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It has recently been suggested that the Grafton edition of 1559 was not only the first of that year, but that it was printed even before Parliament sat. But the book not only quotes the Act of Supremacy accurately but its preliminaries also include the whole Act of Uniformity verbatim—and there are several other improbabilities and mistakes in that argument. This chapter also reveals that although every sheet of the 1552 book was duly reprinted in 1559 with the required revisions (each of which is discussed), Grafton had kept a large number of unused sheets from his last edition of 1552. Each of the surviving copies of his Elizabethan edition contains between one and twenty-three sheets recycled from his last Edwardian edition.
The second Edwardian Act of Uniformity required an ordinal (a booklet containing the services for ordaining priests and bishops) to be bound with each folio edition of the 1552 Book of Common Prayer. No ordinal was mentioned in the 1559 Act, but the authorities evidently provided the printers with revisions for it, and each team of printers produced one. Only one copy of Grafton’s survives, and none of the extant copies of the ‘Jugge and Cawood’ ordinal is bound with their first edition of the prayer book. Moreover, unlike the 1552 contents lists, those of 1559 make no mention of an ordinal. The evidence suggests that it was withdrawn at the last minute, to be sold only as a separate item. Curiously, fewer than half the copies include the original sheet BB5:6. One simply lacks it; three have cancels printed in the 1580s by two different printers.
The story I have tried to tell in this book is complex in many ways: in the politics of the authorizing Acts of Parliament, in the evolution of the text itself, and in the rivalries and collaborations between the printers of the successive versions of the prayer book. It has therefore often been been necessary to depart from a strict chronological order. In this final chapter I have therefore tried to recapitulate the overall story, and the numerous separate conclusions, as a more continuous narrative.
The Edwardian Reformation was quickly overturned when Mary Tudor succeeded her half-brother and began returning the English Church to Rome. The printers of the Edwardian prayer books had their businesses placed under Catholic managers, and all Edwardian prayer books were called in to be burnt. When Mary died and was succeeded by Elizabeth, the influence of Catholic bishops and abbots in the House of Lords was a major obstacle to any revival of the Reformation. Eventually, however, the passage of an Act of Supremacy made Elizabeth Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and a new Act of Uniformity prescribed a Book of Common Prayer that largely revived the 1552 book but with a few significant revisions. Two editions were put in hand, one supervised by the two new Queen’s Printers (Richard Jugge and John Cawood) and the other by Richard Grafton (who had taken back control of his printing house).
The year 1559 saw two more ‘Jugge and Cawood’ editions in folio, each printed by five of the original team (Jugge, Cawood, Kingston, Rogers, and Payne). The first of these is known only from a single copy that lacks the preliminaries (discovered during the research for this book); six copies are known of the later of the two. For the most part the relationship between the reprints is clear and straightforward, although a few odd sheets ‘belonging’ to one edition are found in one or more copies of the other. Amid the predictable crop of errors in each reprint, a few readings show that attempts were made to correct errors that were evidently noticed. But the overall trend in accuracy is (predictably) downhill.
The preliminaries of the Grafton edition and the first from ‘Jugge and Cawood’ show clear signs of cooperation and collaboration. The calendar quire in Grafton’s edition was printed for him by his former apprentice John Kingston; that in the other edition by Reyner Wolfe. In the main preliminary quire John Kingston printed three of the six sheets for Jugge and Cawood, one of which (probably a cancel) also appears in the Grafton edition. His contents list that backs the title-page is also identical in both editions. In the Grafton edition the other side of that sheet (with the almanack and the title-page with Grafton’s imprint) is also Kingston’s work, but Richard Jugge appears to have printed both the almanack and the title-page of ‘his’ edition. The evidence suggests that the two title-pages were printed on the same day.
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.
Briefly recounts the parliamentary history of the 1552 Act of Uniformity, the revision of the communion service, and some common misconceptions about the so-called ‘Black Rubric’. Shows that this time it was Edward Whitchurch who began printing from the manuscript copy while Richard Grafton reprinted the text from Whitchurch’s sheets. Explains that each printer once again subcontracted parts of some of his subsequent editions to other printers, and how each reduced the size of his reprints to reduce his costs once the official limits had been imposed on the retail price.
This concluding chapter ‘History in Print from Caxton to 1543’ examines the various forms in which historical writing was represented in early print. It begins by considering William Caxton’s various contributions and their places in his larger publishing strategies. It examines those works that he published that reflect earlier, manuscript traditions of historical writing, including the prose Brut and the Polychronicon, and the ways in which these were modified as they developed a new print tradition. The chapter goes on to assess the emergence of new forms of history that began to be developed by print in the early sixteenth century, including the emergence of print as a means for swift response to contemporary events and finally the appearance, in 1543, the first appearance in print of John Hardyng’s fifteenth-century verse chronicle, the publication of which was combined with contemporary prose historical writings.
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