whiche we haue well vnderstonde & conceyved/ and oppened it 
to our felishipp for whiche we desire and praye youe/ in that youe is to 
consider and fulfill thentent made by acte of p'lement and the speciall 
desire of oure forsaid lorde for the publique weall of this lande and that 
due inqueraunce be made there in that youe is for the complyshment of 
the same/ as right requyreth/ we willyng in no kynde the saide acte to 
be broken nor hurte by non of oure felyshipp in that vs is and that the 
p'sones founde quycly yf any suche be as god forbede that ye do cor- 
recion after th ordenauce there made and thentent of yo*" lettre and as 
for yof desire of aunsware of the lordes intent here as yitt we can not 
vnderstonde their disposicion but as sone as we have knowlege ye shall 


haue wittyng and as for the lettres that ye write ye shulde sent from 
seint Omers we receyued non as yitt and as for any ioperdy that shulde 
fall ye shall vnderstonde it ther soner than we here/ and if we knowe of 
any ye shall have wrytyng &c. 

Writ at london the iij''» day of June/ 

J. Tate/ J. Marshall/ Ed. Betts & 
J. Broun Custoses of the mercery 
& thaventerers of the same, 
a Willi" Caxton Gunor jg la nac9 deng^- 
Envoye p' symond preste le iiij*^ io'' de June. 


[Folio xij recto.] Anno xiiijo Ixviijo- 
Parsonesassiged Courte holden the ix daye of Septembr the yere aboue 
to go in ambas- writte hit was accorded and agreede thot for asmoche 
sate by the as the kyng & his Counsell desyred of the felisshipp 
kynges com- to haue certen p'sones of the same to go on in Am- 
maundment. bassatt w* dins Enbassatos into fflaunders as for the 

enlargjTig of WoUen clothe that theis persones vnder- 
written shnlde be p'seuted to the kynges highnes & his Councell/ they to 
do as shall pleas them/ 

William Redeknape 
John Pykeryng 
William Caxton 
[Same Folio and year.] 
Mony assigned Courte holden the xxviij daye of Septebr' the yere 
to the said am- aboue said 

bassatos for hit is accorded that William Redenape and John 
theire Costs. Pykeryng shall haue in honde xl li st'ling towarde 

thoire costs & charges for thambassatt of thenlargyng 
of Wollen clothe in the Duke of Burgun londes whiche shalbc leyde oute 
of the cundith mony at this tymc receyued vnto the tyme another Courte 
be had for the p'vision of the same by the advise of the Aldermen of 
onre felyshipp. 


{Mercers^ Hall, London.) 

A folio Volume on paper, in the Archives of the Mercers' Company, 
written in the 15th Century, being a continuation, on a different plan, of 
the " Wardens' Accounts." 

It appears that about 1463-4 the wealth of the Mercers, especially in 
houses and lands, had so much increased, that it was found convenient 


to appoint one out of the four Wardens, whose business it should be to 
keep an account of the Company's estate. Accordingly cA-^ery year a 
"Renter Warden" was chosen; and from this period the Rent-roll is 
the main feature in the books, the sum total only of the Fees and Ex- 
penses of the Company appearing under their separate heads. 


Under " Qwj-terents." — 3rd Edward IV. 

Item paid to ye Chamberleyn of Westm'" for ye pye at S Martyns 
Otewich for iiij t'm^ at Est' A^ iij^" xxs 

4th Edward IV. 

Item to ye m' of S Giles in ye ffeld for tents at S Martyns Oteswich 
vj s viij d 
Item to ye Chamberleyn of yabbey of Westm"" fer ye same xx s 

7th Edward IV. 

Item paid for Rep'acs done at S Martyns Oteswich as ap'ith by ye 
pap' of yacopts/ as in tyleng and oy^ yings xx s vj d ob9. 


A^ xiiij c Ixxv. Under the head ** Discharge by Qwyterents of the 

Paid to the Chambleyn of West^" for the pye xx s 

Same year. Under " Qwyterents of Whet' " (Whittington). 

The Wards of O*" lady brethered of seint Margaret at Westm^ v s 


A° xiiij c Ixxvij. Under " Qwyterents of Whetyngton." 
It' of the Wardeyns of 0^ lady brethered of Seint Margarets at 
Westminster v s 

Under " Qwyterents." 

Itm to the Chawmburleyn of wesf for the grehound iiij s vj d 

Under '" Other paiements." 
Eor a dener kept at the grehound at the visitacion of 

the lyuelod xxvj s viij d 

Itm for wesshyng of a tabyll cloth ij d 

A" xiiij c Ixxxiiij Under the same. 

It of the wards of o^ lady brethered of seint marg'ets at Westemesf 
for their tenf in Aldermare v s 

APPE!n)IX. 151 


Citizen of London and Mercer — dated 11th April, 1441 — translated from 
the original copy in the book, called " Rouse," formerly deposited in the 
Prerogative Court, Doctors* Commons, and now in the Probate Registry 
of the High Court of Justice. 


3jx tfje l^ame of ©©IB ^mtn. On the eleventh Day of the month 
of April in the Year of our Lord One Thousand CCCC and forty one 
in the nineteenth Year of King Henry the Sixth after the conquest 
I Robert Large Citizen and Mercer of the City of London being in 
perfect health and memory do hereby make execute and ordain my Will 
in this manner First I bequeath and commend my Soul to Almighty 
GOD my Creator and Saviour to the Blessed Virgin Mary His Mother 
and to all the Saints and my body to be buried in the parish Church of 
St. Olave in the Old Jewry Londbn to wit in the same place in which 
the body of Elizabeth my late wife lies buried which my body being 
buried I will and bequeathe first and principally that all and singular my 
debts shall be faithfully and entirely paid in full And afterwards I 
bequeath to the High Altar of the said Church of St. Olave that the 
Vicar of the same shall specially pray for the good of my soul C s Also 
I bequeath for the use of the structure of the same church to be applied 
wherever it shall be most requisite according to the sound discretion of 
the parishioners twenty marcs Also I leave twenty pounds for my 
executors to buy one set of vestments to be chosen according to the 
judgment of the aforesaid parishioners and such set of vestments I will 
to remain in the said church of St. Olave to serve for the glory of GOD 
so long as they shall last Also I bequeath two hundred marcs for the 
purpose of providing a Chaplain fit and honest and well instructed in 
those things which pertain to the holy offices to celebrate mass at the 
altar of the blessed Mary in the said church of St. Olave daily when it 
shall be appointed or otherwise according to the discretion of my wife 
and to be present at divine service at each hour appointed for prayer to 
officiate to pray and to minister according to the discretion of four 
approved most profitable for the salvation of my soul Also I bequeath 
to Alice my daughter one hundred pounds to be paid to her when she 
shall arrive at the age of twenty-one years to be spent in the purchase of 
furniture and utensils most necessary for her house according to sound 
advice and counsel Also I bequeath to Elizabeth my daughter five 
hundred marcs sterling and I mil that the said Elizabeth my daughter 
together with the aforesaid five hundred marcs left by me as above to 
the said Elizabeth my daughter be and remain in the governance of the 
aforesaid Stephen Tychemerssh until the said Elizabeth my daughter 
shall arrive at the age of twenty years or be married he the said Stephen 
finding sufficient security in the chamber of Guildhall in the City of 


London according to the custom and usage of the said City to deliver up 
to the said Elizabeth my daughter the aforesaid five hundred marks 
sterling when the said Elizabeth my daughter shall arrive at the afore- 
said age of twenty years or be married without rendering any other 
interest therefor only and except the reasonable support of the said 
Elizabeth my daughtei* And if the said Elizabeth my daughter shall 
happen to die unmarried or before the age of twenty years then I will 
that two hundred and fifty marks of the aforesaid five hundred marks 
left by me as above to the said Elizabeth my daughter revert to the said 
Alice my daughter if she shall survive and if she be dead then the said 
two hundred and fifty marks together with the other said two hundred 
and fifty marks remaining be at the disposal of and distributed by my 
executors in pious uses and works of charity for the good of my soul and 
the souls above mentioned in manner as afore is set forth Also I be- 
queath to the common box of the Mystery of Mercers of the City of 
London for the support of the poor of the said mystery twenty pounds. 
Also I bequeath ten pounds to be disposed of according to the discretion 
of my executors in the purchase of a vestment to serve in the Mercers' 
chapel in the church of St. Thomas of Acan London so long as it will 
last Also I bequeath to each convent of the four orders of mendicant 
friars in the City of London to pray for my soul forty shillings Also I 
bequeath to the convent of friars of the order of St. Cross near the Tower 
of London twenty shillings. Also I bequeath one hundred shillings for 
the purchase of bedding linen and flannel according to the discretion of 
my executors to serve in the Hospital of St. Bartholomew in West Smith- 
field so long as they will last Also I bequeath one hundred shillings 
wherewith to purchase in like manner bedding for the new hospital 
called St. Mary Spital without the aforesaid thousand pounds left by me 
to him the said Thomas my son be and remain in the safe charge and 
government of the aforesaid Johanna my wife until the said Thomas my 
son shall arrive at the age of twenty-four years she the said Johanna my 
wife finding suflicient security in the Guildhall chamber of the city of 
London according to the manner and custom of the said City to deliver 
up to the said Thomas my son the aforesaid thousand pounds when he 
Thomas my son. shall arrive at his aforesaid age of twenty-four years 
without rendering any interest therefor only and except the reasonable 
support of my said son Thomas Also I bequeath to Robert my son one 
thousand pounds sterling and I will that the said Robert my son together 
with the aforesaid thousand pounds so left by me as above to the said 
Robert my son be and remain in the safe charge and governance of the 
aforesaid Thomas Staunton my brother until the said Robert my son 
shall arrive at the age of twenty-four years the said Thomas Staunton 
finding sufficient security in the Guildhall chamber of the City of London 
according to the manner and custom of the said City to deliver up to the 
said Robert my son the aforesaid thousand pounds so left by me as afore- 
said when the said Robert my son shall arrive at his aforesaid age of 


twenty-four years without rendering any interest therefor only and 
except the proper support of my said son Robert Also I bequeath 
to Richard my son one thoosand pounds sterling and will that the 
said Richard my son together with the said thousand pounds so be- 
queathed by me to him as above shall be and remain in the safe custody 
and governance of the aforesaid Johanna my wife until Richard my said 
son shall arrive at the age of twenty-four years the said Johanna my 
wife finding sufficient security for the said thousand pounds in the same 
way as above specified And in case one or more of my said sons Thomas 
Robert or Richard shall die before reaching the said age of twenty-four 
years then I will and bequeath that the portion or ix)rtion8 of that my 
son or those my sous so dying before the age of twenty-four years shall 
revert to that one or thase of my said sons surviving And if all my said 
sons shall die before arriving at the age of twenty-four years then I will 
and bequeath that the said three thousand pounds shall be disposed of 
and distributed by my executors in pious uses and works of charity for 
the good of my own soul and the souls of my parents my wives and my 
children also of my friends and benefactors for the souls of all I hold in 
esteem and of all the faithful departed this life in such way as my execu- 
tors may consider to be better for the pleasing of GOD and among poor 
unmarried men and women desirous of marriage Also I bequeath to the 
parish church of Shakeston where my father lies buried a vestment of the 
value of ten pounds to serve in the same church to the glory of GOD so 
long as it will last Also I bequeath to the parish church of Aldester 
where my ancestors are buried a vestment of the value of ten pounds 
Also I leave to the parish church of Overton where some of my relatives 
are buried a vestment of the value of ten pounds Also I bequeath to 
Thomas Nyche my servant 1 marks Also to Richard Bonyfaunt my 
apprentice 1 marks Also I bequeath to Henry Onkmonton my appren- 
tice 1 pounds Also I bequeath to Robert Dedes my apprentice xx marks 
Also I bequeath to Christopher my apprentice xx pounds Also I be- 
queath to William Caxton my apprentice xx marks Also I bequeath to 
John Gode my servant x pounds Also I bequeath to William Brydde 
my servant x marks Also I bequeath to William my kitchen servant 
xl shillings Also I bequeath to Katherine my servant x marks and to 
Isabella Lynde xl shillings Also I leave to William Sampson my ser- 
vant at my manor of llorham five marks Also I bequeath to Peter my 
servant at the same place xl shillings and to Thomas my servant at the 
same place xxvj shillings and viij pence Also I bequeath to John de 
Ramsey servant of Isabella Boteley x marks on his marriage Also I 
bequeath to Richard Tumat the son of Johanna my wife xx pounds 
Also I bequeath C marks to be divided by my executors among the 
children of John Chirch Citizen and Mercer of the City of London 
who shall be living at the age of xxiiij years Also I bequeath to 
Thomas Staunton my brother if he will undertake the charge of exe- 
cuting this my will and will act with good diligence in this office C 


pounds Also I bequeath to Arnulph Strete Mercer on the same con- 
dition C marks and to Stephen Tychemerrsh on the same condition C 
marks Also I leave to Katherine my mother C marks Also I bequeath 
to Johanna my wife by way of gift and instead of her portion of all and 
singular my moveable goods and chattels by law belonging to her four 
thousand marks And in case that she Johanna my wife shall be dis- 
satisfied with this my said legacy then I will that this my legacy to the 
said Johanna do cease and become void in law and that then the said 
Johanna my wife do have of my moveable goods and chatties only that 
portion to which she is entitled by law without any addition or advan- 
tage whatsoever Also I bequeath to Thomas my son one thousand 
pounds sterling and I will that the said Thomas my son together with 
parishioners of the aforesaid church for twenty years next after my 
decease the said chaplain taking for his annual salary ten marks to be 
paid and administered at the hands of my executors in order that he the 
said Chaplain may specially commend to GOD my soul and also the souls 
of Elizabeth and Johanna my wives Eichard Herry my late master and 
the souls of all those whom I esteem and the souls of all the faithful 
departed Also I bequeath to the high altar of St. Margaret in Lothbury 
London C s Also I bequeath xx Pounds to be paid by my executors for 
the purchase of one set of vestments according to the expressed choice 
of the aforesaid parishioners which set of vestments I wish to remain in 
the said Church of Saint Margaret to serve for the worship of GOD so 
long as they shall last. Also I leave xx pounds to be disposed of and 
divided by my executors among the more indigent poor men and women 
of the ward of Coleman Street Also four pounds to be divided by my 
executors among the Chaplains and Clerks in the Churches of St. Olave 
and St. Margaret aforesaid within two years next after my decease that 
is to say xl s each year in order that the aforesaid Chaplains and Clerks 
may pray for my soul Also I bequeath for the new making and con- 
struction of an aqueduct lately begun in the City of London CCCC marks 
to be paid within four years according to the discretion of my executors 
on condition however that the aforesaid aqueduct be completed within 
four years next after my decease and not otherwise Also I bequeath for 
the work of making and repairing London Bridge C marks to be paid 
within four years according to the discretion of my executors Also I 
bequeath for the cleansing of the Watercourse called Walbrook near the 
church of St. Margaret Lothbury and for the enlargement and upholding 
of the same church to be disposed of according to the wise discretion of 
my executors and four approved parishioners of that Church CC marks 
or more if necessary so that it do not exceed CCC marks Also I bequeath 
C marks to be disposed of according to the wise discretion of my execu- 
tors for the marriage of ten poor girls of good character namely to each 
of these ten girls at her marriage ten marks whether in the country or 
in the City of London Also I bequeath C pounds to be divided by my 
executors among poor domestic servants in the counties of Lancashire 


and Warwickshire that is to 6&j one poor manservant ten shillings and 
to another twenty shillings and to another forty shillings as occasion 
may require so long as the said C pounds shall suffice Also I bequeath 
XX pounds to be distributed by my executors where it may be most 
needed Bishopsgate London so long as it will last. Also I leave five 
marks wherewith in like manner to purchase bedding for the hospital of 
the Blessed Saint Mary of Bethlehem without Bishopsgate aforesaid. 
Also I bequeath forty shillings wherewith in like manner to purchase 
bedding for the hospital of St. Thomas of Southwark near London. Also 
I bequeath six pounds wherewith in like manner to purchase bedding 
for the Lepershouses at Hakeney les lokes without the barriers of St 
George Southwark and of St Egidius beyond Holbom London namely 
to each of the said houses forty shillings Also I bequeath one hundred 
shillings wherewith to provide and purchase food and other things most 
necessary for the poor prisoners in Newgate London to be distributed 
according to the sound discretion of my executors Also I bequeath one 
hundred shillings to be distributed in like manner among the prisoners in 
Ludgate London Also I bequeath for repairs in the nave of the church 
of Thakstede five marks Also I bequeath for repairs in the body of 
the church of Chawrey in the county of Essex forty shillings Also 
I bequeath to Richard Foliet mercer twenty marks Also I bequeath to 
William Halle mercer lately my servant twenty pounds Also I bequeath 
to Agnes lately my servant forty shillings Also I bequeath to each of 
my two said daughters Alice and Elizabeth three cups with covers from 
among my cups called standing cups of silver-gilt whichever of such 
cups with the covers shall weigh twenty-four ounces and * ♦ * ♦ 

[^one leaf of tJie original is here mi^.ung'\ 
the s"i Richard Tumat dying without male heirs lawfully begotten, then 
I will that all the above lands and tenements with their appurtenances 
shall revert to the male heirs of my before-mentioned son Robert Large. 
Provided nevertheless that if the sA Richard Turnat shall take possession 
of all the aforesaid lands and tenements in Newton that then he shall be 
excluded entirely from the manor of Horham in the county of Essex 
with the lands and tenements and appurtenances belonging thereto. 

Then follows the Probate, dated May 6th, 1441, and proved before 
Zauobio Mulakyn, Dean of the Church of St. Mary-le-Bow, London. 


(^The Archives, Bruges.') 

The following document is found in one of the many volumes of 
Records preserved in the Archives of the City of Bruges. Like the 
other volumes of this interesting series it is in manuscript coeval with 


the history it elucidates. The title at the beginning of the book is as 
follows : — 

" Registre van alle zaken ghehandelt by Scepen van Brugghe, in huerl. 
camere daer zy daghelicx vergaderen. Beghint in Septembre in 'tjaer 
dunst vierhondert xlvij."; or, " A register of all matters brought under 
the notice of the Councillors of Bruges, in their daily session assembled. 
Begun in the month of September, in the year one thousand four hun- 
dred xlvij." 


To all who see or hear these Presents — the Burgomasters, Sheriffs, 
and Council of the Town of Bruges send greeting. Be it known that 
William Craes, an English Merchant, Complainant, of the one part, and 
John Selle and William Caxton, English Merchants also, Defendants, of 
the other part, have this day appealed for justice before Roland de Vos 
and Guerard le Groote our Fellows, Sheriffs. The said Complainant 
says, that John Granton, Merchant, of the Staple at Calais, was bound 
and indebted to him in certain sums of money ; that is to say, firstly in 
&60 sterling for and because of a certain obligation, and further, in the 
sum of £50 sterling on account of a certain exchange which had taken 
place between them, as well as for expenses and costs incurred in that 
matter, amounting on the whole to £110 sterling. For this sum he had 
caused the said John Granton to be arrested in the Town of Bruges, and 
that the said John being arrested, the said John Selle and William 
Caxton became sureties for him, in equity and law. 

And because the said John had departed the Town of Bruges without 
having paid and satisfied him, or appealed for justice, he demanded that 
the said Defendants should be compelled and adjudged, as Sureties of 
the said John, to pay the said claim, 

The said Defendants, in answer, acknowledged that in the manner 
aforesaid they had become Sureties to the said William Craes for the 
said John Granton, but submitted that the said John was quite solvent, 
rich enough, and would certainly pay the amount ; requiring therefore 
that the said Complainant might seek his debt of the said John, who was 
the real debtor, and that they might be discharged from their said surety- 
ship : disputing also the sum demanded by the Defendant on account of 
the said exchange, for certain reasons thereupon alleged ; the aforesaid 
Plaintiff holding the validity of the said suretyship, and demanding as 
aforesaid ; together with many other reasons submitted by the said par- 
ties. And after hearing the said parties on the said questions, with their 
arguments, as well as certain Merchants, that the said dispute had been 
determined by our Fellows, Sheriffs, who had adjudged and decided : 
That the said Defendants should, as the Sureties of the said John 
Granton, pay and satisfy the said William Craes, firstly in the said sum 
of £60, of which the said obligation made mention, and furthermore in 
the sum of £35 sterling on account of the said exchange aad costs. 
And that, upon the surrender of the said obligation, good and sufficient 


security amounting to the two said sums of £60 and £35 sterling should 
be given ; that in case at some future time the said John Granton should 
deny the debt of the said sums, or allege payment, that then, on the other 
hand, the said Plaintiff should be sentenced to render and repay the said 
two sums and more. Right of action being reserved to the said Defen- 
dants against the said John Granton, the original debtor, as law and 
equity direct. 

In witness whereof, &c., 2 January (1449). 


{The ArcJiiveg, Bruges.) 
A Register written on paper in the fifteenth century, and containing 
Civil Judgments, given in the Town of Bruges during the years 1465-9. 


Whereas Daniel, son of Adrien, called Sheriff Daniel, Plaintiff of the 
one part, and Jeroneme Vento, for and in the name of Jaques Doric,* 
Merchant of Genoa, Defendant of the other part, have promised and 
agreed to leave all the differences between them to the judgment and 
arbitration of William Caxton, Merchant of England, and Master and 
Governor of the English Nation in these parts ; and of Thomas Perrot, 
as Arbitrators, and amicable Umpires and common friends, the said 
parties, and each of them, promising well and legally to abide by, 
observe and perform all that the said Arbitrators shall decide and 
adjudicate on the said differences, without opposition of any kind. And 
that the said Arbitrators having heard the pleas of the said parties, 
and formed thereon their sentence and judgment which they have 
reported to the full chamber of the Sheriffs of Bruges, it has been 
notified to the said parties, that, because the said William Caxton was 
unavoidably absent from the said City of Bruges, the said parties have 
been summoned before the said full chamber of the Sheriffs of Bruges, 
and have appeared. To whom has been signified the arbitration and 
judgment by the said Arbitrators, which was and is as follows ; that is 
to say — That the said Jeroneme Vento, for and in the name of the said 
Jaques Doric, shall pay to the said Scepheer Daniel promptly and in 
current money the sum of £4 gross ; and that the said Jeroneme above- 
named shall advance to the said Sheriff Daniel another £4 gross, the 
said Scepheer Daniel, however, giving good surety to the said Jeroneme 
that he will repay the said sum of £4 gross which he had advanced, 
within the first four voyages, in whatever country it may be, that Sheriff 
Daniel may make with his vessel, that is to say, on each voyage £1 gross. 

* Perhaps one of the celebrated Doiia family of Genoa. 


Provided always, that in case the said Daniel shall not make a voyage 
with his said ship within the next six months, and that the said 
Daniel, or his sureties, shall be bound to pay aud restore to the said 
Jeroneme Vento (without the said Jeroneme agree to a postponement) 
the other payments above-named. The observance of which judgment 
and arbitration by the said parties, and each of them, has been decreed 
in the said full chamber of Sheriffs of Bruges. 
Done the 12th of May, 1469. 


Under the date of '* Easter. 19 Edward IV, 15th June," is the fol- 
lowing : — 

To William Caxton. In money paid to his own hands in discharge 
of 20 1, which the Lord the King commanded to be paid to the same 
William for certain causes and matters performed by him for the said 
Lord the King. 

By writ of privy seal amongst the mandates of this term 20 1. 


( J» the Vestry of St. Margarets Clmrch Westminster.) 

A Volume of biennial Accounts of the Churchwardens, audited by 
the chief Parishioners, Each Account is written on a quire of parch- 
ment, complete in itself : they vary considerably in size, but have been 
carefully bound in one Volume, and are in beautiful condition. The 
period included in this Volume is 1464 to 1503. The contents consist of 
— Receipts of Pees for Burials, Obits, &;c. — Rents — Legacies, and Gifts 
— Payments for Repairs — Salaries — Pew-rents — Collections — and other 


" Compus Thome Frampton & Willi Stafford custod' bonor9 & oma- 
mentor9 ecclie p'ochial' see margarete Westm' videl't a xvij^ die Maij 
A" regis Edwardi quarti post conq'm AngF quarto vsqu xxij diem 
einsdem » ♦ * * 

In the List of Fees for Burial is — 

'* It™ rec** de Oliver Cawston die sepult' p' iiij tapr' viij d " 

Among the Miscellaneous Receipts for 1476 — 
" It™ of a rewarde for a boke & a Chales lent to Sir 

Ric' Wideuyle xx d " 



" Here folowith Thaccompt of John Wycam and of Nicholas Wolles- 
croft Wardeins of the parisshe Churche of seynt margarete of Westm* 

* * from the vij**» day of the moneth of may in the yere of our 
lord god Me CCCC Ixxviij ♦ ♦ ♦ vnto the xviij*i» day of may in 
the yere of our lord god M^ CCCC Ixxx " * * * 

In the List of Fees for Burial in the first year — 

" It™ the day of burying of William Caxton for ij torchis 

and iiij tapirs at a lowe masse xx d " 

The amount paid does not appear large ; but in a very long list of 
burial fees there are only four equal in amount, the common rate of fees 
being ij d, iiij d, or vj d. 


The same Account. In the List of Fees for burial in the second 
year — 

" It™ the day of bureying of Jone large for ij tapirs iiij d " 


The Audit at the end of the same Account is as follows : — 

" The whiche some of xxiij li. X s v d ob. q* the forsaide wardeyns 

haue paid and delyued in the fulle Audite vnto william Garard and 

William Hachet their Successours togeder w* the tresoures of and in the 

chirche aforeseid to them delyued in the begynn}Tig of this accompte 

* * in the presence of John Randolf squyer Richard Vmfrey gen- 
tilman Thomas Burgeys John Kendall notary William Caxton * ♦ - 
with other paryshyns " ♦ * 


In the Account for the years 1490-2, among the Burial Fees for the 
first year — 

*' Item atte Bureyng of Mawde Caxston for torches and tapres 

iij s ijd " 
In the second year — 

•' Item atte Bureying of William Caxton for iiij torches vj s viij d " 
" Item for the belle atte same bureyng vj d " 

Here we remark again that in both these cases the fees paid are con- 
siderably larger than usual. 

In the Accounts for 1496-8 among thr Legacies, and their produce — 
" It™ receyued by the handes of William Kyolle for oone 
of thoo printed bokes that were bequothen to the 
Churche behove by William Caxston vj s viijd '' 

" It™ receyued by the handes of the said William for a 

nother of the same printed Bokes called a legend vj s iiij d " 


" It™ by the hands of the parisshe prest for a nother of 

the same legendes vj s viij d " 

At the end of the Account — 

" Memorand' there remayneth in store to the said Chirch " 
" It™ in bokes called legendes of the bequest of William 

Caxton xiij d " 

Among the Payments at the end of the same Account — 
" It™ paide for a supper gevyn vnto the Auditours herynge 
and determenyng this accompt and to the newe 
Chirchwardeyns as it hath ben vsed and accus- 
tumed here tofore xx s " 

In the Accounts for 1498-1500— 

"The Receites of Bookes called Legendes in the first yere of this 
accompte " — 

" Fyrst Receyued of John Crosse for a prainted legende 
"Item Receiued for a nother legende solde in West- 

mynster halle 
" Item Receiued of Willm geyfe for a nother of the same 

"It™ receiued of the said Willm Geyfe for a nother 

" Item R of Walter Marten for a nother legende 
In the second year of the same account — 

" Item R. of William Geiffe for ij legendes printed x s iiij d " 

" It™ R of Daniell af orge for a printed legended v s x d " 

*' Item R of William Geiffe for a printed legende v s " 

" Memorand' ther remayneth in store to the saide chirch " * * * 
" It™ in bokes called Legendes of the bequest of William Caxton iij " 
In the Accounts for 1500-2 there are not entered any sales of 
" Legends." 

"Ther remayneth in store to the saide chirche " * * * 

" Item a prjTited legende booke of the bequeste of Will'm Caxton." 


viij d " 


viij d " 




viij d " 


xj d" 


{In tlie Vestry of St. MargareVs Churchy Westminster). 
A Volume of triennial Accounts of the Fraternity of our Blessed 
Lady Assumption, beautifully written on vellum, and in excellent pre- 
servation. It includes the period between 1474 and 1522, and is of very 
great interest in illustrating the customs of that period. The earlier as 
well as the later Volumes are not known to exist. The following are the 
principal headings of the various Accounts: — Arrears of Members — 
Rents received — Bequests and Gifts — Receipts for Obits of Members — 


Fees of new Members — Rents paid — Payments of Salaries — Wages — 
Annuities to Almsmen and Women — House-repairs — Wax Candles, and 
other expenses, for the Shrine of our Lady in St. Margaret's Church — 
and Miscellaneous expenses. 

(24th June, 1474, to 24th June, 1477). 

The first Account is headed — 

" This is thaccompte of maister William Thirleby heniy marble gen- 
tilman and James Fytt maistres or Wardeyns chosen of the Frat'nte or 
gylde of oure blessed lady seint mary the virgyn wtin the p'issh chirch of 
peint margaret of the towne of Westm in the shire of midd' founded, that 
is to say from the fest of Natiuite of seint John Baptist in the yere of 
ye reigne of kyng Edward the iiij'^ after the conquest xiiij vnto the said 
fest of the Natiuite of seint John the xvijt*» yere of the reigne of the 
same kyng by three hole yeres as it p'ticulerly appiereth in p'cellez here 
folowyng that is to wete." 

Under Payments of Rent in the same Account — 

" Also the said late maistres charge themsilf w* a certeyn quite rent 
due by John RandolfF of london mercer for a licence of Pre entre of 
comyng in and going out for his tenntes thurgh the gate and an Alley 
called our lady Alley in the kynges Strete of the towne of westm'." 

In the same Account, under " thentre of diues p'sones of new to the 
said frat'nite is " John Caxston vj s viij d." 

Also among the Payments — 

'• Diuers payments by the said late maisters for the said Fratemite 
* * * of the which thay axe to be allowed in this accompt." 

" Of the money by them paid to the wardeins of the Craft of mercery 
of london for certain quite rent going out of the ten't in the p'isshe of 
Aldermarie Chirche of london at vs by the yere." 

The Fraternity appear also to have held tenements in King Street, 
Westminster, at Kensington, and at Stroud. 

In the same Account, after the payment of six priests' salaries — 

" Costes and p'celles allowed by the hole Brotherhode toward 

thexpences of the geiiall fest in iij^^® yere of this accompt." 

These " Costs and Parcels " occupy two full folio pages, and have 

yielded the following items : — 

" A tonn of wyne vj li " 

'* Paide to John Drayton chief cok for his reward xxv s " 

" Also for the hire of xxiiij doseyn of erthen pottes for 

ale & wyne iiij s " 

" Also for erthen pottes broken & wasted at the same fest vj s viij d " 
" Also to iiij players for their labour xi j s xd " 



" Also to iij mynstrelles ix s x d " 

" Also for the mete of diues of strangers xvj s " 

" Also for russhes ij s iiij d " 

" Also for yj doseyn of white cuppes iij s " 


" Also for portage and botehjo-e of the Turbut iiij d " 

" Also for ix Turbutts xv s ij d " 

In addition to scores of " Capons, chekyns, gese, conyes, and peiones," 
(pigeons), the chief " cok " provided them with *' swannys " and " herons," 
with all sorts of fish, including oysters and " see pranys," or prawns, with 
all kinds of meats and game, with jellies in *' ix dosen gely disshes," 
and with abundance of fruits. The quantity of ale, wine, and ypocras 
provided by the butler is marvellous, and one cannot wonder at the heavy 
entries for '* pottes and cuppes broken, and wasted." The Cook seems 
to have been paid much more liberally than the Wardens, who had but 
XXX s between them *' for their dilligence." 

In the Accounts for 1490-3 are the Receipts of Rent from tenements, 
known as *' The Maidenhead," " The Sonne," " The Rose," and " The 

Also, under payment of Rent — 

" For a certayn Quit rent paid out of a litell tent in the wolstaple to 
the mair of the staple at xxd by the yere." 

" Also for a certain Quit rent paid out of the Rents in 

Alderm'ay p'isshe to John More Renter of the Mercers xv s " 

From " Rymer's Foedera." Folio. London. 1710. Vol. XI. 536. 
The King to all whom it may concern, &c. Greeting. 

Be it known that 
Inasmuch as determinate arrangements concerning the intercourse of 
merchandise between our subjects and the subjects of our well-beloved 
Cousin the Duke of Burgundy have in a sure form and manner been 
accorded and agreed to in times past and since that time often renewed, 
Wishing on our part to hold good and observe such arrangements, 
and being well assured of the faithfulness and discretion of our well- 
beloved subjects Richard Whetehill, Knight, and William Caxton, 

Do make, ordain and constitute, by these presents, the said Richard 
and William our true and accredited Ambassadors, Agents, Nuncios, 
and several Deputies ; 


Giving and Granting to our said Ambassadors, Agents, Nuncios, and 
Deputies, and to either of them, full power and authority and general as 
well as special commandment to meet, to enter into treaty and to com- 
municate with our aforesaid Cousin or his Ambassadors, Agents, Nuncios, 
and Deputies delegated with suflRcient powers for this purpose by our 
said Cousin, concerning and upon the continuation and renewal of the 
aforesaid Intercourse, and, should occasion require, to make and conclude 
new arrangements, 

And to do and exercise all and singular other deeds which may be fit 
or necessary. 

Promising, in good faith and on our kingly word, always to hold as 
ratified, acceptable, and binding, all and any the Acts and Deeds of our 
said Ambassadors, Agents, Nuncios, and Deputies, or either of them, as 
aforesaid, which may be done, performed, or done by procuration, in the 
foregoing matters, or any portion thereof. 

As witness our hand at Wycombe, this 20th day of October (1464). 


The manuscript is — 
*' To tharchedeacon of Westm' that nowe is and for the tyme shalbe. 
We, Richard Fitz James, Almoner and Counsaillor unto ourc souverain 
lord the King, and Richard Hatton, chaplayne and counsaillor vnto our 
said souverain lord, greting in our Lord God euerlasting. And whereas 
we, the said Richard and Richard, were appoynted, lymytted and assigned 
by our said souverain lord and the l^rdes of his most noble counsaill to . 
examine, determyne and pacific a certain variaunce depending betwene 
Gerard Croppe of Westminster, taillour, of the oone partie, and Eliza- 
beth, the doughter of William Caxton, wif to the said Gerard, of the othre 
partie ; We, the vij^^ dale of May, the xj*>' ye re of our said souverain 
lord, had the said parties before us in the Kinges Chapell within his 
palois of Westminster at this appoyntement and conclusion by thcire both 
assentes and aggrementes : — That noon of theim, ne any othre for theim, 
shall fromhensforth vexe, sue or trouble othre for any maner matier or 
cause theim concemying for matrimony betwix theim before had ; and 
every of theim to lyve sole from othre, except that the said Gerard shall 
mowe fynde the meanes to have the love and favour of the seid Elizabeth. 
For thaccomplisshment of which aggrement eithre of theim of their owne 
voluntarie willes bound theim self unto us by their faithes and trouthes, 
and never to varie from their said promyses. And therupon the said 
Gerard to have of the bequest of William Caxton, the fadre of the said 
Elizabeth, xx** piynted legendes at xiij s iiij d a legend. And the said 
Gerard to delyver a generall acquitaunce unto thexecutours of William 
Caxton, her said fadre, for their discharge in that behalf. And besides 

M 2 



thies premisses both the said parties were aggreed before us to be bound, 
eche to othre, in by their dedes obligatorie with the condicions above 
wreten to perform e alle the premisses. In wittenesse whereof I, the said 
Richard FitzJames, have to thies preseutes sette the scale of myn office. 
And I, the said Richard Hatton, have setto my seal, and eithre of us 
subscribed our names with oure owne handes, the xx*' daie of May the 
xjth yere of the reigne of our said souverain Lord." 


TYPE No. 1. 


on, or QuiNTERNiON, means a section of five sheets folded together in 

half =10 leaves = 20 pages. 
4n, or Quaternion — 8 leaves = 16 pages. 
3n, or Ternion = 6 leaves = 12 pages. 
Eecto is the right-hand page of an open book. 
Verso is the reverse, or the left-hand page. 
A Director is the name given to the small letter placed where the 

Illuminator was intended to paint in a large initial. 


Ctxnili, 0'<f\ elc 1. The Recuyell of the Histories of Troy e . . .1474? 

'A/.,^ar/$, 2. Le Recueil des Histoires de Troyes . . . 1476? 

>', ^rnA, OkA 3. The Game and Play of the Chess Moralised . 1475-76 ? 

'??' "/^'''y-'S *• ^®^ ^^^® ^^ prouesses du noble et vaillant Chevalier Jason . HI-? 

>yi,r , ... 6. Meditacions sur les Sept Pseaulmes penitenciaulx . 1478? 


No. 1. — The Recuyell of the Histories of Troy. 
Translated 1469-71. Folio. Without Place or Date. 

Collation. — Book I has fourteen 5°' and one 4"= 148 
leaves, of which the first is blank. Book II has nine 5"", one 
4", and one 3"= 104 leaves. Book III has ten 5"*= 100 
leaves. Total 351 printed leaves and one blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — Type No. 1 only. Lines 
of very uneven length ; full Hues measure 5 inches, but vary 
in different parts from 4 J to h\ inches. 31 lines to a full 
page. "Without signatures, catchwords, or numerals. Space 
is left, with a director, for 3 to 7-line initials. As may be 
seen by the collation, each book begins a fresh gathering, 
probably for the convenience of binding in three separate 

Commencing the work with a blank leaf, Caxton's preftice 
follows, printed in red ink, and occupying the second recto. 

The Text beguis thus : — 

^xz begpnnett tije bolume intitulet anlr natnflJ 
t) tf)e recu:DrU of tl)e 1)i0torgcs of Croge/ composftr 

anti tJtatom out of tipucrre tookciss of latpn \\\ 
to ixtxi%%%z tg tt)e t|)0t)t benrratle prrsone anlr toor^ 
sftipfuU man , l^aoul le fffure . prrest antj rjaprlagn 
bnto tf)e rgg1)t notle glorpoug anti tnj)gt)t5 prpnre m 
\\% Xymz 13l)rUp tiur of ^ourpgne of -lijratanli ^^c 
3i[n t1)e mxz of ^z SJnrarnacion of our lortj got! a tfiou^ 
santi foure i^ontierti siitg anti foure / ^nTi translatelr 
antj lirabjen out of fren^le in to englisste tp 2i2JliUpam 
(JTaiton mercer of ^ cgte of Uontjon / at tije comautjemet 


Of tt)e rigljt ij^it mggjtg anti berttmuse ^tgncesse i):D0 
tetiouttgti latig . jilargarete ip ti^e grace of gotj . ©u^ 
ci^esse of Bcurgogne of Hotrgk of i^rafianti $^c/ 
^lHf)ic5c jsagti tcanslacion an^ bierlte toas tiegonne in 
iSnigis in tf)c OTountee of dFlauntjrejs tfje fgrst trag of 
mardje tf\t pere of tije 3Jncarnacion of our m^ lorti goti 
a tjousanti foure i^ontfertr stxtp anti cggl^te / Enti entieti 
antj fpnpssibitJ in t|e Ijolp cgte of (ITolen tf)e , xix ♦ tap of 
septembre ti)e pere of our saptr lorti got a tfiousant 
foure i)ontiert sia:tp ant eleuen $ct. 

Ent on ti^at otfier ^ite of tf)i!5 (eef folobjetf) tfje prologe 

Caxton's Prologue begins on the verso of the same leaf, 
with space for a 4-line initial "W. 

Jgan S rememtre tf)at euerp man is tounten 

The first book commences on the fifth recto, with space for 
a 7-line initial W. The second begins on the 149th, and the 
third on the 2 5 3rd recto, the whole ending with some Latin 
rhymes on the 352nd recto, the verso being blank. 

Remaeks. — No one speaking the English language can 
look at this patriarchal volume with indifference. Here, for 
the first time, om- forefathers saw their language in print; 
and, could our interest in any way have been heightened, it 
would have been by knowing it to have been printed in our 
o^vTi instead of a foreign land. The history of its origin is 
shortly this. In the original French it was a favourite novel 
of the English and Bm-gundian courtiers, for, although nomi- 
nally an account of the Trojan wars, it is really a series of 
love scenes mixed with mythology and knight-errantry. The 
manuscript translation made by Caxton for the Duchess of 
Burgundy, whose court was at Bruges, having excited great 
interest, a demand arose for copies quicker than Caxton could 
supply them. The printing-press having been just established 
in that city by Colard Mansion, Caxton, whose thoughts were 
now homewards, determined to use it as a means of multiply- 
ing his translation, and of learning at the same time a new trade 
which would support him on his return to England. This 


he did at a great charge and expense, and then, ha\ing pro- 
cured a new fount of types and all the necessory material, 
came over to England and erected his press at Westminster. 

Fortunately this work cannot be reckoned among the 
rarities of Caxton's press, as there are copies in the British 
Museum, Sion College, College of Physicians, London, at 
Oxford, Cambridge, Paris, and fourteen other libraries. The 
Duke of Devonshire gave £1060 10s. for a copy in 1812, the 
same copy having been purchased by the Duke of Roxburgh 
a few years previously for £50. 

No. 2. — Le Recueil des Histoires de Troyes. Cmnpose 
en Van de grace 1464. Folio. Without Printer's 
Name, Place, or Date. (1476 ?). 

Collation. — Book /, twelve 5'"= 120 leaves, of which 
the first and last are blank. BooTc II, eight 5°" and one 3"= 
86 leaves. Book III, eight 5°' =80 leaves. Total, 284 
printed and two blank leaves. 

Typographical Particulars. — Type No. 1 only is used. 
The lines for the greater part are spaced out to one length, 
being more even in this particular than the two English books 
in this type. A full page has 31 lines, without signatures, 
numerals, headlines, or catchwords. A space two to four lines 
in depth has been left at the commencement of each chapter ^ 
for the insertion of an illuminated initial, a director being 
sometimes inserted. ^ 

The Text, 31 lines to a page, which is divided into three 
books, begins thus on the second recto, after a blank leaf: — 

dftj) commenre le bolume :5tititule le recueil tjes ^istoireja 
T>e Xtm% (Eompoise par beneratle l^omme raoul le feure 
prestre riiappellain tie men tresretiouftte seisneur iHonsei^ 
gneur le Buc ^i)flipp^ ^^ tourgoingne ^n Ian tie grace, 
mil . cccc . liiiii . : . 

and ends on the 286th verso. 

antipfjo' le rog eiestori' le rog protfienor et le rog odtomr'. 
* : * ijfriplicit * : * 


Remarks. — The history of the Trojan War, a favourite 
subject for several centuries with European writers, was the 
foundation of numerous romances. Of these the chief were 
the apocryphal history by Dares Phrygius, a Trojan priest, 
celebrated by Homer ; the account of the same war by Dictys 
Cretensis, a supposititious historian ; and the History of the 
Siege of Troy by Guido of Colonna, a native of Messina in 
Sicily, who wrote in the thirteenth century. The rise of 
these histories, their growth under the editorial care of 
successive scribes, the incorporation of incidents from other 
romances, and their final development in the compilation of 
"Le Recueil des Histoires de Troye," form a curious and 
typical example of this class of literature. According to 
the unanimous testimony of all printed editions and all 
manuscripts of the complete work, "Le Eecueil" was the 
composition of Raoul Lefevre, chaplain and secretary to 
Philippe le Bon, Duke of Burgundy: but in a manuscript 
copy of this work in the National Library, Paris, the first two 
books are attributed to Guillaume Fillastre. And this is 
remarkable — that Lefevre succeeded Fillastre (who was a 
voluminous author) in the ofiice of secretary to the duke. 
Probably, finding his predecessor's history unfinished, he took 
it up, and, after adding Book III, issued the whole under his 
own name. In that age a similar course was by no means 
uncommon, nor was it an infringement of any recognised 
literary right ; we can hardly, therefore, with M. Paris, call 
it (even if true) " une grande fraude literaire." On the other 
hand, several copies were issued with the name of Lefe^TC 
while Fillastre was yet living, and Caxton, who was contem- 
porary with both writers, ascribes the whole work to Lefevre. 
Nor is there any noticeable variation in style between the two 
portions, as might be expected if composed by two authors ; 
indeed the style of " Le Recueil " is the same as that of " Les 
fais du Jason," an acknowledged work of Lefevre. 

Steevens asserts that Shakspere derived the greater por- 
tion of his materials for the play of "Troilus and Cressida" 
from Lydgate's metrical composition, "The last destruction 
of Troy ;" but Douce, in his " Illustrations," is far nearer the 


truth in tracing the incidents employed by our great poet to 
Caxton's translation of " Le Recueil des Histoires de Troye." 
The latter was popular, and frequently reprinted long after 
Lydgate's laboured metre had become antiquated. 

There is a perfect copy in the British Museum, besides a 
large fragment. The National Library, Paris, has a copy, 
and four others are in private libraries. A fragment of eight 
leaves was purchased some years ago by a bookseller, and 
made into four thick volumes, each volume having two 
printed leaves with a hundred blank leaves on each side. 
These were all disposed of as specimens to lie open in the 
show-cases of museums. 

No. 3. — The Game and Play of the Chess Moralised. 
{Translated 1475). First Edition. Folio, WitJmit 
Printer's Narmf Placey or Date. (1475-76 ?) 

Collation. — Eight 4^" and one 5" =74 leaves, of which 
the 1st and 74th are blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is only one type. 
No. 1, used throughout the work. The lines are not spaced 
out ; the longest measure 5 inches ; a full page has 31 lines. 
Without title-page, signatures, numerals, or catchwords. 

The volume commences with a blank leaf, and on the 
second recto is Caxton's prologue, space being left for a 2-line 
initial, without director. 

The Text begins thus : — 

<© tf)e rigfit noble/ xi^X earcellent $c bertuoug prinre 
(George tiiic of Ollarence ©rl of ^IHartoglt anlr of 
saltsturpe/ grete rjamfterlagn of iiriiglonli $c leutmant 
of frelottti oltjrst trotirc of fei)nge iirtjtoaro tip ^t grace 
of goti fegnge of (irnglantj anti of frauce / jour most 
i)umtle seruant toiUiam OTaxton anionge otjer of j)ti\xx 
seruantes senties tinto goto peas . ftelttie , S^oge anb birto:^ 
rge bpon gour ilrnemges / i!\(gt)t i)igte pugssant ant> 

The Text ends on the 73rd recto, 

^xCts gentje gob) t^accomplisstement of gour te^ witle . 


last trap of marc^e ti^e per of out lorti goli ♦ a ♦ tftousanti 
foure i)ontrerti antr ixxiiiu \:.:.\ 

The 74th leaf is blank. 

Eemarks. — " Fynjsshid the last day of Marche the yer of 
oure lord god a thousand foure honderd and Ixxiiii." The word 
" fynysshed " has doubtless the same signification here as in 
the epilogue to the second book of Caxton's translation of the 
Histories of Troy, " begonne in Brugis, contynued in Gaunt, 
and finysshed in Coleyn," which evidently refers to the trans- 
lation only. The date, 1476-76, has been affixed, because in the 
Low Countries at that time the year commenced on Easter- 
day; this in 1474 fell on April 10th, thus giving, as the day 
of the conclusion of the translation, 31st March, 1475, the 
same year being the earliest possible period of its appearance 
as a printed book. 

The literary history of the " Game and Play of the Chess" 
does not appear to have hitherto received that attention which 
is its due. Before 1285, ^^gidius Colonna had composed 
his renowned work entitled " De regimine principum," which 
treats of self-government, domestic government, and national 
government. The "Liber de ludo Scachorum" of J. de 
Cessolis appears to have been based upon this work, its chief 
originality being the representation of the several stations 
and duties of life by the pieces used in chess. About the 
middle of the fifteenth century two distinct French versions 
were made. The earlier was probably that by Jean Faron, 
in 1347, who translated it literally from the original Latin. 
About the same time appeared the favourite and standard 
work of Jehan de Vignay, who took great liberties with the 
text, and added many stories and fables. Both these men were 
of the order of Preaching Friars, and seem to have worked 
quite independently of one another. Caxton's edition was 
principally from the version of Jehan de Yignay, to whom he 
gives the title of "an excellent Doctor of Divinity, of the 
Order of the Hospital of St, John's of Jerusalem," which is 
remarkable, as in his preface Jean de Yignay styles himself 



" hospitaller de I'ordre de haut pas," and he is so termed in 
all the manuscripts. On comparing the English and the two 
French versions, it is evident that Caxton must have been 
well acquainted with both. His prologue addressed to the 
Duke of Clarence contains, nominis mutatis, the whole of 
Jean de Vignaj's dedication to Prince John of France ; while 
Chapters I and III are taken entirely from the translation of 
Jean Faron. The remainder of the book is from the ver- 
sion of Jehan de Vignay, with one or two special insertions 
evidently from the pen of Caxton himself. 

To show the curious way in which Caxton adopted and 
adapted while translating, the dedication to the Duke of 
Clarence, hitherto considered as his own composition, is here 
given side by side with its French original. 

Caxton's Prologue to " The 
Game and Play of the 

TO the right noble /right 
excellent & vertuous prince 
George due of Clarence Erie 
of warwyk and of/ salisburye / 
grete chamberlayn of Eng- 
lond & leutenant of Irelond 
oldest broder of kynge Ed- 
ward by the grace of god 
kynge of England and of 
frauce / your most humble 
seruant william Caxton a- 
raonge other of your seruantes 
sendes vnto yow peas . helthe . 
loye and victorye vpon your 
Enemyes / Right highe puys- 
sant and redoubted pryrice/ 
For as moche as I haue vn- 
derstand and knowe / that ye 
are enclined vnto the comyn 
wele of the kynge our said 

Prologue of Jean de Vig- 
NAY TO HIS French trans- 
lation (A.D. 1860) OF THE 

A Tres noble & excellent 
prince Jehan de france 
due de normendie & auisne 
filz de philipe par la grace de 
dieu Roy de france . Frere 
Jehan de vignay vostre petit 
Religieux entre les autres de 
vostre seignoire / paix sante 
Joie & victoire sur vos en- 



saueryn lord . his nobles lordes 
and comyn peple of his noble 
royame of Englond / and that 
ye sawe gladly the Inhabitans 
of the same euformed in good . 
vertuous . prouffitable and 
honeste maners . Jn whiche 
your noble persone wyth 
guydyng of your hows ha- 
boundeth / gyuyng light and 
ensample vnto all other / 
Therfore I haue put me in 
deuour to translate a lityll 
book late comen in to myn 
handes out of frensh in to 
englisshe/Jn which I fynde 
thauctorites . dictees . and sto- 
ries of auncient Doctours phi- 
losophes poetes and of other 
wyse men whiche been re- 
counted & applied vnto the 
moralite of the publique wele 
as well of the nobles as of the 
comyn peple after the game 
and playe of the chesse/ 
whiche booke right puyssant 
and redoubtid lord I haue 
made in the name and vnder 
the shadewe of your noble 
protection / not presumyng to 
correcte or empoigne ony 
thynge ayenst your noblesse / 
For god be thankyd your 
excellent renome shyneth as 
well in strange regions as 
with in the royame of england 
gloriously vnto your honour 
and lande/ whiche god mul- 

nemis . Treschier & redoubte 
seign''/pour ce que Jay en- 
tendu et scay que vous veez 
& ouez volentiers choses pro- 
fl&tables & honestes et qui 
tendent alinformacion de bon- 
nes meurs ay Je mis vn petit 
liuret de latin en francois le 
quel mest venuz a la main 
nouuellement / ou quel plu»- 
sieurs auctoritez et dis de 
docteurs & de philosophes & 
de poetes & des anciens sages / 
sont Racontez & sont appli- 
quiez a la moralite des nobles 
hommes et des gens de peuple 
selon le gieu des eschez Ic 
quel liure Tres puissant et 
tres redoubte seigneur jay fait 
ou nom & soubz vmbre de 
vous pour laquelle chose 
treschr seign' Je vous suppli 



teplye and encrece But to 
thentent that other of what 
estate or degre he or they 
stande in . may see in tliis 
sayd lityll book/yf they 
gouerned them self as they 
ought to doo/wherfor my 
right dere redoubted lord I 
requyre & supplye your good 
grace not to desdaygne to 
resseyue this lityll sayd book 
in gree and thanke/as well 
of me your humble and vn- 
knowen seruant as of a better 
and gretter man than I am / 
For the right good wylle that 
I haue had to make this lityll 
werk in the best Avjse I can / 
ought to be reputed for the 
sayte and dede / And for more 
clerely to procede in this sayd 
book I haue ordeyned that 
the chapitres ben sette in the 
begynnynge to thende that 
ye may see more playnly the 
mater wherof the book treteth 

& requier de bonne voulente 
de cuer que il vo' daigne 
plaire a receuoir ce liure en 


aussi bien 


de vn 

greign' maistre de moy/car 
la tres bonne voulente que 
Jay de mielx faire se je pouoie 
me doit estre reputee pour le 
fait/Et po' plus clerement 
proceder en ceste ouure / Jay 
ordene que les chappitres du 
liure soient escrips & mis au 
commencement afin de veoir 
plus plainement la matiere de 
quoy le dit liure p'ole. 


