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William Salesbury and Welsh Printing in London Before 1557

  • Geraint Evans
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Abstract

William Salesbury is one of the most celebrated figures in Welsh history. He was, as R. Brinley Jones has said, “the outstanding example of the Welsh Renaissance scholar” whose “genius for matching the new with the old” allowed him to straddle the eras of manuscript and print and help to create a modern, standard, national language for Wales, as Luther had done for Germany.1 Yet Salesbury’s most significant connection as a scholarly pioneer in the new world of print lies not with early modern Wales, but with London.

Keywords

Sixteenth Century Book Trade Book Print Book Production Henry VIII 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    R. Brinley Jones, William Salesbury, Writers of Wales (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1994), 64–65.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See C. Paul Christianson, “The Rise of the London Booktrade,” Chap. 6 in The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, Volume III: 1400–1557, ed. Lotte Hellinga and J. B. Trapp (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 145–47; the Act of 1534 is reproduced as an Appendix at 608–10.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Philip Gaskell, A New Introduction to Bibliography (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985), 171–85.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    For an account of printing in Wales before 1820, see Eiluned Rees, Libri Walliae: A Catalogue of Welsh Books and Books Printed in Wales, 1546–1820 (Aberystwyth: National Library of Wales, 1987).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    See Penry Williams, The Later Tudors: England, 1547–1603 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995), 10–11 and A. L. Beier and R. Finlay, eds., London 1500–1800: The Making of a Metropolis (London: Longman, 1986), 2–10.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Emrys Jones, ed., The Welsh in London, 1500–2000 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press for the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 2001), 9–11, 36.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    See Dafydd Johnston, ed., Iolo Goch: Poems (Landysul: Gomer Press, 1993), poem 10, lines 49–52.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    On towns and commodity culture in medieval Welsh poetry, see Helen Fulton, “Trading Places: Representations of Urban Culture in Medieval Welsh Poetry,” Studia Celtica 31 (1997): 219–30 and “The Encomium Urbis in Medieval Welsh Poetry,” in Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 22 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2008).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    See Rees, Libri Walliae; A. W. Pollard and G. R. Redgrave, A Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland and Ireland and of English Books Printed Abroad 1475–1640 (London: Bibliographical Society, 1991), hereafter STC; John Ballinger, The Bible in Wales (London: Sotheran, 1906). The catalogue numbers for Yny lhyvyr hwnn are Rees, Libri Walliae 4079, STC 20310, and Ballinger, Bible in Wales, 1. The most important articles about Yny lhyvyr hwnn and about early Welsh printing in general are R. Geraint Gruffydd, “Yny lhyvyr hwnn (1546): The Earliest Welsh Printed Book,” Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 22 (1969): 105–16; R. Geraint Gruffydd, “Y print yn dwyn ffrwyth i’r Cymro: Yny lhyvyr hwnn, 1546,” Welsh Book Studies 1 (1998): 1–20.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    See G. R. Elton, England under the Tudors, 3rd edn. (London: Routledge, 1991), 193–223.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    See John N. King, “The Book Trade under Edward VI and Mary I,” Chap. 8 in Hellinga and Trapp, eds., Cambridge History of the Book, III, 164–178. The peak years of London book production prior to 1597 were 1548 and 1550.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    B. J. McMullin, “The Bible Trade,” Chap. 22 in The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, IV: 1557–1695, ed. John Barnard and D. F. McKenzie, assist. Maureen Bell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 455.Google Scholar
