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Title: Thomas Berthelet - Royal Printer and Bookbinder to Henry VIII., King of England
Author: Davenport, Cyril
Language: English
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_The Publication Committee of the Caxton Club certify that this is one
of an edition of two hundred and fifty-two copies printed on hand-made
paper, of which two hundred and twenty-eight are for sale, and three
copies printed on Japanese vellum. The printing was done from type which
has been distributed._



THOMAS BERTHELET

[Illustration:

DIEV *
ET * MON
DROYT *

·M·D*L·II·]

[Illustration: PLATE I.

CALF BINDING OF BEMBO’S “HISTORICAE VENETAE. LIBRI XII. VENICE, 1551.”
MADE FOR EDWARD VI.

See page 87.]



                           THOMAS BERTHELET

              ROYAL PRINTER AND BOOKBINDER TO HENRY VIII.
                            KING OF ENGLAND

              WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO HIS BOOKBINDINGS


                                  BY
                       CYRIL DAVENPORT, F. S. A.
                         OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM

AUTHOR OF THE ENGLISH REGALIA, ROYAL ENGLISH BOOKBINDINGS, ENGLISH EMBROIDERED
      BOOKBINDINGS, CANTOR LECTURES ON BOOKBINDING, CAMEOS, ETC.

                       [Illustration: colophon]

                                CHICAGO
                     PUBLISHED BY THE CAXTON CLUB
                                MDCCCCI



                     COPYRIGHT BY THE CAXTON CLUB
                       NINETEEN HUNDRED AND ONE



TABLE OF CONTENTS.


CHAPTER                                                             PAGE

  I. ENGLISH BOOKBINDING UP TO THE TIME OF HENRY VIII.                13

 II. DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE CONCERNING BERTHELET AND HIS WORK           29

III. THE BOOKBINDINGS OF THOMAS BERTHELET, WITH DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS
OF SOME TYPICAL EXAMPLES                                              57


INDEX                                                                 99



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


PLATE NO.                                                           PAGE

I. CALF BINDING OF BEMBO’S “HISTORICAE VENETAE. LIBRI XII.
VENICE, 1551.” MADE FOR EDWARD VI.                         _Frontispiece_

II. TITLE-PAGE OF JOHN GOWER’S CONFESSIO AMANTIS. LONDON,
1532                                                                  10

III. BERTHELET’S DEVICE OF LUCRETIA STABBING HERSELF                  16

IV. LEGEND WRITTEN ON THE EDGES OF A VOLUME OF SIXTEENTH-CENTURY
TRACTS, BOUND IN RED SATIN FOR HENRY VIII.                            20

V. CALF BINDING OF “GALTERI DELOENI LIBELLUS DE TRIBUS
HIERARCHIIS.” A MS. DEDICATED TO HENRY VIII., AND
BOUND FOR HIM                                                         24

VI. CALF BINDING OF A COPY OF THE WORKS OF ST. CHRYSOSTOM,
PRINTED AT BASLE IN 1530. MADE FOR HENRY VIII.                        30

VII. WHITE LEATHER BINDING OF A MS. ENTITLED “LA SCIENCE
DE GEOMETRIE”                                                         36

VIII. UPPER COVER OF THE CALF BINDING OF VOL. I. OF A BIBLE
PRINTED AT ANTWERP IN 1534. MADE FOR HENRY VIII.
AND QUEEN ANNE BOLEYN                                                 42

IX. SATIN BINDING OF A COLLECTION OF SIXTEENTH-CENTURY
TRACTS. MADE FOR HENRY VIII.                                          46

X. CALF BINDING OF “JUL. CLAUD IGUINI ORATIO AD HEN. VIII.”
MADE FOR THE KING                                                     52

XI. VELVET BINDING OF A BIBLE PRINTED AT ZURICH IN 1543.
MADE FOR HENRY VIII.                                                  58

XII. CALF BINDING OF “TROGUS POMPEIUS. CHOROGRAPHICA,
1546.” MADE FOR PRINCE EDWARD                                         62

XIII. CALF BINDING OF A MS. COMMENTARY ON THE CAMPAIGN OF
THE EMPEROR CHARLES V. AGAINST THE FRENCH IN 1544.
MADE FOR HENRY VIII., TO WHOM THE MS. IS ADDRESSED                    68

XIV. CALF BINDING OF “LA CYROPEDIE DE XENOPHON. PARIS,
1547.” MADE FOR EDWARD VI.                                            74

XV. WHITE LEATHER BINDING OF “JOANNES A LASCO. BREVIS DE
SACRAMENTIS ECC. CHRISTI TRACTATIO. LONDON, 1552.”                    78

XVI. WHITE LEATHER BINDING OF “D. AURELII AUGUSTINI HIPPONENSIS
EP. TAM IN VETUS QUAM IN NOVUM TEST. COMMENTARII.
BAS., 1542.” MADE FOR QUEEN MARY                                      82

XVII. CALF BINDING OF QUEEN MARY’S PRAYER-BOOK. MS. ON
VELLUM. BOUND FOR THE QUEEN                                           84

XVIII. CALF BINDING OF “EPITOME OMNIUM OPERUM DIVI AURELII
AUGUSTINI. COL., 1549.” MADE FOR QUEEN MARY                           90

[Illustration:

To, Gower de
confessione
Amantis.

Imprinted at London in Flete-strete
by Thomas Bethelette
Printer to the
kingis grace,
A N .
M.D.XXXII.

CVM PRIVILEGIO.]

[Illustration: PLATE II.

TITLE PAGE OF JOHN GOWER’S CONFESSIO AMANTIS. LONDON, 1532.

See page 48.]



CHAPTER I.

ENGLISH BOOKBINDING UP TO THE TIME OF HENRY VIII.


Such English bookbindings of an early date as still exist are, as a
rule, bound in dark brown goatskin or brown sheepskin. The earliest
notices about bookbindings are to be found in some of the wardrobe
accounts of Edward IV., but of the many bindings which were made for
that king, the only remaining sign now left is a loose cover in the
library of Westminster Abbey; it is ornamented with a panel stamp
bearing the king’s arms, with supporters.

In Mediæval times, books, mostly religious, were generally written,
copied, illuminated, and bound in the monasteries themselves, and were
frequently of large size. After the date at which printing was
introduced into Europe, about the middle of the fifteenth century, books
became commoner, and very soon, as a general rule, smaller, the printer,
binder, and publisher usually combining in his own person the functions
hitherto performed by separate artists and artificers,--the
illuminators, scribes, silversmiths, goldsmiths, jewellers, enamellers,
and workers in leather, wood, or ivory. In short, the art of producing
books became in every way a less ornamental and a commoner one.

It is disappointing that no single specimen of the rich Mediæval style
of bookbinding exists of English workmanship. Such bindings were
undoubtedly made here, and numerous drawings of them are to be seen in
contemporary manuscript. It is certain that the intrinsic value of these
covers attracted the attention of some of our sovereigns, especially the
early Tudors, and whenever they were of any value at all, the crucible
accounts for their disappearance. Luckily the manuscripts themselves,
now infinitely more valuable than the gold and silver which formerly
covered them, have in innumerable instances been carefully preserved
unhurt. But it is some comfort to know that much beautiful work of the
kind we have so unfortunately lost here can be seen and studied in
Dublin, at the Royal Irish Academy and other institutions. In that city
are to be seen noble specimens of the old book shrines, or covers, which
protected the valuable manuscripts, illuminated sometimes by the ancient
Irish scribes in such richness that they have never been excelled in
beauty. These covers are in all probability nearly the same as the
English ones were; they bear ornamentation of a similar Gothic
character, nearly analogous to the Anglo-Saxon styles, and the jewels
are cut and set in the same way as is found in old English jewellers’
work. The “cumdach,” or cover, of Molaise’s Gospels, that of the Stowe
missal and “Dimma’s book,” are all beautiful examples. The Irish
jewellers were justly celebrated workmen; they migrated largely to the
Continent, and traces of their skill often show on Byzantine bindings
made from about the ninth to the eleventh centuries. The older part of
the magnificent cover of the Gospels of Lindau is Irish work. This was
shown in 1891 at the Burlington Fine Art Club, and until lately was the
property of the Earl of Ashburnham. It is one of the most gorgeous
bookbindings in existence.

In some Eastern countries bordering on Europe, especially the north of
Africa and parts of Asia, books were bound in leather and ornamented
with gold at a very early date. Signs of such work are found on bindings
of the twelfth century onwards, but it is always rare, and only
sparingly used. The manner of working the gold differs considerably from
the way it is treated now. Persian, Arabian, and Egyptian work of this
sort is of great interest, and well deserves more attention and
examination than it has yet received. It even seems that some kind of
gilding on books was practised in England as early as 1480, as appears
from one of the accounts of Piers Courteys, keeper of the King’s Great
Wardrobe in the City of London; but there is not enough information
given to enable us to say what sort of gilding this was, neither do the
existing specimens throw any definite light on this particular point.

The account in which this reference to gilding on books occurs is one of
the entries referring to the Privy Purse Expenses of Elizabeth of York,
daughter of Edward IV., and afterwards wife to Henry VII.; the words are
as follows:--

“Piers Bauduyn stacioner for bynding gilding and dressing of a booke
called _Titus Livius_ XXˢ; for binding gilding and dressing of a booke
of _The Holy Trinite_ XVjˢ; for binding gilding and dressing of a booke
called _The Bible_ XVjˢ; for binding gilding and dressing of a booke
called _Le Gouvernment_ of Kings and Princes XVj; ... and for binding
and gilding and dressing of a booke called The Bible Historial XXˢ.”

It is, I think, probable that these bindings were ornamented with panel
stamps, which were simply gilded all over, and that the process referred
to was not that which is now generally understood as gold-tooling.

During the Middle Ages Venice was the most important European centre of
trade with Eastern countries, and so it naturally comes about that the
first European gold-tooling on leather comes from that great art centre,
and occurs in Italian bindings of the fifteenth century. Not only does
gold-tooling first appear in Venetian work, but there also it reached
its highest development, several of the early bindings tooled in gold on
dark leathers being quite unsurpassed for delicacy and originality of
design, as well as for beauty of workmanship. In several of these
bindings the direct inspiration that has been afforded by the study of
Oriental originals is very apparent.

Innumerable also are the methods the Italian artists followed with
regard to their management of gold leaf, or gold foil; sometimes a whole
design is picked out with minute gold dots, sometimes backgrounds are
flatly gilded all over, leaving the design on the leather, and sometimes
the method of working closely resembles that followed at the present
day. The early Venetian bookbinders, as well as some of the Oriental
gilders, knew some way of gilding a line drawn on leather by means of a
style. This is a difficult thing to do, but effective in competent
hands; and if it could be done with any degree of safety, such a process
would now open up an entirely new field for decorative bookbinders, who
are at present much bound down by the limitations forced upon them in
consequence of chiefly using set stamps specially cut for each curve and
bend and detail. Of course such lines are easy to execute in blind, but
it is when the gilding begins that the difficulties increase. The
essential point in gold-tooling on leather, as we know it, consists in
the fixation of gold leaf by means of albumen. The design is marked in
blind on leather and painted over with glair of egg, the gold leaf then
being carefully laid over it; the marks of the blind-tooling show
clearly through the gold, and each of these impressions is steadily
reimpressed with the same tools in the same places over the gold. The
tools are heated to a point just sufficient to harden the albumen
without burning the leather. If necessary, this process can be repeated
again and again, until in the finest specimens of such work the gold
looks as if wires of the solid burnished metal were actually inlaid on
the leather. The albumen protected by the gold

[Illustration: PLATE III.

BERTHELET’S DEVICE OF LUCRETIA STABBING HERSELF.

See page 49.]

makes such a strong surface that frequently the gilded letters, or
designs, which were of course originally in _intaglio_, are found in
relief, the explanation being that the surrounding leather, being
unprotected, has worn or powdered away all around. The use of albumen
is, however, not entirely without a drawback, as it is a favourite food
for some small grub, so that sometimes, instead of a beautiful gilded
line, there is only a small trench following the same track, all the
gold and all the albumen having been eaten away, leaving the design as
it was, but in a different colour.

As a matter of fact, the earliest English binding now existing on which
gold occurs is in the Bodlein Library at Oxford, but it would hardly
come under the heading of gold-tooling. It is on a manuscript written by
Robert Witinton about 1516, and was given by him to Cardinal Wolsey. The
binding is in brown sheepskin, and is decorated with block impressions
from panel stamps, three on each side, the centre one representing St.
George and the dragon, and the side ones bearing the Tudor emblems,
portcullis, pomegranate, and double rose. These stamps are well and
boldly cut, and the impressions are gilded, but I think it would be
difficult to say positively whether they were simply overlaid with gold
leaf after being made on the leather, or whether the gold was fixed by
the operation of stamping. I rather expect the latter method was used;
but the volume is a very curious and interesting one even if such is not
the case, and to some extent may explain the gilding mentioned in Piers
Courteys’s account.

