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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 tbe 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 Record 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 Epistolse," 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 R. 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 Uobert 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 


WiUiam Caxton— An Apprenticeship 7 


Caxton Abroad l^"* 


Literature in the Fifteenth Centnry 33 


Development of Printing 3i) 


Colard Mansion ^^ 


Caxton a Printer... ... ... ■■• ••• ■•• -"^'^ 


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


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

Pressmen — Ink — the Bookbinder — the Illuminator 94 


Containing Mercers' Records — Will of Robert Large — 
Burge's Records — St. Margaret's Records — Docu- 
ment from Record Office ... ... ... ... 143 


Books printed in Type No. 1 


Books printed in Type No. 2 


Books printed in Type No. 3 ... 


Books printed in TjY>e No. 4 


Books printed in Type No. 5 


Books printed in Type No. 6 


Doubtful Works 






WAS born and lerned myn enolissb in 
Kente in the wceld where I donbte not is 
spoken as brode and rnde enghssh as is in 
ony place of englond." Thns 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 Halliwoll " forest," or 
" woody country," betokens the nature of the district, which at 
the time of the Conquest, and for centuries after, was covered 
^^■ith 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 descril)e 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, A\-ould 
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 oyer 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 WTites Hasted in 1778, and 
adds, " Insomuch that almost all the antient families 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 
^vord " eyren " meant, but understood not the English A\-ord 
"eggs." "Certayn marchaunts," says Caxton, "were in a 
ship in tamyse for to have say led over the see into zelande, 
and for lacke of Avynde thei taryed atte forlond . and wente 
to lande for to refreshe them And one of theym named 
sheftelde a mercer cam in to jin hows and axed for mete . and 
specyally he axed after eggys And the good A^yf answerde . 
that she coudo spekc no frciislic. And the marchaunt was 


angiy . for he also coude speke no freiishe . but wolde have 
hadde eggcs, and she undersfcode hyni not, And thenne at last 
a nother sayd that he Avolde have ejren, then the good wyf 
sayd that she understod hym wel." Dr. Pegge, in his 
" Alphabet of Kenticisms," gives " eiren " as the eqnivalent 
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 born. 
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 Cai/xton or Cmiston, the letter 
a having a broad sound, and the u being frequently inserted 
after it. Numerous instances are given in the " Archffiologia 
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 
^\Tites Alisaunder for Alemmler, while to aslc appears in the 
" Chess Book " as to axe. We may further note that Caxton, 
in Cambridgeshire, is spelt in old documents, Causton, 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 oflFshoots 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 tlic Caustons, who o\\'ned the 
manor of Caustons, near Hadlow, in the Weald of Kent. The 

B •> 


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

Caxton's pedigree is quite mikno^Mi, no trace of any of his 
relatives, except a married daughter, ha'sing 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 fi'om 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 
o^Tied 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 Saud\\ich, Tuxford, Newark, 
Beckenham, Westerham, and frequently in the early records 
of London does the name appear. The will of John Caxton, 
of Canterbury, likewise stiU exists : he was " of the parish 
of St. Alphage, Mercer," and left to the church some wooden 
" deskys," upon which the following device may stiU be seen. 

birthplace; and parextage. 

Wlien was Caxton born ? 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 gTo^o-ing 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 IGth year of King 
Henry YI. [June 24, 1438]," and is literally as follows:— 

Entres des Appntices. 
Item John large, i Ics appntices de 

1 T) CJ^r^ „r. "^J ^ 

Item Wiirm Caxston, ) Robert Largo 

"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 majoritj ; but in the 
fifteenth century there was also v.'hat 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 1G93 an Act of Common Comicil was passed enjoining the 
Chamberlain to ascertain that every candidate for admission 
to the freedom of the City had "reached the frill age of 
twenty-four." The plirase " quousque ad etatem suam xxiiij 
annonmi peruenerit," so commonly found in old wills, refers 
to this custom ; and in \iew of it the indenture of an aj^pren- 
tice was ahvays so dra^vn that on the commencement of his 


twenty-fifth year he might isstie from his apprenticeshij). 
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 born 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 A\Tong if we assume 1422-3 as the date of his 



AXTON tells us, in his prologT.e 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 foresio'ht in giving- 
him a good education, by vrhich he was enal)led in after 
years to earn an honest liWng. 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. 

Yvlicn 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 recpiired to keep them 
within bounds, and that when they did break loose it was 
sometimes beyond the combined povv'er 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 -nith fear, and 
by the apprentices v/ith pride — although twelve of the latter 
ignominiously perished by the hands of the hangman after 
the suppression nf 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 crafc. 
Failing the fulfilment of these duties, the apprentice conld, ou 
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 tnily, to keep all his secrets, to use no 
traffic on his oaati 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 Carton'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, figTire 
among those of the City magnates, 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 pro-se the family to have been well 
connected. In one case only does there seem a probal)ility 
of relationship. The records of the Mercers' Company contain 
many notices of the " entries " and " issues " of apprentices, 
and in 144:7 it is recorded that one Richard Caxton finished 
his term of servitude ■with John Harrowe, whose son was one 
of the apprentices of Robert Large at the same time as 
William Caxton. Large and Hari'owe 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. 
hi Ur>() he filled the office of Bheritf, and in 1-439-40 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. 

'torn Atigas's Map of London, showing the House of Alderman Largp. 
'axton's Master (marked fj- The Arms of Large in right hand corner. 


its "liveries," and yielded from its ranks more sherilTs and 
mayors than any two City companies besides. Large was 
elected "Gardein" (the old term for Warden) in 1427, and 
appears to have made himself very popnlar, if we may judge 
from the niuisnal expenditure on the Lord Mayor's Day Avhen 
he succeeded to the mayoralty. CaiTiages 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 gTeat contrast to Caxton's home in the Weald, 
It stood at the north end of the Old Je^xYJ, 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 
servants — Alderman Robert 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 under age (21 years); two "servants," or men who had 
served their apprenticeship, and eight apprentices. Large did 
not long survive his mayoralty. His will is dated April 11th, 
1441, and he died on the 24th of the same month. He was 
buried in St. Olave's, Old JcAny, in the same gTave 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, Robeetus Laege, quondam Mer- 
cerus et Maior istius ciA-itatis." An imperfect copy of Large's 
will is preserved in the Principal Registry of the Court of 
rnjbatc 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 with 
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, Gaxton being merely another form 
of Causton, a manor near Hadlow, and the hundred of Htrete 
being represented by Caxton's fellow-apprentice, Kandolph 
Streete. He left liberal bequests to his parish church of St. 
Olave, Old JeA\Ty, and for religious purposes generally, as well 
as considerable sums for the completion of a new aqueduct 
then in course 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 follo\\7ng 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 1440). ..50 marks. 

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

Robert I )edes ( )...20 marks. 

Christopher Hetou (issued 1 443) . . . 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, 'oho issued 
in 1443. These are all entered in the Mercers' books as 
"apimtices de Rob'' Large." 

Before proceeding with the account of Caxton, we may 
here bi-ietly state what is known of the subsequent history of 
the family in which he lived. Mistress Large (whose son 
Richard Tnrnat, 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 ste]isons, each of whom was also ^^^(iU. pro- 
"s-ided for. Her second bereavement appears for a time to 
have aifected her most deeply. Over the body of her deceased 
husband she thiLS solemnly and publicly vowed to devote the 
remainder of her days to charity and chastity : — " I, Johanna, 
that was sometime the wife of Roliert Large, make mine 
avow to God and the high blissful Trinity, to our Lady Saint 
]\Lary, and to all the blissful 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^ra veil tlu-own over her by 
the priest. Her celibacy Avas 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 
1 444 wedded the ^iddow of Robert Large late i\Iaior, which 
widdow had taken the ^lantell and ring, and the vow to line 
chast to God tear me of her life, for the breach whereof, the 
marriage done they were troubled by the Church, and put to 
penance, both he and slie." 

All the cliildren mentioned by Large in his v.ill Avere by 
Elizabeth, 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 Avill. Richard, the sole survivor, suc- 
ceeded, as was his father's wish, to all the property devised 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 
married soon after her father's death, and her husband, 
Thomas Eyre, son of the Lord Mayor, received her doAny in 

The three years which Caxton })assed as apprentice with 


Larjje were very eventful, and, as it was during tliis 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. Caston, no 
doubt, was witness of the great jousts in Smitlifield in 1438, 
which lasted tliree weeks, and are so graphically described in 
one of the Lansdo-mie 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 stari-ation 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 
OATO 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 v.'hen 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 swell the 
shout in honour of their master, and to drink the mne which 
flowed ireoly 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 
bunit for LoUardism. An old chronicler, at the end of his 
account of this martjTdom, adds, " for the which Sir Richard 
was made gretc inonc among the comyn peple ;" and well they 
might moan, for his love and charity had won for him the 
strongest aficction 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 
ix;ople was intense, and on the night of this event all the 


watches tliroughout the city were doubled, so great were the 
fears entertained of a general rising. The impression made 
on the mind of Caxton may be gathered from his ovm rela- 
tion : — " This yere Syr Eychard wiche, vycary of hermettes- 
worth was degrated of his prysthode, at powlys, and brente 
at toure hylle as for an heretyk on sayiit Botolphus day, how 
wel at his deth, he deyde a good crysteu man, wherefore after 
his dethe moche people cam to the place where he hadde ben 
brente, and offiyd 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 foUo^-ing 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 presmned sorceries \nth 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 thi'ee years' peace between England 
and Flanders. Tliis, 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 dm-ing his apprenticeship; but as an 
assistant to Large, who had extensive connections, and was 
doubtless in frequent correspondence with Bruges, the gi-eat 
centre of English commerce abroad, he must have obtained 
considerable insight into the customs of foreign trade, and 


become personally kno^\'n to many Flemish merchants, who, 
when in London, would probably stay in Large's house. 

We must not forget tliat 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 Piercers' Company. Executors were bound 
to proA-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 own accord assign 
the apprentice during his hfetime, without making the appren- 
tice himself a party to the assignment. So far as we know. 
Large made no arrangement of tliis kind; and it appears 
probable that the usual course of providing 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 to^A^l to obtain 
experience in trade. Wieeler says, " The Merchants Adven- 
turers send their yong men, soimes, and servantes or appren- 
tices, who for the most parte are Gentlemens sonnes, to the 
Marte TowTies beyonde the seas, there to learue good facions 
and knowledge in trade." AVliether Caxton left England l)y 
his oA\-u 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 omi words in the prologue to "The Recuyell," 
where he states that he had then, in 1471, been abroad for 
thirty years. Tliither probably he carried with him no more 
than the twenty marks (equal to. about £150 at the present 
day) beciueathed to liini by Alderman Largo. 



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 vrares. 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 144G gave great privileges to the Mercliant Adventurers 
under the name of The English Nation, by which title they were 
ever after commonly known in foreign parts. So greatly Avere 
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 " Athenseum" for Decem- 
ber 5th, 1803, 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 accord in«>i v." 


Caxton issued out of his apprentices! lip 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 o\Mi 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 To^m Hall of Bruges, before the burgomasters, mer- 
chants, and councilloi-s 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 sterling, for which the 
said John Selle and William Caxton had become sureties. 
and that the said John Granton 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 the 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 retimi to Bruges should prove 
payment previously to his departure, the complainant should 
then })ay 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 
Ricliard Burgh for bearing of a letter over the sea, 6s Sd" 
probably refers to this, although from the small sura paid 
in comparison \vith several similar entries, it may be inferred 
tliat he was not a special messenger, but that he took charge 
oi the letter, having to go to Bruges on his own account. 


The date when Caxton was admitted to the freedom of his 
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 ft'om Bruges 
to London, accompanied by Richaert Burgh and Esmond 
Eedeknape, 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 : Eede- 
knape was most likely a relative of the W. Redeknape of 
London, who appears farther on as a merchant trading mth 
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 own account, with 
the special privilege from her brother, Edward IV, of being 
fi'eed 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. Ad. each for not attending 
at his riding (quils fan tent 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 owii 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 ^ader in a foreign country was always an 
ol)ject of suspicion to the inliabitants, 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 beiug- frequently unjust and subversive of all legitimate 
trade, besides being often strained to the great injury of indi- 
Tiduals, it was found expedient for all traders in foreign lands 
to unite, and by combined action to secure that recognition of 
their rights which the individual could not obtain. Hence 
arose the Association of Merchant Adveniurers, 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 Avas needed, yet there were more Mercers among the 
Merchant Adventurers' than liverjTiien 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 un.til 152G, when they became entirely inde- 
pendent, although the last link was not severed before the 
Great Fire of London in 1G66 destroyed the office which the 
Merchant Adventurers held of the Mercers under their Hall. 
It appears, hov/ever, from the records of the Founders' Com- 
pany, that the INIerchant Adventurers became their tenants in 
loGo; that the Founders borrowed a large sum of money 
from them, for which, in 1647, £200 was paid for interest; 
and that in 1G83 the Founders leased the Sising Room and 
the Gown Room of their new Hall in Lothbury to the Mer- 
chant Ad^'cnturers for £1G per annum. Several charters were 
granted by Englisli kings to their subjects in various parts of 
P^urope 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 rule all English merchants repairing thither, 


and to make reasonable ordinances. Henry VI renewed these 
po^-ers 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 confirming the titles of those who held imder 
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, 14G2, which Hakluyt caUs "The Merchant Adven- 
turers' Patent," for the better goverimient of the English 
merchants residing in Brabant, Flanders, &c., and under its 
provisions William Obray was appointed " Governor of the 
English Merchants " at Bruges. 

"\Aniether 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, 1402, and June 24th, 14G3, 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 Piercers' Company, but also with the Lord 
Chancellor, ^\Titing 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 m the ainiual accounts : — 

Item for botchyre for to shewe to ye lords of ye coiiscll the I're 

yt came from Caxton & ye felaship by j^oiid 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 IGth, 1405, 
WiUiara Redeknape, William Hende, and Jolm Sutton com- 
plained that they had received both cloth and lawn deficient 
in breadth as well as length ; whereupon it was decided that 
a letter should be dispatched to " Williaji Caxton, Governor 
hrijond ihe. iSea" for reformation of tlie abuse. This being 

c 2 


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

A° xin'f lxv°- Courte of avcnturers holdou the xvj^'' daye of 
August the yere aboue written. 

ffor eaell mesui-e ffor asmiiche as Will'" Redeknape "Will™ hende 
of cloth & lawnc. & John Sutton w* other complayne as vrcll for 
lak of mesure in all white clothe and hvown 
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 gofino'' 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" K^ E. iiij" 

"WHicther 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 estaT)lished in the city of Bruges, in the 
influential position of Governor of the English Xation 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 
(piarrels, 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 pleasm-e 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 
M'as 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 jjack 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 terra 
" 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 Adventm-ers 
to recommend "a fit person" to the king, who thereupon 
appointed him. The following example ■R'ill show in whose 
hands the executive power really resided : — The 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^m, 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 hed," and 
speaking " alle haAvty 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 fully prove 
the power exercised by the ]\Iercers' Company, which was, in 
fiict, 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 arc 
chai'gcd by the IMercers' Company £47 0.'^. lOc/. 


The " English Xation," as we have already remarked, was 
a very important body at Bruges, and like the Esterlings, the 
Florentines, and other merchants, had their own " House," 
which existed in its original state when Sandems, who calls 
it " Prjetorium peramplum," wrote his " Flandria lUustrata." 
The engraying of the Domus Angliae, occupied by the ^Mer- 
chant Adventm-ers, 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 gTcat 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 Loudon, who lived 
in a strongly-built enclosm'e, called the Steel Yard, the site of 
which is now occupied by the City station of the South Eastern 
llailway 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 with 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 ovm 
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 Avoman of any description 
was 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 
AV(juld terminate on November 1st, 1465. It Avas highly neces- 
sary that a renewal of this treaty should be made before that 
date, and Ave accordingly find that the king issued a com- 
mission, dated October i>4th, 1404, in Avhich he shoAved great 
Avisdom by joining in one mission a clcA'er statesman and a 
successful merchant. These Avere Sir Richard Whitehill, Avho 

Plate II. 

Th^ 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 IMerccrs with the 
wardens of divers Fellowships, Adventurers, considering that 
hitherto in similar cases the king, "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 wTite 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 
until such time as the treaty might be renewed. This inte- 
resting letter, which appears in fidl in the Mercers' books, Mas 
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 uiu-enewed, 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 Avas prohibited 
by Act of Parliament ; but neither the Flemish nor the English 
merchants could suflfcr 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 Warwick '(the nobleman to whom Caxton 
afterwards dedicated the first edition of his " Chess Book "), 
WTote 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, 1400, 
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 Ml." The letter arrived in London on 
June 3rd, when a fuU court of Adventurers was 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 WiU"- 
Caxton, Gunor de la nac' dcng'- " 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 ^^as 
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, 1407, 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 Hastuigs and Scales, John 
Russell, and others were sent as ambassadors to conclude a 
treaty of maiTiage between Charles the Bold, Duke of Bur- 
gundy, and the Princess Margaret, sister of King Edward IV. 
ijord Scales, afterwards Earl Rivers, was 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 
A\dth 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 Lincohi and Lord 
High Chancellor, appears to have been 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, wdth 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-wiU, 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 him certain persons of their number " to 
go out in embassage with diverse ambassadors into Flaunders," 
the Mercers thereupon nominated William Redeknape, John 
Pykeryng, and William Caxton. This took place on Septem- 
ber 9 th, 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 ha^'e 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 14G4, 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, 14G8, 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, would 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 Avere among the conventionalities of the 
age, and nearly every ^ATiter 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 show 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 plu"aseology in the Prologvie 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 Avere at this period sometimes more than a 
hundred vessels in Sluis, the port of Bruges, Caxton must 
have had ample Avork upon his hands. But Avhether he really 
had " no great charge or occupation," or Avhether he AA'as too 
busy to devote the needfid time to his translation, he himself 
tells us that he then proceeded no further than Avith Aa'c or 
six quires. Each quire or section consisting of eight or ten 
IcaAcs, this Avould amount to between forty and sixty leaAcs 
of manuscript. At this point, dissatisfied Avith the results of 


his labour, lie laid tliem 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 
daugleterre par dcca." The case in dispute being between an 
Enghshman and a Genoese merchant, they agreed to submit 
it to the arbitration of WiUiam Caxton and Thomas Perrot as 
mutual friends ; but Caxton being obhged to leave Bruges 
for some cause not mentioned in the document, a fidl court 
of merchants was summoned, and the judgment delivered in 
the names of the arbitrators. This judgment is dated ]\Iay 
12th, 1469, and is- the latest instance, as yet discovered, in 
which Caxton's name appears in his oflficial capacity. 

There is, however, another notice of Caxton lately dis- 
covered in the archives at Bruges, 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 loth, 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 great public occa- 
sions. Caxton received four kans of wine, but whether it was 
presented to him as " governor," or as an official in the ser- 
vice of the Duchess of Burgundy, is unknown. 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 vin," 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 wdth 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 
apparently a year later, is stated in his prologue to "The 
Recuyell," and he appears to have been connected with the 
printing of the Latin oration delivered by Dr. Russell. 


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 ati excellent opportunity of assisting his country- 
men, who were in gi-eat 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 efi'ect. 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 ofiered 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 nmst not forget that in those days princes, 
nobles, and even ecclesiastics, did not consider it inconsistent 
with their dignity to trade on their ovni 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 o'wned ships of merchandise. In 
1475 the Wardens of the Mercers' Company wrote 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 mcn-hant 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 Stubbes for perys to the 

Gentilwoman of the Duchesse of Burgeyn vj d 

1451. Item paid to Hewe Wyche for a writ directe 

to Sande^yche for the gownys of the 

gentil woraans of the duches of Eurgeyn ij s vj d 

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

duchesse de Burg^ xij s 

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

euuoi 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, hovrever, 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 hun to indulge 
in the congenial pursuit of Kteratm'e and the "strange 
meruaylous historyes" iii 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 his 


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

That Caxton was a married man, and that he coidd not 
have married much later than 14G9, is a new fact in the 
biography of Caxton, discovered by Mr. Gairdner, of the 
Public Record 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 full 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 woidd represent 
about £1500 at the present day). Upon the signing of a 
deed to that effect, the said Gerard Croppe was to receive 
fi'om the executors of William Caxton " twenty printed 
legends," valued at 13s Ad each (the sum total of which 
would now be equivalent to £200), and to give the executors 
a full acquittance of any further 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 14G9, which 
was about the period w^hen he resigned his official position 
and entered the royal service, and that his daughter EUza- 
beth was born soon after, she would have been about twenty- 
one years of age at the time of her ftither'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 
AVyche were in communication with the gentlewomen of the 
Duchess of Bni-gundy. Caxton, no doubt, was also in fre- 


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

" Item. — Atte bixreying 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 narrates in simple language 
the causes which led him to undertake the translation: — 
" Wlian I remembre that euery man is bounden by the 
comandement & counceyll of the wyse man to eschewe 
slouthe and ydelness whyche is moder and nourysshar of vyces 
and ought to put myself vnto 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 meruayllous historyes where in 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 well and compendiously sette and ^^Teton/ 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 
cure 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 therwyth the tyme . and 
thus concluded in my self to begynne this sayd worke." 

The new " Historic " was a welcome norelty 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 den.iand for Caxton's translation soon 
became greater than could possibly be supplied. His hand 
grew "wery and not stedfast" with much wTiting, 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. 



HE revival of literatui'e iii Europe, com- 
meiicmg with the latter part of the four- 
teenth century, its steady groAvth, and 
its wonderful de%'elopment in the suc- 
ceeding age, have been dwelt upon by 
many ^M-iters. Nowhere was this re'^^val 
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 aU engaged in the production of books. In 1350, 
John II, who has the credit of having founded the library 
of the Lou\Te, ascended the throne of France. No parti- 
culars concerning the library of this monarch have beeu 
preserved, and it was probably of no great extent; but Iiis 
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, ^ve obtain very interesting uiformation as 
to the number, the description, the illuminations, the bind- 
ings, and the market value of the books which they contained. 
Charles, the eldest son, Avho succeeded his father in ISO-i, 
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, 
wlien Gilles Mallet drew up a catalogue, they amounted to 
DIO, the greater niunber of which were Avritten on fine 



VL'llum, and were magnificently bound, and enriclicd with 
gold clasps and precious stones. This library, the Duke of 
Bedford, when Eegent 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 great degree 
the love of books and Avorks of art displayed by his elder 
brother. The third son, John, Duke of Berry, formed an 
extensive library at his chateau 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 
sur])assed him in the number and splendour of his literary 
treasures. King John's second ^nfe was Jane, A\'idow 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 
Planders, inherited, on the death of his father-in-law in 1384, 
a largo extent of teiTitory. Philip, who has the character of 
having l)een 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 Avith the en- 
couragement of artists alone, but gathered round him some 
of the most learned and able authors of his time, aa-Iio enriched 
his library Avith new works. This prince died in 1404, and 
Avas succeeded by his son, John the Fearless, Avho, although 
distracted by continual Avars, maintained and CAcn added 
somcAvhat to his father's library. Christine de Pisan received 
one hundred croAvns for tAvo books which she presented to 
him. But all previous patronage is eclipsed by the encourage- 
ment given to literature by Philip the Good, Avho succeeded 
to the dukedom of Burgundy upon the decease of John in 
1411). At Bruges, AA'here he kept his court, he gave contiimal 
employment to a crowd of authors, translators, copvists, 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 renoAMied 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 tliis 
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- 
ries. No present was more acceptable than a beautifully 
executed manuscript, and the opulent nobles of the Prench 
and Burgundian courts ofTcrcd 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. Tlie large size of the 
Volumes, thebeauty of the velhini, the elegance of the writing, 


.'jC WllJilAM f'AXTOX. 

the artistic merit of the illuminations and ornaments, and 
the luxury displayed in the bindings, are evidences of the 
deep interest taken hy 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 o^nicrsliip of the manuscripts, which efforts were but 
I)artiaUy successful, as about a hundred volumes, now among 
the most precious treasures of the Bibliotheque Rationale at 
Paris, stiU attest that they once belonged to this celebrated 
collection. As the patron of literary men and of artists, 
ijouis 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 
})ioneer of tlie press, should ever endear his name to biblio- 
graphers. This passion for beautiful books ^vas not confined 
to the dukedom of Burgundy, but existed equally in France, 
Italy, Germany, England, and other countries. Henry VI of 
England had a valuable library, and many of the books MTitten 
and illuminated for him are still among the Royal MSS. in 
the British Museum. The Duke of Bedford, whose love for 
literature was no doubt greatly stimulated during the time he 
held the oflBce of Regent of France, was surpassed by none of 
his countrymen in his patronage of the fine arts, and tlie 
celebrated Missal, va-itten 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 ^'hich the 
aiitiijuary pauses with respect and interest as he reads the 
boldly-written autograjih, " Cest a moy Homfrey." 

Owing to these causes, the various artists comiected with 
bof)kwritiug and bookl)inding, as well as the trades necessary 
to them, received much eucom-agement, while, to ensure ra- 
pidity as well as exceUeuce of Avorkmanship, division of labour 
was carried out to a great extent. Indeed, so important a 


branch of commerce had the manufacture of hooks now he- 
come, and so 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 in 
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 vras the patron saint of scribes ; and the volume 
of receipts and expenditure of this guild, beginning Avith the 
entrance fees of the original members, exists stiU 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 ct bockverkopcrs (Bookscllcrx). 

Prenter-vercoopers (Pr inf. tellers). 

Scilders (Painters). 

Vinghette makers {I'ainters of Vignettes). 

Scrivers et bouc-scrivers {Scriveners and copijists of hooks). 

Verlichters {lUinnlnators). 

Prenters {Printers, n-hether from bloclis or ti/jJes). 

Bouc-binders {BooMinders). 

Rcimmakers {Curriers). 

Drooch-scherrers {Cloth shearers). 

Parkement makers et fransyn makers {Parelinieiit 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 ow)i 
chapel and chaplain, and sometimes had considerable pro- 
perty. Nearly all the early printers whose names are now 
famous in the annals of Flemish typography 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 
gi-eatest 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 0'\mi 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 Avould be car- 
ried on, Caxton would be well acquainted with the nobles and 
officers of the court, and hence he would naturally become 
the agent for the literary wants of his countrymen. He 
would also l)e 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 fii'st to introduce the art of pruit- 
ing into the city of Bruges. 



OSTUME, that sure guide of the historian 
and the antiquary, is perhaps nowhere 
more discei'uible than in hterature, not 
merely in the dress of language and ex- 
pression, but also in the visible exponents 
of that dress — -^mting and printing. Thus, 
a manuscript or a printed book may, by the character of its 
WTiting or printing alone, be ascribed to a determinate era. 
In other words, a careful investigation of the mode of con- 
struction will, 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, Mhich were necessitated by the peculiarities of 
the new art. Commencing sim2)ly 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 oif 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 M'eU 
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 with reference to the productions of Colard Mansion 


and William Caxton, and. then to trace the novelties, purely 
typographical, 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- 
plopng 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 
vohune, l)ut 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 down the centre of the section. In books which have 
had the good fortune to escape the modern bookbinder, the 
observer may still see either the slips themselves or their 
traces in the bro^Mi stains left by the paste. 

3. When commencing a book, the scribes had a custom of 
passing over the first leaf, and beginning on the third page, 
probably \nth 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 i^rint, to be described by bililiographers as Avanting 
the title-page. 

4. Tlie scribe necessarily -wTote 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 eyidence 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 quinternion has never 
been printed at all, while the complementary page, which falls 
on the same side of the sheet, has l^een 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 MTitten and argued as if 
" signatures " were an invention of printers. This is an erro- 
neous idea. It was as necessary for the scrilje 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 gniide in the coUation 
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 tlicm 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 objectional)le, 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 sigiiatmes 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 paragrapli marks. 
Through carelessness or ignorance a WTong initial was occa- 
sionally painted in, but as far as possible to prevent this, both 
scribes and printers inserted a small letter as a guide, which 
Avas usually covered over by the coloured capital. 

7. Wlien transcribing a book, it was seldom thought a 
matter of any importance to add the date of transcription 
and the wTiter's name, though occasional instances of this 
are fjund. It was probably a like feeling which made the 
early printers follow 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 knoAATi 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 re^'ealing his 
secret to save his life. 

The fii-st 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 occiu* 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 reseml)le the ^^Titten characters 
of the period, nor that tliis 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 fii'st 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 -reman. "Wlien Sweynheym and Pannartz, 
emigrating fi-om 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 \\Titing was also in use in England, and Caxton's tyj^es 
accordingly bear the closest resemblance to the hand-writing 
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 tyjies : — " 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 haxe 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 printei's 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 ^ith the 
printer ; for although in this respect the time-honoured custom 
of the scribes was follo\\'ed for a few years, the improved 
appearance which evenness gave to the work ^vas soon 
observed, and thus a typographical step in advance ^^•as 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 
fi-om 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. Everj'^ 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 "forme," 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 settlng-i-tile. 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 unevenncss or burr of the previous line. 
Its absence would entail many obstructions 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 Hnes, 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- 
gi'aved 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, likewise, are piu-ely 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, Avhere the title of the book is printed alone in the 
centre of the first page, his books appear without any title- 
page whatever. 

Wyiiken de Worde adopted the use of title-pages imme- 
diately after the death of his master, but Maclilinia of 
London, and the schoolmaster-prmter 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 ^18., a7id sold if for 2.<. Crf. / See also the remarks on Verard's 
" Euryalus et Lucrecc," in the Catalogue of the Harleian MSS., vol. Ill, 
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, v:e appreciate the existence of a mass 
of technical evidence which, like the strata of the earth, or the 
mouldings of a cathedral arch, affords chronological data quite 
independent of any other source, and enables us, \dth 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 Avidth, the number of lines in a page, the number of 
sheets in a section, and, above all, the sequence in the use of 
various tyjDCs. 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 oami judgment as to the chronological order of the 
above-mentioned pecidiarities. 

Some interesting facts may be gathered from this table. 

1 . The tyjies 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. Tyj^e No. 3 is principally em- 
ployed for headlines during the use of Nos. 2 and 4. In 1480 
tyi>e 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 aud 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 lines of an 
uneven length, whilst all printed subsequently were spaced out 

3. SigTiatures and even spacing of the lines were syn- 
clironous improvements, aud 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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WILLI.LM CAXTOX. generally to use letters and Koman numerals, as t j, for 
his signatures, yet in the three years 1481 to 1483, and at no 
other period, he used Arabic numerals, thus 6 1, or 2 1. 

We may further add that the use of the paragraph mark 
(f[) never appears before 1483 ; that the great device makes 
no appearance, tiU 1487, the printed date to the third edition 
of the "Dictes" notwithstandhig; and that initials in wood 
first appear in the "-35sop" 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 i)eriod. 



'EUGES, 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 Ivho^ti. His 
name occurs many times in the old records still preserved in 
the municipal Hbrary, 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 "CoUinet," 
a diminutive of Collaert, from which Van Pract, his fii'st 



biographer, thinks he Avas at that time under age. In 
1450 " Colinet " received fifty-four lin-es from the Duke of 
Burgimdy for a novel, entitled " Eomuleon," beautifully 
illuminated and bound in velvet. This copy is now in the 
Eoyal Library at Brussels, and another copy, written 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 friendly 
and famihar 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 stiU 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, disgi-ace, 
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 Eue des 
(.'armes. His 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 "v^-as in this room that 
Colard Mansion, in May 1484, finished his beautiful edition 
of 0\id's " Metamorphoses," a magnificent foHo 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 
as to the probability of his return, there being an opportunity 
of letting the room to a better tenant ; but all ^s'as 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 Grossin 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 whate^'er. 

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 affixed 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 Sonime." 

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 Pi. 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 dirty in colour, and moreover that the black lines, nearest 
the red, have their edges tipped with red, a defect which the 
separate printing of lines in red ink aiibrds no opportunity 
for producing. The following explanation will satisfactorily 
show the 7nodus 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 carefully 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 pulled. 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. In fact, both these defects appear in 
every book printed l)y Colard Mansion, i-n 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 was 
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 accm'acy very difficult to obtain, l^y 
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 tliis out. 

Le .Jardin de Devotion before 1476 uneven lines 

Boccace du Dochict de.s Nobles Hommes 1476 „ 

Boece de la Consolation de Philosophic 1477 „ 

Le Quadrilogue d'Alain Chartier 1478* even lines 

La Somme rurale 1479 „ 

Les Metanioi'phoses d'Ovide 1484 „ 

Taking, then, 1478 as the year in which Mansion changed 
his practice, we may assume, Avithout fear of error, that all 
the undated books, with short-spaced lines, were anterior, and 
all the undated books, with their lines 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 tnoraux des Philosophcs short-spaced 

Les Invectives contre la Secte de Vauderie „ 

La Controversic 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 


WILLIAM CAXTON. 1478, having lines of an even length : — 

Les Advineanx amoiircux. Edit. 1 full-spaced 

Le Doctrinal du temps present „ 

La Doctrine de bien vivre ., 

L'Art de bien mourir „ 

La Purgatoire des manvais Alans „ 

L'Abuse en court ,, 

Les Evangiles des Quenouilles „ 

Le Donat espirituel ,. 

Les Adeuineaux amoreux. Edit. 2 „ 

Dionysii Arcopagiticie liber „ 

Colard Mansion seems never to have produced works from 
his press with rapidity ; therefore, as the "Boccace of " 1476 
contained nearly GOO 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 ilansion a printer in Bnxges a])out 
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 GTidence as to where and from whom 
Caxton acquired his knowledge of the Art 
of Printing has been considered by nearly 
every bibliograi^her as being confined en- 
tirely to the information obtained from 
Caxton's o\^ti Prologues and Epilogues, 
with the one addition of the well-kno-^vii quatrain of Wynken 
de Worde, at the end of his " Bartholoma3U8 de Proprietatibus 
Eerum." 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 mtnesses. 
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 
Mhits 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 impossil)ility 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 fiftccnth-ccntnij books in the collection 
of M. J. de Mever. 8vo. London. 1870. 


iiniges, are five in number, although we can trace liis direct 
connection Avith but two of them. 

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

logues and EpiiogTies. 

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. 

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 made, and an erroneous conclusion drawn, 
unless care be taken to remember the eficct 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, 1048, 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, 
Avhilst others date it in 1G89. In these and many other 
instances one WTiter takes the old style of beginning the year, 
'\\-hiIst others take the new style, each being right from his 
own stand-point. In a lately discovered tract printed by 
Caxton, and known 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. Tliis was no blunder, for the old 
year coutiuacd until March 25th, which was New- Year's Day, 
1483. Keturuing 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 o-wii 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 Avith. He tells us that he began 
to translate the work at Bruges on March 1st, 14G8, which, 
as the year in Flanders did not then commence till Easter, 
w^as really 14G9, 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 -wTiting too wearisome for him, and not expeditious enough 
for his friends, he had practised and learnt, at his gTeat 
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 tyiDography, Caxton ends with 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 vrriting 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 mouths would 
ha^'e 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 Avas finished before the 
first sheet Avas printed, as will he hereafter shoAvn. We may 


also notice, that the duration of Caxton's visit to Cologne 
must have been very short, as liis absence 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. Tho date of the printing of this book has been 
fixed, by several writers, between 1464 and 14G7, from the 
consideration that Le F6"VTe, 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 
Fevre is not styled there as in the French, " Chappellain de 
montres redoubte seigneur Monseignenr le Due Phillipe de 
Bourgoingne," but " chapelayn vnto the ryght noble glorious 
and mighty prynce, in his iyme, 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 14G7; and it is therefore inferred that "Le Recueil" 
must date between 14G4 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 nnaccomitable. 
All 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 Fe\Te to suit his 
o\w\ time, because he vras 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 lie altered the original. His translation Avas 
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 
Recujell," translated in 1474, and sent to press about the 
same date. In fact, the whole tone of the epilogue to Book 
III. of " Tlie Recujell," leads unquestionably to the conclu- 
sion that tiiat was the very first occasion on which Caxton 
had busied himself with typography. He would never have 
said, "I have learned to ordain this look 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 \\ith 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 e\'idence of value, 
its prologue being, for the most part, merely a translation of 
that written by Jehan de Yignay 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 ; 80 that March Slst, 1474, was, according to the 
modern reckoning, March Slst, 1475. 

The prologue to the second edition throws a little light 
on the history of the first. Caxton there says, in reference to 
his connection with the Ijook : " .... 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 wliich have not seen it, nor 
understand french nor latin, I deliberated in myself to translate 
into our maternal tongue ; and when I had so achieved the 
said translation, / did do set in imprinte, 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," l)ut 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 nlld notd. 

The whole of the literary eyldence therefore may be briefly 
summed up thus: "TheKecuyell" 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 
Eecueil" was compiled in 1464, but, like the other four, 
affords no evidence of date of the printing, which was pro- 
bably about 1476. 

We ^\ill 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 vrorth noting. It was the practice 
of Caxton, as of other printers, to commence the printing of 
his books with the text, any preface which might be requisite, 
being added afterwards in a separate section, with a different 
kind of signature. When, however, the Avhole of the manu- 
script, prologue as well as text, was complete before it came 
into the priuter'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 


1— < 


if S lis 

2 g-S^R 

^^ ^ d te* *- 4* 




8 Ids S,L- ^ 

c -c -H -n 2 r c 

jB • ^ C <5 B 



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 o^ti description of the effect that so 
much flTiting had upon him, that Caxton issued several 
maiuiscript copies before he thought of using the printing- 
press. The copy presented to the Duchess was undoubtedly 
manuscript ; or else how could Caxton have chi'onicled in the 
printed work 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," wliich 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 vnW proceed to a comparison of some other typo- 
graphical particulars. 

The foHowing table ^\-ill show some of the teclinical features 
of each book, and some of what may be called the " habits " 
of the printer : — 




1 TheRecyuell Fol. 

2 Le Recueil Fol. 

3 The Chess Book ... Fol. 

4 Les Fais du Jason . Fol. 

5 Meditacions Fol. 

6 Les i^"^ derrennieres 

choses Fol. 


No. of 


in a 


No. of 
in a 



Measure- „ 
ment of SP^icng 

l^l^^- Lines. 

(5 (Uneven none 
7f 'uneven [none 
7 1 I uneven 
7# even 

ox /f ; uneven 


From this table we perceive, — 

First, That the first fi-\'e books are printed witli 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 cou- 
sidered as the production of one printer. 

Who, 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 ^n-iting 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, A\here 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 ^^Titten in old 
batardc, and in exactly the same character as the t}^es of 
* Le Recueil 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 Jieurs de lis, and the Gothic p with the 
quatrefoil, ignoring the fact that these are coirmion 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 (nni 
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 tlie 
sheet will in every case be found crooked also. Now, the 
" Recuyell " was certainly printed page by page, as were like- 


wise all the books from ]\Iansioii's press. And Caxton, when 
printing his 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 1467, 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 ; 
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 tyi^ogTapliy, 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, ^^^thout 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 untenable. 

The printer of all these works was undoubtedly Colard 
Mansion, who had just before established his press at Bruges 
— who cast the tyj^es on his owm model for Caxton, and in- 
structed him in the art while printing trifh and for him 
"The Recuyell" and the ''Chess Book" — who certainly 
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 " Meditacions." 

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

* Van Praet, Brunet, and especially Campbell in his " Annalcs do 
la Typographie Neerlandaise," err in describing " Le purgatoire des 
mauvais Maris," printed by Colard Mansion, as a "petit in-lo." The 
copy described is cut a little more than usual, but the watermark which 
M in the middle of the page proves the size to be folio, whereas had it 
been quarto the watermark nnist 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 coloiu'9 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 oflF lines 
purposely isolated, and then re-inking them Mith 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, I feel no hesitation in ascribiug 
"Les Quatre Derennieres Choses" either to Colard Mansion or 
to Caxton working under his tuition ; and as this peculiai-ity 
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 furnishes 
positive proof that the two founts were under one roof, whether 
at Cologne or Bruges, or elsewhere. Whoever printed the five 
books in tyj^e No. 1 most certainly owned type No. 2 also. 

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

" And also of your charyte call to renicmbraunce 

The soule of William Caxton first ))rynter of this boke 
In latcn tonge at Coleyn hysclf to auaiice 

That euery well disposj-d man may thereon lokc." 


The phraseology of this verse is very ambiguous. Are we 
to understand that the editio princeps of " Bartholomgeus " pro- 
ceeded fi-om 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 ? Tlie last seems the 
most probable reading. But though the words will bear 
many constructions, they are evidently intended to mean that 
Caxton printed " Bartholomaius " at Cologne. Now this seems 
to be merely a careless statement of Wynkcn de Worde ; for 
if Caxton did really print " Bartholomajus " in that city, it 
must have been with his own tyj^es and presses, as the 
workmanship of his early volumes proves that he had no 
connection Tvith the Cologne printers, whose practices were 
entirely diflFerent. 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 apocryjohal " Bartholomasus " would have been at a 
subsequent visit, 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 Avas in those days not much 
studied, and to a general carelessness about names and dates 
Wynken de Worde added a negligence peculiarly Ms own. 
We may excuse him for using Caxton's device in several 
books which by their dates and types are known to have been 
printed by himself, as well as for putting Caxton's name as 
printer to the edition of the " Grolden 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 1405 edition of 
the " Polycronicon," where Wyiiken de Worde, making himself 
the speaker in Caxton's prologue, promises to carry the history 
dowii 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 Rivers and himself ? 
W)Tiken de "Worde's blunders in statements are well matched 
by his blunders in worlananship, 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, notwdthstanding 
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 I 
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 wliich 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 
biogTapher, was very sceptical concerning this Cologne edition 
of " Bartholomasus." "Its having a Latin title," he says. 

* William Caxton, except iu the occasional interchange of i and y, 
which were at that period considered as equivalents, never altered the 
orthogi'aphy 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 niiiny 
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. VVinand i V"\''ordensi. 

VVin(inin de VVoi'dc. Winandi de Wordensis. 


"miglit possibly deceive De Worde, and make him think it 
was printed in liatin. However this may be, it does not 
appear that any edition of it, printed by Caxton or any one 
else, either in Latin or Enghsh, 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 Cologiie, 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 -^^ath contemporary ha.nd\^Tifcing 
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 vforkshop 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 di-aw 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 Recueil" for the Duchess of Bm-gundy, 
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 v.-ith sufficient rapidity. This ])rings ns 

F 2 


to the year 1472 or 1473. Colard Mansion, a skilful cali- 
grapher, must have been knowTi to Caxton, and may even 
have been employed by him to execute commissions. Man- 
sion, who had obtained some knoA\iedge 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 ]\Iansion the 
requisite knowledge, by the aid of which appeared "The 
Kecuyell," the first book printed in the new type, and more- 
over the first book printed in the English language. This, 
probably, v.-as 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. 

Eai'ly 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- 
ducti(m of Christianity. 



