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tired as the other be. I see theim (quoth I) but what be thei called ? The first (quoth he) is called Knowlage, the other be hyr systers, Strength of minde, Justice, Goodnesse, Temperance, Sobernesse, Liberalitee, Continence and Miekenesse. () these be marvelous goodly, quoth I, in how greate an hope be wę nowe. ye understande, qucth he, and wyll roote in you by practyse those thynges, the whiche you heare. We
We shall assaie as diligently as we can quoth I. Than you shall bee safe, quoth he."
At the end of the volume we find
“ Imprinted at London in Fletestreete in the house late Thomas Berthelettes. Cum privilegio."
There is no date.
The copy to which I have had access, formerly belonged to Mr. Herbert, but is now in the possession of Mr. Douce.
ORIGIN OF PRINTING,
THE book hereafter described is the most diminutive printed book I ever saw. is not more than two inches in length and one in breadth. It extends to one hundred and twenty-three pages. Except this, with the use of which I have been favoured by Mr. Douce, I know but of one other copy, which I believe is in the possession of Mr. Edwards, of Pall-mall.
The following is its title.
“ A SHORT AccounT OF THE FIRST RISE AND PROGRESS OF PRINTING.
With a compleat List of the First Books that were printed.
London. Printed for T. Parker, Jun. in Jewin Street.” No date.
In Mr. Douce's copy some one has added in manuscript the date of 1703.
The book is full of inaccuracies, but I give a short extract.
“ After Mentz and Harlem, it (Printing) seems next of all to have been practised at Oxford : for by the care and at the charge of King Henry vi. and of Thomas Bourchier, then Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor or Аа 4
the University of Oxford, Robert Turner, Master of the robe, and William Caxton a merchant of London, were for that purpose sent to Harlem at the expence partly of the King and partly of the Archbishop, who then (because these of Harlem were very careful of the Secret) prevailed privately with one Frederick Corseles an under Workman for a sum of money to come over hither, so that at Oxford Printing was first practised in England, which was before there was any printing press or printer in France, Italy, Venice or Germany, except only Mentz, which claims seniority (in regard to printing) even of Harlem itself, calling herself Urbem Moguntinam Artis Typographicæ primam, though, it is known to be otherwise, that City gaining that art by the brother of one of the workmen of Harlem, who had learned it at home of his brother, and after set up for himself at Mentz.
The Press at Oxford was at least ten years before there was any printing in Europe (except at Harlem and Mentz), where also it was but new born. The Press at Oxford was afterwards found inconvenient to be the only Printing place of England, and being too far from London and the Sea : whereupon the King set up a Press at St. Albans, and another in Westminster Abbey, where they printed several books of Divinity and Physic; for the King, for reasons
best known to himself and Council, permitted then no law-books to be printed, nor did any Printer exercise that art but only such as were the Kings sworn servants: the King himself having the price and emolument for Printing books.
It may be objected, that the year 1467 cannot bring it within the reign of Ilenry v r., who had been deposed six years before, but I answer that the manuscript does not assert the Dutch Printers came not into England till that Year, but that their Press was not set up till then, and though this happened in another reign, yet it will still be true that King Henry caused them to be brought over whilst he was upon the throne, though the civil Wars and his being deposed put a stop to their proceedings for six or seven years.
As for its complimenting the Archbishop with having been at the whole expence of the journey, it may be imputed to want of better information, or partiality to that Prelate, who might still be in great esteem under King Edward, whilst the good King Henry was striped of his loyal dig. nity and wholly neglected.
With respect to the two Printers that came from Harlem; the first is probably the same Theodoric Rood who printed afterwards by himself, and of whoin we have but two editions