Before concluding this article we must give an interpola- 
tion of the text which has real interest as showing Caxton's 
feelings towards " men of law." His author is regretting the 
conduct of some lawyers of Rome and Italy, and Caxton adds 
with a natural burst of indignation, which suggests that per- 
sonal experience had something to do with it : — 

" Alas ! and in England what hurt do the advocates, men 
of law, and attorneys of court to the common people of the 
royaume, as well in the spiritual law as in the temporal : how 
turn they the law and statutes at their pleasure ; how eat 
they the people, how impoverish they the community. I 


suppose that in all Christendom are not so many pleaders, 
attorneys, and men of the law as be in England only, for if 
they were numbered all that long to the courts of the Chan- 
cery, King's Bench, Common Pleas, Exchequer, Receipt and 
Hall, and the bag-bearers of the same, it should amount to a 
great multitude. And how all these live and of whom, if it 
should not be uttered and told it should not be believed. For 
they extend to their singular weal and profit and not to the 

There are ten copies known of this book, of which two are 
in the British Museum, one at Oxford, one at Cambridge, and 
six in private libraries. 

No. 4. — Les fais et peouesses du noble et vaillant 
Chevaliee Jason. Folio. WUfwut Printer's Name, 
Place, or Dak. (147- ? 

Collation. — Sixteen 4°^ and one 3''= 134 leaves, of which 
the first and last two are blank. 

Typogeaphical Paeticulaes. — There is no title-page 
nor colophon. The type used is No. 1 only. The great 
majority of the lines are fully spaced out, agreeing in this 
respect more with the French editions of " Le Recueil " and 
the "Psaulmes'* than the English "Recuyell" and the "Chess 
Book." Full lines measure 5 and 5y\ inches ; 31 lines to a 
page. Without signatures, numerals, head-lines, or catch- 

A blank leaf commences the book; at the head of the 
succeeding recto, with space for a 4-line initial, and director. 
The Text begins thus : — 

I E gallee tie x(im m^in flotant na pa.-s long 

temps en la parfontieur ties mers tin plniseurg 

aneiennes f)istoire0 ainjsi comme ^t boulxjie me^ 

net xmn esperit en port tie tepos / soutiainement 

sapparu an pres tie mog bne nef continitte par bng Jomme 

The text ends on the verso of the 131st printed leaf: — 

ant a mon tienant tiit tresretionite seignenr / (&X atons ceitlc 


qtti le contmu lie ce present bolume liront . ou orront lire . 
quil leur pimt te grace eictiser autant que men petit et ru 
lie eitfiin na sceu touchier ne peu comprentire ^c • : . 

The existence of this edition was first made known in 
England by a letter from M. Van Praet to Dr. Dibdin, who 
sent an account of it to the "Gentleman's Magazine" for 
July, 1812. 

Remakks. — ^All the books printed with these types are 
tra<;ed to Mansion, either alone or assisted by Caxton. In 
this work and the " Meditacions," the even length of the lines 
proves them to be later productions than those in which the 
lines are more uneven ; and this is plain evidence that if these 
two works were printed by Mansion (as doubtless they were) 
it must have been after 1478, the year in which he adopted 
the plan of even lines ; but if we attribute them to Caxton, 
we must suppose him to have forsaken his own establishment 
at the Red-pale, in or after the year 1480 (being the period 
when he first adopted the practice of making his lines of an 
even length) for the purpose of printing abroad what he had 
every facility for printing at home. 

Only three copies of this scarce book have been as yet 
discovered. A magnificent one is at Eton College, another 
in the National Library, Paris, which, when purchased in 
1808, was bound up with " Le Quadrilogue," a work printed 
by Colard Mansion in 1478, and a third in the Library of the 
Arsenal, Paris. 

No. 5. — Meditacions sue les Sept Pseaulmes Peniten- 
CIAULX. Folio. Withotit Printer's Narm, Plucky or 
Date, (1478 ?) 

Collation. — Three 4"" and one 5° =34 leaves, of which 
the last only is blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — ^There is no title-page. 
The only type used is No. 1. The lines are for the most part 
fiilly spaced out, though now and then there is a deficiency in 
this respect, which only occurs, however, on the verso of the 



folios, the recto throughout being folly spaced. This pecu- 
liarity is observable to a greater or less extent in all the 
French books printed in this type. The full lines measure 
5 inches, and 31 lines make a ftdl page. There are no signa- 
tures, folios, nor catchwords. 

The text begins on the first recto, — 

E brage penitance t^t comme aucune t^tfjitlU 
I . par laquelle lomme pecjeur qui jselcn la patatole 
tre leuuartflille trescentJg tie Sfjtxmalm. en 3f{ietico 
monta tie tecjief tie Sf^txita en SUfierusalem / eejst abision tie 

And ends on the 33rd verso, with a full page, followed by a 
blank leaf, — 

exultacuin tie leesee espitituelle/ ^Juis encores stl te plaint 
me tronne que par ee septenuaire tier pjseaulmes tie penitent 
ce lesquel^ correspontient aux gept affect^ tie Icimme prinjs 
pour leg sept tiegre^ tie lesc!) telle tie penitence St puiiessie mo- 
ter et paruenir atog en cette tant glorieuse cite tie f tierusa^ 
lem en laquelle tu i)al)ite0 et te of rir auec leg sains et ie? 
neure^ le sacrifice tie loenge sans fin / : ^M^^ 

Remarks. — This work is a translation from the original 
Latin of Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly, entitled " Meditacions Circa 
Septem Psalmos Penitentiales." It was composed about the 
end of the fourteenth century, and translated shortly after 
into French, but by whom is uncertain, although from the 
style it is supposed by several of his biographers to have been 
from the pen of the Cardinal himself. The Comm6ntary on 
the Penitential Psalms, printed by "Wynken de Worde was 
composed by Bishop Alcock, and has nothing in common with 

In all typographical particulars this work agrees with the 
French edition of "Jason," already described, and there is 
little doubt was printed by Colard Mansion at Bruges, about 

The only Existing Copy at present known was discovered 
in the General Library of the British Museum, in 1841, by 
Mr. J. Winter Jones, bound up with " Les Quatre Derrenieres 


Choses." It K^ijerfect, in an excellent state of preservation, 
clean, and free from all disfigurements. It has the final blank 
leaf, the verso of which is covered with quotations in the 
handwriting of the fifteenth century. These quotations are 
extended over the first recto (which is also a blank) of the 
book mentioned above as being bound up with it, proving 
that they were bound together soon after printing. For an 
article on both works, from the pen of Mr. Jones, see 
" Archaelogia," vol. xxxi, page 412. 





TYPE No. 2. 


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. 24. 

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a, 27. 

rj 7*^. ^^y/</; 


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'« 34. 

'BnrI', S^ '.. • 


Les Qnatre Derrenieres Choses 

The History of Jason . 

The Dictes and Sayings. First Edition 

Horae ..... 

The Canterbury Tales. First Edition 

The Moral Proverbs of Christine 

Propositio Johannis Russell 

Stans pner ad Mensam 

Parvus Catho. First Edition 

Ditto Second Edition . . , 

The Horse, the Sheep, and the Ghoos. First Edition 

Ditto ditto Second Edition 

Infancia Salvatoris .... 

The Temple of Glass .... 
The Chorle and the Bird. First Edition 

Ditto ditto Second Edition . 

Thef' Temple of Brass, or the Parliament of Fowls 
The Book of Courtesy. First Edition 
Queen Anelida ..... 
Boethius ..... 

Corydale ..... 
Fratris Laur. Gulielmi de Saona Margarita 
The Dictes and Sayings. Second Edition 
Indulgence .... 

Parvus et Magnus Chato. Third Edition 
The Mirrour of the World. First Edition 
Reynard the Fox. First Edition . 
Tully of Old Age 
The Game and Playe of the Chesse. Second Edition 

1476 ? 




1478 ? 

. 1478 ? 
ante 1479 
ante 1479 
ante 1479 
ante 1479 
ante 1479 
ante 1479 
ante 1479 
ante 1479 
ante 1479 
ante 1477 
ante 1479 
ante 1479 
ante 1479 

1479-10 ? 









No. 6. — Les quatre derrenieees choses advenib. 
FoUo. Without Printer's NamCy Date, or Place. 

Collation.— Nine 4"= 72 leaves, of which the first only 
is blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — Type No. 2 only is used. 
The lines are of very irregular length, 28 to a page. With- 
out signatures, folios, or catchwords. Commencing with a 
blank leaf, the table follows on the second recto, the first 
three lines being in red ink. 

The text begins : — 

(tt present tratctte t%X tftutse en (^uatre parttes prtnetpa 
W : ^t%%Mt\\t% ct)a$(cune tmXitnX ttow auttes singuli / 
res parties en la (ourme qui sensuit : 

and ends on 72nd verso : — 

quilf pourueissent aux eposes trerrenieres/ tiont la frequete 
menwire et recortiaeion ICapelle ties peej^ie^ a culpe mx ber 
tus et confenne en fiounes oeuures /par quog on paruient a 
la gloire etemelle :^men 

illFxplicit liter Ire 

quatour i^ouissimis 

An important typographical peculiarity in this work is 
the mode in which the printer has employed red ink for the 
title-lines or chapters. The inodus operandi and how the red 
ink overlies the black, is explained at p. 52, ante. This curiouB 
and primitive practice is not seen in any books except that 
under notice, and those printed by Colard Mansion of Bruges. 
Another typographical characteristic which intimately con- 
nects this book with those printed in Type No. 1 is the exist- 


ence of two small holes on the outer margin of each leaf, 
made by points in use by the pressman. These, it should be 
noticed, occur in all the works for which type No. 1 was used, 
but none, except the present, printed with type No. 2, nor 
indeed in any English printed books. Again, we find among 
the undoubted first issues of the press at "Westminster that 
the books in folio, such as " The Life of Jason," " Dictes," 
" Canterbury Tales," " Cordyale," &c., have all 29 lines to the 
page, while "Les quatre derrenieres choses" has but 28. 
On taking, however, the actual measurement, it will be seen 
that the depth of the page is exactly the same as in the type 
No. 1 books. Evidence has been already produced to show 
that the five books in type No. 1 were printed in Bruges by 
Colard Mansion alone, or assisted by Caxton ; and to the same 
source we have no hesitation in ascribing " Les quatre der- 
renieres choses." 

Remakks. — The title, "De quatuor novissimis," was 
applied to many religious treatises of the fourteenth and fif- 
teenth centuries ; and so many Latin manuscripts of distinct 
works have come down to us that it is difficult to distinguish 
between them : nor were the early printed editions less nume- 
rous, Hain, in his "Repertorium Bibliographicum," giving 
the titles of twenty-one editions printed in the fifteenth cen- 
tury. They all agree, however, in one particular, viz. — that 
no copy gives the name of its author. The Latin original of 
one work on this subject is attributed to " Denis de Leewis, 
natif de Rikel," who died in 1471 : it was printed at Antwerp 
about 1486. But the Latin original of this particular version 
is given to Gerardus a Yliedenhoven, of which Mr. Holtrop 
gives an account of three editions. There is a fourth in the 
University Library, Cambridge, besides which there are four 
Dutch editions. Early French anonymous versions were also 
very numerous, and it is fortunate that a manuscript in the 
Royal Library, Brussels, has preserved the name of the author 
to whom we are indebted for the present translation. It 
bears the following colophon : " Cy fine le traittie des quatre 
dernieres choses, translate de latin en fi'ancois par Jo. Mielot 
I'an de grace mil cccc liij." 


Philippe le Bon, as is well known, employed many secre- 
taries for the purpose of adding to the treasures of his library 
by translations, collations, commentaries, &c. In this way 
were employed Guy d'Angers, David Aubert, de Hesdin, 
Droi'n Ducret, de Dijon, and others. They brought into use 
that peculiar style of writing termed " grosse bAtarde," which, 
at a later date, Colard Mansion took as a pattern for his 
types. Among the duke's secretaries, one of the most inde- 
fatigable was Jean Mielot. He united in himself the quali- 
fications of author, translator, and scribe, as he lets us know 
in the manuscript, " Traite de vieillesse et de jeunesse," now 
in the Royal Library, Copenhagen. 

The only Existing Copy known of this edition was dis- 
covered by Mr. J. Winter Jones while re-cataloguing a 
portion of the old royal library in the British Museum. It 
was bound in the same volume as the " Meditacions," already 
described at page 177, to which the reader in referred for 
further particulars. 

No. 7. — The History op Jason. Folio. Without Printer's 
Name, Plaice, or Date. (1477 ?). 

Collation. — Eighteen 4"" and one 3°= 150 leaves, of 
which the first is blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — ^There is no title. The 
only type used is No. 2. The lines are very uneven in 
length, the longest measuring 5 inches. A fiill page has 29 
lines. Without signatures, folios, or catchwords. Space is 
left at the commencemeut of chapters for the insertion of a 
2-line initial, with director. 

The Text begins thus, on the second recto, the first leaf 
being blank : — 

( <©r mxm^t as late bjf tje comautjement of tf)e rtgtjt 

tge ^ notle princesge mg rigf)t retioubtflj latjg / ^g 

lalj:p iEargarete ip t^e grate of go^ Huctesse of iiJour^ 

and ends on the 149th verso, 

among tlje most toortijp * Enti after tt)i0 present life eu^ 
lasting life \x^ Jeuen tofto grant t)im ^ bs ti)at fjougftte bs 
toitl) i)is tlootie tlessgtj 3ilt)us Unten -♦-^♦jrw 


Kemarks. — ^As already noticed when treating of the 
original French version of " Jason," its compiler was Raoul 
Lefevre, secretary to the Duke of Burgundy, and while in the 
service of the duchess, it seems most probable that Caxton 
became possessed of a copy. The date of imprint has been 
generally attributed by bibliographers to the year 1475, but 
this is, I think, too early. The features of Caxton's history 
about that time seem to point to 1476-77 as the date of his 
settlement in England; and November 18th, 1477, is, as we 
know, the day on which the printing of " Dictes " was finished. 
Now the typographical appearance of "Jason" proves it to 
have been one of the very earliest products of the West- 
minster press; and Caxton's remarks in the prologue to 
"Golden Legend/' show the translation to have followed 
"The Recuyell" and "Chess Book." The evidence, there- 
fore, seems to point to a date immediately preceding " Dictes" 
or the early part of 1477, when the young prince, to whom it 
was dedicated, would be six years old, and much more likely 
to make use of the work than if presented to him two years 

Gerard Leeu, at Antwerp, reprinted this English text in 
1492, a fact noticed thus by Gerard Legh in "The Accidence 
of Armory," 1576 — "The History of Jason, which was trans- 
lated out of Frenche, and printed at Andwarpe by one of my 

Of the six known copies there is one in the British 
Museum, one in the Bodleian, and four in private libraries. 

No. 8. — The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers. 
Folio. ^^ Enprynted hj me William Caxton at West- 
mestre" 1477. First Edition; without Colophon. 

^^ Collation. — ^Nine 4"" and one 3°= 78 leaves, of which 
the first and two last are blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
Only type No. 2 is used. The lines are of very uneven length, 
the longest measuring 5 inches; 29 lines to a fuU page. 
Without folios, catchwords, or signatures. Space is left at 


the beginning of chapters for the insertion of 8-line initials, 
with director. 

Commencing with a blank leaf, Earl Eivers's prologue 

The Text begins thus, on the second recto : — 

Jgere it 10 j(o tf)at euetp fjumapn (ftxtdituu bp tt)e 
tD mWxmtt of our lorli go^ is torn ^ or^eigneti to 

tt mtqettt anti ti^ral bnto tf)e stormes of fortune 
Entr 330 in trinerse ^ mang sontrri? togseg man is perplei^: 

The work concludes on the verso of the 73rd folio at foot, 
and is followed on the 74th recto by Caxton's epilogue and 
additions, commencing with space for 3-line initial. 

(&xt entiett) tf)e toofe nametr ttje tifcteg or sapengis 
f) of ti&e pi)ilogopf)res enprgntetr /tg me toiUiam 

O^axton at toestmestre tt)e pere of our lorli * M * 
(^(B(t(t * Hxibir * Mafiicte toolt is late translated out of 

The Text ends on the 76th verso, Avith a short page of 
sixteen lines — 

posieion in tijis toorltr/EnlJ after tftgs Igf to Igue euer^^ 
lastgnglp in fieuen ^men 

a^t m est fini^ r r 

Remaeks. — ^This book is remarkable as being the first 
which bears a plain statement of the place and time of its 
execution. It is thought by some to be really the first book 
printed in England. A few of the quai-to pieces may perhaps 
have preceded it, but there is none that can be proved of 
earlier workmanship ; and if, as there seems good reason for 
supposing, Caxton did not settle at Westminster before 
1476-77, he would not have had time to produce much. 

The history of the English translation of this work is 
interesting. It appears that Earl Rivers, moved thereto by a 
remembrance of relief from many worldly adversities, deter- 
mined to pay his vows at the shrine of St. James of Com- 
postella. In the British Museum (C. 18. e. 2) is "An Abbre- 
viation of the graces and indulgences which Alexader vj 


granteth to all true believing people of every sexe or com- 
munitie of the grete hospytall of Saynt James of Cdpostella." 
This shrine had been for many years the favourite resort of 
those who intended a short pilgrimage. Many ships, and 
those of the largest burthen, were engaged in this passenger 
traffic, the chief port of embarkation being Southampton. 
Thence in the year 1473 the earl sailed, and while on the 
voyage Lewis de Bretaylles, a Gascon knight celebrated for 
his great prowess, at the court of Edward lY, showed the 
earl a copy, in French, of " Les dits moraux des philosophes," 
with which Lord Rivers was greatly delighted, retaining it 
for more intimate perusal. On his return to England, in the 
same year, the king appointed him one of the governors of 
the Prince of Wales ; and now, having more leisure, the earl 
began a translation of the work into EngMsh, which, however, 
notwithstanding the assistance of an earlier translation by 
Scrope, occupied him some years, supposing it to be com- 
pleted only a short time previously to its being printed in 
1477. Earl Rivers evidently had a good opinion of Caxton's 
literary abilities, for he requested him "to oversee" his trans- 
lation before printing it, and the result was the addition of a 
chapter " towching wymmen," introduced by a very character- 
istic prologue from Caxton's own pen. This prologue is 
replete with a quiet humour, which reveals to us more of 
Caxton's real disposition than all his other writings. It 
proves also the intimate terms which must have existed 
between Lord Rivers and himself. 

"We may infer from this, the first edition, had a rapid sale, 
as about 1481 a second edition (described further on) was 
produced in the same type, and page for page, the same as 
the original. 

There is an oft-quoted but much overrated manuscript of 
this translation in the Archiepiscopal Palace, Lambeth. It 
is on vellum, and has one inconsiderable illumination, famous 
only on account of giving the sole representation known of 
Edward V. Earl Rivers is presenting a copy on bended 
knee (probably this very one) to the prince, who is seated on 
his throne. By the earl's side is pourtrayed an ecclesiastic 


with shaven crown, probably "Haywarde," whose name 
appears at the end of the volume as the writer. We may 
suppose the earl to be in the act of reciting the metrical 
prologue which appears at the commencement, and the first 
five lines of which are — 

This boke late translate here in sight 
By Anthony Earl (erasure) that vertueux knyght 
Please it to accepte to youre noble grace 
And at youre conueniens leysoure and space 
It to see reede and vnderstonde 

The writing is the usual secretary hand of the fifteenth 
century, and the date of transcription, as given in the colo- 
phon, is December 29th, 1477, or about six weeks after the 
publication of Caxton's printed edition, of which it is a ver- 
batim copy, with the addition of the metrical prologue already 
noticed, and the following paragraph which precedes Caxton's 
prologue to the chapter on women — "And suffice you with 
the translation of the sayinges of thes Philosophres, And one 
William Caxton atte desire of my lorde Ryuers / emprinted 
many bokes after the tonour and forme of this boke / whiche 
Willm saide as foloweth :" then comes Caxton's chapter. 

A different and somewhat earlier translation is in the Ms. 
department of the British Museum (Harl. 2266), "late trans- 
latyd out of frensh tung in to englysh the yer of our lord 
M cccc 1 to John Fostalf knyght for his contemplacion and 
solas by Stevyn Scrope squyer sonne in law to the seide Fos- 
talle." Literary taste is not often associated with the name 
of Sir John Falstaff. 

Thirteen copies of this edition are known — Two in the 
British Museum, one at Cambridge, and the remainder in 
private libraries. The Rev. T. Corser's copy, sold in 1868, 
wanting three leaves, sold for £110. 

No. 9. — Fragment op a " HoRffi." Octavo. Without 
Printer's Name, Place, or Date. (1478 ?) 

Four leaves only. Type No. 2. Lines very uneven in 
length, the longest measuring 2^ inohes; twelve lines to a 
fiill page. Without signatures, catchwords, or numerals. 


From the small portion remaining of the original work, 
it is impossible to state with accuracy under what par- 
ticular class of service-books it should be ranged. To all 
appearance it is part of a primer, or "Horae secundum 
consuetudinem Angliae ;" though its diminutive size renders 
it improbable that it contained, as well as the Hours, the 
Litany, the Vigils of the Dead, and all the miscellaneous 
prayers usually found in this class of books. The above 
fragment will be found to include the following portions of 
Suffi-agia at Lauds : — St. Thomas of Canterbury (the last few 
words only), St. Nicholas, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Katha- 
rine, St. Margaret; after which, in the four leaves that are 
wanting, there is room for All Saints, the Prayer for Peace, 
the Versicle and Eesponse, Benedicamus domino, Deo gracias, 
and the commencement of the Suffragia of the Three Kings, 
the rest thereof occupying, as above, the head of the second 
portion of the fragment. Then follow the Suffragia of St. 
Barbara ^nd the concluding verse Benedicam' dno Deo gs, 
with which the service ends. On comparing this with the 
Horae of the same period it will be seen that these prayers 
always occur at the end of Lauds, and are peculiar in their 
order to the English Church, with the exception of the Three 
Kings and St. Barbara, which, in this sequence, are peculiar 
to this fragment. Suffragia of the Three Kings, and of St. 
Barbara, are found amongst the miscellaneous commemora- 
tions in most of the English primers; but those of St. 
Barbara, as found in this fragment, differ altogether from 
those which occur elsewhere. The evidence which a perfect 
volume might afforcf being wanting, the following suggestion, 
by Mr. Bradshaw, of Cambridge, is offered : — It is well known 
that the Esterlings were a thriving and influential corporation 
in Caxton's time, consisting of German merchants from the 
City of Cologne and the other towns in the Hanseatic League, 
and occupying the Steel Yard in Cannon Street as their 
London residence, with All Hallows the Great as their parish 
church, and St. Barbara as their patron saint. Now in their 
accustomed service, comprising Matins and Lauds, the Suf- 
frages of the Three Kings of Cologne, which, as already 


remarked, do not commonly occur at those hours, would be 
most appropriate, not on account of the name so much as the 
subject of the prayer, which is for success in trade, and for 
peace and health in travelling ; — " concede propitius .... 
ut itinere quo ituri sumus, celebritate, letitifi, gratia et pace, 
ad loca destinata in pace et salute et negotio bene peracto 
cum omne prosperitate, salvi et sani redire valeamus." This 
aJone proves very little ; but when we find that the next suf- 
frages ai-e those of St. Barbara, whose name never occurs in 
the English Lauds, but to whom the Esterlings prayed as 
their patron saint, it becomes probable that the fragment 
before us was part of an Anglican primer (or Horae), with 
additional prayers, for their especial use. And if these 
German merchants, in whose country the typographic art 
had made great progress, wished to have this, their daily 
service, printed, to whom could they go but to Caxton, the 
only printer then in England. 

Should this view be correct it considerably increases the 
bibliographical value of the fragment, which is otherwise of 
great interest as being, in all probability, the earliest English- 
printed service in existence, and which, from the unevenness 
in the printing and the early types, must have been one of 
the first products of the Westminster press. 

The fragment on which the foregoing remarks have been 
founded is in the Bodleian Library (Douce Fragments). 
When originally extracted from an old book-cover it formed 
a half-sheet, but now two quarters. 

No. 10. — Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Folio. Sine 
ulld mtd. First Edition. (1478 ?) 

Collation. — Forty 4°", one 3°, one 5°, one 3°, one 6", 
one 3°, one 5°, and one 2°, making together 372 leaves, of 
which the first only is blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — ^There is no title-page. 
The only type used is No. 2. The lines in the prose portions 
are very unevenly spaced, but the longest measure 5 inches ; 
29 lines to a fiill page. Without folios, signatures, or catch- 


words. The book commences with a blank leaf, after which 
the Text begins thus : — 

38an ti&at Ipprill Mtf^ W sijouriis 0ote 
to Entr tje Ijrougfite of marcfte i^atS pcitj ge rote 

EntJ tatrilr euerp begne in suci^^ licout 
<©f to!)icf)e bettu engentJtitJ is tije flout 

On the 372nd leaf recto are the following lines, being the 
conclusion of the Parson's tale : — 

tificacion of ^i^nnt / Co tfiat l^f fte bss ttgnge ti&at tougi^t 
toiti) j^is precgous tlootr Emen. 

Q^x^litii Ctactattis ^alftgtji O^i&aucer tie 
^enitencia bt tricitut pro fatula iiectoriss* 

The reverse is occupied by what is called Chaucer's retrac- 
tion, commencing — 

n (©b) prag S to fiem alle ti&at i^erlteiie tftis litil treatpse 

and ending — 

tietig ♦ ^er omnia gecula siectilojES ^men» 

which concludes the volume. 

Nine copies are known, of which two are in the British 
Museum, one at the Bodleian, one at Merton College, Oxford, 
and the others in private libraries. 

No. 11. — The Moral Peoverbs of Cristyne. Folio. 
" Enprinted dy Caxton At Westmesfre," 1478. 

Collation. — Two sheets, or four leaves, all printed. 

Typographical Particulars. — The only type used is 
No. 2. 28 lines to a page. Without signatures, catchwords, 
or folios. 

The Text begins, with a head-line on the first recto, 
thus : — 

Ci^e morale prouertes of (Eristpne 

i W St^te bertuj8 of oure eltiers notable 

<©fte to remembre ijs tijing profitable 
an liappp Jou0 iisi ♦ tojere bbjelleti^ prubence 


and ends on the fourth verso, 

at toestmestre . of feuerer tf)e . xx . "bage 
Enti of kpng (fB^jtoarti / tt)e . ibir . B^e brage 

iil^nprinteTr tjD (Kaarton 
3Jn feuerer tf)e colTre season 

Remarks. — Cristyne de Pise was) with the single excep- 
tion of Joan of Arc, the most famous woman of her age. She 
was bom A.D. 1363, in Italy, and, at the early age of fifteen, 
married Etienne Castel. After a few happy years her hus- 
band was taken from her by death; and now, although, to 
quote her own words, " nourri en delices et mignottemens," 
she found herself ahnost in destitution, with aged parents and 
three young children dependent upon her. Fortunately her 
father, who had been physician to Charles V of France, had 
taken great pains in her education, by which she had well 
profited. Urged on by necessity, she devoted herself to a 
literary life, and soon became famous. Her writings, which 
show a vast amount of reading, were ever on the side of 
virtue, morality, and peace. Her unimpeachable life assisted 
the tendency of her writings, and both were an honour to the 
age in which she lived. For many years her labours were 
incessant. After a last song of rejoicing on the victories of 
the French arms under " La Pucelle" she retired to a convent 
for the remainder of her days. The date of her death is 
unknown. The biogTaphers of Cristyne vie with one another 
in her praises. There is a charming monograph upon her, 
by M. Raimond Thomassy, entitled "Essai sur les Ecrits 
Politiques de Christine de Pisan." 8vo. Paris, 1888. See 
also " Les Msc. Franc," vol. iv, p. 186 ; and " Mem. de I'Acad. 
des Insc," vol. ii, p. 762. 

"Les prouerbes moraulx" were originally composed as a 
supplement to " Les enseignemens moraux," written by Cris- 
tyne for the instruction of her son, Jean Castel, who passed a 
part of his youthful days in the service of the Earl of Salis- 
bury, in England. 

The translation of these proverbs into English by Earl 



Elvers appears to have taken place about the same period as 
his longer eifort the " Dictes of the Philosophers." And here 
we may notice that the earl has been credited by Horace 
Walpole and Dr. Dibdin with the pedantic design of making 
nearly all the lines of his translation end with the letter " e." 
A very cursory examination of the poetry of the fifteenth 
century would have shown that the terminal e was common 
in all writings of that period. 

In the "Fayttes of Arms," translated and printed by Caxton 
at a later period, we meet -with another production of the 
same authoress. The only copies known are in the libraries 
of Earl Spencer, Earl of Jersey, and Mr. Christie-Miller. 

No. 12. — Propositio Joha^nis Russell. Quarto. Without 
Printer's Nanie, Date, or Place. (147- ?) 

Collation. — Four printed leaves, the recto of the first 
and the verso of the last being blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
Only one type. No. 2, is used. The lines are very irregular 
in length, a fall line measuring 4 inches. A full page has 22 
lines, Avithout signatures or catchwords. The speech, which 
is all in one paragraph, bears evidence of having been printed 
a page at a time. It commences with a 2-line space for the 
insertion of an initial, with a small director, and has been 
reprinted in fuU by Dr. Dibdin. 

The Text begins on the first verso : — 

iianttijs ^mmW tiecretorum troctoris ac atitimc 
amta^siatorig xpianissimi Megis (i^^titoartJi 

and ends with twelve lines on the fourth recto, of which the 
last three are — 

TjfyBXt all tiei lautiem / et exaltationem finti xpta 
ne/no0tti q^ %mmm\m tegiis rotur^solacium re 
uelationem q^ / et glotiam pleftig sue » amen 


In the eighth volume of the " Censura Literaria," page 
851 , appeared the first public notice of this tract, which till 
then had been mistaken for a manuscript. Whether printed 
at Bruges, which is not unlikely, or at Westminster is difficult 
to decide. 

John Russell, "Orator clarissimus," Bishop of Lincoln 
and Lord Chancellor, held many offices of trust under three 
sovereigns. He was bom in the parish of St. Peter's, Win- 
chester, in the beginning of the reign of Henry VI, and com- 
menced his education there. At an early age he went to the 
University of Oxford, where he obtained the degree of Doctor 
of Decrees. In 1449 he was made fellow of New College ; 
was afterwards appointed to a prebendal stall in Salisbury, 
and in 1466 to the Archdeaconry of Berkshire. On the latter 
appointment he removed to court, where he was much noticed 
by Edward IV. In September, 1467, he was commissioned 
by the king, together with Lord Hastings, Lord Scales, and 
others, to conclude a treaty of marriage between the king's 
sister Margaret and the Duke of Burgimdy. A few months 
later he was engaged in arranging the trade relationship 
between this country and Flanders. It was probably then, if 
not at an earlier period, that he became acquainted with our 
printer. His name appears often after this as assisting in 
the negotiation of various treaties. In February, 1469-70, 
" Messire Galiard, chevalier ; Thomas Vaghan, Escuier et Tre- 
sorier de la Chambre ; et Jehan Russell, Docteur en Decret, 
Arcediacre de Berksuir," accompanied by Garter King at 
Arms, were commissioned by King Edward IV to invest the 
Duke of Burgundy with the order of the Garter. On this 
occasion the oration which forms the foundation of the pre- 
sent article was delivered. The investiture took place at 
Ghent, and here, if Caxton were present, of which however 
there is no positive evidence, he would again make acquaint- 
witli John Russell. In 1476 the Archdeacon was raised to 
the bishopric of Rochester, and in 1480 translated to Lincoln. 
In March, 1483, he appeared as "Orator" before Po|)e Sixtus 
IV (see Harleian MS. No. 433), and was probably in Rome 
when his Sovereign, Edward IV, who had appointed him one 



of his executors, breathed his last. In the short reign of 
Edward V he was appointed Lord Chancellor, to which 
office he was re-appointed by Richard III. In 1485 he 
retired to private life, and died in January 1494. He was 
interred in Lincoln Cathedral, under an altar tomb in the 
Chantry Chapel, founded by him on the south side of the 
Lady Chapel. 

He was the first Chancellor of Oxford appointed for life, 
in which university he was very popular. England also 
should keep his name in memory if only for the great change 
he iniated in promulgating the statutes of the realm in the 
vulgar tongue, instead of Latin or French, a practice con- 
tinued ever after. Sir Thomas More thus draws his character: 
" A wyse man and a good, and of much experyence ; and one 
of the best learned menne undoubtedly that Engiande had in 
hys time." 

An interesting autograph, as showing the Archdeacon at 
Bruges in 1467, when Caxton was governor, occurs in a 
volume of "Cicero de Officiis," in the Public Library of 
Cambridge: — " Empt' p Jo. Rnscel . archidiaconu berk- 
shyrie apud oppidu bruggense flandrie a° 1467 mens' Ap4' 
17° die." 

A fine uncut copy is in the magnificent library of Earl 
Spencer. It appears to have been bound up by mistake in a 
volume of blank paper intended for manuscript alone, being 
in the original binding, and the whole volume otherwise con- 
sisting of the common manuscript hand of the fifteenth cen- 
tury, which aflPord no indication of local execution. It was 
discovered in cataloguing the library of John Brand, which 
was sold in 1807, and where it appeared among the manu- 
scripts (Part I, Lot 30) " A work on Theology and Religion, 
with five leaves at the end, a very great curiosity, very early 
printed on wooden blocks or type." The Marquis of Bland- 
ford bought it at the reasonable price of £2 5s. At the sale 
of his library in 1819 (Lot 5752), Earl Spencer was obhged 
to give £126 for it. It was for many years considered as 
unique, until another copy was discovered in the library at 


No. 13. — Stans Puer ad Mensam — Moral Distichs — 
SaTjVE Regina. Quarto. Sine ulld tiohi. {Ante 

Collation. — Foiu* leaves, all printed. 

There is no title-page. Type No. 2 only is used. There 
are 23 lines to a page, or tlu-ee stanzas in " Balad Royal," ^'' 
with a blank line between the stanzas. Long lines measure 
4 niches. Without signatures or catchwards. 

The Text begins, on the first recto, thus ; — 

• Stanis puer a^ mensam . 
m W trere cf)ilTje first ti^g selfe enable 

515Eiti) all tfiin jierte to bertuo' tJisciplme 
^fore ti)g soueragn stonligng at tje tatile 

The poem concludes with two stanzas on the third recto, 
the latter of which is : — 

<!lo litill iplle Jarepn of eloquence 
^rag png rf)iltjren tjat i^t sijal see or retie 
Cftougf) ti)ou be not compentiious of sentence 
<©f ti)e clatoses for to take ftetje 
5l2aticj)e to alle bertue si)al tjg pougtf) letie 
<©f tije bjrgtgng tf)oug1) tjer be no tiate 
gf ougf)t be amps put tie faute in legate 
. (JBxplicit . 

Moral Distichs immediately follow the al)ove, and fill 
up the page. The whole is here given. 

^rgse erl8 ^ntr argse temperatlp 

3btx\xt got( lieuoutlB ^^^ to tf)p soup soberla 

W^z toorlti besilg ^nli to tj^ betJ merilg 

.^ 4^00 tt)8 toag salilB Entj be tjere iocontjlg 

anstoere tiemurelg EntJ slepe setorlg 
i^o to ti^B mete appetentlg * (iB^iplicit . 

(1) "Ballad Royal" was the title of a particular rythm, each stanza 
of which, consisting of seven lines, rhymed as follows : — a — h — a — h — 
h — c — c. 


The Salve Regina begins on the verso of the preceding, 
at the head of the page. 

, En iiolg Sailue tegina in m^lmf^ . 

Elue toitl^ all otei^ance to ooti i i&timilegse 
MeQina to tegne eugt more in tl^psge 
ifEater to ctist as toe bgleue exjptesse 

The " Sahie" ends at the foot of the 4th recto, 

if^ater of Igf anti etetne creaeion 

Saltie euer as Uix as toe can suffgse ♦ Emen* 

The reverse of this leaf gives the following : — 

^IHptte i&ati^ toontier anti fepntre ne ean 
Jgoto maptien is motjer anti gotf is man 
Hene ti)gn asfegng antr telene ti)at toontrer 
dFor mggiit i&atij maistrg ^ sItgU gotft bntier 
♦ Beo laus ^e » 

This is followed by six proverbial couplets, the last being — 

Unotoe n t!)ou Itngtte ^ tf)an tf)ou maist slalie 
gf tf)ou ifengt et tjou Itnotoe tf)an it is to late 

This finishes the Text as it stands in the only two copies 

From the absence of the word d^x^Ucitf or any other 
similar ending which Caxton made a rule of placing at the 
end of his works, great and small, it is not unlikely that this 
piece is imperfect. This is rendered more probable by the 
absence of the blank leaf at the begimiing, which, supposing 
a printed leaf wanting at the end, would be its counterpart. 
At the same time it should be noticed that the only two 
known copies agree in this deficiency, and that Wynken de 
Worde, who reprinted from Caxton's edition, concludes in the 
same abrupt way ; though it is not impossible that he printed 
from an imperfect copy, and did not know it, as in this very 
tract he has reproduced, with his usual carelessness, an acci- 
dental error of Caxton's edition. Caxton, in printing, had 
transposed the two pages of the second leaf, proving that, 
even in the quarto size, he had not arrived at the art of 


printing more than one page a time, and Wynken de Worde 
blindly repeats the mistake. 

Among the many pieces which make up the catalogue of 
Lydgate's works must be included " Stans Puer ad Mensam," 
as the t»'0 concluding lines prove : — 

" Of the writing, though there be no date. 
If ought be amiss put the fault in lydgate." 

Dan John Lydgate, who knew Chaucer in his old age, 
and may have been acquainted with Caxton in his youth, was 
an indefatigable rhymester. Ritson gives a list of 251 pieces 
attributed to his pen. The dates of his birth and death are 
equally obscure, and the only fact concerning him, of any 
certainty, is that he was bom at Lidgate, near Bury St. Ed- 
munds, whence he doubtless derived his name. {Harl. MS. 
2251, foHo 283). 

The "Stans Puer" is a translation of the "Carmen juve- 
nile de moribus puerorum" of Sulpitius, of which the first 
edition was probably printed at Aquila in 1483." But the 
type used for Caxton's tract (the last dated use of which in 
its first state was in 1479), proves it to have been printed at 
least some years previous to the impression at Aquila ; so that 
we may fairly consider this as the "editio princeps" of the 
tract. It was reprinted by Wynken de Worde three times 
early in the succeeding century. 

The " Salve Regina," in its style and metre, closely resem- 
bles the acknowledged pieces of Lydgate, and was also, in all 
probability, fi-om his pen. 

The copy in the University Library of Cambridge is the 
only one knoi^Ti, and though now in a separate binding, was 
formerly in a volume of poems all printed by Caxton, of which 
an account is here appended. 

Bishop Moore's library, rich in old black-letter poems, con- 
tained, among its other treasures, one priceless httle volume, 
in quarto, bound in plain hrowD. calf, and lettered on the back 
" Old poetry printed by Caxton." The collection appears to 
have been made before it came into the bishop's possession ; 
but the fact of the poems being bound together led Middleton 
and all succeeding writers to describe them as one w^ork. Mr. 


Bradshaw's careful examination, however, showed that the 
volume contained eight distinct publications, which have 
since been bound separately. Some of these are unique, and 
some are found alone in other collections. Before re-binding, 
the volume contained the following pieces in the following 
order : — 

I. Stans Puer ad Mensam; Moral Distichs; The Salve 
Eegina. II. Parvus Catho and Magnus Catho. III. 
The Chorle and the Bird. IV. The Horse the Goose 
and the Sheep; Stanzas; The proper use of certain 
nouns; The proper use of certain verbs. Y. The 
Temple of Glass. YI. The Temple of Brass ; A trea- 
tise which John Skogan sent unto the lords and 
gentlemen .... exhorting them to use virtues in their 
youth; The good counsel of Chaucer; Balad of the 
village without painting. YII. The Book of Courtesy. 
YIII. Anelida and Arcyte and The Complaint of 
Chaucer to his purse. 
There is nothing to show in what order these tracts were 
printed. Being all in verse we can draw no conclusions from 
irregularity of spacing, and even where two editions were 
printed it is sometimes impossible to say which had pre- 
cedence. That they were all printed before February 2nd, 
1479, we may safely assume, as they are, without exception, 
in the early state of type No. 2, which then made its last 
dated appearance in " Cordyale ;" and that many were among 
Caxton's first essays seems probable from their popular nature, 
and the small amount of labour required in their production. 
For these reasons they are treated consecutively, together 
with three other editions, in Nos. 14 to 25, those pieces whose 
longest lines all measure 4 inches being placed before those 
measuring 3J inches. 

No. 14. — Parvus Catho. — Magnus Catho. Quarto. First 
Edition. Sine ulld notd. {Aiite 1479). 

Collation. — Three 4"* and one 5°=.- 34 leaves, of which 
the first was doubtless blank, though wanting in the only 
known copy. 


There is no title-page. The type is No. 2 only. Full 
lines measure 4 inches, and each page contains 28 lines, 
counting the blank line between the stanzas. Without signa- 
tures or catchwords. 

The Text commences with title-Une on the second recto, a 
blank leaf having origmally preceded it — 

. Wc S^tipit patutis atatjo . 

OTu aiatititete qua plurimos f}om guitet errare 
Maf)an $ atiuette to mp xtmtmtxmct 
^ntJ see i)ob) fele folfeejsf etren grewouslg 

"Parvus Catho" terminates in the middle of the third 

JlHftan ge it telie let not pour i&ert te tfjense 
ii3ut tioti) as ti)is saiti) \iyitii al pur ijole entente 

. Jgic finis parui catfionis . 

making in all seven stanzas, in " Balad Royal." 

" Magnus Catho " immediately follows on the verso, with 
space left for the insertion of a 2-line initial ^, ^nth director. 

. I^ie S^mt magnus (l[ratf)o . 

t S ^^us est aimus notis bt earmina trieut 
Jfeic tihi preeipue fit pura mente colentius 
JFox ti&g tjat goTj is intoartilp ti^e Mt 

The Text ends on the 34th verso, 

Jftere taue § fontie tfiat sfial gou guplre ^ Utt 
Streigjt to golie fame ^ leue gou in f^ix jous 
. (i^xplieit OTatfio . 

The work is in four books, containing 42, 39, 27, and 52 
stanzas of "Balad Royal," each of which is headed by a 
couplet from the original Latin. 

The "distichs" of Cato were very popular for many cen- 
turies. Their author, and even the origin of their title, is 
entirely lost, though some of their stanzas are traced as far 
back as the second or third century of the Christian era. In 


the middle ages they were used as a school-book, to teiich 
Latin, as well as to inculcate moral maxims ; so that to be 
unacquainted with "Cato" was synonymous with general 
ignorance. Chaucer continually mentions the work. " He 
knew not Catoun, for his wyt was rude," says the miller of 
the rich "Gnof." These remarks apply to "Magnus Cato" 
only. About 1180 Daniel Churche, an ecclesiastic attached 
to the court of Henry II, added a few Latin precepts as intro- 
ductory to the original, and from that period the two were 
mostly transcribed together, being distinguished as " Parvus 
Cato " and " Magnus Cato." Of the English version of these 
**distichs" we cannot have a better account than that given 
us by Caxton himself in his preface to "Cathon" glossed; 
** which book," he says, " hath been translated out of Latin 
into English by Master Benet Burgh, .... which ftiU craftily 
hath made it in Balad Boyal for the erudition of my Lord 
Boucher son and heir at that time to my Lord the Earl of 
Essex." This translation of Benet Burgh is the text printed 
by Caxton, twice in quarto, and once in folio with woodcuts, 
before he undertook the translation of the extensive French 
Oloss, which wiU be brought to the reader's notice under the 
year 1484. 

"Maister Benet Burgh" was Vicar of Maiden, in Essex, 
when he translated " Cato," as we learn from the colophon in 
Harl MS., No. 271. He afterwards fiUed the offices of Arch- 
deacon of Colchester, 1464 ; Prebendary of St. Paul's, 1472 ; 
and soon after High Canon of St. Stephen's, Westminster. 
He appears to have been an author as well as a translator. 
The following is the title of a poem in Harl. MS. 7333, folio 
149 & — "A cristemasse game made by Maister Benet: howe 
god almyghty seyde to his apostelys and echeii off them were 
baptiste and none knew of othir, &c." He also appears to 
have written a considerable portion of the poetical translation 
of "De regimine principum" attributed to Lydgate, as we 
infer from Harl. MS. 2251, folio 236, in which occurs this 
side-note, in the same handwriting as the body of the poem — 
" Here deyde the translate^ a noble Poet Dane John Lydgate 
And his folower gan his prolog in this wise p' Benedictu 


Burgh." He or Lydgate also wi-ote an original fourth book 
to " Catho Magnus," which, although not printed by Caxton, 
may be seen in several manuscripts. Ritson, indeed {Bib. 
Foet.y page Q^), ascribes the whole to Lydgate. 

It does not seem improbable that the printing of " Parvus 
et Magims Catho" was undertaken by desire of " High Canon 
Burgh," who, holding a canonry in Westminster, was likely 
to have become acquainted with Caxton. 

The only Existing Copy is in the Public Library, Cam- 
bridge (AB. 8. 48. 2). It is perfect, but without the original 
blank leaf, and measures 8J x 5^ inches. For an account of 
the volume which contained it, see page 200 ante. 

No. 15. — Parvus Catho. — ^Magnus Catho. Quarto. Se- 
cond Edition. Sine ulld notd. {Ante 1479). 

Collation. — Tliree 4"* and one 5° = 34 leaves, of which 
the first was doubtless blank, although wanting in the only 
known copy. 

Typographical Particulars. — The variation in this 
edition is only typographical. The poem is reprinted page 
for page, and line for Une, yet the composition of the type is 
different throughout. 

The only Existing Copy known is in the library of the 
Duke of Devonshire, at Chatsworth, where it is bound with 
tiie quarto edition of " Stans Puer," already described. It 
came from the old library at Hardwicke Hall. In the 
Harleian Catalogns (iii. 6202) the above two tracts appear 
together — ^probably this very copy. 

No. 16. — The Horse, the Sheep, and the Goose. — 

Various Stanzas. — The proper application of 

CERTAIN Nouns substantive, and Verbs. First 

Edition. Qiuirto. Sine ulld notd. {Ante 1479). 

Collation. — One 4° and one 5°= 18 leaves, of which the 

first was doubtless blank, although wanting in the only known 


Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is all No. 2. Full lines measure 4 inches, and each 


page contains 23 lines, inclusive of the blank line bet^^'cen 
the stanzas. Without signatures or catchwords. 

The Horse, the Sheep, and the Goose commences on 
the second recto, the first leaf being blank. 

The Text begins, with space for a 2 -line initial, with 

t (©tttreber^ies / plees anti tJiscorties; 
13itb)ate petsoneie; toere ttoo or tf^xt 
5)0ugt)t out ti)e grountreje; te tecortes 
Ci)(s teas ti^e custom of antiquite 

On the fourteenth leaf verso, 

^lU in one bessell to speke in bortieisi plegn 
Ci^at noman sjoltre of otfier Jaue triistiagn 

. Wf^m cntreti^ tf^t ftorse tje gfioosi ^ tf)e sjeep , 

There are in this poem 77 stanzas of scA^en lines each. 

Various Stanzas follow, ending on the sixteenth recto, 
the verso being occupied with short sentences, as " An herde 
of Hertes. A murther of crowes. A byldyng of rooks," &c. 
The whole ends on the eighteenth vereo — 

a dO^ong bnlacetJ gf i)e take tjc lontie f)e 

a ?IJeron tiigmembritr tleetf). drxplicit. 

The only Existing Copy is in the Public Library, Cam- 
bridge (AB. 8. 48. 4), and was formerly bound, with other 
pieces in a volume already described at page 51. 

The whole of these fugitive pieces are attributed to the 
prolific pen of Dan John Lydgate. 

No. 17. — The Horse, the Sheep, and the Goose. — 

Various Stanzas. — The proper application op 

certain Nouns sutsstantive and Verbs. Quarto. 

/Second Edition. ( J.?^/e 1 4 7 9 . ) \ 

Collation. — One 4" and one 5" = 18 leaves, of which the 

first is blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — These are the same as 
in the first edition, with the exception of the orthography 


and the use of a title-line, which in the other edition is 
altogether wanting, a sufficient reason for attributing this to 
a later period ; for, had the first edition been printed with a 
head-line, we may certainly assume that the improved appear- 
ance would not have been omitted by Caxton in the reprint. 
In this edition we find the sixth leaf, noticed as wanting in 
the only known copy of the first edition. 
The text begins on the second recto, 

<©ntrcberstei3 . plees kvlH ^moxtit^ 

i3ttb)ene persones toere ttoo or tf)re 
Sougi)t out tfie grounljes tie recortjes 
Ci^iis teas ti)e custom of antiquite 

and ends with dFxplicit on the eighteenth recto. 

There is a fragment of six leaves in the University Li- 
brary, Cambridge, and a perfect copy, with the original leaf, 
in the Cathedral Library, York, a reprint of which was pre- 
sented by Sir M. M. Sykes to the members of the Roxburgh 

No. 18. — Infancia Salvatoris. Qitarto. Without Printer'' s 
Nanw, Date, or Place. (147-?). 
Collation. — Eighteen printed leaves, unsigned, with a 
blank both at beginning and end. 

The type is all No. 2. There are 22 lines of uneven 
length to a full page, and a long line measures 3J inches. 
"Without signatures, folios, or catchwords. 

The Text begins thus on the recto of the first printed 
leaf; — 

Wt Sncipit Cractatus qui SJntitulatut: 
a^nfancia saluatoris . 

Xi\X etiictu a (Eesare Eugusto bt Ire 
e scriberetur bniujsius orbig Jgee autem 
tie«cripcio prima facta est a presitie , 
Sirie Olirino . m ibant oms ut pfiterentur 
isinguli in ciuitatem sua Escenbit et ^osepft 
and ends with a full page on the eighteenth recto. 


i aSttlmmiiti bijo . Ski fiUi iiU mi . txutii 

illDS ^t curba illos a ptiericia illos . St filie 
tihi isint / jserua corpus Ulas et mn o^ttntimt 
f^ilmtxa iuitm tuam ati tUasi . (^regotius ♦ 
iguauis q'j5 iugtus sit ♦ tu in f)ac bita no tietet 
esse secttt? q^ nescit quo fine sit terminantjus ♦ 

This printed tract differs entirely from the MS. in the 
British Museum, Eoyal 13 A xiv, "De Xti infantia," but 
agTees partially with the "Evangelium Infantile" attributed 
to St. James, and printed in vol. i of the " Codex apocryphus 
Novi Testamenti," by Fabricius. 

The only Existing Copy kno\\Ti is in the Eoyal Uni- 
yersity Library, Gottingen. It is in good condition, and was 
purchased in 1746 of Osborne, for this library, at 15s (?). 
Ames described this very copy when in the library of Lord 
Oxford, but neither Herbert nor Dibdin could hear of its 
existence, nor discover it in the Harleian Catalogue. It is 
there nevertheless, among the "Libri Latini. Quarto," and 
thus described, "Infantia Salvatoris Tractatus, corio furcicOy 
dmuraf. Lond. a^md Caxtoii, skw LocoT (See Catalogus 
BibliotJiecm Harleianmy vol. v, page 252, No. 7008). 