In England during the fifteenth century the printing, binding, and
publishing of printed books generally vested in the same individual, but
by degrees these processes became specialized, and towards the end of
the sixteenth century they were carried out by different persons. Now
and then, among the earlier specimens of Berthelet’s work, designs of a
similar kind occur on the outside of the binding in gold, and inside the
book printed in black. The occurrence of such a peculiarity would point
strongly to the probability of the printer having also been the binder,
or at all events that the control of both processes was in the hands of
the same master.

Although no Mediæval English bindings of the richer sort are now left,
several of the simpler kind bound in leather still remain. Most of these
are ornamented with impressions from small cameo stamps impressed in
blind,--that is to say, without gold. Most of such bindings are bound in
dark brown leather, either goatskin, corresponding to our morocco, or
sheepskin, corresponding to our roan. Each of these old leathers is
sound and fine in colour, and always brown; colour dyes for leather,
except red, being a later, and probably hurtful, innovation.

The boards of these bindings, like those of the decorated kind, are of
wood, sometimes thick, sometimes thin. The thick boards were made heavy,
because many of the manuscripts were written on vellum, which is very
curly, and the weight of the covers was useful in counteracting this
defect. The thin boards were very carefully chosen, and must have been
well seasoned, as they are very rarely indeed warped at all. In many
instances stamps of the monasteries at which they were made are
impressed on these boards, and this is a sign of the careful manner in
which even the smallest details concerning books was superintended.
Berthelet’s boards are always of cardboard or its equivalent, and
although wooden boards are often found at a subsequent time to this,
they may as a rule be considered to have gone out of universal use here
about the end of the fifteenth century.

The reputed oldest specimen of all the English bookbindings is bound in
red leather, possibly deerskin; it is known as “St. Cuthbert’s
Gospels,” and was found, A. D. 1105, in the tomb of St. Cuthbert when it
was opened. St. Cuthbert died A. D. 687, and the book is supposed to
have been buried with him. It contains the Gospel of St. John, written
on vellum, and is now treasured at Stonyhurst College. The volume is in
such a remarkable state of preservation, both outside and inside, that a
certain amount of discredit attaches to the legend of its great
antiquity. It is bound in thin boards of limewood, covered with red
leather, curiously worked and coloured. The upper cover bears a
decorative rectangular panel, the central portion of which, nearly
square, has a symmetrical foliated curve of double-S form, _repoussé_,
and _showing_ slight traces of colour; above and below this are two long
panels in which are drawn free-hand scrolls of Anglo-Saxon character,
deeply lined. These scrolls are painted blue and yellow. The under side
is simply ornamented with fillets. The design of this binding is
unquestionably very old, and may fittingly be referred to about the date
of St. Cuthbert’s death. Mr. E. Gordon Duff, however, inclines to the
view that it is not actually the original binding, but is a copy of
about the twelfth or thirteenth century. Even if it were made at the
latest date attributed to it, it is still the earliest existing English
book bound in red leather, as well as the only one decorated in the true
style of Anglo-Saxon art.

Another early English book of great interest is a Latin Psalter of the
eleventh century, in its original binding of thick oaken boards covered
with brown leather. On each side is a sunk panel, and in one of these is
a copper gilt figure of our Lord in the attitude of the crucifixion. The
corners and clasp are of thin brass stamped with patterns, and are most
likely of later date than the rest of the binding. A very interesting
point about this book is, that it was used as the official coronation
oath-book by all the English sovereigns from Henry I. to Henry VII.; it
formerly belonged to the Exchequer, and was subsequently the property of
the Marquis of Buckingham, who kept it in his beautiful library at
Stowe; it is now in the British Museum.

With the exception of these two instances, all the English books bound
in leather before the time of Thomas Berthelet are ornamented, if at
all, with blind-stamped work only. In the cutting of stamps for this
form of decoration, as well as in the designing of them, English artists
in the twelfth century particularly are considered to have been
superexcellent. The subject has been most ably and lucidly considered by
Mr. James Weale, lately Art Librarian at the South Kensington Museum. He
finds that such work was produced especially at Durham, Winchester,
Oxford, and London, from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries, after
which there was such a marked irruption of foreign binders and foreign
stamps that the English work became obscured, and on its recovery was of
an entirely different character. But it is now generally conceded that
these early English blind-tooled leather bindings are indeed the finest
of the kind made anywhere.

The Winchester Domesday Book of the twelfth century, now belonging to
the Society of Antiquaries of London, is a charming and typical specimen
of this work; it is bound in dark brown goatskin, and ornamented with
impressions in blind from beautifully cut small cameo stamps. The main
scheme of the decoration is two large circles, one above the other,
enclosed within a rectangular panel. The circles as well as the lines of
the panel are curiously made up of successive impressions of small
stamps. Those used in the circles are cut in such a manner that they can
be used either separately or in combination. Used together, of course,
certain stamps will only combine properly to form a circle of a
particular

[Illustration: PLATE IV.

LEGEND WRITTEN ON THE EDGES OF A VOLUME OF SIXTEENTH-CENTURY TRACTS.
BOUND IN RED SATIN FOR HENRY VIII.

See page 66.]

circumference, as they are designed in short segments of circles, drop
shaped, or in lozenge shapes, smaller at the base than at the top. It
must be noted that the use of stamps cut in such a manner as to combine
easily in circular forms is a characteristic of early English work. This
circle, differently produced, however, will presently be seen again in
Berthelet’s designs, and it reappeared also in the seventeenth century
on much of the remarkable work done on leather as well as on velvet, at
the very interesting establishment founded at Little Gidding in
Huntingdonshire by Nicholas Ferrar. Parts of circles are sometimes, but
not often, found on the bindings made for Jean Grolier during the first
half of the sixteenth century, but it is very seldom that the circle
itself occurs as an integral part of the design on bookbindings. The
circle as originally used in the artistic ornamentation of sculptures,
goldsmiths’ work, and the arts generally was probably a sun-sign. I fear
bookbinding is not old enough to come under this ancient art influence
very strongly; but it is just possible that the artists who designed the
ornamentation of the leather covers of several of the splendid bindings
made in England in Mediæval times, based largely upon the circle, and
who cut their stamps so as easily to produce circles, may have been
unconsciously following out the lines of thought inherited by them from
artistic ancestors imbued with the ancient traditions. Crosses as well
as circles are found sometimes on early leather bindings, but not in
English work, and with these two exceptions I do not think any of the
ancient symbols are represented in this particular line of art.

On the introduction of printing into England in the fifteenth century,
the rich Mediæval bindings very rapidly became things of the past. The
gap between them and the simple blind-stamped leather which rapidly
superseded them was, however, filled to some extent by the production
of very ornamental bindings in velvet and satin. These covers are
mounted with bosses and clasps of precious metals and enamels, or
embroidered in gold and ornamented with pearls. Several references and
notes concerning such bindings occur in contemporary official documents,
but no actual specimens now exist earlier than the time of Henry VII.,
but that king has left us several splendid examples.

Until Henry VIII. had his own royal binders, it is likely that all the
early printers bound only their own work; but naturally a printer and
binder holding an appointment as royal binder would be sometimes
expected to bind other miscellaneous books, and instances of this are
not only found in Berthelet’s account, given below, but amongst the
books bound by him there are some which were printed abroad and others
which are collections of tracts, etc., all of which were bound for King
Henry VIII. or his immediate successors.

The royal heraldry at the time Berthelet made his bindings was simple
and dignified; first and fourth were the three fleurs-de-lys of France;
second and third, the three lions of England. From William the Conqueror
until Henry II., the royal coat of England probably consisted of two
lions passant guardant in pale. Henry II., however, on his marriage with
Eleanor, daughter of William V., Duke of Aquitaine and Guienne,
incorporated the coat of that potentate, a single leopard, with his own,
but as he probably considered the conjunction of this animal with those
already on his coat might not be conducive to peace, he turned the
leopard into a similar lion and added it to the others, and from that
time the coat of arms of England has been “gules, three lions passant
guardant in pale, or.” The coat of France, “azure, semé de
fleurs-de-lys, or,” was adopted by Edward III., in the fourteenth year
of his reign, together with the title of King of France, asserting his
right to the coat and the title by virtue of his mother, Isabel,
daughter of Philip IV. At first Edward placed the French coat in the
second and third places of his shield, but presently gave it the places
of honour, first and fourth, in consequence of a remonstrance from the
French king. Edward’s grandson, Richard II., married, as his second
wife, Isabel, daughter of Charles VI. of France, who changed his coat,
“semé de fleurs-de-lys,” to one having only three fleurs-de-lys. Richard
altered the French coat on his shield in accordance with this change,
and this became the royal coat of arms of England until the accession of
James I. With regard to the supporters which are found on some of
Berthelet’s bindings, they are only the dragon and the greyhound. The
dragon is the red dragon of the last of the British kings, Cadwallader,
from whom Henry VII. claimed descent, and in remembrance of whom he bore
it as a supporter, as did all our Tudor sovereigns. This, however, is
only one explanation, as it appears that a very similar badge was
previously borne by Henry III., Edward I., and Edward III. The greyhound
was also one of Henry VII.’s supporters, and is found on several of his
bindings; it was used by Henry VIII. until about 1528, when he
substituted a lion and changed the sides. This greyhound was borne by
Henry VII. by a double right, partly by reason of his own descent from
the Earls of Somerset, whose badge it was, and also by right of his wife
through the Nevilles.

The badges found on Berthelet’s bindings are the portcullis, used by all
the Tudors in remembrance of the castle of the Beauforts in Anjou, where
Henry VII.’s maternal grandfather was born; the double rose, red and
white, used first by the Lancastrian Henry VII. on his marriage with
Elizabeth of York, as a symbol of the union of the two rival houses; the
fleur-de-lys, doubtless taken as one of the bearings from the French
coat of arms; and the daisy, borne in remembrance of Margaret Beaufort,
mother of Henry VII. All these are found on bindings made by Berthelet,
sometimes singly and sometimes in combination on one binding.

Henry VII. was the first English king who attempted to form a library of
his own, and besides manuscripts, he possessed a very fine collection of
splendid volumes printed by Antoine Verard at Paris. These books are now
part of the old Royal Library in the British Museum, and since they have
been there they have all been rebound in velvet, which may probably be
taken as some sign that they were originally bound in that material; and
this is likely enough, as all the bindings still existing that belonged
to this king are bound in it. Some of these beautiful bindings are now
in the library at Westminster Abbey, but the finest example of any of
them is in the British Museum.

During the reign of Henry VIII. some large heraldic panel stamps bearing
the royal coat of arms were made here, probably by Dutch workmen, as
they have characteristics of foreign workmanship. These stamps are often
considered royal, but it is doubtful whether they ever were so. Two of
them bear the royal coat of arms as used by Henry VII. and Henry VIII.
One shows the royal coat, crowned, with supporters, stars, and a few
flowers, and at the top the sun in glory and a half-moon with a face in
profile, the arms of the City of London, and the cross of St. George;
the other, a handsomer design, has likewise the royal coat of arms,
crowned, with supporters, but at the top there are two angels carrying
scrolls, and having between them a large double rose, while below are
two portcullises, depending from the lower edge of the shield by chains.
Two other panel stamps belonging to this series show the coats of arms
of Queen Katharine of Aragon and Queen Anne Boleyn, and these have large
shields, crowned, and supported by angels, with a ground on which are
several flower sprays.

[Illustration: PLATE V.

CALF BINDING OF “GALTERI DELOENI LIBELLUS DE TRIBUS HIERARCHIIS.” A MS.
DEDICATED TO HENRY VIII., AND BOUND FOR HIM.

See page 68.]

These stamps are always accompanied by another, which shows peculiar
characteristics tending to prove that none of them are royal. This stamp
always bears upon it some initial or device that belonged to a printer
of the time. It consists of a large double rose supported by two angels,
each bearing a scroll, on which, read together, is the legend, “_Hec
rosa virtutis de celo missa sereno eternū florens regia sceptra feret_.”
In the two upper corners are a sun in glory and a half-moon with face in
profile, the shield of the City of London, the cross of St. George, and
several stars. Below are a few scattered flower sprays and the initials
or device of a printer. The commonest initials occurring on these panels
are probably H. J., most likely Henry Jacobi; J. R., very likely John
Reynes; G. G., possibly Garret Godfrey; R. L., perhaps Richard Lant; and
many others of less note.

Judging from the use of the greyhound as one of the royal supporters,
none of these stamps were cut after 1528, and Mr. Weale considers they
may have been first used as early as 1485. I described and figured all
of them in “The Queen” of June 20, 1891.