X the preceding chapters Caxton's career as 
an iVpprentice, as a Merchant, as Govenior 
of the Merchant-Adventurers, as a Magis- 
trate, and as an Ambassador, has been 
traced ; the revival of literary tastes in 
Europe has been briefly sketched, as Avell 
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 tlie 
introduction — that short period which alone has caused the 
name of Caxton to be inscribed on the tablets of history, and 
the typogTaphical relics of which form the best and only 
memorial which England possesses of her first printer.* 

We left Caxton early in 147G 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 l^oxburglie tablet in St. Margaret's Church, 
Westminster ; and, better still, there is a " Caxton Pension" in connec- 
tion with the " Printers' Corporation," by which the needs of sonic 
afflicted successors in Caxton's craft arc alleviated ; but a memorial 
worthy of our first printer and of his countrymen has never yet been 


liis sefctlement at Westminster, when, in NoTcmber 1477, he 
had printed his first edition of the "Dictes and Sayings of 
the Philosophers." This book is, in fact, the earhest 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 undertaking, must have occupied a considerable 
time. If, therefore, we assume that Caxton commenced liis 
new. career in this country about the latter half of 147G we 
cannot be far MTong. 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 Wynkcn de Worde after his first master's death, 
has a curious remark upon this in the prolog-ue to his edition 
of " Kynge Apolyn of Tliyre," with which romance he appears 
to have commenced his career as a printer. " Wliiche booke 
I, Roberte Copland, have me applycd for to translate oute of 
the Frenshe language into our maternal tongue, at the exhor- 
tacyon of my forsayd mayster [Wynkcn de Worde], gladly 
followynge the trace of my mayster Caxton, logijunymjc with 
smiU sioryes and j)amfldc&, 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 own 
name with a definite locality. We therefore give the follow- 
ing extracts taken verbatim ct literatim from his works : — 

M 77. Dictes AXD Sayings. First edition. Epilogue, cn- 

prynted by me william Caxton at westmestre. 
J 178. MoiiAL Proverbs. Colophon. I hmie enjrrinted . . . . 

At westmestre. 
1480. Chronicles of ExfiL.^'D. First edition. Colophon. 

en^mnted by me William Caxton Jn thahbey of west- 

mynsire by london. 
1480. Description of Britain. First edition. Prologue. 

the comyn rronicles of enylond ben .... now late en- 

jn ill ted at wesfmynstre. 


1481, MiREOUR OF THE WoRLD. First edition. Prologue. 
Afid emprised hy me . ... to translate it into our 
maternal tongue . ... in tliahhay of westmestre by 

1481. Reynard the Fox. First edition. Epilogue, hy me 
u'ilVm Caxton translated . ... in thahhey of west- 

1481. GcDrREY OF BoLOGNE. EjDilogTio. sette in forme and 
emjjrynted .... in tJiaMey of westmester. 

1483. Pilgrimage of the Soul. Colophon. Enirrynted at 
westmestre by ivilliam Caxton. 

1483. Liber Festivalis. First edition. Colophon. Em- 
pry ntcd at Westmynster by wyllyam Caxton. 

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

1483. CoKFESSio Amantis. Colophon. Enprynted at west- 
mestre by me ivillyam Caxton. 

1483. GoLDEX liEGEND. First edition. Epilogue, fynysshed 
it at tvestmestre. 

1483. Caton. Colophon, Translated . ... by William 
Caxton in thabbcy of Westmynsfre. 

1483. Knight of the Tower, Colophon, enprynted at 


1484. ^sop. Epilogue, enprynted by me william Caxton 
at u'estmynstre in thabbay. 

1484, The Order of Chivalry, Epilogue, translated 

. ... by me William Caxton dwellynye in Westmynstro 
besyde london. 

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

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

wylliam Caxton at Westmestre. 
[1489.] Directorium Sacerdotum. Colophon. Impressum 

. . . . apud Westmonesterium. 
1481), Doctrinal of Sapience, Colophon, translated .... 

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


" If it plose ony man spirituel or temporel to bye ony pyes 
of tv.-o and thre comemoracios of salis]:»uri vse enpryiitid after 
the forme of this preset lettre whiche beu wel and truly cor- 
reet, Jute hym come to ivesimomstm' in to tJie ahnonesnjc at the 
reedjjale 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. 

Iti William Caxstons hows so fyll the case. 
DiRECTORiUM Sacerdotum, 1495. Ill domo Caxton Wi/iilcyn 

fieri fecit. 
Lyndewode's Constitution es, 149G. Ajnul Westmonaste- 

riiim. In domo caxston. 
The XII Profytes op Tribulacyon. Enpnjnted at West- 

mi/ster in Caxions hous. 
DoNATUS Minor. In domo Caxton in westmonasterio. 
Whital's Dictionary. Imjirynted in the late hous of Wil- 
liam Caxton. 
Accedence. Prynted in Oaxons house at westmynstre. 
The Chorle and the Byrde. Emprynted at westmestre in 

Caxtons house. 
Doctrynalle of Dethe. Enp-ynted at westmynster Jn 

Caxtons hous. 
Ortus Vocabulorum. prope celeherrimum mofuisteriwn qiiod 

tcestmynstre appellatur impressum. 

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

" Neare ^nito this house westward was an old chappel of 
S. Anne, ouor against the which the Lady j\Iargaret, 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 
Aml)ry, for that the Almes of the Al)bey were there disti-i- 
butcd to the ])()ore. And therin Islip, Al/bot of Westmin. 


erected the first Presse 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 saydc Abbey." 

Reviemng the foregoing quotations, it wiU be noticed 
that although the precise expression, Printed in the Ahheij of 
Wt'stminstrr, is affixed to some books, yet the more general 
plu-ase Printed at Westminster is also used, and evidently 
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 Ab])ey," 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 
Avas a space >\ithin the Abbey precincts, where alms Avere dis- 
tributed to the poor ; and here the Lady Margaret, mother of 
King Henry VII., 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 Atd>ei/ 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 biogi-aphers of Caxton. Dr. Dibdin, 
Charles Knight and others, place them on the site of the 
Chapel of Henry VII, vvhich 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 locality. 
After describing the monastery and the king's palace, he pro- 
ceeds to say, "now will I speake of the gate house, and of 
Totehill streete, stretching from the icest part of the Close .... 
The gate towards the west is a Gaile for offenders .... On 
the Soidhside of this gate, king H. the 7. founded an almos- 
house .... Neare ^mto 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- 
ofSce. 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 pmigent. 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, Avas John Esteney, who succeeded to that office 
in 147-4, upon the promotion of Thomas Milling to the 
Bishopric of Hereford. Those Amters 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 Ab])ot 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 casually, 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 shewe to me late certayn euydences An-yton 
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 oidy sent the documents. Caxton 
always appears to ha^-e recorded, in imtKigue oi' oi)ilog-ue, 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 Bryce 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- 
])erlain, and with him Caxton would have to agree as to his 
tenure of "The Red-pale" in the Ahnonry. 

The reason of Caxton's preference for the Almonry is not 
at all e-sident, 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. 
►S(jrae 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 
Grehouude," 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, vre may safely infer, from his 
o^vn 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 w^as 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 Ahnonry was currently believed to have been 
that in which our first printer dwelt ; but Mr. Nichols, who, 
as well as Kni^^ht, gives a woodcut of it, is of opinion that 
the house could not be older than the time of Charles I. 
Upon its demolition in 184(), 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, Avould 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 Avhere Caxtou worked ; l)ut 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 baud down 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 Caxtou 
to designate his house. The woodcut oppo- 
site, taken from Holtrop's " Monumens Tyjio- 
graphiques," pi. 71, shows a house of the 
fifteenth century, which has two tenants, both printers, each 
of whom has a sign. This was in Antwerp. The printers 
at DelflF, in Holland, used a "black pale" for their 

We have already mentioned " The Greyhound " as ])eing 
held by the Mercers' Company from the Abbots of West- 
minster. From the same " Account-book " it appears that in 
1477 the "liveHhode" made a "visitation," and "kept a 
dinner" at " The Greyhound," which cost them 2 Gs 8f/, 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 well 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 ueiu-hbourhood for meetino: durinsr 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 T\dth Caxton of the "Fraternity 
or Guild of our Blessed Lady Assumption." Several of the 
"Account-books" of this brotherhood are still preserved in 
the vestry of St. Margaret's ; and although they noM'here 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 present day, with the addi-- 
tional advantage of prayers for the repose of the souls of 
deceased members. And yet, if only a religions 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, Avhere 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, -Rith 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 la^-ish feasts, 
each time filling at least two folio pages, are entered in the 
accounts with great minuteness, from the amount paid to the 
" chief cok" as a reward (which Avas more than twelve guineas 
of modern money), down to the boat-hire for the " turbuts," 
and nearly £4 for "pottcs ]:)roken and wasted at the same 
fest." * Of this guild Caxton was a member for some years 
before his death. 


* After an entiy of the payment of six priests' salaries, there occur — 
" Costcs and pcellcs allowed by the hole Brothcvhode toward thexpences 
of the {^eiiall fest in iijiie yere of this accorapt." 
These " Costs and Parcels " occupy two folio pages, and contain the 
following among other items : — 

" A tonn of wync vj li " 

" Paidc to John Drayton chief sok for his re- 
ward XXV s" 
" Also for the hire of xxiiij doseyn of crtlicn 

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 diinking 
pledges would be, "The health of WiUiam 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 erthen 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 cuppes 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 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 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 cuppes broken and wasted." The 

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

who had but xxxs betM^cen 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 a^■erage 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 arrival, his name 
appears as auditor of the parish accounts. The parish audit 
seems to have been a very simple afikir. 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 autogi-aphs. All the names, how- 
ever, are in the same hand\\Titing, 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 lY, as we 
have seen, paid him a sum of money for certain services per- 
formed; and Caxton printed "Tully" and " Codfrey" under 
the king's "protection." Edward's sister ]\Targaret, Duchess 
of Burgundy, was his fi-iend and supporter, and perchance may 
liave paid a visit to her old servant at the " llcd-pale," when 
she visited England in 1 480. Margaret, Countess of Kich- 


mond, 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 
Eichard TIL Henry VII personally desired Caxton to trans- 
late and print the " Fayts of Arms," and the " Eneydos " was 
specially presented to Arthiur, Prince of Wales. Master 
William Daubeney, King Henry VI's treasurer, was his " good 
and synguler friend." William, Earl of Arundel, 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 ; WiUiam 
Pratt, a rich mercer; and divers unnamed "gentylmen and 
ladyes," are kno'^vii to have employed him. Some of these, 
like the " noble lady with many faire doughters," for whom 
he produced "The Knyght of the Toure," engaged him to 
translate as well as to print. 

In 1480 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 wliich 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" — was promoted by the publication. 

In 1490 died, and Avas buried at St. Margaret's, one 
"Mawde Caxton," of whose relationship to WiUiam Caxton 
there is no direct evidence. It may have been the Maude 
who, twenty-nine years earlier, became his wife 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 wviv \mnted from his own manu- 
script, and liave additions A\Iiich often afford the date of 
translation (.r of jiriutiuti-. The following table presents an 
arramremeut of these hooks, from which Ave may oUain some 







-Nov. 18... 
-Feb. 20... 
-Feb. 3... 

Mar. 24... 
-Apr. 22... 

June 10... 

Aug. 18... 
-Jan. 2... 

Mar. 8... 

Mar. 12... 

June 6 . . . 

June 7... 

Aug. 12... 

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

Oct. 8... 
—June 1 ... 

June . . . 
June 30... 
Sept.. 2... 
Not. 20... 
Dec. 23... 
-Jan. 31... 
Mar. 26... 

Sept" 13... 
-June 18... 

July 31... 

Aug. 31... 

Dec. 1... 

Dec. 19... 
—June 8 . . . 
-May 11... 
-Jan. 23... 

May 7 ... 

July 8... 


—June 15 ... 

June 22... 

July 14... 

Dictcs, 1st edition (e) 
Moral Proverbs (c) 
Cordyale (b) ; 
Cordyale {c) ^ 

Ovid, 15th Book (^>)... 

Chronicles, 1st edit, (e) 
Description, 1st ed. (p) 

Mirrour, 1st edit (J)... 
MiiTour, 1st edit. ((')... 
Godfrey (h) 

Reynart, 1st edit. («")... 

Tully (r) 
t^odfrey (c) 

Polycronicon (e^ 

Chronicles, 2nd ed. (r) 


Knight of the Toure (r) 

Pylgrcmage (^c) 
Festival (c) 
Confessio (c) 
Golden Legend (<■) 





Knight of the Toure (c) 

JEsop (r) 

Order of Chivalry (<-) 

Kyal Book (f) 

Charles (r) 

King Arthur (e) 

Paris and Vienne (c) . 

Charles (c) 

Paris and Vienne (c) 

Good Manners (e) 

Good Manners (e) 


Fayts (^c) 

Directorium, 2nd ed. (^) 

Art and Craft (c) 

Kneydos (e) 

Fayts (^0 

(S) met 

itis brffun. (r) r 

neans ended. 


idea of the time occupied in their translation and printing. 
The majority of Caxton's works, however, bear no date what- 
ever ; and here the only basis of a correct arrangement must 
be a careful examination and comparison of the peculiarities 
of the various types. In this table variations may be noticed 
from some of the dates as printed by Caxton ; but these are 
merely apparent discrepancies caused by the difference between 
the old and new style of reckoning the commencement of the 
year, and also by the custom, then so common, of dating l)y 
the regnial 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," 280 pages. The 
period occupied in printing " Cordyale," 1 52 pages, was only 
seven weeks, whilst "(lodfrey," 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 Great," 188 pages, live and a half 
months ; " Paris and Vienne," 70 pages, three and a half 
months; "Good Manners," 132 pages, eleven months; and 
"Fayts of Arms," 280 pages, more than a year. 

Caxton's o-rii 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 ; iEsop's Fables ; the 
Order of Chivalry ; the Royal Book ; the Life of Charles the 
Great ; the History of the Knight Paris and the Fair Yienne ; 
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 Aymou; and the Gouvernayle of 
Health. These contain more than 4,500 printed pages. The 
total produce of his press, excluding the books 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 perseverance of Caxton ; and to this list 
must be added the translation of the "Vital Pati-um," which 

a 2 


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

Those who have blamed Caxton 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 lining 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 -m-itings 
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 
& gentihnen" were craving for "joyous and pleysaunt his- 
toryes" of chivalry, and the press at the " Red-pale" produced 
a fresh romance nearly every year. Poetry and history require 
for their aj)preciation a more advanced mental education, and 
of these, therefore, the issue was more scanty. By thus bring- 
uig his commercial experience to bear upon his new venation, 
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 typogi-aphical brethren at Rome, SAveynheim 
and Pannartz, who, having pruited 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 ICtia-ton 
printed notkitu/ of the sorf], 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 lauda])le desire 
t« elucidate the history of his country ; but instead of publishing the 
the Latin chronicle of Eadulphus Higden \_n-hich rcri//c/r could have 
read"] he could only venture on the English version by John de Trevisa 
.... the world is not indebted to England for one firxt 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 disciiarge of the social duties of his position — Caxtou 
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 "Yitee Patruni." 
Whether disease was at this time gradually undermining his 
health, or whether, as the following colophon renders more 
probable, he was taken oS suddenly, is unkno\Mi ; but it is 
an interesting fact that he was spared to work at his favom-ite 
task of translation till within a few hours of his death. 

The following is Wynken de Worde's colophon to the 
" Vitse Patrum : " — " Thus endyth the moost vertuouse hys- 
torye of the deuoute and right reno\Mied lj\e& of holy faders 
lyuynge in deserte, worthy of remembraunce to all wel dysposed 
persones which hath be translated oute of Frenche into 
Enghsshe by William Caxtou of Westmynstre 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- 
lirnied l>y the following manuscript note, quoted by Ames : — 
"There is ^Tote do^^Ti in a very old hand in a Frucins 
Temponmi of my friend Mr. Ballard's, of Cambden, in Glou- 
cestershire : — ' Of your charitee pray for the soul of Mayster 
Wyllyam Caxtou, that in hys time was a man of moche ornate 
and moche renommed wysdome and connyng, and decessed 
ful crystenly the yere of our Lord mcccc lxxxxj.' " 

" Moder of Merci shyld him fro thorribul fynd, 
And bryng hym to lyff eternall that iici^yr hath yiid.'' 

He was bui'ied in his own parish churcliyard, and in the 



account-books of the churchwarclens appear tlie following 
funeral charges : — 

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

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

Oaixton's property consisted probably of little more than 
his stock hi 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 behove by 
William Caxston." The " Golden Legend " was first printed 
in 1484, but the second edition, of which the bequest proba- 
bly consisted, y\'-ds not executed till four or five years later. 
By the churchwardens' account for 14i)G-i)8, it appears that 
by that time they had disposed of three of the fifteen copies : 
one for 6s Sd, and another for 6s 4d, by the agency of William 
liyoUe ; and one for 6s Sd to the parish priest, ]M'obal)ly for 
his own use. Within the next two years William Geiffe 
took five cojues at an average of os id each ; John Crosse 
one copy at 5.s i^d ; Walter Marten one at 5s lid; and Daniel 
Aforge one at i'ts lOd; another being sold in *' AVestnmister 
halle" for 5s Sd. This should have left remaining, in 1500, 
four copies to be accounted for, but the "Memorandum" 
acknowledges only three ; probably one copy had been appro- 
priated by the churchwardens to the use of their chm-ch. 
Two more co|iies 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 ha^e been searched without success. 

That our kiiOAvledge of William Caxton is confined almost 
entirely to his public life, is much to be regTetted. We can 
trace to some extent his career in commerce as wxA] as iu 
diplomacy. As a printer too, we csn judge of him by an 


exainimitiun of his works ; hut when we Avish to portray the 
mail as a master, or in domestic life, or we desire to know 
what his neighhonrs thont>'ht of him, we fail for want of relialile 
material. From his ap]>endiiio- a bitter satire on " women " 
to the " Dictes and Hayings of the Philosophers," we might 
have inclined to think him a bachelor, did we not know that 
he liad a wife and daughter when he came to England ; but 
that he niimarried 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 d(jubtless guided by the same policy. 
We naturally turn to the prologues and epilogues attached 
to Caxton's traiislati(ms for traits of character, but here again, 
we are surrounded by difficulties. There existed in those 
days iKj rights in literature. Every author took fi'om others 
what best suited his purpose, and that without acknowledg- 
ment, except to give authority to his own opinions. This 
practice has imohed many of the works 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 irom the French originals, 
altering them only Avhen inapplicable to himself. Such in- 
stances may be seen in the "Chess Book," the "Mirror," 
the "Golden Legend," "Charles," and others. (Ireat care is 
therefore requisite to distinguish between Caxton's own 
thoughts and the mere translation of those of others. But, 
after making due allo\\ance for all this, there yet remains, 
in Caxton's prologues and epilogues, a substratum of indi- 
Aiduality, which must be the basis for any right api)reciation 
of his diaracter. His repeated eulogies of Edward IV, and 
the members of his family, indicate that all his political 
sympathies were A\'ith the House of York. This was but 
natui'al, for the develoj)ment of trade consecjuent upon amity 
between England and the imnces of the Low Countries, made 
all the English merchants staunch adherents to the White 
Hose. His \mtings also reveal that he had a deep sense of 
religion, and was strict in the observauce of his (*lii-istian 


duties. Although in one sense the greatest reformer that this 
country has ever known, he was quite unconscious of the 
tendency of the art which he introduced. In the tone of his 
mind he was indeed eminently conserYative, comparing the 
good old times of his apprenticeship with 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 
]>art." 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 recover}- 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 id-eas of printers 
about the advantage of title-pages to books, though if we may 
judge from the fact of Wynken do 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 Ijeen a master. His ^mtings, 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 presmne 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. With the French tongue ' 
he was thoroughly conversant, although he had never been in 
Fi-ance ; but Bruges was almost French, a]id in the Court of 
liui'ginuly. as well as in that of England, French was the 


chief medium of coiiyersation. With Flemish he Avas 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 governor 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 with 
the king's council. Moreover, he printed books entirely in 
the Latin tongue, some of which were full of contractions, 
and could only have been midertaken by one well acquainted 
with that language. These were the " Infancia Salvatoris," 
three editions of the " Directorium Sacerdotum," a " Psal- 
terium," " Horse," " 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 Avell 
as of the master ; for, as the letters n and u were identical in 
shajDe, and as m and i varied only in the number of strokes, 
the latter being without a dot, it was impossible to read some 
words — for instance, niittimutii (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 which 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, as he himself says, for the examples of 
"courtesy, humanity, friendliness, hardiness, love, cowardice, 
murder, hate, virtue, and sin," which "inflamed the hearts of 
the readers and hearers to eschew and flee works vicious and 


dishoucst." In Poetiy Caxtoii shows to great advantage, for 
he printed all the works of any merit which then existed. 
The im)logue to his second edition of the "Canterbury Tales" 
l)roves how anxious he was to be con-ect, and at the same 
time shows the difficulty he had in detaining manuscripts 
free from error. The poetical reverence A\ith 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- 
con;" the latter Caxton carried down, to the best of his 
ability, to nearly his own time. It was, indeed, as a ^mter of 
history that Caxton was best known to our older authors, some 
of v.'hom, while including his name among those of English 
liistorians, ha-.'e overlooked the far more important fact that 
lie was also England's prototyiwgTapher. 

All reference to the literary forgery of Atkyns, who, in the 
seventeenth century, to sujiporfc his claim to certain exclusive 
privileges of printing under the king's patent, invented the 
iboHsh story of the abduction, by Tunntur and Caxton, of one 
of the Haarlem workmen, and his settlement at Oxford in 
]4(;4, has here been purjiosely omitted. The whole account is 
so evidently false, so entirely at variance with the known tacts 
in Caxton's history, and has been so often disproved in works 
on English t}^x)graphy, that it needs no further refutation. 

As to Caxton's industry, it was marvellous : at an age Avhen 
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 Avith copy ft-om his 
own pen. The extraordinary amount of ])rinted matter, 
original, and translated, which he ])nt fortli has already been 
noticed ; but there seems reason to believe that some of his 
works, both printed and manuscript, have been entirely lost. 
Of his translation of the " Metamoi^ihoses of Ovid." only Book 
XV Ims 1)een preserved; but we maybe certain that Caxton 


nevet -would have begun to translate at the end of a work ; 
and it seems proljable, 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. 

(h-eat interest would attach to a veritable portrait of 
I'axton, but although two or three Im^-e been published, they 
are all apocryi)hal. The only one that has any appearance 
of probability is the small defaced illumination in the manu- 
script of " Dictes and Sayings" at Lambeth Palace, which has 
received too much praise from Horace Walpole, ^\ho 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 ingures, 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 l^e 
very interesting ; Imt unfortunately the second figure is evi- 
dently an ecclesiastic, as shown by his tonsure, and apparently 
represents " Hay warde " the scribe, -who engrossed the copy, 
and pro])al)ly executed the illumination. TJie portrait com- 
monly received as that of Caxton, and which first apjjeared in 
his " liife," by Lewis, is thus accounted for by Dr. Dibdin : — 
" A portrait of Burckiello, tlie Italian poet, from an octa\'o 
edition of his work on Tuscan poetry, of the date of 1554, 
M-as 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 tliis absurd 
engraving. From a note, however, WTitten by LcAvis to Ames, 
it a]-)pears that, although Lewis admitted the portrait, it was 
Bagford's creative genius that invented it, as may also be 
infen-ed fi'om Lewis's own subscri}ition •' inr. Bnriford,'' upon 
the plate. 


As an instauce of his appreciation of a higher hfe than can 
be obtained from riches alone, we will quote an anecdote which 
Caxton himself A\Tote, and added as an appendix to " ^sop'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 
prcmioted 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 this 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 ? Nay, 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 
l)e not displeased, I had supposed you not to be beneficed; 
l)ut, 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 years. 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 diligence 
in the cure of my parishioners in preaching and teaching, and 
do the part belonging to my cure, I shall have heaven therefor. 
And if their souls be lost, or one of them by my default, I 
shall be punished therefor, and hereof am I sure. And with 
tliat 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 ty])ographcr, a never-dying uiterest will surround his 
name. Except as a printer, he nowhere shines forth jirc- 



eminent. But although we cannot attribute to him those 
rare mental powers which can grasp 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 lore and respect of his associates — a character on which 
history has chronicled no stain — a character which, although 
surrounded, 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 truthfulness. 



HE question of the exact spot upon which 
England's first printing press was estab- 
lished has already been discussed. The 
well-known 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 which it was known. The 
precise appearance of the almonry in the fifteenth century 
umst be to some extent imaginary, but we know that alms- 
liouses were there, and prol)ably two or three structures liesides 
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 l)y his sedate but busy workmen. We can look in 
at yonder window^ and see the yenerable master printer him- 
self "sittyng in his studye where lay many and dyucrse 
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 
Fren(;h romance, called " Eneydos." The " fayre and ornate 
termes" of his author give him "grete plasyr," and he 
labours, almost w'ithout intermission, till the low sun, blazing 
from tlie western windows, warns him of the day's decline. 


Again, we watch him pass with observant eye throngh the 
rooms where his ser^•ants are at work ; wc 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 
Avith 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 he found for so many 
boolvs. 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 " Eed-jiale," the names 
of three only have descended to us. 

Wynken de Worde, who was probably a native of the 
to\sii 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 
1585. In 1401 he succeeded to the stock in trade of his 
deceased master, but he did not append liis own name to his 
books until 1 493. He used many varieties of Caxton's " mark." 

Richard Pyxson 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 Coplaxd 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 Treveris 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 earned 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, furniture, and the various appliances of a 
modem 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 found 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 write, almost 
entirely parchment or vellum ; the ink making and the '\\Tit- 
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 Avith 
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 caUed into operation by 
printers were to be emmierated, 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 with which to print, and the workmen to handle them. 
We will, therefore, consider Caxton's books under the follow- 
ing heads : — 

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

The types. j though not as necessary 

The compositor. assistants : 

The press, the pressman, | The nibricator, illuminator, 
and the ink. and wood-engraver. 

The bookbinder. 



Fortiuiately, 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 Caxton 
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 151 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 fi]>rous. "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 
filirous texture, unbleached, and of a clear mellow whiteness, 
indicating an absence of colouring matter in the pulp. 

The accompanying woodcut shows a paper-mill of this 
period. A water-wheel was aiTanged to tm'u a wooden shaft 
upon which were rows of cogs which continually lifted 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 filjre was thus retained with 
its length and strength uninjured. When 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 tlie 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 tliree 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 oif 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, 
perhaj)s, in the instancies of the vellum " Doctrinal " and 


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

Watermarlcs are of much less vahie in bibliography than 
some \\Titers have imagined. In but very few instances can 
a limit 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 doulitless unaware that the same 
watermark appears in '*The Recuyell," "Canterbury Tales," 
1st edition, " Mirrour," 1st edition, "Jason," "Chronicles," 
"Polycronicon," "Speculum Vitse Christi," "Dictes," 2nd 
edition, and many others, embracing the whole of Caxton's 
typographical career. When, ho\\-ever, paper bears the arms 
of a nation or a city, we 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 qualities, 
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 Loav Coun- 
tries as the land of their origin, and most of them are found 
also in the block-books, the works of Golard Mansion, Gerard 
Leeu, and other early printers. 

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

fi 2 



No. 1. 

No. 2. 

No. 4. 



No. 5. 

No. 6. 

No. 8. 


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 Coimtries. 

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 p is thought by Sotheby to be the initial 
of Ysabel, third wife of Philip the Good. 

Mr. Sotheby, in his list 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 power adopted by Philip 
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 Chanqiagne ; 

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 Pehcan, &c. 


The reader curious on this point may see numerous other 
watermarks figured by Mr. Sotheby in the third volume of his 
" Principia Tyjjographica." ]\Iany of tliese 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 filong 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 f irni some 
idea from the prices paid by the directors of the Kipoli press, 
at Florence, between 1474 and 1483. An original "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 English prices given being about the 
present equivalent, reckoning the lira at 3s 9^. 


1. Largepaperof Bologna in common folio, about £l 4 2 

2. Middling ditto ditto . . 13 2^ 

3. Small ditto ditto . . 11 3 

4. Paper of Fabriano, viiih a crossbow for water- 

mark 12 4^ 

5. Ditto, ^\ith a cross for watermark .... 8 7i 

6. Paper of CoUe 8 7| 

7. Paper of Prato 9 4|- 

8. Paper of Pescia, "with spectacles for watermark 10 10^ 

9. The same, yith a ^/o^'<? for watermark ... 9 

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


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

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

"And John Tate the younger, 

Joye mote he broke, 
Whiche late hath in Englond doo 

Made this paper tliynne, 
That now in oure englisslie 

This boke is pryntcd Inne." 

Tate, who died in 1514, and whose mil 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 kno^vn are a copy of the " Doc- 
trinal of Sapience," at Windsor Castle, for a long time thought 
to be unique, and a "Speculum vitre Christi," now in the 
British JMuseum, to which may be added a few slips on which 
Indidgences arc 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 wTiters on this subject having 
been unacquainted with the characteristics of type, have 
strayed far and wide in the discussion. M. Bernard, however, 
writing 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 typefouncUng in the fifteenth century, especially 
with reference to the types of Caxton. 


Perhaps no part of the Typographic Art is hidden in more 
utter darlcness than the early manufacture of the types. 
Consideraljle secrecy no doubt accompanied all the operations 
of the first printers, and was maintained do^vn 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 httle book of 
trades, with illustrations by Jost Amman, which was issued at 
Frankfort in I0O8 The author, in the few lines which accom- 
pany the illustration, omits all reference to the process, but, 
from the woodcut of the " SchriflFtgiesser " and his tools, we 
shall farther on draw some practical inferences concerning 
early t}7)efoundiug. 

Whether Caxton, whose account of his first tyjiographical 
venture is contained in . the prologue to the Third Book of 
" The Eecuyell," 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 well 
consider whether he would not, for convenience sake, have 
become his own ty[)efounder. 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 witli which the book was printed, the editor states that 
as far as he knew. Day, the printer, was the first to cut 
them : — " lam \evb cum Dayus typographus primus (& omnium 


certe quod sciam solus) has formulas jeri 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 ty])efounding 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 establishment 
of a foundry by the first Caslon. 

The only English author before the rise of encyclopaedias, 
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 diifered greatly from that of Caxton, or 
Caxton's tyjiefounder. The practice of Moxon, like that of 
modem tyjiefounders, 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 
liciuid metal was poured. The mould, which formed the 
shank of the tj\}Q, was capable of a sliding adjustment, 
widthwise, to the width of the various letters (from an i to 


an jE); the depth or size of the body always remaining 
the same throughout the fount. Thus, by using each matrix 
successiTely 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 tyi^ography 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 
SchoeflFer. 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 tyjies. 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 who 
cut all the Aldine types, the elegance of which will 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 fi'om 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, where 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 


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 t}-pes 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^^ii 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 tyjjes, and in which the small ingots for use in 
the melting pot would be run. The main interest of this 
woodcut lies in the t\"|)e 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 modern 
use, let us look to the types themselves for evidence. Antici- 
pating the result of the analysis of the various founts used 
by C ax ton (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 form matrices in sand (as 
in the case of Messrs. Caslon's foundry, above alluded to), was 
not unconmion 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 inould, and imide use of 
the letters we had as puncJieo)is, 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 
so 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 Oaxton 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 unpression as it came from the tympau 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 mil ike those now in use, 
and the punches were not of steel. The process, whatever it 
may have lieen, admitted of contrivances incompatible with 


our present mode ; and we conjecture that the type-metal, if 
not of lead, was yet sufBciently soft to allow of-it being easily 
trimmed up with a chisel. This trimming uji, so often visible 
in TjY^e 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 tyi^es. 

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 A^•ritten upon early typography, and when we recognise 
among the names those of Moxon, Palmer, Smith, Bo^Ayer, 
Nichols, Stower, Watson, Hansard, and Timperley, all of 
whom Avere, 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 Kowe Mores, a well-known 
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 letterfounders, 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 OAMi day, or in his own possession, are probably 
exact enough ; but his account of the types used by Caxton 
and Wynken de Worde is fiiU of en-ors. 

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. (j. 


If we divide them into clmracter of letter we find three 
classes : — 

1st. Type No. 1 is distinct in character, and unlike any 
other kno-^Ti type. On comparison with a manuscript 
in the hologi-aph 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 
modern printers call " black letter." 

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

1st. Type No. 1. 

2nd. Tyi^e No. 2, modified first into No. 2*, and again 

into No. C. 
3rd. Tyjje No. 3. 

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 own. 

The books printed with this fount are five : — 

The Recuyell of the Histories of Troy .... 1472-74 
The Game and Play of the Chess, 1st edition . . 1475-76 

Le Recueil dcs Histoires de Troyes 1475-76 

Les Pais du Chevalier Jason after 1476 

Les sept Pseaulmes penitenciaidx after 1476 


From the rarity of " Les Fais du Jason," only one copy 
being in England, and that inconyenient 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 iiidi- 
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 diiferences 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 suificient 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 Recuyell " or the " Chess Book," but 

often occurs in " Le Recueil " and " Les sept Pseaulmes." 
ill 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 3G of " The Recuyell," after which it is not 

IR is only found in the English books, where it is sometimes 

used for a ii. 
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 tlie full point (.). They are used arbitrarily as to 


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

./ ./ /• ./' •/. • // :. ♦:. .-.:.*. &c., &c. 

From the foregoing remarks it mil 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 " Red-pale" in the Almomy, and, before 
remarking upon its peculiarities, we will give a list of the 
books kno^Mi to have been printed from it. Of these, as T\iU 
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 Xo. 2. 

Les quatre derrenieres choses ante 1477 

History of Jason circa 1477 

Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers, 1st edition . 1477 

Horse, 1st edition circa 1477 

Canterbury Tales, 1st edition atife 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 

Boetliius de Consolatione Philosophias 1478 

TYPE No. 2*. 

Cordial 1479 

Laurentius G ulielmus de Saona de Nova Rhethorica, n'rca 1470 

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

An Indnlgence 1480 

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

Mirronr of the World, 1st edition 1480 

Reynard the Fox, 1st edition 1480 

Tuily of Old Age, and of Friendship 1481 

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

This ty|)e has a more dashing, picturesque, and elaborate 
character than type No. 1 . It is an imitation of the " gi'os- 
l)<itarde " tj^Q 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, Avhilst 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 
u 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 attrilmting 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 en (not final) is peculiar to the first 
class, while two forms of It without a loop in the head, double 
U without loops, tf), toa, hJP, and h)0 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 characlcrislic 
peculiar to each section, that a close examination of numerous 
instances, after niiikiiig allowance for faulty printing, leads to 


the conclusion that no letters of the fii'st section are identical 
vnth those of the second. 

A minute examination discloses the general fact, that the 
letters of Tji^e 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 ( and its combinations in the 
two types; the second shows alirays a thinner-faced letter 
than the first. Again, notice how the tops of the various lis, 
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 Tjrpe 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, trinnnud 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 Tjrpe No. 
2*, and is exactly equal to two lines of " Long Primer " 
(Caslgn's standard), which is very near to " Paragon." A 
complete fount of Type No. 2 consisted of 217 sorts, and 
Type No. 2* of 2r)4 sorts. 

The ^C of Type No. 1, which, if it occun-ed at all, might 
have been expected in the first fount used in England, is 
found only in books printed with Type No. 2*. 

AYe may notice here that the sorts If, t^, bt, and others, 
presume an intended French use of Type No. 2, a probability 
strengthened by the ti^, and the combinations of hj, being 
later additions to the fount in No. 2*. 

Type No. 3. 
This grand t}^e, which was in use fi'om 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 


veiy 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 " Horse," 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 Schoeflfer, 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 gTos-bdtarde 
type of Colard Mansion. 

The body is identical, or very nearly so, ^vith 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 ]94 sorts. The stops 
generally are smaller than those of type No. 2, which is 
remarkable, as the face of the letter is nmch larger. 

This ty]ie 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 one, 
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 ])ossible 
by direct intention with modern 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 Xo. 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 agTce among themselves. The variation, however, is 
a fact. 

The body of tyi3e No. 4 is very near indeed to modern 
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 hncs 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 No. 4. 

The Chronicles of England, 1st edition 1480 

The Description of Britain 1480 

An Indulgence 1481 

Curia Sapientiae circa 1481 

Godfi-ey of Boloyne 1481 

The Chronicles of England, 2nd edition 1482 

Polycronicon 1482 

The Pilgrimage of the Soul 1483 

A Vocabulary 1483 

Servitium de Yisitatione circa 1483 

Confessio Amantis (moslli/) 1483 


The Knight of the Tower {partly) 1484 

Sex Epistol* (mostJi/) 1483 

TYPE KO. 4*. 

The Festial, 1st edition 1483 

Quatuor Hermones, 1st edition 1483 

Confessio Amantis {partlij) 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 tirra 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 Vienne 1485 

The commas have a notable chronological bearing. The 
short comma (/) \\'as used alone up to the second edition of 
the " Chronicles," in 1482 — 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 tlie lower-case to ; the letter Avith the curled top distin- 
guishing the book at once as belonging to tyjje No. 4, whereas 
its absence is a sure sign that the tyi^e is Xo. 4*. 

Ty|)e No. 4* makes its first appearance among Caxton's 
founts in a very peculiar manner. Li the autumn of 1483 
he was engaged in printing two Avorks, Gower's "Confessio 
Amantis" and the "Kuight of the Tower." At sig. p of 
"Confessio Amantis" we find that the inmost sheet is in type 
No. 4*, the three other sheets of the section being in ty})e 
No. 4. Several pages in sig. ^ are also in No. 4*, and on 


sig. I Hi] 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 ty|)e No. 4 were finally 
emptied out to make room for the new fount, one compositor 
had worked ahead of his feUows, 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 course, 
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 betAA-een 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 .... cirra 1487 

Speculum Vita Christi circa 1488 

Commemoratio Lamentationis circa 1488 

The Doctrinal of Sapience 1489 

Horte circa 1490 

Servitium de Transfigurationc 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 thirty-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 ^nll 
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 quadi'ats. For this purpose they were doubtless adapted 
by some shortening process, Avhich, 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 i-ed 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 Oaxton, 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 VII circa 1489 

The Gouvernal of Health circa 1489 

Reynard the Fox, 2nd edition circa 1489 

Blanchardin and Eglantine circa 1489 

The Four Sons of Ay mon circa 1489 

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

P:neydos circa. 1490 


The Fifteen Oes, &c circa 1490 

The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers 3rcl 

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 fuU body. For 
instance, the ^, £^, and ^ have the flourish which passes 
under the letter brought close up to the letter itself. The it 
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 
38 has been boldly cropped off. Jf and ^f 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 uiay very naturally be asked. How 
do we know tliat the lK)oks in the foregoing lists which arc 


■without date, without place, and ^^^thout printer's name, 
although printed ^rith 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 t}^:)efounders 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 i^rior to the end of the 15th century the types 
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 nofd, 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 different 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 hngers, and remembering- that in all 



the old representations of a " case " there is no division into 
npper 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 in, ni, un, nu, nn, ini, mi were often found in the 
Avrong boxes, and have brought do\Mi to the present day the 
strongest evidence against the usefulness of logotyi^es. 

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 comf)Ositor. 
Figm-e 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 composmg- 
stick is in his right hand, doubtless o\^'ing to the engraver not 
having reversed the drawing from which he copied : it is held 
correctly by the man in PI. VIII. 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 ha^'c 
seen the improved appearance which lines of an even length 
gave to the page in the numerous works previously 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 sho^v^l 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 coffin, luade 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 straigiit ])iec(' 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 fi-om 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 haring 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 vjwn rough types 
admits of very little shifting or adjustment, and to this fact, 
I imagine, we nmst 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 
be certain to break up the line altogether — and so the lines 
were left just as they happened to fall, whether full 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, knomng 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 
Avords divided thus: — why-|che th|at w|ymen w|iche 
m|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 sloj^py ink then used would not, like modern stiff ink, 
di-aw up any loose letters. 

If the sides of these coffins, or wooden l)oxcs, 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 — whether 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 quarto, another for octavo. 


" Reglets," or thin pieces of hard wood the length of a line, 
appear never to have been used. TMien a "wdiite" 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 work up while at press, and make undesirable 
appearances in very conspicuous places. For examples the 
reader may examine the " Royal Book," and " Speculum vitfe 
Christi," in the British Museum. 

The "balls" with which the page was inked before taking 
an impression appear to have undergone no change in shape 
or make from the earliest times until the very beginning of 
the present century. AVhen, 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 diflficulty 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 
A\Tong sorts, and the numerous literal mistakes were left 
uncorrected. Even whole lines were occasionally omitted by 
tlie 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 gTcat 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 Lik, as they then used to correct their 
written Books. This being done to one Copy, he caused one 
of his Servants to run through the Avhole Impression, and 
correct the Faults he had noted with a Stanesil or Ecd-lead 
Pencil, which he himself afterwards compared with his own 
corrected Copy, to see that none of the Corrections he had 
made Avere 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 Avere the " Polycronicon " and " Mirrour of the 
AVorld." The former, in the majority of copies, has the year 
f»f the world and the regnal year engrossed in red ink on tlie 

Plate VIII. 

Th^} " Prelum Ascensianum." Parim, 1520. 


5= S 







side margins; and the latter, in the woodcut of the seven 
concentric circles which represent the astronomical heavens, 
has the names of the celestial spheres written in black ink 
between each circle. But although I have examined alrout 
five hundred of Caxton's books, I have never seen anything 
approaching to a gTammatical 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 dovni- 
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 tyi^e 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 tjj\e 
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 YIII, 
Avhereof 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 1 522. 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 figm-e of a tyi)e- 
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 all 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 pressm-e, and the " hose," as the transverse 
piece between the screw and the platen was called, served to 
steady the downward pressure. The girths, drum, 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 xerj 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 down 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 '"tympaus" 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 
"Godfi-ey," at the Public Library, Cambridge; also in the 
" Life of Our Lady," at the British Museum. In " Speculum 
vitse 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 gi'eat 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 coimected with the mechanism of the press must be 
noticed. A small hole at the four corners 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 modern jaress- 
men to obtain accm-acy of register, and the punctures (caUed 
"point holes") m the paper, consequent upon the use of 
them, are weU 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 hun'ied 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 aU the leaves 
of that section, in every copy I have seen, show a very bad 
"set-ofi"' from the type on the opposite pages. 

To enable the binder to collate the sheets of each section 
correctly, it was the custom, as well 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 books, the binder (as a rule) was sure 
that when he had got sheets aj, ait, S.iii, aiil'j 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 prmted, but 
inserted in manuscript at the extreme bottom of the page. 


The modern 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 all sizes was in accord- 
ance vnth 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 tliin. The section of 
three sheets was called "temio" — of four sheets "quatemus" 
— of five sheets "quinternus" — and so on. Caxton adopted 
the "quatemus" or "quaternion" for aU 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 ternion and 
quaternion must necessarily be aiTanged in the order of the 
follo^^dng 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 
useful 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 Tvith a iij and a G, 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 
will 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 do\\Ti 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 
arc used are common hi " 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 vohime, 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 stilf piece of parchment, with the 
edges turned in, and a blank leaf pasted down inside as a 
lining. A few books still remain in this state, just as issued 
from the " Red-pale " by Caxton. Such are the copies of 
" Tully de Senectute " in Queen's College, 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 fi'om the 
press pasted together. These were covered with brown sheep- 
skin, upon which was a simple pattern of circles, or crosses, 
or dragons, &c. Instances may still 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 stUl 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, Verlkhters, or Rubrishers, who probably con- 
fined their attention to illuminated capitals, and Vinghette 
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 
certainly 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 vermiHon inlc 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 sufficient. 

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 
recun-ence 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 ^\^th the exception of the floriated ^ at the begin- 
ning of the "Order of Chivalry," and "^sop," and perhaps 
the 13 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 gTeat 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- 
Hne and heavy black feet of the figm-es 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 
outlines 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 iUimiinators 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 engraving's wiU 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," 1st 


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, 1 , ,„, ^ m j • 
3rd edit. ... . I 1481? Two designs. 

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

_,. J- 1481 JNumerous designs. 

The Game and Play of the ) , ,^, ., ^. , , . 
Chess, 2nd edit. . . .} 1481 ? Sixteen desigm 

Golden Legend .... 1484 Very numerous designs. 

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

_, , rVery numerous designs. 

^«°P l^^M Initials first used! 

Order of Chivalry . . . 1484 Large floriated ^. 

Royal Book 1487 ? Seven small designs. 

Speculum vitse Christi . . 1488 ? Numerous designs. 

Doctrinal of Sapience . . 1489 Two designs. 