No. 19. — The Temple of Glass. Quarto. Sine ulld mta. 
{Ante 1479.) 

Collation. — Three 4^"^ and one 5°, unsigned, or 34 leaves, 
of which the 1st is (?) blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is No. 2 only. Full lines measure 4 inches, and 
each page contains 23 lines. Without signatures or catch- 

After the blank the poem commences on the 2nd recto, 
with space for a 2 -line initial, with director : — 

, Cf)e temple of 0las . 

i #r ti)ougf)t eonstre:5nt ^ greuous i)euBnes 

dFot pensifi)eti antJ fiigi^ tiistres 
Co teti % bjent nob) tf)is oti)er nB0f)t 


The Text ends at the foot of the 84th recto, 

§ mene tijat benjpgne antj gootilg of face 
i^oto go tt)p toag anti put ti)e in ftn* grace 

. (irx^iitit tf)e tetnple of glas ♦ 

There seems no doubt that this was one of the less favonred 
compositions of Dan John, although by some ^vriters it has 
been attributed to Hawes. It was reprinted by Wynken de 

The only Existing Copy is in the Public Library, Cam- 
bridge (AB. 8. 48. 5). It is perfect, excepting the blank (?) 
leaf, and was formerly bound with other pieces in a volume 
already described at page 51. Measurement 8j[^ x 5J inches. 

No. 20. — The Chorle and the Bird. Quarto. First Edi- 
tion. Sine ulld nota. {Ante 1479.) 

Collation. — One 5°, or 10 leaves, of which the Ist is 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type used is No. 2 only. Full lines measure 4 inches, 
and each page contains three verses of " Balad Royal," or 23 
lines, including a blank line between the stanzas. Without 
signatures or catchwords. 

After the blank the poem commences on the 2nd recto, 
space being left, with a director, for the insertion of a 2-line 

The text begins thus : — 

p i^oilemeg of oltie lifenes antj ftgureief 
5l2ai^icf)e pwuglr ben fructtir of sentence 

The Text ends on the 10th verso, 

<!^oo litell quaper anti tecomantie me 
?anto mg maister toiti) tumble affection 
iijeseke Jgm lotolp of meccp anti piPte 
<©f ti)5 rube makjpng to baue compajijsion 


ilnti as touci^ing tJs ttanslacion 
(T^ut of frenssf) / i)oto ti)at i)it englissjiti te 
Elle tiding is mxh bntier correction 
5l2aitS siipportacion of j&ts icnggnBte 

. inexplicit ti)c ci^orle antj ti^e iirtjc , 

This fable is always included among the compositions of 
Lydgate. It was reprinted by Pynson, and a copy in the 
Grenville library (11226), has the following autograph note — 
" The same story is told by Alphonsus in his fable of the 
labourer and the nightingale, and in Gresta Romanorum, cap. 
169." A perfect copy is at Cambridge, taken from the volume 
of poems already described at p. 200, and a fragment is in the 
British Museum. 

No. 21. — The Chorle a^d the Bird. Quarto. Second 
Edition. Sim ulld notd. (Ante 1479.) 

The similarity of these two editions is exact so far as the 
number of stanzas, number of lines to a page, and the general 
state of the text; but there is an evident variation in the 
typographical minutise, such as the omission of the director, 
the use of full-points and colons as ornamentation, and above 
all the constant variation in orthography. Take the 1st line 
as an example : — 

Ed. 1. p Hotlemes of oltic liifenes antj figures 
Ed. 2. rotlemes of oltie liltnes antr figures 

and the last line, 

Ed. 1. , (&x}^litii tf)e cf)orle antJ tfte tirtre . 
Ed. 2. (iiexplicit tje O^i^orle antr ti)e birte . : . 

The only known Existing Copy is in the Chapter Library 
at York. It i& perfect, with the original blank. A reprint from 
this copy was presented to the Roxburghe Club by Sir M. M. 


No. 22. — The Temple of Brass, or the Parliament op 
Fowls. Some Balads. Envoy of Chaucer to 
Skogan. Quarto. Sine- ulld rwtn. {Ante 1479). 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type used is No. 2 only. Full lines measure 3} inches, 
instead of 4 inches, as in the former pieces, and each page 
contains 23 lines. Without signatures or catchwords. 

The Text begins on the first recto, without a blank leaf, — 

tie Ipf 00 si)ort ti^e craft go loge to Xtxm 
W^mmi^t 00 1)att» 00 gjarp tie conquering 

On the 17th recto, 

^XTfiitii ti^e temple of tras 

The Tract ends on 24th verso, 

5l2aais; neuer erst scogan blametj for f)i0 toge 

Doubtless the poem did not end here, but the copy at 
Cambridge is imperfect, having only 24 leaves, besides which 
there are a few leaves at the British Museum, but no perfect 
copy has yet been discovered. 

No. 23. — The Book of Courtesy. Quarto. First Edition. 
Sine ulld notd. {Ante 1479). 

Collation. — One 4^" and one 3"= 14 leaves, of which the 
last is blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is all No. 2. Full lines measure 3j inches. 23 lines 
to a page, including a blank line between the stanzas. With- 
out signatures or catchwords. 

The Text begins thus : — 

I Ptj^l f of)n sgti^ Bour tentire enfancpe 
StontJet^ as get bntjer / in tiifference 
Co bice or bertu to meugn or applpc 


The Text ends on the 13th recto, 

^ntr !)otD to i^utte / l^etj euer in a toagte 
Mept gour qnagec / tjat it ht Mi tf)er tapte 

<3!^a:plicit tj^e t)00k of cttttegge. 

The 13th verso, and the 14th leaf are blank. 

The only Existing Copy is in the Public Library, Cam- 
bridge (AB. 8. 48. 7), and was formerly in the volume of 
tracts described at page 51. 

No. 24. — Queen Anelida and False Arcyte. — The com- 
plaint OF Chaucer to his Purse. Quarto. Sim ulld 
notd. {Ante 1479). 

Collation. — One 5"" or 10 leaves, all printed. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is No. 2 only. Full lines measure 3| inches, 23 
lines to a page. Without signatures or catchwords. Space 
is left at the commencement for a 2-line initial. 

The Text begins :— 

t f)ou fters fiotr of atmes / mats tf)e retre 
Ci)at in tje frosts contre calleli trace 
^aitfttn ti)s grgslg temple ful of tiretie 

The Text ends on the 9th recto, 

Jgob) tf)at arcite / aitelitia so sore 
Jgati^ tf)irlet» toitf) ti)e pegnt of remefirace 

C!)us entieti^ tf)e complegnt of anelitia 

On the same page is Chaucer's " Complaint to his Purse," 
in three stanzas of " Balad Royal," the tract ending ^vith , -■ 

a^t sic est finis. * . * 

on the 10th recto. 

The only Existing Copy known is in the Public Library, 
Cambridge, and was formerly in the volume of tracts described 
at page 51 . 


LATED INTO English by Geoffrey Chaucer. Folio. 
^, "/ William Caxton have done my devoir to enprinte it." 

in WitJwut Place or Date. {Ante 1479). 

* ' Collation. — Eleven 4" and one 3" = 94 leaves, of which 
the first is blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — Without title-page, sig- 
natures, catchwords, or folios. Two types No. 2 for the body 
and No. 3 for the Latin quotations, are used. The lines are 
not spaced to one length. Full lines measure 5 inches, and 
there are 29 to a page. Space has been left at the commence- 
ment of chapters for the insertion of 2-line initials. 

After a blank leaf the Text commences with the title in 
Latin in type No. 3, on the 2nd recto, the English translation 
being uniformly in type No. 2 : — 

ISofciug ^t congolacione pf)ilo0opf)u 

♦ (Karmina qui q^uontiam stutJto florcnte pctegi 
iFUiiilig i^eu mestos cogor inixt mobo0 

a Ulas 3? toepging am constraineti to beggnne bew; 
of soroufull maters . Ctjat 5]2at)glom in flouriisstmg 
jstutipe matie tirlitatle tJiteejs; / jFor lo ren^gng musesi of 

On the 93rd recto, third line, 

epen of ti)e fugge tf)at seetf) anti also ti)at tjnnetj alle 

%ngei3 / 29ro gractas 

Explicit tioecius tre 
consolacione pftiloj(opf)ie 

Caxton has added an interesting epilogue, which occupies 
the remainder of the recto and the whole of the verso, being 
followed, on the 94th recto, by the "Epitaphiii Galfridi 
Chaucer," printed in type No. 3, which concludes on the 
verso, and the last few lines of which are : — 

¥o0t oiitum €^axton bolutt te biucre cura 
W&ii\U\m\ , Otfiaucer dare poeta tur 
^am tua non jsolum compregsit opuscula formis 
l^as quoq? %^ laulieg . tusstt ^it rssc tuas 

p 2 


This epitaph was WTitten by a brother poet, Stephen 
Surigo, Lie. Deer., of Milan, and is most interesting as show- 
ing, in connection with the previous epilogue (given in Vol. I, 
page 149), that not only did Caxton perpetuate the memory 
of the great poet by printing his works, but that he also 
raised a public monument to his memory before St. Benet's 
Chapel, in Westminster Abbey, in the shape of a pillar sup- 
porting a tablet upon which the above "Epitaphye" was 

There are few ancient authors, whose works received 
greater attention in the fifteen century than those of Boethius. 
M. Paris gives an account of five different translations of the 
" De Consolatione " into French verse, all of that age, and 
contained in the Bib. Imp., Paris. 

Every library of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, of 
which we have any account, appears to have contained a copy: 
many had several. In the Ducal Library, Bruges, 1467, was 
a manuscript with this title, "Boece de Consolacion en 
englois," which is not unlikely to have been the translation 
of Chaucer. 

Some writers, and among them Dibdin (" Typ. Ant." Vol. 
I, page 306), have doubted whether Chaucer was the real 
translator of the version under review, but none of the manu- 
scripts attribute it to any other writer ; and, not to quote the 
express mention of it in the " Eetractation," Chaucer himself 
includes it among his works in the following couplet (line 
425) from the " Legend of Good Women," — 

And for to speke of other holynesse 
He hath in prose translated Boece. 

In this translation Chaucer appears to have chosen the 
original Latin for his text. He certainly did not take it fi-om 
any of the French versions noticed above, nor from those 
described by M. Paris ; nor is it, as Dibdin suggests, from the 
anonymous translation, printed by Colard Mansion in 1477. 
But from whatever source derived, it was, if we may judge 
from the many copies extant, very favourably received. Our 


printer especially took great delight in what he terms the 
" ornate and fayr " language of the poet, and in the epilogue 
to his edition he has left us a most interesting tribute of his 

There are three copies of this book in the British Museum, 
one at Cambridge two at the Bodleian, one at Exeter, and 
one at Magdalen College, Oxford ; one at Eipon Minster, one 
at Sion College, London, and six in private hands. The copy 
discovered at the St. Alban's Grammar School was sold to the 
British Museum, and was remarkable for the largest "find" 
of printed fragments in the boards with which the book was 
bound, ever recorded.* 

* An account of this discovery may be found interesting, showing 
strongly the importance of examining the covers of old books before 
rejecting them. In the summer of 1858 I inspected the old library in 
the Grammar School attached to the Abbey of St. Albans. I found a 
few valuable books all contained in an old deal cupboard, upon which 
the leakage from the roof had dripped, apparently for years. It must 
have been long since any one had touched a book there, and the amount 
of dust and decay was certainly enough to deter even a bibliomaniac 
from so doing. After examining a few interesting books 1 pulled out 
one which was lying flat upon the top of others. It was in a most 
deplorable state, covered thickly with a damp sticky dust, and with a 
considerable portion of the back rotted away by wet. The white decay 
fell in lumps on the floor as the unappreciated volume was opened. It 
proved to be Geoffrey Chaucer's English translation of " Boecius de 
Consolatione Philosophise," printed by Caxton, in the original binding, 
as issued from Caxton's workshop, and uncut I I On examining the 
amount of damage it had sustained, I found that the wet, which had 
injured the book, had also, by separating the layers of paper of which 
the covers were composed, revealed the interesting fact that several 
fragments, on which Caxton's types appeared, had been used in their 
manufacture. After vexatious opposition and repeated delays the Acting 
Trustees were induced to allow the book, which they now prized highly, 
to be deposited in the care of Mr. J. Winter Jones, of the British 
Museum, for the purpose of rebinding. On dissecting the covers they 
were found to be composed entirely of waste sheets from Caxton's press, 
two or three being printed on one side only. The two covers yielded no 
less than fifty-six half-sheets of printed paper, proving the existence of 
three works from Caxton's press quite unknown before. The following 
is the list of the fragments, all genuine specimens of England's first 
printer, though unfortunately mostly in very poor condition : — 




With Printefs Name, hut ivithout Place. March 24:th, 
Collation. — Nine 4''^ and one 3" = 78 leaves, of which 
the 1st and last are blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
Two types are used, Nos. 2* and 3, the latter for proper names 
and Latin only. The lines are not spaced out to one length. 
A full line measures 5 inches. Mostly 29 lines to a page, but 
sometimes 28. Without signatures, catchwords, or folios. 
Space left for the insertion of 3 and 4-line initials, with 
director. Commencing with a blank leaf the prologue of the 
translator follows on the 2nd recto, space being left for a 
4-line il» 

The Text begins thus : — 

prologue of tje Ctattslator* 

IL IJngratitvtre btterlg setting apart / toe otoe 
a to talU to our mgtitreg tf)e manpfoltie ggfteg 

of grace / toiti^ tje ftenefaittis ♦ tf)at our lortre 
of i^ts moost plentiumse ionte f)ati^ :pmen bs 
toretcfies m tfjis present transitoire lit ♦ 5l2Ef)iei)e ^emem 

The text ends with twenty lines on the 77th verso, the 
last eisrht of which are — 

1. The English *' Jason," 


2. " Dictes," three leaves. 

3. " Chronicles," six leaves. 

4. " Description of Britain," eight 


5. "Works of Sapience," (ex- 

tremely rare), two leaves. 

6. " Tulle," seven leaves. 

7. Lydgate's "Life of onr L.ady," 

two leaves. 



"Assembly of Fowls," fourteen 

" The Chorle and the Bird," 
two leaves. 

" The Horse, the Sheep, and 
the Goose," four leaves. 
" Horfc beata Virginis " 
(unique), four leaves. 
" Pica Sarum " (unique), eight 

" An Indulgence of Pope Six- 
tus V," (?) two slips of parch- 
ment (unique). 


lasting permanence in fieuen amen . 51Hf)tcf)e toerlte pre^ 
^mt § tegan tfje morn after ti)e sai^e IJurificacionof out 
mismtj ilatijD.^51ii)irt)etoa3 tf)ett)e Trage of Se in tillage 
li?i!Ssf)op anti Maxtix . ant fiinssjelr on tf)e enen of tijan 
nunciacion of our mti hilmits Hatig fallgng on tt)e toeb 
nesMg tf)e ixiiij tjape of M^xcf^t , ^n tfte lii peer of 
Itgng (J^litoartietijefourtfie 
The 78th leaf, which closes the volume, is blank. 

The French edition of this work (see page 188, anfs) was, 
if similarity of workmanship in all points may justify the 
conclusion, before the printer while at work upon this the 
English edition. 

Dr. Dibdin, to whom the French edition was unknown, 
says that Earl Rivers translated from the Latin ; but as all 
the other productions of the Earl's pen, printed by Caxton, 
were from the French, there would be strong grounds for 
supposing that this had come through the same channel, were 
not the fact established by its not being a literal translation 
of any Latin edition, while it is an accurate reproduction, 
line for line and almost word for word, of the French edition. 

About the date also there has been some confusion. 
Maittaire and Panzer attribute the printing to 1478, Lewis 
to 1479, Dibdin to 1480 ; and Lord Orford thinks Caxton, 
unless he was two years employed upon it, has made a typo- 
graphical error in the date. The dates in reality are very 
plain. Caxton says that Lord Rivers delivered the English 
translation to him to be printed, upon the day of "The 
Purification," which is further stated to have been the 2nd 
day of February, 1478 ; but as the year did not then begin 
until the 25th of March, it would, according to the present 
reckoning, be February, 1479. The printing was begun the 
very next day, on the " morning after the said Purification," 
and completed upon the 24th day of March, in the nineteenth 
year of Edward IV. This regnal year was comprised between 
March 4th, 1479, and March 3rd, 1480, thus again giving 
the year 1479 for the completion of the book. From this it 
is evident that instead of taking over two years for the print- 
ing it occupied Caxton just seven weeks. In Vol. I, page 


149, may be seen the entire epilogue, as written and printed 
by Caxton. 

For the literary history of " Cordyale," see the remarks on 
" Les Quatre Derrenieres Choses," already noticed. 

Copies are in the British Museum, Cambridge, Bodleian, 
and Hunterian Museum, Glasgow. Five are in private 

No. 27. — Frateis Laurentii Gulielmi de Saona Mar- 

DiviNA ACCOMMODATA. FoUo. Sine ulld notd. (1479- 

Collation. — One 3", one sheet, eleven 5"% and one 3" = 
124 leaves. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
Type No. 2* only is used. The lines, of which there are 29 
to a page, are in most cases of uneven length, although in 
some pages they are spaced out very regularly. Long lines 
measure 5 inches. Without signatures or catchwords. Space 
is left, with a director, for the insertion of initials 3 or 4 Unes 
in depth. The hyphen is in this volume not unfrequently 
nsed instead of the / or / , as a mark of punctuation. Chap- 
ters generally commence with a line, or two or three words, 
in capital letters ; and the ends of paragraphs are often orna- 
mented with an array of points ; for instance, .:*:.:*:. 
The Text begins on the 1st recto, with the prohemium, — 

dFratris lautencij guilelmi tie saona crtjints 
mio fac^ tf)eo« tioctois y^^mm i noua rti^oica 

(©gitanti mtcji sepenttmero-ac TJiligenci' con^ 
templati q)tu comoljitatis q)tuq^ jiplentjoris ^ glotie af erre 

On the 5th verso, 
On the 53rd recto, 

Uixitt facultatis : Jin quo gpecialitet auctor agit ^t f^m que 


The Second Book ends and the Third begins on the 88rd 


S^(S:WW ttf iJd!^ imim riietorice factilta 

On the 135th recto is a concluding chapter, the Text 
ending, on the verso of the 136th leaf, thus : — 

in trinitate perfecta uiuit et tegnat per inftnita fiecwla gecti^ 
lorum . 

(Explicit liter itxcim : et opus r^etorice farultatis p fra 
tre laurentiu <^uilelmi tje S^cna ortiinis minor saere pa 
gine pfessore ex tiictis testimonijisq^ sacratissimar scriptu- 
rar/ tioetorq^ ptatigsimor compilatu et 9ftrmatu : quitujf 
ex eaugis renguit appellantiu fore ifHargaritam eloquentie 
castigate at» eloquentru tiiuiita aecomotiatam 

(K'ompitatu aitt^ fuit i^oc optis in alma uniuersitate dfTan 
taftrigie ♦ ^nno ^ni . i4'^8 . tiie et . 6 . gulii . quo Tjie 
festum Sanete i^artf)e recolitt. Sut) protectione S)tnim 
mi regis anglorum Cf^uarti quarti 

Eemarks. — There can be no doubt in the mind of any 
one acquainted with the Westminster books that this issued 
from Caxton's press. It agrees with them not only in charac- 
ter of type, but in length of line, depth of page, and other 
typogi-aphical peculiarities. Nor is there much uncertainty 
about the date. It was not written till July, 1478, and the 
first dated book in the types with which it is printed (Type 
No. 2*) made its first appearance in March, 1479, the latest 
dated book in the preceding Type (No. 2) being February, 1478. 
In 1480 Caxton discontinued entirely the practice of leaving 
his lines of an uneven length, but the majority of pages in 
this volume have their lines uneven. The book was therefore 
printed after July, 1478, and before or very early in 1480. 

It is worthy of notice, that about the same time that 
Caxton, at Westminster, was engaged upon this work, the 
printer-schoolmaster at St. Alban's was also making it one of 
the first essays of his press. There certainly was not a longer 
period than two years and a half between the two editions, 


which, so far as the text goes, agree very closely, the St. 
Alban's printer haying apparently reprinted from the edition 
by Caxton. 

It is also very remarkable that this work should have 
been known and described for more than 150 years, yet never 
till October, 1861, recognised as the production of Caxton's 
press. In the Public Library, Cambridge, is a volume of 
documents relating to Corpus Christi College, which was used 
by Strype for his Life of Archbishop Parker; and among 
them is a catalogue of the books bequeathed by the Arch- 
bishop to the library of that College. At folio 255 is the 
following entry under the general head of " Books in parch- 
ment closures as they lye on heaps on the upmost shelves : " — 
"Rethorica nova impressa 1478." Strype, in his 
Life of Parker, misled by this entry, attributed the book to 
an early press at Cambridge ; and Bagford, ^Titing to Tanner 
in 1707, says, " I cannot but impart unto you, that very lately 
good Mr. Strype hath gave me an account of a booke which 
archbishop Parker gave to the Publick library of Benet college, 
and is a piece of rethorick, by one Gul. de Saona, a minorit, 
printed at Cambridge, 1478." Ames, who only knew the book 
from these accounts, and a facsimile of the beginning and end 
sent him by Mr. North, placed this work at the head of the 
list of Cambridge books, in his Typographical Antiquities, 
1749, and gave an engraving of North's facsimile; which led 
him to state that " the types were much like Caxton's largest." 
Herbert merely repeated the account of Ames ; and thus it 
was reserved for Mr. Bradshaw in consulting the library of 
Corpus Christi College for another purpose, to examine the 
volume and to recognise the interesting fact that, although 
compiled at Cambridge in the year 1478, it was printed with 
the unmistakeable types of Caxton, and agreed in typo- 
graphical particulars with the books issued from the West- 
minster press between 1479-80. 

Laurentius Gulielmi de Traversanis, of Saona (or Savona, 
as it is more commonly called), vvas born about 1414. His 
native city, not very far from Genoa, is better known as the 
birthplace of Christopher Columbus. He entered the Fran- 


ciscan Convent there under Francesco di Revere, afterwardB 
Pope Sixtus IV. He studied at the universities of Padua, 
Bologna, Cambridge, and Paris, and seems finally to have 
retired to his own convent at Savona, where he died, and to 
which he was a great benefactor. Wadding (Scriptores Ord. 
Min. folio, Romse, 1650) mentions several of his works. 

Besides the copy mentioned above, there is one at the 
University Library, Upsala, both being in perfect condition. 

No. 28. — ^The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers. 
" Emprynied ly me William Gaxfon at Westviesfre." 
Folio. Secmid Edition. Dated 14:11 y lut printed about 
1480. With Colophon. 

Collation. — Eight 4"', and two 3''" = 76 leaves, of which 
the 1st is blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
Type No. 2* only is used. The lines are nearly always spaced 
out to an even length, and measure 5 inches ; 29 lines to a 
full page. Without signatures, folios, or catchwords. Space 
is left at the beginning of chapters for the insertion of 3-line 

The difference between this and the 1st edition (see page 
186, ante) is considerable. That was printed from the original 
foimt of type No. 2 ; this fi'om a re-casting of the same fount, 
showing many alterations in the punches. (See the preliminary 
chapter to this volimic). That has the pages throughout the 
volume very uneven as to the length of the line ; this nearly 
always even. Thaty with the unique exception of the Althorpe 
copy, is without the colophon ; this has the colophon, of which 
a facsimile is given in the annexed plate, in every copy. 
Lastly, the orthogTaphy varies throughout the whole volume. 

We must here notice the first instance of a practice com- 
mon among the early printers, and doubtless inherited from 
the scribes, namely, that of reprinting in subsequent editions 
the colophons and dates strictly applicable to the 1st edition 
only. Thus the three editions of "Dictes and Sayings," 
which issued from Caxton's printing office, all bear the same 
date of imprint, November, 1477, while we know that type 


JSTo. 2*, in which the 2nd edition is printed, was not used till 
after February, 1478, and type No. 6, in which the 3rd edition 
is printed, was not in use till about 1488. 

The literary history of " Dictes and Sayings " has been 
already recounted at page 188, ante. 

Copies are in the British Museum, Trinity College, Dublin, 
and the library of the Duke of Devonshire. 

No. 29. — Letters of Indulgence issued by John Ken- 

FOR Assistance at the Siege of Rhodes. On 
Typographical Particulars. — The type is No. 2* only, 
but from the warping of the skin assumes in many parts a 
very deceptive appearance. The lines, which are considerably 
extended, but all of one length, measure 9;^ inches. The large 
4-line wooden initial is to be noticed as being in all probability 
the earliest instance of printed initials in this country ; they 
certainly do not appear in any book for which this type was 
used. The whole of the document occupies 19 long lines, of 
which the following are the beginning and end : — 

l^ater 3>oftanne0 kentrale Curcipelerius W^M u 
^ commissatius E sanctissitiw in xw^Xfi patre | et 

tiomino nostro tiomituj Stxto tiiuma ptouitiencia 
papa quarto tX bigore littetatum suatum pro expe^ | 
tritione contra perft^os turcfio^ xpristtani nominis ftostes ♦ 
in tiefensionem inmXt W^M ^ ft^ei catjoli^ | tt facta tX 
facicntia concessarum atr infraisctpta p brtiuersum orbem 

tiCputatUS ♦ Bilect' mW in ipo | Symoni Mountfort et 

Emms vxori ei' Salutc in tjtto sctttpitcrtta ^Prouenit tx Xnz 
tjcuottoniis afcctu po romaita | 

3ln quor' ftticm Jas Vim nostras Sigilli nostri ap | 
pensionc munitas Utxi inmimm atq^ mantjauimus , Bat' 

ultimo die Mesis inarcij EnitO tJOttlini | JHillesimo pat^ 

rmgcntc0imo octoQcsimo 

Remarks, — The following particulars concerning John 
Kendal are gathered from an article in ArcIuBologia, vol. xxvii, 


page 172, written by Sir F. Madden, and entitled "Docu- 
ments relating to Perkin Warbeck." 

In a deposition made by ^one Bernard de Vignoles, at 
Rouen in 1495, concerning a plot against the king's life, one 
of the persons implicated was John Kendal, Grand Prior of 
the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in England. He is also 
remarkable as having been the subject of the earliest contem- 
porary English medal in existence, which is dated 1480, the 
period of the Siege of Rhodes. On this he is styled " Turco- 
polier," or General of the Infantry of the Order, the office of 
which was annexed to that of Grand Prior of England. Yet 
although the medal so designates him, it is not probable that 
he was actually present at the siege, as in that very year 
{RymeVy April, 1480) Edward IV ordered all persons to assist 
John Kendal, in Ireland, in procuring aid and money against 
the Turks. In this proclamation he is styled " Turcopolier 
of Rhodes, and locum tenens of the Grand Master in Italy, 
England, Flanders, and Ireland." In Browne- Willis (Mit. 
Abb.) Kendal appears in 1491 and 1501 as Prior of the 
Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in London. He was lieu- 
tenant of the Grand Master in Italy, England, Flanders, and 
Ireland, and was amply furnished with indulgences and par- 
dons for all who give personal service. In this office of 
recruiting he was occupied at the time of the celebrated Siege 
of Rhodes in 1480. His arms, impaled with those of England, 
may still be seen on the walls of an hotel at Rhodes. 

In the Numismatic department of the British Museum is 
a medal connected with John Kendal. Ohv. Bust of Kendal 
in armour marked with the cross of the Knights of St. John ; 
head bare ; hair straight and long ; legend, lo. kendal rhodi 
TVRCVPELARivs. Rev. Arms of Kendal. Cross of St. John 
in Chief. Legend, ^ tempore obsidionis tvrchorvm 


There are probably two Existing Copies, although but 
one is a present known. This is in the British Museum (C. 
18, e. 2), and was purchased in 1845. The blank space for 
the name is filled in with " Symoni Mountfort et Emrm vxori 
ei% and it is dated the last day of March, 1480. 


The Rev. Joseph Hunter noticed the existence of this 
" Indulgence," and wrote to Herbert about it, but it was not 
then recognised as a production of Caxton's press; and, 
although the same document, must have been another copy, 
as the blanks were filled in with the names of Eichard Cattlyn 
and John Cattlyn, April 16th, 1480. 

No. 30. — Parvus et Magnus Chato. Folio. Sim ulld notd. 
With Woodcuts. Third Edition. (1481 ?) 

Collation. — a i C 4"', li 2" = 28 leaves, of which a ( is 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
Two sizes of type occur. No. 2* and No. 8, the latter being 
used for the Latin couplets as well as the "Incipit" and 
" Explicit " lines. Length of long lines 4 J inches ; 29 lines 
to a page. Signatures are met here for the first time, lower- 
case letters and Roman numerals being used. "Without folios 
or catchwords. 

Commencing with a blank leaf the title-line follows, on 
a ij recto, in type No. 8. The Text begins thus : — 

?gic tncipit patuus (Ki^ato 

( Woodcnt of Four Pupils, one of ivhom wears a fooVs cap, kneeling 
before a Tutor, wJio, rod in hand, sits in a higli-hacked chair). 

Wim aia ^^uttUxt quami&oies gtauitet: errata 
512Ej&an % atmerte in mg tememtraunce 
EtttJ see f)ob3 fele (olfees erren gteuouslg 

On sig. a Hi) recto, 

512aftan ge it tetie let not gout f)ette ie tjence 
^ut tiotf) as tf)is saptf) toiti^ al gour entente 
Jgie Uni^ parui eatf)onis 

( Woodcut of Five Pupils kneeling before ilieir Tutor, who, seated in 
a chair, is teaching them from a book upon a lectern before him), 

" Parvus Chato " contains 7 stanzas, and is followed, on 
Big. a Hi verso, by 

J^ic imiTi^iX magnus O^fiato 


The Text ends, on 4th recto of sig. ti — 

Jgere f)me S ^onti tjat sfial ge gtti?tie antj le^e 
Streggfit to fiootJ fame ^ leue sou in t)Br t)ous 

il!^ipUcit (2^5ato 

Remarks. — ^The Text is evidently a reprint from one of 
the early editions in quarto (see pages 200 and 203, ante)y and 
was by no means intended as a kind of supplement " to the 
" Cathon glossed," printed a year or two later by Caxton, as 
supposed by Dr. Dibdin in Tyjp. Ant, vol. i, page 201. 

Two woodcuts add to the interest of this volume ; one 
being at the beginning and one at the end of the " Parvus 
Chato." (See Plate 27.) The same cuts also appear in the 
" Mirrour of the World," which raises the question of pre- 
cedency. Here, at first sight, one would give priority to 
the "Mirrour," as the cuts appear newer and cleaner; but 
this is very deceptive, depending more upon the amount of 
ink and pressure used than on the condition of the cuts. 
The breakage of some of the lines in the " Mirrour " is a much 
more sure sign, and this tells strongly in favour of " Parvus 
Chato." The greater appropriateness of the designs to the 
"Parvus Chato," a boy's book, than to the illustration of 
grammar and logic as in the " Mirrour," leads to the same 
conclusion. It is therefore considered that these two cuts 
were designed originally for the " Parvus Chato," which 
in that case must have been printed previously to the 
"Mirrour," 1481. 

There is nothing to induce us to attribute to foreign 
artists the production of these woodcuts, which show no 
amount of skill either in design or execution, which is not 
far surpassed in the undoubted productions of English scribes 
and miniature painters of the same period. They may, there- 
fore, be considered as probably the earliest specimens of wood- 
engraving in England. 

Two perfect copies are known : one in St. John's College, 
Oxford, and the other at Althorpe. 


No. 31. — The Mirrour of the World. Folio. First 
Edition. Translated 14:81. Woodcuts. Without Printer's 
NavMy Date or Places but in 1481. 

Collation.— a ictiefgi^ifelmare 4^^% n is a 2° = 
100 leaves, of which a 1 and the verso of n 4 are blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The only type used is No. 2*. A full page contains 29 hnes, 
which are fully spaced out and measure 4| inches. Without 
folios or catchwords. Signatures in lower-case letters and 
Arabic numerals. The number of woodcuts is 34. After the 
first (blank) leaf the " Table " commences on sig a 2 recto. 

The Text begins thus : — 

J^ere beggnnetib tje taile of tt^t ruiticeg of tt^i^ presen 
it bolume namta tt^t Miuoux of tfie toorltr or ttigmage 
of tfie eame 

ends on the 4th recto of sig. n, the verso being blank, 

teltje / antr after ftfi^ si&ort ^ transitorge Ipf i&e trgnge 
f)gm anti be in to i^is relcstgal blgsse in fieuene Emen/ 

Remarks. — The origin of this work cannot be traced very 
satisfactorily; but as showing a much better acquaintance 
with the cosmology of the world than any previous compo- 
sition, it may be interesting to examine the evidence of its 

Vincent de Beauvais, of the Order of Preaching Friars, 
who, from the dedication attached to several of his produc- 
tions, appears to have flourished in the reign of St. Louis, 
composed an extensive work in Latin, consisting of four 
parts — " Speculum Naturale," " Speculum Doctrinale," " Spe- 
culum Historiale," and " Speculum Morale." The whole was 
entitled " Speculum majus," for the follomng reason, given in 
the third chapter of the First Book, "Majus autem, ad differ- 
entiam parvi libelli jamdudum editi, cujus titulus Speculum 
vel Imago mimdi, in quo scilicet hujus mundi sensibilis dis- 
positio et omatus paucis verbis describitur. M. Daunou thinks 
that the " parvus libeUus " here referred to was the " Imago 


Muudi" from which "Lyraage du Monde" waa translated, 
and that it was a previous composition of Vincent de Beau- 
vais ; and Montfaucon quotes a manuscript in the St. Germain 
collection (Fonds Latin, 92G) in support of the same view, in 
which we read " Iste liber intitulatus Speculum vel Imago 
Mundi editus a fre. Vincentio ordinis fratrum predicatoram." 
But Vincent's reference to a Speculum Mundi, " jamdudum 
editus," by no means suggests that he wrote that as well as 
his own; and unfortunately as no copy is known, the fact 
even of its agreement with " Lymage du Monde " cannot be 
verified. The manuscript quoted by Montfaucon is no evidence 
at all, as M. Paris, on examination, found it to be identical 
with the " Speculum Historiale," or the Third Part of Vin- 
cent's " Speculum Majus," which is by no means " a rational 
description of the world and its products shortly described." 
The compilation of " Speculum Mundi," from Vincent's " Spe- 
culum Naturale," as suggested by Greswell, is equally far from 
the truth. Although no copy of the Latin " Speculum vel 
Imago Mundi," referred to by Vincent, is known, there appears 
little reason to doubt that it existed in the thirteenth century. 
Perhaps an earlier copy of the Latin manuscript in the Cotton 
Library, already described, may have formed the foundation 
of the French version, although in that case, as in Vignay's 
translation of the " Chess Book," considerable additions have 
been made. The history of the " Mirrour of the World" may 
be sunmied up thus: — Before the middle of the thirteenth 
century an unknown author wrote in Latin " Speculum vel 
Imago Mundi;" of this no copy has yet been recognised 
{Cottony Vesp. E iii ?) In 1245 this was turned into French 
metre for the Duke of Berry, of which manuscripts in several 
libraries attest the popularity {Sloane 2435 ; Royal 20, A iii). 
Shortly afterwards the French metre was turned into French 
prose, probably by " Maistre Gossonin." (Eayal 19, A. ix ; Bib. 
Imp., Paris, No. 7070). Here we find the Text used by Caxton 
for his translation, who even adopted a considerable portion 
of the French prologue (see ante Vol. I, page 153). Who 
this " Gossouin " or " Gossevin " was, and whether he was the 
author or only the scribe is qnite unknown. 



The celebrated Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly compiled, in 1409, 
a work entitled " Tractatus de ymagine mundi " {Harl. MS. 
637), which, however, is principally astronomical, having a 
portion of the same as the work under review. 

The publishing of this book was not a speculation on 
Caxton's part. He was employed, as we learn from the pro- 
logue (printed verbatim in Yol. I), to translate and probably 
to print it by Hugh Brice, citizen and alderman of London, 
who wished to make a present to Lord Hastings. To adom, 
as well as illustrate the pages, the art of the wood-engraver 
was employed, and we may consider the figures here displayed 
as some of the earliest specimens of that art in England. The 
designs were borrowed from the manuscript copy, the illumi- 
nations in the French manuscripts showing the same treat- 
ment. All the copies issued from Caxton's press have the 
words necessary for the explanation of the diagrams inserted 
with the pen, instead of being engraved on the wood, wiiich 
may perhaps be an argument for their home execution, as the 
Flemish artists were certainly well skilled in engraving words 
in their blocks. They all appear to have been perfected by 
the same scribe, which probably induced Oldys to assert that 
they are in Caxton's autograph. Of this there is no evidence. 
Hugh Brice, of the same county as Caxton, where he held 
the manor of Jenkins {LysonSy vol. iv, page 75), Avas also of 
the Mercers' Company, although Stow calls him a goldsmith 
{Thoms's Stow, page 77). He was knighted about 1472 ; and 
in that year accompanied John Kussell and others on a trade 
embassy to Bruges. John Russell was the orator whose cele- 
brated speech, upon the reception of the Order of the Garter 
by the Duke of Burgundy, is one of the earliest pieces attri- 
buted to the press of Caxton. In 1473, Hugh Brice, who is 
called " Clericus in officio Contrarotulatoris Monetas nostras," 
was sent on a similar embassy, " De difficultatibus super inter- 
cursu BurgTindiae removendis ;" and on both occasions would 
necessarily become personally acquainted with Caxton, who at 
that time was in the service of the Duchess of Burgnindy at 
Bruges (Rymer, edit. 1727, vol. xi, page 738, &c. &c.) He 
also held the offices of Keeper of the King's Exchange, 


London ; Governor of the King's Mint in the Tower, under 
Lord Hastings; and Mayor of London, 1494. He died in 

Fifteen copies are knowTi : British Museum (2), Cam- 
bridge, Bodleian, St. George's, Windsor, and ten in private 

No. 32. — The History of Reynard, the Fox. First 
Edition. Folio. Translated in the Alley of Westmin- 
ster hy William Caxton, 1481, lut ivithout Printer's 
Name^ Place, or Date. 

Collation.— a t C t( e f g J i are 4^", fe and I are 3°% a 1 
and I 6 being blank. Between the leaves f) 8 and i 1 is in- 
serted a leaf half printed on both sides. This was probably 
owing to the accidental omission of a page by the compositor. 
Total, 84^ leaves, of which the first and last are blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is No. 2*, none other being used throughout the 
volume. The lines are spaced out to one length, and measure 
4| inches. A full page has 29 lines. Without folios or catch- 
words. Arabic figures are used in the signatures. Spaces 2 
lines deep are left for the insertion of initials. 

The Text begins, on sig. a 2 recto, thus : — 

W^\% i% ^t table of tje iiistorge of tegnart tfie foare 

ending half-way down sig. a 3 recto, 

Jgoh) tje foxe toiti^ W ftenties tieparteti itoblg fro tt)e 
kgnge ^ \x\mXt to W pastel malepertiugs / capitulo x\\\\ 

On the verso begins the story — 

?&»er teggnnetf) ttpstotse of xmwCts ti^e foxe 

ending half-way down the verso of the 5th folio of sig. I, 

?12af)ere tfieg s^al fpntie faute /jFor S !)a«e not dXtsfn ne 
mpnussjeti tut i)aue folotoeti as npgfie as 3 can mp coppe 
tottcSe teas m tiutcfie / anti tig me toillm OTaiton trans^ 
latetJ in to tt)is tutie ^ sprnple englpssi) in tt)atieg of bent? 



mestre . fsnpssjeti tje br tfage of ^ugn tje pete of our 
lortj * IE , afarorar . Hxxxi . ^ tfie xxi gere of tf)e tegne of 
fegnge ©titoarti ti^e iiijtf) / 

Jgere entretf) tfte Jistorge of i^egnattJ tje foxe ^c 

Remarks. — The date of printing this book is nowhere 
stated, though it was probably put to press directly after if 
not dui'ing the translation, which was finished on the 6 th of 
June, 1481. The literary history of this fable is very obscure. 
It appears to have had great popularity for some centuries 
previous to Caxton's time, as quotations from it appear so 
early as the twelfth century. Caxton's translation was made 
from " Die Historic van Reinaert die Yos, ghepreiit ter goude 
in hoUant by mi gheraert leeu Jnt iaer Mcccc en Lxxix," or 
perhaps from the still earlier edition in Dutch, discovered in 
1854, and described in K. Godike's Deutsche Wochenschrift 
for that year, Heft 8, page 256. 

Copies are in the British Museum, Eton College, and two 
private libraries. 

No. 33. — TuLLY OF Old Age ; Tully of Friendship ; The 
Declamation of Noblesse. Folio. " Emprynfed hy 
7iie symple persons William Gaxtonr No Place. 1481. 

Collation. — Old Aye : sigs. 1 and a are 3"% with 1 1, 
and a 6 blank — t) e ti e f g 1^ are 4*^' — ( is a 2% with l 4 blank. 
Friendship and the Declamation : a t) e iJ e f are 4"^, with no 
blanks. The first section in the " De Senectute " is signed in 
Arabic numerals only, thus : 1 2 — 1 3 — 1 4, the rest of the 
work being signed in letters and Arabic numerals. The three 
tracts together have 117 printed and three blank leaves. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page to 
any of the three treatises. The type is all No. 2*, except 
where Latin quotations or proper names are introduced, when 
Caxton's largest type, No. 3, is used. The lines are fully 
spaced out, and the long lines measure 4 J inches ; 29 lines 
make a fall page. Without folios or catchwords. Space is 
left at the beginning of the chapters with a director, for the 


insertion of 2 fco 5-liue initials. The peculiar ^c belonging 
to tyi)e No. 1 is used in this book. 

After a blank leaf the Text begins on sig. 1 2, space being 
left for a 2-line initial Jt^ with director, 

i) (i^xt tjeggnnetf) ti^e proftemge upon tje retiucmge/ 
iotf) out of latgn as of frenssfie in to our mfilgggf) 
tongue /of ti)e polgtgque took nametJCu I Uu0 tjc geneci 

tute , tof)ici)e tjat CulUus torote bpon t^e Ijisputacong ^ 

The treatise "De Senectute" ends, with the following 
colophon, at the head of the 3rd recto of sig. i, 

^f^m entietf) tf)e bolte of CuUe of oltie age translatel» 
out of latgn into frensi&e bp lautence tje primo farto at 
tf)e comaunljement of tt)e noble ptpnce Hobogsi Buc of 
13urbon / anb enprgntetJ b^ ^^ spmple petsone MEilliam 
iHaxton into d^riQl^mi^t at tije plaj)0ir solace anb reue^ 
rence of men grobjgng in to olbe age tf)e lij bag of ^xi^ 
gust ti)e pere of our lorb . iE , ararorar . Imj : 

A blank leaf, and then the " De Senectute " begins with a 
new series of signatures on a j, the whole work ending on the 
8th verso of sig. f, 

tf)at toe at our bepartgng mage beparte in 0ucf)e togse/ tjat 
it mage please our lorb gob to recegue bs in to i)is niir^ 
lastgng blgsse , Emen : 

O^xplicit ^er Olaxton 

Although in three distinct treatises, Caxton intended them 
to form but one volume, as is plainly stated in the epilogue, 
which renders it difficult to imagine a reason for his printing 
the volume with two sets of signatures. 

We learn from Caxton's own pen, that the translation of 
Cicero's " De Senectute" and " De Amicitid" into French was 
made by the command of Louis Duke of Bourbon, in 1405, 
by Laurence de Premierfait. This learned priest was a native 
of the city of Troyes, and obtained great celebrity by his 
niunerous translations. 


To Jean Mielot we must attribute the French version of 
" The Declamation," in which he styles the author " Surse 
Pistoie, Docteur en Loix, et grand Orateur." This was one of 
the first books that issued from the press of Colard Mansion 
at Bruges. 

The English translation of the " De Senectute " was accom- 
plished, as we learn from the first prologue, at the ordinance 
and desire of Sir John Fastolfe. It has been ascribed by 
Leland to the Earl of Worcester, and by Anstis to Wyllyam 
de Wyrcestre ; in both cases without eyidence. We have seen 
already that the"Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers" 
had been translated in 1450 for Sir John Fastolfe, by Stephen 
Scrope, his son-in-law (see page 180, ante), and this possibly 
came from the same pen. Whoever the translator may have 
been he took for his text the work of Laurence Premierfait, 
of which this version is a most literal translation, notwith- 
standing his assurance (see the end of the first prologue) that 
" this book is more amply expounded and more sweeter to the 
reader, Izee'ping the just sentence of the Latin." The English 
version of " De Amicitia " and the " Declamation " are attri- 
buted by Caxton to the Earl of Worcester, a great traveller, 
a great collector of books, and a great orator. The Earl's 
history and acquirements have been 'described by Fuller, Dr. 
Henry, and many others ; Caxton's admiration for him is 
expressed in the most touching and characteristic terms. Pro- 
bably their love of literature was a friendly bond. The Earl 
also translated, at a later period, Caesar's Commentaries, which 
Rastell printed. 

Of 22 copies extant, twelve are in the chief corporate 
libraries in England, and ten in private hands. 

No. 34. — The Game and Play of the Chess. Second 
Edition. Folio. Woodcuts. ^'Explicit per Caxton.'' 
Without Place or Date. (1481 ?) 

Collation.— a t) c ti e f g i^ i are 4"^ fe I are 3"^ = 84 

leaves, of which the first is blank. 

Typographical Particulaes. — There is no title-page. 
The only type used is No. 2*. The lines are spaced out to 


an even length, and signatures are used. A full page has 29 
lines, and a full line measures 4J inches. Space left for the 
insertion of 2 or 3-line initials, with director. Without folios 
or catchwords. 

After the blank leaf the prologue of Caxton commences 
on sig. a ii). 

The text begins thus : — 

J8e f)olp appo0tle antj tioctour of tijt ptpit gagnt 

t ^oule sagtl) in Jis qj^stle , ^Ue t1)at is torsten 

ij3 torgten bnto our Tjoctrgne ant for our ler^ 

n^riQ . WBf^ntfaxt mang notle clerlus 1)aue entjeuogretr 

The table of chapters follows on the verso, and ends on 
a Hi recto, the verso being blank. On a Hi} recto, the first 
chapter commences, and is illustrated with a woodcut repre- 
senting King Evilmerodach, son of Nebuchadnezzar, " a joUj 
man without justice who did do hew his father his body into 
three hundred pieces." 

The Text ends on I 6 recto, the verso being blank — 

man (jut as a teste . Ctjenne late euerp man of tof)at 
contigcion f)e he tiiat retjgtf) or fteritt) t'^i^ litel toofe retJtie • 
tafee ti)erbB ensaumple to amentie tgm * 

dlrxplieit per dUaxton. 

The woodcuts in this volume number only sixteen, not 
twenty-four, as Dibdin and other ^Titers say, eight of them 
being impressions from blocks used for previous chapters. As 
already noticed, there seems a probability that the two 
cuts for " Parvus Chato," third edition, were the earliest used 
by Caxton. These were soon after printed again, mth the 
addition of many others in the " Mirrour of the World." The 
present cuts were perhaps the third essay of Caxton in this 
department, and for these, judging by the general style, and 
greater breadth of treatment, he appears to have employed 
another artist. 

The literary history of the work has been given under the 
fii*st edition, but we must notice that the original prologue 




dedicated to the Duke of Clarence, the major portion of which 
was a translation from the French, has been superseded in 
this edition by a prologue from Caxton's own pen, the ideas 
in which, with the exception of the first few lines, and almost 
the very words, are often met with in manuscripts of that age. 

The year in which this edition is generally considered to 
have been issued seems to me very incorrect. Ames assigns 
no date to it, but Dibdin, probably misled by Bagford's obser- 
vations, thinks it one of Caxton's earliest efforts, while in 
sume remarks attached to a reprint of this edition by Mr. 
Figgins, it is considered as the earliest specimen of the West- 
mhister press, and to have been printed from md metal types. 
An examination of the work, however, with a tj'pographical 
eye does not afford a single evidence of very early workman- 
sliip. All Caxton's early books were uneven in the length of 
their lines — this is quite even. Not one of the early works 
had any signatures — this is signed throughout. These two 
features alone are quite sufficient to fix its date of impression 
at least as late as 1480, when Caxton first began the use of 

Copies are in the British Museum; the Pepysian and 
Trinity, Cambridge ; Bodleian and St. John's, Oxford ; Impe- 
rial Library, Vienna ; and six in private hands. 




TYPE No. 3. 


if»,r, Tie^Uj^' • 35. An AdTertisement ...... 1477-78? 

CBl^f, 36. Directoriuni. First Version . . . 1477-78? 

J<^Vv^ 37. Horae. Second Edition . . . . . ]480? 

S^V . 38. Psalterium, &c 1480-83 ? 


No. 85. An^ Advertisement. Octavo. Westminsfer. No 
Bate. (Abmd 1477-78.) 

Typographical Particulars. — ^The type is all No. 3, 
the whole advertisement being in one paragraph of seven 
lines, unevenly spaced, the longest measuring five inches. 
The verso is blank. 

Sf It plcse ong man gpirituel or temporel to ige on? 
pges of tb30 antj ttire comemoracios of galisburi b0e 
enprgntili after tf)e forme of tjis preset lettre toSiefte 
ben toel anti trulg eorreet / late !)pm eome to toestmo- 
nester in to tt)e almonesrge at tt)e reetr pale mti ije stial 
t)aue tj^em goolr cftepe , * . * 

Supplieo jitet ce^ula 

Remarks. — This is an interesting relic, not only as giving 
us the name of the house inhabited by our first printer — the 
Red-pale (" reed " was commonly used by Caxton for " red ") 
— ^but also as a specimen of advertisements in the fifteenth 
century. Although small in size it may also be considered as 
the earliest instance known of a " broadside " printed in this 

Our printer was not alone in advertising his books, 
although, from the fugitive nature of such productions, speci- 
mens are very rarely to be found. An interesting list of 
books printed by Coburger, at Nuremberg, in the fifteenth 
century, is in the British Museum (C. 18. e. 2. 27), to which 
is attached the following heading : — " Cupientes emere libros 


infra notatos venient ad hospicium subnotatum Yenditorem 
habituri largissimiiin," &c. 

The " Pye " * was a collection of rules to show the priest 
how to deal (under every possible variation in Easter) with 
the concurrence of more than one office on the same day. In 
reading Caxton's Advertisement the question arises, " In what 
respect did the " pyes of two and three commemorations of 
Salisbury use " differ from the ordinary pyes of Salisbury use ? 
The very RcA^erend Canon Rock, D.D., has kindly placed at 
my disposal for an explanation which confines the "pye of 
two commemorations " to the rules for Easter and Whitsun- 
tide, and the " pye of three commemorations " to the rules 
for Easter, Whitsuntide, and Trinity, f Caxton's Advertise- 
ment, therefore, refers to separately published portions of the 
common " Directorium sen Pica Sarum," applicable, perhaps, 
to the current year only. In the succeeding article is de- 
scribed a " Pica," which, in some particulars, agrees entirely 
with. Caxton's description. 

* The Pica type of printers is commonly supposed to derive its name 
from having been used for printing the early *' Pica sen Directorium." 
I have searched in vain among the earliest editions of the Directorium 
for a copy printed in types approaching the size of Pica. They are 
mostly the size of modem Brevier. 

f " Easter being a moveable feast, and ruling the time for Septua- 
gesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima Sundays, and the beginning of 
Lent, as well as the Sundays for Whitsuntide and the beginning of 
Trinity, makes great and ever-recurring alterations in the Service of 
the Calendar on Saints' days. Hence was it to show the Cleric at a 
glance how to commemorate the Saints' days that came in the ever- 
changing times of Lent, Easter, "Whitsuntide ; and the Octave of the 
Trinity, the Pica began by giving a table of the Dominical letters, 
which make the keys of all the rest of the Pica ; and after such a way 
no matter what month or week Easter might fall on, the manner of 
commemorating the Saints' days happening then, or of putting them 
off till another time, was accurately described for all variations. But as 
the chief variations in keeping the Saints' days happened at Easter 
and its following week — at Whitsuntide and its week or Octave — and at 
Trinity and its Octave ; and, as during these three great feasts, with 
their Octaves, the occurring feast itself was chiefly celebrated with 
mere mention, or Collect, or Commemoration ; and as people in Caxton's 


A poor copy is among the Douc^ fragmentB in the Bod- 
leian ; and a good one, formerly in Dr. Farmer's library, at 

It has been suggested that the first line being very short, 
the syllable co has accidentally dropped out, and that the text 
should read " to buy any copies," &c. ; but the word " copy," 
in that sense, was unknown in the fifteenth century. 