Although books bearing these designs are now generally considered
non-royal, they are nevertheless frequently put forward as having
belonged to Henry VII. and his successors, and in many places and
catalogues they will be found so described. They are fine and well-cut
stamps, and are impressed sometimes on sheep, but usually on fine calf
leather; and no doubt if it were not for the existence upon them of
trade-marks, private monograms, and city emblems, there would be much in
favour of such a supposition. It may be that they were allowed to be
used by members of the Stationers Company, at that time of much
importance.

Immediately after the general discontinuance of large panel stamps with
royal heraldic designs, Thomas Berthelet became royal printer and
binder to Henry VIII., and the earliest of his large stamps bears some
resemblance to the stamp just described as having two portcullises
dependent from the lower part of the shield. It is possible that
Berthelet took his design from this stamp. But whatever Berthelet’s
early bindings may have been like, the distinguishing characteristic of
his work is the gold-tooling, properly so called, which he was, so far
as is yet known, the first Englishman to use. A large portion of the
printing he did was in the form of proclamations, single sheets, and
other official matters, which were never bound; but as time went on, and
the king, with his Tudor love of magnificence, perhaps to some extent
regretting his own destruction of the beautiful and valuable Mediæval
bindings, feeling that something more ornamental than the sombre panel
stamps was wanted, Berthelet, being already royal printer, was no doubt
further commissioned to make decorative royal bindings. This he did on
both velvet and satin, materials already royal favourites, as well as
using his new art of leather gilding in as decorative a manner as
possible.



CHAPTER II.

DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE CONCERNING BERTHELET AND HIS WORK.


It is evident that in the early part of the reign of Henry VIII. there
was a large importation of foreign-bound books, much to the detriment of
native workmen. So great was the abuse caused by this importation, that
it was found advisable to issue various official papers on the subject.

The earliest English document concerning printed books is a statute made
in the first year of King Richard III., by virtue of which foreigners
were allowed to bring over their books and sell them without let or
hindrance. The result of this permission was, however, not quite what
was intended, as very shortly numbers of Englishmen became expert in the
craft of printing “in all poyntes,” as well as skilled in the “mysterye
of byndynge”; and these found themselves so outnumbered by aliens and
hampered by the foreign competition, that in 1533 an act was passed for
their relief, the most important clause in which was one imposing a
forfeit of six shillings and eight pence on every printed book brought
from abroad ready bound in boards, leather, or parchment.

The act is as follows:--

“Anno XXV., Henrici VIII. (1533). Actis made in the session of this
present Parliament, cap. XV. London, printed by Thomas Berthelet.

“Where as by the prouision of a statute made in the fyrste yere of the
reygne of Kynge Rycharde the thyrde, it was prouided in the same acte,
that all straungers repayrynge in to this realme, myghte laufully bringe
in to the sayd realme printed and written bokes to selle at theyr
libertie and pleasure. By force of whiche prouision there hath comen in
to this realme sithen the makynge of the same, a marueylous nombre of
printed bookes and daylye dothe. And the cause of the makynge of the
same prouysion semethe to be, for that there were but fewe bokes and
fewe printers with in this realme atte that tyme, whyche coulde welle
exercise and occupie the sayd science and crafte of pryntynge: Never the
lesse, sythen the makynge of the sayde prouisyon, manye of this realme,
beynge the kynges naturalle subjectes, haue gyuen them soo delygentelye
to lerne and exercyse the sayd crafte of printynge, that at this daye
there be within this realme a greate nombre counnynge and experte in the
sayd science or crafte of pryntynge, as able to exercyse the sayde
crafte in all poyntes, as anye straunger in anye other realme or
contray. And further more where there be a greate numbre of the kynges
subiectes within this realme, whiche lyue by the crafte and mysterye of
byndynge of books, and that there be a greate multitude welle experte in
the same: yet all this not withstandynge there are dyuers persons, that
bringe from beyonde the se greate plentie of printed bookes, not onelye
in the latyne tonge, but also in our maternall englishe tonge some
bounde in bordes, some in lether, and some in parchment, and them selle
by retayle, wherby many of the kynges subiectes, beinge bynders of
bokes, and hauing none other facultie wherewith to gette theyr lyuinge,
be destitute of worke, and lyke to be vndone: except some reformation
herin be had. Be it therefore enacted by the kynge oure soverayne lorde,
the lordes spiritual and temporal, and the commons in this present
parlyament assembled, and by auctoritie of the same, that the sayde
Prouiso, made the fyrst yere of the sayd King Richarde the thirde from
the feaste of the

[Illustration: PLATE VI.

CALF BINDING OF A COPY OF THE WORKS OF ST. CHRYSOSTOM, PRINTED AT BASLE
IN 1530. MADE FOR HENRY VIII.

See page 71.]

natiuitie of our lorde god next commynge shalbe voyde and of none
effecte. And further be it enacted by the auctorite afore sayde, that no
person or persons, resiant or inhabitant within this realme after the
sayd feast of Christmas next comyng shal bie to sel ageyne any printed
bokes brought from any parties out of the kynges obeysance, redye bouden
in bordes, lether, or parchement, uppon peyne to lose and forfayte for
everye boke bounde oute of the sayde kynges obeysance, and brought into
this realme, and bought by any person or persons within the same to sell
agayne, contrarie to this act, syxe shyllynge eyghte pence.

“And be it further enacted by the auctorite afore-sayde, that no persone
or persones inhabytant or resiante within this realme, after the saide
feast of Christmas, shall bye within this realmes, of any stranger,
borne oute of the kynges obedience other then of denizens, any manner of
printed bokes, brought from any the parties beyond the see, except onely
by engrose and not by retayle: upon peine of forfaiture of VIˢ VIIIᵈ for
every boke so bought by retayle, contrarie to the fourme and effect of
this estatute, the said forfaytures, to be always leuied of the byers of
any suche bookes, contrarie to this act; etc. Provided alwaye, etc.”

This act, stringent though it seems, was not of much effect, as
presently appears by a study of the transcripts of the Stationers
Company, most usefully reprinted by Mr. Edward Arber, amongst which will
be found several rules and ordinations concerning the foreign
bookbinders. These men, undoubtedly skilful in their trade, ultimately
settled here in considerable numbers, and not only became naturalized
Englishmen, but in all probability eventually benefited our styles and
methods by the introduction of new ideas and a high standard of
technical workmanship. A second great irruption of foreign workmen,
binders among them, took place in England in 1685, on the revocation of
the Edict of Nantes. On this occasion, also, it is probable that our
native styles and methods ultimately benefited considerably by the
importation of new blood.

Nothing is known about Thomas Berthelet until he became connected with
the state printing under Henry VIII. He succeeded Richard Pynson as
royal printer and binder in 1530, and received his appointment to this
position by means of a royal patent. This patent is the earliest of the
kind known, for although Pynson called himself “Printer unto the King’s
noble grace,” his official authority for doing so is not forthcoming.

Berthelet’s is, however, extant, and reads as follows:--

“Rex omnibus ad quos praesentes, ac, salutem. Sciatis quod nos de gratia
nostra speciali, ac ex certa scientia, & mero motu nostris dedimus &
concessimus, ac per praesentes damus et consedimus dilecto servienti
nostro Thomae Barthelet impressori nostro quandam annuitatem, sive
quendam annualem redditum quatuor librarum sterlingorum, habendum &
annuatim percipiendum proedictam annuitatem sive annualem redditum
quatuor librarum eidem Thomae Barthelet, à festo Paschae, anno regni
nostro vicesimo primo, durante vita sua de thesauri nostro ad receptam
scaccarii nostri per manus thesaurarum & camerarii nostrorum ibidem pro
tempore existendo ad festa sancti Michaelis archangeli & Paschae per
equales portiones &c., quod expressamentio &c. In cujus, &c. testimonium
rei apud Westmonasteriensem, vicesimo secundo die Februarii, anno regni
Henrici VIII., vicesimo primo. Per breve privato sigillo.”

It will be seen that by virtue of this document Berthelet enjoyed a life
income of four pounds sterling annually, the same sum that had been
given to Richard Pynson in September, 1515. There is also a note to this
effect among the Patent Rolls. (21 Hen. VIII., Pt. II. m. 17, dated York
Place 13ᵗʰ Feby 21 Hen. VIII.)

Not only was he thus marked for the king’s favour, but he also enjoyed
what in those days was considered a high honour; he was granted a coat
of arms by Clarenceulx, king of arms, on September 1, 1549. This grant
exists in the College of Arms in London, and the arms are thus
described:--

“The armes and creste of Thomas Berthelet of London, esquyer,
gentillman; he bereth asure on a cheveron flore contre flore argent,
betwene three doves of the same, thre trefiles vert. per chrest. upon
his helm, out of a crounall silver two serpents endorsed asure ventred
gold open mouthed, langued and eyed geules, there tailes comyng up in
saulre under thire throtes, the endes of the tailes entering into their
eres, langued and armed geules manteled geules, doubled silver, as more
plainly apperith depicted in this margent; graunted and given by me
Thomas Hawley alias Clarenceulx, Kyng of armes, the first day of
September in the thirde yere of the reygne of our soverange lorde Kynge
Edward the VI etc.”

Pynson used heraldic emblems with the helmet of an esquire on some of
his bindings; but he appears to have assumed the dignity without
official warrant.

Berthelet’s continued presence in England was also considered of
sufficient importance to justify a special exemption in his favour from
serving the king abroad in his wars in France. (Patent Roll. 36 Hen.
VIII., Pt. II.)

In the state papers preserved in the Record Office in London are several
notices referring to the official printing work done by Thomas
Berthelet. These testify to the importance and confidential nature of
the work intrusted to him, and show how he was sometimes, on
particularly urgent or secret occasions, ordered to set up the type
himself, and also was obliged to take an oath of secrecy. Misprints were
evidently a thorn in his side, more than one entry referring to such
difficulties, of which doubtless numbers escaped official notice. From
these entries I have chosen a few for quotation.

     Treasurer of the Chamber’s Accounts.

     Oct 22ⁿᵈ 1530. To Thos Bartlet (Berthelet) for printing 1600 papers
     and books of proclamation for ordering and punishing sundry beggars
     and vacabundes, and dampnyng of books containing certain errors, at
     1ᵈ per leaf. £8 6ˢ 8ᵈ.

     (Trevelyan Papers. Record Office. Letters and Papers Hen. 8ᵗʰ Vol.
     5. p. 322.)

     Richard Croke to Cromwell 17ᵗʰ Septʳ. 1532.

     After I left, Bartelot, the printer, told me that Goodrycke
     requested him to advertise the King of certain errors in “The
     Glasse off Truthe,” which Bartelot refused, saying he had moved the
     King in such matters beforetime, and his Grace was not content with
     it. Though this was told Croke secretly, thinks it his duty to make
     it known to Cromwell, and that he should get out by policy from
     Goodricke what errors he notes. Thinks that Bartelot will speak of
     it to others.

     (Letters and Papers Hen. 8ᵗʰ Vol. 5. No. 1320. p. 572.)

     Cromwell to Sir Thomas Audeley, Lord Chancellor. 11ᵗʰ Novʳ. 1534.

     It is necessary to have some copies of the proclamation printed to
     night, that they may be sent to sundry parts with the books of
     answer. Desires him to send a true copy by the bearer. Will then
     send for Bartelet the printer, swear him and cause him to have them
     printed to-night. The Rolls, 11 Nov.

     Asks him to have the proclamations written and sealed, and bring
     them to-morrow at 10 o’clock. The duke of Norfolk and he will tarry
     dinner till he comes.

     Below is Audeley’s answer.

     Will have 20 proclamations written as Cromwell wishes. Has
     commanded Crooke to deliver one true original to Bartelott with
     orders to set the print himself to-night, and make speed. Will be
     with Cromwell to-morrow at the hour appointed.

     (Letters and Papers Hen. 8ᵗʰ Vol. 7. p. 535. No. 1415.)

The most important as well as the most interesting document concerning
Berthelet is a long bill of his, giving details of books supplied by him
to King Henry VIII., between the dates 1541-1543. This bill is written
on twelve leaves of paper, and with it a warrant on vellum, signed by
the king, ordering the payment to be made. Berthelet’s autograph receipt
is also appended. This document was purchased by the British Museum in
1870, and although it does not seem that any of the items mentioned in
it can positively be identified, there are many instances in which it is
likely enough that in the same museum are some of the actual books
referred to. (Add. MS. 28. 196.)

Several of the entries in this bill are of great interest. We find that
many of the bindings were bound back to back; none now remain that were
made at so early a date, but several instances of this curious method of
binding that were made during the seventeenth century, bound both in
leather and in satin, still exist.

White leather “gorgiously gilted on the leather” is mentioned more than
once, and velvet, purple, and black were occasionally used, but the
style of the decoration of it is left entirely to the imagination.

