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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 The evidence suggests that it was withdrawn at the last minute, to be sold only as a separate item.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 Queen’s Printers, Richard Jugge and John Cawood, printed less than one-sixth of the first of the 1559 editions bearing their names. The first London book known to contain the work of more than three different printing houses, it also includes sheets printed by Reyner Wolfe, Edward Whitchurch, Owen Rogers, Thomas Marshe, Richard Payne, and John Kingston. Moreover, at least two of the leaves of the main text are cancels that replace leaves rejected for unknown reasons, each almost certainly introducing revisions neither specified nor permitted by the Act of Uniformity. Three of the printers involved were (like Grafton) not freemen of the Stationers’ Company, and therefore not legally entitled to print at all. One of them (and one of the Stationers) had recently been punished by Star Chamber for printing a piracy of a privileged book.
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.
Bibliographers have been notoriously 'hesitant to deal with liturgies', and this volume bridges an important gap with its authoritative examination of how the Book of Common Prayer came into being. The first edition of 1549, the first Grafton edition of 1552 and the first quarto edition of 1559 are now correctly identified, while Peter W. M. Blayney shows that the first two editions of 1559 were probably finished on the same day. Through relentless scrutiny of the evidence, he reveals that the contents of the 1549 version continued to evolve both during and after the printing of the first edition, and that changes were still being made to the Elizabethan revision weeks after the Act of Uniformity was passed. His bold reconstruction is transformative for the early Anglican liturgy, and thus for the wider history of the Church of England. This major, revisionist work is a remarkable book about a remarkable book.
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