No. 36. — DiRECTORiUM, SEU PiCA Sarum. First Version. 
Quarto. Sine ulld nofd. (About 1477-8.) 

No perfect copy of this book being known, the Collation 
is necessarily omitted. The four fragments from the covers 
of the St. Alban's " Boethius " are from separate half sheets 
in quarto, making a total of sixteen pages. 

Typographical Particulars. — Only one type. No. 3, is 
used in these fragments. The lines are not spaced out to one 
length. The longest measure 3f inches. A full page has 22 
lines. Without signatures, or catchwords, or printed folios 
to the leaves. There are no initial letters, nor is there any 
space left for them. The whole is in very contracted Latin. 

Remarks. — There can be no doubt that this was the pro- 
duct of Caxton's press, as all the circumstances connected 
mth it tend to prove. It was extracted from the covers of a 
book which was evidently bomid in Caxton's workshop, and 
for the binding of which he had used waste sheets from the 
press (see ajite, page 214). The fragments belonging to known 
books were all printed by Caxton before 1481; while the 
"Advertisement" and " Directorium," reasoning from the 

days had not printed but handwritten Breviaries without the Plea or 
Pj/e in them, Caxton printed, to supply their want, " pyes of two and 
three commemorations," — that is to say, directions for saying tlie whole 
office of two Octaves or Commemorations, say of Easter and AVhitsun- 
tide, and of three Octaves, Easter, Whitsuntide, and Trinity. It should 
be borne in mind, as I have pointed out in t. i, p. 139 of " The Church 
of our Fathers " that the Laity as well as the Clergy used to say the 
Breviary. Hence Caxton's invitation to buy his '' pyes " to the Laity 
too. — Extract from a Utter to J. F. Goulding, Esq., from the Very 
B&i'. Canon JR^ch. D.D. February ^ 1 862. 


measurement of the lines and their uneven length, were cer- 
tainly printed before 1480, and probably about the same time 
as the later set of quarto poetic pieces, i. e. about 1478. 

This " Directorium" is not the same version as that printed 
by Caxton, about 1486, in type No. 5, and a second edition 
of which was issued a few years later in type No. 6. These 
last are the text revised for Bishop Eotherham, founded upon 
an earlier version, of which latter the leaves under notice 
appear to be a portion. 

Formerly in the library of the St. Alban's Grammar School ; 
they are now in the British Museum. 

No. 37. — HoR^ AD USUM Sarum. Second Edition. Quarto. 

No perfect copy being kno^\Ti, the Collation is of neces- 
sity omitted, and the following remarks are made from three 
fragments rescued from the St. Alban's " Boethius," already 

Typographical Particulars. — The only type used, 
judging from these fragments, was No. 3. The lines are 
spaced out, and measure 3| inches. A full page has 20 lines. 
The initials and paragTaph marks are not inserted. 

The first fragment, a quarto leaf printed on both sides, 
but very defective, contains part of the " Suffragia of the 
Three Kings," which are among the additions to the first 
part of the " Primer ;" and in an early edition by Wynken 
de Worde, immediately precede the Latin " Fifteen Oes." 

The second fragment is also but one leaf, and contains 
the commencement of Part II of the " Horse," the " Ne 
Reminiscaris " being the anthem belonging to the Seven 
Penitential Psalms. 

The third fragment consists of two pages of prayers, con- 
taining the first of the " Fifteen Oes " in Latin, and some 
prayers near the end of the Litany. 

Remarks. — As all the " Fifteen Oes " and the Litany, as 
well as other prayers, intervene between the tAvo pages of the 
third fragment, it is evident they were not intended to be 


printed on one sheet ; this, added to the fact that the paper 
is printed only on one side, makes it clear that these are 
proof pages. 

This edition of " Horse " is entirely unknown to any of 
our bibliogra})hers, and was doubtless a second edition of that 
akeady noticed at p. 189. 

These fragments, now in the British Museum, were pur- 
chased in 1874. They were formerly in the library of King 
Edward VI Grammar School, St. Alban's. 

No. 88. — PsAi.TERiiTM, ETC. Quarto. Sine ulld mtd. (1480- 

Collation.— a ictiefgi) ifelmnoiJqtJStttiXB 

are 4°% with a 1 blank ; but as only one copy is known to be 
in existence, and that imperfect, no complete collation can be 

Typographical Particulars. — ^There is only one type, 
No. 8, used throughout the work, excepting for the signatures, 
where the Arabic numerals belong to type No. 2. The lines, 
which are spaced out, measure 3| inches, and a full page 
has 20. "Without printed folios or catchwords. Space for 
the insertion of 2 to 4-line initials, generally without director, 
is left at the beginning of paragraphs. The signatures are 
in letters and Arabic numerals, a mode of signing used by 
Caxton only between the years 1480 and 1483. 

The book doubtless commenced with a blank leaf for a 1, 
which is wanting in this copy. 

The Text begins at the head of a 2 recto, thus : — 

f Seronimus tie lauTre ^zi supe. 

3^cf)il enim est m f)ac bita 
M mortali in quo possumu0 fa^ 

miliarius interrrr tJfo q) W 
vix\m lautiitius. i^uUus r'm mor- 

" Jheronimus super Psalteriimi " ends on a 6 recto, and 
is followed by two prayers and a metrical hymn. 



The Psalter finishes on sig. t 3 recto, and is followed by 
the Canticles, Te Deum, Athanasian Creed, a general Litany, 
including most of the prayers now in use, and ends imper- 
fectly on sig. g 7 verso. There is an eighth leaf, which at 
first sight is very defective, seeming to be g 8; in fact it is 
an intercallary leaf, consisting of two pages accidentally 
omitted between x 7 and x 8, and bound up wrongly after 
g 7, the real g 8 being absent. 

The only copy at present known is in the British Museum, 
having formed a portion of the old Eoyal Library. It was 
recognised as being printed with Caxton's types by Mr. Bullen, 
through whose hands it passed for re-cataloguing. 

"I ^^ f li. f .«♦■<. f.X's t Y f \ y\ i,\>\<\ \. 





TYPE No. 4. 



0-n>.A, tr-^!/, - ■ 

39. Chronicles. First Edition . 

Type 4 


W, Cs,7^ S. Cn e,^ 

40. Description of Britain . 

. Type 4 


hv,. Hf Spfi^c, 

41. Curia Sapientiae 

Type 4 

1481 ? 


42. Godfrey of Bologne 

. Type 4 


7:Ar' ■ - ' ■ 

43. Indulgence. First Edition . 

Type 4 


'i'i^t't ^^^n^r^^j,.: 

44. Ditto Second Edition . 

• Type 4 


45. Chronicles. Second Edition 

Type 4 


46. Polychronicon . . . . 

. Type 4 


.1, inr.H^lS,O^J^ 

-< 47. Pilgrimage of the Soul 

Type 4 


..-., ^M'-'-- /5&v-^-^^ 

48. A Vocabulary .... 

. Type 4 


M. T^QciL Jj^i^^i'. 

P49. The Festial .... 

Type 4* 


\:.i, r' -./■-,. ^v-T'** '■ 

60. Four Sermons .... 

. Type 4* 


3->l ^ 

61. Servitium de Visitatione 

Type 4 



62. Sex Epistolae .... 

Type 4 and 4* 


r^v.,-, P^.^.l-U, (rf< 

V; 63. Confessio Amantis . 

Type 4 and 4* 


M . G.v^.tv Cxi ' 

54. The Knight of the Tower 

Type 4 and 4* 


M, {\\Jy. C^f'^ 

66. Caton .... 

Type 4* 


66. Golden Legend .... 

Type 4 and 4* 


67. Death-bed Prayers . 

Type 4* 


usiu.. fiM. ^^^^■ 

68. ^sop ..... 

. Type 4* 


69. Order of Chivalrye . 

Type 4* 1483-85 

60. Canterbury Tales. Second Edition 

. Type 4* 


-}. C/"tut.-t^/ l'(f U'\''./ v'' 

? 61. Book of Fame 

Type 4* 


l^H, ^yv^^^s- 

62. The Cuiial .... 

. Type 4* 


3,M, Cyif£'fh^M''' 

63. Troilez and Cresside 

Type 4* 


64. Life of our Lady 

. Type 4* 


66. St. Winifred 

Type 4* 


■ 3 M " 

66. King Arthur .... 

. Type 4* 


67. Charles the Great . 

Type 4* 


68. Paris and Vienne 

. Type 4* 


69. The Golden Legend. Second Edition 

Type 4* 



No. 39. — The Chronicles op England. Folio. **Bm- 
prynted hy me William Caxton in thabley of West- 
mynstre" June 10th, 1480. First Edition, with short 

Collation. — Prologue and table a 4'', signed J, i\\, and 
tilt, the first leaf being blank, a (a j blank) 5 c tr e f B f) i 
ItlmnolJqtJJtUiare 4"*; p is a 8°. Total 182 leaves, 
of which two are blank. 

Typograpical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
Type No. 4 only is used. There are forty lines to a ftdl page. 
The lines are spaced out to an even length, and measure 4} 
inches. The signatures are in lower-case letters and Arabic 
numerals. Spaces left for the insertion of initials. Without 
folios or catchwords. 

Commencing with a blank leaf, the prologue follows on 
sig. i\ recto, the Text beginning, with a space for a 5-line 

$1 ti&e sete of tfigncarnacion of out lort» f Ju tx\%X M* 
O^atata^ , \xxx , Unt in ti)e xx , gere of tf)e i^egne of 

3f Itpng (irtihjarti tje fourtfie / Ette tequejJte of bguwe 
genttlmen § fiaue entieuourt me to enprinte tf)e cro- 
nicies of ^nglonli as in ti^is toolte stall ig tje suf^ 

fraunce of goti folotoe/ Enti to i^trCHt ttiat euerg mon mas 

see antr 

The Chronicle ends on the sixth recto of sig. g, the verso 
being blank, 

Cf)tis entieti^ tiftis present toolte of tje ctonicles of 
englontj/ enpn | tth bp me toilliam OTaxton S^ ttjaifteg of 
toestmpnstre bg lontjon | dF8nBSSi)it( anti aecomplissSOj 


tje X ♦"bap of 3fu3)n f^t gere of tf^in^ \ carnacion of our lottj 
gotr M ♦ (S:(t(EQt . Ixxx . ant» in tf)t xx . gm of | tje tegne 
of Itgng iStitoattr tje fotitti^ 

Kemakks.^— The use of short commas, which characterises 
the early state of this type, would induce us to give priority 
to this edition over the other, in which the long commas are 
used, independently of any printed date. 

The history here printed by Caxton differs but little from 
the "Cronicle of Brute," one of the most popular of the 
fifteenth and sixteenth century books. It is, however, carried 
further than any manuscript chronicle I have seen, and it 
appears probable that, as any writer who felt competent made 
his own additions in transcribing, so Caxton added more or 
less to his copy, and brought the history down, as he acknow- 
ledges having done in " Polycronicon," to the battle of 
Towton. The old " Cronicle of Brute " was so called from 
the opening chapter which describes the settlement of Brutus, 
the descendant of the iEneas in Britain. The respective parts 
due to Nennius, Douglas of Glastonbury, and Geoffrey of 
Monmouth, are probably too obscure to determine. The St. 
Alban's Chronicle, printed two or three years later, and in 
types somewhat resembling those of Caxton, is the same text, 
interpolated throughout with a history of the Popes and 
ecclesiastical matters. This, and the edition of Machlinia 
(Caxton's text), about the same date, are not unfrequently 
catalogued erroneously as from Caxton's press. 

This work is often called " Caxton's Chronicle " by old 
writers, probably from the publicity he gave it both as editor 
and printer, and he is often blamed for its inaccuracies, 
although, with the exception of the last few pages, he had 
nothing to do with its compilation ; nor indeed does he in 
any way lay claim to it. 

Of this edition with the short commas there are copies 
at Cambridge, Bodleian (2), St. John's, Oxford, Hunterian 
Museum, Glasgow, and Lambeth Palace. Six are in private 


No. 40. — The Desceiption op Beitain. Folio. "Fynyshed 
by me William GaxtonJ' No Place, l^th Augmt, 

Collation.— Three 4"" and one 3^ unsigned. Thirty 
leaves, the last being blank. 

Typographical Particulaes. — ^There is no title-page. 
Type No. 4 only is used. There are forty lines to a fiill page. 
The Hues are spa<;ed out to an even length, and measure 4J 
inches. Spaces left for the insertion of initials. Without 
signatures, folios, or catchwords. The signatures were pro- 
bably omitted on account of the limited extent of the 

The text begins, on the verso of the first leaf, thus : — 

3^it is so ti^at in manp antj tjiuerse places ti)e comgn 
ctonicles of englon^ ten Jat^ antr also noto late enptinte^ 
at hjestmgnstre 

and ends on the 29th recto, 

lateti ti^e fioolt of ^^olietonicon into engliss^ / dFgnpsstietJ 
Jg me toilliam i?raa:ton tf)e ibiir . Irag of August tf)e gere of 
our lortr golJ M ♦ (t(^(ft(^ . \xxx . anb tje xx . gere of tje 
regne of Itgng (frtrtoartr tje fourtjie . 

Remarks. — " The Description of Britain " is one of the 
chapters out of Ralph Higden's " Polycronicon." Caxton 
printed it as a supplement to the Chronicles, and evidently 
intended it to follow on after the termination of that work. 
The blank leaf at the end instead of the beginning favours 
this idea. 

It is improbable that a second edition of " The Description 
of Britain " was issued, as no copy with the long commas ( / ) 
has yet been found. 

Copies are in British Museum, Cambridge, Oxford (3), 
St. John's, Oxford, Lambeth, Glasgow, and four in private 


Ko. 41. — Cuba Sapienti^; or the Court of Sapience. 
Folio. Without Printer's Name, Place, or Date. (1 48 1 ?) 

Collation. — a f) C t are 4"", e is a 3'' = 38 leaves, of 
which the first is blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is No. 4 throughout. The whole work is in " Balad 
Eoyal," or stanzas of seven lines, of which there are five to 
each page. Without folios or catchwords. Space is left for 
the insertion of 3-line initials. 

After a blank the Text begins on a \\ recto, with space 
for a 3-Kne initial, with director, 

lie latere' $c g^ most merueglo' toetifees 
<©f sapience sgn firste regtieti nature 
t M^ purpos iis to tell as toriten clerltes 
^nti specBallg t)er moost notatle cure 

The Text ends half-way down the second column, on the 
sixth verso of the same signature, 

Ifiupng / netieful toerfees/ antr 
tiretieful tietjes of toge anti of 

Remarks. — The only manuscript copy of this poem is 
preserved in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge. It 
belonged formerly to John Stow, who has noted several omis- 
sions in the text, as compared with some other copy, probably 
the printed edition ; and who has written over the top, " By 
John Lydgate." The poem itself is headed " Here beginneth 
a brief compiled treatise called by the xiuthor thereof Curia 

The following description by Oldys is taken from Bii. 
Harl. Vol. Ill, No. 3313 : "Though neither the author's nor 
printer's name appears to this poem, it was visibly enough 
printed by Caxton and composed by Lidgate, had we not the 
authority of John Stowe for it, in the catalogue of his writings. 
The author tells us it was written at the command of his 
Sovereign (perhaps King Hen. V), and it seems to be one of 
the scarcest of his pieces extant. There seems to be more 
invention in it and variety of matter than in most other 


poems of his composition, displaying, after a copious debate 
between Mercy and Truth, Justice and Peace, a distinct sur- 
vey throughout the palace and domains of Sapience, of all 
the products of nature, in distinct chapters, and of arts and 
sciences ; with his further reference, at the end of each, to the 
authors who have written on them." Ames says ( Typ. Ant, 
page 67), after quoting the whole of the " Prohemium," " I 
take Caxton to be the poet or author, by the above verses." 
This opinion was perhaps too readily adopted. Although there 
is a curious parallel between the poet's statement of his rude 
and corrupt speech, and the apology of Caxton in his addi- 
tions to "The Recuyell" for his " vnperfightness " in English, 
owing to his having been educated where was "spoken as 
brode and rude englissh as is in ony place of englond;" 
and although we know that Caxton could put together a few 
verses, as in the instance of the last two stanzas of " Moral 
Proverbs;" yet, judging from the literary ability of his 
known works and translations, we should hardly be justified 
in ascribing the authorship of "Curia Sapientiae" to him. 
The plan of this work, in which theology, geography, natural 
history, horticulture, grammar, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, 
music, and astronomy are all in turn described, was certainly 
too high a flight for our printer. 

The titles given to this book, " The werke of Sapience " 
and " Tractatus de Fide et Cantus famule sue," adopted by 
Ames and other bibliographers, were taken from the first and 
last lines of the poem. The proper title, "Curia Sapientiae," 
appears at the end of " Liber Primus." 

Caxton's edition is very scarce. St. John's, Oxford, and 
Earl Spencer, have copies, and fragments are in the Bodleian 
and the British Museum. 

No. 42. — The History of Godfrey of Boloyne ; or the 

Conquest of Jerusalem. Folio. Printed the 20th 

November, in the Abbey of Westminster, by William 

Gaxtm, 1481. 

Collation. — a is a 8", with a ; blank ; b a 2°, 5 1 being 

blank; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 


16 are all 4°% 17 is a S'' = 144 leaves, of which two are 
blank. Excepting the first two gatherings, the signatures are 
entirely in Arabic numerals. Dibdin corrects Ames, and says 
he counted 146 leaves, but Ames was right. 

Typographical Paeticulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is entirely No. 4. A full page has forty lines, which 
are of an even length, and measure 4| inches. Without folios 
or catchwords. Space at the commencement of chapters is 
left for the insertion of 3 to 7-hne initials. 

The volume commences with a blank leaf, after which fol- 
lows the prologue, the Text beginning on a 2, with a space 
for a 4-Hne initial, 

W Jge couraggouis fagtes / anti balpaunt attm oi 

t mUe SUmtxom ant bertuous pensonneis ten yii^nt 

to te mountetr / put in memotge/ anti toteton. tci ti)ente 

tf)at tjer ma:D ie gguen to tf)em name Jfnmortal tg ^o- 

ueragn lante antr pregsgng* ^nt» also for to moeue antr 

tentlah) | 

ending half-way down the recto of the sixth folio of sig. 17, 
the verso being blank, 

mgng, tofticje tmot S i^flan in marcje tj&e xii trape antr 
fgn^S' I sf)fitr tSe bir trap of f ugn/ tfte pere of out lortr* 
ifE . (EOrarai: * Ixxxj l ^ tje tje xir sere of tf)e tegne of our 
sapti saueragn lortr Itgng ^ | toarti ti&e fourtj , ^ in tjis 
maner gette in forme ^ enprgnteti tje | xx tiag of nouem:^ 
fire tf)e gere a forisagtJ in tjatfiag of toestmesiter | fig tj^e 
saitJ bjglliam OTaxton 

In the British Museum is a splendid manuscript of this 
work, a large folio, on vellum, fifteenth century, with nume- 
rous illuminations. The character of the writing is very 
similar to the large type of Colard Mansion, and it begins 
" Les anciennes histoires diet que eracles fut moult bon x'pien 
et gouuemeur de lempire de romme." The text is without 
doubt the original of Caxton's translation, with which it 
agrees chapter for chapter, but is carried much further than 
the death of Godfrey, with which Caxton concludes. The 
author appears to be unknown. , 


An edition was printed at Paris, in 1600, with the title 
" Les faits et Gestes dc preux Godefroy de Bovillon et de ses 
chevalereux freres Baudouin et Eustache." 

Copies are in the British Museum, Cambridge (2), Impe- 
rial Library, Vienna, Hunterian College, Glasgow, Baptist 
College, Bristol, with four in private libraries. The copy 
belonging to S. Holford, Esq., is specially interesting ; it is 
in its original vellum cover, and contains the following inter- 
esting notice : — " This was king Edw. y* fourth Booke." Also 
the autographs, " p'tinet Rogero Thorney," and " Rob* Well- 
borne." The former of these names is worth a comment, 
because it throws some doubt upon the accuracy of the pre- 
vious notice. Roger Thorney, like other literary mercers of 
his time, was probably a friend and supporter of Caxton : he 
certainly patronised his successor, Wynken de Worde, as the 
following lines from the " Polychronicon " of 1495, show : — 

this bote of Policronicon 

" Whiche Roger Thorney Mercer hath exhorted 
" Wynken de Worde of vertuous entent 
" Well to correcte, and gretely hym comforted, 
" This specyal boke to make and sette in prente." 

How then did Roger Thorney become possessed of the copy 
of " The History of Godefroy of Bulloyn," belonging to his 
king ? On the inside cover is also the book-plate of Sir John 
Dolben, Bart., of Finedon, in Northamptonshire. This volume 
was sold among the books of Secondary Smyth, in 1682, and 
passed into the library of the Earl of Peterborough. It was 
afterwards in the Vernon collection, which is now included in 
that of Mr. Holford. 

No. 43. — Lettees of Indulgence feom Johannes de 
Leigliis, alias De Liliis, issfed in 1481 on the 
authority of Pope Sixtus IV, for assistance 
AGAINST THE TuRKS. Oil Parchment 

This Indulgence is represented by two slips of parch- 
ment, extracted from the St. Alban's " Boethius." (See ante, 
page 214). 


Originally in one, the document was cut in two pieces by 
Caxton's binder, who- used them for strengthening the back 
of the book. They were pasted, one at the beginning and 
one at the end, down the whole length, inside the boards. 
When the volume was dissected they were, unfortunately, 
subjected to the usual soaking in water. This has entirely 
changed their original appearance, as the print has necessarily 
participated in the shrinking of the parchment. From per- 
sonal examination, while the volume was in its original state, 
the following particulars are obtained : — 

Typographical Particulars. — The Type is all No. 4. 
The lines, which are spaced to an even length, measured nine 
inches. The complete document, apparently, contained 13 

The second slip containing the date, is as follows : — 

mutate lifiere tt lititt | . ti jiinguloru t^it pxt^ 

senteis gigilli Qtntsjsicnis intinlgeciaru tt Wpmmcmu 
jiancte cruciate qu , . | mm et (ecimuis appensione com 
♦ ♦iri/lBatum ^ie mentis | 

oroi^arat , Ixxxi . Ec pontitcatuis pvefati sanctiisjiimi Ircmmi 
nostri ^0 ♦ ini Aixti pape . . 

The two slips, now measuring each 7j x 1 inches, were 
originally about 11x2 inches. They are now in the British 

No. 44. — Letters of Indulgence issued m 1481, on the 

authority of Pope Sixtus IV, for assistance 

AGAINST the Turks. Second Edition. On parchment. 


The type is all No. 4. The lines are spaced to an even 

length. The whole document is printed on one side of a slip 

of paper. 

The only two copies known are pasted inside the " Royal 

Book " printed by Caxton, and now in the Bedford Library, 

Bedford. They measure 8x6 inches. A slip of parchment 

containing four lines was discovered by Mr. Bradshaw in the 

Library of King's College, Cambridge. 


No. 46. — The Chronicles of England. Folio. ** Em- 

prynted by me william Caxton In thahbey of west- 
mestrey" October Sth, 1482. Second Edition^ with Imuj 

Collation. — Prologue and title a 4", signed if, {{], and 
itij, the first leaf being blank, a (a \ blank) i}Ctiefgi)ife 
I m n p q r t U X are 4*"; p is a 3''. Total 182 leaves, of 
which two are blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
Type No. 4 only is used. There are forty lines to a full page. . 
The lines are spaced out to an even length, and measure 4| 
inches. The signatures are in lower-case letters and Arabic 
numerals. Spaces left for the insertion of initials. Without 
folios or catchwords. 

The above collation and particulars are identical with 
those of the first edition, described at page 245, ante. 

Commencing with a blank leaf, the prologue follows on 
sig. \\ recto, the Text beginning with space for a 4-line initial, 

la tfte pere oC ti)pncarttacpon of our lortr f t)u crtgt M 
(^(t(t(t I Xxxx I ^xCts in tfte xx pere of t1)e Itegite of 

X fepngiSl^titoartJttefourtJ/iEtte request of tiguerse gen 
tgimen 3 iftaue entjeugrgtj me to enprpnte t^e ai:ro:= 

ngcleg of ©nglonVa^ iit tftis toolt j^fial tip tt)e suffraunee 

of got( 

The Text ends on the sixth recto of sig. g, the verso being 

Cf)ui8 entretift tfim preisent ioolt of t^e Otronpcles of ->t^AA 3 A' 
(l!^nglonV<5Ttpr:pnteti ip tne ?15aiUiam (ttaxton gjn tfjabiirp v;?,^ ^ . tt 
of toejstmegtretiglontJon/dFpngssfietj/anli aecomplgsgfts^ -t.^ /v <"vA '^' 
tje / biij / bag of (©ctobre / W^t gere of tf)e Snearnaegon of v4f ivT/t #^v 
our lortj (goti / M I (^(t(t(t I \xxx\\ ^nli in t^e iiij gere of ^y^ 4.^ /„ v^ U^. 
tfie regne of fegng O^toartx tf)e fourth a../v,. »/-cal 

Copies are in the British Museum (2) and Oxford, with 
three in private libraries. ^ r cr u ji^ ( t--^-^ ^4. >-* ' 


No. 46. — PoLYCRONicON. Folio. ''Imprinted and set in 
forme hy me William Caxton^ Without place or Date. 
Translation ended 2nd July, 1482. 

Collation. — a i) are 4''', with the first leaf of a blank ; 
(?^ is a 2° ; sigs. 1 to 28 are 4% the first and 5th leaves of 
sig. 1 being blank ; sig. 28 is followed by an unsigned single 
sheet, of which but one leaf is printed, the other being blank ; 
29 to 48 are 4"^; 49 a 2^^; 50 to 55 are 4^^^ with the last leaf 
of 55 blank ; sig. 50 is followed by 52, sig. 51 being accident- 
ally oniitted=450 leaves, of which five are blank. 

Typooeaphical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is all No. 4. The lines, which measure 4| inches, 
are fully spaced out, and forty make a full page. Space is 
left at the beginning of the chapters for the insertion of 
initials. The first gatherings have the signatures in Roman 
numerals, but all the rest are signed with Arabic numerals. 
After the introductory matter folios are introduced, although 
with many errors. 

The Text, preceded by a blank, begins on sig. a 2 recto, 
with space for a 4-line initial, 

Ig ten f)ountje to geltje antt offre bnto bjtgters of Jps:: 

totpegi / b3lj(ci)e gtetelg i^aue prouf gtetr cure mortal 

Igf/tjat !5f)eh)e bnto tje xt^stx% antJ ^txtx% bg tf)e 

ensampleg of tlj^nges passgti/bjjat tftgnge is to tie treispretj/ 

The Text ends on the recto of 55-7 ; the verso and 55-8 
being blank. 

totptpnge / Q^nt»etJ ti)e secontr tfag of gngll tje xxi\ pere 
of ti)e tegne of ttgnge i]|^t(h)artJti&e fourtf) ^ of tf)e Jfncar^ 
nacion of oure lottr a ti^oujsantr four fiontiertr foure score 
antJ tbegne/ 

dFpnsssftelJ pet daxton 

Remarks. — Few of Caxton's books have excited more 
interest and research than the " Polycronicon." It appears 


to have had its origin with Roger, Monk of St. Werberg, in 
Chester, who, about the beginning of the fourteenth century, 
made an extensive compilation in Latin from several of the 
old chronicles and works on natural history then in existence. 
Ralph Higden, of the same monastery, who died before 1360, 
amplified this compilation, entitling his work, "Polycronicon;" 
and this, judging from the numerous copies still extant, had a 
very extended popularity. In 1387 Trevisa, chaplain to the 
Earl of Berkeley, translated the Latin of Higden into English 
prose. An account of Trevisa, with a history of his works, is 
given by Dr. Dibdin, in Typ. Ant. vol. i, page 140, who, how- 
ever, has not included in his list Trevisa's English translation 
of the Gospel of Nicodemus {Addit MS. 16165). Trevisa's 
translation of the Bible is expressly mentioned by Caxton in 
his prologue. Nearly a century later, Caxton revised the 
antiquated text of Trevisa, which, together with a continua- 
tion of the history to the year 1460, was finished on July 
2nd, 1482, and printed soon after. Caxton entitled his 
continuation "Liber ultimus," and it is most interesting as 
being the only original work of any magnitude from our 
printer's pen. 

Caxton tells us very little of the sources of his information. 
He mentions two little works, "Fasciculus temporum" and 
"Aureus de Vniverso," from which, however, he certainly 
obtained but little material for his " Liber ultimus," which 
treats almost entirely of English matters. 

As a specimen or the alteration made by our printer, when 
he " a lytyl embellyshed " the text as rendered by Trevisa, the 
following quotation is given, in which the consequences of 
Man's fall are graphically described. The embellishment 
chiefly consists in modernising the old English, although here 
and there Caxton added sentences to the text. 

TREVISA'S TEXT, 1387. CAXTON'S TEXT, 1483. .ij 

(Harleian MS., No. 1900, fol. 94*). (Sig. 10 4 verso). 

From that day forthward Fro that day forth the body 
ye body y* is corrupt by syne that is corrupt by synne greu- 



greuey y® soule / Ye flesche 
couetiy azen' y® soule / and 
manes wittes tomey & as- 
sentith liztlich to euel A 
manes owne meynal wittes 
bey his owne enemyes |[ So 
y* al a manes lif is tempta- 
cion while he lyuey here in 
erye Also man is eu failynge 
and awey ward . he may nouzt 
stidfastlich abide he falliy 
liztliche bot he may nouzt 
lightlich arise . P'fite is of 
birye sorowe & care i lyuyng/ 
and man mot nedes deye 
And thouz alle oy* yat bey 
made haue schelles • ryndes * 
skynnes • wolle . heer . bristels ' 
fethers • wynges other skales* 
man is y bore wiyout eny 
helyng / naked & bar . anone 
at his birye he gyney forto 
wepe atte bygynyng liche to 
a best . but his lymes failey 
hym & may nouzt help hym- 
self . But he is febler yan any 
oy' beste • he kan noon helpe • 
he may nouzt do of hymself 
but wepe wiy al his myzte. 
No best hay lif more brutel 
and vnsiker Noon hay seke- 
nesse more greuous * noon 
more likynge to do oy'wise 
than he sholde / noon is more 
cruwel Also oy"" bestes louey 
eiieche oye of ye same kynde 
& woney to gedres & bey 
nouzt cruwel but to bestes 

eth the soule The flesshe 
coueyteth ayenste the soule 
and mannes wyttes tome and 
assente lightly to euyl A 
mannes oune meynal wyttes / 
be his owne enemyes / so that 
al mannes lyf is in temptacion 
whyle he lyueth here in erthe . 
& the disposipon of the soule 
ruleth meynteneth / helpeth 
and conforteth the body / But 
ayeinward the wretched dis- 
posicion of the bodye dis- 
tourbeth the soule • Also man 
is euer fayllyng and wayward 
he may not stydfastly abyde / 
he falleth lightly but he may 
not lightly aryse / Profyt of 
byrth is sorow and care in 
lyuyng and man must nedes 
dye And thaugh oil other 
that be made haue shelles 
ryndes skynnes . wolle heer 
bristels feders wynges owther 
skals / Man is born withoute 
ony helyng or keueryng 
nakede and bare / anone at 
his birth . he gynneth for to 
wepe atte begynnyng lyke a 
beest but his lymmes fayllen 
hym and maye not helpe hym 
self "but he is febler than ony 
other beeste / he can noon 
helpe / he may nought doo of 
hym self but wepe with al his 
myght No beest hath lyf 
more brutyl & vnseker / None 
hath sekenesse more greuous 


of other kynde y* ben con- noon more lykyng to do other- 

trairie to hem But man wyse than he shuld . none is 

tomey y* maner doyng vpso- more crael Also other bestea 

dou & is contr'ie to hym self loue eueryche other of the 

& cruel to oy' men same kynde . and dwell to 

gyder and be not cruel / but 

to beestes of other kynde that 

be contrary to hem / But man 

tometh that maner doyng vp 

so downe and is contrary to 

hymself and cruel to other 


This is one of the most common of Caxton's works, at 
least thirty copies being known, of which half are in various 
public libraries. 

No. 47. — ^The Pilgrimage of the Soul. " Emprynted at 
westmestre by William Caxtoriy and fynysshed the sixth 
day of June" 1483. 

Collation. — An unsigned 2", with the first leaf blank ; 
abctiefgtlfeltttnare 4^, with a ) blank ; O is a 3°, 
with the last two leaves blank. Total 114 leaves, of which 
four are blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type throughout is No. 4. The lines are of an equal 
length, and measure 4J inches. A full page has forty lines. 
There is a running head to the pages, and the leaves have 
printed folios, numbered very carelessly. Space has been left 
for the insertion of 2, 3, and 6 -line initials. Commencing 
with a blank, the title and table follow on folio tj, which is 

The Text begins, on the second leaf, thus : — 

Cftis boolt is mtgtleti ti)e pglgremage of tf)e sotole/trans- 
latiti II oute of dFrenssftc \x\. to (i?ngli)S0f)e / toijirSe tooli \% 
ful of tieuonte || maters touciigng tfte sotole/ anti manp quejj^ 


tgons assogUtf to ca || use a man to Igue ti)e tetter in tf)<s 
ii3orlti/Enti it contegnetf) fgue || toofees/as it appeteti^ fjer^ 
after ig <tti)ap:ntrejc( 

The text ends on the fourth leaf of sig. 0, and the verso of 

folio ari, 

Jt^re entiett) tf)e tireme of pglgremage of tf\t soule trans^ 
latitr II oute of dFrenissJe m to (Jrnglgsiste b3itf) i3omb3f)at of 
atitiieionis/tje :pere of our lotti / MMdKEd!. / ^ tf)grten/ 
anti entietS in tje migg || le of segnt iSarttolometo 

iirmprgntetr at bestmestre 1)^ ^IHiUiam Olaxton / Entr 
fgnsssi^e^ II tje sixti^ tiap of S^pn / tf)e gere of our lorti / 
MMiSiEQt / Ixxxiii \\nn\i ti)e first gere of tf)e regne of 
fjpnge O^litoarti tf)e fgftje/ 1| 

This is the only book from the press of Caxton having the 
name of Ed^vard V in the colophon. 

Remarks. — The common custom among preachers of the 
Middle Ages of engaging the attention of their hearers by 
spiritualising tales and even jests current among the people 
is well kno\^Ti. This practice seems to have suggested to a 
monk named Guillaume de Deguilleville the idea of moralising 
tlie celebrated " Roman de la Rose." His poem was divided 
into three parts, and completed about 1335. It contains 
more than 30,000 hues, and its title is " Le Romant des trois 
Pelerinages." These three pilgrimages are " Le pelerinage de 
la vie humaine ;" " Le pelerinage de I'Ame ;" and " Le pele- 
rinage du Jesus Christ." Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 22937 con- 
tains the three parts complete. None of these appear to have 
])een printed. Not satisfied, hoAvever, with the result of his 
labours, Guillaume again set to work and recast the whole 
poem, with many amplifications and additional verses. This, 
which was finished about 1850, and of which a manuscript 
copy is in the Bib. Imp. Paris, 6988^ is the text of which 
several editions were issued from the early French press. 

Nearly a century passed when another monk, Jehan de 
Gallopes, transposed the rhymes of Deguilleville into French 


prose. This was with the object of modernising the old lan- 
j^uage, or, as he says, "pour esclaircir et entendre la matiere 
la contenne." Gall opes, however, apparently extended his 
labours no further than "The Pelerinage de TAme," and 
here we find the text used by the translator of "The Pyl- 
gremage of the Sowle," printed in 1483 by our William 
Gaxton. Manuscripts of the prose "Pelerinage de TAme" 
are very scarce, but a perfect copy is in Bih. Imp. Paris, 
No. 7086. 

Of the author and translators mentioned above, but little 
can be said. Guillaume de Deguilleville was monk, and 
afterwards prior, of the Abbey of Chalis ; and this seems all 
that is known of him. His name appears in the later manu- 
scripts as Guillaume de GuiQeville, and is mostly so printed, 
but is spelt correctly in some of the early French printed 
editions. In a fourteenth century manuscript, already noticed, 
the name appears " de Deguilleville," and that this is the true 
orthography is placed beyond question by an acrostic, con- 
sisting of two "chansons" in the French text. Here the 
author has veiled himself in the initial letters of each line, 
and by putting these together we obtain his real name, 
" Guillaume de Deguilleville." 

" Jean de Gallopes, dit le Galoys," as we learn from the 
prologue to his French prose version, was the " humble chapel- 
lain" to John, Duke of Bedford and Regent of France, for 
whom the translation was undertaken. It was, therefore, 
executed before the death of the Regent, in 1435, and there 
seems reason to suppose that its author was an Englishman. 
In the Imperial Library, Paris, is a manuscript, mentioned 
by M. Paris {Les Msc. Fran^.y vol. v, page 132), entitled 
" Vie de Jesus Christ," which is attributed also to Gallopes, 
but which appears to be a different work from the third 
" Pilgrimage" of Deguilleville. 

To John Lydgate, monk, of Bury, is generally attributed 
the English version of " The Pylgremage of the Sowle," and 
probably with trath, as some of the additional poems found 
here form a part also of Lydgate's well-known poem "The 
Life of our lady." He is also supposed, from internal 



evidence of style, to be the author of "The Pilgrimage of 
man" {Cotton MSS., Yitel. C. xii), an English metrical trans- 
lation of Deguilleville's " Pelerinage de la vie humaine." 

The numerous copies of the " Pilgrimages " still extant in 
our old libraries prove that they must have attained a con- 
siderable amount of popularity. In France there were several 
printed editions; but in England, probably owing to the 
growth of the Reformation, "The Pylgremage of the Sowle," 
printed by Caxton, is the only known edition. 

Copies are in the British Museum, St. John's, Oxford, and 
Sion College, London; also in the Althorpe and Britwell 

There is no connection whatever between this work and 
Bunyan's " Pilgrim's ProgTCSs." Caxton's book treats of the 
journey and trial of the soul affsr death, the only point in 
common being that both are supposed to happen in a dream. 
"The Pilgrimage of man" is nearer in idea, but equally dis- 
tinct in treatment. 


Sine ulU notd. 1483 ? 

Collation. — Two 4'"' and one 5", unsigned = 26 leaves, 
the first being, doubtless, blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title of any 
sort. The type is No. 4 throughout. 42 lines in double 
column (84 lines) make a full page, and the long lines 
measure 2§ inches. The words "Frensshe" and "Englissh" 
appear as head-lines to every page. Without foHos, catch- 
words, or initials. 

The Text begins, in double column, on the 2nd recto, 
thus : — 

atg commence la tatle Jgier iegpnneti^ ti^e tatle 

lie cest ptouffptatle tiocttme <Biti^i» prouffgtatle letngnfie 
^oux ttoutiet tout pat ortrene dFor to fpntie all tp ottite 
(ft$ que on boultrra aptenlice Ci)at tof)icf)e toen toglle letne 


The Text ends, vdth seven lines on the 26th recto, thus : — 

Ua (^race tie sainct esperit Ci)e grace of tf)e i)olp gt)oo0t 
5aeul enluminet leg cures MEplle enlpgf)te ti)e t)crteji 
HBe ceulx qui le aprentiront (©f tf)cm ttat 01)^11 lerne it 
m nom Mmt perscuerance ^ntj bs gjoue perseueraunce 
(&n fjottnes operacions Jn gooli tocrfeeis 

®t apres ceste bie transitorie Enti after ti)i!3 Igf transitorie 
Ha partiiiratile ioge ^ glorie Ci)e euerlastgng loge anti glorie 

"A Book for Travellers" is the title given to this work in 
Typ. Ant. vol. i, page 315, but as there is no especial suit- 
ability in it for the use of travellers, and as from its composi- 
tion it appears to have been formed with a scholastic aim, it 
has been thought advisable to change so evident a misnomer. 

No manuscript of this compilation in French or English 
is known to exist, nor is there any clue to the author. 

A copy is in each of the four following libraries — Ripon 
Cathedral, Bamborough Castle, Earl Spencer, and Duke of 

No. 49. — The Festial (Liber Festialis). First Ediiion. 
Folio. "Enprynted at Westmynster by Wyllyam Caxton 
ths laste day of Juyn^ 1483." 

Collation.— a if c t( e f g ft i ^ ^ tK n are 4°% a f being 
blank; and p are 3'^=11G leaves, of which one is blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title of any 
sort. The type is entirely No. 4*, which here appears for the 
first time. The lines, which are fuUy spaced out, measure 
5 inches. A full page has 38 lines. Without folios or catch- 
words. Space left for the insertion of 3 to 5-line initials, 
with director. 

Commencing with a blank leaf, the sermon for the First 
Sunday in Advent follows on sig. a if, space being left for the 
insertion of a 5-line initial. 

The Text begins thus : — 


Jgis tJas is callptj tje first isontiag of abuent / ti^at 
is t^e sontjap in cristgs comgng / Cfterfore i)olg 
t ciftirc!)e tjis tiag malteti) mencioit of ij compnges 
Cf)e first compng teas to tge manfegrtlre out of ion 
tjage of ti)e tinigU anti to irgnge manngs sotole to 
ilgsse / Enti tf)is otijer compng sf)al te at ti)e tiag of tjome 

The Text ends on the sixth recto of sig. p, 

bs tfiat for bs tregetJ on tt)e rooti tree / d^ni cum tieo patre ^ 
spu II sancto biuit et regnat teus ^M^M I 


©nprpnteb at ^IMestmgnster 1)8 to:Dlbam OTaiton tfje laste 
tiag of ^\x^xi Enno tomini M OTifaraJ Hxxxiij 

The compiler of " The Festial," John Mirkus, was a canon 
of the Monastery of Lilleshul, an old foundation in Shrop- 
shire, as we learn from a MS. copy of his Avork in the Cot- 
tonian Library. He says that, finding many priests, fi'om 
incapacity, were, like himself, unable to teach their parish- 
ioners properly, he had taken pains to compile sermons for all 
the principal feasts of the year, which he had extracted chiefly 
from the " Golden Legend." The omission of the prologue, 
by Caxton, as well as the sermons on Burial and Paternoster, 
mentioned above, makes us suspect that our printer had a 
copy imperfect at beginning and end. The subject of nearly 
every chapter in "The Festial" may also be found in the 
" Golden Legend ;" but, taking the two books, as printed by 
Caxton, for comparison, it will be seen that the sermons for 
the Moveable Feasts, with which each work commences, have 
nothing in common but their subject, and that the histories 
of the saints are treated very differently, and often disagree 
even in their supposed historical facts. The " Gesta Romano- 
rum" furnished many stories for the "Golden Legends," but 
in "The Festial" that mine of anecdotes has contributed 
still more largely to the illustration and enforcement of the 
preacher's remarks. "The Festial" is yet further removed 
from our Book of Common Prayer, with which it has been 


associated. With the exception of the names in the calendar 
there is nothing in common between them. 

Although in Caxton's edition of this work it is entirely 
without a name, there seems no reason for giving it the Latin 
title by which it is generally known, "Lil^er Festivalis." 
John Mirkus, its compiler, who wrote it in English, says, " I 
will and pray that it be called a Festial ;" and, accordingly, 
it was so called by "Wynken de Worde in several editions, by 
Rood of Oxford, and by other early printers. 

Copies are at the British Museum, Bodleian, Lambeth, 
and Althorpe. 

No. 50. — Four Sermons, etc. (Quatuor Sermones, etc.) 
First Edition. Folio. " Enprynted hij Wylliam CaxUm 
at WesUmstre:' Without Dats. (1483?) 

Collation. — a t C are 4°% Xr a S'^siSO leaves. No blanks. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title. The 
ty[)e is entirely No. 4*. The lines are fully spaced out, and 
measure 5 inches. A full page has 88 lines. Without folios 
or catchwords. In this book a\c find, for the first time, the 
paragraph mark |[ used — a mark whicli never appears in 
the early state of this type. 

The Text begins on sig. a j, with space for a 3-line initial, 
without director, 

,j Jge mapter of %tnXtmt in tf)e seconli tone anti tfte 

'" " first tijDStgnftion/saptft tf)at tt)c soueragn cause/ 

toftp gotj matje al creatures in ftenen ertte or toater/ 

teas Jts oune gooli || nes / tg tje toi&ictie f)e tool^ tftat some of 

c On Big. li i\\ recto, 

C ^fte i^eneralle Sentence 

<©oti men antr togmmen g tio pou to bntierstontie tt)at 

g ^IHe tf)at i)aue cure of pour sotolgs tie commaumtigti of 

our ortjenartes anti bp tt)e copstgtucions anti ti^e laJL^Ie 

of t)olg ct)irti^e to sjetoe to pou foure tgmes tg tfte gere 

in eci)e a quarter of t1)e gere ongs tojen ti)e peple is most 


The Text ends on the sixth verso of sig. tl, 

xtmxxtttinni^ gloria intet santtos et elector tuo^ xtmmieiti 
tegpi II tent /per xprisitum trominm nostrum ^men/ 

(Jl^nprsnteti tp toplltam Olaxton at bestmestre/ 

Remarks. — The name of the writer of these homilies is 
not known, nor do they appear attached to any of the manu- 
scripts of the Festial above noticed. That they were, how- 
ever, printed by Caxton at the same time as the Festial 
appears evident from the identity of their typographical 
arrangements, strengthened by the fact of their being, in 
several instances, under the same cover. That Caxton also 
intended to allow their separate use may, nevertheless, be 
deduced from the first gathering having a for its signature, 
and from the existence of some copies unaccompanied by the 
Festial. In the Lambeth copy the sermons precede the 

The four sermons are thus apportioned : — 

1. On the Paternoster, the Creed, and the Ten Command- 

2. The Seven Sacraments, the Seven Deeds of Mercy, and 
^he Seven Deadly Sins. 

3. A continuation of the subject of Deadly Sins. 

4. On Contrition, Confession, and Satisfaction. 

After the sermons are " The Ceneral Sentence or Commi- 
nacion," and two forms of bidding prayer, called " The Bedes 
on Sondaye." 

Every priest was obliged by the Canon Law to read the 
"Modus Fulminandi," or Commination, and to preach at 
least one sermon every three months, and these were probably 
compiled for that purpose. 

Nine copies are known, of which two only are in private 

No. 51. — Seevitium de Yisitatione B. Maei^ Virginis. 
Quarto. Sine ulld notd. (1481-3). 

Collation. — One 4''=8 leaves, of which the last is blank. 


Typographical Particulars. — The type is entirely 
No. 4. The lines, which are fully spaced out, measure 3J 
inches in length ; there are 26 lines to a fiill page. Without 
signatures, folios, or catchwords. 

The first leaf is wanting in the only copy known. The 
second recto commences with space for a 2-hne initial, with 

p Hima aut mii)i tunc atitora refulsit $c 

f)(}uiW polo fugientit^ bmtiris celo tu 

tt^ttnU tiie btninqf a nocte tjwtinari . tut quo 

followed, on the same page, by — 

Hectio sexta 

On the verso is — 

Eectioties tie Omer . p octauaj; prima bie 

giving the lessons for the week. On the fourth recto is — 

^tJ missam f ntroitus 

The sixth verso, which is given entire in the accompany- 
ing plate, begins — 

(©ratio sanctisgimi . ti . n , Skixti pape quarti 

The Text ends on the seventh verso, two lines short of a 
fiill page, 

et exultatioe ppetua renascamur . ?3er ipm 
tiominu nostra 

The only Existing Copy is in the British Museum (C. 
21. c), and, although wanting the first leaf, has the final 
blank. Measurement, 8| x 5f inches. 

No. 52. — Sex perelegantisseob Epistoks per Petrum 
Carmelianum emendate. Quarto. Per Willelmum 
Caxton. In Westnumasterio. (1488). 

Collation. — a t C are 4°' = 24 leaves, of which a F is 


Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The types used are Nos. 4 and 4*. The hnes, which are 
spaced to an even length, measure ^^ inches, and there are 
26 to a page. Without catchwords or folios. The whole 
appearance of the print is like the " Servitium de Visitatione" 
and the " Order of Chiyalry." 

The use of types 4 and 4* together points unmistakably 
to 1483 as the period of issue; and this date, gathered from 
the typographical particulars only, is completely verified by 
the letters themselves, the dates of which range from Decem- 
ber 11th, 1482, to February, 1483. 

The Text begins on a ( j recto, with an introduction which 
occupies three pages. 

f) (i^xcult^ tiui jfnxmt in to tmcatu 
benetotu armts constitutuie; paulo post 
betotissimug eorum biolat immunitates / 
init foetjus cum Cj)ertiinatttJO l^ege ilea^^ 
politano JHetiiclanenismm tiucc / et floren- 
tinoium repu/qtiotr per beneta foetioi:^ no 
Utth&t/Wimtti propria reposcnnt/ ille ter^ 
giuerssari / Xgstus pontifex partus / relir:^ 
Cfjertiinatfi foetJ ^c. 

The six letters begin on sig. a if j verso. Ou c 8 recto is 
the following colophon : — 

dFiniunt sex p^elefiantissime epistole/ 
quarum trig a summo ^ontiftee ^iito 
O^uarto et Saero OTartrinalium (Eollegio 
atj 0Uustrissimum ^aenetiarum Irucem 
Soannem JEocenigum totiliem(|^ at ipso 
Bute ati euntiem ^ontificem et OTartiina^ 
les/otdFerrariense tellum suseeptum/eon^ 
scripte sunt/f mpresse per bjillelmutn (Eax^ 
ton/et tiiligenter ementjate per ^^etrum 
Olamelianu ^oetar^ Haureatum in WRt^U 

Beneath this is a Latin quatrain, beginning 

BOOKS pRnrrED nr type no. 4. 2C7 

ft)llowed by 

SKntetpretatio magnarum litterarum punctatarum pania^ 

The text ends with 23 lines on the verso of the same leaf. 

Remarks. — These six letters passed between the Sacred 
College of Cardinals on one side and the Doge of Venice on 
the other, the subject being the necessity of closing the war 
with the City of Ferara. 

Petms Carmelianus, the editor of these letters, is noticed 
by Mr. Gairduer, in his preface to the " Memorials of King 
Henry the Seventh," published in ] 858, for the Master of the 
Rolls, as having been in England from the time of Edward 
the Fourth. He may, therefore, have personally employed 
Caxton to print his " Sex Epistolfe." The title " Brixiensis" 
sometimes attached to his name shows that he was a native 
of the town of Brescia. He seems to have taken an interest 
in educational matters, as verses by him to John Anwykyl 
and to WiUiam Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester, are prefixed 
to the " Compendimn totiiis grammaticae," printed at Oxford 
about 1482-83. Some more of his poetry is printed in the 
Oxford "Phalaris" of 1485. Tanner assigns to Carmelianus 
the following promotions — Rector of St. George's, Southwark, 
1490 ; Prebend of York, 1498 ; Archdeacon of Gloucester, 
1511 ; Prebend of London, 1519. Being in such favour, no 
wonder that he waxed rich, and that when, in 1522, "an 
aimual grant was made by the Spirituahty for the King's 
personal expenses in France for the recovery of the Crown," 
the name of "Mr. Petrus Carmelianus" appears among the 
"Spiritual Persons" for the handsome sum of £333 6s 8d. 
In the Calendar of State Papers, where he is called " Latin 
Secretary of King Henry the Seventh," mention is made of a 
letter sent to him from Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, 
thanking him for his services, and promising him favour and 
reward. On the projected marriage of Prince Charles of Cas- 
tile with the Princess Mary of England he wrote a poem in 
Latin, printed by Pynson about 1514, of which a unique copy 


is in the Grenville Library (see ArcJmologia, vol. xviii). In 
the same library is a manuscript poem on the birth of the 
Prince of Wales (1486), another copy, beautifully illuminated, 
being among the royal MSS. in the British Museum. Both 
are evidently in the handwriting of Carmelianus, the latter 
being his presentation copy to the king. The argument of 
this poem is so characteristic of the age that it is worth 
noting. Almighty God, compassionating the miserable state 
of England lacerated with civil war, convoked a meeting of 
the Saints in Heaven to ask their opinions as to how the long 
standing dispute between the Houses of York and Lancaster 
might be composed. The saints reply that, if the Omniscient 
Deity cared for any of their counsels, no one was better quali- 
fied to state how the wars might be terminated than King 
Henry the Sixth (already in heaven), who knew the country 
and the causes of dissension, and they recommended that he 
should be appealed to. Hemy is accordingly called upon to 
reply to the Supreme Being, and proposes that the two houses 
should be united so as to be one house, for which an oppor- 
tunity then offered by the marriage of the Earl of Richmond 
with the Princess Elizabeth. The Deity approves and decrees 
its execution, the marriage takes place, and the poem termi- 
nates mth an exhortation to England to rejoice on account of 
the prince's birth. Carmelianus died August 18th, 1527; 
John de Giglis, Bishop of Worcester, in 1497, his contem- 
porary and countryman, also employed Caxton to print 

A manuscript, "Carmen de Yere,"* in the British Mu- 
seum, which is dedicated to Edward Prince of Wales (after- 
wards Edward V), dated April 1482, affords some information 
from the pen of Carmelian himself. He says that for the 
previous ten years he had been travelling about the world, 
having very lately arrived in England, with the intention of 
proceeding to Germany and Switzerland ; but, captivated by 
the pleasantness of the country, he had been unable to leave 

* Reg. 12 A xxix, the particulars of which were kindly communicated 
by Mr. Bond, keeper of the MSS, 


it. He adds that his poem was written to gain the favour of 
the prince. Whence his dignity of Poeta laureatus was ob- 
tained is not known. 

