Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 December 2021
Outlines Henry VIII’s attempt to impose uniformity on the English liturgy after breaking with Rome, the early careers of the printers Richard Grafton and Edward Whitchurch, and the progress through Parliament of the 1549 Act of Uniformity. Closely examines the printing of their first two 1549 editions of Thomas Cranmer’s Book of the Common Prayer, in which various irregularities show that changes and additions were made to the text while those editions were being printed. Concludes that the accepted assignment of priority to the Whitchurch edition known as STC 16267 is mistaken, and that the only extant copies of the real first edition are a few copies supposedly ‘made up’ and incomplete. Explains the evolution of the official limits on the retail price, and how each printer subcontracted parts of his reprints to other printers.