Again, “Crymosyn satin” only is mentioned, without any word of
embroidery or other ornamentation, while leather, probably brown calf,
is here and there described as being “gorgiously gilte,” and also
“bounde after the Italian” or “Venecian fascion.”

The prices in this bill should be multiplied by about twelve to bring
them into line with our present currency.

The bill is worded as follows:--

[Illustration]

We wolle and commaunde you that of suche our Treausour as in your handes
remayneth ye doe ymedyatly upon the sighte herof pay or doe to be paide
unto our trustie servaunte Thomas Berthelett our prynter the somme of
one hundred seventene pounds sixepence and one halfepeny sterlyng. The
whiche is due and owyng by us unto hym for certeyne parcelles delyvered
by the seid Thomas unto us and other at our commandement as in this
booke, whereunto this our present warraunte is annexed particularly
dothe appere. And these our lettres signed with our hande shalbe unto
you a suffycient warraunte and discharge for the same. Yoven under our
Signemanuell, at our Manour of Wodstooke, the xxiiij^{ṭị} of September,
the xxxv yere of our reigne.

To our right trustie and righte welbeloved Sr. Edward Northe, Knyghte,
treausourer of thaugmentaciouns of the Revenues of our Crowne.

[Illustration: PLATE VII.

WHITE LEATHER BINDING OF A MS. ENTITLED “LA SCIENCE DE GEOMETRIE.”

See page 74.]

     _Receyved of sir Edward North, Knight, treasourer of the
     Augmentations, the sayd summe of one hundred seventene poundes vj.
     d. ob. according to the tenour of this warrant, the 29 day
     September, aᵒ regni regis Henrici viij, xxxv._

[Illustration]

Anno Domini 1541, et anno regni serenissimi et invictissimi Regis
Henrici Octavi, Dei gratia Anglie Francie et Hibernie Regis, fidei
Defensoris, et in terra Ecclesie Anglicane et Hibernice Supremi Capitis,
tricesimo tercio.

In primis, delyvered to my Lorde Chaumcellour, the ixth day of December,
xx^{ṭị} Proclamacons, made for the enlargyng of Hatfeld Chace, printed
in fyne velyme, at vj^{ḍ} the pece. Summa, 10s.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the xxx day of December, a Newe
Testament in englisshe and latyn, of the largest volume, price 3s.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the vj day of January, a Psalter
in englisshe and latyne, covered with crimoysyn satyne, 2s.

Item delyvered the same tyme, a Psalter, the Proverbes of Salomon, and
other smalle bookes bounde together, price 16d.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hygnes, for a little Psalter, takyng out of
one booke and settyng in an other in the same place, and for gorgious
byndyng of the same booke, xijᵈ and to the Goldesmythe, for taking of
the claspes and corner, and for settyng on the same ageyne xvj^{ḍ} Summa
2s. 4d.

Item delyvered unto the Kinges hyghnes, the xv day of January, a New
Testament in latyne, and a Psalter englisshe and latyne, bounde backe to
backe, in white leather, gorgiously gilted on the leather; the bookes
came to ijS. the byndyng and arabaske drawyng in golde on the transfile,
iiij^{ṣ} Summa 6s.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the xviij day of January, a booke
called _Enarraciones Evangeliorum Dominicalium_, bounde in crymosyn
satyne; the price 3s. 4d.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hig(h)nes, the xxiij day of January, a
booke of the Psalter in englisshe and latyne, the price viijᵈ; and a
booke entiteled _Enarraciones Evangeliorum Dominicalium_, the price
xij^{ḍ}; and for the gorgious byndyng of them, backe to backe, iij^{ṣ}
iiij^{ḍ} Summa 5s.

Item delyvered to Maister Hynwisshe, to the Kinges use, a paper booke of
vj queres royall, gorgiously bounde in leather 7s. 6d.

Item delyvered to my Lorde Chauncellour, the xxv day of January vjᶜ.
Proclamacions concernyng the Kinges stile; eche of them conteynyng one
leafe of bastarde paper, at j^{ḍ} the pece. Summa 50^{ṣ}

Item delyvered to my Lorde Chauncellour, the iiij day of February, vjᶜ.
Proclamacions concernyng eatyng of whyte meates; eche of them conteyning
one hole leafe of Jene paper, at ob. the pece, 25^{ṣ}

Item delyvered the xxvᵗʰ day of February, to the Kinges hyghnes,
_Ambrosius super epistolas sancti Pauli xx^{ḍ}_

Item one Psalter in englisshe, in viijᵒ xxᵈ.

Item ij litle Psalters, xvj^{ḍ} Summa 4s. 8d.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the laste day of February, xij
bookes intitled _Summaria_ (in) _Evangelia et Epistolas ut leguntur_, ij
bounde in paper bordes at viijᵈ the pece, and x in forrelles, at vjᵈ the
pece, 6s. 4d.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the iij day of Marche, one
_Summaria in Evangelia et Epistolas_, gorgiously bounde, and gilte on
the leather, price 2s.

Item delyvered the same day, ij bookes, intitled _Conciliaciones locorum
Althemeri_, price 4s.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the same day, one _Opus Zmaragdi_,
price 4s. 8d.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the vth day of Marche, one _Novum
Testamentum_, bounde with a _Summaria_, price 2s.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the ix day of Marche, one _Novum
Testamentum_, in latyne, bounde with a _Summaria super Epistolas et
Evangelia_, 2s.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the xijᵗ day of Marche, one
_Authoritas allegabiles sacre scripture_, with one _Summaria in
Evangelia et Epistolas_, gorgiously bounde in whyte, and gilte on the
lether, iiij Item, _Sedulius in Paulum_ at iijs. Item, _Petrus Lumberdus
in Epistolas sancti Pauli_, at iijˢ iiijᵈ. Item, _Homelie ven. Bede in
Epistolas Dominicalis_, at xvjᵈ. Item, _Questiones Hugonis super
Epistolas sancti Pauli_, ijṣ Summa 13s. 8d.

Item delyvered to the Kinges Maiestie, the xv day of Marche, _Thomas de
Aquino, in Evangelia Dominicalia, et Homelie Bede, una ligati cum
alijs_; price 2s 8d.

Item, _Psalterium_ in latyne, and a Psalter in englisshe, _una legati_;
price 2s. 8d.

Item, _Arnobius super psalmos_, 2s.

Item, _Haymo super psalmos_, 2s.

Item, _Jo, de Turre-cremata super Evangelia_, 2s 8d.

Item, _Omelia Haymonis super Evangelia_, 16d.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the xvj day of Marche, one
_Arnobius super Psalterium_, bounde with other bookes, 2s.

Item, delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the xviij day of Marche, one
_Arnobius super Psalterium_, and one Psalter in englisshe, price 2s. 8d.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the xix day of Marche, _Homilie
Bede hyemales_, bounde with his _Homilijs on the Pistles_, price 2s. 8d.

Item, _Homilie Bede aestivales_, bound alone, price 20d.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the xxiij day of Marche, _Homelie
Bede pars estivalis_, bounde with his Homilies on the Epistoles, price
2s. 8d.

Item the same day, delyvered to his grace, _Enarraciones sancti Thome de
Aquino super Evangelia_, bounde with _Homilijs Bede super Epistolas_,
the price 2s. 8d.


Anno Domini 1542.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the xxvᵗⁱ day of Marche, one
Psalter in latyne of Colines printe, and one in englisshe, bounde
together; the price ijˢ viiiᵈ. Item, _Arnobius super Psalterium_, and a
Psalter in englisshe, bound together, price ijˢ viijᵈ. Item, _San(c)tus
Thomas de Aquino super Mathuem_, the price ijˢ. Summa 6^{ṣ} 8^{ḍ}

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the xxvij day of Marche, one
_Cathena aurea divi Thome de Aquino in Evangelia Dominicalia_, price ij
iiijᵈ.

Item the same day delyvered to his hyghnes, one _Postilla Guilielmi
Par(is)iensis_, price ijṣ Summa 5s. 4d.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the xxviij dau of Marche, one
_Enarraciones sancti Thome de Aquino in Evangelia Dominicalia, with
Homilijs ven. Bede in Epistolas ut per totum annum leguntur in templis_,
price ijˢ viijᵈ. Item, _Psalterium_ in latine, with _Arnobius super
Psalmos_; the price ijˢ viijᵈ. Item, _Faber super Epistolas Catholicas_
the price xxᵈ. Item, _Dydimus Alexandrianus_, with Beda upon the
_Epistolas Catholicas_, price ijˢ. Item, one _Catanus super Evangelia_,
price iijˢ iiijᵈ Summa 12s.

Item delyered to the Kinges hyghnes, the xxx day of Marche, one _Cathena
Aurea divi Thome Super Evangelia in duobos_, price 5s.

Item delyvered the same day to his grace, one _Dionysius Carth._; and a
_Faber Stampe super Epistolas Catholicas_, price 3s.

Item delyvered the same day, one _Dydimus Alexandrinus_, and _Beda super
Epistolas Catholicas_, price 2s.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the ij day of Aprill, one _Thomas
de Aquino in Evangelia Dominicalia_, and _Beda super Epistolas_, bounde
together, price 2s 8d.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the same day, one _Homilie
Johannis Chrysostomi in Matheum_, the price 2s.

Item, one _Homilie Jo. Chrysostomi in Johannem Marcum et Lucam_, price
2s. 4d.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the xjᵗ day of Aprill, _Dionysium
Carthus. in Evang._ in viij, bound in ij, price 5s.

Item delyvered the same day, to my Lorde Chauncellour of England, iiijᶜ
Proclamacions concernyng stealyng of haukes egges, and kepyng of soure
haukes; eche conteynyng a leafe of basterde paper, at jᵈ the pece. Summa
35s.

Item delyvered to my Lorde Chauncellour the xvj day of Aprill, iiijᶜ
Proclamacions concernyng stealing of haukes eggs, and kepyng of soure
haukes; eche of them conteynyng a hole leaffe of Jene paper at ob. the
pece. Summa 16s. 8d.

Item for iiijᶜ of the same, that were new made ageyne, at ab. the pece.
Summa 16s. 8d.

Item delyvered to my Lorde Chauncellour of England, the xx day of
Aprill, all these Actes followyng, printed in Proclamacions; that is to
wete, vᶜ of the Acte concernyng counterfeit lettres or privie tokens,
to receyve money or goodes in other mens handes; eche of them conteynyng
a leaffe of Jene paper, at ob. the pece, 20s. 10d.

Item delyvered vᶜ of the Acts concernyng bying of fisshe upon the see;
eche of them conteyning one hole leaffe of basterde paper, at j^{ḍ} the
pece. Summa 41s. 8d.

Item delyvered ijᶜ of the Acte concernyng foldyng of clothes in North
Walles, eche of them conteynyng halfe a leaffe of basterde paper, at ob.
the pece. Summa 8s. 4d.

Item vᶜ of the Acte concernyng pewterers; eche of them conteynyng one
hole leaffe of basterde paper, at jᵈ ob. the pece. Summa 3l. 2s. 6d.

Item C of the Acte concernyng kepyng of greate horsses; eche of them
conteynyng ij hoole leafes of basterde paper, at ijᵈ the pece. Summa 4l.
3s. 4d.

Item Vᶜ of the Acte concernyng crossboues and hande gonnes; eche of them
conteynyng iij holle leaves dim. of basterde paper at iijᵈ ob. the pece.
Summa 7l. 5s. 10d.

Item Vᶜ of the Acte concernyng the conveyaunce of brasse, latene, and
bell metall over the see; eche of them conteynyng one holle leafe of
basterde paper, at jᵈ the pece. Summa 41s. 8d.

Item vᶜ of the Acte ageynst conjuracions, witchecraftes sorcery, and
inchauntementes eche of them conteynyng one holle leafe of Jene paper,
at ob. the pece. Summa 20s. 10d.

Item vᶜ of the Acte for the mayntenaunce of artillarie, debarryng
unlaufull games; eche of them conteynyng iiij holle leaves of basterde
paper, at llljᵈ the pece. Summa 8l. 6s. 8d.

Item vᶜ of the Acte concernyng the execucion of certeyne Statutes; eche
of them conteynyng iij hoole leaves dim. of bastarde paper, at iijᵈ ob.
the pece. Summa 7l. 5s. 10d.

[Illustration: PLATE VIII.

UPPER COVER OF THE CALF BINDING OF VOL. I. OF A BIBLE PRINTED AT ANTWERP
IN 1534. MADE FOR HENRY VIII. AND QUEEN ANNE BOLEYN.

See page 74.]

Item vᶜ of the Acte for bouchers to selle at their libertie, by weyghte
or otherwise; eche of them conteynyng one holle leafe of basterde paper,
at 1ᵈ the pece. 41s. 8d.