The only copy known of this tract was discovered in the 
year 1874 by Dr. G. Konnecke, archivist of Marburg, in an 
old volume of seventeenth century divinity, in the Hecht- 
Heinean Library at Halberstadt. It was described in the 
"Neuer Anzeiger" of Dr. Julius Petzholdt for October 1874; 
also in the Athenaeum for February 27th, 1875. 

No. 53. — CoNFESSio Amaih'IS. Large Folio. " Enprynted 
at Westmestre by me Willyam Caxton the ij day of Sep- 
temh-e / a thousand j CCCC Ixxxxiij (a typographical 
error for Ixxxiij). 

Collation. — A 4°, signed ij, itj, \i\\, the first and eighth 
leaves being blank, followed by a 4", signed on the second 
leaf only 1 2, the first leaf being blank ; then i) C )l e f g j^ t 
itlmnopqr0tUJg?aj:ai3all 4°"; © a 3°, with the 
sixth leaf blank. In all 222 leaves, of which four are blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
Type No. 4 is used for sigs. 1 to i ; sigs. ^ to (?r, as well as 
the introductory matter, are in type No. 4*, while sigs. p and 
^ are partly in one and partly in the other. Where type No. 
4 is used there are 46 lines to a column, and 44 lines of type 
No. 4*. On sig. ^ i\i\ recto the two types appear in the same 
page, the first column being in No. 4 and the second in No. 
4*. Without catchwords or folios. Space left for inserting 
2 to 6-line initials, with director. The signatures at the 
beginning of the volume are irregularly printed, and show the 
want of a settled plan in the printer's mind. The first 4", 
which, as it includes the index, must have been printed last, 
is properly signed ; but, on beginning the book, it appears as 
if the compositor thought there could be no use for signatures 
if every leaf had a printed folio, and accordingly they were 
omitted except on the second sheet, which is signed in Arabic 
numerals only. The inconvenience of this being seen, the folios 
were omitted, and the signatures printed in the second 4°, Jb ; 


while in sig. c both plans are united, and we have signatures 
and folios too to the end of the book — the latter, however, 
with continual errors. The introductory 4'' is not included 
in the enumeration of the folios. Note that sig. lb 4 is printed 
2 4, and that from sig. p to the end the Arabic numerals used 
in the signatures give place to Roman numerals. The book 
is in double column throughout. The date in the colophon 
is printed a thousand CCCC Ixxxxiij, a typographical error, 
which would have led to some confusion had not the regnal 
year, " the first year of the reign of King Eichard the third," 
been also added, fixing the right date as 1483. 

Commencing with a blank leaf, the paragraph title and 
table follow on sig. i j, space being left for a 3-line initial, with 

The Text begins thus : — 

Jgi's took is intituletr Job) tje tocrltj bag first of 

t ronfes II m amantis / goitre / ^ |i after altoeg berse 

tjat is to sage || in ^ toerse folio bf 
englgssje tf)e confessgon of || 
tje louer maati arih rom^ 
PBletr tg II Soian (Joiner 

squger borne in toalps jj ^Jtis entietj tje stologue 

The Text ends on the verso of sig. Qt 5, ^OllO (ft([tX} 
with colophon in first column, 

d^nprpntetr at toestmestre 
txi mtWWBrili^am OTaxton 
antu fgngssjetr tje i j || trag of 
Septemfire tt)e fgrst gere of 
tf)e II regne of iltgng i^iejartr 
t^e ti^grtr/ttellpere of our 
Ixxxxiii I 

Remarks. — The life and poetical writings of the " moral 
Gower" have received frequent illustrations from modern 
critics. His chief work, the *^ Confessio Amantis," appears to 
have been begun about 1386 and completed in 1892-3. It 


was originally dedicated to Richard II, but, on the wane of 
that monarch's power, Gower suited himself to the changing 
times, and recast his prologue. The copies made after this 
version are termed Lancastrian. The Latin verses and the 
marginal index are in some manuscripts, as in Caxton's 
printed edition, included in the text. They were. Dr. Pauli 
believes, the original composition of Gower, abounding, like 
his other poetry, in instances of false prosody and even bad 
grammar. The verses are imitations in the manner of 
Boethius, but often unintelligible. 

Seventeen copies are extant. British Museum (3); Cam- 
bridge ; Pembroke College, Cambridge ; Hereford Cathedi-al ; 
Lambeth ; Queen's College and All Souls, Oxford ; and eight 
in private libraries. 

No. 54. — The Book w^hich the Knight of the Tower 


HIS DAUGHTERS. Folio. " Emprynted at Westmyn^tre 
the Jaste day of Janiier the fyrst yere of the reyne of 
Kynyp Rychard the thyrdJ' (i.e. 1484.) 

Collation. — A 2", signed on second leaf only a j ; a ft C 
^ e f g f) i k I m are 4"* ; n a 3% with the last two leaves 
blank. In all IOC leaves, of which two are blank. 

Note — sig. c Hi] is wTongly printed ll Hi), and the first 
leaf of tJ is \dthout any signature. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type, as far as sig. f, is No. 4, and forty lines, each 4J 
inches long, make a full page. From sig. f j to the end the 
type is No. 4*, ^\^th 38 lines, each 4f inches long, to the 
page. The lines are fully spaced out. Without folios or 
catchwords. Space is left for 3, 4, and 6-line initials, with 

Commencing a blank, the prologue follows on an unsigned 
leaf, with space for a 3-line initial ^, 

Hie bertuouse tiortrpne ^ tecf)]Dnge fiati ^ letnrtr of 
a suci^e |, ais Jaue enljfuouretj ti^em to lent for a remem^ 
traunre . 


On sig. a i recto, 

Jgm tieggnnetf) tfie toolt tofiicje tje ltn:50f)t of tf)e toure 
matje/Eitti spefeetJ) of mang fapre ensamples anti tf^m- 
sggnementgs anti tecjgns of ijis tJOUQljters 

The Text ends on the fourth verso of sig. n, 

i^ere fj)ngj5sf)eti tlje tooke/ b)f)icf)e tf)e knpgtjt of tJeCoure 
ma II tje to tf)e enseggnement anti tecfjgng of ijts tougfyttx^ 
trans || latetj oute of dFrenssI) in to our maternaU i*rnQlpsii8!)e 
tongue ig || me 5lMilliam Olaiton / b35tcl)e took iuas entJeti 
^ fgngssiieti tf)e || fgrst tiag of IJwgn/ tije :nere of oure lotti 

ia orararai: iixa:iij 

^nti enprgntetJ at hjestmpnstre tf)e last trag of i^Janguer tf)e 
fgtst gere of tje regne of kgnge Kgcf)atti ti)e tjgrti 

Remarks. — In the department of " Maine et Loire," be- 
tween Chollet and Yezins, may still be seen the ruins of an 
ancient chdteau, called " Latour-Landry." Archaeologists 
ascribe the structure to the twelfth century. The place 
originally bore the name of "La Tour" only, the old family 
name of the owners being " Landry ;" but eventually the two 
were combined, and " De la Tour Landry," became the patro- 
nymic of a long race of knights. The earliest instance of the 
double name is found in a document dated 1200. Passing 
over the history of the family, we will confine ourselves to 
Geoffrey and his book, "pour I'enseignment de ses filles." 
The date of neither his birth nor death is known. He was at 
the seige of Aiguillon in 1346, when he must be supposed to 
be at least of the age of twenty years. He tells us he wrote 
his book in 1371, which would make him, at the youngest, 45 
years old, though he was probably older. In aU the illumi- 
nated copies of his work he is represented as discoursing with 
his three daughters, for w^hose instruction in their journey 
through life it was written, as the knight himself in a preface 
informs us. But he had also sons, as we learn that a similar 
work had previously been undertaken for their instruction, 
" as hit is reherced in the booke of my two sonnes, and also 
in an Euangely." (See Caxton's edition, sig. n 4.) Neither 


of these compositions of the knight are known now to exist. 
We also learn that in the compilation of this work he called 
to his aid two priests, who read to him the Bible, the " Gesta," 
and various chronicles of France, England, and other coun- 
tries. To this may, perhaps, be attributed the predominance 
of the ecclesiastical element in this book. The knight origi- 
nally intended to WTite the whole work in verse, but finding 
that method necessitated a less concise narration, he soon 
changed his composition into prose. In the original French, 
however, a considerable portion of the introduction, though 
prose to the eye, will be found to have retained its metrical 
form. Several writers have denounced the work as obscene, 
and more fitted for the corruption than the instruction of 
youth, while others, taking into consideration the manners of 
that age, have arrived at the very opposite conclusion. At 
any rate, it is plain our Caxton thought highly of it : he says 
in his preface, " I advise every gentleman or woman having 
children, desiring them to be virtuously brought forth, to get 
and have this book, to the end that they may learn to govern 
them virtuously in this present life." He tells us also the 
occasion of liia translating and printing it, which was " at the 
request of a noble lady which hath brought forth many noble 
and fair daughters, which be virtuously nourished." (See an 
article in the Retrospective Review: New Series, 1827; vol. i, 
part ii, page 177. Also, Le Livre du Chevalier de la Tour 
Landry, par M. Anatole de Montaiglon. 12mo. Paris, 

"We must here notice that, although the anonymous En- 
glish translation {Harl. 1764) preceded that by Caxton, a 
comparison of the two versions makes it evident that our 
printer owed nothing to his predecessor. M. Montaiglon, 
indeed, gives a decided preference to the earlier text. The 
following amusing extract is suggestive of Shakspere's 
" Taming of the Shrew." Act V, Scene II. 


CAXTON, 1484. 

How a woman sprange vpon the table * Capitulo xviij. 

N a tyme it happed that Marchauntes of Fraunce cam 
J from certayn Fayres / where as they sought Draperye / 

and as they cam with Marchaundyse fro Roan / that 
one of them said / it is a moche fayre thynge a man to haue 
a wif obeysaunt in alle thynges to her husbond / Yerayly 
sayde that one / my wyf obeyeth me well / And the second 
said . J trowe / that my wyf obeye me better / ye sayd the 
thyrd / lete laye a w^ger / that whiche wyf of vs thre that 
obeyeth best her husbond / and doeth sonnest his commaunde- 
ment that he wynne the wager / wherupon they waged a 
Jewele / and accorded al thre to the same / & sworen that 
none shold aduertyse his wyf of this bargayn / sauf only to 
saye to her / doo that whiche J shall commaunde what soeuer 
it be / After when they cam to the first mans hows / he sayd 
to his wyf Sprynge in to this bacyne / and she answerd / wher- 
fore or what nede is it . And he said by cause it playsyth me 
so / and J wyll that thou do so / Truly said she J shall knowe 
fyrst wherfor J shaU sprynge / And soo she wold not doo it * 
And her husbond waxe moche angry and felle / and gafe her 
a buffet / After thys they cam to the second marchauntes 
hows / and he saide to his wyf lyke as that other saide / that 
she wold doo his commaundement / And it was not long after 
that he said to her Sprynge in to the basyn / And she de- 
maunded hym wherfore / And at the last ende for ought that 
he dyde / she dyd it not / wherfore she was beten as that 
other was / Thenne cam they to the thyrd mans hous And 
there was the table couered * and mete set theron And the 
marchaunt said to thother marchauntes in theyr eres / that 
after dyner he wold commaunde her to sprynge in to the 
bacyn / And the husbond said to his wyf / that what someuer 
he commaunded her she shold do it / his wyf whiche that 
moche louyd hym and dred hym herd wel the word . And it 
was so that they bygan to ete / and there was no salt vpon 
the table / And the goodman sayd to his wyf / Sail sur table 


And the good wyf whiche hadde fere to disobeye hym / sprang 
vpon the table and ouerthrewe table / mete / \vyn / and platers 
to the ground / How said the good man / is this the manere / 
Cone ye none other playe but this / are ye mad or oute of 
youre wy t . Syre said she / J haue done youre commaiidement / 
haue ye not said that youre commaundement shold be done 
what someuer it was . Certaynly J haue it done to my power 
how be it that it is youre harme and hurte as moche as myn . 
For ye sayd to me that J shold spryge on the table / J said 
he / J sayd ther lacked salt vpon the table / Jn good feyth J 
vnderstode said she for to spryng / thene was ther laughter 
ynouz & al was taken for a bourd and a mocquerye / Thenne 
the other two Marchauntes said it was no nede to late her 
sprynge in the basjn / For she had done ynongh / And that 
her husband had wonne the wager . . . And thus ought euery 
good woman to fere and obeye her lord & husbonde and to do 
his commaundement is hit right or wrong /yf the commaunde- 
ment be not ouer outrageous / And yf ther be vyce therin / 
she is not to blame / but the blame abydeth vppon her lord 
and husbonde. 

There are two copies in the British Museum, one at Cam- 
bridge, one at Oxford, and two in private libraries. 

No. 55. — Caton. Folio. WitJwut Printer's Name, Place, or 
Date. " Translated . . . by William Caxtan in thahheij 
of Westmynstre the yere of our lord M CCGG Uxxiij'' 

Collation. — ^The prologues and table a 3", signed i\ and 
ii) on the second and third rectos, the first and last leaves 
being blank : then a t C ti e f g t) are 4°' ; i a 5° ; a j and 
ilO being blank. In all eighty leaves, of which four are 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
Two sizes of type are used : No. 2 for the Latin headings, 
and No. 4* for the Text. The lines, which are fully spaced 
out, measure 4f inches, and there are 38 to a full page. 
Without folios or catchwords. Space is left for the insertion 

T 2 


of 3-lme initials, sometimes with and sometimes without 
directors. Commencing with a blank leaf, Caxton's short 
prologue and his dedication to the City of London follow on 
sig. if. 

The Text begins thus : — 

C Jgm ieggnnet^ tf)e prologue or proSemge of tfte tioolt 
rallit»||ai:aton/tof)icf)e toofee f}ati) tm txamMtH in to O^n^ 
filpssje ig 1 Mm^ttx 13enet Burgf) / late Erejetrefeen of 
(Eolei^estre aitti || f)ge cjanon of saint stepljenss at hjestmestre/ 
W4 fwl craftlg ifjati) matie it in ialatie rgal for tje erutri^ 
eion of mg lortJ l3oii 1| sf)er/Sone ^ i&egr at ti^at tgme to mg 
lorti tje erle of Q^mex \\ Enti ig cause of late cam to mg 
iianti a toofe of ti^e saiti OTaton 1| in jFrenssJe / tDf)icf)e 
ref)ercetf) manfi a fagr lempnge anti nota || tie ensamplcs/ 
g f)aue translateti ft oute of frenssfie in to d^n \\ glpssje/ 
as al along ftere after si&alle appiere/b3f)icf)e S presente 
unto tf)e ^^tt of lontion/ 

Jtnto tf)e notle auncgent antr renometJ Olgte/tfte 
b Olgte II of lontion in (&ng,im\i / § MEilliam (H:axton 

Olgte^egn || ^ coniurge of tl)e same / ^ of tje f raters 
ngte antj felausjip || of tje mercerge otoe of rggjt mg 
serugse ^ gooti bgll / anti of 

The table follows, making, with the introductoiy matter, 
eight printed pages, the whole concluding on the fifth verso, 
with the sixth blank leaf. After another blank is the Gloss, 
headed by a quotation of seven lines of Latin in type No. 3, 
with a if for the signature. 

The Text ends on the ninth recto of sig. i, the tenth leaf 
being blank, 

tf)gnge men mag intgtule tjis Igtell boolt tje mgrour of tje 
re II ggme ^ gouernement of ti&e totJg antr of tje sotole/ 

J^ere fgngssi^etj tjis present toofe tDf)ieie is sagtJ or 
calletj II (^att^m translated! oute of dFrenssi^e in to (f^nglgssje 
tg WBill II iam Olaxton in ti)atteg of iuestmgnstre tfjt gere 
of oure lorti || M (t(^(^^ Ixxxiii / Enti tje fgrst gere of tf)e 
regne of ltgnge||i^gci)artr ti^e tftgrli tfte xxiii tiag of tiecemtire 


In his prologue Caxton says, " To the end that the histories 
and examples that be contained in this little book may be 
lightly found . . . they shall be set and entitled by manner of 
Rubrics . . . and they shall be signed as that followeth of the 
number of leaves where they shall be wTitten." Accordingly 
the numbers given in the table agree with their proper folios, 
but these folios are not inserted, either in print or manuscript, 
in the body of the work, rendering the table almost useless. 

Caxton says in his preface that he translated from a 
French copy, "which rehearsed many a fair learning and 
notable example ;" and some portions of his own introductory 
matter suggest also a French original. Were a manuscript to 
be found, its title would probably agree v;ith Caxton's con- 
cluding description of the work — " the mirror of the regime, 
and government of the body and of the soul." 

The year 1483 is usually assigned to the printing of this 
book ; but, as the translation was not ended till December 
23rd, it seems improbable that it was printed till 1484. 

As already noticed, this "Caton" is a very different work 
from the composition known as " Catho Magnus," the distichs 
of which serve here only as a text whereon to hang an exten- 
sive gloss. A short notice of " Mayster Benet Burgh" has 
already been given. 

There are copies in the British Museum, Cambridge, 
Glasgow, Oxford, Exeter College, Oxford, and seven in private 

No. 56. — The Golden Legend. Largest Folio. First Edi- 
turn. ^^ Fymjsshed at westmestre the twenty day of 
noimmbre / the yere of our lord M / CCCC j Ixxxiij / 
By me Wyllyam Caxtmy (1484 ?) 

Collation. — An unsigned 3°, with first and sixth leaves 
blank; a b clrefgf)ifelmnop^(|t lE^tttxp^ ^ are 
4"»; 9 a 3^ a IS or 10 ([^ J^ (B je 3J it H JH i^ © 

^ 05 1^ <S C 5a are 4^^^ X a 3"; g is a single sheet, fol- 
lowed by a single leaf, the back edge of which is sometimes 
returned round 8, and sometimes sewn separately-, aa tt CC 


lllr tZ ff are 4°^; gg a 3°; i^i^ ii 4°«; ftit a 3^ Itit 6 being blank. 
In all 449 leaves, of which three are blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
There are two sizes of type, No. 3 being used for head-lines 
and headings to chapters, while No. 4* is used for the text. 
The whole is in double columns, and the lines, which are fully 
spaced out, measure three inches ; 55 lines in a column, and 
110 to a fall page. There are folios throughout, but num- 
bered yery irregularly. Space is left for the insertion of 3 to 
6-line initials, with directors. There are no catchwords. 
"Woodcuts are used throughout, apparently from the hand of 
the same artist who engraved the cuts for the second edition 
of the " Chess Book." 

The first edition is principally distinguished by the use of 
Type No. 3 for head-lines, &c., and also by a variation in the 
signatures X and '§>. Both this and the second edition are 
printed upon very large sheets of paper, larger indeed than 
Caxton ever used before or after. The edition of 1493 is 
upon the usual size. 

The first leaf is blank; on the second recto is a large 
woodcut of Saints, 9 x 6 J inches, under which the Text begins 
thus, making a ftdl page : — 

(^Woodcut of Saints). 

t tioctout II mm '^^m toerltsis || ^ te^torges trans^ 
gaptib tjps aitcto || tgte / ^^^^^ ^^^ ^^ ixt\xm\^t \\ in to 

toetlte/to tSente tf)at tf)e ^^^ gentplmen / 11 as t^. 

beupl fgntie II tf)e not stile/ ^^^^^ ^^ ^fie tecugel of 

Entitf)ef)olptJoctour||sagnt Crose/ltlje took of tl^e 

au0tgn sagtf) in tje boolt ci^esise/tfjeljgistorBeof ||Sa^ 

of ti)e II laiour of monfees/ son/CJe ijptorge of tje 

tf)at no man stronge || or msrrour || of tje tootltr / t^e 

wggi&tg to latoure ougf)t to ib fiooltes of J^eta^ || inor^ 

be stlellfor toftie!) cause pjeseosinto^geiie tieeneon- 

tofien 3J i^atr parfour^ || me^ tegneti || 


'* This prologue finishes, half-way down the second column, 
on the verso of the same leaf. On the third recto is another 
woodcut, 8x4^ inches, of a horse galloping past a tree, 
l)earing a lable, J^lp CtUISte 3^0 (see a facsimile in Dibdin's 
Typ. Ant.y vol. i, page 186). Underneath this commences 
Caxton's own prologue, with space for a 3-line initial E, 

iat» for m mocje as also fiaue eitprpnteti it in tt)e 

tf)is II sagti \x^txkz teas moost best || W^j)%t ti)at 3f 

grete $c ouer || ctatfle- i^aue coulje or mpgi^t / anti || 

atile to me taeeomplisste || f presente tf)is saptj toook to 

fergtr me in ti)e begenngng ^is gootJ ^|| noble lorTJSf)gp/ 

of tt)e II as efjgef eauser of t!)e || 

This occupies the whole page. On the third verso the 
table is begun, ending on the sixth recto, with sixteen lines 
in the first column, the rest of the page being blank. The 
last line is — 

Sues folio arorararnbir 


On sig. a j the original Text is begun, space being left for 
a 6-line C, 

Ji^e tgme of tftatruet qugsst)it» of ignorance ^ 
gmpuissauce / 1| to ge pf t)e 

or comgng of our i)ati so eome to fore/pauen^ 
ture II man mgg!)t sage pt tg 

lorti in to tijis toorlti ftis otone merites || 

The Text ends on fell 5 recto, half-way down the second 

afore is matre menepon/ 
Mat)ict)e toerliellil f)aue 
accomplissfteti at t^e eom- 
maun^lltiementeanti requeste 
of tje noble antj ipupssaunte 
erle / anti mg special gootJ || 
lor^ ?l2iJpllgam erle of aron^ 
^el / ^ Saue || fgngss t)et» it at 


of nouemtre / tt)e ^txt of our 


of msngiaBd)artr t|e |1 tiifirti 

13g me bJgUsam OTaiton 

In the latter half of the thirteenth century. Jacobus de 
Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, who died in 1298, compiled 
a book called "Legenda Aurea," in which the lives and 
miracles of numerous saints were narrated. This was found 
very useful to the priests in their sermons, and soon become 
so popular that it was translated into nearly every European 
language. The Latin text of " Voragine " has been reprinted 
from an early manuscript, and edited by Dr. Th. Graesse, 8vo, 
Lipsige, 1840. It has also received a modern French dress 
under the title " La L6gende doree, par Jacques de Voragine, 
traduit du Latin, par M. G. B., 8vo, Paris, 1843." In the 
early part of the fourteenth century, Jean Belet, an author 
but little known to modern bibliographers, though often 
quoted by the -writers of his age, translated the Latin of 
Jacobus into French, not, however, without embellishing it 
with many new additions. Shortly after the production of 
Belet, Jehan de Yignay, who has been already noticed as trans- 
lating the Book of Chess, undertook a new version in French 
of " La Legende doree," which he accomplished before 1380, as 
he dedicated it to " Jeane, royne de France." His translation, 
however, was founded on the previous labours of Belet, which 
he amplified, adding about 44 new legends. About the middle 
of the fifteenth century, certain " worthy Clerks and Doctors 
of Divinity" compiled a " Book of the Life of Saints," which 
they describe as " drawn into English after the tenor of the 
Latin." These worthy Clerks and Doctors, however, would 
have given a much more true account of their labours had 
they stated that, with the exception of some additional fables 
not traceable in the original Latin, they owed the whole of ' 
their compilation to "La Legende doree" of Jehan de 

BOOKS PRnrrED in type no. 4. 281 

It is probable that in Caxton's time the English version 
here noticed was well known ; indeed we may infer this from 
the a<x;ount given by our Printer of the origin of his oi^n 
text : " Against me here might some persons say, that this 
Legend hath been translated tofore, and truth it is; but 
forasmuch as I had by me a Legend in French, another in 
Latin, and the third in English, which varied in many and 
diverse places; and also many histories were comprised in 
the two other books which were not in the English book, 
therefore I have T\Titten one out of the said three books." 
Caxton, with his Latin, French, and English copies before 
him, found a prologue ready to his hand in the version by 
Jehan de Vignay. This, as was his wont, he translated lite- 
rally, merely changing two or three of the inapplicable proper 
names, and adding some personal observations of his own. 
The bulk of his text comes also from the same source, being 
nearly identical with that of the English manuscript already 
noticed ; although to Caxton may be given this praise, that 
in several places where the " worthy doctours of divinite " 
had inserted in their English version some stories more in- 
credible or more filthy than usual, he very discreetly con- 
siderably modified or altogether omitted them. The reader 
curious in this matter may compare the tales about Nero in 
the " Life of St. Peter," as narrated in Harl. 630, with folio 
202 in Caxton. How much he took from the Latin is impos- 
sible to say; nor have I been able to trace to their origin 
the curious explanatory derivations of the name of each 
saint, which form the first paragraph in every " Life." As in 
" The Festial," many saints in the " Golden Legend " have 
their lives illustrated or interwoven with tales from the "Gesta 

This work may be considered the most laborious, as well 
as the most extensive, of all Caxton's Hterary and typo- 
graphical labours. The compilation of the text only must 
have been a most arduous task, and the very extensive use of 
woodcuts must have been extremely expensive and trouble- 
some. Caxton, indeed, confesses that he was " in a manner 
half desperate to have left it," when the Earl of Arundel, who 


apparently suggested the undertaking, sent John Stanney to 
him, promising the Printer a small annuity, and to take a 
"reasonable quantity " of copies when completed. The annuity 
was to be a buck in summer and a doe in winter ; but it is 
not improbable that these presents were commuted into a 
fixed sum of money, as was certainly the practice with the 
Gifts of Wine, which, in the fourteenth and fifteenth cen- 
turies, were so frequently bestowed as rewards for services 
rendered. As a memorial of the Earls connection with the 
work, Caxton placed the Arundel device " My truste is " after 
the preface. 

Although, from the numerous copies still extant, it is 
evident that this edition must have been larger than usual, no 
perfect copy has yet been discovered. The Legend of St. 
Thomas of Canterbury has been a special object of destruction, 
being, in nearly every instance, torn out of the volume. 

This is one of the most common of the productions of 
Caxton's press, and probably a larger number than usual was 
printed. Of the thirty known copies sixteen are divided 
between the British Museum, Cambridge, Corpus and Pem- 
broke, Cambridge, Oxford, Glasgow, Logonian Philadelphia, 
King's CoUege, Aberdeen, Lincoln, Hereford and Bath 
Cathedrals, Eawlett's Library, Tamworth, and the others in 
private libraries. 

While making every allowance for the rudeness of the age 
and the plain speaking then customary, the tendency of many 
of the " Lives " here narrated is so immoral, that many per- 
sons have doubted whether these legends were really read to 
congregations of men and women. But the legacy of several 
copies of this work to the parish church of St. Margaret's, as 
already noticed (p. 159), and the following extract from the 
will of Queen Margaret, prove that the "Golden Legend" 
was reckoned among the Church Service Books : — " Item, I 
will that mine executors purvey a complete Legend in one 
book, and an Autiphony in another book ; which books I will 
be given to abide there in the said church to the worship of 
God as long as they may endm-e. (Norf. and Norwich Arch. 
Soc., Dec. 1850, fol. 163.) 


No. 57. — Death-bed Pbayees. A Folio Broadside. (1484?) 

Typographical Particulars. — Types No. 3 and 4* are 
used. The lines are spaced to an even length. It is half a 
sheet of paper printed on one side only. 

From the language of these prayers it is evident that they 
were intended for use by the death-bed. They were probably 
printed in this portable form for priests, and others, to carry 
about with them. 

Although short their interest is great, and the reader may 
not be displeased to read them in the following more modem 
dress than that of the original. 

glorious Jesu! meekest Jehu! most sweetest 
Jesu! I pray thee that I may have true confession, con- 
trition, and satisfaction ere I die ; and that I may see and 
receive thy holy body, God and man. Saviour of all mankind, 
Christ Jesu without sin. And that thou wilt my Lord God 
forgive me all my sins, for thy glorious wounds and passion. 
And that I may end my life in the true faith of all holy 
church, and in perfect love and charity with my even* Chris- 
tians as thy creature. And I commend my soul into thy holy 
hands through the glorious help of thy blessed mother of 
mercy, our lady Saint Mary, and all the holy company of 
heaven. Amen, f The holy body of Christ Jesu be my 
salvation of body and soul. Amen. The glorious blood of 
Christ Jesu bring my soul and body into the everlasting bliss. 
Amen. I cry God, mercy ! I ciy God, mercy ! I cry God, 
mercy ! "Welcome my Maker ! Welcome my Redeemer ! 
Welcome my Saviour ! I cry thee mercy with heart contrite 
of my great unkindness that I have had unto thee. 

thou most sweet spouse of my soul, Christ Je^u, desiring 
heartily evermore for to be with thee in mind an^ will, and 
to let none earthly thing be so nigh my heart as thou, Christ 
Jesu ; and that I dread not for to die for to go to thee, Christ 
Jesu ; and that I may evermore say unto thee -with a glad 
cheer, my Lord, my God, my sovereign Saviour Christ Jesu, 

* " Even " = *' fellow." The gravedigger in Hamlet, act y, sc. 1, 
uses the same phrase ** eyen Christian." 


I beseech thee heartily take me, sinner, unto thy great mercy 
and grace, for I love thee ^ith all my heart, Tvith all my 
mind, mth all my might, and nothing so much in earth nor 
above earth as I do thee, my sweet Lord, Christ Jesu. And 
for that I have not loved thee, and worshipped thee above all 
things as my Lord, my God, and my Saviour, Christ Jesu, I 
beseech thee "with meekness and heart contrite, of mercy and 
of forgiveness of my great unkindness, for the great love that 
thou showedst for me and all mankind, what time thou offerdst 
thy glorious body, God and man, unto the Cross ; there to be 
crucified and wounded, and unto thy glorious heart a sharp 
spear, there running out plenteously blood and water for the 
redemption and salvation of me and all mankind. And thus 
having remembrance steadfastly in my heart of thee, my 
Saviour Christ Jesu, I doubt not but thou wilt be full nigh 
me, and comfort me both bodily and ghostly with thy glorious 
presence, and at the last bring me unto thy everlasting bliss, 
the which shall never have end. Amen. 

The only Existing Copy known is in the library of Earl 
Spencer, where it is bound up in a copy of Caxton's " Pilgrim- 
age of the Soul." It is in perfect condition, and measures 

II X 8 inches. 

Xo. 58. — The Fables of ^sop; of Avian; of Alfonse; 


hy me William Caxton at Westmynstre . . the xxvj dmje 
of Marche the yere of oure lord M GCCG Ixxxiiijr 

Collation.— a i) c tl e f Q f) i fe I in n p q t are 4°^ 

the last two leaves of g being blank. In all 144 leaves, of 
•which two are blank. 

Note. — The first leaf of a is not signed, being printed only 
on the verso. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page, 
unless we call the great cut of ^sop by that name. The type 
is of two sorts. No. 3 used in three places at the beginning 
of the work for headings, and No. 4*, in which is the whole 
text and the head-lines. The lines, which measure 4f inches, 
are fully spaced out, and in those few pages where there is no 


woodcut there are 37 or 38 lines. There are head-lines and 
folios throughout, except in sig. n, which has folios only. 
Woodcut initials are used throughout,, and on the verso of 
sig. a ijis a large floriated ^, afterwards used in the " Order 
of Chivalry." 

The first recto of sig. a is blank. Upon the verso is a 
large woodcut (4f x Cf inches), of ^sop, suiTounded by the 
subjects of his fables, with the word ESOPVS at the top. On 
the second recto, which is signed a ij, the book commences 
with the following title, in large type, No. 3 — 

C dFoIio Ha 
C l&n:e tiegBunetf) tfie toofe of tfie suitpl tpstorpeis 
antr J^atles of (&^ovt tDf)id&e toere translatcti out 
of JFttm^f^t in to (l^nglpjssfte b? toplliam OTaiton 
at bjestmBnstre 3fn tt)e gere of oure HorTic , M . 

. aroTifl^ar . ixxxm . 

^St^t ieggnnetf) t^e Igf of (f^sope b3itt) alle !)ts fortune 
' Job) |)e toas 0ut)tgll/b)5i3e/antJ tome in i&mt/notfmt 
fro Croge tfte graunt in a Cotoue nameti Hmoneo/ 
b)f)icl)e ioas amonge ott)er trgfformc^ anti eugUe 5l)apen/dFor 

The whole is finished by an epilogue, \NTitten by Caxton 
himself, which begins on the recto, and concludes on the verao 
of sig. j8 6. 

stoere of a gooti precst antj an fionejat/Hnlj f^txt toit|ft '^ i^:: 
ngssfje X\^\% tioofe / translateti $c cmprpnteti bg me ^IHiUiam 
(ttai^llton at toegtrngnistre in tf)at)taB/lnlj fgnpjsijSteti tfte 
xibj tiage II of iHarcje tf)e gere of oure lorti M (t(t(t(t 
liixiiij /^nli ttje || fgrst pere of tje regne of fegng i^gcjarti 
tf)e ti)BrtJtJe 

The woodcuts by their treatment evidently came from the 
hands of the artist who had preAiously illustrated the " Game 
of Chess." It is perhaps impossible to decide whether they 
are of Flemish or English origin. The following represents 
^sop beaten by his master. 

Caxton himself tells us at the beginning of the book that 




it was a translation of his own from the French. It is rather 
remarkable that although the fables of -^sop, in French, were 
found in all the great libraries of the fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries, and as many as three or four different copies in 
some, yet none apparently have descended to our time. No 
trace of an English translation previous to that of Caxton has 
been discovered, and he must therefore have the credit of 
introducing these fables to his countrymen in the English 
tongue. They were reprinted in London, with scarcely any 
alteration, for nearly two centuries. Whether translated from 
a manuscript, or an early French printed edition, it is now 
impossible to say. 

This is a very rare book, the only perfect copy known was 
devised by Mr. Hewett, of Ipswich, to King George III, and 
is now in the Royal Library, Windsor. Imperfect copies are 
in the British Museum and at Oxford. 

No. 69. — The Order op Chivalry. Quarto. Withcmt 
Printer's NanWy Place, or Date. Translated by Caxton 
and presented to Richard III. (1483-5). 

Collation.— a t C tl e f are 4", aj being blank ; g a 2°, 
with the last leaf blank ; in all 52 leaves, of which two are 

Typographical Particulars.— There is no title-page. 
The type is No, 4*, but two headings at the beginning of the 
work are in type No. 3. The lines, which measure 3^ inches, 
and of which there are 26 to a full page, are fiilly spaced out. 
Without folios or catchwords. Initial letters cut in wood are 

Commencing with a blank leaf the work opens with a short 
preface, on sig. a ij, the first four lines being in type No. 3. 
The Text begins thus .'7— 

C ISere iegpnnetj t^e Cable of 
ttits present ioofee 3>ntgtletr t^e 
iSoolte of tfte ortjre of c^gualrp 
ot ifen^g^tj^o^e 


The Text ends:— 

bettuouse IretJe / ant» 31 si^alle pmg alm^^ 
tg got! for f)is long Ipf ^ prosperous \xitU 
fare/^ t^at f)e mag fiaue bictorg of al i^is 
enemies/ antJ after tf)is s!)ort ^ transitory 
Igf to ftaue euerlastgng Ipf in fteuen / b3f)e=: 
re as is 3?oge anTr tigsse bjorlti bitjout 

The date of printing, which was in the reign of Eichard 
III, must have been between June 26th, 1483, and August 
22nd, 1495. The "Order of Chivalry" has no connection 
with "L'ordene de chevalerie." Dibdin, in the Typ. Ant., 
and Moule in Bib. Herald^ both err in this matter. 

Two copies are in the British Museum, and two in private 
libraries : no others are known. 

No. GO. — Chaucer's Cai^terbury Tales. FoUo. Second 
Edition, ivith Woodcuts. ^' By Wylliam Caxton.'^ 
Without Place or Date. (1484 ?) 

Collation.— a betiefgi^ifelmnopqrstare 4^^^ 
with a I blank ; b a 3^^ ; aa bt) ce bb ee ff gg f)i& are 4°" ; a a 
8^ a i3 or B ii^ dF <© ?§ f i^ are 4-; E a 2^ In aU 
312 leaves, of which one is blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type of the Text is No. 4*, the heads being all in No. 2*. 
The lines in the prose portion are spaced to an even length, 
and measure 4J inches. 38 lines to a page. Without catch- 
words or folios, and almost without punctuation. 

This second edition, Caxton tells us, was printed six years 
after the first. Having fixed the year 1477-8 as about the 
date of the first, that "v^ill give about 1484 for this. 

Commencing mth a blank leaf, the prohemye follows on 


i^ete tfjanfees latolje antr i^onour/oufii^t to be gj^ 
uen bnto tf)e cletfeeisf/poetes/antf ftistoriograptis 
g ti^at t)aue toreton mane noble toltes of topgrtom 
of tf)e lguefii/pa00io3c;/-&mBraclr0 of 1)01? gapntes 
of tgstorges / of notle artti famous ^rtes / anij 
faittes / EntJ of tfte crongcles sitt) ti^e tegpitnpng 
of tje creaciott of ti^e toorlTi/bnto ti)p present tgme/bg toSgcfje 

The proheme, which is an excellent and indubitable speci- 
men of Caxton's own composition, and reflects as much credit 
upon his disposition as upon his literary abilities, finishes on 
the verso of sig. a if — 

after tjgs si^ort antr transitorge Igf lue mas ««i^ to ener- 
lastgng II Igf in Jeuen / ^men 

i^s 2l2agUiam (Braxton 

On sig. a Hi recto, with room for a 4-line initial, 

3^an tfiat ^prgll toptf) figs siiouris sote 
to CJ)e tirougi&te of marcte t)ati& percgti t^e rote 
^nti bati^gtr energ begne in suciie Ipeour 
<©f toftgefie bertue engentjrgti is tje flour 
Hajanne j^epjerus efee togtj) figs sote bretf) 

The Parson's Tale finishes on sig. H iij verso, and is fol- 
lowed by the Retraction. 

The Text ends with seven lines on sig. It 4 recto, 

tt one of f)em at tje tiag of trome tjat sftal ie saupti/@ui 
eumllpatre et spiritu saneto biuit et regnat tjeus/^Per omnia 
seeula || seeulorum ^M^B^I 

The verso is blank. 

The wood-cut illustrations appear to be by the same artist 
that was engaged upon -ffisop. The wife of Bath is repre- 
sented thus : — 






Two copies are in the British Museum, and one in each of 
the following libraries — Magdalen and Pepysian, Cambridge ; 
St. John's, Oxford; Royal Society, London; Earl of Ash- 
bumham, and Earl Spencer. In the year 1858 I discovered 
a copy in the Library of the French Protestant Church, in a 
torn and dirty state, having been used for some time to light 
the vestry fire. I drew attention to its great value and inte- 
rest, and it was doubtless saved from further mutilation. 
Some time afterwards it disappeared from the library alto- 
gether, and no one now knows what has become of it. For 
identification the following particulars are here given: — it 
wants all before sig. f) 5 ; p 7 ; 1 8 and b ij ; ttl if and tiTl 8 ; 
E f; ^iii and 4 ; and all after (^S. In the original binding. 
Tom, dirty, and ill used. Measurement, lOf x 7}. Auto- 
graph "• • Rawlinson A*" 1717." Also, "Ex dono * • * 
Bateman Bibliopola." 

No. 61. — The Book of Fame. Folio, "Emprynisd hy 
wylliam Caxfm" Without Place or Date. (1484 ?) 

CoLLATiON.-^a f) C are 4"% a r being blank ; tj a 3°, tJ 6 
being blank = 30 leaves, of which two are blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is entirely No. 4*. In the epilogue, which is the 
only prose part, the lines are fiilly spaced out, and measure 
4| inches. 38 lines to a page. Without folios or catchwords. 
Space left for the insertion of 2 or 3-line initials, with 

Commencing mth a blank leaf, the Text follows on sig. 
a \S recto, 

Ci)e \m\ of dFame matie tg <^ef ereg Ol^ftaucer 

<©ti tome t» euer^ trreme to gootr 
dFor it is bjonlrer tf)gttg tg tlje rooti 

Co mp topt / tof^at causjpti) stoeiienps 
€^n ti)e mototoe / ot on euengs 

TT 2 


The poem ends on sig. t( 5 recto, 

Ci^us in bremgng antJ in game 
iil^nljeti) tjgs Igtgl toofe of dFame 

The epilogue immediately follows, the Text ending, 

§ fiumblg fiesecfie ^ ptage polu /nnonge pour ptaget0/to 
temem^llto Jgs soule/on b)f)8cf)e/ant( on alle ctfisten 
souliis / f tesecfie aU \\ m^g^t^ gotr to iiaue mercg Emen 
iirmprfintetr tg bglliam Olaxton 

The epilogue has considerable interest, as showing Caxton's 
opinion of Chaucer, and is here given verbatim. 

" J fjnde nomore of this werke to fore sayd / For as fer 
as I can vnnderst5de / This noble man Gefferey Chaucer 
fynysshyd at the sayd conclusion of the metyng of lesyng 
and sothsawe / where as yet they ben cheldied and maye not 
departe / whyche werke as me semeth is craftyly made / and 
dygne to be ^^Teton & knowen / For he towchyth in it ryght 
gi-ete wysdom & subtyll vnderstondyng / And so in alle hys 
werkys he excellyth in myn oppyny / on alle other wryters in 
in our Englyssh / For he wrytteth no voyde wordes / but aUe 
hys mater is ful of hye and quycke sentence / to whom ought 
to be gyuen laude and preysyng for hys noble makyng and 
wrytyng / For of hym alle other haue borowed syth and taken / 
in alle theyr wel sayeing and wrytyng / And I humbly beseche 
& praye yow / emonge your prayers to remembre hys soule / 
on whyche and on alle crysten soulis I beseche almyghty god 
to haue mercy Amen " 

As will be seen by the list of Existing Copies, the printed 
text of Caxton is almost as rare as manuscript; so is the 
reprint by Pynson in 1526. Manuscripts of this poem were, 
probably, even in our printer's time, difi&cult to obtain. The 
copy used by him was certainly very imperfect. Many lines 
are altogether omitted, and in the last page Caxton was 
• evidently in a great strait, for his copy was deficient 66 lines, 
probably occupying one leaf in the original. We know from 


his own writings the great reverence in which our printer 
held the " noble poete," and we can imagine his consternation 
when the choice had to be made, either to follow his copy and 
print nonsense, fi'om the break of idea caused by the deficient 
verses, or to step into Chaucer's shoes and supply the missing 
links from his own brain. He chose the latter course, and 
thus instead of the original 66 lines, we have two of the 
printer's own, which enable the reader to reach the end of the 
poem 'without a break down. These lines are in the following 
quotation printed in italics ; the entire extract being the first 
six lines of the last page : — 

They were a chekked bothe two 

And neyther of hym myght out goo 

And wyth t?ie noyse of themtvo Caxton 

J Sodeynly awoke anon tJw 

And remembryd what I had seen 

And how hye and ferre I had been 

It should be noticed that Caxton has here placed his name 
in the margin to make known his responsibility to his readers. 
The " out " not having been hitherto noticed, the position of 
his name there has been a puzzle to the bibliographers, until 
explained by Mr. Bradshaw. 

Copies are in the British Museum ; Cambridge ; Imperial 
Library, Vienna, and Althorpe. 

No. 62. — The Ctjrial. "Translated thus in En^hjsshe hj 
wylliam Caxionr Without Printer's Namey Place, or 
Date. (1484 ?) 

Collation. — ^A 3°, signed j, ij, and i\), without any blanks. 
In all six leaves. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is entirely No. 4*. The lines, which are spaced to 
an even length, measm-e 4J inches, and there are 38 to a full 
page. Without catchwords or folios. 

The Text begins on sig. f recto, 

Jgere foiotoetf) tfie copge of a lettre toftpc^e maistre 
aiagn II (t^uzXitx totot^ to Jbs brotjer / tofigctie ^mxtti to 


come titoelle in \\ Olourt/ in b35scf)e ^e xef)erseti) mang mg^ 

The " Curial " finishes on the sixth recto, 

to fioti g comantje ti&e ig ti)gs birgtsng bfigdje gfiue Qe ftps 


Ci&us entietf) tf)e a]:urial matie ig magstre ^lain 
Otjarcetier || ^tanslateti ifjm in (f^nglgssi) ig toplliam 

On the verso Caxton has given us his translation of a 
ballad, written by Alain Chartier, consisting of 28 lines. It 
has a burthen : — " Ne chyer but of a man Joyous," and com- 
mences thus : — 

Cf)er ne is ^angger / tut of a bglagn 
j}le prg^e / tut of a poure man entgcf)et» 

The Text ends on same page, with Caxton's name at foot, 

Efitx is no 0peci^e/f)nt it te curtogs 
iae pregsgng of ram / tut after tj^egr Igf 
iBte ci&ger tut of a man Jfogous 

Eemarks. — Caxton translated the Curial from the French, 
*' for a noble and virtuous Erie " probably Lord Rivers, who 
was beheaded at Pomfret, on June 13th, 1483. 

Alain Chartier, born in Normandy about 1386, earned for 
himself the appellation of " excellent orateur, noble poete, et 
tres-renomme rhetoricien." He held the office of " Secretaire 
de la Maison " to both Charles VI and Charles VII. He died 
about 1457. The most complete editions of his works are 
those by Galiot du Pre, IGmo, Paris, 1529 ; and by Duchesne, 
4to, Paris, 1617. In the former, however, is an error which 
has led to some confusion, as " Li\Te de I'Esperance " is there 
entitled " Le Curial," the real Curial being a much shorter 
piece, and totally different in design. By the " Curial " being 
addressed to his brother it is supposed to have been written 
by Alain to Jean Chartier, known as the author of " Histoire 


de Charles VII." As an instance of the great repute, in which 
the writings of Chartier were held in his age, it is reported 
that Margaret, the wife of the Dauphin of France, afterwards 
Louis XI, finding liim one day asleep in his chair, kissed his 
lips to the great astonishment of her attendants. " Je ne baise 
pas la personne mais la bouche dont estoient sortes tant de 
beux discours," she exclaimed. There is a painting in Add. 
M.S. 15300, vividly depicting this scene. 

Of the only two known copies, one is in the British 
Museum, and the other at Althorpe. 

No. 63. — Troylus and Creside. Folio. Without Printer's 
Name, Place, or Date. (1484 ?) 

Collation. — a i c tr e f g are 4°% the first leaf of a being 
blank; f) a 5°; i fe I m It are 4°"; p a 3", with the last two 
leaves blank. In all 120 leaves, of which 3 are blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type throughout is No. 4*. Each page contains five 
stanzas of seven lines each, with a blank line between each 
stanza. Without folios or catchwords. 

Commencing with a blank leaf, the poem follows on sig. 
a ij recto, beginning thus : — 

t t Jfte tiouile sorobj of Cropluis to telle 

iK;sng ^tBamus gone of Croge 
3fn lougng/ftoto t)p auentures felle 
dFrom tooo to toele / anti after out of 3Joge 
MVi purpog ijs / or ti^at S parte froge 

Book I ends on sig. h 8 verso ; Book II on f j recto ; Book 
III on i^ 10 recto; Book IV on m f recto ; Book V on p 4 
recto. On sig. p 4 recto is also Chaucer's dedicatory stanza 
to the " Moral Gower." 

The Text ends on the same page, 

So malte bs §f\tm for ti^g ntercp tipgne 
JTor loue of magtien/ .&: motier tjgn benpgne 
Jftere enTjeti) Croplujs / as touci)pna OTresetje 
^xpUdt per OTaxton 


Remaeks. — ^A good account of the source of this poem, 
and a comparison between it and Shakspere's " Troilus and 
Creside," with which, however, it appears to have had little 
connection, will be found in Bell's edition of Chaucer's works. 

Two copies are in the British Museum, one at St. John's, 
Oxford, and one at Althorp. 

No. 64. — The Life of our Lady. — Folio. ^^ Empryntyd by 
WyUyam Caxtonr Without Place or Bate. (1484 ?) 

Collation. — Two unsigned leaves ; atictiefgi^iltl 
are 4"^; m a 3", the last leaf being blank. In all 96 leaves, 
of which one is blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is entirely No. 4*. A page has five stanzas of 
seven lines each, the space of one line being left between each 
stanza. The lines in the prose part measure almost 5 inches. 
Without catchwords or folios. Space left for the insertion of 
initials of one to three lines deep, with directors. 

The Text begins, with a space for a 3-line initial, on the 
recto of the first leaf, 

t Jgis Uot bjas compBletJ tg tian §of^n legate montt oi 
tux^t I at ti^e ocitacion anH jstBtgitg of tf)e noUt antr 
bictotpous prgnce / i^png fiarrg ti)e fgftje / in tjonoute 

filotge ^ xtmxmtt at tfjt tgrti)e of our moste ilessptr 

latrg/magtie || iugf /antj motitx of our lorti §f)tm rr^st/ 

cf)apgtretJ as folobetj || ts tjis taUe 

The table follows immediately, finishing with nine lines 
on the verso of the second leaf. 

The poem commences on sig. a J recto, with space for a 
2 -line initial, 

Cf)ougtful fitxtt plunggtr in tistreisse 

^Mitf^ ^Wtxt of sloutj tf)is long bgnteris nggjt 

On the lower half of the fourth verso of sig. m, 

Jgere tntsttt) tt^t toolt of ti)e Igf of our latjg 
malre is tjan gjotjn Igtigate monlte of turg / 
at tfignstaunre of ti)e moste crgsten tgnge / 
itpng fiarrg tiie fgftj^ 


<Soo litgl took antj submptte tje 
Mnto al tf)em / tftat t^e j^tial xtht 
<Bt f^txt I prageng i)em for d^arite 
Co partjon me of ti)e ruliefietie 
i©f xdi^n enprpntgng / not tafegng Jetie 
^n^ pf ougfjt tie Ijoon to tt)epr plespng 
Sap ttieg tfjgjie balatieg folobJBng 

The Text ends on the fifth recto of sig. m, the whole page 
being as follows : — 

16\tm^ tt tf)e stoettest name of our lortr 
3fi)ei3u crtst/ antj most glorious marie 
Jt^is tlessgti motier / toitt) eternal aecortJ 
iHore tftan euer / tentiure in glorpe 
antr toitf) f)ir meke sone for memorge 
l^lesse bs marie / tf)e most i)olg birgpne 
Cftat toe regne in i^euen toitj ti&e ortires npne 

^^nprgntptj bg HEgllgam (?^axton 

" The Lyf of our Ladye " appears to have enjoyed, for a 
long period, a considerable popularity. It was composed, as 
the manuscripts and printed edition both tell us, by John 
Lydgate, at the excitation of King Henry V. The envoy 
commencing, " Goo lytyl booke," is doubtless a specimen of 
Caxton's own powers of versification, as perhaps are also the 
two ballads which follow it. Although the division of the 
poem into chapters by Caxton does not agree with any of the 
above manuscripts, yet he probably had a copy so divided, 
for, as we have seen, the original poem was not chaptered 
at all, and later scribes would divide it after their owd. 