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    See also the section in the Introduction regarding the “Dedication to the Bishops,” in Kynniver Llith a Ban, ed. John Fisher (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1931), xxiii–xxvi.Google Scholar
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    See Isaac Thomas, “Translating the Bible,” in A Guide to Welsh Literature c. 1530–1700, ed. R. Geraint Gruffydd (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1997), 154–75.Google Scholar
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    See Jerry Hunter, “Taliesin at the Court of Henry VIII: Aspects of the Writing of Elis Gruffydd,” Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion 10 (2004): 41–56; see also Thomas Jones, “A Welsh Chronicler in Tudor England,” The Welsh History Review 1 (1960): 1–17.Google Scholar
  16. 22.
    Anthony a Wood, Athenae Oxonienses, An Exact History of All the Writers and Bishops Who Have Had Their Education in the Most Ancient and Famous University of Oxford from the Fifteenth Year of King Henry, etc.: new edn. ed. Philip Bliss 4 vols. (London: Rivington et al. Oxford: Parker, 1813–20), 1: col. 358.Google Scholar
  17. 23.
    For details of Salesbury’s life see Jones, William Salesbury and D. R. Thomas, The Life and Work of Bishop Davies and William Salesbury, etc. (Oswestry: Caxton, 1902).Google Scholar
  18. 24.
    See Isaac Thomas, “William Salesbury—ei gyfnod cynnar,” Y Testament Newydd Cymraeg, 1551–1620 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1976), 60–69.Google Scholar
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    Joseph Foster, ed., Alumni Oxonienses: The Members of the University of Oxford, 1500–1714 (Oxford: Parker, 1891).Google Scholar
  20. 27.
    Robert Blackham, Wig and Gown: The Story of the Temple, Grays and Lincolns Inn (London: Sampson Low, 1932), 25–26.Google Scholar
  21. 28.
    John Stow, A Survey of London: Reproduced from the Text of 1603, ed. C. L. Kingsford, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), 1: 77.Google Scholar
  22. 29.
    E. Williams, Early Holborn and the Legal Quarter of London, 2 vols. (London: Sweet and Maxwell, 1927), 833–67.Google Scholar
  23. 30.
    None of the sixteenth-century buildings that comprised Thavies Inn in Salesbury’s time have survived, although the name Thavies Inn is still used for the location. See Simon Bradley and Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England, London 1: The City of London (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1997), 56.Google Scholar
  24. 31.
    See Peter Roberts, “The Welsh Language, English Law and Tudor legislation,” Transaction of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion (1989): 38.Google Scholar
  25. 34.
    William Salesbury, A Dictionary in Englyshe and Welshe, English Linguistics, 1500–1800: A Collection of Facsimile Reprints 180 (Menston: Scolar Press, 1969); STC 21616. See the entry for John Walley [sic] in E. Gordon Duff, A Century of the English Book Trade, 1457 to 1557 (1905; repr. London: Bibliographical Society, 1948); STC now attributes the printing to Nicholas Hill for John Waley.Google Scholar
  26. 35.
    Act V. Elizabeth, Chap. 28 (1563). The measure had been supported through Parliament by Richard Davies and Humphrey Llwyd; see Glanmor Williams, Welsh Reformation Essays (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1967), 166, 183; Jones, William Salesbury, 51.Google Scholar
  27. 38.
    See STC 21616 and 12403.9; see also Gruffydd Hiraethog, Oll synnwyr pen Kembero ygyd, ed. J. Gwenogvryn Evans, Reprints of Welsh Prose Works 3 (Bangor: Jarvis and Foster; London: Dent, 1902). On Salesbury’s use of a Dutch printer see Stan Wicklen, “William Salesbury and the Dutch Connection,” Denbighshire Historical Society Transactions 46 (1997): 52–58.Google Scholar
  28. 40.