A fragment, with one 


Servitium Transfiguratione 1490? One small design. 

_,,_.„,_ „ rThe Crucifixion cut and 

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

Mirrour of the World, 2nd ) ^ ^, , . , 

g^.j. W490? Old cuts reprinted. 

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- 
ciousuess 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 

Hor^e, 3rd edit 1490 ?|' 


shown in the iUustrations to the " Royal Book," and *' Specn- 
lum Vit^e 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 vitse Christi." 

This portion must not, however, be dismissed ^^dthout a 
few words upon that most interesting of all Caxton's wood- 
cuts, the large device. Caxton used but one; the smaU 
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 212E. (S-* 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, as 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 occurred 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 Recuyell," 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 langiiage — 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 oidy 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 Roman 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 knowai to have been used. The unique copy 
of this Missal is in the possession of Stephen Legh, Esq., M.P. 

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

Missale ad Usum Sarum 1487 

Speculum vit^e Christi circa 1488 

Doctrinal of Sapience 1480 


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

Directoriiim 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 burial 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 Ripoli 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-office 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 "Horte" and "Psalter," how 
many shillings were required to purchase the thick folio 
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 Gs. M. each, or about 
£2 13s. 4 J. of modem money, a sum by no means too great 



for a large illustrated work. This, howeTer, "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 AJ thorp, is 
written, apparently by Bagfurd, "N".B. — Caxton printed 44 
books, 25 of which were with Dates, and 10 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 





(Mercers^ Hall, London.) 

FOLIO Volume in tlie Archives of the Mercers' 
Company, written on parchment by various scribes 
in the l4th 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/ leffull excuse alwey 
except/ All Ordynaunces & Rules by the ffeliship of tlie 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 discover 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 you putt by the 
wardeins & ffeliship & to here & pay jo^ parte of charge sett for yoi" 
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 
afecompany 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 Receive 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 serue 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 sucbe 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 you 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 swere 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 h armies in that that in you 
is/ ye shall be contributary to al manr charges w' in this cite as somons 
watches contribucions taskes tallays lotte and skotte and all other charges 
bere 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 warne the Chaumberleyn therof 
or some myuysters 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 ycrc 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 gaderyngs con- 
venticles nor conspiracies made ayenst the peace but ye warne 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 yC power so 
help you god and holidamc oc bv this Boke/ 



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

Theobald de Canston 
Nichol de Causton 
Roger de Causton 

Richard de Causton 
Michael de Causton 
William de Causton 
Henry de Canston 
Also in the 2nd year of Henry VI. — Stevyn Canston. 


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 alfPeste de Seint John Baptist Ian vj"»e aps. le con- 
quest en quils ils estoient gardeins de la mistere del mercerie come piert 

Under the same yeai-, among " Entrees des Apprentices," — 

Robert Halle ) , ^^ , ti i ^ -r 

> Appntys de Robert Large . . . nij s 

Randolf Streete 

14.S0— 14.S1. 

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

Item ress. de Thorns Nyche appiit 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 year 
of Henry VI. — 

Item. lis soy chargent qilz ount ressn de Thos. Staunton ffrere et 
Attone de Robert Large de monye quil ad ressu outre mere en ptie dc 
paiement de les xli prestres a John WavjTi pies gardenis de Ian passe. 


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



Among the Issues of Apprentices in the 16th year of Heniy VI. — 

It Randolffe Streete lappntice de Eobert Large . . ij s ' 

Among the entries for the same year — 

It John large ) , ~^. ■, t^ i , ^ 

Tx TT-ii > r. i les appntices de Robert Large . un s 

It WiUm'Caxston j ^^ o j 


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

It lis soy chargeont pour argent ressu pf fj-nes de dius persones en 
lo^ temps p"" ces qils fantent de chiuachier ouesqz le mair Robert lar"-e. 

In the same account, under " fforein expenses." 

Item paie a xvi trumpetts le xxix i^' doctobre Ian xviij™^ du ^[^ ij^y 
Hen Tj'"e pour le chiaachee de Robert hirge maij vli vis viij d 


From the Wai-den's Receipts in the 19th year of Hemy 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* lai'ge . . ij s 
In the next year, under the Issue of Apprentices — 

It Rich Bonefant q fuist appntice de Rob' large . . ij s 


Among the Issues of Apprentices in 21 Henry VI.— 

Xrofer Heton appntice de Rob' large ij a 

Among the Entries — 

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

John Harrowe appntice de Robert large ij s 

Among the Issues of Apprentices in 25 Henrj- VI.— 

Richard Caxton* s'unt de John Harrowe ij 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 Pcrys to the Gentilwoman of the 

Buchesse of Burge}!! vj d 

Item paid to Hewe Wyche for a vrrit directe to Sande^yche for the 

Gon-nys of the Gcntil womans of the dnches of Bm-geyu ij s vj d 




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

Under the heading " Entre en la lyvere pm' An" — • 

It Emond Redeknape vj s viij d 

It™ Richaert Burgh vj s viij d 

It'» William Caxton vj s viij d 

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

In the list of persons fined "qils fautent de chiuachicr oucsque le 
niair Geffrey Felding" in the same year are the names of — 

William Caxton iij s iiij d I 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 IV. — 
Item for botehyre for to shewe to ye lords of ye cousell 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"' daye of octobr' the 
yere aboue written. 

***** Jjs 

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

appoynted to begyn at sent Omers the first daj^e 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 comyng/ hath written a letter to the maire of london/ whereof ye 
shall receyuc 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 fourme as yc 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 

h 2 


here to fore the kyng hy thavise of his lords of his Councell have made 
the p'vision in that behalfe and vppon this we have labored to the mayre 
wt the wardens of dius felyshippes aventerers that he will write an 
aunsware 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 snbietts/ wherfore consideryng that the day 
comyth nygh vppon and how that the kjTigs wTytyng 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 whiche yo^ p'sones & 
goods may be in suretie for a reasonable tyme/ and in the mene whyle 
there com wrytjTig 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/ wintten &c. 

John lambert John Warde |^ 
a W. Caxton. John Baker John Alburgh ) 


[Folio C xliiij.] 

Courte of adventei'ers holden the iij'i> (.?/<?) day of June A" xiiij" 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 theiyn a Copye 
Gouerno''- of a lettre sent to the said William by therle of 

Warwike for thabstinens of bying Wares forboden 
in the dukes londcs of BurgojTie by actc of pilement that a lettre shalbe 
made and sent to the said William by the Custoses and Adventerers 
whiche is made and sent in the foumic following &c. 

A lettre send Eight trusty Sir We grete youe well/ lettyng youe 
ou to Caxton witt the daye 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 thervn 
closed a copye of a letter directed to youe from oure good lorde therle of 
Warwik whiche we hane well vnderstonde & conceyved/ and oppencd it 
to our fclishijip for whiche we desire and praye youe/ in that youe is to 
consider and fulfill thentent made liy acte of p'lemcnt and the speciall 
desire of onre 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 felyshij^p in that vs is and tliat 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 yo'" 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 wittyiig and as for the lettres that ye write ye shulde sent from 
scint 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 kuowe of 
any ye shall have wrytyng &c. 

Writ at london the iij"> day of June/ 

J. Tate/ J. Marshall/ Ed. Eetts & 
J. Broun Custoses of the mercery 
& thaventerers of the same. 
a Will'" Caxton Guno'' de la nac? deng^- 
Envoye p' symond pi-este le iiij*'' io»' de June. 


[Folio xij recto.] Anno xiiij" Ixviij"- 
Parsones assiged 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'soncs of the same to go ou in Am- 
maundment. bassatt w' dius Enbassatos into fflaunders as for the 

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

William Eedeknape 
John Pykeryng 
William Caxton 
[Same Folio and year.] 
Mony assigned Courte holden the xxviij daye of Septebr' the j'ere 
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 Burgufi londes whiche shalbe leyde oute 
of the cundith mony at this tyme receyued vnto the tyme another Courte 
be had for the p'vision of the same by the advise of the Aldermen of 
oure felyshipp. 

{Mercers' Hall, London.) 

A folio Volume on paper, in the Archives of the Mercers' Company, 
written in the 1.5th Century, being a continuation, on a diiferent plan, of 
the " Wardens' Accounts." 

It appears that about 14G3-4 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 every year a 
"Renter Warden" was chosen; and fi-om 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 " Qwytercnts." — 3rd Edward IV. 

Item paid to ye Chamberleyn of Yv^estm'' for ye pye at S Martyus 
Otewich for iiij t'm^ at Est' A" iij^o xx s 

4th Edward IV. 

Item to ye m' of S Giles in ye ffeld for tent^ at S MartjTis Otes^^ich 
vj s viij d 

Item to ye Chamberleyn of yabbey of Westm"- fer ye same xx s 

7th Edward IV. 

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


Ao xiiij c Ixxv. Under the head " Discharge by Qwytercnts of the 

Paid to the Chambleyn of Wesf for the pye xx s 

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

The Wardi5 of O'- lady brethered of seint Margaret at Wcstmf v s 


Ao xiiij c Lxxvij. Under « Qwytercnts of Whetyngton." 
^ It' of the Wardeyns of O^ lady brethered of Seint Margarets at 
Westminster v s 

Lnder "Qwytercnts." 

Itm to the Chawmburleyn of west^ for the grehound iiij s vj d 

Under '• Other i)aiemeuts." 

For a dener kept at the grehound at the visitacion of 
,^ thelyuelod _^^,.j, ^.j;.,, 

Itm lor wesshpig of a tabyll cloth ij ^| 

A" xiiij c Ixxxiiij Under the same. 

It of the ward-* of o'- lady brethered of seint marg'cts at Westcmcsf 
tor their tent9 in Aldermare vs 



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


3n tfje i^ame of ©©IB "Emcn. 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 Jevcry London 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 ari'ive at the age of twentj'-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 -nill 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 secui'ity 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 he married without rendering any other 
interest therefor only and except the reasonable support of the said 
Elizabeth my daughter 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 tifty 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- 
(jueatli to the common box of the Mystery of ]Mcrcers of the City of 
London for the support of the poor of the said mystery twenty pounds. 
Also 1 beciueath ten pounds to be disposed of according to the discretion 
of my executors in the j)nrchase of a vestment to serve in the Mercei-s' 
chapel in the church of St. Thomas of Acan London so long as it will 
last Also 1 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 Hosi)ital of 8t. Bartholomew in West Smith- 
iield 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 findhig 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 Thomas my son the aforesaid thousand pounds when he 
Thomas my son shall arrive at his afoi'esaid 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 Kobert my son one 
thousand pounds sterling and I will that the said Robert my sou together 
with the aforesaid thousand pounds so left by me as above to the said 
Kobert my son be and remain in the safe charge and governance of the 
aforesaid Thomas Staunton my brother until the said Kobert my sou 
shall arrive at the age of twenty-four years the said Thomas Staunton 
iinding suthcient 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 Kobert my son the afoi-esaid thousand pounds so left by me as aforc- 
saiil when the said Kobert my son shall arrive at his aforesaid age of 


twenty-foui' rears without rendering any interest therefor only and 
except the proper support of my said son Robert Also I bequeath 
to Richard my son one thousand 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 becpieath that the portion or portions of that my 
son or those my sons so dying before the age of twenty-four years shall 
revert to that one or those 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 
nnman-ied 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 tu 
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 sliilliugs 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 Roteley 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 Step lien 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 lier 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 
]iortion 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 j^ears 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 neces.sary 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 M'hether 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 tliat is to say 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 Bishojisgate 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 Holborn 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 bequeatli 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 * * * * 

[owe leaf of tlw orirjhial is liere mis-slni/l 

the s'* Richard Tumat dying without male heirs lawfully begotten, then 
1 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 s<i 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 tlie county of Essex 
with the lands and tenements and appurtenances belonging thereto. 

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


(^Tlte Arcldves, 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 histoiy it elucidates. The title at the beginning of the book is as 
follows : — 

'•Registre ran allezaken 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, Ccmplainant, 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 bonnd 
and indebted to him in certain sums of money ; that is to say, firstly in 
iUtiO 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 eqnity 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 certaia reasons thereupon alleged ; the aforesaid 
riaintifl: 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 suflicicnt 

APPEOT)IX. 1 57 

security amounting to the two said sums of £60 and £33 sterling sliould 
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 Archlcrfi, Bni/jcs.) 

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 Dorie,* 
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 Bniges, 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 Dorie, 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 gi'oss. 

* Perhaps one of the celebrated Doria 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 sm-eties, 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- 
lomng : — 

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 
Loi"d the King. 

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


(7/i ihe Vestry of St. Margaret's Church 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 Fees 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- 
mentors ecclle p'ochial' sco margarete Westm' videl't a xvij" die Maij 
A" regis Edwardi quarti post conq'm Angl' quarto vsqu xxij diem 
eiusdem " * * * 

In the List of Fees for Burial is — 

" It™ rec-^de Oliver Cawston die scpult' p' iiij tapr' viij d " 

Among the Miscellaneous Receipts for 1476— 
'• It"' of a rewardc for a boke & a Chales lent to Su- 

Ric' Widcnyle xx d " 

ArPEXDix. 159 


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

* * from the vij* day of the moneth of may in the yere of our 
lord god M« CCCC Ixxviij * * * vnto the xviij'ii 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. (£'>• the forsaide wardeyns 

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

William Hachet their Successours togeder \v* the tresoures of and in the 

chirchc aforeseid to them delyued in the begynm-ng of this accompte 

* * in the presence of John Eandolf 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 KyoUe for oone 
of thoo printed bokes that were beciuothen 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 Ic&cnd vj s iiij d " 


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

the same legend es vj s viii il " 

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 — 
" If" paide for a supper gevyn vnto the Auditours herynge 
and determcuyng this accompt and to the newe 
Chirchwardeyns as it hath ben vscd and accus- 
tumed here tofore xx s " 

In the Accounts for 1408-1500— 

" The Receites of Bookes called Legendes in the first j-ere of this 
accompte " — 

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

mj7ister halle ys viij d " 

" Item Receiued of Willm geyfe for a notlierof the same 

legendes ys viijd" 

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

Legende vs viijd" 

" Item R of AValtcr Marten for a nother legende v s xj d " 

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 aforge for a printed legende' 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 prynted legende booke of the bequeste of Will'm Caxton." 

{In tlie VcHiry of St. Margarefs ClmreJi, 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 Accouuts :— Arrears of Members- 
Rents received— Bequests and Gifts— Receipts for Obits of Members— 


Fees of new Members — Eents 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 henry marble gen- 
tilman and James Fytt maistres or Wardeyns chosen of the Frat'nte or 
gylde of oure blessed lady seint mary the virgyn wtm the p'issh chirch of 
seint 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>i 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 RandolfE 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 Praternitc 
* * * 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 v s 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 gciiall fest in iij'i'' yere of this accompt." 

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

yielded the following items : — 

" A tonn of wyne "^j ^^ 

" Paide to John Drayton chief cok for his reward xxv a " 

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

ale & wyne "i.1 ^ 

" Also for erthen pottes broken & wasted at the same fest vj s viij d " 
" Also to iiij players for their labour _ ^ij s ^fl " 



ixs xd" 

xvj s " 

ij s iiij d " 

iij s " 


iiij d " 

XV s ijd" 

" Also to iij mynstrelles 

" Also for the mete of diues of strangers 

" Also for russhes 

" Also for vj doseyn of white cuppes 

" Also for portage and botehyre of the Turbut 
" Also for ix Turbutts 

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, vsine, 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 certajTi 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'is.she 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 Whctehill, 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 sufficient 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 oure 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 lordes 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*'' yere of our said souverain 
lord, had the said partieg before us in the Kinges Chapell within his 
palois of Westminster at this appoj-ntement and conclusion by theire 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 ovrae 
Toluntarie willes bound theim self unto us by their faithes and ti'outhes, 
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*' prynted legendes at xiij s iiij d a legend. And the said 
Gerard to delyver a generall acquitauuce 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, 
ecbe to othi-e, in by their dedes obligatorie with the condicions above 
wreten to performe alle the premisses. In wittenesse whereof I, the said 
Richard FitzJames, have to thies preseutes sette the seale 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 
xj"' yere of the reignc of our said souvcrain Lord." 




TYPE No. 1. 


6n, or QuiNTEENiON, means a section of five sheets folded together in 

half =10 leaTes = 20 pages. 
4n, or Quaternion =^8 leaves = 16 pages. 
3n, or Ternion = 6 leaves = 12 pages. 
Recto 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. 


1. The Eecuyell of the Histories of Troye . . . 1474 ? 

2. Le Recneil des Histoires de Troyes . . . 1476 ? 

3. The Game and Play of the Chess Moralised , 1475-76 ? 

4. Les fais et prouesses dn noble et vaillant Chevalier Jason . 147- ? 

5. Meditacions sur les Sept Pseaulmes penitenciaulx . 1478? 


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

Collation. — Booh 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 ; fall lines measure 5 inches, but vary 
in different parts from 4f to 5^^ inches. 31 hues to a fuU 
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 preface 
follows, printed in red ink, and occupying the second recto. 

The Text begins thus : — 

<&rc tfffDnrtfti) tf)r bolumf intitulPti anli namrt 
i) tf)e tPCUBfU of tt)c f)tstori)fS of Crogf/ composrt 

antj tjratoen out of bgufrrc feookrs of latgit in 
to frntss^f 6g tf)e r;!)gf)t brnriatlc prrsone anti toor^ 
sljtpfuH man . ^apul \t fffurc . prrrist anti djapflagn 
bnto ti)e xm^X noble glorpous anti mggijtjD prjjncp m 
f)ts \\mt i)i)flip tiuf of 13oiugo))ne of itJvatanti \t 
1/n tijf gfiT of tt)f ^^nrarnarion of our lorti goti a tt)ou= 
santi foure !)on1ifrt mty> ant) fourr / gl)tti translatrti 
anti tiratofn out of frens^e m to englii8Si)f fig M^tUpam 
(Caiton mrrrpr of :i)^ fgte of ilontion / at tl)e romautirmft 


Of tf)e Ttgijt f^-Qt mpgtti) anti bfrtiwuse ^rgncfgsc ijgs 
rrtjouitgti la^i? . /r^argamr tij tljc grarr of qoh . 13u= 
rljfgisc of liourgopnr of Eotn,)k of iSratianli vVr/ 
3i2af)lrf)e sapti tianslarion anti toriiir toas irgonnc in 
UruQis in tijr (Jlountrf of jFlaun^rrs tijc fgi?it tiap of 
tnardjr tf)c jinr of tljc fjnrainarion of our satti lovS gotj 
a tijousant fourr Ijontirrt siatg anti rpgijtf / 2lnti rntifti 
anti fjjnyssijiti in tljc ijolj? (}}te of (Colfn tijc . xix . tiap of 
srptfmbre t^e gcre of our sagti lorti got a tijousant 
foure ijontirrti mt^ anti clcucn ice. 

UntJ on tf)at otfjcr sibf of tfiis Icff folobjcti^ t^r prologs 

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

?^an 'S xtmemttt t^at rucrs man is tiounten 

The first book commences on the fifth recto, with space for 
a 7-lino initial W. The second begins on the l-lOth, and the 
third on the 253rd 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, our forefathers saw their language in print; 
and, could our interest in any way have been heightened, it 
Avould have been by knowing it to have been printed in our 
o^^^l 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 Burgundian 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, havmg 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 liim on liis return to England. This 


he did at a great charge and expense, and then, having pro- 
cured a new fount of tyijes and all the necessoory 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 E-ecueil des Histoires de Troyes. Compose 
en Van de grace 1464. Folio. Without Printer''s 
Name, Place, or Bate. (1476 ?). 

Collation.— 5oo^ /, twelve 5"'= 120 leaves, of which 
the first and last are blank. BooJc 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 Enghsh books 
in this type. A full page has 31 hues, without signatures, 
numerals, headlines, or catchwords. A space two to four hues 
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: — 

(Kg commence le bolume ^ntitulr (e recuctl tics ijistoires 
"de tropes (Compose par benerafile ijomme raoul le feme 
prestre eijappellain tie mon tresreliouiite seigneur IHonsei^ 
gneur le Bue iiJijelippe lie liourgoingne (Pn Ian tie grace, 
mil . cccc . liiiii . : . 

and ends on the 286th verso. 

antipfjo' le rop estori'' le rop proti)enor et le roi? ottome^. 
• : • (!?.vpltrit • : • 


Eemaeks. — 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 Histoiy of the 
Siege of Troy by Guido of Colonna, a native of Messina in 
Sicily, who wTote 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 cm-ious 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 Recueil" 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 FiUastre. And this is 
remarkable — that Lefevre succeeded Fillastre (who was a 
voluminous author) in the office 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, TNith M. Paris, call 
it (even if true) " une gi-ande fraude literaire." On the other 
hand, several copies were issued with the name of Lefevre 
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 Lefe-^Te. 

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 vnth. 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. Witlwut 
Printei-'s Name, Place, or Date. (1475-76 ?) 

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

Typographical PARTiCLT:iARS. — 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 : — 

<© ti^e rigi)t nofilf/ rigfjt eirfllntt $i: brrtumtis prtnrc 
(^forgc tiuc of atlarfnce (Sri of ^ISiartogk anti of 
salisfjurge/ grrtc rtamfterlagn of iJFnglonti ^ Ifutrnant 
of 3Jrflonlj oltjcst brotici: of fejmge (irtitoart fij? tfje grace 
of goti kgnge of ^nglanli anti of fraurr / jjour most 
1)umt)le srruant toilllam (JTaiton amongr otftrr of i)Our 
scruantfs sentifs unto goto pfas . f)fltijc . :iJoj)f anti bifto- 
tge bpon gour (Snemges / Kigf)t i)tgi)e pugssant anl> 

The Text ends on the 73rd recto, 
ginti gentle goto ti^acrompltssijement of gour ijge nofile. 


SJogous an"ti bertuous tiesirs ^mm :/: ^Fgngssijitj tije 
last tiaj) of inavri)f tijc per of out loiti goti . a . t^ousanb 
foute i)ont)Piti ant Ixxnii. •.:.:.*. 

The 74th leaf is blank. 

Eemaeks. — " Fynysshid the last day of Marche the yer of 
oure lord god a thousand fonre 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 Jinijsshed in Coleyn," which eyideutly refers to the trans- 
lation only. The date, 147G-7C, has been afiixed, 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 cliief 
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 hterally from the original Latin. 
About the same time appeared the favourite and standard 
Avork 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 Vignay, to whom he 
gives the title of "an excellent Doctor of Divinity, of the 
Order of the Hospital of St. Jolm's of Jerusalem," which is 
remarkable, as in his preface Jean de Vignay 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 Vignay'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 fi-om 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 liis 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 
frafice / your most humble 
seruant wilham Caxton a- 
monge other of your seruantes 
sendes vnto yow peas . helthe . 
loye and victorye vpon your 
Enemyes / Right highe puys- 
sant and redoubted prynce/ 
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, 1360) 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 
Rehgieux 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 hght 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 Doetours 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- 
fiitables & 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 plus- 
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 le 
quel liure Tres puissant et 
tres redoubte seigneur jay fait 
ou nom & soubz vmbre de 
vous pour laquelle chose 
treschr scign'' Je vous suppli 



teplye and encrece But to 
thentent that other of what 
estate or clegre he or they 
stande in . may see in this 
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 wyse I can / 
ought to be reputed for the 
sayte and dede / And for more 
clerely to precede 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 Toulente 
de cuer que il yo' daigne 
plaire a receuoir ce liure en 
gre aussi bien que de yu 
greign'' maistre de moy/car 
la tres bonne Youlente 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 Yeoir 
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 adYOcates, men 
of law, and attorneys of court to the common people of the 
royamne, 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 impoYerish 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 
Chevaliek Jason. Folio. Without Printer's Name, 
Place, or Date. (147- ? 

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

Typographical PAETiCLTiAns. — There is no title-page 
nor colophon. The type used is No. 1 only. The great 
majority of the lines are fiiUy spaced out, agreeing in this 
respect more with the French editions of " Le Recueil " and 
the "Psaulmes" than the English "RecuyeU" and the "Chess 
Book." FuU lines measure 5 and 5y^ inches ; 31 Hues to a 
page. Without signatures, numerals, head-lines, or catch- 

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

I ^ gallcc tic mon ntgin flotant na pas long 

temps en la parfonbeur tjes mens bu pluseurs 

anriennes i)tstoires ainst eomme :?Je boulofe me- 

ner mon esperit en pott be repos / soutrainement 

gapparu an pres be mog bne nef eonbuttte par bng t)omme 

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

ant a mon beuant bit tresveboufite seignem; / ^t atous eeulx 


qui le rontenu te re presfnt bolume iiiont . ou orront lire . 
(iuU Ifuc plaise tie grace eicuser autant que mon petit et ru 
tie engin na sent toucljier ne peu eomprentire ^^e * : . 

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. 

Remaeks. — All the books printed with these types are 
traced 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 Ave 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. WifJiout Frinter's Name, Flace, or 
DaU. (1478 ?) 

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

Typogeaphical Paeticulaes. — There is no title-page. 
The only type used is No. 1. The lines are for the most part 
folly 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 fiilly spaced. This pecu- 
liarity is observable to a greater or less extent in all the 
French books printed in this type. The fall lines measure 
5 inches, and 81 lines in^e a full page. There are no signa- 
tures, folios, nor catchwords. 

The text begins on the first recto, — 

a brage penitanff est comme aucune cstffiellt 
I par la(nifUf lommf pfcf)fur qui gflon la parabolf 

tic Icuuangillcticsrfnlij) tip J(i)erusalfm rn 3Jt)friro 
itionta tie xuf)itf tic SJt^riro tn J|)fiusalem / rest abision tie 

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

eitiUacion tie Iccsse rspiittucUe / i^uis cncorrs sil U platst 
me tionnc que par ce srptenuatre tier pgeaulmes tie pentten^: 
ce lesqueU rorrespontirnt aux sept affect,* tie lomme prtns 
pour les sept ticgrc?* 'ac Icscijiclle tic pemtence :^c pulsse mo= 
ter et paruentr atog en cette tant glorieusc cite tic 3j|)erusa^ 
lem en laquelle tu i)at)iteg et te offrir auce les saius et 6e^ 
neure? le sacrifice tic loenge sans fin / : ^M^^ 

Remaeks. — 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 micertaiu, although from the 
style it is supposed by several of his biographers to have been 
from the pen of the Cardinal himself. The Commentary on 
the Penitential Psalms, printed by Wynken de Worde was 
coinposed by Bishop Alcock, and has nothing in common vdth 

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, bomid up with " Les Quatre Derrenieres 


Choses." It is perfect, 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 
" ArchaBlogia," vol. xxxi, page 412. 




TYPE No. 2. 


6. Les Quati-e Derrenieres Choses 

7. The Historj- of Jason . 

8. The Dictes and Sayings. Fii'st Edition . 

9. Horaj ..... 

10. The Canterbury Tales. First Edition 

11. The Moral Proverbs of Christine 

12. Propositio Johannis Russell 

13. Stans puer ad Mensam 

14. Parvus Catho. First Edition 

15. Ditto Second Edition 

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

17. Ditto ditto Second Edition 

18. Infancia Salvatoris .... 

19. The Temple of Glass ..... 

20. The Chorle and the Bird. Fii'st Edition 

21. Ditto ditto Second Edition . 

22. The Temple of Brass, or the Parliament of Fowls 

23. The Book of Courtesy. First Edition 

24. Queen Anelida ..... 

25. Boethius ..... 

26. Corydale ...... 

27. Fratris Laur. Gulielmi de Saona Margarita 

28. The Dictes and Sayings. Second Edition 

29. Indulgence ..... 

30. Parvus et Magnus Chato. Third Edition 

31. The Mirrour of the World. First Edition 

32. Reynard the Fox. First Edition . 

33. Tully of Old Age .... 

34. The Game and Playe of the Chesse. Second Edition 

. 1475 ? 

1477 ? 
. 1477 

. 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 quatee deerbnieees choses advenir. 
Folio. Without Printer's Name, 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 ta])le follows on the second recto, the first 
three lines being in red ink. 

The text begins : — 

(tt prrgfnt ttatcttr est ^iuisf txi quatrc parties pctnrtpa 
les : iSesQucUes rf)asrunc contient Xxm autrcs singuli / 
res parties en la fourme qui sensuit : 

and ends on 72nd verso : — • 

quil^ pourueissf nt aui eljoses tierrenieres / liont la frecjuete 
inemoire et reeortiaeicin ivapelle ties peei)ie^ a eulpe am ber 
tus et eonferme en tounes oeuures /par (tuog on paruient a 
la gloire eternelle :^men 

(irjplieit lilier tie 

(juatour iaouissimis 

An important tyjjogi-aphical peculiarity in this work is 
the mode in which the printer has employed red ink for the 
title-lines or chapters. The modus operandi and how the red 
ink overlies the black, is explained at p. 52, ante. This curious 
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 vdth. 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 foho, 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 tyj^e 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." 

Eemaeks. — 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 Vliedenhoven, 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 francois 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, 
Droin 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 Eoyal Library, Copenhagen. 

The only Existing- Copy known of this edition was dis- 
covered by Mr. J. Winter Jones while re-catalogl^ing 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 of Jason. Folio. Without Printer's 
Namp, Place, 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 full 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 blaiJi : — 

i <!l>t asmocijc m late l)i) tf)e comautjcmcnt of tlje rigi^t 

f)j)c ^ noi)le princfgsc mp rigt)t rrtouhtrb latig / ittg 

latig ikargarcte fig ti)r grace of goti Burljcssr of i3our= 

and ends on the 149th verso, 

among x\]t most h)ortf)i) • :Enli after tf)is present life eu= 
lasting life in teuen Into grant i)im ^ bs tljat fiougijte bs 
bjitf) i)is dlootie filessgt) 3J|)us .^men 


Kemaeks.— As already noticed when treating of the 
original French version of " Jason," its compiler was Eaoul 
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 jjress; and Caxton's remarks in the prologue to 
"Golden Legend/' show the translation to have followed 
"The RecuyeU" 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 sLx knoTvii copies there is one in the British 
Museum, one in the Bodleian, and four in private libraries. 

No. 8. — The Dictes aub Sayings of the Philosophees. 
Folio. " Enprynted hy nie William Caxton at West- 
mestre." 1477. First Edition; ivithout 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 full page. 
Without folios, catchwords, or signatures. Space is left at 


the beginning of chapters for the insertion of 3-line initials, 
with director. 

Commencing with a blank leaf, Earl Rivers's prologue 

The Text begins thus, on the second recto : — 

^m it is so tijat fuerg ijumagn (ffrraturr fig tf)e 
b) .suffrance of our lort goti is born vV ortrtgnrti to 

6c sufigcttc anti ti)ral bnto ti)e stormcs of fortune 
.anti so in 'aimtst ^ mang sontjrg togses man is perplex^ 

The work concludes on the verso of the 73rd folio at foot, 
and is followed on the 7'ith recto by Caxton's epilogue and 
additions, commencing with space for 3 -line initial. 

(!?re entiptij ti)e fioofe namrt tljc titrtes or sagcngis 
f) of tlje pijtlosopijrrs rnprgntcti /6g mt toilliam 

Olaxton at toestmrstre ti)t grre of our lorti ♦ M ' 
orararai • Unbil ♦ SlSlfjifte fioofe is latc translate out of 

The Text ends on the 7Gth verso, Avith a short page of 
sixteen lines — 

position in tf)is iaorltj / ^nti after tijgs Igf to Igue euer= 
lastgnglg in i)t\itn Emm 

(!St sic est finis . * . * 

Remarks. — 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 quarto 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- 
mimitie of the grete hospjtall of Saynt James of Copostella." 
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 IV, showed the 
earl a copy, in French, of " Les dits moraux des phUosophes," 
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 English, 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 pre\iously to its being printed in 
1477. Earl Eivers 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. Tliis 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 ftirther 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 iUumination, famous 
only on account of giving the sole representation kno^\Ti of 
Edward V. Earl Rivers is presenting a copy on bended 
knee (probably this very one) to the prince, Avho 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 vohime as the WTiter. We may 
suppose the eai'l to be in the act of reciting the metrical 
prologue which appears at the commencement, and the first 
five lines of which are — 

ThLs boke late translate here in sight 
By Anthony Earl (erasure) that vertueux knyght 
Please it to accepts to youre noble grace 
And at youre conueniens leysoure and space 
It to see reede and vnderstonde 

The wTiting 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 ah-eady 
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 Pliilosophres, And one 
William Caxton atte desire of my lorde Ryuers / emprinted 
many bokes after the tbnour and forme of this boke / whiche 
Willm saide as foloweth :" then comes Caxton's chapter. 

A diflFerent 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 Falstafi". 

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 of a " Hor^." Octavo. Without 
Printer'^ Name, Place, or Date. (1478 ?) 

Four leaves only. Type No. 2. Lines very uneven in 
length, the longest measuring 2\ inches; twelve lines to a 
full 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 Anglije ;" 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 
Sufiragia 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 Sufiragia of the Three Kings, 
the rest thereof occuj^ying, as above, the head of the second 
portion of the fragment. Then follow the Suffi-agia of St. 
Barbara and the concluding verse Benedicam' dno Deo gs, 
\Aith 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, ^nth the exception of the Three 
Kings and St, Barbara, which, in this sequence, are peculiar 
to this fragment, Sufiragia 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, difier altogether fi-om 
those which occur elsewhere. The e\-idence which a perfect 
volume might afford being wanting, the following suggestion, 
by Mr. Bradshaw, of Cambridge, is offered : — It is well kno-WTi 
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 serA-ice, 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, letitia, gratia et pace, 
ad loca destinata in pace et salute et negotio bene peracto 
cum omne prosperitate, salvi et sani redire valeamus." This 
alone proves very little ; but when we find that the next suf- 
frages are 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 Hor£e), wdth 
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 fi'om an old book-cover it formed 
a half-sheet, but now two quarters. 

No. 10. — Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Folio. Sim 
ulld notd. First Edition. (1478 ?) 

Collation. — Forty 4°% one 3", one 5", one 3", one 5", 
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 full page. Without folios, signatures, or catch- 


words. The book commences with a blank leaf, after which 
the Text begins thus : — 

^)m ti)at ^pprill m^ Ijis sijouris sote 
to ^nti tfjc tiroustte of mavdjc Ijatfj priti yn rote 

ainti fiabtt) ftirrg bcgnr in surfjf Itrout 
©f toijirijc bettu engentititi is tije flour 

On the 372nd leaf recto are the following lines, being the 
conclusion of the Parson's tale : — 
tiftcarion of s^nnc / Co ti)at l^f Ijc bs firgngc tijat bougijt 
toiti) i)is prccgous filootj amen. 

(^.tplieit Cractatus SalfrBtii (Ktauff^^ ^f 
^eniteneia bt tjicitur pro fabula llectoris. 

The reverse is occupied by what is called Chaucer's retrac- 
tion, commencing — 

n ©to prag f to ^em alle ti)at f)crfeene tfjis litil treatgse 

and ending — 

tjeus . ^er omnia secula seeulois Emen. 

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 Proverbs of Cristyne. Folio. 
" Enprinted hy Caxton At Westrmstre" 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 : — 

Ctje morale prouerfies of Olristgne 

t ?^e grete bertus of otire eltiersi notalile 

(©fte to rememftre is tijing profitable 
an tjappB i)0Ui5 is . tsa^txt titoelleti) prutienee 


and ends on the fourth verso, 

^t tofstmrstre . of Uuttn ti)t . xx . tiage 
^)\ti of fepng (JFtjloarti / ti)e . ibij . gftc brnjoe 

(IPnpttntctj fig (fl'aifon 
3ltt fcufrcr tf)f rolbe season 

Remarks. — Cristyne de Pise was, with the single excep- 
tion of Joan of Arc, the most famous woman of her age. She 
was born A.D. 1368, in Italy, and, at the early age of fifteen, 
married Etieime Castel. After a few happy years her hus- 
band was taken from her by death; and now, although, to 
quote her o^^^l 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 gxeat 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 \\Titings, 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 wTitings, 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 
unkno^\Ti, The biographers of Cristyne vie vdth 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, 1838, See 
also " Les Msc, Franc," vol, iv, p, 186 ; and " Mem, de FAcad. 
des Insc," vol. ii, p. 762. 

"Les prouerbes moraulx" were originally composed as a 
supplement to " Les enseignemens moraux," ^^Titten 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 


■Rivers appears to have taken place about the same period as 
his longer effort 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 ^dth 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 wTitings of that period. 

In the "Fayttes of Arms," translated and printed by Caxton 
at a later period, we meet ^nth another production of the 
same authoress. The only copies kno^\Ti are in the libraries 
of Earl Spencer, Earl of Jersey, and Mr. Christie-Miller. 

No. 12. — Peopositio Johannis Eussell. Quario. Wifhouf 
Printer'' s Name, Date, or Place. (147- ?) 

Collation. — Four printed leaves, the recto of the first 
and the verso of the last being blank. 

Typogeaphical Paeticulaes. — There is no title-page. 
Only one type. No. 2, is used. The lines are "very irregular 
in length, a full line measuring 4 inches. A fall page has 22 
lines, without 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 full by Dr. Dibdin. 

The Text begins on the first verso : — 

fJroposttio ariarissimi ©ratovig . IKagistn f o 
ijannig Musscll tjffVftormn tiortovls ar atitunc 
Hmtiassiatovts ipianissimt ivrgis ^frtiljoaitii 

and ends ■\\'ith twelve lines on the fourth recto, of which the 
last three are — 

ptate ati tici lauticm / rt cvaltationcm fi^fi .vpia 
nc/nostvi qj Sfvnnissimi rrgis volnu'. solarium te 
uclattonnu <\) / ft gloviam plcliis sue . amen 


In the eighth vokime of the " Censura Literaria," page 
351, appeared the first public notice of this tract, which till 
then had been mistaken for a manuscript. Whether printed 
at Bruges, Avhich is not unlikely, or at Westminster is difficult 
to decide. 

John Eussell, "Orator clarissimus," Bishop of Lincoln 
and Lord Chancellor, held many offices of trust under three 
sovereigns. He was born in the parish of St. Peter's, Win- 
chester, in the beginning of the reigii 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 14C6 to the Archdeaconry of Berkshire. On the latter 
appointment he removed to court, Avhere he was much noticed 
by Edward IV. In September, 1467, he was commissioned 
by the Idng, together vdih Lord Hastings, Lord Scales, and 
others, to conclude a treaty of marriage between the king's 
sister Margaret and the Duke of Burgundy. A few months 
later he was engaged in arranging the trade relationship 
between this comitry 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- 
^nth 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 Pope Sixtus 
IV (see Harleian MS. No. 433), and was probably in Rome 
wheu his Sovereign, Edward IV, who had appointed him one 

o 2 


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 fii-st 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 Englande 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 
Caml)ridge : — " Empt' p Jo, Rusccl . archidiaconu berk- 
shyrie apud oppidu bruggense flandrie a° 1467 mens' ApT 
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 afford 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 maim- 
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 liln-ary in ]819 (Lot 5752), Earl Spencer was obliged 
to give £126 for it. It was for many years considered as 
unique, until another copy was discovered in the library at 



Salve Regina. Quarto. Sine uUa notd. {Ante 

Collation. — Four leaves, all printed. 

There is no title-ijage. Type No. 2 only is used. There 
are 23 lines to a page, or three stanzas in " Balad Royal," '" 
witli a blank line between the stanzas. Long lines measui-e 
4 inches. Without signatures or catchwards. 

The Text begins, on the first recto, thus : — 

♦ Stans puec ati mcnsam . 
m % trre ci)ilt»e first ti)8 selfc niaftle 

SHiti) all t|)in ^nXt to bertur titscipltnc 
llfore ti)B souciagn stontijntg at t|)e table 

The poem concludes with two stanzas on the third recto, 
the latter of which is : — 

<@o Itttll figllc iaif gn of elocjucnrc 
^3ra|) gong ri)iltirat t^at X\)t sijal mt or rctie 
Ct)Ougf) tijou ht not rompfntiious of sfutcnce 
<©f ti)c f latoscsi for to tafef ijrte 
512Hi)id)e to alle bertue stal tt)B gougtl) Irtc 
<©f tlje torj)t8ng ti)oug|) ttjer t)c no tiate 
^f ougtjt fie amgs put t^e faute in litigate 
. (irxplirit . 

Moral Distichs immediately follow the above, and fill 
up the page. The whole is here given. 

argse erlj) ^nti argsc temperatlg 

Serue gotj ^euoutlg ^nti to tijg soup sofierlg 

^i)f toorltj bfstl)) Unti to t^g bcti mrrtlg 

<@oo ti)j) toag satilD ^nti 6e t^ere iorontilg 

anslnere ticmurflB Enti slepe setorlg 
t!§o to tt)B mete apprtentlg • <!raplicit . 

(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 ou the verso of the preceding, 
at the head of the page. 

. ^n i)CilB ^aluc regina in eitglissl^ . 

aiue bitf) all ofieigance to goti t i^umftlessc 
ICcgina to regne eugt more in fil^gse 
JfEatrr to crist as toe figleuc nprrsse 

The "Sahie" ends at the foot of the 4th recto, 

iHater of Igf anti eterne crearion 

Salue euer as fric as toe ran suffuse . xlmen. 

The reverse of this leaf gives the following : — 

513agtte tatf) toontiet anti ftgntie ne can 
?i?oto mai)tien is moUer anti goti is man 
Heue ti)))n asking anti fieleue tl)at toontjer 
dFor mggtt t)att) maistrg ^ sfegU gotlj bntiet 
. Beo laus ^^e . 
This is followed by six proverbial couplets, the last being — 

Itnotoe er ttou ikngtte ^'^ tiian t^ou maist slafee 
gf tf)ou fengt ei- t|)ou iknotoe tijan it is to late 

This finishes the Text as it stands in the only two copies 

From the absence of the word ^iplieit, or any other 
similar ending which Caxton made a rule of placing at the 
end of his works, great and smaU, it is not unlikely that this 
piece is imperfect. This is rendered more probable by the 
absence of the blank leaf at the beginning, which, supposing 
a printed leaf wanting at the end, would be its countei"part. 
At the same time it should be noticed that the only two 
known copies agi'ee 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 two 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. Eitson gives a list of 251 pieces 
attributed to liis 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. {Hail. 3IS. 
2251, folio 283). 

The "Stans Puer" is a translation of the "Carmen juve- 
nile de moribus pueronmi" of Sulpitius, of which the first 
edition was probably printed at Aquila in 1483." Bat 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, from his pen. 

The copy in the University Library of Cambridge is the 
only one known, 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 little volmne, 
in quarto, bomid in plain brown calf, and lettered on the back 
" Old poetry printed by Caxton." The collection appears to 
have l)een 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 work. Mr. 


Bradshaw's careful examination, however, showed that the 
volume contained eight distinct publications, which have 
since been bound separately. Some of these are vmique, 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 
Regina. II. Parvus Catho and Magnus Catho. III. 
The Chorle and the Bird. IV. The Horse the Goose 
and the SheejD ; Stanzas ; The proper use of certain 
nouns; The proper use of certain verbs. Y. The 
Temple of Glass. VI. 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 
\illage without painting. VII. The Book of Courtesy. 
VIII. 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 aU printed before February 2nd, 
1479, we may safely assume, as they are, ^\-ithout excejition, 
in the early state of type No. 2, which then made its last 
dated appearance in " Cordyale ;" and that many were among 
Caxton's hrst essays seems probable from their popidar nature, 
and the small amount of labour required in their production. 
For these reasons they are treated consecuti^'ely, together 
with three other editions, in Nos. 14 to 25, those pieces whose 
longest lines all measure 4 inches being placed before those 
measuring 3| inches. 