It would have surprised our worthy printer could he have 
foreseen the grave charges of carelessness to be brought against 
him in future ages, with reference to this production. Ames 
gives a very slight account of " The Lyf of cure Ladye," but so 
far as it goes, it is correct. Herbert enlarged Ames's article, 
but unfortunately wrote his description from a copy deficient 
eight leaves in the middle of the poem, an imperfection which, 


notwithstanding the consequent irregularity of signature, he 
ascribes to carelessness on the part of Caxton; and, worse 
still, makes Caxton himself confess that he was aware of the 
blunder he had made before the conclusion of the printing, 
but thought that to ask the reader's pardon was sufficient 
reparation ; a conclusion dra^n from the deprecatory stanzas 
quoted above, beginning, "Goo lityl book" — a style of 
" envoy " very common to all Writers of that age. Then fol- 
lows Dr. Dibdin, who, as usual, did not make an independent 
examination, but was content with reprinting his predecessor's 
remarks. The paragraph reads thus : — " This [the omission 
of several chapters] must be attributed to carelessness, which 
Mr. Caxton himself ingenuously acknowledges in one of the 
concluding stanzas. — Typ. Atit. vol. i, page 340, and Bih. 
JSpenc. vol. iv, page 333. 

Both Herbert and Dibdin give the heads of all the chap- 
ters in this poem, excepting, of course, those contained in the 
eight missing leaves of their copy. These are, therefore, 
supplied here from the table, which differs slightly from the 
heads in the body of the work. 

How the chyef temple of rome fyl the nyght of crystes 

byrthe / and other wonderful tokenes capitulo L 

How the nyght of cristes byrthe a welle in rome 

ranne oyle capitulo Lj 

How the senatours of rome wolden haue holden Octauyan 

theyr emperour as for her god capitulo Lij Liij 

How the romayns whan they had domynacion ouer alle 

the world made an ymage & callyd hit theyr god capitulo Liiij 

How wyse sybyle tolde to the senate of rome 

the byrthe of cryst capitulo Lv 

How the prophetes prophecyed the byrthe 

of cryst capitulo Lvi 

A questyon assoyled whiche is worthyest of kyng 

wyne or woman capitulo Lvij 

Existing Copies: — British Museum, Bodleian, Exeter 
CoUege, Oxford, Glasgow, and four in private hands. 


No. 65. — The Life op the holy and blessed Virgin 
Saint Winifred. Folio. Without Printer's Nairn, 
Date or Place. *^ Reduced in to Englysshe by me 
William Caxton" (1485 ?) 

Collation.— a and h are 4*" = 16 leaves, of which the 
first is blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is entirely No. 4*. There are 38 or 39 lines to a 
full page, and they are spaced to an even length. Without 
folios or catchwords. 

Commencing ^vith a blank leaf, the Text follows on sig. a if, 

C 38ere beggnnetf) tje Igf of tf^t !)olg ^ hltm\i bptgpn 

On sig. h recto, 

C ^!)U0 tntittt^ tte trecoHacion / tf)e Igf after / anti tje 
transla^ II cion of isagnte ?l?aenrfrrtc birgpn anti martir/ 
toi)icf)e toajs rep || jsetj after tjat f)er iietie f)al» be stnjpton of 
tt)e 0paee of ib sere || retiucetj in to iJrnglgssfie bp me 

The Text ends, with ten lines on the recto of sig. t 8, the 
verso being blank, 

eelebramnis translacionem / ctinetorum abipisei inereamur 
pec^: II catorum remijtgionem / i3er bominum nostrum /et 

Remarks. — Caxton's translation gives all the particulars 
of the birth, parentage, dedication to God, decollation by 
Prince Caradoc, restoration to life " after her head had been 
smyton oif the space of xv year," and subsequent canonisation 
of St. Winifred; followed by the service in Latin for her 
" commemoration." 

The earliest existing notice of this saint is found in Cotton 
MS. Claud. A. v, which begins " Incipit Vita sancte Wenefrede 
virginis et martyris." The character of the ^mting is of the 
twelfth century, but the Holy Well in Flintshire, dedicated to 
her as well as the existence of chapels and other places in 


"Wales bearing her name, prove her fame to have been spread 
for some centuries earlier. The Cotton MS. itself was pro- 
bably copied from a much older original. Historians have 
therefore agTeed to consider her as having lived in the seventh 
century. Being a Welsh saint, her name does not at first 
seem to have been received with any great veneration outside 
her own country, and this may account for the entire absence 
of all notice of her in the early historians. The Cotton MS. 
has a memorandum in a more modem hand, stating it to be 
the composition of St. Elerius. For this, however, there 
appears to be no other reason than the mention of this saint 
as St. Winifred's confessor. It has, however, been adopted 
by Leland, Bale, Pits, and other writers. A second life of St. 
Winifred was undertaken in the year 1140 by Robert, a 
Welsh monk of Shrewsbury, who compiled his account from 
MSS. then extant, with the addition of all the floating details 
which, in the course of centuries, the legend had developed. 
The fame of the saint at that time was rapidly increasing, 
partly owing to the grand ceremonial Tvdth which her relics 
had been, in 1138, translated to the Benedictine Abbey in 
Shrewsbury. The variation in these two accounts, especially 
as to the length of time she lived after her decollation, has 
induced a belief that they are independent productions. Had 
the second history been shorter and less miraculous than the 
first, there might be some reason for the opinion. 

In " Liber Festivalis," and in the " Golden Legend," both 
printed by Caxton, are short notices of St. Winifred ; but in 
1484 Caxton himself set about " reducing into English " her 
Life. It is unfortunate that he makes no mention of the 
language in which his original was written. There is no 
reason to suppose that Caxton understood Welsh, or else 
doubtless he could have obtained several MSS.* Again, it is 
very improbable that Caxton translated from his usual source, 
the French, as the saint was unknown across the Channel. It 
is therefore most probable that the Latin account of Eobert, 
already noticed, was Caxton's original, a probability we are 

* Llwydh, in his Catalogue of Welsh MSS., mentions two. 


not able to verify by collation, as no manuscript appears to 
be known. 

Caxton's edition has the Latin commemoration of the 
saint at the end, which was ordained with great ceremony by 
Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1391, who, at the 
same time, removed the day from June 24th to November 
8rd. This shows how the fame of St. Winifred had in- 
creased. All the old legends state that on the spot where 
Prince Caradoc decapitated the Virgin, there immediately 
sprung up an impetuous stream of healing water. The famous 
Holy Well is on this spot, and thence flows " St. Wenefrede's 
Stream," which empties itself at the mouth of the Dee. 
The fame of wonderful cures effected by these waters spread 
all over England, and greatly enhanced the shrine of St. 
Winifred. Holywell became the most favoured goal of 
pilgrims to the north. Caxton could not perhaps have chosen 
a more popular life when he undertook his translation. Henry 
VII built an octagonal well over the source of the stream, 
with conveniences for using the waters, and over this a 
beautiful chapel. 

The shrine was plundered at the dissolution of the monas- 
teries, and a portion of the ruins was, in 1811, and is pro- 
probably still used as a free grammar school. 

In Caxton's " Polycronicon," in the metrical account of 
Wales, there are twenty-two lines of curious matter concern- 
ing the Holy Well, and the awful fate which befel the 
descendants of Prince Caradoc. 

Only three copies of this edition are known. There is a 
fair specimen in the King's Library, British Museum, a poor 
one at Lambeth, and a good one at Ham House, Surrey. 

No. 66. — The noble Histories of King Aethur and of 
CERTAIN OF HIS Knights. FoUo. "Emprytifed in 
thabbey of westtmstre, the last day ofJuyl the yere of 
our lord M CCCC Ixxxv.'' 

Collation.— The prologue and table take up a 4° and 5°; 
the first leaf in the 4" is blank, the next 3 are signed if, i\U 


Hi}; the first four leaves only of the 5° are signed b, bt, bif, 

aa tt CC titl are 4"'; tt is a 3". In all 432 leaves, of which 
one is blank. 

Note. — Sig. S> ii} is printed M Uh and C (j is printed 


Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type throughout is No. 4*. The Hnes are spaced out to 
an even length of 4f inches, and 38 make a full page. With- 
out folios, head-lines, or catchwords. Initials in wood of 
three to five lines in depth. 

Commencing with a blank leaf, Caxton's prologue follows 
on sig. ii, with a 3-line initial in wood. The Text begins 
thus : — 

)§i i&gstorges as bjel of contcmplacpon as of otiier i)»i8to 

rgal antJ biorltilg actes of grete conquerours ^ prpn 

ces/antJ also certegn ioofees of ensaumples antr troctt^ne/ 

The Text ends on the recto of the sixth leaf of sig. tt, the 
verso being blank. 

C ^i^us entietf) ti^gs noble anb SKogotis boofe entptletr le 
morte || Harti^ur / ^otbjgttstontigns it treateti^ of t Je bgrtj / 
Ipf/antJ II actes of ti^e sagti Itgng Ertjut/of jis noble 
Itngg^tesof ti^ellrounbe table /tfiegrmernagllous enquestes 
anb abuentures / 1| tbac^peugng of tbe sangteal/ ^ in tftenbe 
ti^e bolorous betf) $c \\ bepartgng out of tjgs bjotlb of tjem 
al / b3f)iei^e boofe bias re 1| buceb in to englpssi^e bp s^r 
Ciftomas iHalorg Itnggfit as afore || is sagb/antr bg me 
bengbetJ in to nf booltes cljapgtreb anb enprpnteb/anb 
fgnpssjeb in tfiabbeg bjestmestre tje last bap || of 3?u5l tje 
gere of our lorb / M I (^(^(t(^ I Ixnb / 

C (Braxton me fteri fecit 

Remarks. — There does not appear to be any trace in the 
collections of the British Museum, or elsewhere, of a manu- 
script of Sir Thomas Malory's text. Of Sir Thomas himself, 


all we know is contained in the last sentence of his own book : 
** This book was ended the ninth year of the reign of King 
Edward the fourth by Sir Thomas Malory, Knight ;" that is 
about 1470. Caxton tells us in his prologue, that Sir Thomas 
had " reduced it from certain books in French." These books, 
judging from the conduct of the story, were the celebrated 
romances of Merlin, Launcelot, Tristram, the Quest du S. 
Graal, and Mort Artus, on the origin of which romances very 
little appears to be known, though much has been written. 
Manuscript copies of all of them are in the British Museum. 
Caxton's edition was reprinted several times, the last being 
the well-known 4to. volume, edited by Robert Southey, who 
has prefixed a learned dissertation on the rise and de- 
velopment of the story. A very interesting essay upon the 
character, epoch, and authors of the various romances of the 
Round Table is contained in Les Msc. Frang.y par M. Paris, 
vol. i, page 160. See also the introduction of Thomas Wright 
to his reprint of the 1634 edition, entitled The HisUrry of 
King Arthur, 3 vols. London, 1858. Also Les Homam de la 
Table Ronde et les Confes des anciens BretonSy par M. le, 
Vicomte Hersart de la Villemarqu6. 8vo. Paris, 1860. 

The only perfect copy known is in the library of Earl of 
Jersey ; Earl Spencer has a copy, and a fragment is in the 
British Museum. There is not a copy at Lichfield, as stated 
by Mr. Botfield. 

No. 67. — ^The Life of the noble and Christian Prince, 
Charles the Great. Folio. *' Explicit per William 
Caxton." Without Place. "Enprynted thefyrst day of 
: demnhre / M CCCC Ixxxv:' 

Collation.— a ficlrefgjifelm are 4"». In all 96 
leaves, of which a j and m 8 appear to have been blank. The 
last leaf, however, may have had the device. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is all No. 4*. The pages have two columns, with 
39 Unes to a column. Tlie lines, which are spaced to one 
length, measure 2f inches. Without folios or catchwords. 
Woodcut initials three lines deep. 


Commencing with a blank leaf, the prologue of the French 
translator follows, on sig a ij, with a 3-Hne printed initial. 
The Text begins thus : — 

^gnt ^oul tjoctour of somme toerltes Jaultagne 

' bergte sagtt to bs tjat tioon || $c compseti 5g tjeir 

al tf)gngeg ti^at ten re^ grete strengti^ || ^ tggfit at- 

Irucetr tg torgtgng / ten tiannt courage /to ti)e||ex^ 

torgton II altaegon of tje etgsten f agtj 

This preface finishes with five lines down the first column 
of the verso, and is followed by Caxton's prologue, in the same 
column, which is finished on the 26th line of the opposite 


'JtKnne/for asmocftelJ 

'late f)atj fgngssiietr in 
ntprgntge tje toolt of tiie 
notle ^llbgctorgous Itgng 
^ttfiur fgrisit II 

The Text ends with the following colophon, 

212af)pci)e bjetlte teas fg^ 
npsisietr || in ti)e tetiuepng of 
jft in to en || glpsissi^e tf)e ibiij 
tiag of Stign tje || secontr 
gere of Itgng l^pcfiattJ || tfie 
ti}vxti I ^ntJ tf)e pere of our || 
lorti m (t(^(^(t Irab/ 
^nti II enprgntetr tje fgret 
tag of tre^ || eemtre tje same 
gere of our lortr || ^ tfie fgrst 
gere of Itpng JgarrgHtJe 
seuentj l\\ 
C ^x)^\itit p toilliam Olarton 

Remarks. — Histories and romances of " Karlemaine," in 
French and in Latin, in prose and in verse, existed so early 
afi the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. These became incor* 


porated later in the general histories, such as the " Speculum 
Historiale," the " Fleur des Histoires," &c. The compilation 
of the romance under notice is recounted by the anonymous 
Author himself in his preface and envoye. From these we 
learn that Henry Bolomyer, Canon of Lausanne, regretting 
the existence of several " disjoined " accounts of Charles the 
Great, "excited" our anonymous Author to compile a con- 
tinuous history of the first Christian King of France. This 
he did, and the sources of his narration, as well as the con- 
tents, cannot be described better than in his own words, thus 
translated by Caxton (sig. ttl, 7 recto), " it is so that at the 
requeste of the sayd venerable man to fore named Maister 
henry bolonnyer chanonne of lausaune J haue been Incyted 
to translate & reduce into Frensshe the mater tofore reduced. 
As moche as toucheth the fyrst & the thyrd book / J haue 
taken & drawen oute of a book named myrrour hystoryal for 
the moost parte / & the second book J haue onely reduced it 
out of an olde romaiice in frensshe." 

On comparing the first and last books of the text under 
notice with the chapters devoted to Charlemagne, in Verard's 
edition of the Speculum Historiale (vol. iv, book 25), it is 
evident that the compiler did not confine himself to the 
account of Vincent de Beauvais. The Second Book, he tells 
us, was taken from an old romance in French ; perhaps the 
same as is still extant in Royal MS. 4 C. xi. 10, or the manu- 
script in the Imperial Library, Paris, No. 6795. 

It is the French compilation of Henry Bolomyer which 
Caxton was requested by "some persons of noble estate 
and degree " — " my good singular lords and special masters " 
as he calls them — to reduce into English. Among these his 
good friend Master WiQiam Daubeny, treasurer of the king's 
jewels, who is the only one mentioned by name, seems to have 
most influenced him. 

The only Existing Copy at present known is in the Bri- 
tish Museum, King's Library (C. 10. b. 9). It is perfect, and 
in excellent preservation. Measurement, lOj x 7} inches. 


No. 6S. — The knight Paeis and the fair Yienne. Folio. 
*^ Explicit per Caxton. Westminster. December l^thy 

Collation.— a i t are 4°', tj and z 3°' = 36 leaves, of 
which the last only is blank. 

Note. — tf \ is misprinted c i. 

Typograpical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is all No. 4*; in double column, the lines being 
spaced to an even length, and measuring 2| inches ; 39 lines 
to a column. Without folios or catchwords. Woodcut initials. 

The Text begins on sig. a \ recto, 

C W^t JeggnnetS tj^stotge mag or ougf)t to Jaue / W^z 

of II tf)e not)le rggjt balgaunt sagtj || tiaulpl^gn tjenite anti 

$c toor- II tSs ltnpfif)t ^Pargs / ti^is notle || lai:D trgane hjere 

anlr of tje || fap mgene/ bij gm to gg^ 1 W tofitjowte 

tie tiaulpJeng tou^ Ugl^ter of ^%mz tjat mocje || tjeg tJe^ 

bgennogsi / tfte b)f)gcf)e || sgreti to f)aue / antr pragetr || 

jsuffreli mang atrtieregtees our lorti Jiotje nggi^t ^ trag 

tjg'llrauge of tjegr true tftat || tfieg mggi)t f)aue cftgl:: 

loue or ti^eg II coutie enioge tiren plag||saunt anti tetig 

ti^e effect tjerof of || eeje to figs beugne || iserugce / 

otfier/ antj our lorti tjorugf) || 

The Text ends thus, on sig. e 5 recto, with sixteen lines in 
the first column, 

mag aeeompange tjem in ti&e 
per II truraile glorge of teuen 

C ^!)us enteti) ti&gstorge of 
tt)e II noble anti balgaunt 
ltng8f)tpa'||rg!S/anti ti)e fagr 
bgenne bougf) || ter of tfte 
tjoulpjgn of ^gen^ II nogg / 
translatetj out of frensslie || 
in to englgsisfie bg bjgUiam 
(tda:^ II ton at bjesttnestre 
fgngssjeb tje || (aist Ijag of 


aiigu0t tje jere of || our lotti 
itt arorarar uixb/aniJii 

oipipnteti tt)e xir tjag of 
tecem^ il tre tt)e same pere/ 
anlK tfte fprst || gete of tte 
regne of fepng Jljarrp || tf)e 

C Explicit p OTaxton 

Remarks. — Although frequently copied in manuscript, 
and often printed in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, 
there are few romances so rare as " Paris and Vienne." Trans- 
lated into the " langage provengal," from the original compo- 
sition, which was in " Catalane," it was turned into Latin, 
French, Italian, Flemish, and English. The French, which 
was the translation Caxton used, was accomplished about the 
beginning of the fifteenth century, by Pierre de la Sippade, 
of Marseilles. The first printed edition was in Italian, at 
Trevise, 1482; the second, Caxton's, 1485. G. Leeu, at 
Antwerp, 1487, brought out two impressions, one in German 
and one in French. Wynken de Worde made an early reprint 
of Caxton's edition. The admiration which Jean de Pins, 
Bishop of Rieux, one of the most elegant scholars of his age, 
conceived for this romance, induced him to turn it into Latin, 
for the instruction of the children of his friend the Chancellor 
Duprat. It was printed in 151G. The Jesuit Charron, in his 
Memoirs of Jean de Pins {Avignoiiy 8vo, 1748), speaks thus of 
this romance: "As for children, it would be impossible to 
find a work more fitted to imbue the mind with correct taste 
and elegance of style, to influence then- characters by the 
wisdom of its reflections, or to forearm their hearts against 
those assaults of passion which blindly precipitate the young 
into the abysses of misery. The work is truly admirable. The 
situations are so interesting and the denouinent so happy, that 
their conception would reflect honour on the best writers of 
the most renowned ages." (See Histoire du Chevalier Paris, 
et de la belle Vtentie, 8vo, Paris, 1835). 

The only Existing Copy is in the British Museum. It 

x 2 



sig. X, 6 leaves ^ 
unsigned 1 „ J 

was formerly in Ames's possession, but after the issue of " The 
Typographical Antiquities," passed into the library of Sir 
Hans Sloane, and thence into the King's Library, St. James's. 

No. 69. — The Golden Legend. Largest Folio. Second Edi- 
tion. Small Head-lines. (1487 ?) 

Collation. — The same exactly as the first edition, with 
the exception of sigs. X and g, in which appears the follow- 
ing variation : — 


sig. X = 8 leaves. 

signed to X liij, and followed 

by sig. aa. 

In order to get the matter of the two signatures into one, 
the sixteen pages of X in the second edition are all made a 
line longer than in the first. This arrangement was evidently 
considered as an improvement, and therefore was later in point 
of time than the edition in which it does not occur. 

Typographical Particulars. — These in the main are 
identical with the edition already described, the chief pecu- 
liarity being that the head-lines of the pages and the head- 
lines of the various lives, which in the first edition are all 
in type No. 3, are in the second edition all in type No. 5. 
We must also notice that in places {e.g. sig. X \ recto) the 
large capital letters, used in type No. 6, make an accidental 
appearance in the head-lines, where they were occasionally 
used instead of quadrats. This evinces a much later period 
for the impression than the first edition. 

Ebmarks. — The absence of any complete copy, or indeed 
of any copy having prologues or colophon, suggests the idea 
that certain sheets only may, for some reason, have been re- 
printed to supply deficiencies ; if so, the reprint is so exten- 
sive, that, for the sake of accuracy, it is better to look upon it 
as a separate edition. 

Existing Copies. — British Museum, Cambridge, Oxford, 
Duke of Devonshire. 




TYPE No. 5. 


fa V. V (>, r^^/tv.iS-iA^./*. 70. Good Manners ..... May 11th, 1487 
;B H> (A^vU^r^^'^'^^^' 71. Speculum. First Edition ..... 1487? 
"B h.f/^^^C'^*"^'^ 72. Directorium. First Edition .... 1487? 

^ ^>l 73. Horaj. Third Edition . . . . . 1488? 

'BM c>*vu>"; 74. Royal 1488? 

CcLy^x^Cj- '' 75. Image of Pity ...... 1489? 

Cft^..J> C-J:k'^.i^^^i''^^-^OQ\xmQ\ ..... May 7th, 1489? 

? . 77. Speculum. Second Edition .... 1490 ? 

CA^^ia' 78. Commemoratio ...... 1491 ? 

3 • M ^ 79. Transfiguratione ...... 1491 ? 

3^K ' 80. llor* 1491? 



I— I 



St 2 x: iw 

jC^ 4>^ <S» -«^ 

n ^ ^ a 

S iS u« su 


No. 70. — The Book of Good Manners. Folio. " Explicit 
et hie est finis per Caxton." Without Place. " En- 
prynted the xj day of May e'^ the year of our Lord 1487. 

Collation. — a i c t» e C fl are 4"' ; ]^ a 5° = CG leaves (no 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type throughout is No. 5. The lines are spaced to an 
even length, and measure 4| inches. A page has 33 lines. 
Without catchwords or foHos. Woodcut initials of two to 
three lines in depth. 

The Text begms on sig. a ( recto, 

^^comj)n II people tDi)ift)e b)itf)oiit enfonnacion ^ Icntpng 
ten tutje || anti not manecli Igke bnto teestis brute aeortgng 
to an oltie || 

making a fuU page. On the verso, with 2-line wood initial, 

Jkdf^te tieggnneti) tfje table of a boofe nameb ^ gjntgtuletj 
^tf)e II took of fioot( maners ti^e tof)tct) teas matje ^ eom^ 
poseti II tg tt)e benetatle ^ tjgserete persone dFrere 3Jaques 
le graunt Ig || eeejDat ixi Cfteologge religgougi of tfte orbce of 
sagnt augustgn || of tfte eontient of parps . 

and ends on tenth recto of sig. J, the verso blank, 

C <^xplicit/et t)te est ftn!0/per OTaxton ^^e 

C dFfingssi&eb anb translatetJ out of frensi^e in to englBSSfte 
t1)e II bill tjag of Mm tie gere of our lorb iH Hi] OT Lriibr / 
anXi II tije first gere of tije regne of kgng fiarrfi tlje bij / Hnb 
enprgn^ IJtetJ tfte xj bag of ittage after /^e 

Itaus beo 


Jacques LegTand was an Augustin friar, and is stated by 
several writers (though upon what authority does not appear) 
to have been a native of Toledo, in Spain, confessor to Charles 
VII, and to have refused a bishopric. He is known to have 
been the author of the " Sophologium," originally written in 
Latin, and translated by himself into French for the Duke of 
Orleans, son of Charles Y. He also was the author of " Le 
livre des bonnes meurs," which he dedicated to the Duke de 

In an interesting prologue appended by Caxton to his 
English translation of this work (see Vol. I, page 186), we 
are informed that he undertook the task at the desire of Wil- 
liam Praat, a fellow mercer. The terms in which Caxton 
speaks of Praat as " an honest man " and " a singular friend 
of old knowledge," whose death-bed request it was that the 
book which had pleased and instructed his own mind should 
have greater currency among the people by means of his 
friend's new Art of Printing, prove the close amity which must 
have existed between the two Mercers. Caxton, according to 
his friend's wish, translated and printed it " for the amend- 
ment of manners and the increase of virtuous living." 

Only three copies are known — one at Cambridge, one at 
the Royal Library, Copenhagen, and one at Lambeth. 

No. 71. — Speculum Vitje Christi. Folio. '^ EmprynUd 
hy wyllyam Caxton^ Without Place or Date. Edi- 
tion A. (1487?) 

Collation.— a ictietgtifelmncipqttjs; are 4"% 
with the first leaf of sig. a blank ; t a 2^ with the fourth leaf 
blank. In aU 148 leaves, of which two are blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — Without title-page. The 
type throughout is No. 5. The lines are spaced to an even 
length, and measure 4f inches. A page has 33 lines, exclusive 
of the head lines, and one line space between. Without folios 
or catchwords. There are side notes throughout the volume, 
a rare practice with Caxton, who, however, probably followed 
his copy in this particular, as side notes ai-)pear in nearly all 


the manuscript versions. An initial, cut on wood, begins 
every chapter. 

Commencing with a blank leaf, the Text begins thus on 
sig. a ij recto : — 

C §ncipit Speculum bite aTristi . 

^ C tfie ttqi^nni^nQt of tf)e prot)emg of tt)e tooke tt)at m 
^ clepeTr tt)e mgrroure of t^e tlessgti Igf of M^m OTrpste 
tt)e fgrst parte for t1)e monetiage / C ^ iJeuoute tnetig^ 
tacion of tfte grete councegU in i)euene for tje rejstorgnge of 
man || antr f)p sauaegon . iiHapitulum primum . C^^tfjt 

At the head of sig. h ij recto, 

Me lune C $ttitta par^ ca I . 

tfome all tf)e OTourte of fteune toontirgnge anti commentipng 
tje jsioueragne togsetiome asjaentetr toel i)ere to/ tut fertijer^ 

At the head of sig. f 6 verso, 

C <lla / J^b C lit> iHercurir C Cereia paru 

parauentur tjere hjitf) a fetoe smal fpssftes tjiat oure latig 
jatr II ortiegnetr ti&eme as gotJ b)ollr/& 000 tfiertoitt) t^e 
aungeljs co^ || 

The " Speculum" ends at foot of sig. i recto, 

lorti i^tm mti fiig motier ^arg note anli euer toit^oute 
entie ame 

C ii^xplicit speculum bite Qtxi^ti . 

On the verso begins a treatise on the Sacrament of Christ's 

C ^ sftorte treatpce of tje iiBftest antj most toorttijp sarra^ 
mente || of crgstes Utm^ boig . antj tje meruepUes tjerof . 

which finishes on sig. 1 3 recto TNith the follo^nng imprint : — 


There appear to have been two, if not more, original works 
on the " Life of Christ " in the Hbraries of the fifteenth cen- 
tury. One by Father Ludolphe, or Rudolphe (Addit. 16609), 
was translated, as already noticed, into French, and thence 
into English ; but this is an entirely different work to that 
printed by Caxton. St. Bonaventure, in 1410, wrote "The 
Life of Christ" in Latin {Royal 17, D. xvii), which became 
very popular, and was translated several times into French, 
with amplifications more or less. In the early part of the 
fifteenth century Jean de Gallopes, already noticed as the 
translator of " The Pilgrimage of the Soul " (ante page 259), 
made a French prose translation of Bonaventure's Latin work 
{Royal 20, B. iv). This bears a close resemblance to the 
English text as printed by Caxton, was dedicated by Gallopes 
to Henry Y, and probably had considerable currency among 
the English, to whom Gallopes, if not an Englishman himself, 
was well known from his connection with the Duke of Bed- 
ford. The author of Caxton's English text is unknown, but 
he professes to have borrowed largely from the Latin of Bona- 

Of the "Speculum vitas Christi" two distinct editions 
Avere issued, both printed with the same types, page for page, 
line for line (with few exceptions), and nearly letter for letter. 
The typographical minutiae do not enable us with facility to 
determine which edition has the better claim to priority of 
workmanship. The greatest variations will be found in the 
head-lines, where, from sig. fe to the end of the volume, there 
is a difference in every page ; one edition (A) using the word 
ill a in the heads, while the other (B) has the full word (Eapi- 
tUlUttl, In the University Library, Cambridge, there is a 
copy of each edition. 

There is a curious transposition of pages in the copy belong- 
ing to W. E. Watkyn Wynne, Esq., proving that even so late as 
1489, the practice of printing one page at a time was retained. 
This is shown by the verso of sig. t lit j being printed on the 
recto of sig. 1 6, and vice versa. In sig. z there are several 
instances of the side notes having been blocked out in the 
printing. Pressmen call it " a bite." 


Existing Copies. — British Mnseum (2); Cambridp^e (2); 
Hunterian Museum, Glasgow; Lambeth, and six in private 
libraries. One of the copies in the British Museum is on 
vellum, and has quite a romantic history. 

No. 72. — DiRECTORiuM Sacerdotum, una cum Depensorio 


MIHI. Folio. Second Version^ First Edition. Per 
1- William Caxton apud ivesfmonesteriu. WitJwut Date. 


Collation.— Kalendar a 3°, signed \ \\ \\]\ a ll C tr e f g 
ft i fe I m n p q are 4"" ; t a 5° ; t are 4°^ In all ICO 
leaves. In the only copy known the whole of the kalendar is 
inserted between the firet and second leaves of sig. a, making 
a j appear as the first leaf in the book. 

Note. — The signature to e j is not printed. 

Typographical Particulars. — Without title-page. The 
type is all No. 5. The lines, which are fully spaced out, 
measure 4f inches. Exclusive of head-lines there are 33 to 
the page. Without folios or catchwords. A few 2-line wood- 
cut initials. 

The work conmiences with a kalendar of the months, a 
month to a page, each being headed by a Latin couplet on 
unlucky days, and a woodcut KL. 

The Text begins on sig. f recto, 

m\M \ ^^^w^3i^^^^^weit0ij{,&3s;eptimatruncatbtcngi0 

■ ^1 ^ l^anuariug ftet ^m xxx\ / luna be to xxx 

m a Sanuarij (Hircusicio lim tiup fm ix Vt 

The Text ends on sig. 1 8 verso, 

tje mict)i/illa qui preticajs rcgulas mrmoritec tenet bix pote:= 
nt errare in seruicio biuino / ©eo gta^ / 

C (JfTajrton me fieri fecit 


The, engraying, which is really on sig. a } verso, is here 
transposed, very naturally, to precede the Kalendar, which at 
first misleads one to believe that it does not belong to the 
volume. It measures 9 x 5| inches, and occupies the entire 
page, being thus described by Herbert — " In the middle part 
Christ is seen naked, half length, as at a window, with his 
arms across and his head inclined, showing the wounds on his 
hands and under the right breast ; a spear erect on the right 
and a sponge on the left ; over his head is a tablet with INRI. 
On a tablet beneath the window the title appears evidently to 
have been printed, but from this copy has been indiscreetly 
cut out. About this middle part are 28 square divisions, each 
containing some symbol of the passion, forming a kind of 
border." An engraving similar in design was used for the 
" Hora3," described at page 318 post. 

There was another edition of this work printed in 1489 
(see page 341), but the present edition, from the type being 
earlier, and from the absence of the almanac at the beginning, 
appears to have been the first. In both the Latin is printed 
with many contractions. In the various editions of " Typo- 
graphical Antiquities," the two editions being treated as one 
has led to several errors. 

The numerous and constantly varying alterations in the 
daily order of Church Service must have rendered, in all ages, 
a book of directions most necessary to all officiating priests. 
But the introduction of new Feasts and Commemorations 
would, in course of time, render any such book incorrect. 
Thus it happened that Clement Maydestone, a monk of the 
order of St. Bridget, and a priest, finding, as he tells us in his 
prologue, that one of the most important festivals in the year, 
that of Corpus Christi, with its Octave, was, according to the 
written directions, celebrated aim regimine chor% while the 
admitted and general custom of the Salisbury rule was to 
celebrate that festival sine regimine cJmi; finding also several 
necessary things omitted altogether, and a WTong disposition 
made of others, determined, by the consent of his superiors, 
to correct and supply all defects. Allien Clement Maydestone 
had thus refonned and renewed the Pica, he gave his work 


the now reoognised title of " Directorium Sacerdotum." This 

is the text as printed by Caxton. 

Clement Maydestone appears to have been the son of 
Thomas Maydestone (probably of Hounslow, Middlesex), and 
flourished in the reign of Henry V. An account of the mar- 
tyrdom of Archbishop Scroop is also ascribed to him. 

In the latter half of the fifteenth century the reformed 
Pica of Maydestone was again collated with the true " Sarum 
Ordinale," by one Clarke, a singing man of King's College, 
Cambridge, by order of the University, which at this period 
evidently followed the Salisbury use. A notice of Clarke's 
work may be seen in the prologue appended by Pynson to his 
"Directorium" of 1497. In the copy of this edition, lately 
purchased of Mr. Maskell for the British Museum, are nume- 
rous notes in the autograph of Bishop Wagstaffe, the nonjuror, 
which have supplied material for some of the above remarks. 

The only Existing Copy at present known is that in the 
King's Library, British Museum (C. 10. b. 16), which is per- 
fecty in fair condition, and measures 10^x7^ inches. On a 
fly-leaf is the autograph " W. Bayntun, Gray's Inn, bought of 
a man introduced by Doctor Nugent." This copy, which is 
catalogued by Dr. Middleton as being in the University 
Library, Cambridge, was stolen thence between 1772 and 
1778. Before 1787 it was purchased by W. Bayntun — and 
probably (though, of course, in ignorance) from the thief 

No. 73. — HoKas — ^A Fragment. Third Edition. 8vo. Sine 
ulld notd. (1488 ?) 

The Collation cannot be given, eight leaves, or the whole 
of sig. m being all that is known at present. 

Typographical Particulars. — The type is No. 5 only. 
The lines, of which there are seventeen to the page, are fully 
spaced out and in length measure 2f inches. Large full-faced 
capital letters are used. 

On sig. m \ recto the Text begins, 

laott Umxi 


The first words on the recto of each leaf is— 1, noit; 2, 
petjanc ; 3, Jaiitatlile ; 4, a MOXO -, 5 (injured); 6, woodcut ; 
7, IBomine ; 8, S tones ; the last word on the eighth verso, 

The woodcut on in 6 recto is an " Image of Pity," very 
similar in treatment to that noticed on page 316. It occupies 
only the depth of ten lines of text, and beneath, in six lines, 
is the following : — 

Co if)tm tf)at before * * * * pma 
ge ofpgte tjeuoutl^ seg ♦ b ♦ ^'r 
no«;ter/b-^upesi ^ a * * * * pg- 
teouslg tejoligng ****** of 
Xp^s passgon at graunteti * * * * 
ifE / bit , of ^ Jb / gwsi of partion 

These unique leaves, which have evidently been rescued 
from the binding of an old book, were presented, in 1858, by 
Mr. Maskell to the British Museum (C. 35. a). Measurement 
55- X 4 inches. They are in the same binding as the fragments 
of another Hor83 described at p. 328. 

No. 74. — The Royal Book or Book foe a King. Folio. 
Without Prmter's Name, Places or Date, " Translated 
out of frenssJie into englysshe hy tne wyllyam Caxton / 
whiclie translacion was fynysshed the xiij day of sep- 
tembre in the yere of our lord M / CCCG . Ixxxiiijr 
(1488 ?) 

Collation.— a iclrefQflifelmnopqtJSltare 4"% 
the first leaf of a being blank ; U a 5°, with the last leaf blank. 
In all 162 leaves, of which two are blank. 

Note. — ni \\S is wrongly signed m if ; and n ] is wrongly 
signed n Xii]. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is entirely No. 5. The lines are fully spaced out, 
and measure 4f inches, 33 forming a full page. Without 
folios or catchwords. 2-line initials in wood are used at the 
commencement of the chapters. There are six small vignette 
illustrations in wood, all of which, however, except the first. 


which appeared in the " Golden Legend," are from the " Spe- 
culum" just described, where they are suited to the text, and 
not, as here, used without any reference to fitness. 

Commencing mth a blank leaf, the prologue follows on 
a i) recto, with a 2 -line initial. 

The Text begins thus : — 

jfWJ^an W xmmtxt antj take f^tht of tf)e cmun^acm 
^^of II bs tfiat Igue in tf^m toretcijetr Igf . in b3f)icf) is no 
mxttt II nt statle abgtjgng ♦ ^nH also ti&e contgnuel besgnes 
of etterg 

The Text ends, with a full page, on sig. u 9 recto, 

^Pftelgp of dFraunce m tfte gere of ttgncarnacgon of our 
(oiti / ifa ♦ 010^ • Ixjix , $c translateti or tetiuceli out of 
frenssfie in || to englgsste bg me togUgam OTaarton . atte 
requejste of a toor^ || sftipful marcjaunt ^ mercer of lonljon . 
tofticje Ifnstauntlg re^ 

to be calleti Ugall / as tofore is sagt» . to^iefie translation or 
re=: II trucgng oute of frenssfte in to englgssfte toos artgeueti . 
fgngs II si^eti $c accomplgssftetr tje xiii tiag of ^eptemtre in 
tje gere of tftgncarnacgon of our lortr .M/ (tdtdtiS: . Ixxxiiii / 
Enlr in tf)e || seconTi gere of efie Hegne of i^gng i^gcfiartr 

In Caxton's printed epilogue (ante vol. i, page 187) we 
thus read: — "Which book is called in French "Le livre 
Royal," that is to say the royal book, or a book of a king ; for 
the Holy Scripture calleth every man a king which wisely and 
perfectly can govern and direct himself after virtue." But " Le 
li\Te Royal" was by no means the title by which Caxton's con- 
temporaries knew this work. The most common name is that 
found in Royal MS. 19 C. ii "Le livre des Vices et des 
Yertus ;" although it was sometimes entitled " La Somme de 
Roi," or " La Somme des Vices et des Vertus." By whatever 
name known it was for centuries a favourite book, as is proved 


by the numerous copies still extant. Its author is said to be 
" Frere Laurent de I'ordre des predicateurs et confesseur de 
Phillippe le Hardi " {Les Msc. Frang. t. iii, page 388), but his 
name does not appear in any of the above-mentioned manu- 
scripts of the work. Very soon after its appearance it was 
favourably received in England, where, in the year 1340, it 
was translated by a priest of Kent, for the purpose of being 
read to the people in their own dialect. This was called " The 
Ayenbite of Inwdt," and was printed from the Arundel MS. 
(No. 57) in the British Museum, in 1855, for the Roxburghe 
Club. Another and purer translation into English (Addit. 
17013) was also made in the fourteenth century. 

Existing copies — Bedfordshire General Library, British 
Museum, Cambridge (2), and four in private collections. 

No. 75. — Image of Pity. Qnurto Broadside. Sine ulld 
notd. (1489 ?). 
This is a woodcut measuring 5^x31 inches, printed on 
one side of a quarto. Like the folio woodcut described at 
page 315, and the 8vo cut described at page 318, there is a 
central figure of our Saviour upon the Cross, surrounded by 
eighteen smaU compartments, each having some reference to 
the Passion. Beneath the central figure the block has been 
cut, and the following sentence inserted in type No. 5 : — 

Co tftem ti^at before 
ti^is pmage of pgte tre 
tioutlB isage b ^t xa 
b ^ues $c a Olretio PB:= 
teuouslp fiei&oltigttfi X\)zu 
ar of Xp0 passio at 
grautelr xxxi].MM\M 
$c Ib-geres of pattJon* 

No. 76. — The Doctrinal of Sapience. Folio. '' Caxton 
me fieri feciV Without Place or Date. Translated 
May 7th, 1489. 
Collation.—^ 13 0^ IB <1[^ dF <^ ?& 3 are 4"^ 3K: and 
it 5"'. In all 92 leaves. No blanks. 



Typographical Paeticulars. — ^There is no title-page. 
The type throughout is No. 5. The lines, which are spaced 
to an even length, measure 4f inches, and there are 33 to a 
page. Without folios or catchwords. There are side-notes, 
which, however, never exceed the three letters (&XAy which 
are placed in the margin whenever an " Example " occurs in 
the Text. Two woodcuts and printed initials. 

The Text begins on sig. ^ } recto, with a 3-line initial, 

i)ij3 ti&at ij3 toriten in tf)ti8 Igtjpl bofee ougt)t tt)r prestrw 
to lerne anli ttci^t to ti)egr pargsstejs : ^nti also it is ne- 
cessatg for sgmple prestes ti)at bnlietstotie not t^r scrip 

This prologue is followed by the table, which commences 
on the bottom line of sig. H j verso, and finishes at foot of 
^ iij recto ; and on the verso, with a woodcut down the side 
of the type, and a 2-line initial (&, is the conunenocment of 
the work. 

, : (f^^erg crpsten man ^ 

I Woodcut from '^ Speculum;* tooman ougl)t to hi 

I of Jesws in the Temple. leue Utmti^ tJC XU artp^ 

cUs of tftc^ rristen fritj . 

On ^ jis another woodcut, the Crucifixion, also from the 
" Speculum." On the verso of sig. JJ if, the 64th chapter is 
thus dismissed : — 

C ®f tije neclpgences of tf)e masse anti of tt)e remcljpes 31 
pas II se ouer for it appertegnetf) to prestes ^ not to laie 
mm . <K . IxiiiF 

The Text ends on the tenth recto of sig. II, 

sotj t)W fitace graunte for to gouuerne bs in sucije topse 
anb II Igue in tt^i^^ sftort Ipf ti)at toe mag rome to ftps blgsse 
for to Ig II ue anb regne ti)ere bjgttjout enbe in secula seru^ 
lorum ^men 

C ^bus enbeti) ti)e boctrinal of sapgence tfjt tofjgebe is 
rpgi)t II btile anb prouffgtable to alle crpsten men / tobgcbe 


115 tran0lateti || oute of dFteitsfie in to engl^ssi&e tig togllBam 
iKaiton at hjestme || sster fgnggstjetJ tje . bij , tjag of mag 
tt)e gm of our lorti /M/ cm \\\xxx ix 

(ftaxton mt fitxi Utit 

On the verso is Caxton's large device. 

Remarks. — The "Manipulus Curatorum," conipiled in 
the early part of the fourteenth, was printed frequently in the 
fifteenth century. Grreswell mentions — " Savilliani anno 1470; 
Aug. Vindel 1471, Gering at Paris 1478 ;" and several times 
later. In these, as in all the early French editions, the author- 
ship is ascribed to Guy, Archbishop of Sens, who died 1409. 
This has been adopted by the compilers of the Harleian 
Catalogue (iii. 1552), and from them by all subsequent 
bibliographers. That it is, nevertheless, erroneous, appears 
from the extracts given above. In no manuscript copy is the 
authorship attributed to Guy de Roye: in fact, it was well 
known before his time, for it was " envoie k Paris," by Blanche, 
Queen of France, who died in 1 3 7 . The archbishop was, never- 
theless, the cause of its being circulated in the French language; 
for about the year 1388 he employed several doctors of divinity 
to translate it from the original Latin, and promoted its use 
by the clergy in all the parishes of his diocese. Further than 
this he appears to have had no direct connection with it. 

It was known in France under the titles of "Livre de 
Sapience" and "Doctrinal de la foy catholique," but most 
commonly as " Le Doctrinal au simples gens." 

The following remark of Mr. Douce is written in his copy 
of the " Doctrinal." " The Sermons of Yitriaco," or some other 
of his works, much quoted in " Scala Coeli," seem to have been 
used in the " Doctrinal." 

ExiSTixa Copies. — Cambridge and Oxford (2), and seven 
in private libraries. The copy at Windsor Castle is bo inte- 
resting that a special description is necessary. It is printed 
on vellum, and has a chapter on " Negligences happing in the 
Mass," which does not appear in any other known copy. The 
parchment used is very coarse, discoloured, uneven in sub- 


stance; and disflgnred with holes. Dr. Dibdin could never have 
seen it, or he would not have written in terms of admiration. 
A slip of paper at the beginning states, " This book was pre- 
sented to the Royal Library by Mr. Bryant," which was 
doubtless the reason why it was (together with the -^sop) 
retained when that splendid collection became national pro- 
perty. It is not knoTNTi how Bryant obtained it, but it is 
curious to note in these days, when every leaf of a Caxton 
represents a bank-note, how Bryant demurred at giving the 
exorbitant price of four guineas for this vellum copy, and 
then only after mature consideration Avith "old Pain," the 
celebrated bookbinder. 

The unique chapter at the end of this copy occupies three 
leaves, unsigned, and begins thus : — 

C <f^t tf)e necligeitces ijappgng in tije masse . anlJ of tfir 
teme- 1| tiges OTapitulo * Ijiiijo 

-like as toe fjaue segtr tf)at tij^s is xaeCtc especgallg 

, for tl)e sgmple peple*an^ for tje sgmple prestes . toticte 

bntierstonli not latin /tgeause tt)at je is not so suffj^ 

saut II tut ti^at somtgme (or necligenee or otjer togse l)e 

mag fagUe 

The whole of this chapter is very curious, and is occupied 
with what the officiating priest is to do — if, after the conse- 
cration of the wine, he remembers that no water had been 
mingled with it ; or finds that he has consecrated water only ; 
or remembers that he has eaten ought since midnight; or 
finds a fly, a " loppe," or a venomous beast in the chalice ; 
whether, if a small piece of meat abide in the teeth, and be 
swallowed during the celebration, it incapacitates the priest 
from singing Mass ; what is to be done when the priest lets 
fall any portion of the consecrated elements, or meets with a 
similar accident. 

On the third verso the chapter ends, 

Mnti pf tte totip of M^m cxiat 
or onj) pieee fpUe bpon tfte palle of tije aulter or bpon onp 
of t^e II besti^mrntes t^at lien tlessptj * t^e piere ougftt not 

Y 2 


to fie cutte II of on bteci)e it is fallen , tut it ougftt ri8i)t toel 
to te toa0j3f)en II ^ntj tt)e toassftfing to lie gguen to tf)e 
mpnistres for to titiuke/ 1| oi: ellps tirgnfee it ftpm self/ 
c|is eftapitte to fore f tiurst not sette in t|)e Ijofee tg cause 
it is not conuengent ne apartegngng tjat euerg lage man 
sftoltie II fenobe it ^X cetera / 

No. 77. — Speculum VriiE Christi. Folk. " Emprynted 
by tvyllyam Caxionr Without Place m^ Bate. Edi- 
tion B. (1488 ?) 

Collation the same as No. 71. 
Typographical Particulars the same as No. 71. 
Commencing ^\dth a blank leaf, the Text begins tlnis on 
sig. a if recto : — 

C 3^ncipit Speculum \\i\z (Eristi , 
^ C tf)e l)egpnn:Dnfie of tJeprofiemBe of ti)e toolte tfiat is 
)Ci clepeti t!)e mgrroureof tf)el)lesssti Igf of f ftesu (H^rpste 
tf)e fgrst parte for ti)e monetjape / C ^ tieuoute metig- 
tacion of ti^e grete councegll in i)euene for tf)e restorgnge of 
man || anb i^ps sauacpon . OTapitultim primum . C <©f tf)e 
manere || 

At the head of sig. t i j recto, 

Bie lune c ^Prima pars (fl'apitulo j 

Ijome all ti^e Otourte of j^euene toontirpnge anti commentrgnge 
tfte soueragne togsetiome assentetr toel Jere to , tut forti^er^^ 


At the head of sig. f 6 verso, 

C Bie mercurit C Cercia pars O^apitulum xb / 

parauenture tjer toitf) a feto smale f ssi)es tjat oure latrp 
l)atr II ortiegnetJ ti&enne as got» toolti . ^ soo tftertoptft tje 
aungels co? || 

The " Specnlum " ends at foot of sig. S X recto. 


1)1)0 tnotjer iHarpe noto anti euer h)jDtt)out enli ^men 
C i^xplicit speculum bite Olrwti . 

On the verso begins a treatise on the Sacrament of Christ's 

C ^ JEftorte tteatgce of tje i)gf)est anti most toortt)p sacra:: 
mtnU II of crgstes blesjaiiti botip . aitti tfte mcrutpUeg t^erof / 

which finishes on sig. 1 3 recto with the following imprint : — 

C ©mprgittcti ig togllBam caxton 

Some prayers follow, and on the verso of the same leaf the 
Text ends, 

C ft^su lorti tt)p tlcssgti Igf/i^clpe anti comforte oure 

toret II cf)iti Ipf • amen * 000 mote it tie 

(!?iplpcit speculum ^itt (txi^ti complete/ 

C 3ln omni tribulacione / temptacione * necessitate ^ an^ 

gustga II succurce nobis pijssima birgo maria Emen . 

The recto of sig. 1 4 is blank, and the verso occupied with 
Caxton's device. 

No. 78. — CoMMEMORATio Lamentationis sive Compassionis 
BEAT^ Marije in morte filii. Quurto. Without 
Narmy Place, or Date. (1491?). 

Collation. — a b C Tl are 4°", signed on the first and third 
leaves only. Altogether 32 pages. If a sheet is printed in 
4to, a signature on the first page is sufficient guide for the 
binder; and two sheets so printed, and the second inserted 
after folding inside the first, would gi^e signatures as in this 
copy, and, as in the " Servitium," No. 79, which has Caxton's 
imprint. This method, however, points to a late period of 
Caxton's career, and the date 1491 has therefore been affixed. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
Type No. 5 only. The lines are evenly spaced, and 24 to a 
full page. Without folios or catchwords. One small woodcut 
is on the first page. 

^26 WILLIAM 0AXT05. 

The Text begins on a j recto, 

OTometmiraco Eametacois sine copajisioijs hit 
Mmt i morte filtj ^ tit a^omemoraco ite ma^ 
tie pietatis br gmemoraco pietatiis q celetrart 
^(htt fecia siexta imeliiate pcetrete Vomica i passi 
one p eo (|) ipo tiie legif i eccria lie tesuseitaeoe 
la^ati etc 

The Commemoration ends on sig. b 8 verso. 

This particular Commemoration seems quite unknown to 
all bibliographers ; and of the edition printed bj Caxton, the 
only copy known is preserved in the Public Library at Ghent. 
Tt was first recognised as a Caxton by Mr. M. F. A. Gr. Camp- 
bell, chief librarian of the Koyal Library, The Hague. 

No. 79. — Servitium de Transfiguratione Jhesu Christi. 
Quarto. Caxton me fieri fecit. Without Place or Bate. 
(1491 ?). 

Collatio:n^. — Sig. a consists of a sheet folded in quarto, 
having a half-sheet inside; the first recto of the sheet is 
unsigned, but upon the first recto of the half-sheet, which is 
the third recto in the book, is the sig. a (j. Sig. t is a whole 
sheet, signed only on the first recto, t j. There are altogether 
ten leaves and no blanks. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is No. 5 only. The lines are spaced to an even 
length, and measure 3f inches. 24 lines to a full page. 
Without folios or catchwords. One small woodcut of the 
transfiguration on the first recto. The initial letter in wood, 
with many rubrics, are printed in red, not as noticed in 
" Quatre derennieres choses," by the same pull of the press, 
but by a separate operation. 

The Text begins on an unsigned leaf, in red ink, 

C (©ctauo S^9 Engusti fiat setuic' / "be tnsfigu 

The Text ends on sig. 1 4 verso, 

m tie9 . ^tt oia gcra iseculoru amen 
C iiTaiton me fieri fecit/ 


Remakks. — This little tract has considerable interest for 
the bibliographer, for although Oaxton had already printed 
several service books before this was undertaken, such as the 
two (if not three) editions of the " Horae" (pages 189 and 240 
ante\ the Psalter with Service for the Dead (page 105 anU\ 
and the "Servitium de Visitatione" (page 2G4 ante\ not 
to mention the service books for the priests, such as " The 
Festial " and the three editions of " Directoriuni," yet this can 
certainly claim a unique distinction in two particulars, for it 
is the only perfect service book in the types of Caxton, and it 
is the only one known to have his imprint. 