    William Salesbury, The description of the sphere or the frame of the worlde: right worthy to be red and studyed on of all noble wyttes. Spetyally of all those that be desyrous to attayne any perfect knowledge in cosmographie /Englysshed by me Wyllyam Salysbury (London: Robert Wyer, 1550); STC 20398.7, 20399. There were two editions in the same year, see W. A. Mathias, “Gweithiau William Salesbury,” Journal of the Welsh Bibliographical Society (1952): 137. Salesbury probably used Thomas Linacre, Procli Diadochi SphaeraT. L.Interprete… (London: Richard Pynson, 1522). Between the 1522 edition and Salesbury’s 1550 translation there were a number of editions printed in London and elsewhere, often under the title De Sphaera. The London editions of 1536, 1539, 1547, and 1549 contained both the Greek text and Linacre’s Latin version.Google Scholar
  29. 44.
    For details of Crowley’s life and career see the Dictionary of National Biography and J. W. Martin, “The Publishing Career of Robert Crowley: A Sidelight on the Tudor Book Trade,” Publishing History 14 (1983): 85–98, to which I am particularly indebted.Google Scholar
  30. 48.
    James McConica, ed., The History of the University of Oxford, vol. 3, The Collegiate University (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986), 367–68.Google Scholar
  31. 49.
    Colophon to William Salesbury, A brief and a playne introduction, teachyng how to pronounce the letters in the British tong, now commenly called Walsh [1550], English Linguistics, 1500–1800: A Collection of Facsimile Reprints, 179 (Menston: Scolar Press, 1969); Rees, Libri Walliae 4559, STC 21614.Google Scholar
  32. 51.
    See Robert Crowley, Selected Works, EETS ES 15 (London: Trübner, 1872).Google Scholar
  33. 53.
    The origin of this idea seems to be the account in Thomas Frognall Dibdin, Typographical Antiquities or the History of Printing in England, Scotland, and Ireland: Containing Memoirs of Our Ancient Printers, and a Register of the Books Printed by Them, etc., 4 vols. (London: William Miller, 1810–19), 2: 758.Google Scholar
  34. 55.
    Quoted in John Strype, The Life and Acts of Matthew Parker, the First Archbishop of Canterbury in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, etc., 2 vols. (London: John Wyat, 1711), 1: 301.Google Scholar
  35. 56.
    H. S. Bennett, English Books and Readers, 1475–1557 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969), 194–95.Google Scholar
  36. 60.
    See Elton, “Introduction,” in The Reformation, 1520–1559. For a general account of the dispute see Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, c. 1400 to c. 1580 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1992).Google Scholar
  37. 61.
    William Salesbury, The baterie of the Popes botereulx, commonly called the High Altare (London: R. Grafton for Robert Crowley, 1550); STC 21613. See also Glanmor Williams, “William Salesbury’s Baterie of the Popes Botereulx,” Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 13.3 (1949): 146–50.Google Scholar
  38. 62.
    STC 21612. See John H. Davies, Yny lhyvyr hwnn a Ban o gyfreith Howel, Reprints of Welsh Prose Works, 4 (Bangor: Jarvis and Foster, 1902).Google Scholar
  39. 64.
    See John Fisher, ed., Kynniver Llith a Ban (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1931); my translation.Google Scholar
  40. 66.
    See Melville Richards and Glanmor Williams, eds., Llyfr Gweddi Gyffredin, 1567 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1953).Google Scholar
  41. 67.
    John Fisher, Kynniver Llith a Ban, 171; STC attributes the printing to “?R. Grafton” for R. Crowley for W. Salesbury.Google Scholar
  42. 70.
    Parts of Westminster Abbey also survive from this period. For Ely Place and St. Ethelreda’s see Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England, London 4: North (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1998), 260–61, 300.Google Scholar
  43. 74.
    See Douglas Newton, Catholic London (London: Robert Bale, 1950), 221–23.Google Scholar
  44. 75.
    See Margaret Troke, A Medieval Legacy: John Thavies Bequest to St. Andrew Holborn (London: St. Andrew Holborn Church Foundation, 1998), 22; the event is also commemorated by a plaque in the church.Google Scholar
  45. 77.
    Kenneth O. Morgan, Rebirth of a Nation: Wales, 1880–1980 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ruth Kennedy and Simon Meecham-Jones 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geraint Evans

There are no affiliations available

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