No. 14. — Paevus Catho. — Magnus Catho. quarto. First 
Editwn. Sim uM notd. {Ante 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 23 lines, 
counting the blank hne between the stanzas. Without signa- 
tures or catchwords. 

The Text commences with title-line on the second recto, a 
blank leaf having originally preceded it — 

. ?t?ic Bntipit panuis Olatfjo . 

atu aiatiutfrc qxm plurimog f)oi(B mitt etrare 
?lSli)an $ atiurrtc to mg rfinrmfiranre 
^nt) stt f)oh) fele follies tutn greuouslj? 

"Parvus Catho" terminates in the middle of the third 

?12aijan sf it rrtc let not gout i)frt U ttntsc 
ijut tiotJj as tl)is sattt) bjitf) al pur Ijole entente 

. ^ic finis parui eatf)onis . 

making in all seven stanzas, in " Balad Eoyal." 

"Magnus Catho" immediately follows on the verso, with 
space left for the insertion of a 2-hne initial 5>, Avith director. 

. Wt IJneipit magnus (Catfio . 

r :i» tjeus est aimus noiiis bt rarmina tiieut 
^ic tifii preeipue fit pura mente eolentius 
jpot ti^}} ti)at QOti is inluartilg tl)e iuit 

The Text ends on the 34th verso, 

?^eie ijaue § fontie ti)at si)al gou gugtie &: lelie 
Stceigijt to gotie fame ^ leue gou in Ijiv ^ous 
. iJFaplieit atati)0 . 

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 lar 
back as the second or third century of the Christian era. In 


the middle ages they were used as a school-book, to teach 
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 miUer of 
the rich "Gnof." These remarks apply to "Magiras Cato" 
only. About 1180 Daniel Churche, an ecclesiastic attached 
to the coiu't of Henry II, added a few Latin precepts as intro- 
ductory to the original, and from that period the tAvo were 
mostly transcribed together, being distinguished as " ParAiis 
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 fuU craftily 
hath made it in Balad Royal 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 
Gloss, which ^yi]l 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 
ffarl MS., No. 271 . He afterwards filled the offices of Arch- 
deacon of Colchester, 1464 ; Prebendary of St. Paul's, 1472 ; 
and soon after High Canon of St. Stephen's, AVestminster. 
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 echeu 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 Ilarl MS. 2251, folio 236, in which occurs this 
side-note, in the same handwriting as the body of the poem — 
" Here deyde the translato'' a noble Poet Dane John Lydgate 
And his folower gan his prolog in this Avise p' Benedict fi 


Biirgh." He or Lydgate also vrvote an original fourth book 
to " Catho Magnus," which, although not printed by Caxton, 
may be seen in several manuscripts. Ritson, indeed (Bib. 
Poet., page 66), ascribes the whole to Lydgate. 

It does not seem improbable that the printing of " Parvus 
et Magnus Catho " was undertaken by desire of " High Canon 
Burgh," who, holding a canonry in Westminster, Avas 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 8^ x 5^ inches. For an accomit of 
the volume which contained it, see page 200 ants. 

No, 15. — Parvijs Catho. — Magnus Catho. Quarto. Se- 
cond Edition. Sine idlcl notd. {Ante 1479). 

Collation. — Three 4°' and one 6"" = 34 leaves, of which 
the first was doubtless blank, although wantmg in the only 
kno'oai copy. 

Typographical Particulars. — The variation in this 
edition is only typographical. The poem is reprinted page 
for page, and Ime for line, yet the composition of the type is 
different throughout. 

The only Existing Copy knomi is in the library of the 
Duke of Devonshire, at Chatsworth, where it is bound with 
the quarto edition of " Stans Puer," already described. It 
came from the old library at Hardwicke Hall. In the 
ffarleian Catcdogue (iii. G202) the above two tracts appear 
together — probably this very copy. 

No. IC. — The Horse, the Sheep, and the Goose. — 

Various Stan^zas. — The proper application of 

CERTAIN Nouns substantive, and Verbs. First 

Eddion. Quarto. Sine ulJd 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 between 
the stanzas. Without signatures or catchwords. 

The Horse, the Sheep, aihb the Goose commences on 
the second recto, the first leaf being blank. 

The Text begins, with space fur a 2-line initial, with 

c ©ntrrbfrslfs / plrcs anti tusrortrs; 
ijittorne prrsoufs \xkxc ttoo or t1)rf 
5ougi)t out ti)p gvountfs he rfcortfs 
^i)is teas ti)e custom of anttcjuite 

On the fourteenth leaf verso, 

^U( in one bcssfll to sprite in toortrs plcgn 
Cijat noman si)oltie of oti)fr ijaue ^tstiagn 

. ^i)us cn^fti) tije Ijoisc t|)e 8t)oos ^ tt)c 0|)Cf}) . 

There are in this poem 77 stanzas of seven lines each. 

Various Staijzas follow, ending on the sixteenth recto, 
the verso being occupied with short sentences, as " An herde 
of Hertes. A murther of crowes. A byldjng of rooks," &c. 
The v»-hole ends on the eighteenth verso — 

a (Stonii) bnlaretr ^f f)e tafee tf)f lontie Ije 

a ?t?fron liismemftritj fleeti) . yriplir it . 

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 vSheep, and the Goose. — 

Various Stanzas. — The proper application of 

certain Nouns substantive and Verbs. Quarto. 

Second Edition. {Ante 1479.) 

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, wliicli 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 knowTi copy of the first edition. 
The text begins on the second recto, 

^fje tors . tf)e sijepe ^ tte 3^000. 

(©ntrrbersifs . plees anti titscortfs 

13ith)fnp prrsonrs torre th)0 or tt)re 
5)0U!jtt out tf)c grountifis fie rfcortfs 
C^is U)as tijc rustom of anttquite 

and ends T^dth ^.vpllfit 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 Eoxburgli 

No. 18. — Infancia Salvatoris. Quarto. Without Printer's 
Nmne, Date, or Ptace. (147-?). 

Collation. — Eighteen printed leaves, unsigned, with a 
blank both at beginning and end. 

The type is all JSTo. 2. There are '2'2 lines of uneven 
length to a full page, and a long line measures 3| inches. 
"Without signatures, folios, or catchwords. 

The Text begins thus on the recto of the first printed 
leaf: — 

Jtjic gnripit Cractatuis c^ut S?ntitulatut 
SJnfancia saluatoris . 

Xi\i rtirtu a itt%mt Slugusto bt tjc 
t SfiitprPtur bntusus orbis il?fr autcm 

tifscriprio prima facta fst a presCOr . 
^ixit OTirino . Oft itant oms ut pfttrrrntur 
singuli iw riuttatcm sua .Eisrentiit rt :?Josfpi) 

and ends witli a full page on the eighteenth recto. 


iirrrlfstastici bt|a . S>i Mi Itfii stnt . rrutii 
illos ft curba illos a puatfia iUon . ^i filic 
iibi stnt / scrua corpus iUas ft non ostfutiant 
tilarfm farifm tuam atj illas . (^vfgorius . 
(I^uauts (i*s iuistus sit . tu in i[)af bita no ^ffift 
fssf Sffur (i} nfSf it quo finf sit tcrminantjus . 

This printed tract differs entirely from the MS. in the 
British Museum, Eoi/al 13 A xiv, "De Xti infantia," but 
agrees partially -nith the "EYangelium lufantiae" attributed 
to St. James, and printed in a'oI. i of the " Codex apocry])hus 
Novi Testament!," by Fabricius. 

The only Existing Copy known is in the Royal Uni- 
versity 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 turcico, 
deauraf. Lo7uL apvtl Gaxton, siiw LocoT (See Catalogus 
BiUioiJmcE, Harleimm, vol, v, page 252, No. 7008). 

No. 19. — The Temple of Glass. Quarto. Sine iiMil iiotd. 
(Ante 1470.) 

Collation. — Tlu-ee 4"' and one 5", unsigned, or 34 leaves, 
of which the 1st is (?) blank. 

Typographical Pakticulaes. — 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)f tfmpic of glas . 

f (!i>r ti)ougi)t ronstrfj)nt vV gifuous ijfujmfs 

dfor pnisifljfti anti ijifll) tiistvfs 
^0 tifti J tofnt nolo tf)is oti)fc nggf)t 


The Text ends at the foot of the 34th recto, 

•3 mrnf tljat fimpgnc anti goo^Uj of fare 
iRoto go ti))) bjag ants put tlje in f)cx grace 

. <!?ipltrtt tije temple of glas . 

There seems no doubt that this was one of the less favoured 
compositions of Dan John, although by some ^^Titers 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 blauk (?) 
leaf, and was formerly bound with other pieces in a volume 
already described at page 51. Measurement 8j x 5|- inches, 

Xo. 20. — The Choele and the Bird. Quarto. First Edi- 
tion. Sine idid notd. {Ante 1479.) 

Collation. — One 5", or 10 leaves, of which the 1st is 

Typographical PAHTicuL^iRS. — 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 Hofilemes of oltie Uknes an"b figures 
^Sl|)lci)e prougti fien frurtuo' of sentence 

The Text ends on the 10th verso, 

000 litell quager antj reeomantie me 
5finto mp maister bttl) tumble affection 
ioeseke ^pm lotol); of mercj,) anti pjne 
(Df tJ)P rutie mak)jng to l)aue compassion 


^nti as touci^ittg t^e translaricm 
Ol^ut of frrnssi) / toto t|)at tit rnglissi)iti tc 
aue tijing is saiti bntirr rorrrrtion 
51Siiti) suppoitarion of \)is ficnggngte 

. ©^aplicit ti)c fi)orle anti tf)c 6irte . 

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 Gesta 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 and the Bird. Quarto. Second 
Edition. Sine idid notd. (Ante 1470.) 

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 minutiae, such as the omission of the director, 
the use of fnll-points and colons as ornamentation, and above 
all the constant variation in orthography . Take the 1st line 
as an example : — 

Ed. 1. p Ivotlmcs of oltif lifertfs anti figurrs 
Ed. 2. rotilnnfs of oltie lifenrs anti figuws 

and the last line, 

Ed. 1. . (!?.vplicit i\\t ci)orle antj ti)e fiirtif . 
Ed. 2. tJraplicit tf)c (!tt)Otle ant) tt)c iiirtc . : . 

The only known Existing Copy is in the Chapter Library 
at York. It is peifect, with the original blank. A reprint from 
this copy was presented to the Roxbin-ghe Club by Sir M. M. 


No. 22. — The Temple of Brass, or the Parliament of 
Fowls. Some Balads, Envoy of Chaucer to 
Skogan. Quarto. Sine uUd nota. {Ante 1479). 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type used is No. 2 only. Full lines measure 3f 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, ^\ithout a blank leaf, — 

i)e Igf so stort X^t craft so loflf to Ifrnc 
W^di^m^t so tart so s^arp ti)e ronpergng 

On the 1 7th recto, 

<i?iplicit ti)c temple of firas 

The Tract ends on 24th verso, 

^Saas neuer erst srogan filametJ for %i% 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 ulla 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 3| inches. 23 lines 
to a page, including a blank line between the stanzas. With- 
out signatures or catchwords. 

The Text begins thus : — 

I Btpl 3Jol)n sgtt sour tentjre enfanrge 
S)t'on^etl) as pet bntjer / in tiiffcrence 
Co bice or bertu to meugn or applpe 


The Text ends on the 13th recto, 

antr f)oto to "i^uxtt / Igetf) tntx in a toagtP 
i^ppc gour quaget / tfiat It fie not tijer fiagte 

©iplicit tf)e fiook of rurtfsge. 

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 Aecyte, — ^The com- 
plaint OF Chaucer to his Purse. Quarto. Sine 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 3f 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 i^ou fifrs gotr of arntfs / mars i%t retrc 
djat in tf)P ftostg contce callrt trare 
51Sittt)in tt)g grgslg temple ful of tiretie 

The Text ends on the 9th recto, 

?^ob) tfiat arcite / anelttia so sore 
?^att t|)irlet( toiti) ti)e pegnt of remefirare 

5ri)us entietlj tfie complegnt of anelitia 

On the same page is Chaucer's ". Complaint to his Purse," 
in three stanzas of " Balad Royal," the tract ending with 

(j[5t Sic est finis. * . * 

on the 10th recto. 

The only Existing Copy known is in the Public Libraiy, 
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" 
Without Place or Date. {Ante 1479). 

Collation. — Eleven 4"' and one 8" = 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 chajjters 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 : — 

iSofcius te cottsolacione pi^ilosopf)ie 

ClTatmina (jut cjuontiam gtutiio flornttf peregi 
dFlefiilis i)eu mestos coqoi; initc motios 

a mas B toppging am ronstratnPt< to ficgBttne bers 
of soroufull mateit . Ci)at 5Mf)8lom in floutissi^ing 
stutige matic tiflltatilc titffs / dFot lo rrntigng muses of 

On the 93rd reoto, third line, 

egen of tf)e Sfugge t^at seet^ ant? also tf)at tiemetl) alU 

tigngps / Bta grarlas 

©iplicit fioccius tje 
ronsolactone pi)ilosopi)ie 

Caxton has added an interesting epilogue, which occupies 
the remainder of the recto and the whole of the verso, being 
followed, on the 94tli recto, by the " Epitaphiu Galfridi 
Chaucer," printed in type No. 3, which concludes on the 
verso, and the last few lines of wliich are : — 

^ost ofiitum OTaiton boluit tt hiutu cura 
JlHillflmi . (fl;i)aurf r dare poeta tuj 
illam tua non solum comprcssit opuscula formis 
^as quoq? s? lautjps . tussit t'c fsse tuas 

P 2 


This epitaph was written 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 gi'eat 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 (hne 
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 from 
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 
*' oniate 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 Ripon 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. Li the summer of 18.58 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 I 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 Geofi^rey Chaucer's English translation of " Boecius de 
Consolatione Philosophia;," printed by Caxton, in the original binding, 
as issued from Caxton's workshop, and uncut ! ! 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, pi'oving 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 u-ithaut Place. March 24/A, 

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 Unes 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 ^. 

The Text begins thus : — 

prologue of t^e translator. 

H Sifngratitutic bttcrlg scttgng apart / tor objf 
a to rallr to our mpntifs ti)r manpfoltic si^fUs 

of grace / toiti) tijc trncfaittlis . tt)at our lortie 
of 1)10 moost plrntiuruse tontf l)att) smrn bs 
toretfi^fs m ti)ts present transitoirc lif . 312ilt)ir1)P ivftncm 

The text ends with twenty lines on the 77th verso, the 
last eisrlit of which are — 

1. The English "Jason," ten | 8. " Assembly of Fowls," fourteen 

leaves. leaves. 

2. " Dictes," three leaves. 9- " The Chorle and the Bird," 

3. " Chronicles,^ six leaves. i -.r. umu tt ^.v ci. j 

10. " The Horse, the Sheep, and 

4. " Description of Britain," eight the Goose," four leaves. 

leaves. | H. " Hora3 beata Virginis " 

5. " Works of Sapience," (ex- \ (nniqne), four leaves 

tremely rare), two leaves. j 12. " Pica Sarum " (unique), eight 

13. " An Indulgence of Pope Six- 
tusV,"(?) two slips of^parch- 

6. " Tulle," seven leaves. 

7. Lydgate's " Life of onr Lady," 

two leaves. ■ mcnt (unique). 


lasting pmnannxrc in finien ^men . 515af)irtf torrte pre= 
sent 'S firgan t^e morn after tt)c saitie ^urificactonof onr 
tlmia ILatig . 5i5!af)irf)e toas ttettcTjagcof SeintlJlase 
i3i0Sf)op anio IHartir . ^n^ fiinissfirt on ti)e men of ti)an 
nunrtacion of our saitj fiilissiti Eatjg falling on ti)e toetJ 
nestiag ti)e iiitij tiape of ilHarc^e . §nti)t liigeer of 
iltgng <!?titoartf ti)cfourt|)e 

The IHth. leaf, which closes the volume, is blank. 

The French edition of this work (see page 183, ante) 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, wMle 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, 
imless 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. — Fratris Laurentii Gulielmi de Saona Mar- 
garita Eloquenti^ castigate ad eloquendum 
DiviNA ACCOMMODATA. Folio. Sim ulU 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 hues, 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 lines 
in depth. The hyphen is in this volume not uiifrequently 
used instead of the / or / , as a mark of pmictuation. 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 laurfitrtr Quilflmi tic isaona orHinis 
mio facf t\)m tiodm pt)fwiu t noua rtijoica 

©gitanti mirt)i sepfnumrto^^ac tjiltgrncl' ron^ 
templati q)tu romotJttatts (t)tu(ij isplentiortgi ^^ Qlmt affrrre 

On the 5th verso. 
On the 53rd recto, 

toiicc facultatis : fn po specialitft auctor agtt tie i^ii» que 


The Second Book ends and the Third begins on the 83rd 

§B<ft3W3^ !L3)I13©3^ tmm rijctortcc faculta 

On the 135th recto is a concluding chapter, the Text 
ending, on the verso of the 136th leaf, thus : — 

in trinitate petferta uiutt et regnat per infintta secula ^ttn- 
lorum . aiHiffiOi . 

(J^xpltcit lifter terrius : et opus rijetorire farultatis p fra 
tre laurentiu ©uilelmi lie 5<aona ortiints minor sacre pa 
gtne pfessore ei ^irtis testimoniisqj saeratissimar srriptu^ 
rar/ tioctorq? pftattssimor rompilatu et gfirmatu : quifius 
ex eausis rensuit appeUantiu fore IHargarttam eloqunttie 
easttgate ali eloquentiu tiiuina aecomotiatam 

(JiTompitatu ant' futt ijoe opus in alma uniuersitate OTan 
talirigie . Enno tini . i4'^8 . "Die et . 6 . ;||ulii . (juo tiie 
festum Sanete Hflartte reeolitr. ^ul) protectione S)enissi 
mi regis anglorum Crtiuartii qttiarti 

Remaeks. — 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 
typographical peculiarities. Nor is there much uncertainty 
about the date. It was not written tiU 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 having apparently reprinted from the edition 
by Caxton. 

It is also very remarkable that this work should have 
been kno^n 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 
foUoA\ing 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, wTitiug 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), was born about 1414. His 
native city, not very far from Genoa, is better laiown as the 
birthplace of Christopher Cohmibus. He entered the Fran- 


ciscan Convent there under Francesco di Rovere, afterwards 
Pope Sixtus IV. He studied at the universities of Padua, 
Bologna, Cambridge, and Paris, and seems finally to have 
retired to his o^\^l convent at Savona, where he died, and to 
which he was a great benefactor. Wadding {Scriptores Ord. 
Min. folio, Romge, 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. 

" Emprynted hy me William Caxton at Wesimestre." 

Folio. Second Edition. Bated 14:77, but printed about 

1480. Wifh Colophon. 

Collation. — Eight 4"', and two 3"' = 76 leaves, of which 

the 1st is blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page, 
lype No. 2* only is used. The lines are nearly always spaced 
Dut to an even length, and measure 5 inches; 29 lines to a 
^11 page. Without signatures, foKos, 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, a7ite) is considerable. That was printed from the original 
Fount of type No. 2 ; this from a re-casting of the same fount, 
showing many alterations in the punches. (See the preliminary 
chapter to this volume). That has the pages throughout the 
volume very uneven as to the length of the line ; this nearly 
always even. That, with the unique exception of the Althorpe 
3opy, is without the colophon ; this has the colophon, of which 
a facsimile is given in the annexed plate, in every copy. 
Lastly, the orthography 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 tlu-ee editions of "Dictes and Sayings," 
wliich issued from Caxton's printing ofiice, all bear the same 
date of imprint, November, 1477, wMle we know that type 


No. 2*, in which the 2nd edition is printed, was not used tUl 
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, (mte. 

Copies are in the British Musemn, 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 tyjje was 
used. The whole of the document occupies 19 long lines, of 
which the following are the begimiing and end : — 

liCatrr fjofjannes ferntiale Ctirripdrrius ifttotit ac 
^ rommlgsartus ^ sanrtisslmo m iprtsto patre | tX 

tiomtno nostro ticimtno ^ixXa tituina prouitirnrta 
papa quarto rt bigorc littrrarum suarum pro ape- | 
tiitionf fontra prrft^os turr^os ipristiani nominis f)ostfS . 
in tiffcnsioncm tnsule ii\|)otii $( ft^ci rat1)olt= | cf facta rt 
faclfuta ronrrssarum a^ infragrlpta p bntucrsum orfinn 

tlfputatUS . JBilert' nofifS in ipo | Symoni Mountfmi et 

Emme vxori ei' 5?alutf iw tino gfinpitrrna ^roufnit tx tue 
tiniotionis affrrtu quo romana | 

3fn quor* ixntwx ijas I'ras nostras ^igtlli nostri ap | 
pcnsionc tnunitas fieri iussimus atq^ mantiauimus . Bat* 
ultimo die Mesis nmrcij ^nno tiomini ] ittillfsimo quatj- 
ringrntcsimo octogrsimo 

Remarks. — The following particulai-s concerning John 
Kendal are gathered from an article in Archceologia, vol. xxvii, 


•age 172, written by Sir F. Madden, and entitled "Docu- 
aents relating to Perkin Warbeck." 

In a deposition made by ^one Bernard de Vignoles, at 
louen in 1495, concerning a plot against the king's life, one 
if the persons impHcated was John Kendal, Grand Prior of 
he Order of St. John of Jerusalem in England. He is also 
emarkable as having been the subject of the earliest contem- 
)orary English medal in existence, which is dated 1480, the 
)eriod of the Siege of Rhodes. On this he is styled " Turco- 
>olier," or General of the Infantry of the Order, the oflSce of 
rhich was annexed to that of Grand Prior of England. Yet 
ilthough the medal so designates him, it is not probable that 
le was actually present at the siege, as in that very year 
Rymer, April, 1480) Edward IV ordered all persons to assist 
rohii Kendal, in Ireland, in procuring aid and money against 
he Turks. In this proclamation he is styled " Turcopolier 
if Rhodes, and locum tenens of the Grand Master in Italy, 
]]ngland, Flanders, and Ireland." In Bro^vne-Willis (Mit. 
!ibb.) Kendal appears in 1491 and 1501 as Prior of the 
lospital of St. John of Jerusalem in London. He was lieu- 
enant of the Grand Master iu Italy, England, Flanders, and 
jeland, and was amply furnished with indulgences and par- 
Ions for all who give personal service. In this office of 
ecruiting he was occupied at the time of the celebrated Siege 
)f Rhodes in 1480. His arms, impaled with those of England, 
nay stiU be seen on the walls of an hotel at Rhodes. 

In the Numismatic department of the British Museum is 
I medal connected with John Kendal. Olv. Bust of Kendal 
n armour marked with the cross of the Knights of St. John ; 
lead bare ; hair straight and long ; legend, lO. kendal rhodi 
cvRCVPELARivs. Rev. Arms of Kendal. Cross of St. John 
n Chief. Legend, i{i tempore obsidionis tvrchorvm 


There are probably two Existing Copies, although but 
me is a present kno\\Ti. This is in the British Museum (C. 
18, e. 2), and was purchased in 1845. The blank space for 
:he name is filled in with " Symoni Moimtfort et Emme vxori 
ii% 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 Richard Cattlyn 
and John Cattlyn, April 16th, 1480. 

No. 30, — Paevus et Magnus Chato. Folio. Sine ulld notCt. 
With Woodcuts. Third Edifim. (1481 ?) 

Collation, — a h C 4"', ti 2" = 28 leaves, of which a j 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| inches ; 29 lines 
to a page. Signatures are met here for the first time, lower- 
case letters and Roman nimierals being used. Without folios 
or catchwords. 

Commencing with a blank leaf the title-line follows, on 
a ii recto, in type No. 3. The Text begins thus : — 

W^ incipit paruus Olijato 

( Woodevt of Fovr Pupils, one of whom wears a fool's cap, kneeling 
before a Tutor, who, rod in hand, sits in a kiffk-baeked chair). 

Wixd aia atmcttcre (juamtoifs grauiter txxd^xt 
512a^an 3J abuerte in mg remcmfiraunce 
anti see t)oU) fele folfees etren greuouslg 

On sig. a iii) recto, 

515!ii)an ge it retie let not gout i)erte t)e tijence 
^\xX ^otij as t^is sagti) toitt al Bout entente 
?^ie finis pacui catt)onis 

(Woodctd of Five Pupils kneeling before their Tutor, who, seated in 
cf, chair, is teaching them from a book vpon a lectern before him). 

" Parvus Chato " contains 7 stanzas, and is folloAved, on 
eig. a iii verso, by 

?ijic incipit magnus (Ki)ato 


The Text ends, on 4th recto of sig. tl — 

^ttt i)aue § font t^at sijal ge gugtic anti Ictie 
Strfggfit to gooti fame ^ Ifue gou in i)St t)cms 

©iplicit (B:f)ato 

Remarks. — ^The Text is evidently a reprint from one of 
the early editions in quarto (see pages 200 and 203, mite), and 
was by no means intended as a kind of supplement " to the 
" Cathon glossed," printed a year or two later by Caxton, a* 
supposed by Dr. Dibdin in Ti/p. 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 
" Mirroiu" 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 kno^vn : one in St. John's College, 
Oxford, and the other at Althorpe. 


No. 31. — The Mirrour of the World. Folio. First 
Edition. Translated 1^^%!. Woodcuts. Without Printer's 
Name, Date or Place, but in 1481. 

Collation.— a 6 C tl e f g t i ^ I «t are 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 
foHos or catchwords. Signatures in lower-case letters and 
Arabic numerals. The niunber of woodcuts is 34. After the 
first (blank) leaf the " Table " commences on sig a 2 recto. 

The Text begins thus : — 

^m tcggnneti) tf^t tatile of tije rufirlcfs of tijis presen 
it mmnimmeti ti)e IHirrour of ti)c tooilti or ti)8ma8e 
of tf)c same 

ends on the 4th recto of sig. n, the verso being blank, 

f)cltf)t I ant) after ti)i0 si)ort ^ transitorse Igf %t firgngc 
tgm anti bs in to W rrlfstgal filgsse in i)cuene amrn/ 

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 foUoTAing reason, given in 
the third chapter of the First Book, "Majus autem, ad difFer- 
entiam parvi libelli jamdudum editi, cujus titulus Speculum 
vel Imago mundi, in quo scilicet hujus mundi sensibihs dis- 
positio et ornatus panels verbis describitur. M. Daunou thinks 
that the " parvus libellus " here referred to was the " Imago 


ilundi " from which " Lymage du Monde " was translated, 
md that it was a previous composition of Vincent de Beau- 
^ais ; and Montfancon quotes a manuscript in the St. Germain 
ioUection (Fonds Latin, 926) in support of the same view, in 
vhich we read " Iste liber intitulatus Speculum vel Imago 
kluudi editus a fre. Yincentio ordinis fratrmn predicatorum." 
^ut Vincent's reference to a Speculum Mundi, " jamdudum 
sditus," by no means suggests that he ^\Tote that as well as 
lis owii; and unfortunately as no copy is known, the fact 
iven of its agTeement Mith " Lymage du Monde " cannot be 
■erified. The manuscript quoted by Montfancon is no evidence 
it all, as M. Paris, on examination, found it to be identical 
vith the " Speculum Historiale," or the Third Part of Vin- 
;ent's " Speculum Majus," which is by no means " a rational 
lescription of the world and its products shortly described." 
Che compilation of " Speculum Mundi," from Vincent's " Spe- 
;ulum Naturale," as suggested by Greswell, is equally far from 
he truth. Although no copy of the Latin "■ Speculum vel 
mago Mundi," referred to by Vincent, is known, there appears 
ittle reason to doubt that it existed in the thirteenth century, 
^erhaps an earlier copy of the Latin maimscript in the Cotton 
library, already described, may have formed the foundation 
)f the French version, although in that case, as in Vignay's 
ranslation of the " Chess Book," considerable additions have 
)een made. The history of the " Mirrour of the World" may 
)e summed up thus: — Before the middle of the thirteenth 
;entury an unknown author wTote in Latin " Speculum vel 
mago Mundi;" of this no copy has yet been recognised 
Oof ton, Ves]). E iii?) In 1245 this w^as turned into French 
netre for the Duke of Berry, of which manuscripts in several 
ibraries attest the popularity {Shane 2435 ; Roijal 20, A iii). 
shortly afterwards the French metre was turned into French 
)rose, probably by " Maistre Gossouin." (Royal 1 9, A. ix ; Bii. 
^mp., Paris, No. 7070). Here we find the Text used by Caxton 
or his translation, who even adopted a considerable portion 
)f the French prologue (see ante Yol. I, page 153). ^Vho 
his " Gossouin " or " Gossevin " was, and whether he was the 
luthor or only the scribe is quite nnknoA\-n. 



The celebrated Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly compiled, in 1409, 
a work entitled " Tractatus de ymagine mundi " (ffarl MS. 
637), which, however, is principally astronomical, haying a 
portion of the same as the work under review. 

The publisliing of this book was not a speculation on 
Caxton's part. He was employed, as we learn from the pro- 
logue (printed rerbafim in Vol. 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 adorn, 
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, which 
may perhaps be an argmnent for their home execution, as the 
Flemish artists were certainly weU 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 {Lysons, vol. iv, page 75), was also of 
the Mercers' Company, although Stow calls him a goldsmith 
{Thorns' s Stow, page 77). He was knighted about 1472 ; and 
in that year accompanied John Russell 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 " ClericLis in oflRcio Contrarotulatoris Monetae nostrse," 
was sent on a similar embassy, " De difficultatibus super inter- 
cursu BurgundiiB removendis ;" and on both occasions would 
necessarily become personally acquainted with Caxton, who at 
that time was in the service of the Duchess of Burgundy at 
Bruges (Ri/mer, edit. 1 727, vol. xi, page 738, &c. &c. ) He 
also held tlie 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 kno\Mi : British Museum (2), Cam- 
bridge, Bodleian, St. George's, Windsor, and ten in private 

No. 32. — The Histoey of Eeynard, the Fox. First 
Edition. Folio. Translated in the Ahley of Westmin- 
ster by William Caxton, 1481, hut ivithout Frinter's 
Name, Place, or Date. 

Collation.— a I) r tl e f g i^ i are 4"% fe and I are 3°% a 1 

and I 6 being blank. Between the leaves i^ 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, 84i 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 fiiU 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 : — 

f^|)ts is t^e tabic of tf)e ijistorgc of rcgnart tf)c foxe 

ending half-way down sig. a 3 recto, 

?^oh3 tte foie toitf) fits frmtifs tiepartctJ noblg fro tf)e 
fegnge ^ tomte to i)i!3 castf I malepertugs / capftulo ilitj 

On the verso begins the story — 

^)itx tieggnnctf) tfigstorge of tcnartj t^e foxe 

ending half-way do-wTi the verso of the 5th folio of sig. I, 

5l5af)ere tibeg sfial fpntie faiitc / jFor U fiaue not atitrrtr nc 
mj)nuss1)cli fiut i)auc folotorti as npgt)c as ^ can mp coppc 
tDi)ici)c bjas in butc^c / antt fig mc b3(Um (Caiton trans= 
latcti in to ti)ts xvCaz ^ spmplc cnglpssi) in ti)abt)c]t) of tocst^ 



mcistrc . fsngssfieU tfit br trage of Sifugn ti^^ gfte of our 
lort ♦ IE . afaroidJ . Hxxjj . ^^ t^c xxi gere of tt? re gne of 
ftgnge (!5tb)art tf)e iitjtt / 

^tte cnticti) t^c fiistorgc of iSegnart tf^t foie ^c 

Remaeks. — The date of printing this book is nowhere 
stated, though it was probably put to press directly after if 
not during the translation, which was finished on the 6th of 
June, 1481. The literary history of this fable is very obscure. 
It appears to have had gTeat 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 Vos, gheprent ter goude 
in hollant by mi gheraert leeu Jnt iaer Mcccc en Ixxix," or 
perhaps fi-om 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 Feiendship ; The 
Declamation of Noblesse. Folio. " Emprynkd l)i/ 
me sijmijle persons William Caxton." No Place. 1481. 

Collation. — Old Age : sigs. 1 and a are 3"', with 1 1, 
and a 6 blank — 6 tli ti %\y are 4"' — i is a 2", with i 4 blank. 
Friendship and the Declanuition : a t C ti C f are 4"', -^ith 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. 

Typogeaphical Paeticulaes. — 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 tyjDe, No. 3, is used. The lines are fully 
spaced out, and the long lines measure 4| inches ; 29 lines 
make a full page. Without folios or catchwords. Space is 
left at the beginning of the chapters witli a director, for the 

BOOKS rillNTED IN TYPE NO. 2. 229 

insertion of 2 to 5-line initials. The peculiar ^c belonging 
to type 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 %} with director, 

i) iJrie Ijcggnnftf) t\)t pioijrmgp upon tije xetiuringe/ 
lioti) out of latgn as of fvfnsslje in to our cnglgssi) 
tonguf /of ti)f polgtgcjuf fioofe namrti Cull tus tic snifc- 

tutf . tui)(rl)e ti)at CuUius torotc bpon tije titsputacons ^ 

The treatise " De Senectute " ends, with the following- 
colophon, at the head of the 3rd recto of sig. i, 

Cijus tntitii) tfje "bokt of Culle of oltic age translate 
out of latjm into frrnslje tig laurencc tic piimo facto at 
t^c comaunticmcnt of t|)c nofilc prgncc Eotogs Buc of 
t3url)on / anb cnprgntcti fig mc sample pcrsonc 2lHtUiam 
(jlaiton into tJrnglgssijc at tijc plajjsic solace anti rcuc- 
rcncc of men grotogng in to oltic age tljc xii tiag of Eu= 
gust tf)c gcic of our lorti . M . it(t(tit . ixxxi : 

A blank leaf, and then the " De Senectute " begins with a 
new series of signatures on a j, the whole Avork ending on the 
8 th verso of sig. f, 

tijat h)e at our t>cpavti)ng majjc bcparte in sucijc b);i)SC/ ti^at 
it ma))t please our lorti goti to recejiue bs in to |is euir= 
lastgng ftlgsse . ^men : 

Explicit 13er ^axion 

Although in three distinct treatises, Caxton intended them 
to form but one volume, as is j^lainly stated in the epilogue, 
which renders it difficult to imagine a reason for his printing 
the volume R-ith two sets of signatures. 

We learn from Caxton's own pen, that the translation of 
Cicero's "De Senectute" and "De Amicitia" into French was 
made by the command of Louis Duke of Bourbon, in 1 405, 
by Laurence de Premierfait. This learned priest was a native 
of the city of Troyes, and obtained gTcat celebrity by his 
nimierous translations. 


To Jean Mielot we must attribute the French version of 
" The Declamation," in which he styles the author " Surse 
Pistoic, Docteur en Loix, et g-rand Orateur." This was one of 
the first books that issued from the press of Colard IMansion 
at Brages. 

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. Tt has been ascribed by 
Leland to the Earl of Worcester, and by Anstis to WyUyani 
de Wyrcestre ; in both cases mthout evidence. 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 181), mite), 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, keeping 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 FuUer, 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, tweh'c are in the chief corporate 
libraries in England, and ten in private hands. 

No. 34. — The Game akd Play of the Chess. Second 
Edition. Folio. Woodcuts. '^Explicit per Caxton.'' 
Without Place or Bate. (1481 ?) 

CoLLATiox.— a t) C tl e f g I) i are 4"% t I are S"'^ = 84 
leaves, of which the first is blank. 

Typoc4RAPHiCAL Particulaes. — There is no title-])agc. 
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 4| 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 ill 

The text begins thus : — 

?^ci)0l8 appostlc anti tiortoui; of tf)p prplr saj)nt 

t ^oulc sagt^ in i)ts rpgstlc . Rlk tijat is h3rj)tm 

is iuigtcn bnto our liortrgnc anU for our Ifr- 

ngng . S2ai)nTfore mang noble rlrrfecs f^mt rntiniogrrt 

The table of chapters follows on the verso, and ends on 
a iif recto, the verso being blank. On a iH] recto, the first 
chapter coimnences, and is illustrated with a woodcut repre- 
senting King Evilmerodach, son of Nebuchadnezzar, " a jolly 
man Avithout justice who did do hew his fether his body into 
three hmidred pieces." 

The Text ends on I G recto, the verso being blaiik — 

man but as a iirstc . ^ijenne late ntcrg man of toljat 
rontigrion ijf tt tijat rftigti) or |)fritl) t^is litfl ioofe rrttic • 
talte tijerfip ensaumplc to ame ntie ijgm * 

drxpUtit per (JITaxton. 

The w^oodcuts in this volume number only sixteen, not 
twenty-four, as Dibdin and other writere say, eight of them 
being impressions from blocks used for previous chapters. As 
already noticed, there seems a probability that the tv/o 
cuts for " Parvus Chato," third edition, were the earliest used 
])y Caxton. These were soon after printed again, with the 
addition of many others in the " Mirrour of the World." The 
])resent cuts were perhaps the third essay of Caxton in this 
department, and for these, judging by the general style, and 
gi-eater breadth of treatment, he appears to have employed 
another artist. 

The literary history of the work has been given under the 
first edition, but wc must notice that the original prologue 



e\t:i.mkkouach. a jolly man without justice who did do 
hew his father in pieces." 


dedicated to the Diike of Clarence, the major portion of which 
was a translation from the French, has been superseded in 
tliis edition by a prologue from Caxton's own pen, the ideas 
in whicli, ^\ith the exception of the first fe^v 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 
some remarks attached to a reprint of this edition by Mr. 
Figgins, it is considered as the earliest specimen of the West- 
minster press, and to have l)een printed fi-om cut metal types. 
An examination of the work, however, with a typographical 
eye does not afford a single evidence of very early workman- 
ship. " All Caxton's early books were uneven in the length of 
their lines — tliis is quite even. Xot one of the early works 
had any signatures — this is signed tliroughout. 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 Museimi; the Pepysian and 
Trinity, Cambridge ; Bodleian and St. John's, Oxford ; Impe- 
rial Library, Vienna ; and six in private hands. 




TYPE No. 3. 


35. An Advertisement ...... 1477-78 ? 

86. Directorium. First Version . . . 1477-78 ? 

;!7. Horaj. Second Edition ..... 1480? 

38. Psalterium, &c. ..... 1480-8:3? 


No. 35. AjS" Adveetisement. Octavo. Westminster. Ko 
Date. {Ahout 1477-78.) 

Typographical Particulars. — The tyjjc 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. 

3Jf it plcse ottg man spirttuel or temporcl to iigp ong 
pgfjs Qi ttoo antj t^rc romrmoracios of galisfiuri bse 
ntpvgntiti after tf)c forme of tijis preset lettre tofjielje 
ten toel an^ trulg eorreet / late ijgm eome to toestmo- 
nester in to tfje almone.srBe at tlje ree^ pale anti Ije sf)al 
f)aue t|)em gooti eljepe . * . • 

Supplieo stet ee"tiula 

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 knoT\Ti 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 Avhich 
is attached the following heading : — " Cupientes emere libros 


infra notatos veuient ad hospiciuni subnotatum Yeuditorem 
habituri largissimiun," &c. 

The "Pre"'* was a collection of rules to show the priest 
how to deal (nnder 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 
Salisbiu'y use " differ from the ordiuaiy pyes of Salisbury use ? 
The very Reverend 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 Wliitsun- 
tide, and the " pye of thi'ee commemorations " to the rules 
for Easter, Whitsuntide, and Trinity.f Caxton's Advertise- 
ment, therefore, refers to separately published portions of the 
common " Directorimn 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 ha^Tiig been used for printing the early " Pica seu 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. 

t " Easter being a moveable feast, and niling the time for Septna- 
gesima, Sexagesima, and Qumquagesima Sundays, and the beginning of 
Lent, as well as the Sundays for Whitsuntide and the beginning of 
Trhiity, 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 Ea.ster 
and its following week — at Whitsuntide and its week or Octave — and at 
Trinity and its Octave ; and, as during these three great feasts, \dt\i 
tlieir Octaves, the occurring feast itself was chiefly celebrated with 
mere mention, or Collect, or Connncmoration ; and as people in Caxton's 


A poor copy is among the Douc6 iragments 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 
sliould read "to buy any copies," &c.; but the word "copy," 
in that sense, was unknown in the fifteenth century. 

No. 36. — DiRECTOEiUM, SEU PiCA SAEmi. First Version. 
Quarto. Sine ulla notd. {Ahout 1477-8.) 

No perfect copy of this book being known, the Collation" 
is necessarily omitted. The four fragments fi'om the covers 
of the St. Alban's " Boethius " are from separate half sheets 
in quarto, making a total of sixteen pages. 

Typogeaphical Paeticulars. — Only one type, Xo. 3, is 
used in these fragments. The lines are not spaced out to one 
length. The longest measure 3f inches. A full jjage 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 ^-ery contracted Latin. 

Remaeks. — There can be no doubt that this was the pro- 
duct of Caxton's press, as all the circumstances connected 
^\ith it tend to prove. It was extracted from the covers of a 
book which was evidently bound in Caxton's workshop, and 
for the binding of which he had used waste sheets from the 
press (see ante, page 214). The fragments belonging to known 
books were all printed by Caxton before 1481; while the 
"Advertisement" and " Directorium," reasoning from the 

rla}-s had not printed but handwritten Breviaries -without the Pica or 
Pijp in them, Caxton printed, to supply their want, " pyes of two and 
three commemorations," — that is to say, directions for sajdng the whole 
office of tiro Octaves or Commemorations, say of Ea<ter and Whitsun- 
tide, and of three Octaves, Easter, Whitsuntide, and Trinity. It should 
he borne in mind, as I have pointed out in t. \, j). 1.39 of " The Church 
of our Fathers " that the Laity as well as the Clergy used to say the 
Breviai7. Hence Caxton's invitation \a buy his " pyes " to the Laity 
too. — Extract from a letter to J. F. Goulding, Esq., from tlie Very 
lice. Canon Hock. B. I). Fcbriiarr/, 1SG2. 


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 148G, in type No. 5, and a second edition 
of which was issued a few years later in type No. G. These 
last are the text re'V'ised for Bishop Rotherham, founded upon 
an earlier version, of wliich 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 J\luseum. 

No. 37. — HoE^ AD USUM Sarum. Second Ediiion. 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," afready 

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 paragraph marks are not inserted. 

The first fi-agment, 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 " Horte," 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 aU the " Fifteen Oes " and the Litany, as 
well as other prayers, intervene between the two 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 bibliographers, and was doubtless a second edition of that 
already 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. 38.— PsALTERiiTM, ETC. Quarto. Sim ullc2 notd. (1480- 

Collation.— a fictJPfgf) iltlmttopttrstuiB 

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. 3, 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 fall 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 : — • 

3Jf)ftonitnui8i te lautie trei 0upc. 

Mil fitim pst in ^ar btta 
n mortalt in quo possumus fa^ 

mtllanus tnf)emT tico q) tt= 
iiints lautitfius. i^uUus c'm mor- 

" Jheronimus super Psalterium " ends on a 6 recto, and 
ifl 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 t 7 and X 8, and bound up wrongly after 
5 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 Royal Ijibrary. It was 
recognised as being printed with Caxton's types by Mr. BuUen, 
tlu-ough whose hands it passed for re-cataloguing. 




TYPE No. 4. 

n 2 


39. Chronicles. First Edition . 

Type 4 


40. Description of Britain . 

• Type 4 


41. Curia Sapientiaj 

Type 4 


42. Godfrey of Bologna 

. Type 4 


43. Indulgence. First Edition . 

Type 4 


44. Ditto Second Edition 

• Type 4 


45. Chronicles. Second Edition 

Type 4 


46. Polychronicon . . . . 

. Type 4 


47. Pilgrimage of the Soul 

Type 4 


48. A Vocabulary . . . . 

• Type 4 


49. The Festial .... 

Type 4 * 


50. Four Sermons . . . . 

. Type 4* 


51. Servitium de Visitatione 

Type 4 


62. Sex Epistola; .... 

Type 4 and 4* 


53. Confessio Amantis . 

Type 4 and 4* 


54. The Knight of the Tower 

Type 4 and 4* 


55. Caton .... 

Type 4* 


56. Golden Legend .... 

Type 4 and 4* 


57. Death-bed Prayers . 

Type 4* 


58. ^sop ..... 