The observations concerning the printing of the " Horae," 
last noticed, might be repeated here. This also has every 
appearance of being a very late issue. No other book from 
the same press was signed in a similar way. The first sheet 
was evidently, like sig. f), printed four pages at once, in which 
case it would be only nepessary to sign the first page, so as to 
show the binder how to fold it. As in the first sheet the red 
ink title and the woodcut would answer that purpose we find 
no signature at all ; but the first page of the half-sheet, which 
is the third leaf in the tract, is signed a ij. This is very 
systematic, and according to the same plan the second sheet 
is signed d j on the first recto only ; but it is an advance in 
the art, beyond the usual practice of Caxton. 

This service is one of the numerous additions made to the 
" Church Calendar" in the fifteenth century, and, being newly 
ordained by the Church, would not be found in the old manu- 
script "Service Books." To supply this deficiency it was, 
therefore, printed separately. 

The only Existing Copy was purchased many years ago 
in a volume of theological tracts by Joshua Wilson, Esq., of 
Tunbridge Wells. When, in 1831, Mr. Wilson presented a 
large portion of his collection to the Congregational Library, 
Blomfield Street, London, this volume was among the number. 
Here it was first noticed, in 1800, as containing a Caxton, by 
Mr. Cowper, who sent an account of the volume to Nctes and 
Queries. It was determined shortly after to dispose of it, and, 
in Julv 18t)2, it came under the hammer of Mr. Puttick, 


when it fetched the high price of £200, and added another 
curiosity to the Caxtonian treasures of the British Museum. 
The volume is in its original binding, somewhat dilapidated, 
of oak boards covered with stamped leather, and contains 
besides four other black-letter tracts. 

No. 80. — HoR^ — A Fragment. Fourth Ediiion. Svo. Sine 
ummtd. (1490?)., 

The Collation cannot be given, as four leaves only, 
signed tl J, tl tj, t lij, t» Hi), are known. 

Typographical Particulars. — The type is No. 5 only. 
The lines, of which there are seventeen to a page, are folly 
spaced out, and measure 2f inches. Large full-faced Lom- 
bardic capitals are plentifully used, and printed in red ink 
separately, as are also such words as Psalmus and Versich. 
This points to quite a late production in the career of Caxton, 
probably after he had resigned the management of the practi- 
cal part to his successor, Wynken de Worde. 

The Text of sig. "tf j recto begins thus, with a 2-line capital 
<© in red ink. 


i^loriosa femina txtU 
' la p'rper siitiera qui te cte^ 
auit prouitre lactajsti satto btere 

The first words on the succeeding recto are — 2, tUttl lite- 
rati; 3, trominum; 4, Beus. 

These unique leaves, which have evidently been used as 
binder's waste to form the covers of a book, were presented to 
the British Museum, in 1858, by Mr, Maskell (C. 35. A.). 
Measurement 5^ X 4 inches. 




TYPE No. 6. 



81. Fayts 

82. Statutes . 

83. Governal 

84. Keynard. Second Edition 

85. Blanchardyn 

86. Four Sons of Aymon 

87. Directorium Sacerdotum 
. 88. Eneydos . 

89. Dictes. Third Edition 

90. Mirror. Second Edition 

91. Divers Ghostly 

92. Fifteen Oes 

93. Art and Craft 

94. Courtesy. Second Edition . 

95. Festial. Second Edition 

96. Four Sermons. Second Edition 

97. Ars moriendi 
., 98. Chastising 

99. Treatise of Love 





1489 ? 









1491 ? 

1491 ? 



1491 ? 

1491 ? 


No. 81. — The Fayts of Aems and of Chivalry. Folio. 
** Fer Gaxtony Without Place. Printed the lAth day 
of July, the fourth year of the reign of K. Henry VII., 
or 1489. 

Collation. — Two unsigned leaves of table ; ^ 18 (E 10 
<^dF<&mS^^Mm<B^QkM'^^ 4-; S> a 3", with 
the last leaf blank. In all 144 leaves, of which one is blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The whole book is in one type only, No. 6. The lines, which 
are fiilly spaced out, measure 4| inches, and there are 31 to a 
full page. Without folios or catchwords. Woodcut initial 

The Text begins, with a 3-line initial, 

^|i ^tc begpnneti) tt)e table of tt)e rubrpsi^ps of tte 
^|« toke of tf)e fagt of armeg antj of (Kftpualrpe tofticfte 

gagli hokt 133 tiepartj)ti in to foure parties / 
C ^t^ ^Pt£(t pactge tieupset^ tt)e manece tt)at kgnges aniy 

On sig. ^ J recto, 

J^ete begpttnetf) tf)e took of fapttes of armes ^ of <!rf)puaU 
rge/ antj tf)e first cfiapBtce is tfje prologue/ in tojicje xprg^ 
stgne of pgge excusetlj tir self to ijaue tiar enterprise to 
spe&e II of so t)6e matere as is eontegnet in tf)is sagli took 

The Text ends on the verso of the same leaf, 

remagne alletoag bgetorgous / Untr tiagl^ enereaee fro ber 
tu to bertne $c fro better to better to i)is laube $c honour in 
tt)is II present l^f / tt)at after tt)BS sftort ^^ transitorge Igf / 
i)e mag at=||tegne to euerlastpng Igf in i^tntn / Wif^it^c 
gob graunte to || i)gm anb to alle bgs Igege peple ^M^B^/ 

ler OTajton 


Remaeks. — There is a MS. in the British Museum {Roy, 
1 5 E vi) containing the original French text of Christine de 
Pisan. It agi'ees very accurately with Caxton's English ver- 
sion, and has the introductory chapter, in which Christine 
excuses herself, and explains her reasons for writing a work 
on chivalry. This manuscript is also interesting from having 
been A\Titten for the celebrated John Talbot, Earl of Shrews- 
bury, who died in 1453, and by whom it was presented to 
Queen Margaret. A still greater degree of interest would 
invest the volume if we suppose it to be the identical manu- 
script from which Caxton made his translation. This is cer^ 
tainly not improbable, as the original from the Royal Library 
was entrusted to our printer, for the purpose of translation 
and printing, by King Henry YII of England, as we learn 
fi'om the prologue: — "which book, being in French, was 
delivered to me, Wilham Caxton, by the most christian king, 
my natural sovereign lord, King Henry VII, in his Palace of 
Westminster, and desired me to translate this said book, and 
to put it in print." 

Many French bibliogTaphers {Les Msc. Franc, t. v, page 
94), ascribe the composition of " Faits d'Armes et de Cheva- 
lerie " to Jean le Meun, so well known from his connection 
with " Le Roman de le Rose." The sole reason for this 
appears to have been the fact that Jean le Meun translated 
into French the celebrated work of Yegetius "De re militari," 
written in 1284, a work often quoted in the " Faits d'Armes ;" 
but since the writings of Christine have become better known, 
no one has ventured to claim for the thirteenth, a work con- 
taining references and facts applicable only to the fifteenth 
century. That a book on the " Rules of War " should in any 
age have been written by a woman, is sufficiently improbable 
to require a critical examination ; and, therefore, as the claims 
of Christine to the authorship of " Les Faits d'Armes " are still 
denied by some -wTiters, it may not be inappropriate to state 
both sides of the argument. 

Among the manuscripts in the British Museum is one 
entitled "The Boke of Noblesse" {Royal 18, B. xxii). This, 
for the first time, was printed in 18G0, for the members of 


the Roxburghe Club. The author is entirely unknown, and 

the only reason for mentioning this at all is that the name of 
Christine frequently appears in its pages as an authority upon 
military matters, but is always referred to as " Dame Cristyn 
in hir booke of Tree of Batailes," or some military phrase. 
But " L'Arbre des Battailes " is the well-known compilation 
of Honore Bonet, of which copies may be seen in Eoyal 20 C. 
VIII, and Addit. 22768. Now, what is the natural conclusion 
from this erroneous ascription ? Evidently that the imknown 
writer of the " Book of Noblesse," quoting probably from a 
copy of " L'Arbre des Battailes," which had neither prologue 
nor epilogue; and having in his mind the great fame of 
Christine as the Avriter of a book on a similar subject, made 
the not unpardonable mistake of misquoting the author's 
name, and attributing to Christine, the compiler of "Les 
Faits d'Armes," all the quotations drawn from Bonet's 
"L'Arbre de Battailes." Not so, argues Mr. John Gough 
Nichols, in his interesting preface to the Roxburghe impres- 
sion. " Christina de Pisan," he urges, " was a Poetess ;" and 
it is not likely that she had more to do with the "Faits 
d'Ai'mes" than the "dame Christine" of "The Book of No- 
blesse" had with the "Arbre des Battailes." In support of 
this opinion is quoted a marginal note in "The Boke of 
Noblesse," in an old hand-\\Titing, but more modem than the 
original manuscript, to the following effect : — 

" L'Arbre des Battailles compose par Honore Banet Prwur de 
Sallon en Prouuence.'* 

" Note y* in some Authors this Booke is termed Dame Christine of y« 
tree of Battayles. not that she made yt ; But bicause she was a notable 
Benefactour to Learned men and perchance to y^ autor of this Booke 
And therefore diverse of them sette fnrthe their Bookes under her 

The author of this note was evidently unacquainted vrith 
the particulars of the life, or the character of the T\Titings, of 
Christine — the " virilis foemina" of her eminent contemporary, 
Grerson — and "La grant sagesse" of her editor, Jean Marot. 
The assertion that authors set forth their books under her 
name is unsupported by a single kno^^-n instance ; while her 


early tuition, political life, and numerous writings, would both 
enable and incline her to compose such a work. 

Christine expressly states in the preface that she wrote 
the work; and although Yerard, in his printed edition of 
1488, omits the prefatory address, it appears in numerous 
manuscripts, and may be read in Caxton's translation. " Be- 
cause," says Christine, "men of arms are not clerks, nor 
instructed in the science of language, I have assembled and 
gathered together diverse books to produce this w^ork. And 
because that this is a thing not accustomed and out of usage 
to women / which commonly do not intermit but to spin on 
the distaif and occupy them in things of household. I suppli- 
cate humbly * * to have nor take it for no evil if I a woman 
charge myself to treat of so high a matter." 

No one doubts that Dame Juliana Berners wrote the well- 
known "Treatise on Hunting and Hawking," and the evi- 
dence that Christine de Pisan wrote "The Fayts of Arms" is 
equally strong. 

Christine was no common poetess whose strength was in 
the prettiness of her amatory verses. The short account of 
her already given (see ante page 193), will show the energetic 
and comprehensive character of her mind. Educated by her 
Mher in the whole course of literature at that time in vogue, 
she had, while yet young, made herself mistress of the Latin 
language, and stored her mind by the perusal of the most 
celebrated wTitings, as well Pagan as Christian. Living in 
the midst of wars and preparations for war, many of her 
acknowledged \\Ti tings teem with warlike allusions. In poli- 
tics her opinion had great weight ; she was consulted by the 
highest nobles of France ; and many years of her life were 
spent in the endeavour to raise the political and moral tone of 
the country. The celebrated Jean le Meun found in her no 
weak opponent, and the equally celebrated Chancellor Gerson 
a most potent ally. 

There are 21 copies of this w^ork known, of which eleven 
are in private libraries. 


No. 82. — Statutes of Henry VII. Folio. Sine ulld rwi^. 

Collation. — a ft c tl are 4"", with the first leaf of a blank ; 
e a 5°, with the last blank. Total 42 leaves, of which two are 

Note. — ^The signature is omitted on a ij. The third and 
fifth leaves of e are erroneously signed tJ \\\ and lr b. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is all No. 6. The lines, which are spaced to an even 
length, measure 4f inches, and there are 31 (in three instances 
83 lines) to a full page. Without folios or catchwords. Only 
one 2-line woodcut initial is used. 

After a blank leaf, the work commences on the second 
recto of sig. a. 

The Text begins thus — 

C ^¥ Itpnge out sotierepn lorTreJenrg tje geuentl) after tfir 
conquest ftp t^e grace of got» fegng of (iff ngloittj $c of dTra- 
unce antj lorTie of ^Itlontie at i)(0 parlgamet ftoltien at \Qt%U 

/The Text ends on sig. e9 verso, the whole page being as 
follows— j?.:jfr 

plegsure/^l^i^cljer fte toplle after tf)e fourme contepnrti $c 
ortiei II netj in anti ftg ^i% arte /or after tje maner ^ fourme 
afore till me bsetr/ 

Remarks. — This is the earliest known volume of printed 
statutes, and is further remarkable as being in English. It 
contains some very curious and interesting legislation on 
political, trade, and domestic matters. 

The British Museum copy was purchased from Mr. Lilly, 
who, a few days before, had bought it at Hodgson's for £2 lOs. 
It was then bound up with some other law tracts and year- 
books, mostly from the press of Machlinia, one of which, 
being unique, was catalogued by Mr. Lilly at 100 guineas. 
There is also a perfect copy in the National Library, Paris, 
and the Inner Temple, London, with one copy only in private 


No. 83. — The Governal of Health. — ^The Medicina 
Stomachi. Quarto. Sim ulld notd. (1489 ?). 

Collation.— The " Governal," a and ig 4"« ; the " Medi- 
cina," two unsigned leaves = eighteen leaves. 

Typo(31RAPhical Particulars. — Without title-page. Only 
one type, No. 6, is used throughout. The lines, which are of 
an even length, and measure 2f inches, excepting 13 7 verso, 
which has 24, have all 23 hues to a page. Wood-cut initials 
to chapters. Without folios or catchwords. 

The Text begins on sig. ^ j recto, 

n tf)is tretgee tjat is clepeli (^o 

^M • uemaple of t^ltje : ^IHftat is to 

tlw ie sa^tj bjgtf) crsstis ijeipe of so- 

g JK^ me tijgnges tf)at longen to totri 

Ig i)elti)e/i&atitre antJ to ie Itept or 
to fiotrilg i)eltf)e . lost aitb to te recouecetj / antr 

and ends, 

W^\% lecegte f)oug!)te is of no potgcatjDC 
<©f mapster antonp ne of magster fitigfje 
Co all intJgffetent it is tgci^est tigetarge 

iil^xplicit metjicina stomactii : 

Remarks. — The "Governal" was originally written in 
Latin, and soon after translated into English, but no trace 
of the translator's name is left. The date of the original 
composition is unknown ; we can only gather from the non- 
existence of manuscripts of a later date than the latter half 
of the fourteenth century that it was composed about that 

The name of the author or compiler is doubtful. From 
Sham 989 one would say that John de Burdeux wrote it for 
the good of a "frende," but Shans 3149 attributes it to 
another ^vriter, "Explicit tractatus Bartholomei." John de 
Burdeux was the author of several tracts on medicine, and 
flourished in the latter half of the fourteenth century. Bar- 
tholomeus was rather a prolific writer of the fourteenth and 


Plate XIII. 

Cu/xlon'9 Type, No. (l 

umtayte of ^li^e: 'tSDl»< t« fe 
ft rap^ tbytlb «pr^« ^i»x of joJ 
me t$i?n^cci t^fit £bnge») fo &^ 
^ I]^ ^It^c/^^ an^ to & Sept 01 
to fo^tlp ^It^c .^f< «n?> fo fe tt«cmnt/an^ 
16 «fpatee^ ti) Stij.c^py<ttte6/<^a< t« fc faj* 
% <^e f j>if<€ c^apgitse of (^ pt»fj)<& of goo5e 
<Oou«rnap& of UWv ^ i^.diapptee Ib^a* 
10 ftjft ot) mototb fo fe ^/3») %« 
of 6>i>plp cjomrpce/ t^«(i« fo fajje. ^ffme g 

^16 ptofpfe/ 3l) (^ f)ttZ<t> c^jipptw of fpj>«« 

of tiocafvx/i) % fpf t^c c^apigtrc ^tt) ami 

3i) dbc ^j.c^pitzc ^Ito a ma») r()w^ b^ue %|ti) 
ti) Mrgn^im^ of ^te M:))n^e6/3t) i^ Sti.c^ap 
R<a tbW f fe fe »ne af<K2 mcfe/3») t^ St^ 
cl^PI^ of atft nof fc of $tti>n gouetnfttince 

*Tr* '€ mtj>($ f;pn) d^at tbotl ^m fetwjc 
•^ Ipff tf> finotbc t^ ctaf «c of ^Ifome goj 
iTCtnep^. Qtn^ fo for to 6cpc (onipnmttpl^ 
W*of ^66c)^{'/fbtck(SimaBeno(o9info 


fifteenth centuries, but the " Govemal " is not found among 
the works generally attributed to him. Whoever may have 
been the author, tlie work possesses small claims to originality, 
being a compilation from the medical works of the Arabian 
and Greek physicians, and quoting largely from the " Regimen 
Sanitatis Salernitauum." The "Medicina Stomachi" is con- 
tained in most collections of Lydgate's poetry, and in Harl. 
IK) is directly attributed to him. 

Both tracts were reprinted by Wynken de "Worde, sine ] (/ 
annOy who repeats all the blunders of the first edition. These ' 
editions are equally rare, the only copy of the second being in 
the Public Library, Cambridge. An annotated reprint of 
Caxton's text was issued privately by the editor of this work 
in 1858. On no other occasion does this interesting treatise, 
which was the earliest medical book printed in the English 
language, appear to have passed through the press. 

A good copy is in the old library of the Earls of Dysart, 
at Ham House, Surrey, and another in the Bodleian. 

No. 84. — The History of Keynard the Fox. Second 
Editmi. Folio. Sim ulld notu. (1489?) 

Collation. — An unsigned sheet of introductory matter ; 
sigs. a i) C "tJ e f 3 t) are 4°* ; i is a 3°. No blank leaves. In 
aU seventy leaves. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type throughout is No. 6. The hues, which are fully 
spaced out, measure 5f inches, and there are 31 (sometimes 
32) to a page. Woodcut initials are used. On the first 
recto is Caxton's device, underneath which is the following 
line only : — 

C C^iies is tf)e tatle of tf)e ttjs^torge of l^epnart tje foie/ 

On the verso commences the table, which ends seven lines 
down the second recto, underneath which is, 

C iftger beggnnct^ testorpc of regnarti tje foxe . 

The preface finishes the page. The second verso is blank. 




Onsig. aj, 

C ?&oto tije Igon ttgnge of aUe tiestgjci sent oute legist 
mautje || mentgis tftat alle teestgs sjoltre come to i)gs feegt 
anti court/ 

C iS'apitulo ^timo 

The conclusion of the text cannot be given, no perfect 
copy being at present known. For an account of the first 
edition of this celebrated allegory see ante page 227. 

The only Existing Copy is in the Pepysian Library, 
Cambridge. It unfortunately wants the last two leaves, con- 
taining the epilogue of Caxton, and ends on sig. ( 4 verso, 
with these words, 

^xCti f)er togtt) toil ^ leue forb) 
fjat ijaue 3? to totgte of ti^gse rngstietiiiE; 3> |aue pnotoi) to troo 

It is in good condition, but cropped, measuring 9 x 6| inches. 
Pepys's arms on the binding, and his book-plate inside. The 
wanting leaves are supplied in manuscript of seventeenth 

No. 85. — The History of Blanchardin and Eglantine. 
Folio. Sim ulld notd. (1489 ?) 

Collation. — Imperfectly known. The introductory matter 
makes a 3", signed i, tt, tif, the sixth leaf being blank. ^'^ (ft 
B(&JF^MS^^MaTe 4"% and there were probably 
several other additional signatures. 

Typographical Particulars. — "Without title. The type 
is all No. 6. The lines, which are all of one length, measure 
4f inches, and there are 31 to a full page. Woodcut initials. 
Without folios or catchwords. 

The Text begins on sig. j recto, with a prologue by Caxton, 

Wt^to ti)e rigftt nolile pugssaut ^ excellet prgncejsiiBie mg 

retioutteli latig mg latjg margarete liucftesge of So^ 

mercete/motier bnto our naturel ^ soueragn lorti anti mojit 

and finishes on the verso of the same leaf, 

3fope0 ^mx^ in ti^gs present Igff : C ^nti after tjw sj^ort 
antr transptorpe Ipff . etierlaststige Igf in i)euen ^xatn/ 


The table follows on sig. ij, with a 2-lme initial, 
^iSlanctartigtt / uone of tfie mtlt Itgng of dFrpge 

and finishes on the 5th recto, which, however, in the only copy 
known, is unfortunately, in manuscript. This appears to have 
been copied from the very rare reprint by Wynken de Worde, 
the last four lines being — " How Blanchardin wedded his love 
the proude | pncelle in amours : And of the grete ioye that | 
was made there . and of the Kynge of Fryse deth capl° liiij** " 

The sixth leaf is blank. On sig. H f recto the first chapter 
commences as follows : — 

C Cft^ first cjapitre of ^i^ present hokt contegnetj t)oto 
ISlancftaclKgn tiepartetj out of tj)e court of i)is fatier kpnge 
of frpse / OTapitulo primo . 

^Jgat tpme toi&en tt)e i^igi)t fiappg . toele of 

All the text after sig. JH Hi} is wanting in the only known 

Remakes. — The prologue to Caxton's translation of this 
romance is fortunately preserved, from which we learn that 
Margaret, Duchess of Somerset, brought to Caxton the French 
version of this romance (which she had "long before" pur- 
chased of him), with her commands that he should translate 
it into English. Having made the translation, he presented 
it to Her Grace, probably as a manuscript, as he says nothing 
of any command to print it. It was, however, soon after put 
to press, perhaps at Caxton's own risk, as a trade speculation. 
As to the date, there are only the typographical particulars to 
guide us, which, however, all point to about the year 1489. 

The only known Existing Copy is in the library of Earl 
Spencer. It is, unfortunately, imperfect. 

No. 86.— The Four Sons op Aymon. Folio, Sine uUd notd, 


The Collation cannot be given accurately, as no perfect 
copy is known. M^(tm(!^dr^V^S^^MB'^ 



1 <©i^S C mx 8 % aa t)fi re tjtJ ee ii gg !)fi u Hit II are 

all 4"^, mm being a 3^ with the sixth leaf, probably, blank. 
This makes a total of 278 leaves ; but it is more than likely 
that some introductory matter preceded sig. ^. 

Typographical Particulars. — Only one type, No. 6, 
is used. The lines, which are all of an even length, measure 
4f inches, and there are 31 to a full page. Without folios or 
catchwords. Woodcut initials throughout. 

The only known copy of this edition begins on sig. IS \\), 
in the middle of a sentence, 

ilepnatotie one of tf)e sones of Egmon/bSerof jspecgallg tre 

The Text ends on the fifth verso of sig, mm, with the fol- 
lowing sentence : — 

\yi fapr lottjes tiienne tl)at tjis present toke sj^al re^ 
tie or ftere . toe sjall praj)e gotr $c tje glorious jsapnte 
Megnaube tje marter/tjat |e ggue bs graee to penseuere/ 
antj II rontgnue our liff in gooti lierfees . tg tf)e iDt)ief)e toe 
mag f)a || ue at our entignge ti)e lif tf)at euer si)aU laste/ 

Remarks. — Manuscripts of this favourite romance, con- 
cerning the original of which little appears to be known, 
mount up to the thirteenth century, and references to it are 
found in manuscripts of a still earlier date ; but all these are 
rytlmiical romances, and Caxton's translation (if we may give 
him the credit of it) was evidently made from a French prose 
text, perhaps that printed at Lyons, about 1480, under the 
title " Les quatre filz Aymon." 

Before the discovery of the volume under review, the 
earliest printed English text of "The four sons of Aymon" 
was the 1554 edition of R. Copland, to which was appended 
the following colophon : — 

*' €[ Here finishith the hystory of the | noble and valiaunt knyght 
Reynawde | of Mountawban, and his three bre- | thern ^ Imprinted at 
London, by | Wynken de Worde, the . viij. daye of | Maye, and ye yere of 


our lorde . M ,C | CCCC iiii . at the request and com- | maandement of 
the noble and puis- | saunt eric, the Erie of Oxenforde, | And now 
Emprinted in the yere of | our Lord . M . CCCCC . 1 iiii . the | vi daye of 
Maye, By wylliam Cop- | land, for Thomas Petet." 

From Copland's colophon we learn that an edition was 
issued in 1504 by Wynken de Worde, although, unfortunately, 
not a single copy is now known to exist. He, of course, re- 
printed fi'om the text under review; and, indeed, the first 
portion of the colophon above quoted, so far as it concerns 
Wynken de Worde, is quite in Caxton's style, and recalls the 
numerous instances already noticed, in which Wynken de 
Worde, by altering the printer's name and the date, has falsi- 
fied both typographical and historical truth. That in this 
case he used Caxton's colophon, with alterations, is rendered 
almost certain when the prologue to Copland's edition is 
])erused. Here we have all the peculiarities of our first 
printer's style, and his very diction. 

No manuscript or printed copy of Caxton's life of Robert, 
Earl of Oxford, is kno\\ii. 

The only known Existing Copy of Caxton's edition is in 
the library of Earl Spencer. It is imperfect, wanting all 
before sig. i3lif ; B 8, and ^ 8. 

No. 87. — DiRECTORiUM Sacerdotum, una cum Defensorio 


Folio. Second Version. Second Edition. " Im2)rps- 

stim per Wilkhnu Cuxton apud westinoimsteriu prope 

London r' WUhyut Date. (1489?) 

Collation. — A preliminary 4", signed only on the fourth 

recto with the figure 4; atctiefgftililmnopqirst 

U X B are all 4"*; ^ is a 5". Total 194 leaves. No blanks. 

TYPOGRAPHiCAii PARTICULARS. — There is no title-page. 
The type is all No. 6. The lines, which are spaced to an even 
length, measure 4f inches. Exclusive of head-lines there are 
31 to a page. A few 2-line woodcut initials. Without folios 
or catchwords. 

The " Kalendar," which has the same woodcut KL as in 
the first edition, commences on the first recto, thus :- — 



^xima Xim mtnm et septima tiucat bt mm 
Smmxm Jabet tJies nrt/luna bero xxx 

The Text ends on sig. ^10 verso, 

bix poterit etcare : in seruicio tJtuino Beo (^raciajf 
C Olaxton me Htxi fecit . 

Remarks. — From the fact of the Printer beginning his 
table for finding the Golden and Dominical Letters at the 
year 1489, we may safely assume that year to be the date of 
printing, as to print back years would be useless. The com- 
bination of red and black figures, the black form being first 
printed, and the red form secondly and separately, shows a 
great advance in workmanship over other books by Caxton. 

Like the first edition there is only one Existing Copy 
known of this, which is in the Bodleian Library. It is, with 
" The Art and Craft to know well to die " by the same printer, 
still in the original parchment wrapper, as issued from Caxton's 
workshop. It is perfect, and in good condition. 

No. 88. — Eneydos. Folio. Without Printer's Name, Place, 
or Date. " Translated hj me ivyllyam Caxton,'' June 
22nd, 1490. 

Collation. — Sig. E a 3", with the first leaf blank ; iS (^ 
BiBdFi^JSSJltll are 4°% with U 8 blank. In all 86 
leaves, of which two are blank. 

Dr. Dibdin erroneously ascribes only four leaves to sig. ^. 

Note. — Sig. a is very irregular : the first leaf, which is 
blank, is not reckoned in the signatures, the second and third 
leaves being signed respectively ^ j, and ^ tj. The fourth 
leaf, which, to agi-ee with the othei-s, should have been signed 
^ ii\, has no- signature at all ; while the omitted signature, 
^ Hi, appears on the sixth or last leaf of the 3". 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is all No. 6. The lines are spaced to an even length. 


and measure 4 J inches. There are 81 lines to a fdll page. 
Woodcut initials of two, three, and six lines in depth. 

After a blank leaf the prologue begins on the second recto, 
signed E j, 

after tiguergf toerltes watic / translateti anlr aci)ieuetj / i)a 
upng itoo tocrlte in ftantie . § sitting in mg stutipe tojere a0 
lage mang tiguerse pauntlettig antj toofegs ♦ fiappeneti tftat 

The Text ends on sig. H 7 recto, with the follo^ving 
colophon : — 

lfl^(^^(& fpnpsfietf) tje tolte pf (i^nrgtios / comppleTi bg 
®St^ II fiPl^/ tofttcje Jatje fie translatetr oute of latgite in to 
fcensje/ II ^nti oute of frensje xthuctti in to (il^nglpssfie fig 
me bjpUm || (Kaxton /tje iiir,1ia]ee of Su^n.if^t pere of out 
lorte.iE.iiiJIIOIlxxii. Cftefgtfie pete of tje i^egne of 
ftpnge JS^tp || tfte jfeuentft 

Caxton's device on the verso. The eighth leaf is a blank. 

Remaeks. — The " lytyl booke in frenshe, named Eneydos," 
which happened to come under our Printer's notice while sit- 
ting in his study surrounded with many divers pamphlets, is 
a free paraphrase of portions of " The -^neid," by Virgil. 
Had Gawin Douglas, who, in 1553, issued a Scotch metrical 
version of " The ^neid," read Caxton's preface, he would 
have seen that Caxton does not pretend to give a translation 
of the Latin poem, and might have spared himself the trouble 
of some hundreds of lines in abuse thereof. The " Eneydos " 
was issued only as a romance compiled from Virgil's "-ffineid" 
and Bocace's " Fall of Princes ;" and, with little merit, it 
seems to have gained little favour, even with the lovers of 
such compilations, for it never reached a second edition. It 
would appear, however, that a good sale was expected, and an 
impression more numerous than usual struck off, as few of 
Caxton's books are so common as " Eneydos." 

Existing Copies. — British Museum (8); Cambridge; 
Trinity CoUege, Cambridge ; Oxford (3) ; St. John's, Oxford ; 
Hunterian, Glasgow ; and 8 in private libraries. 


No. 89. — The Dictes and Sayings op the Philosophees. 
Third Edition. Folio. Westminster. The year 1477 
erroneously reprinted, the real date beiny about 1490. 

Collation. — The device and prologue occupy two un- 
signed leaves; then, ^ iS ^ B dr Jf (^ me 4"^ J^ and g 

3"% the sixth leaf of ^f being blank. In all 70 leaves, of which 
the last is blank. Dr. Dibdin erroneously states " It contains 
only 66 leaves." 

There is no title-page. The only tjipe used is No. 6. The 
lines which are fully spaced out measure 4f inches. There 
are 30 and 32 lines to a page, but mostly 31. Without folios 
or catchwords. 2 and 3-line woodcut initials. 

Oaxton's device is in the centre of the first recto, the pro- 
logue commencing on the verso with a 2 -line wood initial, 

201J J^ere it is so tfjat euerg creature tjg tf)e suf rannee of 
^SKtlour lorti gotr is torn antr ortiegneti to tt stitgette antr 
tftrall bttto tf)e stormes of fortune , Enti so in tJiuerse mti 

^tiect)ias toas ti^e ftrst. Uilosopfiir t^ tof)om 
)tf)rougft tf)e bgl antj pleaser of our lorti gotr, Sa^ 
pience teas bntierstantie antr laloes rescegueti. to})i=: 
eje. Setiecftias saitie ti)at euerp creature of gootr teleue 

The Text ends at foot of fifth recto of sig. ^f? 

5Mi)om § tesecfte aimpg^tp gotf tencrece anti to continue 
in t)is bertuous tiisposicion m tf)is toorlti , Entr after t^is 
Igf to Ipue euer lastingly in i)eueit . ilmen , 

C (iTaxton me fieri fecit ♦ 

The verso and final leaf are blank. 

Remarks. — This is another instance of the original date 
and imprint of a book being reproduced in subsequent 
editions. AU* the typographical particulars prove it to have 
been about 1490; and the presence of signatures, printed 
initials, and evenly spaced lines, give direct testimony against 
the date 1477, at which time none of these had been adopted 
at Westminster. 


For literary particulars, see the first edition, page 186, ants. 
Existing Copies. — Cambridge : St. John's College, Cam- 
bridge; Oxford, and Lambeth Palace. Three copies are in 
private libraries. 

No. 90. — The Mirrour of the World. Second Edition. 
Folio. The Name, Places and Date of the First Edition 
reprinfsd; but about 14:dO. 

Collation. — a !lcTjefgi)ifelare 4°', the last leaf 
occupied with the device only. In all 88 leaves. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is all No. 6. The lines, Avhich are spaced to an even 
length, measure 4f inches, and a full page contains 31. With- 
out folios or catchwords. 2 and 8-line initials in wood. 

Commencing with a blank leaf, the table follows on the 
second recto, signed, however, a j. 

The Text begins on a t recto, 

^ U bolume nameli t^e msi;rour of tie tooclti or tig- 
mage of ti)c game/ 

The Text ends on the seventh verso of sig. I, 

aitlr transptorge Ipf fte trpnge Jgrn anti bs in to ftw celestg^ 
al tlfisse in teuene ^M^^ / 

C iHTaxton me fieri feeit . 

On the eighth verso is the device, the recto being blank. 

Remarks. — Although this book bears the same dates as 
the first edition, it is very e\ident from the type, from the 
device, from the use of a woodcut to head Chapter II, which 
had been used shortly before in the " Royal Book," and from 
many other more minute e\'idences, that it really was not 
printed till about 1490. 

It would seem that the proper cut for Chapter II, viz. a 
figure of a philosopher with the globe in his hand, having 
been injured or lost, that the workman chose the first which 
offered itself, and thus, in this edition, we have the very 


inappropriate illustration of Christ's transfiguration, as head 
to the chapter, " Why God made and created tlie World." 

Existing Copies. — Cambridge: Pepysian, Cambridge; 
Exeter College, Oxford ; Hunterian, Glasgow; Baptist College, 
Bristol ; and seven in private hands. 

No. 91. — A Book of divers Ghostly matters, contain- 
ing : — The Seven points of true Love and ever- 
lasting Wisdom, or Orologifm Sapienti^: The 
Twelve profits of Tribulation ; — The Rule of 
St. Benet. Quarto. Wyllelmu Caxton. ^^ Emprynted 
westmynstrer Without Date. (1490?) 

Collation. — The " Seven points of True Wisdom " has 
aigarBa^dFigJl^fi^lliEaU 4-, or 96 leaves. 

The " Twelve profits of Tribulation" has E 13 (S: IB all 
4"', or 32 leaves. 

The " Rule of St. Benet " has a f) 4'" and c a 2", or 20 

Total of the three tracts, 148 leaves, all printed. 

Note. — The signatures to the third tract are unusual, viz. 

a is signed aa, a ij, aa iij, a iiif; ft is signed jbt) i i\, t ii\, 

t tiij; C is signed CC, t If. 

Typographical Particulars. — Without title-page. The 
type throughout is No. 6. The lines, which are spaced to an 
even length, measure 3f inches, and 24 make a full page. 
Without folios or catchwords. 

The Text of " The Seven points of True Wisdom " begin 
on sig. E j: — 

\^ of gf %t\xtxi pogntes of tretoe lone antr 
euerlastgng b)g0t»om tiratoen oute of 
ge jbookc gt ig totiten in latgn anti clepeti <!^ro^ 
logium sapiertcie / 

The tract ends thus, on sig. jfE 8 verso, 

C Ci)U0 entiitf) tt)e trcatgsf of tj^e bil 
popntps of true louc ^ euerlastjng bjgstiom / 


tiratomof of tlje boketfjat tstorpten inlatenna 
mctn (©rologiu jsapiecie . 

C iJrmprgntelr at toestmpnstre 

C <Qui legit rmenljet / presjsjorem non repre 

C HftfiUelmu OTajton . OTui tir' alta tratiat 

The " Rule of St. Bcnet " ends on verso of sig. C 4, 

C (if^mprgntelj at toeistrnpstce bg tjesirsng 
of certcgn tDor0t)ipfuU perjsones : , 

Remarks. — Little is known of Jelian de Soushavie, or 
Souaube, as a French copy has it. Bibliographers generally 
call him Henry de Suso, probably after the example of Echard, 
in his " Script, ordin. Prasdicat." The English version printed 
by Caxton is correctly described, not as a translation, but as 
" drawen oute of" a book named " Orologium Sapientiae." Tlie 
printed text is not equal in extent to one-half of the original. 
Was it this induced Caxton to end the tract with " Qui legit 
emendet, pressorem nor reprehendat ?" — a parody of the phrase 
often seen in manuscrijits " Qui legit emendet scriptorpm non 
reprehendat." Caxton says of the " Rule of St. Benet," which 
is a translation irom the Latin, that he was employed to print 
it " by desire of certain worshipful persons." 

The signatures given by the Printer to these three tracts 
suggest the probability that they were intended to l)e issued 
separately : but as in all the known copies they appear bound 
together, and as they have hitherto been described under the 
general head of " Divers Ghostly matters," it has been deemed 
advisable to retain that arrangement. 

Existing Copies. — Cambridge, Durham Cathedral ; and 
four in private libraries. 


No. 92. — The Fifteen Oeb, and other Prayers. Quarto. 
Printed ly commandment of the Princess Elizabeth, 
Queen of England, and the Princess Margaret, Mother 
unto our sovereign lord the King, ly their most humlle 
subject and servant William Oaxton. Without Place or 
Date. (1491?) 

Collation. — a i) are 4"'; c is a 3" = 22 leaves. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title. The 
type is all No. 6. The lines, which are spaced to an even 
length, measure 3;^ inches, and there are 21 to a Ml page. 
Without folios or head-lines. Woodcut initials. A woodcut 
border, in four separate pieces, is placed round each page. 
This border was used later, for an undated but very early 
edition of " Horas," by Wynken de Worde. The wood en- 
graving of the Crucifixion, which appears upon the verso of 
the first leaf, has considerable artistic merit. It appears to 
have been a favourite, having been used at a later period, by 
Wynken de Worde, in several publications. 

The recto of the first leaf is blank, but the verso is occu- 
pied with the woodcut of the Crucifixion, already noticed. 

Upon the second recto (not signed, unless the signature 
has been cut away in binding) the Text begins with a 5-line 
initial in wood, — 

3KJ)csu entiles ^\3iittnt» of 
lougng soules / <© M^m 
fioistlp tope passing ^ tx^ 
cetigng all glatines anti 
liesires, (^ Jifieisu l)eltj)e ^ 
tentJte louer of al repentant %inxiti^ tjat 


and on the verso of e 6, ends thus : — 

C ^fiiese pragers tofore toreton ten en 
pritelJ fig ti^e comautiementes of tje mos 
te t)ge ^ bertuous grgneesse our liege la 
Iji (J^li^atett tg ti&e graee of gotj (©uene 
of (iBnglontre ^ of dFrauee . ^ also of tfte 


rigtt f)pe ^ most noble pcjpnccgse iEarga 
me Motitt bnto our soueragn lorlje tje 
ftgrtfi / ^c 

C 13jp tijeir most iiumble sutget antj 
seruaut 51HiU(am OfTaxton 

Remarks. — The fifteen prayers, named from the fact of 
their all commencing with the letter 0, '* the fiAeen Oes," 
are commonly found in the manuscript Horae of the fifteenth 
century, in tlieir original Latin. They were frequently printed 
both in that language and in English, Caxton's version of the 
latter being possibly the earliest. All these prayers breathe a 
spirit of earnest devotion, and as an example the following is 
laid before the reader. 

" Jhesu heuenly leche haue mynde of thy langour and 
blewnes of thy wofides & sorowe that thou sufiredest in the 
heyght of the crosse / when thou were lifte vp fro the erthe / 
that thou were all to torne in all thy limmes / soo that there 
was noo limme abydynge in his right ioyntc/soo that noo 
sorowe was like to thyne fro the sole of thy fote to the toppe 
of thy hede there was no hole place / And yet forgetying in 
maner all those greuous paynes / thou preydest deuoutly & 
charitably to thy fader for thine enmyes sayeng thus / Fader 
foryeue it theim / for they wyte not what they done / For this 
blessed charytable mercy that thou shewdest to thyne enemyes. 
and for mynde of thyse by tter paynes / graunte me / that the 
mynde of this bytter passion be to me plenar remyssion & 
foryeuenes of my sinnis Amen / |[ Pater noster Aue 

maria " 

Another prayer commences thus : — 

" blessid Jhesu swetnes of hertes and gostli hony of 
soules. I beseche the for the byttemes of the aysel and galle 
that thou tasted " &c. 

The " Rex Henricus " of the Prayer on c til j verso, was 
Saint Henry, sumamed the Pious and the Lame. He was son 
of Henry Duke of Bavaria, and was bom in the year 972 ; 
cro\^•ned King of Germany, at Mentz, in 1002; died 14 th 
July 1024 ; and was canonised by Pope Eugenius III in 1152. 


Preceding a printed Latin version of the " Fifteen Oes " 
in the British Museum (C. 23. b. 24), is the following para- 
graph in English : — " These be the . xv. oos the whyche the 
holy virgyn saint brygitta was wonte to saye dayly before the 
holy rode in saint Paules chyrche at rome : who so saye this 
a hole yere he shall deleuer . xv. soules out of purgatory of 
hys nexte kyndred . and conuerte other . xv. synners to gode 
lyf and other . xv. ryghtuouse men of hys kynde shall per- 
seuer in gode lyfe." 

In Harl. MS. 2255 is a paraphrase of the " Fifteen Oes," 
by John Lydgate, beginning — " blessyd lord my lord, 
Christ Jesu." 

The only Existing Copy known is in the British Museum 
(C. 25. c), and is bound with several tracts printed by Wynken 
de Worde. It is perfect and in good preservation, although a 
good deal cropped in the binding. Measurement, 6J x 5 
inches. Purchased in 1851. 

No. 93. — The Art and Craft to Know well to Die. 
Folio. Translated by Caxton in 1490 Without Printer's 
Name, Place, or Date. (1491?) 

Collation. — '^ a 4"; iS a 2"; then a single leaf impro- 
perly signed i3 ilj, which was, probably, followed by a blank. 
Total, thirteen printed leaves. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The only type used is No. 6. The lines, which measure 4f 
inches, are spaced to an even length, and there are 31 to a 
page. Without catchwords or folios. Several 2 and 3-line 
initials in wood. 

The Text begins on sig. ^ ) recto, 

C Jfeere tieggnnet!) a litgll treatise istotte antr atretrgetJ 0pe=: 
fepnge of tje arte ^ eraft to Itnobe toell to Ijge 

^ J^an iX g0 000 tjat toftat a man maltetj or XioetJ / it 
^ 10 walie to come to 0ome entie/antr gf ti^e tfignge te 
*'fiootie antJ bell matre/it mu0te neties come to goolre 
t^t . CJenne tg tetter $c gretter rea0Ott / euerg man ougft te to 


The Text ends on a single leaf, signed id iiU 

CfiuiEt enliett tf)e trapttge attetngeti of tfte 
arte to leme toell to bege/ translatetj oute of 
ftensfte m to cnglpssfte . ftp totUm Otaarton 
tt)e xb . tag of 3lugn / tf)e gere of our lortJ a 
M Hi} ^Ixxx X . 

Rbmaeks. — Manuscripts of this work are usually known 
as " The Art and Craft to live well and die well." This was 
often printed. A Latin edition was issued by Guy Marchand, 
at Paris, in 1483, and French editions by Yerard, at Paris, 
and Colard Mansion, at Bruges. From the latter it seems 
very probable that our Caxton, as he says in the colophon, 
" abredged " his text. 

An English version of the full work was made early in 
the sixteenth century by Andrew Chertsey, and printed by 
Wynken de Worde in 1 506. 

Copies are in the British Museum, Oxford, and National 
Library, Paris. 

No. 94. — ^The Book of Courtesy. — Quarto. Secoid Edition. 
"Emprynted at toestmoster." Without Name or Date. 
(1491 ?) 

Collation. — This little piece probably consisted, like 
Caxton's early editions, of a 4° and a 3", making fourteen 
leaves, all printed — a conclusion gathered from the only frag- 
ment knoTVTi. 

Typographical Particulars. — The fragment, from which 
alone we know that such an edition was printed, consists of 
two quarto pages only, printed upon one side of a half-sheet, 
the other side being blank. One of the pages is signed ftt, 
which, as ahready seen in " The Rule of St. Benet," was used 
for t \. Here then we have the first recto of the outermost 
sheet of the second signature, and, by folding the half-sheet 
with the unprinted part inside, we see directly that the 
opposing page must be the last of that signature, and, in all 
probability, the last of the tract. 

The type is all No. 6, but the appearance of the small 


device, which was probably never used in Caxton's lifetime, 
points out a late date for its execution. 

The last lines, underneath which are the imprint and the 
small device, are as follows : — 

a Cf)raue of tf)rej30f)ers a Epeng of ptionerjs 
a EasiaiSe of carters a Ji^astpnes of cooto 

C i^ere entietj a l:5tgU treatgise calleti 

tfte hoott of curteispe or Igtgll Jfoi^n . 

iirnprpnteti atte toestmostf r . 

The small 
" IF. C." Device 

As this edition, like the first and second, has three stanzas 
to the page, it would, although in a somewhat smaller type, 
take up the same number of leaves. The early editions had a 
blank leaf at the end, which here we find filled up with the 
curious epithets noticed above. 

The frag'imnt is in the Douce collection at the Bodleian, 
having apparently been rescued from the cover of a book. 
Measurement, 6 j x 5J inches. The reversal of the device, 
and the blank side of the paper, suggest the idea that this 
fragment was a first i^roofy although, from the numerous 
blunders in most of Caxton's pages, it is difficult to beUeve 
that corrections were ever made after the matter was once 
set up. 

No. 95. — The Festial (Liber Festivalis). Folio. Second 
Edition. " Caxton me fieri fecit.'' Without Place or 
Date. (1491 ?) 

Collation. — a t ctr efg^i^l^WOp are 4^% with 
the first leaf of a blank ; (| has but one printed sheet, or two 
leaves ; It a 4" ; g a 3", with device on J3 6. In all 136 leaves, 
of which one is blank. 


Typogeaphical Particulaes. — ^There is no title-page. 
The type consists of two sizes, Nos. 6 and 7, the latter being 
that in which Wynken de Worde printed many of his early 
books. The lines are in double column, and measure only 2| 
inches. They are spaced to an even length, and there are 33 
to a column. Without folios or catchwords. Plain initials, 
cut in wood, of the depth of 2, 3, or 5 lines are used. There 
is a small rude woodcut on sig. ( 6 verso. 

Commencing with a blank leaf, the prologue follows, in 
double column, on sig. a if, the Text beginning — 

C ^5^ ft^lpe antr grace of of all tiie i^ie festis of tje 

al^l|ittSfll)tg gob ttrugij tfte pere . S II togll&prage tjat 

tie0ecf)gn II ge of fti^ hit^m^ it ht calleti fcs^ltiuall/tfte 

motier sagnt ma || \x}f\ic^t beginetf) at tlje || 

The Text ends on the fifth verso of sig. J5, three-fourths 
of the way down the second colunm, 

ft^t ratter tip tte ftelpe of i&i0 
t)lej5||0rtr molier marg/&: 
f^i^ f)ol|) spoh) ' II sesse sagnt 
bcggptte / antj all sapn || teg . 

(Eaxton me fieri fecit 

The next recto is a blank page, the verso having the large 

Remarks. — From the use of No. 7 type, which was Wynken 
de Worde's, it is very probable that this book was printed by 
him immediately after his master's death. This edition too is 
not an exact reprint of Caxtou's, issued in 1483. Every 
Festival has the prefix " Gode men and ^^ymmen," or " Good 
frendis," and every tale is preceded by the word " Xarracio." 
Several stories not in the first edition have been added, while 
the Pardon of Corpus Christi, in Latin and English, which 
follows Trinity Sunday in first edition, is here entirely omitted. 

Copies are in the British Museum, Cambridge, Oxford ; 
and three private libraries. 

A A 


No. 96. — FouE Sermons. Folio. Second Edition. Sine ulld 
notd. (1491?) 

Collation. — ^ 13 (JH are 4"'; 10 is a 5° = 34 leaves. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title. The 
type is all Ko. 6. In double column. The lines measure 2^ 
inches, being a very Kttle shorter than the " Festial," and are 
spaced to an even length. 33 lines to a column. Without 
folios or catchwords. 

The Text begins oh sig. ^ f, with a 3-line woodcut 
initial : — 

^^ Jije mapster of sentence jsempnobneisoule.nepurs/ 

'^intfiesecontjetiofee-anlf 3J II purpose me fig i)i0 leue 

tt)e fprst tigstpnetion / joomlp || tfjus to s^eto it antr 

sa^llptj ti^at ti^e souerapn retie it to poujl in t^e bolte/ 

cause / toi^i II fiotr matje all for to pour letnpnge || it is as 

creatures in tieuen || gootr ti)us as bptftout || 

The Text ends half-way down the second column of the 
ninth verso of sig. 10, with the coUect " Absolve quesumus," 
the last three lines being — 

gloria inter sanctos et electos 
tuos ressussitati respirent/ 
??er II xpm ^mn nostrum 
amen/ II 

On the recto of the tenth leaf is the device of Caxton, the 
verso being blank. 

For Remarks, see the first edition, page 263. 

Copies are in the British Museum, Cambridge, and three 
private libraries. 


Without Printer's Namey Date or Place. (1491 ?) 

Collation. — ^ a 4'' = 8 leaves, aU printed. 

Typographical Partculars. — ^No title-page. The type 
of the text is No. 6, but the four lines of heading at the 
beginning, and some head-lines at the end, are in Wynken 

Bocn» rmwoD jm ttpb so. n. 365 

de Wofde's No. 1 type. Hie Hues are wp&oed \erj erenlj, 
except OD four ptgv aitiie end, and tibere are 24 to s page. 
Woodcut initiab to ciiaplen. Witlioiifc fiiiioa or catelnpoida. 
With die exeep&m of tiie nae of Wynka de Worde't type, 
tint tnei ^;reea in afl partkokii with Ko. 83, ''The 

The Text begins on i^. fl f recto, 

cnqnK'^ <i"^ ^^^^ ci^ nurinilt / t|at is 
H Mir t|f naft for to lirpe for t^ ^rtt|r of 

^^tf vostr wccisaiie to fwr a spccpoU 

The tnet cndi on fl 8 Tcno, villi a fiill page : — 

^ti tm^it niifi \ga aVvsitr or oat triMacoK 
Co t^^f^/aoOift tir^ftl ^ ]rat fmt CTfMflr . 

-TUi Aoft tnet appem to be a i 

bgr OaitoB Ma m dL 9o oflber 

or priifeBd, is Latin or aagr other 


ii in tlie noddle of a ToinoK of 
UM^-fetter tncti in die Bodleian Ubnrj. 

XoLS8L-~TnGkAmaD» or God's CteLBBBL /Ub#. 3me 
wUimM, (1491?) 

taUeaiid pndiewe; A « e Ji 1^ ;r • « 9"; K^^ 




3-line paragraph printed in the centre of the first recto. The 
types are No. 6 for the Text, No. 7 being found on the first 
page only. Double column — the lines measuring 2f inches, 
and being fully spaced out. 36 lines to a column. Without 
folios or catchwords. Initials in wood 3 and 4 lines deep. 

The Text begins with the following 3 lines in the centre 
of the first recto, 

C ^t)e prouffgtat)le tolte for manes soule / ^rdi xig^t 
comfort II tafjle to tf)e totig / antr specgallg tn atmetsltee ^ 
trgtulacpn / tojicfie || toifee is Mm CJe orftastgsinfi of 
gotitres Oltsltretn 

On the verso, with a floriated 5-line initial, and in double 
column, the first two lines being in type No. 7, 

• « M ^xttit of almtgf)=: Cf)e causes eonsitietetr . antr 

JIL tg II gotr l^elgggous manp || otf)er sfeglfullp . § 

TIf sus^ II ter a sf)ort mag bretre to bri || te of tf)is 

^^^% pistle if sen || Ire ciiastgsins iSnt asfepng || 

:dou of ti^e mater of||temp=: ijelpe of gotr almggttg/tg 

tacons / b3f)icf)e pgstle as bf)oos 1| migf)t ti^e asse tiatr 

me II specf)e to tjie pro || 

The Text ends on the recto of sig. J^ 4, Avith the verso 

not tfenge to tf)e alone tf)at to fnl 3fope $c tlisse / iRobj 
pragest || f)er soo ieselg / ^et gotr gra || unt ti^at it mpgjte 
ouer all tf)is || tojan t jou art so tie . tjat euer is lastgng 

i^artre tempteti . anti || in Cringte / 


Remaeks. — The use of a title-page, a practice unknown 
to Caxton, the appearance of type No. 7, and the adoption of 
signatures having three sheets only — all point to "Wynken de 
Worde, rather than to Caxton, as the printer of this book, 
which was probably executed about 1491. The original writer 
of the work is unknown, and there seems but little reason for 
attributing its composition to Caxton. 