Item vᶜ of the Acte for murdre and malicius bloudshed within the Courte;
eche of them conteynyng iij hole leaves dim. of Basterde paper at iijᵈ
ob. the pece. Summa 7l. 5s. 10d.

Item xij of the Acte concernyng certeyne Lordships, translated from the
Countie of Denbigh to the Countie of Flynt; eche of them conteynyng one
hoolle leaffe of basterde paper, at jᵈ the pece. Summa 12d.

Item vᶜ of the Acte concernyng false prophesies upon declaracion of
armes, names, or badges; eche of them conteynyng a dim. leafe of
basterde paper, at ob. the pece, 20s. 10d.

Item vᶜ of the Acte concernyng the translation of the saynctuarie from
Manchestere to Westechester; eche of them conteynyng one hoolle leaffe
dim. of basterde paper, at jᵈ ob. the pece. Summa 3l. 2s. 6d.

Item vᶜ of the Acte for worsted yarne in Northefolke; eche of them
conteynyng a hoolle leaffe of basterde paper, at jᵈ the pece. Summa 41s.
8d.

Item vᶜ of the Acte for confirmacion and continuacion of certeyne Actes;
eche of them conteynyng one hoolle leafe of basterde paper, at jᵈ the
pece. Summa 41s. 8d.

Item vᶜ of the Acte for the true making of kerseyes; eche of them
conteynyng one holle leafe dim, of basterde paper, at jᵈ ob. the pece.
Stmma 3l. 2s. 6d.

Item vᶜ of the Acte expondyng a certeyn Statute concernyng the shippyng
of clothes; eche of them conteynyng a dim leafe of basterde paper, at
ob. the pece. Summa 20s. 10d.

Item for the byndyng of ij Primmers, written and covered with purple
velvet, and written abowte with golde, at iijˢ the pece. Summa 6s.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the vj day of Maye, xij of the
Statutes made in the Parliament holden in the xxxiijᵗⁱ yere of his moste
gracious reigne; at xvjᵈ the pece. Summa 16s.

Item delyvered to Mr James, Maister Denes servaunte for the Kinges
hyghnes use, the xvjᵗʰ day of Maye, a greate booke of paper imperiall,
bound after the facion of Venice, price 15s.

Item delyvered to the seid Maister James, for the Kinges hyghnes use,
another greate booke of paper imperiall, bounde after the Italian
fascion, the price 14s.

Item delyvered the xiiij day of June, to Maister Daniell, servaunte to
Maister Deny, to the Kinges hyghnes use, ij bookes of paper royall,
bound after the Venecian fascion, the price, 18s.

Item delyvered to Maister Secretory, Maister Wrysley the v day of
November, iij dosen bookes of the Declaracion of the Kinges hyghnes
title to the soverayntie of Scotland, at iiijᵈ the pece. Summa 12s.

Item delyvered to Maister Jones, servaunte to Maister Deny, the xxx daye
of December, v _Tullius de Officijs_, bounde in paper bourdes, at xvjᵈ
the pece, and one gorgiously gilted for the Kinges hyghnes, price iijˢ
iiiᵈ Summa, 10s.

Item for byndyng of a paper booke for the Kinges hyghnes, and the
gorgious giltyng thereof, delyvered the xiiij day of January to Mr
Turner, 3s. 4d.

Item delyvered to Maister Hynnige, for the Kinges hyghnes use the vij
day of Febr. a greate paper booke of royall paper, bounde after the
Venecian fascion, price 8s.

Item delyvered the ix day of February, to my Lorde Chauncellour, vjᶜ of
the Proclamacions for white meates, at ob. the pece, 25s.

Item delyvered the vj day of Marche, iij bookes of “The Institution of a
xp’en man,” made by the clergy, vnto the Kinges most honerable Counsayll
at xxᵈ the pece, 5s.


Anno Domini 1543.

Item delyvered the vj day of Aprill, to Maister Henry Knyvett, for the
Kinges hyghnes, a bridgement of the Statutes, gorgiously bounde, 5s.

Item delyvered to the Kinges moost honerable Counsaill, the viiij day of
Aprill, iij litle bookes of the Statutes, price xij^{ḍ} Item iij bookes
of the vj Articles, price vj^{ḍ} Item iij of the Proclamacions ageynst
Anabaptistes, price vj^{ḍ} Item iij Proclamacions of ceremones, price
vj^{ḍ} Item iij of the Injunccions, price vj^{ḍ} Item iij of holy dayes,
price iij^{ḍ} Summa. 3s. 3d.

Item delyvered to my Lorde Chauncellour of England the iiij daye of
Maye, ijᶜ Proclamacions concernyng the price of suger, conteynyng one
hole leafe of basterde paper, at j^{ḍ} the pece. Summa. 16s. 8d.

Item for the byndyng of a booke written on vellim, by Maister Turner,
covered with blacke velvet, 16d.

Item delyvered to my Lorde Chauncellor, the xxxj day of Maye, vᶜ of the
Acte for the advauncement of true religion and abolisshment of the
contrarie, made out in Proclamacions; eche of them conteynyng iii leaves
dim. of greate basterde paper, at iijd. ob. the pece. Summa, 7l. 5s.
10d.

Item delyvered vᶜ of the Acte for the explanacion of the statutes of
willes, made out in Proclamacions; eche of them conteynyng iii leaves of
great basterd paper, at iijd the pece. Summa, 6s. 5d.

Item delyvered vᶜ of the Acte agaynst suche parsones as doe make
bankeruptes, made out in Proclamacions, eche of them conteynyng two
greate leaves of basterde paper, at ijd. the pece. Summa, 4l. 3s. 4d.

Item delyvered vᶜ of the Acte for the preservacion of the ryver of
Severne, made oute in Proclamacions; eche of them conteynyng two small
leaves of paper, at jd, the pece; 41s. 8d.

Item delyvered vᶜ of the Acte concernyng collectours and receyvours,
made out in Proclamacions; eche of them conteyning a leafe dim. of
paper, at jd. the pece. Summa, 41s. 8d.

Item delyvered vᶜ of the Acte for the true making of coverlettes in
Yorke, made oute in Proclamacions; eche of them conteyning ij smalle
leaves of paper, at jd. the pece. Summa. 41s. 8d.

Item delyvered vᶜ of the Acte for the assise of cole and woode, made owt
in Proclamacions; eche of them conteynyng a leafe of smalle paper, at
ob. the pece. Summa, 20s. 10d.

Item delyvered vᶜ of the Acte, that persons, beyng noe common surgions,
may mynistre outwarde medycines, made oute in Proclamacions; eche of
them conteynyng a leafe of smalle paper, at ob. the pece. Summa, 20s.
10d.

Item delyvered vᶜ of the Acte to auctorise certeyne of the Kinges
majesties counsaill to sett prices upon wines; made out in
Proclamacions, eche of them conteynyng a leafe of paper, at ob. the
pece. Summa, 20s. 10d.

Item delyvered vᶜ of the Acte for the true making of pynnes, made out in
Proclamacions; eche of them conteynyng halfe a leafe of paper, at ob.
the pece. Summa, 10s 5d 1/2d.

Item delyvered vᶜ of the Acte for the true making of frises and cottons
in Wales, made oute in Proclamacions; eche of them conteynyng a leafe of
paper, at ob. the pece. Summa, 21s. 8d.

Item delyvered fiftie of the Acte for pavying of certeyne lanes

[Illustration: PLATE IX.

SATIN BINDING OF A COLLECTION OF SIXTEENTH-CENTURY TRACTS. MADE FOR
HENRY VIII.]

and streets in London and Westm., made out in Proclamacions; eche of
them conteynyng ij leaves of smalle paper, at jd. the pece, 4s. 2d.

Item delyvered fiftie of the Acte for knyghtes and burgeses to have
places in the parliament, for the county-palantyne and citie of Chester,
made out in Proclamacions; eche of them conteynyng a leaffe of smalle
paper, at ob. the pece; 2s. 1d.

Item delyvered fourtie bookes of the Acte for certeyne ordenaunces in
the Kinges majesties dominion and principalitie of Wales, at iiijᵈ the
pece. Summa 13s. 4d.

Item delyvered to the Kinges highnes, the firste day of June, xxiiij
bookes intitled “A necessary doctrine for any Christen man,” at xvjd.
the pece. Summa, 32s.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the third day of June xxiiij
bookes intitled “A necessary doctrine for any Christen man,” at xvjᵈ the
pece. Summa, 32s.

Item delyvered to the Kinges hyghnes, the iiij day of June, xxiiij of
the booke intitled “A necessary doctryne for any Christen man,” at xvjd
the pece. Summa, 32s.

Item delyvered to Maister Stokeley, the xij day of June, xij
Proclamacions for the advancement of true religion, at iijd. ob. the
pece; 3s. 6d.

Item xx of the Proclamacions of the Acte for explanacion of the statute
of willes, at iijd the pece. Summa, 5s.

Item xj proclamacions of the Acte of bankerupte, at ijd. the pece.
Summa, 3s. 4d.

Item xx Proclamacions of the Acte for Severne, at jd. the pece. Summa,
20d.

Item xx Proclamacions of the Acte of collectours and receyvours, at jd,
the pece, 20d.

Item xx Proclamacions of the Acte for making of coverlettes in Yorke, at
jd. the pece. Summa, 20d.

Item xx of the Proclamacions, that persones beyng noe comon surgions may
ministre outewarde medicynes, at ob. the pece. Summa, 10d.

Item xx Proclamacions of the Acte for certeyne of the Kinges maiesties
counsaill to sett prices of wynes; at ob. the pece. Summa, 10d.

Item xx Proclamacions of the Acte for true making of pynnes, at qᵃ the
pece, 5d.

Item xx Proclamacions of the Acte for true making of frises and cottons
in Wales; at ob. the pece. Summa, 10d.

Summa totalis, cxvi_jli_ vj. d. ob.

THOMAS AUDELEY,
_Cancellarius_.

The consideration of Thomas Berthelet as a printer is foreign to my
present purpose; the subject is a large one, and requires special
treatment and a long and careful study. There are more works left that
were printed by Berthelet than there are of any other of our early
English printers, and the greater number of the works he chose for
reproduction are important and valuable,--147 books are known to have
been printed by him. Many of Berthelet’s types are very beautiful. Some
of them are black letter; perhaps one of the finest founts is that used
for the Confessio Amantis of John Gower. Plate II. shows a reproduction
of the beautiful title-page of this book, of which I believe the border
is one of Berthelet’s own designing, or at all events made by the design
of the stamps used on his bindings; the resemblance of many of the black
curves printed in this book to those used in gold on the leather will be
at once apparent. Whenever any student ventures upon a close
examination of the printed work of Berthelet, he will be met with an
important initial difficulty, which is, that Berthelet’s nephew and
successor, Thomas Powell, was misguided enough to leave out the word
“late” on several of his imprints; that is to say, he printed many books
absolutely as if they had been issued by Berthelet himself, using the
same types and the same trade expressions altogether. In many instances
it will be almost impossible to decide definitely whether a particular
book was printed by the master himself or only by his man.

In the long list of works printed by Berthelet which is given by Ames,
there are statutes dated as early as 1529; and besides official
publications, there are numerous miscellaneous books of an important
character. Among these are several written by Sir Thomas Elyot and
Erasmus; Gower’s Confessio Amantis; Lyttylton’s Tenures; bibles,
dictionaries, plays, and chronicles.

On the title-page of a copy of Marcus Aurelius’s golden book is an
ornamental border. This border consists of a design of boys in
procession, one being carried on the shoulders of four others, and has
at the top a medallion with two sphinxes; the same design, however, if
not the same block, was used by other printers besides Berthelet.
Berthelet’s own device is a figure of Lucretia stabbing herself, with a
landscape in the distance and an architectural framework.

The colophons in Berthelet’s books are found both in Latin and in
English, one of the most usual being:--

“Imprinted in Fletestrete in the house of Thomas Berthelet nere to the
condite at the sygne of Lucrece.”

Common forms are also:--

“Londoni in Aedibus Tho. Bertheleti,” “Thome Bertheletus regius
impressor excudebat,” and “Impressus Londini in edibus regii
impressoris.”

And of rarer occurrence are the words:--

“In Aedibus Thome. Bertheleti typographi regii typis impress,” and
“Impressum in Flete-Strete prope aquagium sub intersignio Lucretiae
Romanae.”

There is a curious limit given as to price in a note at the end of a
copy of the “Doctrine and Erudition for any Christian Man,” printed in
1543, which says: “This boke bounde in paper boordes or claspes, not to
be sold aboue XVIᵈ.”

A few books were printed from 1556 to 1560 with Berthelet’s colophons,
after his death, on which the word “late” is prefixed to his name, but
this does not appear always to have been done.