. Type 4='' 


59. Order of Chivalrye . 

Type 4* 1483-85 

60. Canterbury Tales. Second Edition 

. Type 4* 


61. Book of Fame 

Type 4* 


62. The Curial .... 

. Type 4* 


63. Troilez and Cresside 

Type 4* 


64. Life of our Lady 

. Type 4* 


65. St. Winifred 

Type 4* 


66. King Arthur .... 

. Type 4* 


67. Charles the Great . 

Type 4* 


68. Paris and Vienna 

. Type 4* 


69. The Golden Legend. Second Edition 

Type 4* 



No. 39. — The Cheonicles of England. Folio. '^Ftn- 
prynted hj me William Caxton in thabbey of Wesf- 
mTjnsire." June 10th, 1480. First Edition, ivith short 

Collation. — Prologue and table a 4", signed \, ii], and 
lit;, the first leaf being blank, a (a j blank) b C 1l C f t) i 
fe I m n p q r S t U X are 4"^; g is a 3". Total 182 leaves, 
of which two are blank. 

Typogeapical Paeticulaes. — 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. 

Commencing with a blank leaf, the prologue follo\\s on 
sig. i] recto, the Text beginning, with a space for a 5-line 

ia t^p gm of t^gncarnacion of our lorti 3Ji)u crtst M. 

(t(t(t($t . \xxx . ^ntf in tfie xx . gete of ti)e Megne of 
3f ftgng Ortrtoarlf tt)e fourt^c / ^tte requeste of tigucrre 

gentilmrn ^ ijaup fntiniouiti me to enprintf tf)c cro= 

nicies of ^nglonti as in t1)is fiooke 0|)aU J)g tfje %yxU 
fraunrc of got) folotoc/ Hn^ to t^entie tf)at euerg mon mag 
gee anti 

The Chronicle ends on the sixth recto of sig. g, the verso 
being blank, 

Cfjus enlietij tijisj present boofee of tf)e eronirles of 
englonli / enpn | teti tg me toilliam (Caiton 3Jn tfjatbeg of 
toestmgnstre 6g lon^on | dFgngssf)it» anti arromplissijitj 


tf)e I ."bafi of ^Jupn Hjc gerc of tijin- | rarnarion of our lort 
ooti M . ©aTiJldf . hxx . anti in tf)e xx . gcrc of | tt)c rrgnc 
of fegitfl (Jf^toart tf)t fourtf) 

Remaeks. — 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 -wTiter who felt competent made 
his own additions in transcribing, so Caxton added more or 
less to his copy, and brought the history doAvn, 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 ^neas 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 
^Titers, 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 Description of Britain. Folio, *' Fynyshed 
hy me William Caxton" No Place. 18th August, 

Collation. — Three 4"' and one 3", unsigned. Thirty 
leaves, the last being 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 4f 
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 : — 

l^it is 00 tf)at in mang antj "biucrsc places tf\t cotngn 
ctoniclcs of englonti Un l)ati anti also noto late enprmtetj 
at toestmgnstre 

and ends on the 29 th recto, 

late^ tf)t tioofe of ^olictonicon into engliss^ / dFgngsstrt 
is me toilliam ^aiton tlje x\ii\i , tiag of August t|)e gere of 
our lort goti M . dtititift . \xxx , anti tf)e xx . gere of tf)e 
regne of fegng ({rttoavti t|)e fouitije . 

Eemarks. — " 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 



Folio. Without Printer'' s Name, Place, or Date. (1481?) 
Collation. — a 6 C tJ are 4"% p 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-line initial, with director, 

Be lafiero' -& g^ most mfrurglo' lariltcs 
©f sapience sgn firste regneti nature 
t M^ purpos is to tell as toriten rlerfees 
anti speegallg \\tt moost notable cure 

The Text ends half-way down the second column, on the 
sixth verso of the same signature, 

Igugng/ neticful toerfecs/ anti 
tiretie.ful tietics of ioge ant) of 

Eemarks. — 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 Author thereof Curia 

The following description by Oldys is taken from Bib. 
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 A\Titings. 
The author teUs 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 WTitten on them." Ames says {Tijj). 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 Sapientise" to him. 
The plan of this w^ork, 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 Sapientise," 
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 tJie Ahbey of Westminster, hy William 
Caxtoti, 1481. 

Collation. — a is a 3", with a } blank ; t) a 2", i) 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 3° = 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 Particulars. — 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-line 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-line initial, 

?^e f)pe rouraggous fagtes/ ^ntJ balgaunt artrs of 

t nofile :iaustrous ant bntuous prrsonnrs ten tiigne 

to tie rffountfti / put in mnnorBc^ anb bjrfton. to tfjcntie 

tf)at ti)fr mag te gj)unt to ti)t\n name :?Jnmortal ftp go= 

ticragn \mtit ana prcgsgng. antj also for to motm anti 

tenflab) I 

ending half-way down the recto of the sixth folio of sig. 17, 
the verso being blank, 

m;i)ng . b)|)tdjc booofe § iiegan in marcfie tf)e itj tage antj 
fgngs^ I sljgt ti)c \iii tiag of SJugn / tt)c gm of ouf lort • 
M ♦ oiaiarcjr - uxxi \ ^ t^t tf\t xxi gw of tfie xwu of out 
sagt) saurragn lortj fegng i!5ti | toarti ttc fourtf) . .iic: in tf)ts 
manrr scttc in foime k cnprgntrti ti)c | xx bag of nourm^ 
ire ti)e gere a forsagti in tijabbag of bjestmester | bg t|)e 
saiti togUiam (Haiton 

In the British Museum is a splendid manuscript of this 
work, a large folio, on vellum, fifteenth century, Mith 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 gouuerneur 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 wliich Caxton concludes. The 
author appears to be unknown. 


All edition was printed at Paris, in 1500, with the title 
" Les faits et Gestes de preux Godefroy de Bovillon et de ses 
ehevalereux freres Baudouin et Eustache." 

Copies are in the British Museum, Cambridge (2), Impe- 
rial Library, Vienna, Hunterian CoUege, 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* "WeU- 
borne." The former of these names is worth a comment, 
because it tln-ows 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 Caxtoii : he 
certainly patronised his successor, Wynken de "Worde, as the 
following lines from the " Polychronicon " of 1495, show : — 

" this boke of Policronicon 

" Whiche Roger Thorney Mercer hath exhorted 
" Wynken de Worde of vcrtuous entent 
" Well to correcte, and gretely hym comforted, 
" This specyal boke to make and settc 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. — Letters of Indulgence from Johannes de 
Leigliis, alias De Liliis, issued in 1481 on the 
authority of pope sixtus iv, for assistance 
AGAINST THE TuRKS. On ParcJmient. 

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. 
AVhen 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 : — 

Typogeaphical Particitlaes. — 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 : — 

mutare Mttxt tt licite | . et singuloru fitit prc= 

snitfs gtgiUi pmisieiionis intitilgrciaru ft tiigpfnsanonu 
sanrtf cruciate p . . | mus ct fcctmus appcnsione com 
. . irt/ Batum titcmrnsis | 

CKCarOT . \xxxi . ^c pontlficatus prcfati sancttssimi tiornmi 
nogtii tio . ini Sbixti papc . . 

The two slips, now measuring each Vj x 1 inches, were 
originally about 11x2 inches. They are now in the British 

No. 44. — Lettees of Indulgence issued in 1481, on the 


AGAINST THE TuEKS. JSecoHcl 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 8 x G inches. A slip of parchment 
containing four lines was discovered by Mr. Bradshaw in the 
Library of King's College, Cambridge. 


No. 45. — The Chronicles of England. Folio. " Em- 
prynied hij me william Caxton In tfrnhbey of icest- 
mestre," October Sth, 1482. Second Edition, with loiig 

Collation. — Prologue and title a 4", signed i], ii], and 
nil, the first leaf being blank, a (a j blank) 6rtlpfgi)ik 
I m n p q[ r S t U X are 4'''; g is a 3". Total ] 82 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. i\ recto, the Text beginning with space for a 4-line initial, 

i@, ti)p gm of ttgnrarnacgon of out lort M^ ctist M 
atitaiit I \xxx I anti in t^e XX gcre of ti)e Mrgne of 

t fepng <&tib)ai:ti t^c fouttij/attc request of tigurrse gfn 
tglmcn 3J ^aue entifugrgti me to fnprgnte tf)e Olro' 

ngcles of <i?nglonVas iv, ti)lsJ took s^al fig t^e suffraunrr 

of gotr 

The Text ends on the sixth recto of sig. g, the verso being 

Cf)U0 entJftf) tf)i0 present iioofe of ti)e arrongeles of 
©nglonti/^Jfuprsntet) fig me ?^tUiam (ttaiton f n t^afifieg 
of toestmesitre fig lontion /dFgngssfjetJ / antJ aeeomplgssts^ 
ti)e/biii/1iag of <©ctot)re/^i)p gere of ti)e fnearnaegon of 
our lortj (goti / M I ararorffl / \xxx\] antj in tfie xx\\ gere of 
t^e regne of fegng (i!5tib3artJ tie fourth 

Copies are in the British Museum (2) and Oxford, with 
three in private libraries. 


No. 4G.— PoLYCEOJiTicON. FoUo. " Imprinted and set in 
forme by me Wittiam Caxto?i" Without ptace or Date. 
Translation ended 2nd July, 1482. 

Collation. — k 6 are 4"^ with the first leaf of a blank ; 
<K 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"^ wAh. the last leaf 
of 55 blank ; sig. 50 is followed by 52, sig. 51 being accident- 
ally omitted =450 leaves, of which five are blank. 

Typographical Paeticulars.— 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, 

B HXtXt tIjanik;pnQcs latotir ^ 1)onourc iac mcrBtovpouS' 
Ij) t)fn to untie to ynXtit antj offre bnto torjjtcfg QiW^- 
torgfs / \xs%\t\)t grftflp |)auf prouffgtrtj ourf mortal 
Igf/tfjat st)ftDf bnto tf)f rrtfrs an^ ijrrrrs ^^y) Wyt 

cnsamplcs of tljgngfs passgti/ to|)at ti)gnge is to fie tiesgreV 

The Text ends on the recto of 55-7 ; the verso and 55-8 
being blank. 

bDrstjonge / (Pntirt ti^e srrotttj tag of f ufill tf)p xxi\ jm 
of ti)e tegne of fefiitge t!?tih)artittc fourti) ^ of tf)e fnrar- 
nacion of oure lorti a tfjousantJ four Ijontierti foure score 
anil ttoegne/ 

dTpngssfietf per (ttaxton 

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 liis work, "Polycrouicon;" 
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 Yniverso," 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. 


(Harleian MS., No. 1900, fol. 94J). (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 / aud 
manes wittes torney & as- 
sentith liztlich to euel A 
manes owie meynal vnttes 
bey his owTie enemyes |[ So 
y' al a niaues lif is tempta- 
cion while he lyuey here in 
erye Also man is eu failynge 
and aweyward . 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 vdj 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 
eueche 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 ^vyttes tome and 
assente lightly to euyl A 
mannes oune meynal ■n'yttes / 
be his 0T\Tie 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 \ATetched 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 T\^ges 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 Bskenesse more greuous 


of other kynde y* ben con- noon more lykyng to do other- 
trairie to hem But man w^se than he shuld . none is 
tomey y* maner doyng vpso- more cruel Also other bestes 
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 
torneth 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 Tarious 
public libraries. 

No. 47. — The Pilgrimage of the Soul. " Emprynted at 
ivestmestre by ivillimn Caxton, and fynysshed the sixth 
day of June" 1483. 

Collation. — An unsigned 2°, with the first leaf blank; 
at)Ctief8f)tfelmnare 4°^, ^dth d. i 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 4| 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 
AV-ith a blank, the title and table follow on folio \\, which is 

The Text begins, on the second leaf, thus : — 

dFolio if 

€:t)ts took is intjnietj tije pplgremnge of tijr sotolc/trans- 
latiti II outr of .-ff vcnssijc in to (Pnglpsije / luljtrljf fiook is 
ful of tJc\ionte ll maters toudjjiiig \\)t sotolf / m\h man)) qurs- 


tpons assoplfti to ra 1| use a man to Iguc tf)c tfttrr in t1)is 
toorlti / ilnti' it rontfBUftft fguc || 6ooikfS/as it apprrct!) I)"- 
after 63) arijapgtrcs 

The text ends on the fourth leaf of sig. 0, and the verso of 
folio (tx, 

^}m nrtifti) tijf ^xmt of pglgrnnagc of tljr soulc tians= 
latiti II outc of dFrrnssijf in to vj?ngl;DSSt)f toitij somtoljat of 
at(tiifions/ti)e i)rre of our lorti/i«.(fl:arar(ff/.6v tijfiitcn/ 
anti rntiftf) in t\)t Mm II If of Sfgnt i^artijolomfto 

(Pmprgntftj at torstmfstrc ftp ^l^ailliam OTaiton / iHntj 
fpnpsstrti II ti)e sixtf) tiap of iupn/tt)f pnc of our lort(/ 
i^l.ijiararai/Uniirll-anti ti)c first prrc of tfjc rrgnc of 
fepngc vJr^toarti tijc ffiftijr / 1| 

This is the only book from the press of Caxton having the 
name of Edward V in the colophon. 

Remarks. — The conunon custom among preachers of the 
Middle Ages of engaging the attention of their hearers by 
qmitualismf/ tales and even jests current among the people 
is well known. This practice seems to have suggested to a 
monk named Guillaume de Deguilleville the idea of mor ((Using 
the celebrated " Roman de la Rose." His poem was divided 
into three parts, and completed about 1335. It contains 
more than 3G,000 lines, and its title is " Le Romant des trois 
Pelerinages." These three pilgTimages 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 
liecn printed. Not satisfied, however, 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 1350, and of which a manuscript 
copy is in the Bih. 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 Deguille\ille into French 


prose. This was ^\atli the object of modernising the old lan- 
guage, or, as he says, "pour esclaircir et entendre la matiere 
la contenue." Gallopes, however, apparently extended his 
labours no further than "The Pelerinage de I'Ame," and 
here we find the text used by the translator of " The Pyl- 
gremage of the Sowle," printed in 1483 by our William 
Caxton. Manuscripts of the prose "Pelerinage de I'Ame" 
are very scarce, but a perfect copy is in Bih. Im]). Paris, 
No. 7080. 

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 kno\M^i of him. His name appears in the later manu- 
scripts as Guillaume de Guilleville, 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 
Drthography is placed beyond question by an acrostic, con- 
dsting of two "chansons" in the French text. Here the 
luthor has veiled himself in the initial letters of each line, 
md by putting these together we obtain his real name, 
' Guillaume de Deguilleville." 

" Jean de GaUopes, dit le Galoys," as we learn from the 
prologue to his French prose version, was the " humble chapel- 
ain" to John, Duke of Bedford and Regent of France, for 
vhom the translation was undertaken. It was, therefore, 
executed before the death of the Regent, in 1435, and there 
leems reason to suppose that its author was an Englishman. 
;n the Imperial Library, Paris, is a manuscript, mentioned 
)y M. Paris {Les Msc. Franc., vol, v, page 132), entitled 
'Vie de Jesus Christ," which is attributed also to Gallopes, 
)ut which appears to be a different work from the third 
' Pilgrimage" of DeguiUeviUe, 

To John Lydgate, monk, of Bury, is generally attributed 
he English version of " The Pylgremage of the Sowle," and 
)robably with truth, as some of the additional poems found 
lere form a part also of Lydgate's weU-kno^\Ti poem "The 
jife 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 DeguUleYille'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 Musemn, St. Jolm's, Oxford, and 
Sion CoEege, London; also in the Althorpe and BritweU 

There is no connection whatever between this Avork and 
Bunyan's " PUgTim's ProgTess." Caxton's book treats of the 
journey and trial of the soul aft/^r 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. 

No. 48. — A Vocabulary in French and English. Foliv. 
Sine idid notd. 1483 ? 

Collation. — Two 4°' and one 5", unsigned = 2G leaves, 
the first being, doubtless, blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title of any 
sort. The ty]oe is No. 4 throughout. 42 lines in double 
column (84 lines) make a fidl page, and the long lines 
measure 2^ inches. The words "Frensshe" and "Englissh" 
appear as head-lines to every page. Without folios, catch- 
words, or initials. 

The Text begins, in double column, on the 2nd recto, 
thus : — 

®B rommpnre la tafile '^itx 6fg8"«ftt) X\)t tafile 

IDc erst piouffptafilc tiortrine (!f>f tljis piouffptafilr Irmsnge 
^Jour tcouuri- tout par ovtirnc ,-frtir to fjnttif all fij) ortire 
(ffc que on boultira aprrntirc 5ri)at tol)if|)5 ^Mf" togllf Icrne 


The Text ends, with seven lines on the 26th recto, thus : — 

Ha <3xm( tie sainrt fsperlt Ci)e grace of tije tolg gfjoost 

SUful enluminer Irs nufs M^glle fnljjgljte tijeijcitrs 

Be milr qui Ic apvrntiront ©f ii)m tljat sijall Iffnc tt 

iJft nous tiotn0t pfvsfueranrc Enti bs gjjuc pngrucraunre 

i&n fionnrs opcranons In gooti U)'fitfs 

®t apres reste bie transitoiic :antj aftrc ti)is Igf transttorie 

3la partiuratJlc ioec ^ gloric ^fje f urrlastgng toge anlj glorie 

"A Book for Travellers" is the title given to this work in 
Ti/p. 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 — Eipon 
Cathedral, Bamborough Castle, Earl Spencer, and Duke of 

No. 49. — The Festial (Liber Festialis). First Edition. 
Folio. "Enprynteil at Westmi/nster by WyUyam Caxton 
the taste day of Juyn, 1483." 

Collation.— a I) c tr e f g fj i jfe I m n are 4°% a f being 
blank; o and p are 3"'=11G leaves, of which one is blank. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title of any 
5ort. The tyjDC is entirely No. 4*, which here appears for the 
first time. The lines, which are fuUy spaced out, measure 
5 mches. A full page has 38 lines. Without folios or catch- 
^'ords. Space left for the insertion of 3 to 5-line initials, 
Tiith. director. 

Commencing with a blank leaf, the sermon for the First 
Sunday in Advent follows on sig. a i\, space being left for the 
nsertion of a 5-line initial. 

The Text begins thus : — 


^^s tiag is raUj)t( tijc first sontiafi of aburnt / tt)at 
is t^c sonbai) in rristjjs romgng / Ctnfcire ijolg 
t r^irri)? tl)is tiag maitfti) menrion of if romcngrs 
^i)( first fomgng teas to t)ge maniipntif out of fion 
tage of tfjc t)fU|)U anti to firgngc mannas sotoie to 
filgsse / 2lnti tijis otljf r comgng sijal ht at tijc Mg of tiome 

The Text ends on the sixth recto of &h^. p, 

bs t|)at for bs tnjrt on tt)e rooti trff /d^ui rum tiro patrr ^ 
spu II sancto biuit rt rrgnat tic us ^M^M I 


iSnprgnteli at ^ISirstmpnstcr fit) iugllpam Otaxton tije lastr 
tJag of Jugn anno tiomini M Oiafaiai ILixxiij 

The compiler of " The Festial," John Mirkns, -was a canon 
of the Monastery of Lilleshul, an old foundation in Shrop- 
shire, as we learn from a MS. copy of his work 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 diflFerently, and often disagree 
even in tlioir 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 Praver, Avith 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 kno^rni, "Liber Festivalis." 
John Mirkus, its compiler, who ^vl•ote it in English, says, " I 
^xiU 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. " Fnjjri/nted by Wylliam Caxton 
at Westmestre." Without Bate. (1483 ?) 

Collation. — a 6 C are 4''% Xr a 3"= 30 leaves. No blanks. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title. The 
type is entirely No. 4*. The lines are fiilly spaced out, and 
measure 5 inches. A full page has 38 lines. Without folios 
or catcliAvords. In this book we find, for the first time, the 
paragTaph mark |[ used — a mark which never appears in 
the early state of this tj-pe. 

The Text begins on sig, a j, ^vith space for a 3-line initial, 
Avithout director, 

?^c magstft of smtfitrf in t^c scronti fioor anti tfje 

first tiBStjmrtion/sapti) tfjat tfjc sciufra))n cause/ 

b3i)g fioti matic al rrcaturfs in ijrnfn txti)t or toatrr/ 

toas i^ts oune gooti || nrs / fig ti)c b)i)ici)e f\t toolti tl)at some of 

On sig. tl Hi recto, 

C Cf)e (gnteralle Sentnuc 

<©oti men anti bigmmen -^ tio j)ou to bn^jerstonbe tfiat 

g WB.t tt)at Ijaue rure of j;our soIijIps te rommaumtii}ti of 

our ortenaries anli tp t^e copstpturtons anti tf)e latlSle 

of i)ol8 ff)trti)e to s1)e\De to you foure tinnes t}} tfje gere 

in ecfje a quarter of ti)e :i)ere ongs tofjen t^e peple is most 


The Text ends on the sixth verso of sig. tJ, 

rcsurvfftionts gloria inter sanrtos ct elrctos twos xemmtati 
respi II rent/ per ipristum tiominm nostrum iSlmen / 

(Irnprgnteti fig tojjUiam (Eaiton at toestmestre/ 

Remarks. — The name of the -wTiter of these homilies is 
not kno^Ti, 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 
the Seven Deadly Sins, 

3. A continuation of the subject of Deadly Sins. 

4. On Contrition, Confession, and Satisfaction, 

After the sermons are " The General 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, ajid these were probably 
compiled for that purpose. 

Nine copies are known, of which two only are in private 

No. yl, — Sehvitium de Visitatione B, Mari^ Virginis, 
Quarto. Sine uUd nota. (1481-3), 

ColIjAtion. — One 4" =8 leaves, of which the last is blank. 


TypoGKAi'HicAL Paeticulars. — The type is entirely 
No. 4. The lines, which are fully spaced out, measure 3;^ 
inches in length; there are 26 lines to a full page. Without 
signatures, folios, or catchwords. 

The first leaf is wanting in the only copy kno^^^l. The 
second recto commences with space for a 2-line initial, with 

p tixiina aut m\i)i tunr aitroin vffulsit \': 

t)oirii3ig polo fuQirntitj bmlnls rrlo ru 

fefsrcntc tilf btrunq,* a noctf tdSttiLvi . tuc quo 

followed, on the same page, by — 

Hectio stxta 

On the verso is — 

iLccttotlfS tie (BmtV . p octauas prima tiic 

giving the lessons for the week. On the fourth recto is — 

2ltj mtssam Sntiottus 

The sixth verso, which is given entire in the accompany- 
ing plate, begins — 

©ratio sanrti^simi . t» . n . ^ixti pape quartt 

The Text ends on the seventh verso, two lines short of a 
full page, 

ft CTultatioc ppftua rrnasramur . 13cr ipm 
tiominu nostru 

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 peeelegantissim^ Epistol^ per Petrum 
Carmelianum emendate. Quarto. Per WUlelmum 
Canton. In Westmonasterio. (1483). 

Collation. — a h t are 4"' = 24 leaves, of which a j is 


Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The types used are Nos. 4 and 4*. The lines, which are 
spaced to an even length, measui-e 3;^ 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 Chivahy." 

The use of types 4 and 4* together points unmistakably 
to 1483 as the period of issue ; and this date, gathered from 
the tyijographical particulars only, is completely yerified by 
the letters themselves, the dates of which range from Decem- 
ber 11th, 1482, to February, 1483. 

The Text begins on a i] recto, with an introduction which 
occupies three pages. 

f) ©rculfs tiui dFcrraric in to tiucatu 
bfnctoru aimis ronstitutus paulo post 
bftustissimus forum blolat immunitatcs/ 
init fortius rum Cijrrtimantio l^rgr jEra^ 
politano Jttrtitolanrnsium tiurr / rt fiorrn^ 
tinorum rrpu/quoti prr brnrta fortior* no 
Itrrtiat / ilrnrti propria rrposrunt/ illr trr- 
0iurrsari / Xj)gtus pontifri quartus / rrlir- 
Ctirrtiinati forti vVr. 

The six letters begin on sig. a tij verso. Ou C 8 recto is 
the follomng colophon : — 

jFiniunt &tx p*flrgantissimr rpistolc/ 
(juarum tm a gummo ^iJontiftrr ^ixic 
Quarto rt 5acro ("Tavtiinalium atoUrgio 
ati fjlUustrissimum Stlrnrtiarum tiurrm 
SJoannrm IBorrnigum totitirmq,* afi ipso 
Burr ati runtirm ^ontiftrrm rt OTartiina^ 
Irs/ofidfTrtrarirnsr firllum susrrptuin/ron= 
srriptr sunt/:?imprrssr prr toiUrlmum (iTai' 
ton / rt tiiligrntrr rmrntiatr prr IJrtrum 
(JTamrlianu iJortar* 3lauvratum in 5121irst^ 

Beneath this is a Latin quatrain, beginning 


iirlo(iuii cultor, 

followed by 

fjntprpvftatio inagnnrum littfratum punrtatarum parua- 

Tlie text ends with 23 lines on the verso of the same leaf. 

Eemarks. — 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. 

Petrus Carmelianus, the editor of these letters, is noticed 
hj Mr. Gairdner, in his preface to the " Memorials of King 
Henry the Seventh," publislied in 1858, 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 Epistola?." The title " Brixiensis" 
sometimes attached to his name shows that he was a native 
of the to^^Ti of Brescia. He seems to have taken an interest 
in educational matters, as verses by him to John Al^^vykyl 
and to William Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester, are prefixed 
to the " Compendimn totius grammaticse," 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 
annual grant was made by the Spirituality 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 WTote a poem in 
Latin, printed by Pynson about 1514, of which a unique copy 


is iu the Grenville Library (see Archaologia, vol. xviii). In 
the same library is a manuscript poem on the birth of the 
Prince of Wales (1486), another copy, beautifully iUuminated, 
bemg- among the royal MSS. in the British Museum. Both 
are evidently in the hand^Titing of Carmelianus, the latter 
being his presentation coj)y 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 Tvith 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 quaH- 
fied to state how the wars might be terminated than King 
Hemy the Sixth (already in heaven), who knew the country 
and the causes of dissension, and they recommended that he 
should be appealed to. Heray is accordingly called upon to 
reply to the Supreme Being, and jDroposes that the two houses 
should be miited 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 with 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 j^ruit 

A manuscript, "Carmen de Vere,"* in the British Mu- 
seum, which is dedicated to Edward Prince of Wales (after- 
wards Edward Y), dated April 1482, affbrds 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, wdth the intention of 
proceeding to Germany and Switzerland ; but, captivated by 
the pleasantness of the countiy, 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 kno^Ti. 

The only copy knoA\Ti of this tract was discovered in the 
year 1874 by Dr. G. Konnecke, archivist of Marburg, in an 
old vokime of seventeenth century divinity, in the Hecht- 
Heinean Library at Halberstadt. It was described in the 
"Neuer Anzeiger" of Dr. JuKus Petzholdt for October 1874 ; 
also in the AthenEeuni for February 27th, 1875. 

No. 53. — CoNFESSio Amantis. Large Folio. " Enjyryiited 
at Westmestre ly me Wilhjam Caxton the ij day of Sej)- 
tenibre / a thousand / CCCG Ixxxxiij (a typogra])hical 
error for Jxxxiij). 

Collation. — A 4", signed if, iij, ii\\, 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 6 C tJ f f g f) i 
felmnop(ir0tUXB?&:aiSall 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 ®, as well as 
the introductory matter, are in type No. 4*, while sigs. g and 
^ are partly in one and partly in the other. "WTiere type No. 
4 is used there are 46 lines to a column, and 44 lines of type 
No. 4*. On sig. } iixi 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% 6 ; 


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. 6 4 is printed 
2 4, and that from sig. p to the end the Arabic numerals used 
in the signatures give place to Eoman 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 regiial 
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], space being left for a 3-line initial, with 

The Text begins thus : — 

^_is fiook is tntttulf^ i^oh) tf)e borltr bag first of 
t ronff s II m amantis / Qom / ^ || aftn* altori) torrsc 

tfiat is to sagf || in ^ tofrsr folio bj 
f nglgssijf tf)f confcssgon of || 
t^c lourr maati anti rom^ 
})j)Irt t}} II ^Jo^an (gotocr 
squgcr hoxm in iualps || €i)us tnWf) tf)t grologue 

The Text ends on the verso of sig. Qt 5, jTollO QKEX] 
with colophon in first column, 

iJPnprsntfti at toestmrstre 
h)} mr II 512aillj)am (taxton 
arih f:i)npBf)flr tf)f i] \\ tag of 
S^pptnnftrc t1)t fprst prre of 
tf)c II rcgne of iipng ixir^art 
tijc tt)grli/ti)c||j)w of out 
iort a tfiousanti / (EUtdtit / 
Ixxxxiii j 

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 138G and completed in 1392-3. 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 
l)elieves, the original composition of Gower, abounding, like 
liis other poetry, in instances of false prosody and even bad 
grammar. The verses are imitations in the maimer of 
Boethius, but often unintelligible. 

Seventeen copies are extant. British Museum (3); Cam- 
bridge ; Pembroke College, Cambridge ; Hereford Cathedral ; 
Lambeth ; Queen's College and All Souls, Oxford ; and eight 
in private libraries. 

Xo. .54. — The Book which the Knight of the Towner 


HIS DAUGHTERS. FoUo. " EmprynUd at Westmynstre 
the taste day of Januer the fyrst ijere of the regne of 
Kynge Rychurd the thyrd." (i. e. 1484.) 

Collation. — A 2", signed on second leaf only a j ; fl 6 C 
titfQ^ikim are 4"' ; n a 3", with the last two leaves 
blank. In all lOG leaves, of which two are blank. 

Note — sig. c itif is WTongly printed Tl Uii, and the first 
leaf of ti is 'm'thout any signature. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The ty])e, as far as sig. f, is No. 4, and forty lines, each 4| 
inches long, make a fiiU page. From sig. f j to the end the 
type is No. 4*, with 38 lines, each 4f inches long, to the 
page. The lines are ftdly spaced out. Without folios or 
catchwords. Space is left for 3, 4, and 6-line initials, with 

Commencing a blank, the prologue foUows on an unsigned 
leaf, with space for a 3-line initial ^, 

ILIe bfrtuousc boctrgnc ^ tfc^pngc J)atr ^ Irrnrti of 
a sucfie li as f^aut tntmouxtti tf)(m to Inic for a umtm^ 


On sig. a j recto, 

^(X( ficgpnnftf) ti)e fioolt tottr^f tljr fenj)gi)t of tijr tourc 
matif /.<lnti spffeftfj of mang fajjir msamplrs anti tfjcn= 
sggnnnnitgs anti tcriigng of ijts tiougljtrrs 

The Text ends on the fourth verso of sig. n, 

^ttt fpngssfjcti tije hootc; toijidjf t|)c itnjjgfjt of tijf ^ourc 
ma II tjf to tijf f nscggnrmcnt anti trci)gng of t)(s tiougljtns 
trans i latrt outc of jFvrngsf) in to cur matrrnaU iPnglgssfjc 
tongue l)g II me SSitUiam OTaiton / toijirljr fiooit teas nitirtj 
^-^ fjntjjssijfti tijf II fgrst tiaj) of fAign / tijf gcrc of ourr IcrtJ 
M itikif^it Ixxxiii 

^nti rnprgntrt at tofstmpnstrc tijc last tiag of ^anguer tf)e 
fgrst gcrc of tl)c rrgnc of fegngc liii)rijarti ti)r ti)grtJ 

Remaeks. — In the department of •' Maine et Loire," ,be- 
tween Chollet and Vezins, may still be seen the ruins of an 
ancient chdteau, called " Latom--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 o-wiiers being " Landi-y ;" but eventually the two 
were combined, and " De la Tom* 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 
Geoflrey and his book, "pour I'enseignment de ses filles." 
The date of neither his birth nor death is kno^n. 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 all the illumi- 
nated copies of his work he is represented as discoursing with 
his tlu*ee daughters, for whose instruction in their journey 
through Ufe 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 somies, and also 
in an Euangely." (See Oaxton'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 kniffht orid- 
iially intended to write the whole work in verse, but finding 
that method necessitated a less concise narration, he soon 
shanged 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 A\Titers have denounced the work as obscene, 
md more fitted for the corruption than the instniction of 
fonth, while others, taking into consideration the manners of 
ihat age, have arrived at the very opposite conclusion. At 
my rate, it is plain our Caxton thought highly of it : he says 
:n his preface, " I advise every gentleman or woman having 
children, desiring them to be virtuously brought forth, to get 
md have this book, to the end that they may learn to govern 
:hem virtuously in this present life." He tells us also the 
occasion of his translating and printing it, which was " at the 
request of a noble lady which hath brought forth many noble 
md fair daughters, which be virtuously nourished." (See an 
irticle in the Retros2)ective Revieiv: New Series, 1827; vol. i, 
lart ii, page 177. Also, Le Litre 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 
iomparison of the two versions makes it evident that our 
jrinter owed nothing to his predecessor. M. Montaiglon, 
ndeed, gives a decided preference to the earlier text. The 
bllowing 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 XTiij. 

N a tyme it happed that Marchanntes 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 / Verayly 
sayde that one / my yyjf obeyeth me well / And the second 
said . J trowe / that my wyf obeye me better / ye sayd the 
thyrd / lete laye a wager / that whiche wjf of vs thre that 
obeyeth best her husbond / and doeth sounest 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 shaU 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 ^xjll that thou do so / Truly said she J shaU knowe 
fyrst wherfor J shall 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- 
raaunded 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 liis 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 etc / and tliere was no salt vpon 
the table / And the goodman sayd to his wyf / Sail sur table 


Aiid the good wyf whiclie hadde fere to disobeye hym / sprang 
Tpon the table and ouerthrewe table / mete / wyii / 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 wyt . Syi-e said she / J haue done youre commaiidement / 
haue ye not said that youre commaimdement 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 ypon 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 basyn / For she had done ynough / 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 wTong/yf the commaunde- 
tnent be not ouer outrageous / And yf ther be vyce therin / 
she is not to blame / but the blame abydeth vjjpon her lord 
md husbonde. 

There are two copies in the British Museum, one at Cam- 
jridge, one at Oxford, and two in private libraries. 

'^0. 55. — Caton. Folio. Without Printer's Narm, Place, or 
Date. " Translated . . . hy Willtmn Caxton in tMlhey 
of Westmynstre the yere of our lord 31 CCCC Ixxxiij.'' 

Collation. — The prologues and talile a 3", signed \\ and 
i] on the second and third rectos, the fii'st and last leaves 
)eing blank : then a 6 C tl e f g i^ are 4°' ; t a 5° ; a j and 
10 being blank. In all eighty leaves, of which four are 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page, 
Dwo sizes of type are used: No. 2 for the Latin headings, 
md No. 4* for the Text. The lines, which are fully spaced 
>ut, measure 4| inches, and there are 38 to a fiill page. 
tVithout folios or catchwords. Space is left for the insertion 

T 2 


of S-line 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. a. 

The Text begins thus : — 

C W^t fifggnneti^ t^c prologue or profjrmpr of ii)c fioofe 
rallttiliaraton/tD^iffjc toofec ijati) ten translate in to (J?n= 
Bipssfje fip II i^agstrr 15fnrt iiurgfj / late arrfjrtrkfn of 
(Colrtcstrr anti || f)pf r i^anon of saint gtrpljr ns at topstmrstrc/ 
W(f) ful fraftli)||J)ati) matic it in fialatif rpal for tfjr nn'ai^ 
rion of mg lortJ iSon ||st)fr/^onf vV ijrgr at tJ)at tgmr to mg 
lorti tf)c ttk of e?stsfi II Hnti bj? rausf of latr ram to mg 
i)anti a fioofe of tf)c saiti OTaton || in jFrrnssljf / h)$ir!)e 
rdjfrmfj manp a fagr Irriipngf anti nota || filr rnsamplrs/ 
,^ t)auc translate it outf of frrnssfic in to tPn || glgss^f/ 
as al along firrr aftrr sl)aUr appim/iDfjiriif f pr'fSfnte 
unto tf)c (ttptcof lontion/ 

iEnto tj^e nofile auncgent anti rrnomrt (Cgte/t^e 
b orgtf II of lontjon in i^nglonli f 5iHilliam ^aiton 

^gtp^egn II ^ coniurge of tljr samp / vV of tljp fratpr^ 
ngtc antr fplausi)ip || of tljp niprrprgp otoP of rggfjt mg 
sprugsp i( gootj togll / an^ of 

The table follows, making, with tlie introductory matter, 
eight printed pages, the whole concluding on the fifth verso] 
with the sixth blank leaf. After another blanlv is the Gloss' 
headed by a quotation of seven lines of Latin in type No. 3, 
with a ij for the signature. 

The Text ends on the ninth recto of sig. i, the tenth leaf 
being blank, 

tfjgngp mpn mag intgtulP tfiis IgtPll liook tfjp mgrour of t^e 
re II ggmp ^ gouprnpmpnt of tijp iotjg an^ of t^p sotolp/ 

Wtm fgngssfjPtf) tijis prpspnt boofe W(f)( is sapti or 
rallPti II (Catljon translatPti outp of jFrpnssfjp in to ePngln'sstP 
l)g ^mn II iam (Jlaiton in t^abfipg of topstmgnstrp tfjp' gprp 
of ourp lortj || m (titifti^ Imiil / Mti ttjp fp'rst gprp of'ttie 
tpgnp of fegngp || iigpfjarb tijp tfigrb tf)P xxiii tiai) of ^pppmfirc 


In his prologue Caxton says, " To tlie 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 with 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 assigiied 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 diflFerent work 
from the composition known as " Catlio 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. 5G. — The Golden Legend. Largest Folio. First Edi- 
tion. " Fynysshed at westmestre the twenty day of 
nonemhre / the yere of our lord 3f / CCOC / Ixxxiij / 
By me Wyllyam Caxton." (1484 ?) 

Collation. — An unsigned 3°, mth first and sixth leaves 
blank ; a t) ctipfgf)ifelmnopqrstua:p?^ are 
4-; 9 a 3"; a 13 or © (S iF (B ?iK?J it E iH il © 

^3 <!5 i^ S ^ 2a. are 4°'; X a 3"; ^ is a single sheet, fol- 
lowed by a single leaf, the back edge of which is sometimes 
returned round ^, and sometimes sewn separately ; aa 66 Ct 


titl tt ff are 4"«; flg a 3"; fjf) ii 4-; fefe a 3", fefe G being blank. 
In all 449 leaves, of which tliree are blank. 

Typogeaphical Particulaes.— 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, measui'e three inches ; 55 lines in a column, and 
110 to a full page. There are folios thi-onghout, but num- 
bered very irregularly. Space is left for the insertion of 3 to 
6-line initials, ^nth directors. There are no catchwords. 
Woodcuts are used tliroughout, 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-hues, &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 fii-st leaf is blank; on the second recto is a large 
woodcut of Saints, 9x6^ inches, under which the Text begins 
thus, makmg a full page : — 

{Woodcut of Saints). 

?t?ci)ol|)^^i)Ussftj $(■ arcomplissijft tigunsc 

t ti r 1 u r II sagnt ;^ciom tanftgs || ^ i)j,)stori)rs trans^ 

saptii ti)ps aufto i rgtc / ^^^^'^ out of frfnsist)f || n\ to 

tio mm mwm gooti|| f^sH'Ssijr at tljr rrqufstr of 

b3frfer/to'tfjrnt.c ti)at ti)c fC " ^T, ^^^'^^^f / ^^^f ^ 

t.fui)l fpntiflltfjc not p^lr/ gt^rpr of tijr rrruprl of 

antitf)fi)oljt)tiortour||sa)mt rropr / 1| tijf iook o'f X\)t 

austpn saptij iw tijc ioofe rf)fSSf/ tijcijpstorprof ||fa^ 

of tfje II (afiouv of monkrs/ son/rijc Ijpstovpr of tijc 

t^at m man stronge || or mpnour |i of tf)f luorlti / tijc 

mpgijtp to latiourf ougfjt to .vb fiookrs of i^fta^ || iiior- 

Ic yMt II foi U)l)idj rausr pftrscos iw lu^pdjf fiffn ron= 

tof)pn :?!( fjati parfouv^ || mrt trpnrt || 


This prologue finishes, half-way dovm 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, 
bearing a lable, J^g CtUSte '^S (see a facsimile in Dibdin's 
Tijp. Ant, vol. i, page 186). Underneath this commences 
Caxton's own prologue, with space for a 3-line initial ^, 

iEt» for as mtjt\)t as also fiaue cnprgntrt it in t^t 

tfjis II sap bjfike boas moost first || SlSlpsc ti)at 3J 

grrtc ^ oucr || djargr^ ijauc routir or m;Dgf)t / antr || 

afilc to mc tarromplisstr II § prfsrntc tijis sa))ti fiooott to 

fcrgti me in t^e irgjjnngng i)is gooti ^||nol)lf lor^sijgp/ 

of i\)t II as rt)gff raiiscr of tf)c || 

This occupies the whole page. On the thu'd 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 — 

!^ues folio (!rar<K(!l nbij 

On sig. a j the original Text is begun, space being left for 
a G-line C, 

^}( tgme of t!)atiuft augssf)iti of ggnoranrc ^ 
ijmpiussauff / i to jjt gf f)c 

or romgng of our ijati so romc to fore/pauen:; 
turc II man mggljt sage gt fig 

lor^ in to ti)is U)orl^ ijis otone merites || 

The Text ends on kk 5 recto, half-way down the second 

afore is matie menr gon / 
mil)i(i)t toerfep II 3i ijaue 
areompllssljeti at tfje rom^^ 
maun=||ljementf anil rcqueste 
of tfje nofilf anti Ipugssaunte 
f r(e / anti mg special goot) || 
lorti ^^X]}U}mn erle of aron= 
tiel/^ljauellfyngssljeti it at 


tofstmrstre t\\t ttocntg 1| "bag 
of tiouemtirf / tljc ^txc of our 

\oxt\\m/<it(^M(^ /Ixxxiii/ 
of iltsngMgrtar^ tijrittgcti 

it3p mr tDpUgam (Caiton 

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 Avas 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, 
Lipsiae, 1840. It has also received a modern French dress 
under the title " La Legende dorec, 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 ^Titers 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 Vignay, 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 1 380, 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 


It is probable that in Caxton's time the. English version 
here noticed was well known ; indeed we may infer this from 
the account given by our Printer of the origin of his ovni 
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 written one out of the said three books." 
Caxton, with his Latin, French, and English copies before 
him, found a prolog-ue ready to his hand in the version by 
Jehan de Yignay. This, as was his wont, he translated Hte- 
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 Ilarl. 630, with foho 
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 paragi'aph 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 Avas "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 mth the 
work, Caxton placed the Arundel device " My truste is " after 
the preface. 

Although, from the numerous copies stiU 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 kno^^'ll copies sixteen are divided 
between the British Museum, Cambridge, Corpus and Pem- 
broke, Cambridge, Oxford, Glasgov,', Logonian Philadelphia, 
King's College, Aberdeen, Lincohi, Hereford and Bath 
Cathedrals, Rawlett's Library, Tamworth, and the others in 
private liljraries. 