Existing Copies. — British Museum ; Cambridge, Univer- 
sitj Library (2) ; Pepysian, and Sydney Sussex College ; Hun- 
terian, Glasgow ; Lincoln Cathedral ; Sion College, London ; 
and three copies in private hands. 

No. 99. — A Treatise of Love. Folio. Translated in 1493. 
Without Printer's NaiMy PlacBy or Date. (1493 ?) 

Collation.— a 13 (E B ii!5 dF <§ Jft are aU 3°» = 48 
leaves, all printed. 

Typographical Particulars. — Without title. The type 
is No. 6 for the Text, but on the first page is a line in type 
No. 7, the first of Wynken de Worde's founts. The whole is 
in double column. 

The Text begins on sig. E j recto, 

C ^W tretpse is of loue 
anb jjpe || feptj of iii j of ttje 
moist gpecgall lo || ugs ti^at 

fjen in t|)e bjoillie antr %\^z 

* ♦ * * ♦ 

toticfie tiTtj)se bias 
translate out of ftensije 
3ilnto en = Iglpsfje / tf)e pece 
of our lotli ia cm || liixiii j / 
tip a persone tj^at is bnper || 
fig^t insucje toerfee bjerfor 
tie ^u II big bjjsectie ti)e lerngb 
rebecs togtf) II pacgens to coc^ 
rccte it b)i)ece tftepljfpnbe 
ttebe. Enbttcp^aUeofjecll 
rebbers of tbeir cjargte to 
prag for||ti)e soule of tje 
sagbe translatour || 

The Text ends on the second column of the sixth recto of 
sig. ffi, 

91Ht)icte boi^e teas lately 
tcansla^ljteb outeof frensj 
in to englissbf II t)|? a Kigbt 


ig cause tfit gagti persone 
t^oug II i^it it ntu^mx^ to al 
tieuoute peplc || to retie / or to 
tm it tetitie/anti algo|| 
causeti tje sagtj iolte to te 

Underneath this is the small device. The reverse is blank. 

Remarks. — This is evidently an issue from the press of 
Wynken de Worde, whose earliest type is seen in the first 
page, and who was accustomed to make up his books in 3"* 
instead of 4°^ as was the plan during Caxton's life. The 
tract does not appear to have been translated till 1493, and 
may have gone to press the succeeding year: now Caxton 
died in 1491. The non-occurrence of the small device in any 
other book attributed to Caxton is another reason for sup- 
posing it to be in reality the workmanship of Wynken de 
Worde, who frequently used this shaped device in his early 
publications. At a later period he added his own name to 
the design. 

Although not the work of Caxton, " A Treatise of Love " 
has been included in this chapter, because " A List of Books 
printed in Type No. 6 " would be imperfect without it. 

Copies are at Cambridge ; Hunterian, Glasgow ; and two 
private libraries. 

Plate XIV, 

From (Jaxton's " (Mier of Chivalry y Ti/pfi 4* 

ann ttnoui: of t^^ts (atH i^tucSxt ^ 
(l()^ gooD J^mmptt txupai^ fid c^ 


_ '^ \5 courage onD? ibpfcCowj 

net Ibatrcet JiiTte^ ^ ft»:no^e/g «) moiig 
Ck»6ii8Pc6 ^d ea& mane noijfe %cft>t8«« « 
gtotioue/^ egcaufo 6r falbc f t^ou^t nj ^iq 
rotage ^T Or mp?e not Jbng Cgnc/oe & Ite^icQ 
6g fcng <gme Ccio eeij 6g cout* of mtuvt 
tipg* ^nJo Qie cncc/ c>5nao ft? 9g»»> ai) fef 

«3«/ 3tn{i2 9aooe no pW)« iw &«<w ft» «(« 

* »9 

Plate XV. 
Woodcuts /rem CaxUm's " Speculum vitcB Chrwh': 

^^^^^ ^ I Lj 



.8 ^ 




Plate XVII. 


© Bfil S SC 

Plate XVIII. 











No. 100. — The Life of Saint Katherine. — The Revela- 
tions OF Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. Folio. 
Sim ulld notd. (1493 ?) 

Collation.— a is a 4°; ficliefgtifelmnopare 

3"^ q is a 2"". Total 96 leaves, all printed. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type for some of the headings is No. 7, the same as that 
already noticed in "Chastising" and "Festial;" but the type 
for the body of the work is a partial re-casting of No. 4*, 
with many new additions, and on a rather smaller body, 
being evidently a different fount from any known to have 
been used by Caxton. For a more full account of these see 
the chapter on type No. 4. The pages are in double column, 
and have 43 and 44 lines to a page. Full lines measure 2J 
inches. Without folios or catchwords. . 

This book, like some already mentioned, was in all proba- 
biUty the workmanship of Wynken de Worde, shortly after 
Caxton's death. This opinion is borne out by the types used, 
by the signatures being in 3"* instead of 4°" ; by very long 
pages, and by wood initials, identical with those used in the 
early books of Wynken de Worde. 

No. 101. — The Golden Legend. Third Edition. Folio. 
*^ Fynysshed at tvestmestre . . The year of our lord 
M CCGG Ixxxxiij / . . ^ By me wyllyam Caxton." 

Collation. — Table and prologue a 2° ; a b C ^ e are 4'" ; 
^ a single sheet ; ffiijilllmnopqrjitblBf&Qare 


4"«; t a 2% signed to tiii; ^iS Qt IB d^ jf (&M WM% 

ifH ia <© ^ (Q K S C m X g are 4^^^ ; mtt CC titr ee are 
4"^ ; fa 3°, signed to ff Hi) ; and gg a 2% signed to gg iij. 
Total 436 leaves, all printed. 

Typogbaphical Paeticulaes. — Without title-page. The 
types are No. 7, and the re-casting of type No. 4*, noticed in 
the preceding work, which fount is only known to have been 
used for these two books. The work is in double column, and 
the lines, of which there are 44 to a column, measure 2J 
inches. Without folios or catchwords. Many woodcuts and 
woodcut initials. 

Caxton died two years before the date of printing. 

No. 102. — The Siege of Rhodes. Folio. Sine ulld notd. 

Collation. — Four unsigned 3''^, or 24 leaves all printed. 

Typographical Particulars. — Without title of any 
sort. The type is very rude and imeven, being a different 
fount to that used for the " St. Katherine " and " Golden 
Legend " just noticed. Some of the letters are the same as 
Caxton's No. 4*, but many rude additions have been made. 
There is a space between each line, probably made by the use 
of " regiets," the unevenness of which is very apparent. The 
lines are spaced to an even length, and there are 26 to a page, 
except the first and second, which have, respectively, 30 and 
31. They measure in length 4 J inches, the depth of 26 lines 
varying from 7 to 7|- inches. Without signatures, folios, 
catchwords, or printed initials. 


Paris, Uh Dec. 1487. 

The type is the usual church text used for service books. 
In double column, with head-lines. 

As connected with Caxton, the whole of the interest cen- 
tres in the colophon. 


Mm^it eCti bsum Sar' cun 
tiittntti^ M liono / magno 
conamine elatoratum finis 
Uiitittx, ©iai:atum "^sixmg 
impenjsa optimi biti <§uiU 
letmi Otaxton . ^tte bero et 
intrustria iHagistri (Outlier 
mi ifHagngal . litno tjomini 
iE . arOTiKai . Irxxbii . liij Be 

This is on the recto of the laat leaf, and upon the verso 
is Caxton's large device. 

Remarks. — Passing by the great interest which this missal 
has in being five years earlier in date than the celebrated 
Rouen edition, dated October 1st, 1492, hitherto considered 
as the edifio prim^ps, we have to elucidate it in relation to 

It has not, until the discovery of this volume, been sup- 
posed that Caxton employed foreign printers to help him, 
although it is well kno^^Ti that his successors did so. In this 
case he used the services of a printer at Paris, whose name 
very seldom appears in typographical annals. Little is known 
of WiQiam Maynyal, who is erroneously called, by Panzu, 
George. In 1480, working in conjunction with Ulric Gering, 
the first printer at Paris, he produced " Speculum aureum," 
as well as " Sumina de virtutibus cardinalibus," both in Roman 
types. Afterwards, he worked alone. In 1487, Caxton, not 
having appropriate types of his own, sent instructions to 
Maynyal, of Paris, to print for him the Salisbury Missal. 
The commission was executed, and Caxton, desirous of asso- 
ciating his press more directly with this issue than by the 
colophon only, which many people might overlook, probably 
designed his " mark " for the purjwse of attracting attention. 
It is certainly the earliest date at which it has yet l>een found ; 
and the state of the block, which has fewer breakages than 
liny other knoA\Ti example, confirms the priority of this in a 
most interesting manner. Since 1484 Caxton had not used 


woodcuts; but just at this time, 1487, he appears to have 
found some one for the purpose, and the "Eoyal Book" and 
the "Speculum" appeared with numerous cuts. The same 
artist was probably employed to design and engrave the new 
" trade mark." 

The only known copy is in the possession of "W. J. Legh, 
Esq., M.P., and was first made known in the Athenceum, 
March 21st, 1874. 

Bartholomeus de propeietatibus eerum. 

This work is supposed to have been printed by Caxton, at 
Cologne, on the strength of a statement by Wynken de Worde. 
As, however, this printer has perpetrated the most curious 
contradictions and mis-statements in many of his prologues 
and colophons, it seems more than probable that he blundered 
here also, as no connection whatever can be traced between 
the typographical customs of Caxton and those of the Cologne 
school ; nor does any copy of " Bartholomeus " exist which can, 
with any show of reason, be attributed to Caxton's press. 

For further remarks on this subject, see page 64. 

The Metamoephoses of Ovid. 

In the Pepysian library, Cambridge (2124) is an English 
manuscript of the fifteenth century, not improbably Caxton's 
autograph, and consisting of the Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, 
Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Books of Ovid's Meta- 
morphoses. Each book in the manuscript begins with a red- 
ink title, the first being : — 

" Here followeth the || xth booke of Ouyde ' || wherof the 
first fa II ble is of the mari || age of Orpheus !| and Erudice his 
lo II ue . Cap° p'm°." 

For an imitation of this paragraph see Dibdin's Typ. Ant., 


vol. i, page 14. At the end of the volume is the following 
colophon : — 

" Translated and fynysshed by me William Caxton at West- 
mestre the xxij day of Apryll / the yere of our lord m . iiij* 
iiij" And the xx yere of the Regne of kyng Edward the 

Now Caxton, from what we know of his disposition, would 
never have begun a translation in the middle of a book. He 
therefore, no doubt, translated the former nine books also. 
But all Caxton's translations, and especially in the busy time 
of 1480, were made for the press. There seems, therefore, 
good reason to believe that the Metamorphoses were printed 
also by Caxton, although unfortunately no fragment of such 
a work is at present known. 

It seems not unlikely that the Pepysian MS. is in Caxton's 
own autograph. 

The Life and Miracles of Robert Earl of Oxford. 

In the preface to " The Four Sons of Aymon," Caxton 
says, " Therefore late at the request and commandment of the 
right noble and virtuous Earl, John, Earl of Oxford, my good 
singular and especial lord I reduced and translated out of 
French into our maternal and EngUsh tongue the life of one 
of his predecessors named Robert Earl of Oxford tofore said, 
with divers and many great miracles which god showed for 
him as well in his life as after his death as is showed all along 
in his said book." 

Having translated this Life, it is not improbable that 
Caxton also printed it. 

A Ballad. 

The "small fragment of an unknown work," preserved 
among some old ballads in the British Museum (643. m.) and 


described by Sir Henry Ellis, and Dr. Dibdin in Typ. Ant, 
vol. i, page 359, is a portion of the " Cook's Tale," from^ 
Caxton's first edition of Chancer's " Canterbury Tales." 

Several works, such as " Statuta " (probably Machlinia's) 
" Lyndewode's Constitutiones," " The Lucidary," " An 
Accidence," and others, have been by various writers in- 
cluded among the books issued by Caxton, but in all cases 



Quanta fwUti H tanta sunt Reliquin. 

No. of 

Book of Courtesy, 2nd edit. .frag. 
Directorium Sacerdotnm,4to. frag. 
Horse, Ist edition . .frag. 

Ditto, 2nd ditto . frag. 

Ditto, 3rd ditto . . .frag. 
Indulgence — Sixtus IV . frag. 

Anelida and Arcyte. . 1 

Ars moriendi ... 1 
Aymon, Four Sons of . .1 
Blanchardin and Eglantine . 1 
Book of dburtesy, 1st edition . 1 
Catho, Parrus et Magnus, Ist 

edition, 4to . . .1 
Ditto, ditto, 2nd edition, 4to 1 

Charles the Great . . .1 
Chorle and the Bird, 1st edit. 1 

Ditto ditto 2nd ditto 1 

Commemoracio beatse Marias 1 

Death-Bed Prayers . . 1 

Directorium Sacerdotum, folio, 

Ist edition . . .1 

Ditto ditto ditto 2nd ditto 1 
Fifteen Oes . . . .1 
Glass, Temple of . 1 

Gouvemal of Health . 1 

Horse, Sheep, and Goose, Ist edit. 1 

Ditto ditto 2nd ditto 1^ 

Image of Pity ... 1 
Infancia Salvatoris . .1 

Indulgence — Sixtus IV 1 

No. of 



Another, different . 
Meditacions sur les sept Pseaulmes 
Paris and Vienne . 
Psalterium .... 
Quatre derrenieres Choses 
Reynard the Fox, 2nd edition 
Servitium de Transfiguratione . 
Sex Litterffi .... 
Visitatio Marias Virginis . 
Brass, Temple of . 

Advertisement, An . .2 

Arthur, Life of King . 2 

Propositio Johannis Russell 2 

Saona, Gnl. de . . . 2 

StansPner . .2 

-^Esop, Fables of . . 3 

Art and Craft .... 3 
Catho, Parvus et Magnus, folio, 

3rd edition ... 3 
Curia Sapientise .3 

Curial, The .... 3 
Dictes and Sayings, 2nd edition 3 
Good Manners, Book of . 3 
Jason, Les fais du . .3 

Moral Proverbs ... 3 
Rhodes, Siege of . . .3 
Saint Winifred, Life of 3 

Book of Fame .... 4 
Chivalry, Order of . . 4 



Testial, The, 1st edition . 
Treatise of Love . 


. 4 


Chess, Game and Play of, 1st ed. 
Chronicles of England, 1480 . 

No. of 


Troilus and Creside . 

. 4 

Cordial .... 


Vocabulary .... 

Golden Legend, 2nd edition 
Pilgrimage of the Soul 
Four Sermons, 2nd edition 


. 5 


. 6 

Description of Britain 
Godfrey of Boloyn 
Katherine, Life of St. 

Speculum Vitae Christi . 



Divers Ghostly Matters . 
Festial, The, 2nd edition 
Knight of the Tower 

. 6 


. 6 


Mirrour of the World, 2nd edit. 


Recueil, Le . 

Reynard the Fox, 1st edition 

Statutes of Henry VII . 


. 6 


Dictes and Sayings, 1st edition 
Mirrour of the World, 1st edit. 


Chronicles of England, 2nd edit. 7 
Dictes and Sayings, 3rd edition 7 
Jason, The Life of . . .7 

Chastising of God's Children 8 

Four Sermons, 1st edition . 8 

Life of our Lady ... 8 

Royal Book .... 8 

Boethius 16 

Confessio Amantis . . 16 
Recuyell, The . . . .16 

Eneydos . . . .18 

Fayts of Arms . . .21 

Tully of Old Age, &c. . . 23 

Canterbury Tales, 1st edition . 9 
Ditto 2nd ditto . 9 

Chess, Game and Play of, 2nd edit. 9 Polycronicon . . . .25 
Doctrinal of Sapience . . 9 
Golden Legend, 3rd edition . 9 Golden Legend, 1st edition . 31 

The reader who examines this list may well be astonished 
at the number here given of unique Caxtons. Out of 99 works 
above enumerated, no less than 38 are known to us by single 
copies, or by fragments only. The fact is almost incredible 
even to those most conversant with the rarities of the West- 
minster Press; and the question naturally arises — If about 
one-third of Caxton's issue has been nearly destroyed, how 
numerous may have been the editions of which we shall never 
learn the existence ? A glance at the titles of the uniques 


will show that the books most liable to destniction, probably 
owing in part to their being much used, and in part to the 
destructiveness of religious sectarianism, are those, directly or 
indirectly, of an ecclesiastical character — such as " Horae," 
"Psalters," "Meditacions," &c. .School books also, such aa 
the " Stans Puer," " Catho," &c., are always difficult of pre- 
sentation. On the other hand, tliere seems no esjjecial reason 
for the almost total destruction of such works as the romances 
of " King Arthur," "The Four Sons of Aymon," "Blanch- 
ardin," " Charles the Great," the second edition of " Reynard," 
or the various short poems in quarto. 

The greatest number of copies ever brought together is 
81, being the number now in the British Museum; but of 
these 25 are duplicates, leaving the number of works 50, of 
which three are mere fragments. The Caxtons in Earl 
Spencer's Library, although numerically less than those of the 
National Library, make nevertheless a more complete collec- 
tion, and embrace 57 separate works. Other Libraries come 
far behind these two. The Public Library, Cambridge, has 
38 separate works, a total considerably augmented by the 
numerous unique pieces of poetry in quarto. The Bodleian 
has 28 separate works, and the Duke of Devonshire 25. 



Abbey, Meaning of word ... 73 
Adventurers {See Merchant 


Advertisement printed by 

Caxton 71,237 

^neid by Virgil 343 

JSsop, The Fables of. printed 

by Caxton ... 48. 92, 294 

Aforge, Daniel 86 

Ailly, Cardinal Pierre d' ... 226 

Alburgh, John 148 

Alcock, Bishop 178 

Aldus, Pius Romanns ... 107 
Alfonse, The Fables of, 

printed by Caxton 48, 92 284, 
Almonry, The, Its position 

&c. ... 73,74,75,76,79 
Alphage, St., Parish of ... 4 
Ambassadors at Bruges ... 27 
Ames, Joseph, Note on 

Caxton's death 

Amman, Jost 

Anderson's History of Com- 

Anelida, Queen, and False 

Arcyte, printed by Cax 


Anne, St., Chapel of . . .73, 74 

Apprentices, Entry and Issues 

of 6 

Apprentices, Duties of ... 8 
Apprentices and Executors. . . 14 
Apprentices, Oath of ... 143 
Apprenticeship of Caxton... 5 
Arbre de, Batailles 338 











Arcyte, Queen Anelida, and 

False, printed by Caxton 

Ars moriendi, printed by 


Art, The, and Craft to know 
well to Die, printed by 

Caxton 342,350 

Arthur, The Noble Histories 
of King, and of certain 
of his Knights, printed 

by Caxton 

Arundel, Earl of, his Device 
Ascensius Jodocus Badius... 
Assumption, Guild of Lady of 
Atkyns, Richard, Origin and 
Growth of Printing ... 
Aubert, David (a Scribe) 35, 185 
A vian. The Fables of, printed 284 

by Caxton 284 

Ayenbit of Inwit, The ... 320 
Aymon, The four Sons of, 

printed by Caxton ... 339 

Bagford, John 75, 91 

Baker, John 148 

Bakker, Jenyne 147 

Ballads, Some, printed by 


Ballad, A 

Ballard, Mr., of Cambden... 

Balls, Inking 

Bartholomaas de Proprietati- 

bus ... 55,64,66,336,364 

Bath Cathedral 282 

Bavaria, Henry, Duke of ... 849 

Baynton, W. 317 

R R 2 







Beauvais, Vincent de 224, 225 

Bedford, Duke of 34,36 

Bedford Library 252 

Bedfordshire General Library 320 

Bedleem Hospital, Bequest 

to, by Large 10 

Belet 280 

Benet College Library ... 218 

Bernard, M. A. ... 104, 107 

Bernard, M. A., Opinion on 
Colard Mansion 

Berners, Juliana 

Betts, Edward 

Bequests, Various, of Large 

Bible, The Mazarine 

Bibles and Psalters, First . . . 

Bibles not in demand in Fif- 
teenth Century 

Bird, The Chorle and the, 

printed by Caxton 207, 208 

Blanchardin and Eglantine, 
The History of, printed 
by Caxton 

Blanche, Queen of France. 

Blandford, Marquis of 

Blois, Library of ... 

Boat Hire 

Bocace, Fall of Princes 

Boethius de Consolatione 
Philosophise, translated 
into English by Geoffrey 
Chaucer, printed by 

Boke of Noblesse, The 

Bolomyer, Henry 

Boloyne, The History of 
Godfrey of, printed by 

Bomsted, Henry 

Bonet, Honore 

Bonifaunt, Rich 

Bowyer, William ... 

Bookbinder described 






... 20 
... 333 
10, 145 
... 110 
... 130 
... 96 


Book of Courtesey, The 
1st Edition, printed by 

Caxton 209 

Second Edition ... 361 
Book of Good Manners, 

printed by Caxton 81, 311 
Book, A, of Divers Ghostly 
Matters, printed by Cax- 
ton 346 

Book of Fame, The, printed 

by Caxton 291 

Book, The, which the Knight 
of the Tower made to the 
" enseygnement " and 
teaching of his daugh- 
ters, printed by Caxton 271 

Books, Covers of 213 

Books not printed by Caxton 
but having some connec- 
tion with his Types, &c. 359 
Books, Passion for, in Europe 36 

Botfield, Mr 303 

Bouillon, Godefroy de ... 251 
Bradshaw, H., concerning 

the Horae 190 

Brand, John 196 

Bretaylles, Louis de ... 188 

Brice, Hugh ... 75, 226 

Bristol 346 

Brito, Jean 38 

Broad, St. Ward 75 

Brown, J 149 

Browne, Willis (Mit. Abb.) 221 
Bruges ... 13, 15, 27, 

37, 38, 57, 80, 150 
Bruges, City of, Caxton, a 

Merchant at 15, 17 

Bruges, Ducal Library of ... 212 
Bruges, Guild of St. John the 

Evangelist 37 

Bruges, Records of... 155 to 158 
Brute, Chronicle of ... 90 

Bryant, Mr 32.", 

Boyce, H 81 






Bryce, T 17 

Bullen, Mr 242 

Burdeux, John de 336 

Burchiello, Portrait of ... 91 

Burgh, Richard 16, 17, 146, 

202, 203, 277 

Burgundy, Duke of 15, 16, 

24, 27, 34, 38, 58 

Burgundy (Philip the Good) 38 

Burial Fees for Wm. Caxton 80 

Campbell, M.F.A.G. 

Canterbury Tales, IstEdition, 
printed by Caxton 

Canterbury Tales, 2nd Edi- 
tion, printed by Caxton 

Caradoc, Prince 

Carmen de Vera 

Caslon, W 106,108 

Castel, Estienne 1 93 

Catchwords 132 

Catho Magnus, printed by 

Caxton, Ist Edition 200, 203 

Catho Magnus, printed by 

Caxton. 202,203 

Caton, printed by Caxton ... 275 

Cattlyn, Richard and John... 

Caustons, Manor of 

Causton, Michael de ; Henry 
de ; Nichol de ; Richard 
de; Theobald de ; Roger 
de; William de; Steryn 

Cauxton and Causton, a form 
of Caxton 

Cawston, Johannes, Will of 

Cawston, Oliver 

Caxston, W 

Caxton, Elizabeth (daughter 
of Caxton) 

Caxton, Elizabeth : Deed of 

Caxton, John 

Caxton, Maude 

Caxton, a Linguist, 88 ; a 
Master Printer, 94 to 









140 ; Anecdotes in Ap- 
pendix to jeep's Fables, 
92 ; his Character, 92 ; 
his Daughter, 75 ; his 
knowledge of Printing, 
derived from Colard 
Mansion, and not at 
Cologne, 49 to 68 ; his 
large Device, 137 ; his 
Literary Attainments, 
87 to 90 ; his Patrons, 
31 ; his Printing Office 
and Workmen, 94 ; his 
Property at Death, 86 ; 
his Types, 104; his Will, 
86 ; Auditor of Parish 
Accounts, 159 ; Burial 
Fees, 159; Classification 
of Works, 82 ; Death 
and Burial, 85 ; Ex- 
tracts fromWorks, show- 
ing a connecfion between 
his own name and a 
locality, 70 ; Judgment 
by, 157 ; List of AVorks, 
82 ; Patronised by 
Edward IV., 80 ; Pay- 
ment by the King, 158 ; 
Pedigree, 4 ; Portraits 
of, 91 ; Price of his 
Books, 139 ; Receives a 
Payment from Edward 
IV., 80; Settles at West- 
minster, 70; Chess Book, 
Interpolation of, 175 ; 
Time taken for Trans- 
lation of Works ... 83 
Caxton, AVilliam (not the 

Printer), 80 ; Burial Fees 4 

Censuria literaria 1 95 

Charles, King of France ... 33 
Charles the Bold succeeds 

Philip the Good ... 24 

Charles the Great (Prologue) 84 



Charles the Great, the Life 
of the Noble and 
Christian Prince, printed 
by Caxton 303 

Charron, The Jesuit ... 307 

Charters, Mercers and Mer- 
chant Adventurers 18, 

19, 20, 21 

Chartier, Alain 294 

Chases 123 

Chastising, The, of God's 
Children, printed by 
Caxton 3oo 

Chato, et Parvus Magnus, 
1st Edition, printed by 

Caxton 200 

2nd Edition ... 222 

Chaucer, Geoifrey, 90, 291 ; 
Envoi of, to Skogan, 
•printed by Caxton ... 209 

Chaucer, Geoffrey, Canter- 
bury Tales, 1st Edition 
191; 2nd Edition 288; 
Baethins de Consola- 
tione Philosophiae, 
printed by Caxton ... 211 

Chaucer, The complaint of, 
to his purse, printed by 
Caxton 210 

Chertsey, Andrew 351 

Chess Book, The 56, 59, 61, 

68, 81, 110, 285 

Chess, Game and Play of, 
Ist Edition, printed by 
Caxton 24, 171 

Chess, The Game and Play 
of the, 2nd Edition, 
printed by Caxton ... 230 

Chivalry, The Order of, 

printed by Caxton ... 287 

Chobham, Eleanor, her pen- 
ance 13 

Chorle, The, and the Bird, 

printed by Caxton 207, 208 




Chronicles of England, The, 
1st Edition, printed by 


2nd Edition 

Chronicle of King Alfred... 

Chronicle of Brute 

Churche, Daniel 

Clarence, Duke of 

Cloth, English, excluded by 

Duke of Burgundy ...16, 23 

Coburger, Nuremberg, prin- 

Colard Mansion, ^Sle^ Mansion 


Colonna -ZEgidius 

Commission issued, 1464, for 
renewal of Treaty of 

Complaint, The, of Chaucer 
to his purse, printed by 

Commemoratio Lamenta- 
iionis sive compassionis 
Beataj Mange in morte 
filii, printed by Caxton 

Composing Stick ... 123, 125 

Compositor. The, described 122 

Confessio Amantis, printed 
by Caxton 

Congregational Library ... 

Connection between Caxton 
and Colard Mansion ... 

Copenhagen, Royal Library 

Copland, R., 340 ; one of 
Caxton 's workmen 

Cropland, W. 

Corpus Christi College 

Cordyale, or the Four Last 
Things, printed by Cax- 

Court of Sapience, printed by 

Courtesy, Book of. printed 

by Caxton ... 209, 361 






.. 70 
95, 341 
.. 218 






Cowper, Mr 827 

Craes, W IG 

Cravecenr, Signeur de ... 60 
Crede Mibi, Traetatus, 

printed by Caxton 315, 341 

Croppe, Gerard 80 

Crosse, John 86 

Crystine of Pisan — Moral 

Proverbs ... 192,193 

Cura Sapientisv ; or the 

Court of Sapience, 

printed by Caxton 248, 293 

Carial, The 294 

D'Ailly, Pierre Cardinal ... 178 

D'Anfrers, Guy 185 

Dares Phrygius 170 

Dauheny, William 81 

Daunau, M 224 

Day, John, Printer ... 105, 106 
Death-bed Prayers, printed 

by Caxton 283 

Dedes, Robert 10 

DegnilleTille, Guillaume de, 

Pilgrimage of the Soul 268 

Delff '. 76 

Denis de Leewis 184 

Description of Britain, The, 

printed by Caxton ... 247 
Development of Printing ... 39 
Device, Caxton 's ... 48,137 

Devonshire, Duke of, Pur- 
chase of the Recuyell ... 169 
Dictes and Sayings... 24, 65, 

70, 79, 87, 186, 219, 344 
Dictes and Sayings, printed 

by Caxton, Ist Edition, 

186; 2nd Edition, 219 ; 

3rd Edition 344 

Dictys Creteusis 170 

Dinner, Visitation of Mercers 76 
Directorinm, sen Pica Samm, 

printed by Caxton ... 239 
Directorium Sacerdotum, una 

cnm Defensorioejnsdem, 

item tractatuji qui dicitur 
crede mihi, printed by 

Caxton 315,341 

Doctrinal de la foy Catholique 322 
Doctrinal of Sapience, The, 

printed by Caxton ... 320 

Domus Anglorum 22 

Donatus, St., Church of ... 61 

J)ouce, P 170 

Douce Collection 352 

Drapers, Merchant Adven- 
tures 18 

Durham Cathedral 347 

Dysart, Eariof 337 

Echard, Script Ordin. Piie- 

dicat 347 

Edward III. introduces cloth 

factories to England ... 2 
Edward IV., 3, 27, 28, 29, 

35, 80, 87 
Elizabeth of Hungary, Saint, 

the Revelations of ... 861 

Ellis, Sir Henry 366 

Ene3do8, printed by Caxton, 

English, First book in ... 168 
English Nation, The ... 22 

Est^rlings 22, 190 

Essex, Eariof 202 

Esteney John, Abbot of 

Westminster 74 

Eton College 177,228 

Eugenins ill., Pope 349 

Evilmerodach, King ... 231 

Exeier 213 

Exeter College, Oxford, 277, 

298, 346 

Eye, witch of 13 

Eyre Thomas, husband of 

Elizabeth Lage 11 

Fables of .iEsop. the ; of 
Arian ; of Alfonse ; and 
of Page, the Florentine, 
printed by Caxton ... 284 



Eaits d'Armes, les 332 

Faits d'Armes et de Cheva- 

lerie 332 

Fall of Princes 343 

Fame, the Book of, printed 

by Caxton 291 

Farmer's, Dr., Library ... 239 

Faron, Jean 172 

Fastolf, Sir John ... 81,230 

Fayts of arms and of chiv- 
alry, the, printed by 

Caxton 81,331,334 

Felding Geoffrey, Mayor ... 17 
Festial, the, (Liber Festialis) 
1st Edition, printed by 

Caxton 261, 327 

Festial, the, (Liber Festialis) 
second edition, printed 

by Caxton 352 

Fevre Ravne le 68 

i'^ifteen Oes, the, and other 
Prayers, printed by 

Caxton 348 

Figgins, V 109, 11 > 

Fillastre, Guillaume 170 

Fineschi Vincenzio 103 

Fishmongers, Merchant Ad- 
venturers 18 

Flanders, Peace between 

England and 13 

Flemish goods prohibited ... 23 
Flemish settlers in England 2 
Fostalf, John, Knight ... 189 

F ounders ' Company 18 

Four last things or Cordyale 

printed by Caxton ... 214 
Four Sermons, printed by 

Caxton, Ist Edition ... 354 
Four Sermon's &c. (Quatuor 
Sermones &c.) printed 
by Caxton, 2nd Edi- 
tion 263 

Four sons of Aymon, the, 

printed by Caxton ... 339 


Fowls, Parliament of, printed 

by Caxton 209 

Frankfort type founders ... 108 

Franklin, Benjamin ... 109 

Freeman of London, Oath of 144 

Friskets 129 

Gairdner, Mr., Memorials of 

King Henry the Seventh 267 

Galiard, Messire 195 

Gallopes, Jean de ... 259,314 

GaliotduPre 294 

Godney, John 11 

Geiffe, William 86 

Gering, Ulrich 363 

Gerson, chancellor 334 

Gervers, M 29 

Ghent 27 

Ghent, Public Library at ... 326 
Glass, the Temple of, printed 

by Caxton 206 

Gloucester, Humphrey duke 

of 30 

Godfrey of Bulloyne, printed 

by Caxton 86 

Godike, K 228 

Golden Fleece, order of ... 15 
Golden Legend, 65, 97 ; Co- 
pies left by Caxton to St. 
Margaret's, Westmin- 
ster, 86 ; 1st Edition, 
printed by Caxton, 277; 
2nd Edition, printed by 
Caxton, 308; third Edi- 
tion 361 

Gossin, Jean 51,225 

Gottingen, Royal University 

Library 209 

Governal of Health, the, 

printed by Caxton 336, 355 
Governor of English Mer- 
chants at Bruges — Du- 
ties of 20 

Guido of Colonn a 1 70 

Granton, John 16 




Grenville Library 210 

Greyhound, The ... 75, 176, 79 

Groote, Guerard le 16 

Gruthuyse, Louis de Bru- 
ges 35, 36, 50 

Guilds : — St. John the Evan- 
gelist, 37 ; St. Thomas a 
Becket, 18 ; Lady As- 
sumption, 78 ; Vassel 
feasts, 78 ; Accounts, 78 ; 
"Les Freres de la plume" 
of Brussels, 37 ; St. 
Luke at Antwerp. 

Hadlow 3 

Hague, Royal Library ... 327 

Hall, Robert U5 

Hamburgh 13 

Ham House, Surrey ... 301 

Hansard, T.C 110 

Hanseatic League 190 

Hardwicke Hall 203 

Harrowe, John ... 10,146 

Hasted on Kent 2 

Hastings, Lord ... 24, 195, 227 

Hawes 207 

Haywarde, a Scribe ... 189 
Health, The Governal of, 

printed by Caxton ... 336 
Hecht-Heinean Library, Hal- 

berstadt 269 

Hende, William 19 

Henricus, Rex 349 

Henry, Dr 230 

Henry n 202 

Henry IV 18 

Henry VI 19,36,81 

Henry VII 81 

Heton, Christopher ... 10 

Heton, Jas 145 

Higden's, Ralph, rolycroni- 

con 247 

History of Blanchardin and 
Eglantine, The, printed 

by Caxton 338 


History of Godfrey, of 

Bologne, The ; or the 

Conquest of Jerusalem, 

printed by Caxton ... 249 

Histoire du Chevalier Paris, 

et de labelle Vienne . 307 

Holkham Library 196 

Holtrop's Monumens Typo- 
graphiques. Woodcut 

from 76 

Horse 316, 327, 348, 240, 317 

Horae, printed by Caxton, 
1st Edition, 189 ; 2nd 
Edition, 240 ; 3rd Edi- 
tion, 317 ; 4th Edition 328 

Ilorham, Manor of 9, 11 

Horse, Shepe, and Goose, 
printed by Caxton, 66, 

203, 204 
House of the English Na- 
tion 22 

Hunter, Rev. Joseph ... 222 

Illuminators 112, 96, 133 

Image of Pity, printed by 

Caxton 318,320 

Indenture of Apprentice ... 6 
Infancia Salvatoris, printed 

by Caxton 205 

Initials 42, 134 

Ink for Printing 96 

Jackson on Wood Engrav- 
ing 137 

James, John, Typefounder. . . 109 
Jason, English Edition by 
Caxton, 185 ; French 
Edition, 56, 60; 63, 170 176 
Jason, Derivation of Name 15 

Jean de Bruges 36 

Jersey, Earl of '•• ... 303 
Jerusalem, Conquest of, or 
the History of Grodfrey 
of Bolojne, printed by 
Caxton 249 



Joan of Arc 

John, Duke of Berry 

John II., King of France . 

John Stubbes 

Jones, J. Winter, 178, 185 

" Justification " : a Printer's 


Katherine, Saint, the Life of, 
printed by Caxton 

Kendal, John, Letters of 
Indulgence issued by, 
printed by Caxton, 220 

Kentish Dialect 

King Apolyn of Tyre 

King Edward VI. Grammar 
School, St. Alban's 

Knight of the Tower, the. 
Book to the ensaygne- 
ment and teaching of his 
Daughters, printed by 
Caxton 40,81 

Knight Paris, the, and the 
fair Vienne, printed by 

Konnecke, Dr. G. ... 

Lambert, John 

Large, Alice, 1 1 ; Elizabeth, 
9, 11 ; Joan, 159; Jo- 
hanna, 9, 10, 11 ; Mar- 
ries John Godney, 11 ; 
John,5, 9, 146; Richard, 
9 ; Robert, 1 45 ; a Mer- 
cer, 8 ; Sheriff and Lord 
Mayor, 8 ; Warden, 9 ; 
House in the Old Jewry, 
Account by Stow, 9 ; 
Family, 9 ; Death and 
Will, 9 ; Widow 

Large, Robert, his Will, 151 
to 155; the younger, 5, 
11; Thomas 

Latour, Landry 

Laurent, Frere 




Le Recueil des Histoires de 


Troye, (see Recueil) ... 


Leeu Gerard ... 186 



Lefevre, Raoul 



Legenda Aurea 

Legends, Bequest from Cax- 






Legh Gerard 


Legh, Stephen, M.P. 



Legh, W. J., Esq 


Legrand, Jacques 


Leper Houses, Bequest to, 


by Large 



Letter to Caxton from Mer- 



Letters of Indulgence from 



Johannes de Giglis, 

printed by Caxton 


Letters of Indulgence issued 

by John Kendal in 1480, 

printed by Caxton 





Lewis, Rev. John ... 91 


Life of Christ 



Life of Saint Katherine, The 



Life, The, and Miracles of 


Robert, Earl of Oxford 

Life, The,oftheHoly Blessed 

Virgin, Saint Winifred, 


printed by Caxton 


Life, The, of the Noble and 

Christian Prince, Charles 

the Great, printed by 



Lilly, Mr 


Lincoln Cathedral 


Livre de Sapience ... 


Lirre des bonnes Mjcws, le 



Livre des Vices et des Vertus 


Livre Royal, le 


Louis de Bruges 



Louis of Anjou 



Louvre Library 



Low Counties 





Lacidary, The 366 

Lydgate, John 171, 192, 

204, 210, 259, 297, 337, 350 
Lyf of our Ladye, printed 

by Caxton 297 

Lyndewoode, Constitutiones 366 
Machlinia ... 35, 95, 335, 366 

Madden, Sir F 221 

Maittaire 215 

Mallet Gilles 33 

Malory, Sir Thomas ... 302 

Manipnlns Curatorum ... 322 
Mansion Colard ... 36, 38, 
67, 110, 177, 212, 250, 351 
Mansion Colard, a Skilful 
Caligrapher, begins to 
Print, 68; his Con- 
nection with Caxton, 54 ; 
Deanof theGuildof St. 
John, 50 ; Place of 
Residence and Work- 
shop, 50 ; Opinion by 
Bernard, 62; Peculiarity 
of his Printing, 52, 53, 
54 : the first Printer at 

Bniges 40 

Mansion, Paul and Robert. . . 57 

Marchand, Guy 351 

Margaret (of Flanders) ... 34 

Margaret, Queen 282 

Margaret's, St., Westminster, 
Records, 4, 31, 78, 79, 

80, 86, 58, 162 
Margarita Eloquentiae, Fra- 
tris Laurentii Gulielmi 
de Saona, printed by 

Caxton 216 

Mariee Virginis Servitium 
de Visitatione, printed 

by Caxton 264 

Marot, Jean .333 

Marshall, J 149 

Marten, Walter 86 


Mart-Towns, Apprentices 

sent to the 14 

Martin, St. Outwich ... 75 

Maskell, Mr. ... 318,328 

Maydestone, Clement ... 316 
Maynyal, W. ... 138,368 

Medicina Stomachi, printed 

by Caxton ... 336,337 
Meditacions sur les Sept 
Psalmes Penitencianlx, 
printed by Caxton ... 177 
Mercer's Company... 5, 6, 8, 

16, 28, 29, 76, 144 
Merchant Adventurers, their 
Institution, Object, and 
Charters ... 15,17, 18,21,24 
Metamorphoses of Ovid ... 51 

Meun, Jehan de 332 

Middleton, Dr 317 

Mielot, Jean 185,230 

Mirkus, John 262 

Mirrour of the World, printed 
by Caxton, 1st Edition, 
224 ; 2nd Edition ... 233 
Missale ad Usum Sarum, 

printed for Caxton ... 362 

Montaiglon, M 273 

Moral Distichs, printed by 

Caxton 197 

Moral Proverbs, printed by 

Caxton 192 

Mores, Rowe 110 

Moule. Bib. Herald 288 

Mountfort, Symon 221 

Moxon, Joseph ... 110, 106 
National Library, Paris ... 351 
Neche, Thomas ... 10,146 

Nichols, J. G 76 

Noblesse, Declaration of ... 228 

North, Mr 218 

Nouns, Substantive, and 
Verbs, The proper appli- 
cation of certain, printed 
by Caxton ... 203,204 




Nngent, Dr 317 

Nyche, Thomas 145 

Obray, William, Governor 
of the English Mer- 
chants 19,21 

Old Age, Tally of 228 

Oldys 226 

Onkmanton, Henry... 10, 145 

Order of Chivalry, The 

printed by Caxton ... 287 

Orford, Lord 216 

Orologium Sapientije ... 347 

Osborne 206 

Ottley 127, 134 

Ovid, Metamorphoses of 90, 364 
Oxford, Robert Earl of 206, 365 

Palmer, Samuel 110 

Paper, its Value, 103 ; its 
Watermarks, 99 ; Large 
Paper Copies, 98 ; Paper 
Mill, 98; the kind used 

by Caxton 97 

Paris, M 170,212 

Parker, Archbishop 106, 218 

Pannartz 84 

Pannizzi, Sir Anthony ... 107 

Pegge, Dr 3 

Pembroke College, Cam- 
bridge 271 

Pcpysian, 233, 338, 364, 346, 365 

Perkin Warbeck 221 

Perrot, Thomas 27 

Peterborough, Earl of ... 251 
Petrus Carmelianus, Sex 
Epistolae, printed by 

Caxton 265 

Petzholdt, Dr. Julius ... 269 
Philadelphia, Loganian Li- 
brary 282 

Pica Sarum, seu Directorium, 

printed by Caxton ... 239 
Pica, type of printers ... 238 

Pilgrimage of the Soul, the, 

printed by Caxton ... 257 


Pins, Jean de 307 

Pisan, Christine de... ... 332 

Poge, the Elorentine, the 
Fables of, printed by 

Caxton 284 

Polycronicon, printed by 

Caxton 65,90 254 

Portraits of Caxton 91 

Pratt, William 17, 75, 81 812 
Prayers, Death-Bed, printed 

by Caxton 283 

Premierfait, Laurence de ... 229 

Preste, Simon 24 

Psalter, the First 44 

Psalterium, «fec., printed by 

Caxton 241 

Purgatorie des mauvais 

Maris 63 

Pye, The, a Tenement ... 75 
Pye, a collection of rules ... 238 
Pykering, John, 149 ; Suc- 
cessor to Caxton as 
Governor of the English 
Nation, 21 ; summoned 
before the Court of the 
Mercers, and discharged 

from his office 21 

Pynson, Richard ...95,200 292 
Quadrilogue, Le, by Colard 

Mansion ... 67, 177 

Quarternion, Meaning of, 131, 166 
Quatre derrenieres Choses 

56, 61. 63, 67, 68, 183, 326 
Queen's College, Oxford ... 271 
Quintemion, Meaning of ... 166 
Rawlett's Library, Tam worth 282 

Recto, Meaning of 166 

Recueil, Le, des Histories de 
Troye ... 26, 51, 95, 

60,53, 68, 169 
Recuyell, The, of the His- 
tories of Troye, 26, 31, 
32, 41, 56, 57, 59, 60, 

63, 68, 105 



Eedeknape Esmond 17 

Kedeknape W, ... 17, 19, 149 
Red Pale, The ... 76,80 

Red Ink, Curious use of, by 

Caxtou and Mansion ... 183 
Regimen Sanitatis Saterni- 

tanum 337 

Reglets 125 

Reinaert die Vos, die Historie 

Van 228 

Reyelations of Saint Eliza- 
beth, of Hungary ... 361 
Reynard, the Fox, History of, 
printed by Caxton, 1st 
Edition, 227 ; 2nd Edi- 
tion 337 

Rhodes, The Siege of 221, 362 

Richard HI 81, 196,288 

Richmond, Margaret, Coun- 
tess of 81 

Ripon Minster ... 213,261 

Ripoli Press 103,107 

Ritson, 199; Bib. Poet ... 203 
Rivers, Anthoine, Earl of, 
24, 28, 81, 215; trans- 
lated the Dictes ... 187 
Robert, Monk of Shrews- 
bury 300 

Rock, Canon, D.D 238 

Roger, Monk of St. Werberg 255 

Roman Types 43 

Romans, les, de la Table 
Ronde et les contes des 
anciens Bretons ... 303 

Romuleon, written by Colard 

Mansion 50 

Rood of Oxford 263 

Rotheram, Bishop 240 

Roxburgh Club ... 205,210 
Royal Book, the, or Book 
for a King, printed by 

Caxton 318,364 

Roye, Guyde 322 

Rubrisher, The 133 

Rule of St. Benet, The, 

printed by Caxton,346, 347, 351 
Rnssel, John, Bishop of 
Lincoln, 24, 195, 226; 
his " Propositio," printed 

by Caxton 194 

Ryolle, William 86 

Sacerdotum, Directorium, 

printed by Caxton ... 341 . 

Salisbury Missal 363 

Salve Regina, printed by 

Caxton 197 

Saona, Fratris Laurentii 
Gulielmi de, Marga- 
rita Eloquential, printed 
by Caxton ... 216,218 

ScalaCoeli 322 

Scales, Lord 24,195 

Scriptorium of Westminster 

Abbey 74 

Scrivers 133 

Scroop, Archbishop ... 317 

Selle, John 16 

Seven Points, The, of True 
Love and Everlasting 
Wisdom, or Orologium 
Sapientiae, printed by 

Caxton 346 

Sermons, Four, printed by 

Caxton 263,354 

Sermons of Vitriaco, The... 322 
Servitium de Transfigura- 
tione Jhesu Christi, 
printed by Caxton ... 326 
Servitium de Visitatione B. 
Mariae Virginis, printed 
by Caxton ... 264,327 
Sex pereleg antissima; Epis- 
tolac per Petrum Car- 
meliauum Emendatae, 
printed by Caxton ... 266 
Shakspear, W. ... 170, 296 
Shrewsbury, John Talbot, 

Earl of 332 



Siege of llhodes ... 220,362 

Signatures 41,42 

Sixtus IV., Pope ... 195, 219 
Skogan, John, Envoy of 
Chaucer to, printed by 

Caxton 209 

Sloane, Sir Hans 308 

Sluis, The Port of, Bruges. . . 26 
Smithfield, Jousts in ... 12 

Smith, John 110 

Somerset, Margaret^ Duchess 

of 339 

Somme de Roi, La ; or. La 
Somme des Vices et des 

Vertus 319 

Sophologium 312 

Sotheby, S.Leigh 108 

Soushavie, or Souabe, Jehan 

Southey, Robert 803 

Spacing 44 

Speculum Historiale ... 306 

Speculum Vitae Christi, 
printed by Caxton, 1st 
edition 312 ; 2nd edition 324 
St. Alban's, the Printer- 
Schoolmaster of , 45, 217; 
Grammar School, 213, 
240 ; St. Alban's 

Chronicle 246 

St. Benet's Chapel, West- 
minster 212 

St. George's, Windsor ... 227 
St. James of Compostella ... 189 
St. John College, Cambridge 345 
St. John's College, Oxford, 

223, 246 343 

St. John's Hospital of Jeru- 
salem 172 

St. John the Evangelist, 

Guild of 37 

St. Martin's Otewich ... 160 

St. Olave, Jewry 10 

St. Omer, Proposed Con- 
vention at 23 


Stans Puer ad Mensam, 

printed by Caxton 66 197 
Stanzas, various, printed by 

Caxton 203 

Star Chamber Decree ... 106 
Statutes of Henry VII., 

printed by Caxton . . . 335 

Staunton, Thos 145 

Steel Yard 22, 190 78 

Steevens, G 170 

Stomach Medicina, printed 

by Caxton 336 

Stow, John G 248 

Stower, C 110 

Streete, Randolph ...10, 146 146 

Strete, Hundred of ^ 10 

Stubbes, John ... 80, 146 

Styles, Old and New in the 

year 296 

Suso, Henry de 347 

Sutton, John 19 

Surigo, Stephen ^212 

Surse, Pistoie 230 

Sweynheim andPannartz ...43, 84 

Tate, John 104,149 

Temple of Brass, The, 
printed by Caxton, 1st 

Edition, 206, 2nd Edition 209 

Terms, Explanation of ... 166 
Temion, Meaning of 131, 166 

Thomassy, Raimond ... 193 

Thomey, Roger 261 

Timperley, C. H 110 

Title Pages 46 

Tractatus de ymagine mundi 226 
Trade Marks of Printers ... 76 
Trades, List of, in the Guild 
of St. John the Evan- 
gelist 37 

Trading Guilds 17 

Treatise of Love, A, printed 

by Caxton 267 

Treatise on Hunting and 

Hawking 334 




Treaty of Trade, Commission 

for renewal of 22 

Tree of Battailes 333 

Treveris, Peter 95 

Troilns and Creside by 

Shakspere 170 

Trojan War 170 

Troy, Siege of 170 

Trinity College, Cambridge 343 

Trinity College, Dublin ... 220 
Troylus and Creside, printed 

byCaxton 235 

Tully of Old Age ; Tully 
of Friendship ; The De- 
clamation of Noblesse, 

printed by Caxton . . . 228 

Tumat, Richard 10 

Twelve Profits of Tribulation, 

The, printed by Caxton 346 

Tympans 129 

Typefounding 104 

Type, No. 1, Books printed 

in, described ... 166 to 180 

Type, No. 2 64 

Type, No. 3 ... Ill 

Type, No. 5 119 

Type, No. 6 120 

Types 43, 104; 109 

Upsala, University Library 219 

Utrecht, Old Records ... 26 

Vaghan, Thomas 195 

Valerius, Maximus 60 

Van Prffit, M., 37, 49, 51, 177 

Vegetius, de re militari ... 332 
Vellum used for Caxton's 

books 104 

Von to, Jeronimo 158 

Verard, Antome ... 334,351 

Verso, meaning of 166 

Vienna, Imperial Library, 

233, 261, 293 


Vignay, Jehan de ... 172,280 

Vignoles, Bernard de ... 221 

Vins d'honneur 27 

Vitas Patrum 85 

Vocabulary in French and 
English, printed by 

Caxton 260 

Wagstaffe, Bishop 317 

Walbrook, Watercourse of. . . 10 

Walpole, Horace 194 

Waide, John 148 

Warwick, Earl of ... 24, 28, 81 

Watermarks in Caxton books 99 

Watson, James 110 

Weald of Kent 1 

Westminster, 70 ; Abbots of, 

74 ; Wool Staple, at ... 79 

Whitehill, Sir Richard ... 22 

Whityngton, Quit Rents ... 150 

Wide ville, Richard 158 

Wilson, Joshua, Esq. . . . 327 

Winchester, Earl of 36 

Windsor, Royal Library ... 287 
Winifred, Life of Saint, prin- 
ted by Caxton 299 

Wright, Thomas Mr. ... 303 

Wool-staple at Westminster 77 

Worde, Wynkin de, 45, 75, 

95 ; His blunders, 64, 

66 ; Various ways he 

spelt his name 66 

Wyche, Hewe ... 29,30,146 

Wyche, Richard, burnt ... 12 
Year. Old and new style of 
reckoning in England 
and Flanders 

York, Cathedral Library 205 208 

Zanetti ... 103 

Zel Ulric 44. 62, 63 






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