Thomas Berthelet enjoyed what in his time must have been a very
lucrative post. Not only had he his regular fee, but he was also
constantly employed in official work, for which he was separately paid,
besides which he had private customers. There are several entries
respecting the investment of his property to be found in the Patent
Rolls of Henry VIII. Among these there are some which are of interest,
as showing how carefully changes of property were noted in those days;
e. g.:--

“On payment of a sum of 40 shillings licence was granted to Richard
Moryson to alienate two houses in Friday Street to Thomas Berthelet.”
(Patent Roll. 34 Hen. VIII., Pt. II.)

Again: “Grant to Thomas Berthelet of messuages and lands in St. Andrews,
Holborn, and St. Bride’s Fleet Street for a sum of £189. 3. 11.” (Patent
Roll. 35 Hen. VIII., Pt. III.)

And yet another grant is found in the Patent Roll, 36 Henry VIII., Pt.
XII., by which Thomas Berthelet received the following property in
consideration of a payment of £212. 10. 0.:--

“A house in the parish of St. Bride, known as Salisbury Place formerly
in the occupation of Richard Hyde, and before that belonging to the
dissolved monastery of Godstowe in Oxfordshire.

“A house in the parish of St. Margaret Moyses in Friday Street in the
city of London in the occupation of John Stanes.

“Another house in the same parish in the occupation of James Wilson, and
various houses also in the same parish in the occupation of William
Egleston.

“A house in Distaff Lane in the parish of St. Margaret Moyses in the
occupation of John Greene.

“All the above houses in the parish of St. Margaret’s having formerly
belonged to the monastery of the Graces near the Tower of London.

“Two houses in the parish of St. Bride, Fleet Street, one in the
occupation of John Hulson (scriptoris) and the other in the occupation
of John Lyons goldsmith (aurifabri), both of which were previously part
of the possessions of the Priory and Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.”

The will of Thomas Berthelet, Citizen and Stationer of London, is dated
September 23, 1555. It directs that his property shall be chiefly
divided between his wife Margery and his two sons, Edward and Anthony,
to each of whom substantial property in land and houses is left, the
elder one receiving the manor of Hilhampton in Hereford.

Thomas Powell, his nephew, and all his godchildren are remembered, also
his wife’s sister; and each apprentice receives the value of his own
yearly royal fee, four pounds.

The will also--

Directs that his body shall be buried in the parish church of St.
Bride’s, Fleet Street, in the Lady Chapel, and gives to his Son and
heir, Edward Barthelett, the manor of Hilhampton alias Ilhampton, in the
Co. of Hereford, and land in Marden, messuages and tenements in Fleet
Street, Bishopsgate Street, and Friday Street, amounting in all to one
third of his estate.

To his Younger Son, Anthony Barthelett, he leaves premises in Distaff
Lane, Friday Street, Bread Street, St. Sepulchre’s parish, St. Andrews,
Holborn, with reversion to elder brother, and Thomas Powell, his nephew.

To his Wife, Margaret (Margery), he gives property in the parish of St.
Andrews, Holborn,

“and the house with the ways walks etc, which I reserve for my own use
in Crokhorne Alley in the said parish of St. Andrews,”

--and a house in the parish of St. Sepulchre, with reversion to the two
sons and the heirs of Margery, his wife.

His goods to be divided into three parts, one to go to his wife, the
second to his two sons, with reversion to Christ’s Hospital, “_lately
erected_.” The third part reserved to pay funeral expenses and provide
the following:--

    To Thomas Powell, “nephew,” £40 in goods.
    “ Prudence Skynner, goddaughter, 20 shillings.
    “ Martha Salvoine, goddaughter, 20 shillings.
    “ each of his other godchildren six and eightpence.
    “ the church box at St. Bride, 20 shillings.
    “ Christ’s Hospital, ten pounds.
    “ Alice Cowper, wife’s sister, four pounds in money.
    “ each of his apprentices, four pounds in money or money’s worth.
    “ son Edward, gold chain weighing 12 ozs.
    “  “ Anthony, gold chain weighing 7 ozs.
    Residue of goods left to wife, Margery, sole executrix.

[Illustration: PLATE X.

CALF BINDING OF “JUL. CLAUD IGUINI ORATIO AD HEN. VIII.” MADE FOR THE
KING.

See page 78.]

     Trustees, John Abingtone, gentleman, clerk of the Queen’s woodyard,
     and John Wekes, citizen and goldsmith, with a legacy of four pounds
     apiece.

Witnesses, Richard Heywood.
Edward Ridge.
John Hulson.

     Probate granted 9ᵗʰ Novʳ 1555.

He probably died shortly after this will was executed, as there is the
following entry in the Stationers’ Hall Book A, of the date 1556:
“Rec^{ḍ} of Margery barthelett wydow XXVI Janu. iijˡ vlˢ viijᵈ which
Tho. Berthelett hyr husbande receuyed of Mr. Chamberlayne to the use of
our companye for Mr. andrewes Rewarde at his settynge over to the
vyntenners.... Item recevyd at the presente tyme of the sayde margery
for a rewarde to the cōpanye for comynge to the sayde thomas bartheletts
his buryal xiii iiij.”

Mrs. Margery eventually married Richard Payne, as is recorded in the
Repertories and Journals of the City of London (13 and 15 Hustings Roll
251. Nos. 10. 11); and Richard Grafton, grocer, and the same Richard
Payne, gentleman, were appointed trustees of the children of Thomas
Berthelet, according to the then custom of the city.



CHAPTER III.

THE BOOKBINDINGS OF THOMAS BERTHELET, WITH DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS OF SOME
TYPICAL EXAMPLES.


As has been shown, Thomas Berthelet lived in troublous times for
bookbinding. He doubtless knew of the rich Mediæval bindings, which in
his day were rapidly becoming scarce, and he was of course familiar with
the old blind-stamped leather work as well as the brown panel stamps
which were common at his time. He probably knew, also, the beautiful
gold-tooled Italian bindings which came over from the Continent as
rarities about the beginning of the sixteenth century. It will never be
known with certainty whether Italian workmen came over here and taught
Berthelet the art of gold-tooling on leather. If this was not the case,
then Berthelet experimented for himself and soon became proficient, but
several of his earlier bindings betray the hand of a tyro in this
difficult art. In favour of the theory that an Italian gilder came to
this country about the time that Berthelet became royal printer to Henry
VIII. is the fact that there was at least one binding made for James V.,
King of Scotland, adorned with gold-tooling, executed on calf by some
craftsman endowed with greater technical skill than Berthelet ever
showed. This binding is, however, of a weaker design than Berthelet’s
are: his designs are never frittered as this one is; nevertheless, it
must be noted that there are on the Scottish bindings some of the same
stamps that Berthelet used, as well as others of a slighter and more
ornate character. The volume is figured in the Dictionary of English
Book Collectors, Part V., and in 1894 it belonged to the late Mr.
Bernard Quaritch, of 15 Piccadilly, London.

Berthelet must have foreseen the very decorative possibilities that lay
in the direction of gold-tooling on leather, promising indeed to
compensate to a great extent for the loss of the beautiful and
fast-disappearing Mediæval bindings in gold, silver, or ivory. He worked
very energetically at his new art and quickly mastered it, the gilding
on the majority of his books being excellent. His stamps were cut
“solid,” closely after Italian models, even if those he started with
were not actually Italian stamps purchased by him from his problematical
teacher. In time these designs became largely modified, but always
retained much of the Italian feeling. Indeed, although Berthelet
eventually developed a style of his own, the Italian inspiration is
evident throughout. He could not have gone to a better school, as it is,
with much justification, often held that the Italian gold-tooled
bindings on leather of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries
are the finest in taste and altogether the most admirable ever produced.
In consequence of the number of foreign books that came over here, it
was incumbent on the native English workmen to do what they could to
introduce a good style of indigenous work, and Berthelet was the most
noted of the sixteenth-century binders who endeavoured to do this. The
old English idea of the circle entered largely into his later and more
ornamental designs, as also did the diamond, not in itself so original a
style, as it frequently occurs elsewhere, amongst other places on books
bound for Jean Grolier.

The bindings of the books printed by Thomas Berthelet have already in
many instances been noticed as examples of fine workmanship, but he has
not by any means always been credited with their authorship.

There are certain volumes which belonged to Henry VIII. at a period when
Berthelet was royal printer, some of which were

[Illustration: PLATE XI.

VELVET BINDING OF A BIBLE PRINTED AT ZURICH IN 1543. MADE FOR HENRY
VIII.

See page 79.]

actually printed by him, on which certain stamps impressed in gold occur
with great frequency. Several of these stamps are peculiar, and all of
them bear the characteristics of being designed by the same artist, one
who quite understood the art of designing curves for bookbindings. There
is now little doubt that these bindings issued from Berthelet’s
workshop, and they may be safely considered to be his workmanship.

Unfortunately none of the bindings attributed to Berthelet are signed.
There are numerous instances of signed bindings made in England both
before and during his time, but these are always on panel stamps, which
in all probability were seldom made by Englishmen. The fashion of
signing a binding outside has indeed been seldom followed here, although
it has been common on continental bindings for a long period. When
English workmen have signed their bindings it has generally been by
means of a small paper ticket pasted on the inside, or in very small
letters or initials impressed at the lower edge of the inside of the
boards.

Most of the bindings of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries
had silken ties fixed to the front edges of the boards. This peculiarity
was probably a survival of an old custom which prevailed during the
Middle Ages, when books were largely written on vellum, which is very
apt to curl; the ties helped the thick, heavy boards to counteract this
tendency. The ties on Berthelet’s bindings are now nearly all rubbed
off, but signs of them can be traced in most cases.

In default of a signed binding, we are driven, in Berthelet’s case, to
probability only with regard to fixing some standard by which to judge
his work. The stamps used on all the books printed by Berthelet which
are still in their original bindings are fortunately few in number, and
nearly all these stamps are found on the first binding described in my
list below. The gilding on this binding is bad, and evidently the work
of a beginner, and I think it is the first English book ornamented with
actual gold-tooling. It is dedicated to Henry VIII. and belonged to him,
and my theory is, that the king desired Berthelet to try the new form of
decoration on one of his own books, to be marked with his own heraldic
devices and special royal badges. Berthelet doubtless considered the
gold-tooling, which at that time he alone understood here, was a more
distinguished manner of marking his work than the commoner plan of
signing his name, as the foreign workmen were in the habit of doing on
their large panel stamps.

The finest of Berthelet’s bindings are all royal; those he made for
private owners are rarely very highly ornamented. It is not known what
kind of binding he executed before the time of his appointment as royal
printer; indeed, it is quite possible that he did not begin binding
until about that period; i. e., 1530. The chief official printing that
he did was in the form of statutes, proclamations, single sheets, and
other publications, which required no binding; but following the fashion
of his time, when he did print an actual book, it is highly probable
that he also bound it. The stamps he used on his earliest bindings were
new to English work, and it seems probable that if they were not
actually sent over to him from Italy he cut them closely resembling some
Italian model. They were not used after his death, and this disuse of a
binder’s stamps after his own time is always something of a mystery.
Stamps cut in metal for gilding designs on leather are very strong, and
as the work they have to do is very light, they would, as a matter of
fact, last much longer than they appear to if they were not destroyed
purposely. Most great binders seem to have taken steps to insure the
discontinuance of the use of their special stamps after their death,
and so it is usually conceded that if the general design as well as the
special stamps on any binding are similar to those found on any
acknowledged work of a particular binder, this binding must then be his
own work. Of course, other matters must be in proper accordance with
such attribution,--leather, date, and heraldic marks, if any. Also in
the case of a binder who produced much work, the fact of a binding
having issued from his workshop would entitle it to be called his work,
although his own hand may never have touched it.

The most important works in which figures and notices of Berthelet’s
bindings will be found are Mr. H. B. Wheatley’s book on the “Remarkable
Bindings in the British Museum,” London, 1889, in which five specimens
are figured in colour, none of them attributed to Berthelet, and they
are all very bad plates; in Mr. R. R. Holmes’s fine book on “Specimens
of Royal Bookbinding from the Royal Library, Windsor Castle,” London,
1893, in which two examples are figured, being fine plates in colour by
Mr. Griggs, which two plates, with one other, are reproduced in the
illustrated Catalogue of the Exhibition of Bookbindings held at the
Burlington Fine Arts Club in 1891; Mr. W. Y. Fletcher’s “English
Bookbindings in the British Museum,” London, 1895, in which several of
Berthelet’s finer bindings are naturally included, all shown in splendid
colour plates by Mr. Griggs; and in my own monograph on “Royal English
Bookbindings,” published in 1896, in which there is one bad colour plate
and one excellent half-tone (both by Evans) of acknowledged Berthelet
bindings. Besides these few there are no good plates to be found;
indeed, colour plates of bookbindings have been a source of much
tribulation to authors until late years, when Mr. William Griggs,
chromo-lithographer to the queen, has made a special study of their
production, with the result that he can now produce the finest work of
the kind to be found anywhere.