Wliile making every allowance for the rudeness of the age 
and the plain s})eaking 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 fi'om 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 
l)e gi\-en to abide there in the said church t(j the ^\orship of 
God as long as they may endure. (Norf. and Norwich Arch. 
Soc, Dec. 1850, fol. 163.) 


.O *? ji ^. S S c^i #^. P ... c -• 



No. 57. — Death-bed Prayers. A Folio Broadside. (1484?) 

Typographical Paeticulaes. — Types JSTo. 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 follomng more modern 
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. % The holy body of Clu'ist 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 cry God, mercy I I cry God, 
mercy ! Welcome my Maker ! Welcome my Eedeemer ! 
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 Jesu, desiring 
heartily evermore for to be with thee in mind and 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, uct v, sc. 1, 
uses the same phrase " even Chinstian." 


I beseech thee heartily take me, sinner, unto thy great mercy 
and grace, for I love thee mth all my heart, ^^ith all my 
mind, "with 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 vnth. meekness and heart contrite, of mercy and 
of forgiveness of my great unkindness, for the gi'eat 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 
ha^'ing remembrance steadfastly in my heart of thee, my 
Saviour Clirist Jesu, I doubt not but thou wilt be fiill nigh 
me, and comfort me both bodily and ghostly with thy glorious 
presence, and at the last bring me unto thy everlasting bhss, 
the which shaU 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 mches. 

Xo. 58. — The Fables of ^sop ; of Avian ; of Alfonse ; 
AND OF PoGE, THE Floeentine. Folio. '' BmpripiM 
by me William Caxton at Wesfmipisfre . . the xxrj datje 
of3Iarche the yere of our e lord M CCCG Ixocxiiij." 

Collation.— a t) C ti P f g i) i fe I m n p q r S are 4"% 

the last two leaves of % being blanlv. In all 144 leaves, of 
wliich two are blank. 

Note. — The first leaf of a is not sigiied, being printed only 
on the verso. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page, 
unless we call the great cut of j3Esop by that name. The type 
is of two sorts. No. 3 used in tlu-ee 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 tlu'ouo-hont, except in sig. n, which has folios only. 
Woodcut initials are used throughout, and on the verso of 
sig. a i| is a large floriated .^, afterwards used m the " Order 
of Chivalry." 

The first recto of sig. a is blank. Upon the verso is a 
large woodcut (4f x Of inches), of JSsop, surrounded by the 
subjects of his fables, -Rlth the Avord ESOPVS at the top. On 
the second recto, which is signed a if, the book commences 
with the following title, in large type, No. 3 — 

C dFolto Ha 
C ^}m firggnnfti) tf)e tioofe of tfjc sutitgl ^j)stor|)fs 
mti jFafilfs of (Jrsopc Ujljtrije tone translate out 
of jf^umsf)c in to i&nglpssJic ig tofilllam (ira.rtort 
at tofstmjnistre ^n tf)r grvc of o\ixc Ilov^c . M . 

. oiararar . Jx.vxur . 

j-^.^rst firggnnptij tijr Igf of (Jrgopc toitf) allc fiis fortune 

jj* fjoto ^c tons sut)tj)U/tope/antii)ome in (§rrrf/notfmc 

fro Crogf tf)e graunt tn a ^Totouc namcti .Hmoneo/ 

tofjirte toas amonge oti)er t>gfforme"li mti eugUe sijapen/jFor 

The whole is finished by an epilogue, ^ui-itten by Caxton 
himself, which begins on the recto, and concludes on the verso 
of sig. S 6. 

stocre of a gootr preest anti an fjonrst/Hnli fjm toitfj g fp- 
ngssi)e ti)is 6ook / tran.slatctj vV nnprgntrt dg me Miinmm 
Olai^^ilton at tocstmgnstre in tljafifeag / Hnti fgngsgjjrti tfjc 
iibj bagf II of ifHarcijc tf)c grre of ourc lorti iE arcjrorar 
li.rxtii| '.anti tije || fgrst gm of tijc rcgnc of fegng ivgcfjarti 
t^e tt)grttie 

The woodcuts by their treatment evidently came from the 
hands of the artist who had previously 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 diflFerent 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 kno^Mi 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 Museiun and at Oxford. 

No. 59. — The Oeder of Chivalry. Quarto. Without 
Printer's Name, Place, or Date. Translated hj Caxton 
and presented to Richard III. (1483-5). 

Collation. — a J) c l( e ( are 4°% aj being blank ; fl a 2°, 
with the last leaf blank ; in aU 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, wliich measure 3g- inches, 
and of which there are 26 to a full page, are fully spaced out. 
Without folios or catchwords. Initial letters cut in wood ai'e 

Commencing with a blank leaf the work opens with a short 
preface, on sig. a X], the first four lines being in type No. 3. 
The Text begins thus : — 

C ?^fte fipgennett i^t ^^.W of 
tf)i0 present fioofee ^ntgtlrt t^e 
i^oofee of tl)e ortre of cf)gualrg 
or fenggttt)otie 


The Text ends :— 

bprtuouse ^t^t / ^ntJ ^ s^alle prag a(in?= 
tg got( for i)is long Igf ^'^ prosprroiis U)fl= 
fare/^' tijat ijc mag ijaur bictorg of al 1)ls 
f nnngf s / anti after tf)is sfjort ^ transitorp 
Igf to f)mt fuf rlastgng Ipf In i)fufn / bjijr- 
re as is IJogc antJ tilgsse toorl^ hjit^out 

The date of printing, which ^^■as in the reign of Ricliard 
III, mnst 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 Ti/j). 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. CO. — Chaucee's Canteebury Tales. Folio. Second 
Edition, with Woodcuts. ''By Wi/INam Caxton." 
Without Place or Date. (1484 ?) 

Collation.— a 6 r ^ f f g i) i ft I m n p (t r S t are 4"% 
mth a r blank ; b a 3" ; aa t)6 fC ^t) U ff gg i)i) are 4°^ ; ii a 

3"; a 13 (!l: li eg JF (® i^ f ii 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 bemg all in No. 2*. 
The lines in the prose portion are spaced to an even length, 
and measure 4| inches. 38 lines to a page. Without catch- 
words or folios, and almost without punctuation. 

This second edition, Caxton tells us, was printed six yeara 
after the first. Having fixed the year 1477-8 as about the 
date of the first, that will give about 1484 for this. 

Commencing with a blank leaf, the prohemye follows on 



^ett ttanfefs latotir anb fionour/ougijt to ht 95= 
mn bnto tije dfrfefs/portrs/anli fjistoriograpts 
g tfjat taut torrton mang noftle fiofees of tDijsctiom 
of tijp (guPS passtos/^mjjvaclrs of i)olt) sagntfs 
of ijgstorgfs / of nofilc ant famous ^rtrs / anlj 
faittcs / Bnti of tije cronBrlcs sitij tijr fifggnngng 
if ti)f erf acton of tf)e toorltiAJJ^to tijgs pre sent tBinc/ftsh)i)8c5f 

The proheme, which is an excellent and indubitable speci- 
iien of Caxton's own composition, and reflects as much credit 
ipon his disposition as upon his hterary abilities, finishes on 
he verso of sig. a i] — 

[fttx t^gs si^ort antr transttorgc Igf toe mag come to euer= 
astgng il Igf in fjtmn / amen 

i^B 5l2aBlliam (Kaiton 

On sig. a ii] recto, A^ith room for a 4:-line initial, 

?^an t|)at iHprgU togtl) f)gs sf)ouris sote 
to 3rt)p tirougf)te of marcte ^'at^ percgti t^e rote 
:anti ijatijgtJ euerg begne in suc^e Igcour 
©f toi)gcte bertue engentirgtJ is t^e flour 
ITOanne Zep^erus efee tofiti) f)8S sote firet^ 

The Parson's Tale finishes on sig. it U] verso, and is fol- 
)wed by the Eetraction. 

The Text ends with seven lines on sig. IL 4 recto, 

e one of fftm at tf)e trag of tome t^at sijal 6e saugt /<!|ui 
umllpatre et spiritu sanctti biuit et regnat tieus/iPer omnia 
ecula II seculorum ^M^^/ 

The verso is blank. 

The wood-cut illustrations appear to be by the same artist 
liat was engaged upon iEsop. The wife of Bath is repre- 
?nted thus : — 






Two copies are in the British Museum, and one in each of 
;he following libraries — Magdalen and Pepysian, Cambridge ; 
5fc. John's, Oxford ; Royal Society, London ; Earl of Ash- 
)urnham, and Earl Spencer. In the year 1858 I discovered 
I, copy in the Library of the French Protestant Church, in a 
orn and dirty state, having been used for some time to light 
he vestry fire. I drew attention to its gi'eat value and inte- 
est, and it was doubtless saved from further mutilation. 
hme time afterwards it disappeared from the library alto- 
gether, and no one now knows what has become of it. For 
dentification the following particulars are here given: — it 
rants all before sig. f) 5 ; J) 7 ; 1 8 and b ij; fib i] and titJ 8 ; 
In "JS itr and 4 ; and all after © 8. In the original binding. 
Corn, dirty, and ill used. Measurement, lOf x 7|. Auto- 
:raph " • • Rawlinson A° 1717." Also, " Ex dono • • • 
Bateman Bibliopola." 

^0. 61. — The Book of Fame. Folio. "Emjn-ipiM hy 
vnjlliam Caxionr Without Place or Date. (1484 ?) 

Collation. — a 6 t are 4"', a f being blank ; tl a 3", tr (> 
»eing blank = 30 leaves, of which two are blank. 

Typographical Particulaes. — There is no title-page, 
rhe type is entirely No. 4*. In the epilogue, which is the 
inly prose part, the lines are fully spaced out, and measure 
:| inches. 38 lines to a page. Without folios or catchwords. 
5pace left for the insertion of 2 or 3-line initials, Math 

Commencing with a blank leaf, the Text follows on sig. 
I \\ recto, 

C^c fiook of dFamr matic fig @ffffrf]L> <ffl)aurfv 

Oti tome bs fUfrg tivrmf to gooti 
[ ,-iFor it is bjontjfv tiiji)ng hyy tijc rooti 

Co mg iri)}t / \Bt)at rausjjtii stonirnps 
!^n ti)e morotoe / oi on rupngs 

T- 2 


The poem ends on sig. tf 5 recto, 

^^us in tjrnnj^itg anti in game 
OFntifti) tl)j).s Igtgl fioott of jTatne 


The epilogue immediately follows, the Text ending, 

U j^umilg iimtci)c ^ pragf goto / nnongc gour praprts / to 
rfinnn^llfire ijgs soulf/on inljgdjr/anti on allf rrgstrn 
soulis / § fifSfdjc al= || mggijtg goti to ijauc mext)} B\mn 

yfmprgntcti fig IngUiam (Jiaiton 

The epilogue has considerable interest, as showing Caxton's 
opinion of Chaucer, and is here given verbatim. 

" J fynde nomore of this werke to fore sayd / For as fer 
as I can viniderstode / This noble man Geiferey Chaucer 
fynysshyd at the sayd conclusion of the metyng of lesyng 
and sothsawe / where as yet they ben chekked and maye not 
departe / whyche werke as me semeth is craftyly made / and 
dygne to be ^wTeton & knowen / For he towchyth in it ryght 
grete wysdom & subtyll vnderstondyng / And so in alle hys 
werkys he excellyth in myn oppyny / on alle other wryters in 
in our Englyssh / For he -uaytteth no voyde wordes / but alle 
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 ^viytyng / 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, difficult 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 G6 lines, 
probably occupying one leaf in the original. We kuo^^" from 


lis o^Ti writings the great reverence in which our printer 
leld the " noble poete," and we can imagine his consternation 
vhen the choice had to be made, either to follow his copy and 
jriiit nonsense, from the break of idea caused by the deficient 
rerses, or to step into Chaucer's shoes and supply the missing 
inks from his o^\7i brain. He chose the latter course, and 
hus instead of the original G6 lines, we have two of the 
)rinter's own, Avhich enable the reader to reach the end of the 
)oem without a break down. These lines are in the following 
[notation printed in italics ; the entire extract being the first 
,ix lines of the last page : — 

They were a chekked bothe two 

And iieyther of hym myght out goo 

And wyth the noyse of theintvo ' Caxton 

J Sodeynly awoke anon tho 

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 
n the margin to make known his responsibility to his readers, 
riie " out " not having been hitherto noticed, the position of 
lis name there has been a puzzle to the bibliographers, until 
ixplained by Mr. Bradshaw. 

Copies are in the British Museum ; Cambridge ; Imperial 
liibrary, Viemia, and Althorpe. 

STo. 62. — The Cueial. "Translated thus in Englysslie ly 
wyllimn Caxton." Without Printer's Name, Place, or 
Bate. (1484 ?) 

Collation. — A 3", signed j, \], and tif, without any blanks, 
[n aU six leaves. 

Typogeaphical Paeticulaes. — There is no title-page, 
riie type is entirely No. 4*. The lines, which are spaced to 
m even length, measure 4| inches, and there are 38 to a full 
jage. Without catchwords or folios. 

The Text begins on sig. j recto, 

?^ere fofiotoetl) tfje cops? of a Ifttrf toijprfjf mnistre 
aiagn II ©tatcticr toiote to \m fitotfjci / bjijgcijc tirsiitti to 


romc mtilt in |l Olouit/ in Ujfjijrlje i)c re^crsctij mang mj)= 
serges ^ bjtctcljgtinrssfs || 

The *' Curial " finishes on the sixth recto, 

to goti M mmntit tijc tg tijgs bjvgtgng h)|)gdjp oguc tijc Ijgs 

Cijus futiftl) tijp (Curial inatie tg magstrc iHlain 
. Olljarrrtier || Cranslatrti tijus in t!5nglgss^ fig togUiam 

On the verso Caxton has given us his translation of a 
balhid, written by Alain Chartier, consisting of 28 lines. It 
has a burthen : — " Ne chyer but of a man Joyous," and com- 
mences thus: — . 

^I)cr nt is tianggrr / t)ut of a bglagn 
i^e prgtif / t)ut of a poure man ntrgdjrt 

The Text ends on same page, with Caxton's name at foot, 

Ci^er is no spcdje/hut it 6c curtogs 
i^e vrrgsgng of men / but after tf)cgr Igf 
ii^e c|ger fiut of a man SKogous 

Remaeks. — 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, 1G17. In tlie former, however, is an error which 
has led to some confusion, as " Livre de I'Esperance " is there 
entitled " Le Curial," the real Cm'ial being a much shorter 
piece, and totally different in design. By the " Curial " being 
addressed to his brother it is supposed to ha-ve been AATitten 
by Alain to Jean Chartier, known as the author of " Histoire 


de Charles VII." As an instance of the great repute, in which 
the \^Titings of Chartier were held in his age, it is reported 
that Margaret, the wife of the Dauphin of France, afterwards 
Louis XI, finding him 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. 

]Sro. 63. — Troylus and Creside. Folio. Without Printer's 
Name, Place, or Date. (1484 ?) 

Collation. — a i) C t« C f g are 4"% the first leaf of a being 
blank; i) a 5°; i fe I m U are 4"^; pa 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 follov.-s on sig. 
a i] recto, beginning thus : — 

t W t(0u6!e soiob) of Eroglus to XtWt 

aKiMig i^rgamus sone of ^Troge 
%\\ lougng / Ijoto ijps auf nturcs frllc 
jFiom iam to tor Ic / nnti aftrr out of S^ogc 
ifHg puipos is / or tljat 3J paite froge 

Book I ends on sig. t) 8 verso ; Book II on f ] recto ; Book 
III on i^ 10 recto; Book IV on m r recto ; Book V on p 4 
recto. On sig. p 4 recto is also Chaucer's dedicatory stanza 

to the " Moral Cower." 

The Text ends on the same page, 

5o makf bs fljesu for tljg mrrcg tiggnf 
,-fFor lour of magticn / vV motif r tijgn firnggne 
?lKrc cntiftt) Croglus / as toufi)gng OTrfSrtc 
(P.rplirlt per (»Ta.Tton 


Remarks. — A good account of the source of this poem, 
and a comparison between it and Shakspere's " Troihis 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. "■ Empryntijd by 
WyUi/am Oaxton." Without Place or Date. (1484 ?) 

Collation. — Two unsigned leaves ; at)Ctief8i)ifel 
are 4"'; tit 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 folic-s. 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 ?^i0 lioofe toas compgleti fig tian Soi)n Igtigate tnoitkc of 
fiurjpr / at ti)f ncitariott anti stgrgng of tf)c nofile aitti 
ijictorpous prgncc/ Hgng fiavrg'tijc fgftfjr / in t^oiioure 

glorgc ^ tfucrfnre of i\)t tijjrtfjc of ouc tnoste ftlfssgti 

latip / inaj)t(c i tojjf / anti motjcr of out lortr ^|)fsu rrgst / 

djapgtuti as folotoetj^ || 6g tf)is tafile 

The table follows immediately, finishing with nine lines 
on the verso of the second leaf. 

The poem commences on sig. a ] recto, Avitli space for a 
2 -line initial, 

<!ri)ougtful \\nXt pliinggti in tiistrfssf 

Miitlj slo'irc of sloutlj t|)is long ingntcrs nggiit 

On the lower half of the fourth verso of sig. m, 

li\nt rntifti) X\\t ftook of ti)c Igf of our latig 
matic fig tian fiJofin Igtigate monkc of fiurg / 
at tijgnstauncc of \\)t mostc crgstfn fegngr / 
fegng f)an:g tije fgftlj 


<©oo litfil tioofe anti sufiinjjtte t^e 
5anto al ti)em / tijat tf)f sl)a( irtie 
®r Ijere / pragntg ijrm for dmiU 
^0 partion me of tl)f nitidjctif 
#f mgn enpr))ntj)ng / not takgng f)(tc 
anti t)f ouQljt ftc tioon to tt)PBt; plfsgng 
<Sag tf)ci) tf)gse t)alat(rs foloiugng 

The Text ends on the fifth recto of sig. in, the whole page 
jeing as follows : — 

l3lfS0iti fie tije stoettest name of our lorti 
■^ijesu f rtst / anti most glorious marie 
W^ felessgti motier / toitl) eternal aeeorti 
i^ore ti)an euer / tentiure in glorge 
^nti toiti^ i)ir meike gone for mnnorge 
5Blesse bs marie / tf)e most 1)olj) birggne 
^i)at toe regne in l)euen biitij t|e ortires njme 

(Snprgntgti fig Magllgam (Canton 

" 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 agTce 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 aU, and later scribes would divide it after their own 

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 sHght 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, y\0T&e 
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^\Ti 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 aclmowledges in one of the 
concluding stanzas. — Tt/p. Ant. vol. i, page 340, and Bib. 
8])mc. 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 byi'the 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 oner 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 

T\'yne or woman capitulo Lvij 

Existing CopiRS:— British Museum, Bodleian, Exeter 
College, Oxford, Glasgow, and four in private hands. 


N^o. G5. — The Life or the holy and blessed Virgin 
Saint Winifred. Folio. Without Frinter's Hame, 
Bate or Place. ^'■Reduced in to Emjhjsshe hj me 
William Caxton:' (1485 ?) 

Collation. — a and 6 are 4"' = 1 6 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 with a blank leaf, the Text follows on sig. a if, 


On sig. 6 G recto, 

C OTjus rntiftlj ttf tifcoHarton / ti)c (gf after / anti ti)e 
transla= |1 rion of sagntf SSir uffrrlif birgjjn anti martir / 
lrif)tff)f toas rcg !l srt after tijat \)tx t)ftic l)a^ tf smpton of 
ti)c space of xb gere |1 retiufelj in to (PnglBSsi)c fig \\u 
2i2!ilUiam (JTaxton /' 

The Text ends, with ten Imes on the recto of sig. 6 8, the 
verso being blank, 

rclcbramns tratislartonnn / cunctorum atiipisci tnmamut; 
per? 1 ratorum vemisstonfui / \Hx tiominum nostrum / et 
rrtera / 

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 martyi'is." The character of the AVTiting is of the 
twelfth century, but the Holy Well in Flintshire, dedicated to 
her as mcU 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 agreed 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 o^^^l country, and this may account for the entire absence 
of aU notice of her in the early historians. The Cotton MS. 
has a memorandum in a more modern 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, l^ale. 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 coiurse of centuries, the legend had developed. 
The fame of the saint at that time was rapidly increasing, 
partly o-^ing to the grand ceremonial with 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 improba])le that Caxton translated from his usual source, 
the French, as the saint was unknown across the Channel. It 
is therefore most probable that the liatin account of Robert, 
already noticed, was Caxton's original, a probability we are 

* Lhvydh, in his Catalogue of Welsh MSS., mentions two. 


not able to verify by collation, as no manuscript appears to 
be knowii. 

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 
3rd. This shows how the f^me of St. Winifred had in- 
creased. All the old legends state that on the spot where 
Prince Caradoc decapitated the Yhgin, 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 eflFected by these waters spread 
all over England, and greatly enlianced 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 v>-aters, and over this a 
l)eautifLd 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 fi-ee grammar school. 

In Caxton's " Polycronicon," in the metrical account of 
Wales, there are twenty-two Hnes 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. 

j^o_ G6.— The noble Histoeies of King Aethue and of 
CEETAiN OF HIS Knights. FoUo. " Emprijnted in 
thabbetj of westmestre, the last day ofJi'Hl the ycre 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 i], ii], 


itij; the first four leaves oiily of the 5" are signed b, h], blf, 

^ (!P df (g ii^ f> M ?L fH ia © i3 05 ^ S C SI X © Z 

aa 66 re tJll are 4"^; PC is a 3". In all 432 leaves, of Avhich 
one is blank. 

Note. — Sig. £) iff is printed M iff, and C if is printed 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type throughont is No. 4*. The lines are spaced out to 
an even length of 4| inches, and 38 make a fiiU page. With- 
out folios, head-lines, or catchwords. Initials in wood of 
three to five lines in depth. 

Commencing ^ith a blank leaf, Caxton's prologaie follows 
on sig. if, with a 3-line initial in wood. The Text begins 
thus : — 

Xi tsstor^cs as tori of rontrmplarpn as of otijrr Ijgsto 

rgal ana tooritilg actps of grftr ronqunours ^" prgn 

rfs/an^ also rrrtrgn fiookcs of fttsamnplcs anti tiortrgne/ 

The Text ends on the recto of the sixth leaf of sig. tt, the 
verso being blank, 

C 3rf)us nttiftl) tf)]t)s noI)le anti ^opous iiook rnfjotlfti If 
mortr i Bart^ur / jaotiDptifStontiBng it trratrtij of ti)f 6l>rtf) / 
I]t?f/ant) II artfs of tl)f sapti kgng .?lrti)ur/of fjis notilP 
fen5gi)tfsof tljc || rountic tai)lc/tl)C]i)rinmta;|)llous rnqufstrs 
anti atiufntuvrs / 11 tijadjpcuinng of tfjc sangrral/ •&: in tf^tntit 
t|)P tiolorous liftf) ^- II tirpartpng out of tl^ps toorlti of tijrm 
al / Juijirijf book toas re || tiurrt in to fnglj)ssl)c bj) spr 
stomas IWalorc fenjjgijt as afore || is sagVanb bj) me 
tjeuptieti in to xx] bookes eijapptreti anti enprgnteti / antr 
fi)ngssf)e"b in tt)abbep toestinestre tfje last tiag || of fiugl tljc 
gere of out lort / jm / ©araro? / Imb / 

C <tta.rton me fieri 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 o-wii book : 
" This book w'as ended the ninth year of the reign of King 
Edward the fonrth 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 fi'om 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 knowai, though much has been WTitten. 
Manuscript copies of all of them are in the British Museum. 
Caxton's edition was reprinted several times, the last being 
the w^ell-loiown 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. Franc., par M. Paris, 
vol. i, page 160. See also the introduction of Thomas Wright 
to his reprint of the 1634 edition, entitled The History of 
King Arthur, 3 vols. London, 1858. M&o Los Romans de la 
TaUe Rmide et les Contes des anciens Bretoyis, par M. le 
Vicomte Hersart de la Villemarqu^. 8vo. Paris, 1860. 

The only perfect copy knowm 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. " Ea'2')licit per William 

Caxton." Without Place. ^^ Enprynted thefyrst day of 

decemlre / M CCCG Ixxxv." 

Collation. — a 6 C t) e f i^ i fe I m are 4"^ In all 96 

leaves, of which a j and in 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 lines to a column. The lines, which are spaced to one 
length, measure 2| 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 i], with a 3-Hne printed initial. 
The Text begins thus : — 

iHgnt ^mil tioftour of sommc tocrifefgi tjauUagnc 

brrptf sagtt to b0 tljat tioon || ^ romjigrti ftp tjpir 

a I i\)\mqc^ tf)at firn re- grrtf strrngti) |jvV njgf)t ar= 

tiurfti i)|) torgtgnfl / htn tiaunt rouvagc / to tijr || tx- 

torpton II altargon of tfje rrgstnt f agtJj 

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 2Gth line of the opposite 

^ iiKnnf / for as mor^f ^ 

fnpr]nnti)e t|)c ftoofe of ti)c 
notlf \" II bgftorgous kgng 
l^vtijur fprst || 

The Text ends with the following colophon, 

W^in)(f)t tofrftp teas fg; 
itpssijrt II in tijc rrturjong of 
if)it into fn||glj!)sst)f ti)eabnr 
tiag of fiucn tlje || spronti 
gne of kgiig ivfidjart || tijc 
ttgrti / anti tte gftc of our |i 

lov^ m (!iatar(!i imb/ 

^nt) II ntprgntrt t|)e fgrst 
tiag of tifi II mwhxt tfjf same 
gf re of our lorb || ^^ tijr fgrst 
gere of fepng B^arrg || tte 
seuentt /|| 
C CSiplicit p toiUtam (Kaxton 

Remaeks. — Histories and romances of " Karlemaine," in 
French and in Latin, in prose and in verse, existed so early 
as 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 " om' anonymous Author to compile a con- 
tinuous history of the first Cliristian 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 owm words, thus 
translated by Caxton (sig. Xtl, 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 romance in fi-ensshe." 

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 William 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, 1 Of x 7f inches. 



No. G8. — The knight Paeis and the faik Vienne. Folio. 
"Explicif jwr Caxton. Westminster. Deceinber Idth, 

Collation. — a i) C are 4''', tl and t 3"' = 3(5 leaves, of 
which the last only is blank. 

Note. — tl j is misprinted C t. 

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 j recto. 

of II ti)f nofile rjogljt balgaunt 
^ tool':: II t\)j^ fenjjgljt ^|Jarj)S/ 
ant) of t\)t I! fajH' <k}}tn(/ 
t\)( tiaulpijgns tiou= ||gi)tci; of 
bi)rnnojjS / ti)e toljgdjc || 
m^xt^ manj) atiucrsi)tffs 
!)),)= II rausr of tijrgi- true 
loue or tijfj) || routic fnioi)c 
t^c fffert tl)frof of II t(i)t 

ina;i) or ougf)t to ijaue / ^Ije 
saj,)ti II tiaulpljpn t|)func anti 
tijts noble || latij,) tijjanr iurrc 
bi} prre to op-Htirctotntjoute 
i)ssuc tijat mori)r |1 tjfg t)f= 
sjjrrt to fjauf /anti pragrt || 
our (orti fiotije njjgfjt vV )3ag 
tIjat II t^fg mjjgljt Ijauf t\)))U 
tirm plagllsaunt anti rrti|) 
to i)gs tiruinnc || scrugcc / 
anti our lorti tljorugf) || 

The Text ends thus, on sig. t 5 recto, with sixteen lines in 
the first column, 

mag arfompan:Df tijcm in tfje 
per 1 liuraftlf glorgf of Ijf um 
^mf n / 

C ^t)us fntifti) t\)})ntot)n of 
tijr II notlf anti balimunt 
Jvnt)oi)t})a=||rj>s/ anti tf)c fanr 
bjjfnnr ^ougf) !i trr of tljc 
tioulpI)))n of 21lji)fn= || nops / 
translatcti out of frrngsfjc || 
In to rnglpssijc ftj) bjjjIUam 
(Cax= II ton at torstmrstrc 
fjL)npssI)rt tf)r II last tiajj of 


august ti)t prrc of || our lorti 
m (jroTiinli Ijiib / antr i| 
ntprjmtfti tlje xir tiap of 
lifmn:: II tire tije same jjrrc/ 
anti tfje fjnrst || gere of tfje 
rrgnc of fe^ng Jt^arrg || tfje 
scuf nt|) / 

<[ (Jrxplicit p (Kaxton 

Eeiiaeks. — 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 proveuQal," fi-om 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 ]\Iarseilles. 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 1516. The Jesuit Charron, in his 
Memoirs of Jean de Pins {Avignon, 8vo, 1 748), 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 their 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 denoument so happy, that 
their conception would reflect honour on the best wTiters of 
the most renowned ages." (See Histoire du CMvalwr Paris, 
et de la bells Vienne, 8vo, Paris, 1835). 

The only Existing Copy is in the British Museum. It 

X 2 


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 ^, in which appears the follow- 
ing variation : — 


sig. X, 6 leaves "j [ sig. X = 8 leaves. 

sig. ^,2 „ r = 9 leaves signed to X xii], and followed 


unsigned 1 „ J | 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 Paeticulaes. — 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. 

Remarks. — The absence of any complete copy, or indeed 
of any copy ha^'ing 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. 


70. Good Manners ..... May 11th, 1487 

71. Speculum. First Edition ..... 1487? 

72. Directorium. First Edition . . . . 1487? 

73. Horse. Tliird Edition ..... 1488? 

74. Royal ....... 1488? 

75. Image of Pity . . . . . .1489? 

76. Uoctrinal ..... May 7th, 1489? 

77. Speculum. Second Edition .... 1490 ? 

78. Commemoratio . . . . . . 1491 ? 

79. Transfiguratione . . . . . . 1491 ? 

80. Horffi ....... 1491 ? 



"Si r« ^ 

jo «-» "■" r-- *o 
-e ** oS » 

#2 s 

J3 ;=f, *^ ii 


^ S ^ €^0 

M^ SiO gi OS 

JB ii> ss /= 




No. 70. — The Book of Good Mannees. Folio. " Exjilkit 
et Mc est Jim's per Camton" Without Place. " En- 
prynted the xj day of Maye'' tlie year of our Lord 1487. 

Collation.— a 6 f ti r f g are 4"' ; i) a 5" = CG leaves (uo 

Typographical Particulars, — There is no title-page. 
The tyjDe throughout is No. 5. The lines are spaced to an 
even length, and measure 4f inches. A page has 33 lines. 
Without catchwords or folios. Woodcut initials of two to 
three lines in depth. 

The Text begins on sig. a \ recto, 

^^rompn || proplr b3i)iff)r tottljout fnfonnarion vV Icrn))ng 
irn rutjf || anti not mancrti Igke bnto fierstis tiute acortgng 
to an oltic II 

making a full page. On the verso, with 2-line wood initial, 
jkerrr brggnnrti) tf)f talilf of a fioofe namrtr ^ ^ntctulrt 

posrt II t)j) t|)c bfnnai)lf ^ tijjsrrftc pcrsonr Jf itit f/aqucsi 
\t graunt Ig i rfD^at m iHijfologiif rfUgjjous of t|)e ortie of 
sajjnt augustgn || of tijc ronurnt of pavgs . 

and ends on tenth recto of sig. \), the verso blank, 

C <!?j:pltrit/rt ijif t%X ftnts/pcr Otaiton vVc 

C dFj!)npssi)f"i) anti translatrtJ out of frrnsljc in to rngl]i)S0^c 
tl)f II bilf ^a]^ of f luiu tijr yrrr of out lorti M m ^ I.mbf / 
anti i tljc first gw of ti)f irgnc of kj)ng Ijanp ti)r litj/.anti 
cnpnni^ II trt ti)e ij tiaj) of iiflage after / $it 

Eaus tieo 


Jacques Legrand was an Au^istiu 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 V. He also was the author of " Le 
livre des bonnes nieurs," 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 18G), 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 fi-iend 
of old knowledge," whose death-bed request it was that the 
book which had pleased and instructed his owai mind should 
have gTeater cm-reucy 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 Vit^e Christi. Folio. '' Em])rynted 
hy wyUi/am Gaxfon" Withoid Place or Date. Edi* 
tion A. (1487?) 

CoLLATioN.—a fictiefgfiifelmnopqrs are 4"% 

with the first leaf of sig. a blank ; t a 2", with the fourth leaf 
blank. In all 148 leaves, of which two are blank. 

Typogeaphical 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 Uiis particular, as side notes appear in nenrly all 


the manuscript versions. An initial, cut on wood, begins 
every chapter. 

Commencing with a Wank leaf, the Text begins thus on 
Big. a i] recto : — 

C :?Jnripit 5)PfniIum bite (Cristt . 

^ C ti)c ticggnngngf of tf)e i)roi)fm)|) of tijc fiookf tt)at is 
^ rlf prt ti)c mjjirourr of t^e filcssgti Igf of M^m (Cvgste 
t\)t fgist paitc foe ti)c inonetiage / C ^ tif uoute mrtj):; 
tar ion of tijp grctf counrcjUl in ijcuf nc for tljc rcstorjjitgc of 
man i anti ijp sauacgon ..OlapitiUum pvimum . C ®f tije 

At the head of sig. 6 if recto, 

Bie lunc |[ #iima pars ra i . 

tiome all ti)c Ol'ourtc of ijcunc bjontirgngr an'D rommrntJBng 
t\)( soucragnc bgsctiome assentrt tori ijf re to / l)ut fcrtt)er= 
more II 

At the head of sig. f 6 verso, 

0[ (ta /lb C Mit i^ercurii C ^trria pars 

paraucntur t^crc toitf) a ffbif smal fpssljrs ti)at ourf latig 
i)ati II orticgnetj tiieme as goti toolti/^" soo tijcrtoitfj tije 
lEungpls ro:; || 

The " Speculum" ends at foot of sig. S i recto, 

lortj itesii an^ i)is mo)Jcr ifHarg nob) anti tmx toitijoutc 
rntir ame 

C 4!Piplicit spfculum bite Olristi . 

On the verso begins a treatise on the Sacrament of Christ's 

C .a sijorte treatise of tije fjgljest anti most toortijjj sarra^ 
mente || of rrj^strs tlessiti botip . antr tf)e meruejHles tfjerof . 

which finishes on sig. t 'S recto with the follo\\ing imprint : — 


There appear to have been two, if not more, original works 
on the " Life of Christ " in the liliraries of the fifteenth cen- 
tury. One by Father Ludolphe, or liuclolphe {Addit. 1(JG09), 
was translated, as already noticed, into French, and thence 
into English ; but this is an entirely different work to that 
printed by Caxton. St. Bonayenture, in 1410, ^sn-ote "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, w'as dedicated by Gallopes 
to Henry V, and prol)ably 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 unkno\^^l, but 
he professes to have borrowed largely from the Latin of Bona- 

Of the "Speculum vita3 Christi" two distinct editions 
were issued, both printed with the same types, page for page, 
line for line (with few exceptions), and nearly letter for letter. 
The typographical minutire do not enable us with facility to 
determine which edition has the better claim to priority of 
worlonanship. 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 
(fl!a in the heads, while the other (B) has the full word (jTapt- 
tulum. 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., pro^^ng that even so late as 
1481), the practice of printing one i:)age at a time was retained. 
This is shown by the verso of sig. ti\\] being printed on the 
recto of sig. 1 6, and vice versa. In sig. t there are several 
instances of the side notes having been blocked out in the 
printing. Pressmen call it " a bite." 


Existing Copies. — British Mnsenm (2); Cambrido-e (2); 
Hnnterian 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. — DiEECTORiUM Sacerdotum, una cum Depensorio 
ejusdem ; item Tractatus qui dicitur Crede 
MiHi. Folio. Second Version, First EiUtion. Per 
W'iUmm Caxfon apud westmonesteriu. WUhout Date. 

Collation. — Kalendar a 3^ signed jijttt; alirtipfg 
M k I m n p CJ are 4"'' ; r a 5" ; S t are 4°^ In all IGO 

leaves. In the only copy known the whole of the kalendar is 
inserted between the first and second leaves of sig. a, making 
a j appear as the first leaf in the book. 

Note. — The signature to C jis not printed. 

Typographical Particulars. — Without title-page. The 
type is all No. 5. The lines, which are fully spaced out, 
measure 4| inches. Exclusive of head-lines there are 33 to 
the page. Without folios or catchwords. A few 2-line wood- 
cut initials. 

The work commences 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. 

Tlie Text begins on sig. j recto, 

W\M \ ^^^"^^'"^ ^'^^ mrnsts . .5c- sfpttma truncat i)t ntsis 
I ^li^ ganuarlus \)tX tiifs xxxi / luna brvo xxx 
iif 'R ifanuartr (JTirrusirio tim tiup fm \x Vt 

The Text ends on sig. 1 8 verso, 

tie mici)i/ifla qui pirtcas rrgulas mcmoiitci' tenet \)ix pote- 
nt errare in seiuicio biuino/SDeo gias/ 

C <!ra.vton me fieri feeit 


The engraving, which is really on sig. a j "serso, 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 -ndndow the title appears e\-idently 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 engTaving similar in design was used for the 
"Hora3," described at page BIS 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 
\\ith many contractions. In the various editions of " Typo- 
graphical Antiquities," the two editions being treated as one 
has led to several errors. 

The mmierous 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 com'se 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 
]n'ologue, that one of the most important festivals in the year, 
that of Corpus Christi, ^^^th its Octave, was, according to the 
written directions, celebrated cum regimine cJiori, while the 
admitted and general custom of the Salisbury rule was to 
celebrate that festival sine regimine chori; finding also several 
necessary things omitted altogether, and a wrong disposition 
made of others, determined, by the consent of his superiors, 
to correct and supply ail defects. AVhen Clement Maydestone 
had thus reformed and )-cnewed the Pica, he gave his A\(irk 


the now recognised 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 folloM^ed 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 mmie- 
rous notes in the autogTaph 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- 
fect, in fair condition, and measures 10^ x 1\ 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. — HoR^ — A Fragment. Third Edition. Svo. Sim 
ulU notd. (1488 ?) 

The Collation cannot be given, eight leaves, or the whole 
of sig. m being all that is known at present. 

TYPOGRAPHiCAii PARTICULARS. — The type is No. 5 only. 
The Lines, of which there are seventeen to the page, are fuUy 
spaced out and in length measure 2f inches. Large full-faced 
capital letters are used. 

On sig. m i recto the Text begins, 

iflon fecisti 


The first words on the recto of each leaf is— 1, tlOlT ; 2, 
prrf)anr ; d, fiatitafitle; 4, a MOXO -, 5 (injured); 6, woodcut; 
7, 23omtnc ; 8, stones ; the last word on the eighth verso, 


The woodcut on tit C recto is an " Image of Pity," very 
similar in treatment to that noticed on page 31 G. It occupies 
only tlie depth of ten lines of text, and beneath, in six lines, 
is the following : — 

^0 t|)rm t1)at fiffore * * * * gttta 
flf ofpptc tiruoittl),) sfj) . b . %yi 
nostcr / b . iHtiprs & a * * * * pp^ 
trousljp 6ft)ol^pttg ****** Qf 
.Tp's passpon ar grauntfli * * * * 
iit/btj.(!f ^.Ib/gms of paition 

These unique leaves, Avhich 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 
5|- X 4 inches. They are in the same binding as the fi'agments 
of another Hor^e described at p. 328. 

No. 74. — The Eoyal Book or Book for a King. Folio. 
Without Printers Name, Place, or Date. •' Translated 
out of frensshe into englysshe l)ij me tvyllyam Caxton / 
whiche translacion was fynyssJied tJte xtij day of sep- 
tcmhre in tM yere of our lord M I CCCC . Ixxxiiijr 

Collation.— a ficttcfgi^ifeltnttopctrstare 4°% 
the first leaf of a being blank ; U a 5", with the last leaf blank. 
In all 1G2 leaves, of which two are blank. 

Note. — tn \\] is wrongly signed til \\ ; and tt \ is wrongly 
sig-ned it \i\\. 

Typograi'iiical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
The type is entirely No. 5. The lines are folly spaced out, 
and measure 4| 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 with a blank leaf, the prologue follows on 
a if recto, with a 2-line initial. 

The Text begins thus : — 

Jfj^it^an 3 rnitfrnfirf anti tafee ijetic of t^c ronucvsarion 
of II 4)S tijat (jjur m tfjis tovftrijrt l})t . in Inljidj ig no 
siimr II ne stable al)i)tigng . anti also ti)e contjjnucl bfsgucs 
of cucrg 

The Text ends, with a full page, on sig. u 9 recto, 

'fTfjis hoot toas compjjlrt & matie atte rcqurstf of fej)ng 
^3i)fljjp of ,-fFraunrr in tf)e gfvf of tijpncaniaajou of our 
lort / M . <it(^ ' Ixxix . vV translate or rrtiurrt out of 
frpnssf)r in || to fnglj|)ssi)c l)g mc toglljoam (Jtaxton . attc 
requfstf of a hjor- 1| sijipful mardjaunt ^ merrcr of lontion . 
toijidje finstauntli) rr- 

to te rallrt Mgall / as tofore is sajjtJ . toijtdjc translation or 
rC' II tjurpng outc of frr nssf)e in to f ngljjssijc b30S adjgfurti . 
fgnjjs II sljcti ^ acromplj)SSi)et( tije .viir trag of ^rptrmfire in 
tf)f grrc of tij]|}ncarnar),)on of our lortr . ilifl f<t(it(Eiit . Ixxxiiii / in \f)t \\ scconti gcrc of ct)c Mcgnc of itgng Mgdjartr 
tf)e tljgrb, 

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 
livre Royal " was by no means the title by which Caxton's con- 
temporaries knew this work. The most common name is that 
found in Eoi/al MS. 19 C. ii " Le livre des Vices et des 
Vertus ;" although it was sometimes entitled " La Sonime 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 predicateiu-s et confesseur de 
Phillippe le Hardi " {Les Msc. Franf. 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 Inwit," and was printed from the Arundel MS. 
(No. 57) in the British Museum, in 1855, for the Koxburghe 
Club. Another and purer translation into Enghsh (Addi't. 
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. Quarto Broadside. Sine ulld 
notd. (1489?). 
This is a woodcut measuring 5^ x 3f 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 small 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 tlKm t^at Mqxz 
tt)is pinagc of pgtc te 
uoutlg sagf b ^r nr 
b aurs $c a CIrrto pp= 
tniouslg fidjoltgng Wym 
wc of .Vpg passio at 
vV Ib.gcrfs of part«on* 

No. 76.— The Doctrinal of Sapience. Folio. " Caxton 
mfi fieri feciC WithoiU Place or Date. Translated 
Man 7/A, 1489. 

Collation.— a 13 (tt 29 i!5 dF ® gt^ f are 4"" ; IS and 

U 5"'. In all 92 leaves. No blanks. 


Typographical Particulars.— There is no title-page. 
The type throughout is No. 5. The lines, which are spaced 
to an even length, measure -if inches, and there are 33 to a 
page. Without folios or catchwords. There are side-notes, 
which, however, never exceed the three letters ®xa, which 
are placed in the margin whenever an "Example" occurs in 
ithe Text. Two woodcuts and printed initials. 

The Text begins on sig. ^ j recto, with a 3-line initial. 


i)is tt)at is torltfti in tfjis Igt^! Aofer ougijt tf)f prcstrrs 
to Ifrnr anti tfdjf to tiirgr parj)ssjjfs i^nti also it is nr- 
ressarg for spmplr prrstrs tfjat bn^r rstotic not ti)f scrip 

This prologue is followed by the table, which commences 
on the bottom line of sig. ^ f verso, and finishes at foot of 
31 ii] recto; and on the verso, with a woodcut down the side 
3f the tyi>e, and a 2-line initial OF, is the commencement of 
the work. 

, rtttSUfrg crgstfn man ^ 

Woodcut from '• Speculum," tooman ougi)t to hi 

of Jesus i>i the Tempi,: \ Jfyf fffjitflp tl)f .Vlj attg' 

rlfs of tfjf cristf n fr itf) . 

On 13 j is another woodcut, the Crucifixion, also from the 
'•'■ Speculum." On the verso of sig. % i\, the 64th chapter is 
:hus dismissed : — 

C #f tf)e neclggcnccs of tije masse anti of ti)e rpmrtgrs Jif 
pas II se ourr for iX appprtepnfti) to prrstps ^ not to laie 
mm , <E . Ijiiif 

The Text ends on the tenth recto of sig. IL, 

IjotJ f)ts grace grauntc for to gomirrnc bs \\\ 6ucl)c togse 
inti II Igue in tfjgs si)ort Igf ti)at toe maj? come to i)ps SIpsse 
;or to Ip II ue anb regne tljere to:Dtt)out entie m seciila secu:: 
orum .^men 

\ Ctjus entiett) ti)e tioctrinal of sapience tije tofiJKtP i^ 
;pgt)t II btile antJ prouffptatle to alle crgsten men / Uii)it)cf)e 


Is translate 1 oute of dFrntsijc in to englBSSljf 6s toBllgam 
OTaiton at hjcstmr || sster fgnessi)^ tijf . hii . taB of mag 
tte jjcrf of our lort / iffil / rrrc \\lxxx ix 

Ol^aiton rat firri frctt 

On the verso is Caxton's large device. 

Remarks. — The '* Manipulus Curatorum," compiled in 
the early part of the fourteenth, was printed fi-equently in the 
fifteenth century. Greswell 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 a Paris," by Blanche, 
Queen of France, who died in 1 3 7 0. 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 wdth it. 

It was known in France under the titles of "Li\Te de 
Sapience" and "])octrinal de la foy catholique," but most 
commonly as " Le Doctrinal an simples gens." 

The following remark of Mr. Douce is written in his copy 
of the " Doctrinal ." " The Sermons of Vitriaco," 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 so 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 disfigured witli holes. Dr. Dibdin could never have 
seen it, or he would not have WTitten in terms of admiration. 
A slip of paper at the beginning states, " This book was pre- 
sented to the Royal Library by Mr. Bryant," Avhich was 
doubtless the reason why it was (together with the ^sop) 
retained when that splendid collection became national pro- 
perty. It is not known 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 gi\ing the 
exorbitant price of four guineas for this \'ellum copy, and 
then only after mature consideration with "old Pain," the 
celebrated bookbinder. 

The unique chapter at the end of this copy occupies three 
leaves, unsigned, and begins thus : — 

4[ ©f tije nrrligrnrfs ^appgng in tf)t masse . antj of ti)c 
tone- II "bges (Capttulo * Ixiuio 

2|-3Jfef as irif fjaue srpti tijat tijgs is mate fspfcgallj) 
j^ for tljf sgmplf prplf •anb for tf)t sgmplc prrstrs . toiiri)r 
bntifrstonti not latin / figrausf t!)at i)e is not so suffg= 
saut II 6ut t^at somtgmc for nerligcnre or otf)n toBse f^t 
mag fagllc 

The whole of this chapter is very curious, and is occupied 
Anth 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 ]\Iass ; 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, 

Hn^ X>f tf)c hoh)) of :?ji)fsu rrist 
or on)) pirrr f))llf bpon t\)t paUr of tf)c aultrr or bpon onp 
of tijc II bfstpmcntcs tljnt ftrn ftlrssiib • tf)r pirrr ougi)t not 

Y 2 


to tt ruttc II of on tof)gci)e it is fallen . tut it ougl)t rigijt bjel 
to fit toassl)cn II Hnti tf)t toassfjinig to 6c gyucn to tl)c 
mjmlstrfs for to ^liufef / ||or fUgs tirgnfec it \)m Sflf / 
^^is ctapitif to forr § tiurst not Sfttc in tl)P ftokf tj) cause 
it is not conucngcnt nc apartcgngng tf)at cucrg lagc man 
stol^c II ftnotoc it i&t cetera / 

No. 77. — Speculum Vit^ Cheisti. Folio. '^ Emprynted 
hj vjiJlyam Caxtony Withmit Place or Date. Edi- 
tioii B. (1488?) 

Collation the same as Xo. 71. 
Typogeaphical Paeticulaes tlie same as No. 71 . 
Commencing with a blank leaf, the Text begins thus on 
sig. a i] recto : — 

C S^ncipit Speculum bite tiTristi . 
^ C ti)e ftcggnnjnigc of t^cproljempe of ti)c fioofee tl)at is 
^ cicpcti tije mjirrourcof t|)e tlcssgi Ipf of ^l)esu OTrgstc 
ttjc fprst parte for ti)c monctiage / C <l ticuoute mcttj)' 
tacion of t^e grete counccgll in ijcucne for tl)e rcstorgnge of 
man || an^ ijgs sauaojon . (Capitulum primum . C ©f t1)e 
manere ]| 

At the head of sig. t) i] recto, 

Bie lune ^ ^3rima pars OTapitulo I 

tiome all tije (Jtourte of Ijeuenc toontirgnge anti commcntignge 
tf)e soucragne togsctiome asscnteti toel f)ere to . but fortVi- 
more || 

At the head of sig. f 6 verso, 

C Biemercurij <[ Cercia pars (ilapitulumii)/ 

parauenture ti)er toiti) a feto smale fissfjcs tl)at oure la^g 
i)ati II orticimeti tljenne as goti ioolti . ^^^ soo tijertoBti) tj^e 
aungelB co^ i 

The " Speculum " ends at foot of sig. s i recto, 


$BJ3 inotier ifHar:pf nob) anl3 rurr b)pti)out rtttj ^mm 
C ilriplirit sprrulum bttc (Cristi . 

On the verso begins a treatise on the Sacrament of Christ's 

C ^ s^ortp trfatj)rf of tf)f f)sf)fst antt most toorti)? sarra= 
xiuntt 11 of rrgstfs blrssib botig . anti tt)e mmifBUcss tfjrrof / 

which finislies on sig. 1 3 recto with the following imprint : — 

C ^rmprgntcti t\} toglUjam caiton 

8(jme prayers follow, and on the verso of the same leaf the 
Text ends, 

C :?Ji)rsu lort tfjg blrssg^ I^f/^flpr an"b comfortc ourc 

I torrt II ri)iti Igf * Hmrn * soo mote it be 

; (Jriplprtt spmtlum bite ({Tristi complete / 
C fin omni tribulacione / temptactone • necessitate ^ an^ 
gustga II succurre nobis pijssima biiQO maria amen . 

The recto of sig. 1 4 is blank, and the verso occupied with 
Caxton's device. 


BEAT^ Maei^ in morte filii. Quarto. Witlwid 
1 Xaine, Place, or Date. (1491 ?). 

Collation. — a b c i3 are 4°% signed on the fii-st and third 

leaves only. Altogether ?,2 pages. If a sheet is printed in 

4t(i, a signature on the first page is sufficient guide for the 

1 binder; and two sheets so printed, and the second inserted 

after folding inside the first, would give signatures as in this 

: copy, and, as in the " Servitium," No. 79, which has Caxton's 

I 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. 


The Text begins on a f recto, 

aTomcmoraro Eamctarois sine copassiois btt 
Mmt t mortc Mi ^ ^x aromrmcraco itf ma^ 
rip pirtatts W pmnnoraro pirtatis q rrlcftrari 
"brfift ffita snta tmrtlatr prrtirtf "Domlra i passi 
one p fo q) tpo tiic Icgtt' i frrl'ia tir rrsusritaroe 
la^ari etc 

The Commemoration ends on sig. 1 8 verso. 

This particular Commemoration seems quite unknown to 
all bibliographers ; and of the edition printed by Caxton, the 
only copy known is preserved in the Public Library at Ghent, 
It ^vas first recognised as a Caxton by Mr. M. F. A. G. Camp- 
bell, chief librarian of the Royal Library, The Hague. 

No. 79. — Servitium de Transfiguratioxe Jhesu Christi. 
Quarto. Caxton yne fieri fecit. WitJioid Place or Date. 

Collation. — 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 X\. Sig. t is a whole 
sheet, signed only on the first recto, t) f . 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 tp an even 
length, and measure 3f inches. 24 lines to a full page. 
Without folios or catchwords. One small woodcut of the 
transfigiu-ation 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 3J^9 Hugusti tat sr rule' / tie tnsfiflu 

The Text ends on sig. 6 4 verso, 

%ti tie 9 . ^n oia scl'a spruloru amf n 
C (!ra.vton mp fipri fprit/ 


Remarks. — This little tract lias considerable interest for 
the bibliogi'apher, for although Caxton had already printed 
several service books before this was undertaken, such as the 
two (if not three) editions of the " Horas" (pages 189 and 240 
ante), the Psalter with Service for the Dead (page 105 ante), 
and the "Servitium de Yisitatione" (page 2(J4 ante), not 
to mention the service books for the priests, such as " The 
Festial " and the three editions of " Directorium," 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 " Horse," 
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 
Avas evidently, like sig. 5, printed four pages at once, in which 
case it would be only necessary 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 signatm'e at all; but the first page of the half-sheet, which 
is the third leaf in the tract, is signed a i\. This is very 
systematic, and according to the same plan the second sheet 
is signed 6 j on the first recto only ; but it is an advance in 
the art, beyond the usual practice of Caxton. 

This ser\'ice is one of the numerous additions made to the 
" C^hurch 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, \\nien, in 1881, Mr. Wilson presented a 
large portion of his collection to the Congregational Library, 
Blomfield Street, London, this volume was among the num])er. 
Here it was first noticed, in 1800, as containing a Caxton, by 
.Mr. Cowper, who sent an account of the volmne to Notes ami 
(Queries. It was determined shortly after to dispose of it, and, 
in July 1862, it came under the hammer of j\Tr. Puttick, 

328 wii.LiAM CAxrox. 

when it fetched the high price of £200, and added another 
curiosity to the Caxtonian treasures of the Britisli Museum. 
The Tohrnie is in its original binding, somewhat dilapidated, 
of oak boards covered with stamped leather, and contains 
besides four otlier black-letter tracts. 

Xy, }^(). — HoR^ — A Feagmext. Fourth EdHioii. Hro. Sin/' 
nlld nofd. (1490 ?). 

The Collation cannot be given, as four leaves only, 
signed b f, tl \], t) tif, If tu'j, are known. 

Typographical Particulars. — The ty^se is No. 5 only. 
The lines, of which there are seventeen to a page, are fully 
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 Psalmiis and Versicle. 
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. tl j recto begins thus, with a 2-line capital 
i^ in red ink. 


(gloriosa fcmina eiel= 
la p'rpri sitirra qui tr rrc- 
auit prouitif lartasti sarro bficre 

The first words on the succeeding recto are — 2, ruilt ItfiC- 

rati ; 3, liominum ; 4, Bcus. 

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 ....... 1489 

82. Statutes ....... 1489 

83. Governal . . . . . .1489 

84. Reynard. Second Edition .... 1489? 

85. Blancliardyn ...... 1489? 

86. Four Sons of Aymon . . . , . 1489 ? 

87. Directorium Sacerdotum ..... 1489? 

88. Eneydos . . . . . . . 1490 

89. Dictes. Third Edition ..... 1490? 

90. Mirror. Second Edition . . . . 1490? 

91. Divers Ghostly . . . . . . 1491 ? 

92. Fifteen Oes . . . . . . 1491? 

93. Art and Craft ...... 1491 ? 

94. Courtesy. Second Edition . . . . . 1491 ? 

95. Festial. Second Edition . . . . . 1491 ? 

96. Four Sermons. Second Edition . . . 1491 ? 

97. Ars moriendi ...... 1491? 

98. Chastising . . . . . ■ . 1491 ? 

99. Treatise of Love ...... 1491 ? 


No. 81. — The Fayts of Arms a^hb of Chivalry. Folio. 
"Per Gaxtonr Without Place. Printed the Uth day 
of Jul I/, the fourth year of the reiyn of K. Henry VII., 

or 1489. 

Collation. — Two unsigned leaves of table ; ^ ItJ (K 13 
<25dF<^?^S3^IliHia(©l€mall 4"'; ^ 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, Avhich 
are fully spaced out, measure 4| inches, and there are 31 to a 
full page. Without foHos or catchwords. "Woodcut initial 

The Text begins, with a 3-line initial, 

f&xt fifggnnft^ tt? tafilc of tf)f ru6rgsf)]DS of tf)e 
bokf of tf)p fa:pt of armrs anli of (Jtfjgualrgf toi^idje 
saj)ti fiofef is tjcpartgti in to fourc partgfs / 
C Cf)c tgrst partijc tifugsfti) ttc mancce t|at fegnges anti 

On sig. ^ j recto, 

^nt fiegimnet!) ti)e took of fagttcs of armcs ^^ of (Ctgual;: 
rgc/ anti ti)c first cfiapjotrc is ttc prologue /in toijicf)^ iprg- 
stgnc of pgsc aruscti) f)ir Sflf to i)auf tiar rnterprpsr to 
spefee II of so f)Be matrrr as is rontcgneti in tfjis sapti fioofe 

The Text ends on the verso of the same leaf, 

remagne alletoag bgrtorpous / iEnlr tiajjli) rnrrrarr fro brr 
tu to brrtuf $c fro ftrttcr to fifttcr to f)is lautir ^ fjonour m 
tl)is II present Igf /ti)at after ti)ps sijort vV transitorpe Igf / 
t)e mag at^Htegne to euerlastpng Ujf in l)euen 212^f)iei)e 
goti graunte to || i)gm anti to alle f)ps Igege peple 'RM^^I 

^er (Eaiton 


Remaeks. — There is a MS. in the British Museum {E&y, 
1 5 E vi) containing the original French text of Christine de 
Pisan. It agi-ees very accm-ately with Caxton's English yer- 
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 written for the celebrated John Talbot, Earl of Slu-ews- 
l)ury, 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 VII of England, as we learn 
from the prologue : — " which book, being in French, was 
delivered to me, William Caxton, by the most christian king, 
my natural sovereign lord. King Henry VII, in his Palace of 
AYestminster, and desired me to translate this said book, and 
to put it in print." 

Many French bibliogi-aphers (Les Msc. Franc, t. v, page 
94), ascribe the composition of "Faits d'Armes et de Cheva- 
lerie " to Jean le Menu, 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 Vegetius "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 Avritten by a woman, is sufficiently improbable 
to recjuire a critical examination ; and, therefore, as the claims 
of Christine to the authorship of " Les Faits d'Armes" are still 
denied by some "\mters, it may not be inappropriate to state 
})oth sides of the argument. 

Among the manuscripts in the British iMuscum is one 
entitled '*' The Bokc of Noblesse " (Eoi/al 18, B. xxii). This, 
for the first time, was printed in 18G0, for the members of 


the Roxburghe Club. The author is entirely unkno\^Ti, 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-knoAMi compilation 
of Honore Bonet, of which copies may be seen in Roi/al 20 C. 
VIII, and Addit. 22768. Now, what is the natural conclusion 
from this erroneous ascription ? Evidently that the unknown 
A\Titer of the " Book of Noblesse," quoting probably from a 
copy of " L'Arbre des Battailes," which had neither prologaie 
nor epilogue; and having in Ms mind the great fame of 
Christine as the WTiter 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 m-ges, " was a Poetess ;" and 
it is not likely that she had more to do with the " Faits 
d'Armes" 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-MTiting, but more modern than the 
original manuscript, to the following effect : — 

" L'Ai'hre des Battailles compose par Honore Bonet Pr'icur de 
Sallon en ProuuenceP 

" Note yt in some Authors this Booke is termed Dame Christine of y" 
tree of Battayles, not that she made yt ; But hicause 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 \\\i\\ 
the particulars of the life, or the character of the A\Titings, of 
Christine— the " virilis foemina" of her eminent contemporary, 
Gerson— and "La grant sagesse" of her editor, Jean Marot. 
The assertion that authors set forth their l)ooks under her 
name is unsupported by a single known 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 AM-ote 
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 work. 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 distaff 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 \ATote the well- 
knoAHi "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 nnie page 193), ■\\illshow the energetic 
and comprehensive character of her mind. Educated by her 
father 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 writings teem Avith warlike allusions. In poli- 
tics her opinion had gi-eat 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 work known, of which eleven 
are in private libraries. 


No. 82.— Statutes of Heney YII. Folio. Sim ulld notd. 

Collation.— a 1) C t) are 4"% with the first leaf of a blank ; 
P a 5°, with the last blank. Total 42 leaves, of which two are 

Note. — The signature is omitted on a if. The third and 
fifth leaves of t are erroneously signed tl \\\ and t» b. 

Typographical Paeticflars. — 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 
33 lines) to a full page. Without folios or catchwords. Only 
one 2-line woodcut initial is used. 

After a blank leaf, the Avork commences on the second 
recto of sig. a. 

The Text begins thus — 

C ^l)P feJ?ngc our souecegn lortif ijrnrg t^c snirnti) after tf)c 
conquest 65 tf)c grace of gotj fepng of (JritglontJ $c of jTra- 
uncc anti lortic of 3Jrlontie at ijis parlgamct tolticn at tocst= 

The Text ends on sig. z 9 verso, the whole page being as 
follows — 

plegsurc/212atf^n; \\z toplle after tije fournte contegneb $c 
ortiet II nel) in anti tig ti)ig arte /or after t^e 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 10s. 
It was then bound up ^^ith some other law tracts and year- 
books, mostly from the press of Machhnia, 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 Goveenai^ of Health. — The Medicina 
Stomachi. Quarto. Sine vlla notd. (14-89 ?). 

Collation.— The "Uovenial," a and ^ 4"^; the "Medi- 
cina," two unsigned leaves = eighteen leaves. 

Typographical Paeticulars. — Without title-page. Only- 
one type, No. (), is used throughout. The lines, AAhich are of 
an even length, and measure 2f inches, excepting i3 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. H j recto, 

n tf)ts tiPtgsp tf)at is rlfprt (go 
iifrnagle oC tlfltfje : 512ii^at is to 
6f sap togti) rrgstis ijclpf of so= 
nif ttjgngfs ti)at longrn to ftotii 
Ig i)flt|)p/i)at)t)c aittj to fir kept or 
to tio"tiili|} i)f It^r . lost ant) to 6c rfroufrctj / anti 

and ends, 

2ri)is rcffptf toug1)tf is of no potyrargr 
®f mapster antong m of magstrr ijugijr 
Co all intiyfferrnt it is rpr^cst tipftar^r 

^iplirit mrtirina stomari^i : 

Remarks. — The " Governal " was originally Anitten 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 unknoA\'n ; 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 
Shane 989 one would say that John de Burdeux wrote it for 
the good of a "frende," but Shane 3149 attributes it to 
another AVTiter, "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 winter of the fourteenth and 

Plate XIII. 

Caxtoiia Ti/pe, No. {]. 

ucrnd}j& of Mtt^ettCHbaf tcjfc 
fe fast tbp<t opfift^ &(pc of (0; 

Ip ^lti[?c/^^ an^ fo fe Kepi 01 
to fo^Up ^It^c .fofi ^nx> to fe ixo:u(Xi^/ anb 

3ti ^c f j^tftc c^apgte of tfec ptof ptte of goo^ 
<6oucrnapfe of ^lt$/34) % i^.cfeappte tb^dt 
t0 ftifiE 01) motolto to fe oo^/3t) t^c tij.tljdptfec 
of fot^plp cjocczfpcc/ tf?at 10 fo fapc. fefpnce g 
%xt> ptofpfe; 3t) t^ fbaztfe c^^Pfitc of fppa« 
of c^rfKc/3i^ t^c f pf tib^ c^aptpetc ^Bb ami 
%\^ ^uf ^ptt) ti) m«<!c,tt) etpng ^vb mtttc^ : 
3t) t^c Bi.c^apitze ^Ib a mat) f^lt) ^auc %n) 
tt) t^tgnfipng of l^te ^tpn6c6/3i) t^e Bi;.4ap 
pto tb^at f^loc fe oonc af«e? mc6r/3t) t§c Sti^ 
c^appttx of t^c nopfc of euptt gouern^uncfi; 

C nc^pt^ t)pn) d^at tbotl ^m ^ngc 
Ipff to 6nolbe t^ craf 6e of Wfcme 50; 

U^ of ^0 fo^p/ for el0 & mapc not cow) 6) 


fifteenth centuries, but the " Goyernal " is not found among 
the works generally attributed to him. Whoever may have 
been the author, the work possesses small claims to originality, 
l)eing a compilation from the medical works of the Arabian 
and Greek pliysicians, and quoting largely from the " Regimen 
Sanitatis Salernitanum." The " Medicina Stomachi " is con- 
tained in most collections of Lydgate's poetry, and in Harl. 
1 1 is directly attributed to him. 

Both tracts were reprinted by Wynken de Worde, sine 
anno, 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, 
iit Ham House, Surrey, and another in the Bodleian. 

Xo. 84. — The History of Eeynaed the Fox. Second 
Edition. Folio. Sine ulla no fa. (1489 ?) 

Collation. — An unsigned sheet of introductory matter ; 
sigs. a 6 C "il C f g i) are 4"' ; i is a S''. No blank leaves. In 
all seventy leaves. 

Typographical Particulaes. — There is no title-page. 
The type throughout is No. 6. The lines, which are fully 
spaced out, measure 5f inches, and there are 31 (sometimes 
'.'>2) to a page. Woodcut initials are used. On the first 
recto is Caxton's device, underneath which is the following 
line only : — 

C Cfjis is t^e tafilf of t^e ijtstorgc of ilfgnart i\it ioxe/ 

On the verso commences the table, which ends seven lines 
down the second recto, underneath which is, 

C Mw bfggnncti) ijgstorgf of regnarb tijc foxe. 

The preface finishes the page. The second Aerso is blank. 



Oil Slg. a I, 

C ii^oU) t^f Ipn fepngf of allc fifstps snit outc i)gs 
mautie li mrntes t^at allc trrstjjs sj[)ol^e come to tjgs fecst 
anl3 rouvt/ 

C (ffapitulo ^3rimo 

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 anie 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. i 4 verso, 
with these words, 

<anti i)fi; togtf) toil g Inic fforbj 
f)at |)auc -^ to ton)tc of tfjjjse rngstiftjis |j |aue pnotoij to tioo 

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 Blanchaedin and Eglantine. 
Folio. Sim ulld notci. (1489 ?) 

Collation. — Imperfectly knov\Ti. The introductory matter 
makes a 3", signed I, ii, {{], the sixth leaf being blank, k il3 © 
13 © dF (S ^ f H E IH are 4"^ and there were probably 
several other additional signatures. 

Typographicai. Particulars. — Without title. The type 
is all No. fi. 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. ] recto, with a prologue by Caxton, 

^iilto tijf rigi)t nofilf pugssaut ^- txttWtX pvgnrfSSf mg 

rrtoufttrt latig mg latiji margarcte tuctrssf of So- 

mmftf /moter bnto our naturcl $c sourtagn lort antr most 

and finislies on the verso of tlie same leaf, 

f ogcs tjfsirs \xi tl)80 prcsmt (j)flf : c ^n^ aftfi t^ig gfiort 
anlr ttansptorje Ipff . niniastgngp Ipff in l)f uen amen / 


The table follows on sig. if, with a 2-line initial, 

^IdlanrJjartgn / soup of tlje nottle fegng of dfrpe 

and finishes on the 5th recto, which, however, in the only copy 
known, is nnfortunately, 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 | pucelle in amours : And of the grete ioye that | 
was made there . and of the Kjnige of Fryse deth capl" liiij" " 

The sixth leaf is blank. On sig. ^ j recto the first chapter 
commences as follows : — 

C ^tf fivst ri^apitiT of t^is presmt hoi^t contegneti) 1)oh) 
^ijlanrijavtijjn tiepartetr out of t|)e court of \)i» faWc fegnge 
of fxvm / (iTapltuto primo . 

'jr ?^at tgme toijfn t^e Migi)t tappg . bode of 

All the text after sig. ifH iii] is wanting in the only known 

Remarks. — 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 kno^vn Existing Copy is in the library of Earl 
Spencer. It is, nnfortunately, imperfect. 

No. 8G. — The Four Sons of Aymon. Folio. Sim nJlu nofd. 

The Collation cannot be given accurately, as no perfect 
.•opy is known. ^ iS (t B i}? Jf ^. ^i ^ ^ M i^ (f^ 


1 05 M S C m .t ^ % aa i)6 cc liti tt ii m t)f) ti fefe W are 

all 4"^ tltllt 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 Parttcitlars. — Only one type, N'o. fi, 
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. ^ ttj, 
in the middle of a sentence, 

MegnabJtif one of X%t eonrs of ^Igmon/bjlifrof spcrgall]!} tre 

The Text ends on the fifth verso of sig, mm, with the fol- 
lowing sentence : — 

vd faj)r lortics tijrnnr tijat tijis prrsmt t)o!u sijal xt^ 
tir or t)rrf . tor sijaH praiK goti vV ti)f gloiyous sapnte 
ixf^nautic tljf martfv/tfjat |f Qjnir bs grarc to pnsfunf / 
ant) II rontjjnuf oui W \\\ gooti irrfers . fcj? tijf toljifijf toe 
mag Ija || tie at our entipnge ti)e liff tijat euer sijall taste / 

Remarks. — Manuscripts of this favourite romance, con- 
cerning the original of which little appears to be knomi, 
mount up to the thirteenth century, and references to it are 
found in manuscripts of a still earlier date ; but all these are 
rythmical 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 : — 

" CT Here finishitli the hystory of the | noble and valiaunt knyght 
lieynawde | of Mountawban, and his three bre- | thern ^ Imprinted at 
London. l)y | Wynken de Worde, the . viij. dn)'e of | Maye, and y* yere of 


our lorde . M ,C | CCCC iiii . at the request and com- | maundement of 
the noble and puis- | saunt erle, the Erie of Oxenforde, ] And now 
Emprinted in the yere of | our Lord . M . CCCCC . 1 iiii . the | vi daye of 
Maye, By wylliani Cop- ] land, for Thomas Petet." 

From Copland's colophou we learn that an edition was 
issued in 1 504 by Wynken de AYorde, although, unfortunately, 
not a single copy is now known to exist. He, of course, re- 
printed from 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 ^^■hich 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 
])crused. 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 Kobert, 
Earl of Oxford, is known. 

The only known Existing Copy of Caxton's edition is in 
the lilirary of Earl Spencer. It is imperfect, wanting all 
before sig. Hiii ; 23 8, and ^ 8. 

No. 87. — Directomum Saceedotum, una cum Defensoeio 


Folio. Srcond Version. Second Edition. " Impres- 
smn per WiUelmu Caxton cqnul wesfmonasteriu pro2)e 
London / " Without Date. (1489 ?) 
Collation. — A preliminary 4", signed only on the fourth 

recto with the figure 4; airtiefgi)ifelmnoparst 

U X B are all 4"'; ^ is a 5"". Total 194 leaves. No blanks. 

TYPoaEAPHicAT. Particulaes. — 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. AVithout folios 
or catchwords. 

The " Kalendar," which has the same woodcut KL as in 
the first edition, commences on the first recto, thus : — 



|3rtma tirs mrnsts ft srptima trurat bt fnsis 
ganuavtus ijatft tiics .uxj/luna bcro xxx 

The Text ends on sig. ^10 verso, 

hix potent rrrare : in seruirio tiiuino Bco (J^rarias 
C ^axton mr fieri frc it . 

Remarks. — From the fact of the Printer beginning his 
table for finding the Golden and Dominical Letters at the 
year 1489, we may safely assimie that year to be the date of 
printing, as to print back years wonld be useless. The com- 
bination of red and black fignres, the black form being first 
printed, and the red form secondly and separately, shows a 
great advance in Avorkmanship over other books by Caxton. 

liike the first edition there is only one Existing Copy 
known of this, which is in the Bodleian Library. It is, vrith 
*' The Art and Craft to know well to die " by the same printer, 
still in the original parchment ^ATapper, as issued from Caxton's 
workshop. It is perfect, and in good condition. 

No. 88. — Eneydos. Folio. Without Printer's Nanw, Place, 
or Date. " Translated hy me tvyllyam Caxton,^' June 
227id, 1490. 

Collation. — Sig. E a 3", with the first leaf blank ; id ^ 
23 (!5 J^ (0 ?^ g m H are 4"% with U 8 blank. In all 8(> 
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 tliird 
leaves being signed respectively ^ j, and ^ if. The fourth 
leaf, which, to agree with the others, should have been signed 
^ ii\, has no signature at all ; while the omitted signature, 
^ ii\, 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 lueasui-e 4| inches. There are 31 lines to a full page. 
Woodcut initials of two, three, and six lines in depth. 

After a blank leaf the prologue begins on the second recto, 
sig-ned E i, 

Mttx tjgtiersp bjcrfers matic / translatcti anti aci)irurt / t)a 
upng noo toe vfee in f)antif . ^ sittgng in mj) stutiijc toljcre as 
lage mang tiguersc pauntlcttis anti fioofejjs . |)appenfti tl)at 

The Text ends on sig. it 7 recto, with the following 
colophon : — 

^,<!S^(ir fgngssfjcti^ tf)c Ijofee gf (JrncgtJos / romppirt fig 
^Bi^ II gglc/ tolic^e i)atl)c 6c translate oute of latpnc in to 
fipnsi)c/ II anil oute of fvcnsije utmteti in to iJrnQlgsste fig 
mf b)gllm||(»raj:ton/t^f nir.tiapc of ^ugn. t^t ymt of out 
lovtif.fH.iiiillifl: Ixm. ^\)cfsii)t k^c of t^e ixtQut of 
fej)nge ?l^rnrj) i tf)r srucntij 

Caxton's device on the verso. The eighth leaf is a blank. 

Remakks. — The " Ijtyl 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 i)ortion8 of " The ^neid," by Virgil. 
Had Gawin Douglas, wlio, in 1553, issued a Scotch metrical 
version of " The ^neid," read C'axton'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 ouly as a romance compiled from Virgil's "^neid" 
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, howe^'er, that a good sale \\'as expected, and an 
impression more numerous than usual struck ott', as few of 
Caxton's books are so common as " Eneydos." 

Existing Copies. — British Museum (3); Cambridge; 
Trinity College, Cambridge ; Oxford (3) ; St. John's, Oxford ; 
Hunteriau, Glasgow ; and 8 in private liliritries. 


No. 89. — The Dictes a^d Sayings of the Philosophers. 
Third Edition. Folio. Westminster. The year 1477 
erroneoushj reprinted, the real date leing about 1490. 

Collation. — The device and prologue occupy two un- 
signed leaves; then, E iS <E B i© dF @ are 4"^; |^ and g 

3"% the sixth leaf of % being blank. In all 70 leaves, of which 
the last is blank. Dr. Dibdin erroneously states " It contains 
only QQ leaves." 

There is no title-page. The only type used is No. G. 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. 

Caxton's device is in the centre of the first recto, the pro- 
logue commencing on the verso with a 2-line wood initial, 

iiKve \t is 00 ttjat nicrg creature fig ti)e suffraunc c of 
-our lorti goti is torn anb ortifjjnrti to l)f sufcgrttf ant) 
tf)raU bnto tljc stormrs of fortune . iHnti so \\\ tiiucrsc anti 

ifftifdjias hias ti)f first. l|)iIosop}jir fip b)i)om 
'tljrougi) ttje toj!)l anti pleaser of our lorti goti. ^a^ 
pienre toas bntirrstantir anti labors rrsregucti. b)i)i= 
cf)e. 5;etiecfjias saite tijat euerg creature of gooti fteleue 

The Text ends at foot of fifth recto of sig. % 

5Mi)om 3J fiesecfje aimggtjtg got) tencrece ant) to continue 
in i)is bertuous tiisposicion m tt)ts toorlti . ^nti after tt)is 
lj)f to Iguc eucr lastinglg in Ijeuen . ^mcn . 

C (Uaaton me fieri fecit . 

The verso and final leaf are blank. 

Eemarks. — This is another instance of the original date 
and imprint of a book being reproduced in subsequent 
editions. AH the tyiDographical 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, ante. 

Existing Copies. — Cambridge : St. John's College, Cam- 
In-idge ; Oxford, and Lambeth Palace. Three copies are in 
private libraries. 

No. 90. — The Mierour of the World. Second Edition. 
Folio. The Name, Place, and Date of the First Edition 
reprinted; hut about 1490. 

Collation. — a 6 C "tl e ( g f) i It I are 4"', the last leaf 
occupied Avith the device only. In all 88 leaves. 

Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page. 
Tlie type is ah Xo. 6. The hues, which are spaced to an even 
length, measure 4f inches, and a full page contains 31. With- 
out folios or catchwords. 2 and 3-line initials in wood. 

Commencing with a Ijlank leaf, the table follows on the 
second recto, signed, however, a j. 

The Text begins on a t recto, 

■^ tz bolume nameti t^e mgcrour of X^z toorlti or t|)8= 
mage of tlje eamf/ 

The Text ends on the seventh verso of sig. I, 

antj transgtorge Igf ^c irgnge l)Bm an^ bs in to ijis celestg^ 
al filgsse in ijcnrnc 2.M^^ I 

C (Jlaxton me fieri feeit . 

On the eighth verso is the device, the recto being blank. 

Remarks. — Although this book bears tlie same dates as 
the fii-st edition, it is very evident ft-om 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 evidences, that it reaUy was not 
printed till about 1490. 

It would seem that the proper cut for Chapter II, viz. a 
fig-ure 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 


inapproi)riate illustration of Christ's transfiguration, as head 
to the chapter, '* "Why God made and created the 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 mattees, contain- 
ing : — The Seven points op true Love and ever- 
lasting Wisdom, or Orologifivi Sapienti.^: The 
Twelve profits of Tribulation; — The Rule of 
St. Benet. Qimrto. WyJlelmu Caxton. '^ Emjjryntpd 
westmynstrey Without Date. (1490?) 

Collation. — The " Seven points of True Wisdom " has 
ai3(irB(!5dF(ggt^fiivitiB all 4''% or 96 leaves. 
The " Twelve profits of Tribulation " has .^ IS (*I B all 

4"% or 32 leaves. 

The " Rule of St. Benet " has a \\ 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 \\, aa i\\, a ini; t is signed ti) t) i\, fi Hi, 

i) \i\\; t is signed rc, C X]. 

Typographical Particulars. — Without title-page. The 
type throughout is No. 6. The lines, Avhich 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 pc srucn po),)ntfS of trrtor lour anli 
fucrln.stgng b)),)stiom tratorn outr of 
))j ftookc gi Is biitftt in latj)n anti rlrprti (^x^^ 
lOQium sapirnrif / 

The tract ends thus, on sig. JH 8 verso, 

C 5ri)us twtiiW] tt)f tifati>e(f of tijr bij 
poynlr.^ of true louc ^ cur rlastj^nii liii)sTiom / 


tjiah)f n of of tl)f ftofec tljat Is bjrgtcn in laten na 
mrti ©rologlu snplecte . 

C vPmpqnttfti at bjfstmjjnstif 

C (l^ul Ifgit nncntict / prcssornu non rrpie 

C 5l2a),)Uclmu OTaxton . (!Tut tic a!ta tratiat 

The " Rule of St. Beiiet " ends on verso of sig. C 4, 

C (!?mprgntfti at hjpstmgnstre fig tirsirgng 
of fcrtrgn toorsijipfuU pcrsoneg : . 

Remarks. — Little is known of Jehan de Soushavie, or 
Souaul)e, as a French copy has it. BibliogTaphers generally 
call him Henry de Suso, probably after the example of Echard, 
in his " Script, ordin. Pr^edicat." The English version printed 
by Caxton is correctly described, not as a translation, but as 
" drawen oute of" a book named "Orologium Sapientiaa." The 
printed text is not equal in extent to one-half of the origiual. 
Was it this induced Caxton to end the tract Avith " Qui legit 
emendet, pressorem nor reprehendat ?" — a parody of the phrase 
often seen in manuscripts " Qui legit emendet scriptorem non 
reprehendat." Caxton says of the " Rule of St. Benet," which 
is a translation from 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 be issued 
separately : but as iu 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 Catlicdi'al : and 
four in private libraries. 


No. !)•?. — The Fifteex Oes, a^b other Peayers. Quarto. 
Printed by comirumchimit of the, Princess ElizaMh, 
Queen of England, and the Princess Margaret, Mother 
unto our sovereign lord the King, by their most humble 
subject and srrrant William Caxton. Without Place or 
Date. (1491?) 

('OLLATiox. — a I) are 4"'; c is a 3" = 22 leaves. 

TtpographicaIj Particulars. — There is no title. The 
type is all No. 6. The lines, which are spaced to an even 
length, measui-e 3^ inches, and there are 21 to a fall 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 " Horaj," by Wynken de Worde. The wood en- 
graving of the Crucifixion, ^\hich appears upon the verso of 
the first leaf, has considerable artistic merit. It appears to 
have been a favourite, having l)een 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, — 

f^fjfsu nttilfs stoctnfs of 
loujntg soulfs / (© Jfjrsu 
Qostlji ioge passing -Sc tx^ 
rrti),)ng all glatinfs anti 
tirsiics. © 3it)fsu 1)fltl)f ^ 
tnitire loucr of al rrpfntaut sinners tijat 


and on the verso of t G, ends thus : — 

C iHijifse pragrrs toforc torrton trn rn 
pritfti tg \\)t romauticmcntfs of t|)f mos 
te \)\}t ^ brrtuous griDnrrssr our lifgr la 
tii ^lijaiftt) fig tijf grace of got) (Rurne 
of yfnglon^c ^ of jFraucf .^- also of tije 


rtgf)t fji,)c ^most nofile prpnccsse iSarga 
xftc iHflotiei; bnto out soueragn loctie t|)e 
Ivsng / ^c 

C; i3]o tfjfit; most i^umfilc sufigct antj 
smtaut ratlliam <B*aiton 

Remarks. — The fifteen prayers, named from the fact of 
their all commencing with the letter 0, " the fifteen Oes," 
ai-e commonly found in the manuscript Horie of the fifteenth 
century, in their 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 avo tides & sorowe that thou suttredest in the 
heyght of the crosse / when thou were lifte vp fro the erthe / 
that thou were aU to torne in all thy limmes / soo that there 
was noo limme abydynge in his right ioynte / soo that noo 
sorowe was like to thyne fro the sole of thy fote to the toppe 
of thy hede there ^vas no hole place / And yet forgetying in 
maner all those greuous paynes / thou preydest deuoutly & 
charita])ly 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 bytter 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 bytternes of the aysel and galle 
that thou tasted " &c. 

The " Rex Henricus " of the Prayer on c itij verso, was 
Saint Henry, sm-named the Pious and the Lame. He was son 
of Henry Duke of Bavaria, and was born in the year 972 ; 
crowned King of Germany, at Mentz, in 1002; died 14tli 
July 1024 ; and was canonised by Pope Eugenius Lfl in 1 1 52. 

850 wnjj.\:vi caxtox. 

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 tlie whyche the 
holy Mirgyn saint brygitta was wonte to saye dayly before the 
holy rode in saint Panics 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. syiiners 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," 
l)y John Lydgate, beginning — "0 blessyd lord my lord, 
Christ Jesu." 

The only Existing Copy known is in the British ]\Iuseum 
(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, G| x 5 
inches. Purchased in 1851. 

No. 93.— The Art and Craft to Know w^ell to Die. 
Folio. Translated hi/ Carton in 1490 Without Printer's 
Name, Place, or Date. (1491?) 

Collation.— a a 4"; 15 a 2"; then a single leaf impro- 
perly signed 13 H], which was, probably, followed by a blank. 
Total, thirteen printed leaves. 

Typographical Particulaes. — There is no title-page. 
The only tj-pe 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. ^ f recto, 

C li^nt tf gimnctlj a litgll Xxmim siiortp anti afirrtgcli spr- 
fegnge of tf)c arte ^ rraft to fenotoe tofU to tge 

^^-^ ?l^an it gs soo tfjat tofjat a man mafeftfj or tort^ / it 

(jllj^ IS ma^c to rome to some ente/^nTj gf tije tf)gnge fie 

gootie ant toell matie/ it muste neties rome to gootie 

ttit . Cf)enne fig fietter $i gretter reason / euerg man ougijte to 


The Text ends on a single leaf, signed id ii], 

^f)us tntieti) ti)e tragttBC afirctigfti of tijc 
arte to Uxne iueU to tirgr / translatrtr outf of 
ixm%i}t in to fnglgssi)f . fig totllm (Caaton 
ti)f .tb ♦ tiag of Jugn / tf)t gete of our lorti a 
iE iiij (Clxxx X . 

Remaeks. — Manuscripts of this work are usually kno^^^l 
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 M^as made early in 
the sixteenth century by Andrew Chertsey, and printed by 
TVjmken de Worde in 150G. 

Copies are in the British Museum, Oxford, and National 
Library, Paris, 

No. 94. — The Book op Courtesy. — Quarto. Bcmul Edition. 
^' Emprynted at ivestmoster." 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 known. 

Typographical Particulars. — The fragment, from whicli 
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 66, 
which, as already seen in " The Rule of St. Benet," was used 
for 6 ]. 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 tlie small 


deface, 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 Ci^rauc of tijrrssljrrs a ILpr ng of ptroncrs 
a ?Lasisf)c of carters a Jt^astgnrs of cookrs 

^ ^}nt pntiPtf) a \))i}}U trfatjjSf rallrt) 

tljf iookf of nirtcsgf or IgtgU fiofjn . 

iSPiiprgntrti atte inrstmostfr . 

Tlie small ' 
•' W. a" Device 

As this edition, like tlie 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 Jra (/men t is in the Douce collection at the Bodleian, 
having apparently been rescued from the cover of a book. 
Measurement, 6| x 5^ inches. The reversal of the device, 
and the blank side of the paper, suggest the idea that this 
fragment was a Jirst proof, although, from the numerous 
blunders in most of Caxton's pages, it is difficult to believe 
that corrections were ever made after the matter was once 
set up. 

No. 95. — The Festial (Liber Festivalis). Folio. Second 
Editmi. " Caxton me fieri fecit T Without Place or 
Date, (1491 ?) 

Collation.— a tl ctJ c(gi)tfelmnop are 4"% with 
the first leaf of a blank ; (| has but one printed sheet, or two 
leaves ; iH a 4" ; a 3", with device on S 6. In all 13G leaves, 
of which one is blank. 


Typographical Particulars. — There is no title-page, 
lie type consists of two sizes, Nos. 6 and 7, the latter being 
ihat in which "Wynken de Worde printed many of his early 
tooks. The lines are in double column, and measure only 2f 
Qches. They are spaced to an even length, and there are 33 
\o a column. Without foHos or catchwords. Plain initials, 
;;ut in wood, of the depth of 2, 3, or 5 lines are used. There 
s a small rude woodcut on sig. f 6 verso. 

Commencing with a blank leaf, the prologue follows, in 
louble column, on sig. a if, the Text beginning — 

IT ^\)t f)t\pt antr grace of of all tf\t ijie fcstis of t|)e 

;iUllmpgi)tg gotj tljrugij tljc ])m . f || b)j)ll&pragf ti)at 

[iPSfdjgn II ge of tis filcsseti it tt rallrt ffs^||tiuall/ti)c 

motfic sagnt ma || tci|)tci)e fiegineti) at ti)e || 

The Text ends on the fifth verso of sig. g, three-fourths 
3f the way down the second column, 

tf)e ratfjfr fig t\)t f)clpr of \ii% 
filfs II sit) motifv mavg / $c 
\)\s ijol)) spoto= II Sfssf sagnt 
trgggttf / anti all sagn || tee . 