The immense majority of bookbindings made since the introduction of
printing into England are in some sort of leather, and there is a very
wide difference between the most elaborately decorated leather binding
and the usual rich Mediæval bindings in precious metals, which they
virtually superseded. In Berthelet’s bill, quoted in the second chapter,
will be found one or two entries which remind us that there really was a
sort of connecting link between these two widely divergent schools of
book decoration. This link is to be found in the embroidered bindings,
some of which, in all probability bound by Berthelet, still remain.
These bindings, without being intrinsically valuable, are very
ornamental indeed, and as far as appearance goes, they may well have
given satisfaction even to the magnificent taste of Henry VIII., without
adding to their beauty the strong temptation of being worth relegating
to the melting-pot. In the bill already quoted we find entries of books
bound in velvet and in satin, and as a fact we also find among Henry
VIII.’s books some which not only fit the descriptions to some extent,
but having curves and designs upon them which, allowing for the
unavoidable differences due to the material, strongly resemble some of
Berthelet’s curves as used on leather. The velvet bindings, some of
which remain that belonged to Henry VII., also take their place as very
decorative work; these are adorned in many cases with enamels, a form of
ornamentation having, in common with embroidery, a strong claim to
preservation because of its beauty, although equally of no intrinsic
value. There is nothing to connect these earlier bindings with
Berthelet. The one or two embroidered bindings which I venture to
attribute to him, and describe below in their chronological order, have
certainly in two instances some evidence to that effect inherent in
themselves, inasmuch as they have on their edges Berthelet’s usual
legend painted in gold.

[Illustration: PLATE XII.

CALF BINDING OF “TROGUS POMPEIUS. CHOROGRAPHICA, 1546” MADE FOR PRINCE
EDWARD.

See page 81.]

There are other embroidered books of the time of Henry VIII., which were
worked for him by his daughter Elizabeth, but although these probably
enough were put together for her by Berthelet, the designs upon them
have nothing of his about them, having in all probability been designed
by the princess herself. Some of these are at the Bodleian Library at
Oxford, and others in the British Museum; the finest of them have been
already figured and described.[A]

[A] Davenport, “English Embroidered Bookbindings.” Kegan Paul, London,
1899.

There certainly are enough specimens left of such ornamental bindings to
show that plain leather bindings were not always considered elaborate
enough in appearance to compensate entirely for the loss of the
gold-jewelled and enamelled productions which immediately preceded them;
and it seems wonderful that bindings made in such apparently fragile
materials as velvet and satin should not only be in existence but
actually in a very good state of preservation, though faded in colour.
They are really much more enduring than is generally imagined, but
unquestionably numbers of them, worked on velvet, satin, and canvas,
have perished or been worn out long ago. Embroidered books were made for
all the Tudors, mostly on velvet, and a little later, in the time of
Charles I., numbers of them, usually small, were embroidered on satin.
The dates of the manuscripts bound in embroidered velvet and satin by
Berthelet are not quite certain, but it is probable that his work of
this kind in both these materials is the earliest made in England.

The greater number of bindings made by Thomas Berthelet belonged, as
might be expected, to Henry VIII., Edward VI., or Mary; that is to say,
they formed part of the old Royal Library of England. This old Royal
Library, or as much as was then left of it, was given by George II. to
the British Museum in 1757, and it forms perhaps the most valued
special collection in that institution. It must not, however, be
supposed that every old English royal book was really included in this
library, for by some means or other a very considerable number of them
were separated from the rest, and now exist scattered all over England,
in private libraries as well as at Windsor. Such books now seldom come
into the open market, and if they do, they are generally purchased by
the state, and so return to their old companions. Also, royal
bookbinders did some work outside their official limits, and small
bindings of an unimportant kind, evidently the work of Berthelet, are
not uncommon in England. They are always charming, and the simplicity of
the quiet blind lines running side by side with others in bright gold on
the rich brown calf is quite delightful; such simple covers usually have
a rectangular panel with small Italian fleurons at the outer corners,
and usually an initial, monogram, or heraldic ornament in the centre.

Before printing was used in England, the commonest leather for bindings
was goat or sheep, but Berthelet found his favourite Italian bindings
were largely bound in calf, a leather having a beautiful surface, and in
some ways easier to gild than goat. I believe he was the first English
binder to use this leather exclusively; it was rarely used in England
before his time, although it was common on the Continent. His calf
bindings, with few exceptions, are still in excellent condition, and are
always of a beautiful rich brown colour. Many of these volumes have
been, I think unnecessarily, rebacked; certainly in all such cases the
old backs should have been preserved, which has not always been done.
There is, however, no doubt that the calf used on Berthelet’s bindings
may still be considered quite sound, whereas books bound in that leather
within the last fifty years, or even less, are now all powdering away.
In spite of greater chemical knowledge and presumably better processes
of tanning and preparing leather, the conclusion that this material, as
produced to-day, is not a fitting one for books is forced upon us.

Berthelet used also a very decorative white leather, supposed to be
deerskin or doeskin, prepared with lime in the same manner as vellum.
This leather is soft and creamy in colour; it has a smooth surface and
takes gilding to perfection. There are not many instances of its use,
but those that do exist are always perfectly strong and sound, except
where they show signs of fair wear and tear. The taste for white gilded
leather began with Berthelet, and it has been highly esteemed as a style
in England almost ever since. Such work was done for all our Tudor
sovereigns, but the white deerskin soon gave place to vellum, especially
during the time of our Stuart kings; and this, to some extent, has been
used to the present day. Probably the strongest and most durable
materials used for bookbinding at any time have been the white deerskin,
white vellum, and white pigskin, the first two mentioned being chiefly
used in England, and the last in Germany. This durability is most likely
due to the method of preparation and the absence of any dye. Bark-tanned
goatskin is also an excellent leather, and was much used in England from
the twelfth century onwards.

Several of Berthelet’s bindings bear legends, and texts, dates, and
names, on their sides. These inscriptions are variously arranged, but as
a rule they are contained in small long panels, sometimes in circles,
and rarely simply impressed on the side of the book as its chief
ornament. In the cases where coats of arms are given, the initials of
the owner are generally added as well. The lettering on the sides of the
books is either in Greek, Latin, French, or English, examples of each of
which are described below, and there is never any lettering on the backs
of any of them.

Except in so far as the wording of these inscriptions is concerned,
which often reads consecutively on both sides, the ornamentation is
alike on both boards of all Berthelet’s bindings. The fondness for
lettering sentences on the outside of his books did not stop, however,
at the binding, as Berthelet carried it out also in several instances on
the edges of the leaves themselves. The edges of these leaves were
usually made a creamy colour, and a legend was painted upon them with
gold paint. This legend, “Rex in Aeternum Vive,” is a quotation from the
Book of Daniel; it is sometimes followed by the mysterious word “Neez”
or “Nez,” which Mr. Edward Scott of the British Museum considers to be
the three first letters of the words, Ναβουχοδονοσωρ Εσαει Ζηθι, as the
phrase was addressed to that king. Whenever this legend is found on a
decorative binding of the time of Henry VIII., I should say it is a sure
sign of Berthelet’s royal work.

Fortunately this legend, on some of Berthelet’s earliest bindings, is
associated with certain stamps of marked character, which can thus be
safely considered his, and which enable us, even when they are found on
other bindings without the legend, to attribute the work with certainty
to him. It is my opinion that all the existing bindings in calf or white
deerskin that were made for Henry VIII. and Edward VI., as well as most
of those for Queen Mary, were Berthelet’s work.

The legend on the edges of the leaves of some of Berthelet’s books was
not, however, the only way in which he decorated them. There are other
instances where the whole edge is painted with heraldic designs in
colour. This fore-edge decoration was not a new thing even in
Berthelet’s time, but he seems to have been the first to adopt it in
England. To some extent the ornamentation of the edges of rare volumes
has been practised ever since, both in this country and abroad. The most
elaborate work of the kind was, I believe, from the hand of Samuel
Mearne, royal binder to Charles II., and about a hundred years after his
time the fashion was revived by James Edwards of Halifax. Both these
binders painted the edges of their books so that the pictures showed
only when held in a certain position. Possibly the lettering on the
edges of some of Berthelet’s books may have been suggested to him by the
fact that in Mediæval times, when books were large and were kept on
their sides with the front edges forward, it was no uncommon thing to
write the title on these edges in large letters.

This title lettering is, however, very rarely ornamentally treated; it
is only used as an eminently useful expedient. Berthelet makes it a
decorative feature, and substitutes a legend, which may be considered as
a sign of royal ownership, for the more usual title of the book.

From such collections and libraries in England as have been available to
me I have chosen a few typical examples of Berthelet’s work for detailed
description. I have illustrated as many as possible of the finest
specimens in colour plates by Mr. William Griggs, to whom my best thanks
are due for the patience with which he has endured my superintendence of
his work, and my compliments for the admirable results of his unequalled
skill in this particular branch of colour-printing. Each of these colour
plates must yet be a little discounted as to the apparent freshness of
their appearance. I think that in all prints and photographs old objects
gain in this way; nevertheless, most of the books illustrated are really
wonderfully preserved. The half-tone and process blocks are also by Mr.
Griggs, some of them from my own drawings; the methods of producing tone
blocks capable of being printed with type have made great advances in
late years, but I feel that in America better results are obtained in
this particular branch of art than as yet can be made by English
workmen. I have arranged the bindings which I have chosen for detailed
descriptions in chronological order, taking the printed date as correct;
it may not be actually so in all cases, but under the circumstances I
think these dates are probably near enough for all present purposes.

1528-1530 (?). Galteri Deloeni Libellus de tribus Hierarchiis. MS.
Dedicated to Henry VIII. Bound in brown calf, and tooled in gold with a
few blind lines. The ornamentation consists in a filling in the spaces,
mostly triangular, left by the intersections of a parallelogram aligned
with the edges of the boards, and a diamond. In the centre is the royal
coat of arms, crowned, cleverly outlined by reversed curves. Between the
crown and the top of the shield are two double roses; above the crown
are two stars; at the sides are two cornucopias. Below the shield are
arabesques; four single daisies, the daisy being a badge used by Henry
VIII. and Edward VI. in remembrance of their descent from Margaret of
Beaufort; four stars, and stamps representing the crucifixion, and a
serpent, with references to texts. The four large triangular spaces
between the rectangle and the diamond are ornamented with arabesques,
the upper and lower spaces bearing also a stamp of the single daisy.
Beyond the diamond come the four large corners, each of which is
decorated in a similar way. This binding is a remarkable one, inasmuch
as it contains nearly all the small stamps that Berthelet subsequently
used in so many combinations, and it is probably the earliest example of
gold-tooling on an English leather binding. The gilding is not well
executed, and it is likely enough that this is one of his first finished
attempts at such work. It is rougher than any other example, but in
spite of that it is very effective and rich in appearance.

Vitae illustrium Virorum. MS. Bound in brown calf, and gold-tooled with
a few lines in blind, and measuring 14-1/2 by 9-1/2 inches.

[Illustration: PLATE XIII.

CALF BINDING OF A MS. COMMENTARY ON THE CAMPAIGN OF THE EMPEROR CHARLES
V. AGAINST THE FRENCH IN 1544. MADE FOR HENRY VIII., TO WHOM THE MS. IS
ADDRESSED.

See page 82.]

[Illustration]

About 1528 Henry VIII. made a change in the supporters of his royal
shield. His father, Henry VII., who was very proud of his descent from
Cadwallader, the last of the British kings, adopted and used as one of
his supporters the red dragon which had been a badge of that king. The
red dragon was used by both Henry VII. and Henry VIII. as their dexter
supporter, and with it, as a sinister supporter, they both also used the
white greyhound. In or about 1528 Henry VIII. adopted a crowned lion
statant as his dexter supporter, transferring the dragon to the sinister
side, and leaving out the greyhound altogether. This lion still remains
the dexter supporter of the royal coat of arms of England, but the
dragon was discontinued on the accession of James I. to the throne of
England, a unicorn, one of the supporters of the ancient Scottish coat
of arms, being substituted for it. So that the stamp which forms the
principal ornament on this book was probably cut about 1528, certainly
not much later; indeed, it is possible that this was one of the books
bound by Berthelet for the king before his appointment as royal printer.
The coat of arms is contained within an oval ribbon bearing the words,
“REX HENRICVS VIII. DIEV ET MON DROIT.” The coat is ensigned with a
large royal crown, has a dragon supporter on the dexter side and a
greyhound on the sinister; above the crown is a fleur-de-lys and a
double rose, and two portcullises depend by chains from the lower edge
of the shield. The oval is contained within a close rectangular panel,
the inner angles of which are filled with an arabesque design. At each
outer corner is a leaf of Venetian character.