Olaiton me fieri fecit 

The next recto is a blank page, the verso having the large 

Eemarks. — From the use of Xo. 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. Tliis edition too is 
not an exact reprint of Caxton's, issued in 1483. Every 
Festival has the prefix " Gode men and v^ymmen," or " Good 
! frendis," and every tale is preceded by the word " Narracio." 
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, C^aml^ridge, Oxford ; 
and three private libraries. 

A a 


No. 96. — FOUE Seemons. Folio. Second Edition. Sine nlld 
mtd. (1491 ?) 

Collation. — ^ ^ (ft are 4"'; M is a 5° = 34 leaves. 

Typogeaphical Pakticulars. — There is no title. The 
type is all No. 6. In double column. The lines measure 2\ 
inches, being a very little shorter than the " Festial," and are 
spaced to an even length. 33 lines to a column. "Without 
folios or catchwords. 

The Text begins on sig. ^ j, -with a 3-line woodcut 
initial : — 

3tt?c maBSter of smtenre sours/ 

ij^tn X\)t Sfcontfc fiofee * anti 3J || purpose me tig f)is Inte 

l^e fgrst tgstgnction / ^oonilg || tf)us to si)rb) it antr 

sa^llgtf) ti)at tf)e souerapn rrtt if to pou || in ti)e Me/ 

cause / to|)t || goti matie all for to pour lerngnge || it is as 

creatures m fieuen || gooli tf)us as togtljout || 

The Text ends half-way do-^ii the second column of the 
ninth verso of sig. 3^, with the collect " Absolve quesumus," 
the last three lines being — 

gloria inter sanetos et eleetos 
tuos ressussttati respirent/ 
^er II ipm timn nostrum 
amen / 1| 

On the recto of the tenth leaf is the device of Caxton, the 
verso being blank. 

For Remaeks, see the first edition, page 263. 

Copies are in the British Museum, Cambridge, and three 
private libraries. 


Without Pf'infefs Name, Bate or Place. (1491 ?) 

Collation. — E a 4^^ = 8 leaves, all printed. 

Typogeaphical Paetculaes. — 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 


' de Worde's Xo. 1 type. The lines are spaced very evenly, 

except on four pages at the end, and there are 24 to a page. 

Woodcut initials to chapters. Without folios or catchwords. 

A^"ith the exception of the use of Wynken de Worde's type, 
I this tract agrees in all particulars with No. 83, " The 

n^ouvernal of Helthe." 

The Text begins on sig. ^ j recto, 

fompglf^ anti rallcti ars mortcnbi / tf\ai is 
to sapr ti)e craft for to tjfge for t^c tflt^e of 
manncs sotolc . 

^Tfjijan ong of Igfelg fjotjc sfjal tfegc/tijntnc 
^^is mostf neccssargc to ^aue a spccgaU 

The tract ends on M. 8 verso, with a full page : — 

,iFor surfje rigijt ttxt ati-mitt or oni trifiularon 
Co ttat gc ff)irct)e trri)rtT^ 5e put ful rretiulgte . 

Cf)at gol) Ijatt) pmpsrt trust tt torll toit^ou 
trfa(larj)on . 

^in ^opc afiglipng i)is rctoartr antr eulastgng 
glortc . amm Cripltcit . 

Remaeks. — This short tract appears to be a translation 
from the Latin, and doubtless l)y Caxton himself. No other 
copy, however, manuscript or printed, in Latin or any other 
language, appears to be knoTvni.i^ /pt,< Z^.^-/ ^o /^f/j /^OSS 

This unique specimen is in the middle of a volume of 
black-letter tracts in the Bodleian Library. 

Xf). 98. — The Chastising of God's Children. Folio. Sine 
ulld nofd. (1491 ?) 

Collation. — An unsigned sheet (two leaves), containing 
table and prologue ; E il3 OT © (ir dF <© are 3"^ ?^ a 2\ 

In all 48 leaves, and no blanlcs. 

Typographical Particulars. — In this book we meet 
A\ ith the first approach to a title-page, which consists of a 

A a2 


3-line paragraph printed inthe 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 ^ijf prouffptailr fiofec for manrs soulc /^nti rigi)t 
fomfor- i tal)(f to tijr toh}} I anti sprrgallj) in atiuf rsltr f ^ 
tvgfiulargon / toijidjc || tofec is cadrti ^^e (STijastgsiua of 
gotitifs (jTijpltirrn 

On the verso, w'ith a floriated 5-line initial, and in double 
column, the first two lines being in type No. 7, 

la tirrte of a(mio|)= C^c rausfs ronsiticrrt . antj 

tgll goti ^flggpoiis manj) || otijrr skglfullg . g 

sus= II tPt a .sijort mag tirrtif to tori i tp of tfjis 

pistle S sm || tir djastpsing iSut agfepng i 

sou of t^p tnatfr of||tnnp= i)fipf of 8£>^ almj)gi)tB / fig 

farons / toijidje pgstle as toljoos || migijt ti)f asse f)a^ 

me II spffi)? to ti)p pro i 

The Text ends on the recto of sig. ^ 4, -with the verso 

not ^enpc to tije alone tfiat to ful :iJo8P ^ filissf / iaoto 
prappst II i)cr soo firsclg / ^ct goti gra || unt ttiat it rngg^tf 
ouer all ti)is || toljan ti)ou art so be . tijat euer is lastgng 

ijartjf tnnptpti . anti i| in ^rinptr / 

* * •* * * 

Remaeks. — The use of a title-page, a practice unkno\Mi 
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 \\Titer 
of the Avork is unknown, and there seems but little reason for 
attributing its corapositif>n to (\axtou. 


Existing Copies. — British Museum ; Cambridge, Univer- 
sity Library (2) ; Pepysian, and Sydney Sussex College ; Hun- 
terian, Glasgow ; Lincoln Cathedral ; Sion College, London ; 
and tln-ee copies in private hands. 

No. 99. — A Treatise of Love. Folio. Translated in 1493. 
Without Printer's Name, Place, or Date. (1493 ?) 

Collation.— m ^ OT B © dF ® ?^ are all 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. 'M, j recto, 

C ^f)isi tvetgse is of loue 
ana spc || fepti) of iiii of ti)e 
most spccpll lo||ii?)s ti)at 

tm in ti)c bjorltie ant slje 


toljtdje txtV^M iuas 
tvanslatlti out of frrnstje 
:^nto pn^|lglgsf)r/ti)e grrc 
of oui- lort IE rcrr || Ixxxxiii / 
6g a pcrsonc tf)at is bnppr |1 
figtt insud)c tofilvf iBfjcrfor 
!)r i)u II fclg fipscrte tf)r Inngti 
rrtif rs tojjti) || pargr ns to fOi= 
rrrtr it tol)frc ti)f5 1| fjpntsc 
iiftjp. Untitijcg^^aUc otter II 
rrtljns of tijfir djarpte to 
piaj) forlltije soule of tije 
sagtip translatour || 

The Text ends on the second column of the sixth recto of 

sig. m, 

^mi}i(fit ^oU teas latfU,) 
transla^ II tfti outrof finisij 
in to rnglissijf || h)} a ltvigt)t 

358 WlLLli^LM CAXTON. 

torn tij).sposfti pfrsonc/ 1| for 
h)) cause tijc saijti pcrsonr 
tijouo II i)te it nrrrssarg to al 
ticuoute pcple |i to rrtc/or to 
1)txt it tftitir / Mnti also || 
causrti tije sagti hokt to tc 
fttprgn- II tfti / 

Underneath this is tlie small device. The reverse is blunlc. 

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 worlonanship 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 Xo. C " woidd be imperfect without it. 

Copies are at Cambridge ; Hunterian, Glasgow ; and two 
private libraries. 

Plate XIV. 

From CaxtoH's " (Jnkr of Chivalnjr Tnjm 4* 

iT Jgm aCfet ftilo^gt^ tlfi mate! 
attD ti^nouc of tl^ts (atD o^oohe > 

tl^ 0OOD ^camj?t? ttu^feb to tl^ 


^KT ^« o:^w of c9i5ttaCtg« 

Met> lbawc0 3ii^c» <t <^:no^c0/^ «) mang 

ga)tioil©/^ 6^ caufc 6? fatbc § t^OM^ft nj ^ie 
cotac^e ^ ^ mp?( tio( fong Cjcuc/ae fie Jto^ic^ 
6p fijngj (j)mc 6ao 6?i) 6g cDiir5 of natuct 
n^cjOi? %tD ^i© CMOS/ c^ao ftj 9p»») at) ft?# 

<*3^/ 2ln02 9ci00c no jx)lb« h« &«<« t» ^f« 

4i It^ 

Plate XV. 

Woodcut>s from Caxton's " Speculum vitm Ohrisli. 






5^ "^ 


Plate XVII. 

B n u Bix^ 

Plate XVIII. 









No. 10(J. — The Life of Saint Katheeine. — The Revela- 
tions OF Saint Elizabeth of Hungaey. Folio. 
Sine ulld notd. (1493 ?) 

Collation.— a is a 4" ; t) c ti r f 3 |) i fe I in n p arc 

3"^; (J 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 tj^^e 
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 fomit from any known to have 
been used by Caxton. For a more fall account of these see 
the chapter on t}^e No. 4. The pages are in doul)le column, 
and have 43 and 44 lines to a page. Full lines measure 2| 
inches. Without folios or catchwords. 

This book, like some already mentioned, was in aU proba- 
bility the worlauanship 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. 

Xo. lOL— The Golden Legend. Third Edition. Folio. 
"Fijni/sshed at ivestmcstre . . The year of our lord 
M CCCC Ixxxxiij I . . ^ By me iryllyam Caxton.'' 

Collation.— Table and prologue a 2" ; a 6 C b f are 4"^ ; 
,iF a single sheet ; f g f) t fe I m n p tfr .6 t b .V ),) J vV 9 m-^' 


4"' ; P a 2", sig-ned to til]; a^iJIBtJFjFOi^fivIL 
m i^<^\^^^^^UXW are 4"^ ; aa tt CC titl et are 

4"'; ff a 8", signed to ffttif; and gg a 2", signed to ggiif. 
Total 436 leaves, all printed. 

Typographical Paeticlt.aes. — Without title-page. The 
tyi^es 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 cohunn, and 
the hnes, of which there are 44 to a column, measure 2f 
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. FoNo. Sine nlld notd. 

Collatiox. — Four unsigned 3"', or 24 leaves all printed. 

Typographical Particulars. — Without title of any 
sort. The type is very rude and uneven, being a different 
fount to that used for the " St. Katherine " and " Golden 
Legend " just noticed. Some of the letters are the same as 
(Jaxton's No. 4*, but many rude additions have been made. 
There is a space between each line, probably made by the use 
of " reglets," 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^- inches, the depth of 26 lines 
varying from 7 to 7^ inches. Without signatures, folios, 
catchwords, or printed initials. 

No. 103. — Missale ad usum Saeum. — Exaratum Parisius 


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. 


JHissale ati bsum ^^ar' cun 
ftitfnrttsi bfi tiono / magno 
ronaminc flafioratum finis 
felicitft. (!?.raraium ^arisig 
tmprnsa optimt birt (®uil= 
imni i^axton . Evtc Jjcro tt 
intiustna iiflagistri iSuiller 
mi iMajnigal . :llmio liomtni 
m . (itiS-it(t . Ixxxhii . ttir Bt 

This is on the recto of the last leaf, and upon the verso 
is Caxton's large device. 

Eemarks. — 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 ecJifio princeps, 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 known 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 William ]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, Avhich many people might overlook, probably 
designed his " mark " for the purpose of attracting attention. 
It is certainly the earliest date at which it has yet been found ; 
and the state of the block, which has fewer breakages than 
any other known example, confirms the prioi'ity of this in a 
most interesting manner. Since 1484 Caxton had not used 


woodcuts; but just at this time, 1487, he appears to have 
foimd some one for the purpose, and the "Royal Book" and 
the "Specuhuu" appeared with numerous cuts. The same 
artist was probably employed to design and engrave the new 
" trade mark." 

The only kno^vn copy is in the possession of W. J. Legh, 
Esq., M.P., and was first made kno^ra in the AthencBum, 
March 21st, 1874. 

Bartholomeus de peoprietatibus rerum. 

This work is supposed to have been pruited 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 typogTaphical customs of Caxton and those of the Cologne 
school ; nor does any copy of '' Bartholomeus" exist which can, 
v>ith any show of reason, be attributed to Caxton's press. 

For further remarks on this subject, see page G4. 

The Metamorphoses of Ovid. 

In the Pepysian libraiy, 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 Dilxlin's 7)/p. Ant., 


vol. i, page 14, At the end of the vohime is the fullowiuo- 
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 ]iine 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 kno^-n. 

It seems not unlikely that the Pepysian MS. is in Caxton's 
o\\Ti autograph. 

Thk 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 English tongue the life of one 
of liis predecessors named Robert Earl of Oxford tofore said, 
^\ith divers and many great miracles which god showed for 
him as weU 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 (043. m.) and 



described by Sir Henry Ellis, and Dr. Dibdin in Tyjj. Ant., 
vol. i, page 359, is a portion of the " Cook's Tale," from 
Caxton's first edition of Chaucer's " Canterbury Tales." 

Several works, such as " Statuta " (probably Machlinia's) 
" Lyistdewode's Constitutiones," " The Litcidary," " ks 
Accidence," and others, have been by various ^vriters in- 
cluded among the books issued by Caxton, but in all cases 



Quanta fuisti si tanta sunt Rellquia. 

No. of 

Book of Courtesy, 2nd edit. .frag. 
Directorium Sacerdotum,4to. frag. 
Horffi, 1st edition . . -frag. 
Ditto, 2nd ditto . . frag. 

Ditto, 3rd ditto . . .frag. 
Indulgence — Sixtus IV . frag. 

Anelida and Arcyte. 
Ars moriendi 
Aymon, Four Sons of 
Blanchardin and Eglantine . 
Book of Courtesy, 1st edition . 
Catho, Parvus et Magnus, 1st 

edition, 4to 
Ditto, ditto, 2nd edition, 4to 
Charles the Great 
Chorle and the Bird, 1st edit. 

Ditto ditto 2nd ditto 
Commemoracio beatre Marias 
Death-Bed Prayers 
Directorium Sacerdotum, folio, 
1st edition 

Ditto ditto ditto 2nd ditto 
Fifteen Oes .... 
Grlass, Temple of . 
Gouvernal of Health 
Horse, Sheep, and Goose, 1st edit. 

Ditto ditto 2nd ditto 

Image of Pity 
Infancia Salvatori^ . 
Indulgence — Sixtus IV 

No. of 

Another, different . . .1 
Meditacionssur les sept Pseaulmes 1 
Paris and Vienne 
Psalterium .... 
Quatre den-enieres Choses 
Reynard the Fox, 2nd edition 
Servitium de Transfiguratione . 
Sex Littera; .... 
Visitatio Marise Virginia . 
Brass, Temple of . 

Advertisement, An . 
Arthur, Life of King . 
Propositio Johannis Russell 
Saona, Gul. de . 
Stans Puer .... 

uEsop, Fables of . 

Art and Craft .... 

Catho, Parvus et Magnus, folio. 

3rd edition . 
Curia Sapiential 
Curial, The .... 
Dictes and Sayings, 2nd edition 
Good Manners, Book of 
Jason, Les fais du . 
Moral Proverbs . 
Rhodes, Siege of . . • 
Saint Winifred, Life of 

Book of Fame .... 
Chivalry, ( )rder of 











Festial, The, 1st edition . 
Treatise of Love . 
Troilus and Creside . 
Vocabulary .... 

Golden Legend, 2nd edition 
Pilgrimage of the Soul 
Four Sermons, 2nd edition 

Divers Ghostly Matters . 
Festial, The, 2nd edition 
Knight of the Tower 
Recueil, Le . 

Reynard the Fox, 1st edition 
Statutes of Henry VII . 

No. of 

. '4 


. 4 


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 

Canterbury Tales, 1st edition . 9 
Ditto 2nd ditto , 9 

Chess, Game and Play of, 2nd edit. 9 
Doctrinal of Sapience . . 9 
Golden Legend, 3rd edition . 9 

Chess, Game and Play of, 1st ed. 
Chronicles of England, 1480 . 
Cordial .... 

Description of Britain 
Godfrey of Boloyn 
Katherine, Life of St. 

«> Speculum Vita; Christi 

No. of 



Caton 12 

Mirrour of the World, 2nd edit. 12 

Dictes and Sayings, 1st edition 15 
Mirrour of the World, 1st edit. 15 

Boethius 16 

Confessio Araantis . . 16 
Recuyell, The . . . .16 

Eneydos . . . .18 

Fayts of Arms . . .21 

Tully of Old Age, &c. . . 2.'5 

Polycronicon . . . .25 

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 lieen vrarhj destroyed, how 
numerous may have been the editions of whicli we shall never 
learn the existence ? A glance at the titles of the uniques 


will show that the books most liable to destruction, probably 
c^-ing 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," " Meditacious," &c. School books also, such as 
the " Stans Puer," " Catho," &c., are always difficult of pre- 
serration. On the other hand, there seems no especial 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 56, of 
which three are mere fi-agments. 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. 

1^ B 



Abbey, Meaning of word ... 73 
Adventurers (See Merchant 

Adventurers) ... 
Advertisement printed by 

Caxton 71.237 

,Eneid by Virgil 343 

^Esop, The Fables of. printed 

by Caxton ... 4S. 92, 294 

Aforge, Daniel 86 

Ailly, Cardinal Pierre d' ... 226 

Alburgh, John ]48 

Alcock, Bishop 178 

Aldus, Pius Romanus ... 107 
Alfonse, The Fables of. 

printed by Caxton 48, 92 284, 
Almonry, The, Its position 

Sec. ... 73, 74, 75, 76, 79 

Alphage, St., Parish of ... 4 

Ambassadors at Bruges ... 27 
Ames, Joseph, Note on 

Caxton's death ... 85 

Amman, Jost ... ... 105 

Anderson's History of Com- 
merce ... ... ... 26 

Anelida, Queen, and False 

Arcyte, printed by Cax 

ton 210 

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, Bataill&s SS.T 


Arcyte, Queen Anelida, and 

False, printed by Caxton 2 1 
Ars moriendi, printed by 

Caxton ... ... ... 354 

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 301 

Arundel, Earl of, his Device 81 

Ascensius Jodocus Badius... 127 

Assumption, Guild of Lady of 78 
Atkyns, Richard. Origin and 

Growth of Pi'inting ... 90 
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 

Caxton 209 

Ballad. A 365 

Ballard. Mr., of Cambdon... 85 

Balls, Inking 125 

Bartholomaus deProprietati- 

bus ... 5.5. 64, 6.5, .336, .364 

Bath Cathedral 282 

Bavaria, Henry. Duke of ... 349 

Bayntnn, W. 317 

r. R 2 




Beanvais, Vincent de 224, 225 

Bedford, Duke of 34,36 

Bedford Library 252 

Bedfordshire General Libraiy 320 

Bedleem Hospital, Bequest 

to, by Large 10 

Belet 280 

Benet College Library ... 218 

Bernard, M. A. ... 104, 107 

Bernard, M. A., Opinion on 
Co lard 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. 

Blandt'ord, 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, Kich 

Bowyer. William ... 

Bookbinder described 






... 249 

... 20 

... 333 
10, 145 

... 110 

.. 130 

... 96 


Book of Courtesey, The 
1st Edition, printed by 

Caxton 209 

Second Edition ... 351 
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 323 

Boyce, H 81 






Bryce, T 


ledge of Printing, de- 

Bullen. Mr. ... 


rived from Colard Man- 

Burdeux. John de 


sion, and not at Cologne, 

Burchiello, Portrait of 


49 to 68 ; Settles at 

Burgh, Richard 16, 17, 146, 

Westminster, 70 ; Ex- 

202, 203 


tracts fromWorks, show- 

Burgundy, Duke of 15, 16, 

ing a connection between 

24, 27, 34, 38, 58 

his own name and a lo- 

Burgundy (Philip the Good) 


cality, 70; his Daughter, 

Burial Fees for Wm. Caxton 


75 ; Patronised by 

Campbell, M.F.A.G 


Edward IV., 80; Re- 

Canterbury Tales, 1st Edition, 

ceives a Payment from 

printed by Caxton 


Edward IV., 80; List of 

Canterbury Tales. 2nd Edi- 

Works, 82 ; Classifica- 

tion, printed by Caxton 


tion of Works, 82 ; 

Caradoc, Prince 


Time taken for Trans- 

Carmen de Vere 


lation of Works, 83 ; 

Caslon, W 106 


Death and Burial, 85 ; 

Castel. Estienne 


his Property at Death, 



86 ; his AVill, 86 ; his 

Catho Magnus, printed by 

Literary Attainments, 

Caxton, 1st Edition 200 


87 to 90; a Linguist, 88; 

Catho Magnus, printed by 

Portraits of, 91 ; Anec- 

Caxton 202, 


dotes in Appendix to 

Caton, printed by Caxton ... 


-^sop's Fables, 92 ; his 

Cattlyn, Richard and John... 


Character, 92 ; a Master 

Caustons, Manor of . . . 


Printer, 94 to 140 ; his 

Causton, Michael de ; Henry 

Printing Office and 

de ; Nichol de ; Richard 

Workmen, 94 ; his Types, 

de; Theobald de ; Roger 

104 ; his large Device, 

de; William de; Stevyn 


137; Price of his Books, 

Canxton and Causton, a form 

139; Judgment by, 157; 

of Caxton 


Payment by the King, 

Cawston, Johannes, Will of 


158 ; Burial Fees, 159; 

Cawston, Oliver 


Auditor of Parish Ac- 

Caxston, W 

146 1 

counts, 159; Chess Book, 

Caxton. PHizabeth (daughter 

Interpolation of 


of Caxton) 


Caxton, William (not the 

Caxton, Elizabeth : Deed of 

Printer), 80; Burial Fees 



163 ; 

Censuria literaria 


Caxton, John 

4 : 

Charles, King of France ... 


Caxton, Maude 


Charles the Bold succeeds 

Caxton, Pedigree, 4 ; his 

Philip the Good 


Patrons, 31 ; his know- 

("harlcs the Great (Prologue) 





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. 

10, 20, 21 

Chartier, Alain 294 

Chases 123 

Chastising, The, of God's 
Children, printed by 
Caxton ... ... ... 355 

Chato, et Parvus Magnus, 
1st Edition, printed by 

Caxton 200 

2nd Edition ... 222 

Chaucer, Geoffrey, 00, 291 ; 
Envoi of, to Skogau, 
printed by Caxton . . . 209 

Chaucer, Geoffrey. Canter- 
bury Tales, 1st Edition 
191 ; 2nd Edition 288 ; 
Baethins de Consola- 
tione Philosophire, 
ju'inted by Caxton ... 211 

Chaucer, The complaint of, 
to his purse, printed by 
Caxton 210 

Chertsey. Andrew 351 

Chess Book. The 56, 59, 61, 


Chess, Game and Play of, 
1st 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, 

l>riiited 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 

Dnke of Burgundy ...16, 23 

Coburger, Nuremberg, prin- 

Colard Mansion, &t^Mani?iou 


Colonna jEgidius ... 

Commission issued, 1464, for 
renewal of Treaty of 

Complaint, The, of Chaucer 
to his purse, printed by 

C^ommemoratio Lamenta- 
tionis sive compassionis 
Beataj Mante in moite 
filii, printed by Caxton 

Composing Stick ... 123 

Compositor, The, described 

Confessio Amantis, printed 
by Caxton 

Congregational Library ... 

Connection between Caxton 
and Colard Mansion ... 

C'openhagen, Eoyal Library 

Copland, E., 340 ; one of 
Caxton's workmen 

Copland, W. ... 95 

Cori)us Christi Colk'uc 

Cordyalc, or tlic Four l,ast 
Things, printed by Cax- 

Court of Sapience, printed by 

Caxton 248 

Courtesy, Book of. printed 

by Caxton ... 209. 351 











Cowper, Mr 327 

Craes, W ItJ 

Craveceur, Sigiicur de ... 00 
Crede Mihi, Traetatus, 

printed by Caxtou 31.5, 341 

Croppe, Gerard ■. 30 

Crosse, John 86 

Crystine of Pisaii — Moral 

Proverbs ... 192,193 

Cura Sapientia^ ; or the 

Court of Sapience, 

printed by Caxton 248, 293 

Curial, The ... 


D ' Ailly, Pierre Cardinal . . . 


D 'Angers, Guj' 


Dares Phrygiua 


Daubeny, William 


Uaunau, M 


Day, John, Printer ... 105 


Death-bed Prayers, printed 

by Caxton 


Dedes. Robert 


Degnilleyille, Guillaume de, 

Pilgrimajje of the Soul 


DelfE '. 


Denis de Leewis 


Description of Britahi, Tlie, 

printed by Caxton 


Development of Printing . . . 


Device, Caxton 's ... 48 


Devonshire, Duke of, Pur- 

chase of the Eecuyell ... 


Dictes and !Sayings...24, 65, 

70, 79, 87, 186. 219 


Dictes and Sayings, printed 

by Caxton. Lst Edition, 

186 ; 2nd Edition, 219 ; 

3rd Edition 


Dictys Creteusis 


Dinner. Visitation <if Mercers 


Dii-ectorium, seu ^^u aSarum, 

printed by CJaxtou 


Directorium Sacerdotuui, una 

c uni Dcfensnrio ejnsdem, 


item traetatus qui dicitur 
crede niihi, printed by 

Caxton 315,341 

Doctrinal de la foy Catholinue 322 
Doctrinal of Sapience, The, 

printed by Caxton ... 320 

Domus Anglorum 22 

Donatus, St., Church of ... 51 

Douce, P 170 

Douce Collection 352 

Drapers, Merchant Adven- 
tures 18 

Durham Cathedral 347 

Dysart, Eari of 337 

Echard, Script. Urdin. Prre- 

dicat 347 

Edward III. introduces cloth 

factories to England ... 2 
Edward IV., 3, 27, 28, 29, 

35, 80, 87 
Elizabetli of Hungary, Saint, 

the Revelations of ... 361 

Ellis. Sir Henry 366 

Eneydos, printed by Caxton, 

English, First book in ... 168 
English Nation, The ... 22 

Esterlings 22, 190 

Essex, Earl of 202 

Esteney John, Abbot of 

Westminster 74 

Eton College 177,228 

P^ugenius III., Pope 349 

P]vilmcrodach, King ... 231 

Exeter 213 

Exeter College, Oxford, 277. 

298, 346 
Eye, witch of ... ... 13 

Eyre Thomas, husbuTid of 

Elizabeth l>agc... ... 11 

Fables of yEsop. the ; of 
Arian ; of Alfonse ; aiid 
of Page, the I'Morenline, 
printed !iy Caxton ... 2,S1 




Faits d'Armes, le3 332 

Faits d'Armes et de Chcva- 

lerie 332 

Fall of Princes 343 

Fame, the Book of, priuted 

by Caxton 291 

Fai'mer'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 ... 

Festial. The. (Liber Festialis) 
1st Edition, printed by 
Caxton 261, 

Festial, the, (Liber Festialis) 
second edition, printed 
by Caxton 

Fevre Ravne le 

Fifteen Oes, the, and other 
Prayers, printed by 
Caxton ... 

Figgins, V ... 

Fillastre, Gnillaume... 

Fineschi Vincenzio ... 

Fishmongers, Merchant Ad- 

Flanders, Peace between 
England and ... 

Flemish goods prohibited ... 

Flemish settlers in England 

Fostalf, John, Knight 

Founders' Company 

Four Last Things or Cordyale 
printed by Caxton 

Four Sermons, jirinted by 
Caxton, 1st Edition ... 

Four Sermon's &c. (Qnaf.uor 
Sermnnes &c.) printed 
by Caxton, 2nd Edi- 

Four Sons of Aymon, The, 
printed by Caxton 





109, 110 
... 170 
... 103 












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 

fraliard, Me.«sire 195 

Gallopes, Jean de ... 2.j9, 314 

Galiot du Pre 294 

Godney, John 11 

Geiffe, Will'am 86 

Gering, Ulrich 363 

Ger.son, 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 Caxtcm to St. 
Margaret's, Westmin- 
ster, 86 ; 1st Edition, 
printed by Caxton, 277; 
2Dd Edition, printed by 
Caxton, 308; 3rd Edi- 
tion 361 

Gossin, Jean 61,225 

Gottingen, Koyal University 

Library 209 

Governal of Health, the. 

printed 1)3- Caxton 336,365 
Governor of J-Icr- 
chants at Bruges — Du- 
ties of 20 

Gaido of Colonna 170 

Granton, John 16 





.. 75, 176, 79 


de Biu- 

. . 35. .'56, 50 

Greuville Library 
Grevliouml, The 
Grootc. Gucrarcl Ic, Loui; 


Guilds :— St. John the Evan- 
gelist, 37 ; St. Thomas a 
Becket, 18 ; Lady As- 
sumption. 78 ; Vasscl 
feasts. 78 ; Accounts. 78 ; 
"Les Freres de la plume" 
of Brussels, 37 ; St. 
Luke at Au twerp. 


Hague, Royal Library 
Hall. Kobert 

Hamburgh ... • 

Ham House, Surrey 
Hansard. T. C. 

Hanseatic League 

Hardwickc Hall 

Harrowe, John 
Hasted on Kent 
Hastings. Lord 


Haywarde. a Scribe 
Health, The Governal of, 

printed by Caxton 
Hecht-Heinean Library, Hal- 

Hende, William 

Henricus, Rex 

Henry, Dr 

Henry II 

Henry IV. 
Henry VI. 

Henry VII 

Heton, Christopher 

Heton, Jas. ... 

Higden's, Ralph, Polycroni- 

History of Blanchardiu and 
Eglantine, The. printed 
bv Caxton 


... 327 
... 145 
... 13 
... 301 

... no 

... 190 

... 203 

10, 146 


24, 195, 227 

... 207 

... 189 


... 19 
.. 349 
... 230 
... 202 
... 18 
19,36, 81 
... 81 
... 10 
... 145 




History of) Godfrey, of 

Boloirne, The ; or the 

Conquest of Jerusalem, 

printed by Caxton ... 249 

Ilistoire du Chevalier Paris, 

et de labelle Vienne . 307 

Holkham Library 196 

Holtrop's Monumens Typo- 
^raphiques, Woodcut 

from 76 

Hovaj ... 316,'327. 348, 24fy, 317 
Horse, prir'ted by Caxton, 
1st Edition, 189 ; 2nd 
Edition, 240 ; 3rd Edi- 
tion, 317; 4th Edition 328 

Horham, 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 ... 5 
Infancia Salvatoris, printed 

by Caxton 205 

Initials 42,134 

Ink for Printinir 96 

Jackson on Wood ICngrav- 

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 ^6 

Jersey, Earl of ••• ••• 303 

Jerusalem, Conquest of, or 
the Histoiy of Godfrey 
of Bolojnc, printed by 
Caxton -I^ 




Joan of Arc 


John, Duke of Berry 


John 11., King of France ... 

John Stubbes 


Jones, J. Winter, 178, 185 


" Jnstification " : a Printer's 

term ... 


Karlemaine ... 


Katherine, Saint, the Life of, 

printed by Caxton 


Kendal. John, Letters of 

Indulgence issued by. 

printed by Caxton, 220 


Kentish Dialect 


King Apolyn of T}Te 


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 



Kiinnecke, Dr. G 


Lambert, John 


Large, Alice, 11 ; Elizabeth, 

9, 1 1 ; Joan, 159 ; Jo- 

hanna, 9, 10, 11 ; Mar- 

ries John Godney. 11 ; 

John, 5, 9,146; Richard. 

9; Robert. U5 ; 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, Ro>)ert. his Will, 151 

to 155; the younger, 5. 

11; Thomas ..." ... 


Tiatour, Landry 


Laurent, Frire 



Le Kecueil des Histoires de 

Troye, (see Recueil) ... 26 
Leeu Gerard ... 186,307 

Lefevre, Raoul 186 

Legenda Aurea 280 

Legends, Bequest from Cax- 
ton 160 

Legh Gerard 186 

Legh, Stephen, M.P. ... 138 

Legh, W. J., Esq 364 

Legrand, Jacques ... ... 312 

Leper Houses, Bequest to, 

by Large ... ... 10 

Letter to Caxton from Mer- 
cers 23 

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, of the Holy 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 ... 
Livre des bonnes Ma>urs. le 
Livre des Vices ct desVertus 
Livre Royal, le 

Louis de Bruges 

Louis of Anjou 

Louvre Library 
Low Counties 

















Lucidary, The 

Lj'dgate. John 171, 192, 
204, 210, 259, 297, 337, 

Lyf of our Ladye, pi'inted 
l)y Caxton 

Lyndewoode, Constitutiones 

Machlinia ... 35, 95, 335, 

Maddeu. Sir F 


Mallet Gilles 

Malory, Sir Thomas 

Manipulus Curatorum 

Mansion Colard ... 36, 38, 
40, 42,43,4.5,49,54, 63, 
67, 110, 177, 212, 250, 

Mansion Colard, a Skilful 
Caligrapher, begins to 
Print, 68 ; his Con- 
nection with Caxton, 54 ; 
Dean of the Guild of 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 

Mansion, Paul and Robert... 

Marchand, Guy 

Margaret (of Flanders) 

Margaret, Queen ... 

Margaret's, St., Westminster, 
Records, 4, 31, 78. 79, 
80, S6, 58, 

Margarita Eloquentiae, Fra- 
tris Laurentii Gulielmi 
dc Saona, printed by 
Caxton ... 

MarijB Virginis Servitium 
de Visitatione, printed 
by Caxton 

Marot, Jean... 

Marshall, J 

Marten, Walter 

















318, 328 

... 316 

138, 363 

Mart-Towns, Apprentices 

sent to the 

Martin, St. Outwich 
Maskell, Mr. 
Maydestone, Clement 
Maynyal, W. 
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 
Metamoi'phoses 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 ICdition, 

224; 2nd Edition 
Missale ad Usum Sarum. 

printed for Caxton 
Montaiglon, M. 
Moral Distichs. printed by 


iloral Proverbs, printed bj 


]\lores, Rowe 

Moule. Bib. Herald 

Mountfort, Symon 

Moxon, Joseph 
National Libraiy. Paris 
Neche, Thomas 
Nichols, J. G. 
Noblesse, Declaration of 

North, Mr 

Nouns. Substantive, 





... 192 

... 110 

... 288 

... 221 

110. 106 

... 351 

10, 146 


... 228 

... 218 


Verbs, The proper ajipli- 
cation of certain, printed 
bv Caxton ... 203,204 




Nugent, Dr ... ... 317 

>yche. Thomas ... ... 145 

Obrar. "William. GoTcmor 
of the English Mer- 
chants 19,21 

Old Age, Tolly of 228 

01dT3 226 

Onkmanion. Henrr... 10, 145 

Order of ChiralrT. The, 

printed by Caxton ... 2S7 

Orford. Lord' 216 

Orologinm Sapientise ... 347 

Osborne 206 

Ottley 127. 134 

Ovid. Metamorphoses of 90. 364 
Oxford. Kohen Earl of 206, 3io 

Palmer. Samuel 110 

Paper, its Value. 103 ; its 
Watermarks. 99 ; Large 
Paper Copies. 98; Paper 
Mill. 98: the kind used 
bv Caxton ... ... 97 

Paris. M 170.212 

Parker. Archbishop 105,218 

Pannartz ... 84 

Pannizzi. Sir Anthony ... 107 

Pegge, Dr .-. 3. 

Pembroke College, Cam- 
bridge 271 

Pepysian, 233, 338, 364, 346, 365 

Perkin "Warbeck 

Perrot, Thomas 

Peterborough. Earl of 

Petms Carmelianus. Sex 
Epi^tclae, printed by 

Petzholdt. Dr. Jnlins 

Philadelphia, Loganian Li- 

Pica Sarum.seu Directoriom. 
printed by Caxton 

Pica, type of printers 

Pilgrimage of the Soul. The, 
printed by Caxton 







Pins. Jean de 

Pisan. Christine de... . . 

Poge. the Florentine, the 
Fables of, printed by 
Caxton ... 

Polycronicon, printed by 
Caxton 65.90 

Portraits of Caxton... 

Pratt, Waiiam 17. 75. 81 

Prayt^rs. Death-Bed. printed 
by Caxton 

Premierfait. Latirence de ... 

Preste. Simon 

Psalter, the First 

Psalterinm. 6cc.. printed by 

Purgatorie des maurais 
Maris ... 

Pye. The, a Tenement 

Pye. a collection of rules ... 

Pykering, John. 149; Suc- 
cessor to Caxton as 
GoTemorof the English 
Ifation, 21 ; stminioned 
befnre the Court of the 
Mercers, and discharged 
from his office 

Pynson, Richard . . .95, 200 

Qtiadrilogue, Le, by Colard 
Mansion ... 67. 

Quartemion. Meaning of . 131, 

Quatre derrenieres Choses 
56. 61. 63. 67. 68, 183, 

Queen's College. Oxford ... 

Quintemion. Meaning of ... 

Rawlett's Library. Tamworth 

Recto. Meaning cf ... 

Eecueil. Le. des Histories de 
Troye ... 26. 51. 95, 
60, 53. 68, 

Recuyell, The, of the His- 
tories of Troye, 26, 31, 
32, 41. 56. 57. 59, 60, 
63. 68, 



























15 edetn ape Esmond... ... 17 

Eedeknape W. ... 17, 19. 149 

Eed Pale. The ... 75.80 

Red Ink, Curious use of, by 
Caxtou and Mansion . . . 
Eegimen Sanitatis Satemi- 
tanum ... 


Eeinaert dieVos, dieHistorie 

Eerelations of Saint Eliza- 
beth, of Hungary 
Eeynard. the Fox, HL*tory of, 
printed by Caxton. 1st 
Edition, 227 ; 2nd Edi- 

Ehodes. The Siege of 221. 362 

Eichard HI 81, 196, 288 

Eichraoud. Margaret, Coun- 
tess of 81 

Eipon Minster ... 213,261 

Eipoli Press 103,107 

Eitsou. 199; Bib. Poet ... 203 
Eivers. Anthoine, E;iri of, 
24, 28. 81, 215; trans- 
lated the Dictes 
Eobert. Monk of Shrews- 

Eock, Canon, D.D 

Eoger, ^lonk of St. "Werberg 
Eoman Types 

Eoiuan*. les. de la Table 
Eonde et les contes des 
anciens Bretons 
Romnleon, written by Colard 

Rood of Oxford 
Eotheram, Bishop ... 
Eoxburgh Club ... 205,210 
Eoyal Book. the. or Book 
for a King, printed by 

Caxton 318,364 

Eoye, Guyde 322 

Rubrisher, The 133 








Bnle of St. Benet, The, 
printed byCaxton.346, 347 

Etissel. John. Bishop of 
Lincoln. 24, 19,5. 226; 
his" Propositio," printed 
by Caxton 

Eyolle, William 

Sacerdotum. Directorinm, 
printed by Caxton 

Salisbury Missal 

Salre Eegina, printed by 

Saona, Fratns Laurentii 
Gnlielmi de, Marga- 
rita Eloqneniial, printed 
by Caxton ... 216. 

Scala Cceli 

Scales, Lord 24, 

Scriptorium of Westminster 
Abbey ... 


Scroop. Archbishop 

Selle. John 

Seren Point*. The. of True 
Lore and Everlasting 
Wisdom, or Orologium 
Sapientiae, printed by 

Sermons, Four, printed by 
Caxton 263, 

Sermons of Yitriaco, The ... 

Serritium de Transfigura- 
tion e Jhesu Christi, 
printed by Caxton 

Serritium de Visitauone B. 
Mariae Virginis. printed 
by Caxton ... 264, 

Sex pereleg antissimae Epis- 
tolae per Petriim Car- 
meliauum Emendatae, 
printed by Caxton 

Shakspear, W. ... 170. 

Shrewsbury, John Talbot, 
Earl of 

















Siege of Rhodes ... 220,362 

Signatures 41,42 

Sixtus IV., Pope ... 195, 219 

Skogan, John, Envoy of 
Chaucer to, printed by 

Sloane, Sir Hans 

Sluis, The Port of, Bruges... 

Smithfield, Jousts in 

Smith, John 

Somerset, Margaret, Duchess 

Somme de Eoi, La ; or. La 
Somme des Vices et des 


Sotheby, S. Leigh 

Soushavie, or Sotiabe, Jehan 

Southey, Robert 


Speculum Historiale 

Speculum Vitae Christi, 
printed by Caxton, 1st 
edition 312 ; 2nd edition 

St. Alban's, the Printer- 
Schoolmaster of , 45, 217; 
Grammar School, 213, 
240 ; St. Alban's 


St. Benet's Chapel, West- 

St. George's, Windsor 

St. James of Compostella ... 

St. John College, Cambridge 

St. John's College, Oxford, 
223, 246 

St, John's Hospital of Jeru- 
salem ... 

St. John the Evangelist, 
Guild of 

St. Martin's Otewich 

St. Olavc, Jewry ... 

St. Omer, Proposed Con- 
vention at ... ... 23 


















Stans Puer ad Mensam, 

printed by Caxton 66 1 97 
Stanzas, various, printed by 

Caxton 203 

Star Chamber Decree ... 106 
Statutes of Henry Vll., 

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 ...10,145 146 

Strete, Hundred of... ... 10 

Stubbes, John ... 30, 146 
Styles. Old and New in the 

year 296 

Suso, Henry de 347 

Sutton, John ... ... 19 

Surigo, Ste]ihen ... ... 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 

Ternion, Meaning of 131, 166 

Thomassy, Raimond ... 193 

Thorney, Roger ... ... 251 

Timperley, C. H 110 

Title Pages 45 

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 ... ... 257 

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 

Sliakspere ... ... 170 

Trojan War 170 

Troy, Siege of 170 

Trinity College, Cambridge 343 

Trinity College, Dublin ... 220 

Troylus and Creside, printed 

by Caxton ... ... 235 

Tully of Old Age ; Tully 
of Friendship ; The De- 
clamation of Noblesse, 
printed by Caxton 

Turnat, Richard 

Twelve Profits of Tribulation, 
The, printed by Caxton 



Type, No. 1, Books printed 
in, described ... 166 to 

Type, No. 2 

Type, No. 3 

Type, No. 5 

Type, No. 

Types 43,104; 

Upsala, University Library 

Utrecht, Old llecords 

Vaghan, Thomas ... 

Valerius, Maximus... 

VanPrajt, M., 37,49,51, 

Vegetius, de re militari 

Vellum used for Caxton's 

Vcnto, Jeronimo 

Verard, Antoine ... 334, 

Verso, meaning of ... 

Vienna, Imperial 


















Vignay, Jehan de .. 

Vignoles, Bernard de 

Vins d'honneur 

Vitas Patrum 

Vocabulary in French and 
English, printed by 

Wagstaffe, Bishop 

Walbrook, Watercourse of. . . 

Walpole, Horace 

Waide, John 


1 72. 280 
... 221 


Warwick, Eai-1 of 

24, 28, 81 

Watermarks in Caxton books 

Watson, James 

Weald of Kent 

Westminster, 70 ; Abbots of, 
74 ; Wool Staple, at ... 

Whitehill, Sir Kichard 

Whityngton, Quit Rents ... 

Wide ville, Richard ... 

Wilson, Joshua, Esq. 

Winchester, Earl of . . . 

Windsor, Royal Library ... 

Winifred, Life of Saint, prin- 
ted by Caxton 

Wright, Thomas Mr. 

Wool-staple at Westminster 

Worde, Wynkiu de, 45, 75, 
95 ; His blunders, 64, 
60 ; Various ways lie 
spelt his name 

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 

Zanctti 103 

Zel T'iric 44. (52, 63 











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