Above and below the rectangle is a crowned double rose, flanked by the
letters K H,--mysterious letters, the meaning of which is not yet
understood. Beyond this again comes a broad double border of a narrow
running pattern containing a fleur-de-lys and a triple floral ornament.
This same border occurs on several of Berthelet’s earlier bindings. The
inner corners of the rectangular border are filled with a symmetrical
design of a vase with flowers and two curves terminating in human masks.
There were originally some outer lines of small gold-tooling, but these,
as well as the corners, have been “repaired” away.

On a fly-leaf in this volume is a note which says: “Codex hic fuit olim
Henrici VIII., ei Jo. Leylandus Titulum fecit--Vitae illustrium virorum,
etc.” John Leyland, the antiquary, was keeper of the king’s library
about 1530.

This book undoubtedly should be with the rest of the old royal library
at the British Museum, and its inclusion among the books at Oxford is
explained by the Rev. W. Dunn Macray in his book, “The Annals of the
Bodleian Library,” in which he mentions the interesting fact that in
August, 1605, King James I. visited the Bodleian and offered to present
to Sir T. Bodley, “from all the libraries of the royal palaces,
whatever precious and rare books he might choose to carry away.” So
that, in fact, instead of feeling that we in London should have the few
“outside” royal books returned to us, we should perhaps feel a debt of
gratitude to Sir T. Bodley for leaving anything at all in the libraries
of the royal palaces, in face of King James’s generous offer.

1530 (?). The third volume of a copy of the Works of St. Chrysostom,
printed at Basle in 1530, has very kindly been shown to me by Mr. E.
Gordon Duff, librarian of the Ryland’s Library, Manchester. It is bound
in calf, and one side is almost completely destroyed, but the other is
in a fairly good condition. It measures 15 by 10 inches, is tooled with
gold and blind lines, and bears as a centre ornament a rectangular panel
with the royal coat of arms of Henry VIII. ensigned with a large crown,
having as a dexter supporter a greyhound and on the sinister side a
dragon. This arrangement of the supporters is wrong, but it is possibly
unintentional, and due to the forgetfulness of the engraver when he drew
the design on his metal plate. Above the crown are two double roses, and
above it are scattered impressions of a ring with a dot in the middle.
Below the shield are two portcullises, chained, with a few tufts of
grass. This handsome coat of arms is enclosed by a border on which are
the words, “DIEV ET MON DROIT,” and small stamps of a leaf, a single
rose, and a fleur-de-lys; above and below are impressions of a stamp of
a large double rose, crowned, flanked by the letters K H. These initials
are somewhat of a puzzle. They have been interpreted as simply meaning
King Henry, and perhaps this solution is the easiest way out of the
difficulty; but it is not altogether satisfactory. Besides “King,” the
only other word for which the letter K is likely to stand is the name
“Katherine,” and it could only then have stood for either Katharine of
Aragon, who was divorced in 1533; Katherine Howard, who was married in
1540 and was beheaded in 1543; or Katharine Parr, who was married in
1543 and survived the king.

A very decided objection to the theory that the initial K belonged to
any of these queens is found in the fact that it precedes that of the
king himself, which is not at all likely to have occurred under the
circumstances. In the volume to be described presently, where the
initials H A are presumed to be those of “Henry” and “Anne,” an example
is found of the more likely way in which such initials would occur.

The inner panel is enclosed, at a considerable distance, by a broad
triple border, and the inner corners of this border are curiously
ornamented with ornamental gold-tooling arranged in quarter-circle form.
This style of corner ornamentation was common in Italy, but very rare in
England, at the time this book was made. The inner angles of each
quarter-circle bear triple impressions from a stamp of trefoil shape
bearing small scroll-work of Oriental character upon it, the ground gold
and the design showing in the leather. The segments of circles beyond
this inner angle are ornamented consecutively with a row of fleur-de-lys
and single roses alternately; a row of small long-shaped knots, often
found on Italian books, and also occurring on one bound for King James
V. of Scotland; a row of wavy flames; and beyond all, in the center of
the quarter-circle, impressions in gold of a leaf with stalk flanked by
two roses.

These corners, as well as the inner rectangular panel and the inner line
of the outer panel, are all marked by lines of blind-tooling, which are
mitred at the corners.

The outer border consists of an inner line of wavy flames, a broadish
line of circles crossed with arabesques, and an outer line of numerous
impressions from the small long-shaped knot stamp, and beyond all are a
few blind lines.

This binding is in many ways a very remarkable one. The gold-tooling
upon it is rough, but among the tools which are evidently Berthelet’s
are others which are not found on any other of his bindings. I think it
is an early work, and that the existence upon it of the few delicate
Italian stamps can be accounted for only by the theory that an Italian
workman brought them over with him and taught Berthelet the art of
gold-tooling. In the case of this particular volume, it is possible that
it was one of those done by Berthelet under the eye of his master, and
that he used some of his foreign tools as well as others belonging to
himself.

Whatever may be the true explanation of these difficulties, there is no
doubt that the binding is a most valuable and interesting one, and I
thank Mr. E. Gordon Duff very sincerely for having allowed me to see it
and to have it photographed for this monograph. The edges are gilded and
ornamented with an arabesque design marked upon them by means of
successive impressions from a small ring-shaped stamp.

The decoration of the corners of the boards of a binding with
ornamentation arranged as a quarter-circle was very rare in England
until the reign of Queen Elizabeth, at which time it was often found;
then under the Stuart Kings James I. and Charles I. it probably reached
its fullest development, and was especially favoured at Little Gidding.
It is found on fifteenth-century Italian bindings, used with great
skill, so that its occurrence on one of Berthelet’s early bindings is
not to be wondered at, the curious thing being rather that he did not
use it more. As it now is, I think this book is the earliest existing
English specimen of the use of this kind of ornamentation.

1530 (?). An interesting example in which the decoration of a binding is
arranged with some reference to the contents of the book occurs on the
cover of a French manuscript on “La Science de Geometrie,” dedicated to
King Henry VIII., and bound for him in white deerskin by Thomas
Berthelet. This volume should always have been with the rest of the old
Royal Library of England now in the British Museum, but by some means it
became separated, and was recently purchased by the trustees of that
institution from Mr. Cornish of Manchester.

The sides are ornamented with blind lines and gold-tooling; a large
rectangular panel is marked out near the edges of the boards with
fleurons at each outer corner; inside the panel near the top are the
words, “VIVAT REX,” in an ornamental cartouche of architectural
elevation; below this, and filling up most of the remaining space, are
three narrow elongated pyramids with triangular bases; the ground is
dotted irregularly with small stars and dots. In the lower part of the
panel is the word “GEOMETRIA” and a decorative scroll. This is the only
instance I know in which the lettering outside any of Berthelet’s
bindings has any reference to the contents of the book.

On the white edges are the words, “REX IN AETERNVM VIVE NEZ,”
ornamentally written in gold in large capital letters.

1534. Bible, Antwerp, 1534. In two volumes. Bound in brown calf, tooled
in blind and gold, and measuring 14-1/2 by 9 inches. The design on each
of these fine volumes is the same, but the lettering upon them is
different. The words on volume I. are, “AINSI QUE TOUS MEURENT PAR
ADAM--AVSSY TOVS SERONT VIVIFIES PAR CHRIST”; and on volume II., “LA LOY
A ESTE DONNEE PAR MOYSE--LA GRACE ET LA VERITE EST FAICTE PAR JESU
CHRIST.” These words are in large gilt capitals in short lines, each
word where necessary being divided from the next by a

[Illustration: PLATE XIV.

CALF BINDING OF “LA CYROPEDIE DE XENOPHON. PARIS, 1547.” MADE FOR EDWARD
VI.

See page 83.]

small cross-crosslet. The lines are contained in a rectangular panel,
with large corner stamps of a vase with flowers and two floral curves
terminating in human masks. The triangular spaces thus left above and
below the inscription are each filled by a double rose, crowned, flanked
by the letters H A, perhaps standing for “Henry” and “Anne.” Beyond the
panel and touching it is a broad border, made up of a double line of
stamps cut in the form of an ornamental fleur-de-lys and a three-lobed
flower. Beyond the border is a space broken at the corner with a
repetition of the vase stamp, enclosing which was in all probability a
narrow fillet variously ornamented with small designs like that which
occurs below the lettering on the second volume.

Both these volumes have been unfortunately restored in places, but the
old patterns have to some extent been preserved, and new stamps cut on
the lines of the old ones, as can be seen by reference to a binding now
at Oxford which is treated in a very similar way, and which, although it
also has received some attention from an inferior binder, has not been
restored in a like disastrous manner.

1534. Opus de vera differentia regiae potestatis. Londini, T. Berthelet,
1534; measuring 8 by 5-1/4.

This volume is very like that at the Bodleian, already fully described
on page 69. The centre stamp is the same, and so are the outer border
and corners, but the handsome double border is wanting. The book has
been badly repaired; in some cases stamps have been cut after the old
patterns, but in others, as for instance the corners next to the oval
label, they have been made in a modern arabesque pattern, not like the
original. The book itself is a fine specimen of Berthelet’s printing on
vellum. The heraldic centre stamp, bearing the dragon and greyhound
supporters, is really an anachronism; properly the supporters should be
a lion and a dragon; the stamp, however, was seldom used, so Berthelet,
having it by him, did not trouble to cut another, as he should have
done.

1536. A charming little specimen of Berthelet’s private binding is now
in the Ryland’s Library at Manchester, and by the courtesy of the
librarian, Mr. E. Gordon Duff, I am enabled to describe it.

It is a remarkably fine copy of the New Testament, Tyndale’s version,
printed in London in 1536; there is an inscription inside which shows
that in 1676 it belonged to Henry, Duke of Newcastle, and later to Dr.
Charles Chauncey.

It is bound in brown calf, and has on each side a long upright panel
within a border of ornamented circles of Italian design. The panel has
on one side a unicorn in the centre, and on the other a talbot, the
crest of the Heydon family. There are also some initials upon it, but
these do not seem to throw any light upon its ownership. The badges are
surrounded with scrolls made up of reversed curves, in Berthelet’s usual
manner. At the outer corners of the border are large Italianate
fleurons, and the gold lines are supported by others in blind, running
parallel to them. There are the remains of two silk ties.

1536. An historically interesting volume has just been bequeathed to the
British Museum by the late Baron Ferdinand Rothschild, formerly member
of Parliament for Waddesdon, who left altogether a very valuable
collection of jewels and manuscripts to the British nation.

This volume is very large, measuring about 19-1/4 by 13-1/2; it is a
manuscript translation in French of the Decameron of Boccaccio, by
Laurent de Premierfait, made from a Latin version by Antoine de Aresche,
in 1414. The manuscript itself, which is illuminated, was probably made
late in the fifteenth century.

The binding is in very dark calf, and is tooled in gold, with a few
blind lines; it was made for Edward Seymour, first Duke of Somerset, the
Protector, who was beheaded on Tower Hill in 1552.

The duke’s motto, “FOY POVR DEBVOIR,” is contained within an ornamental
cartouche in the centre of each cover. The cartouche is enclosed, at
some distance, in a diamond stamped with a small roll pattern; near each
of the outer sides of the diamond is an ornament made of two impressions
of a cornucopia stamp. Along the edges of the boards is a broad
Italianate arabesque border; the inner angles of the border are filled
with either the stamp of Plato or that of Dido, already described,
enclosed in arabesques, and the outer corners have small fleurons.

The volume has been rebacked and some of the gold-tooling restored. The
stamps found upon it are generally such as were used by Berthelet early
in his career; but as there is no other indication of the date, it must
be remembered that my attribution of the work as having been made about
1536 is only conjectural.

1538. Berthelet’s “leather” curves turned into gold cord may be clearly
seen on the red satin binding of a collection of sixteenth-century
tracts bound probably about 1538. This curious volume is, as far as can
be ascertained at present, the earliest English book bound in satin. It
is very probably Berthelet’s work,--indeed, it may actually be one
referred to in the Letters and Papers of Henry VIII., Vol. 13, Part 2,
p. 539, concerning which we are told that the king paid 6s. 8d. to
“Bartlett the king’s printer’s servant that brought a book covered with
crimosin saten embrodered.” It measures 12 by 8 inches, and has been
stupidly rebacked with leather, but is otherwise in good condition.
There is an arabesque border parallel with the edges of the boards, made
full at each of the four corners, and amplified across the centre into a
kind of ornamental bridge. Not only are the curves and scrolls strongly
suggestive of Berthelet’s designs, but on the cream-coloured edges of
the book are the words, “REX IN AETERNVM VIVE NEZ,” which, as has
already been remarked, may of itself be taken as an almost sure sign of
Berthelet’s work. Many of the scrolls are very similar to those which
are used on a velvet binding described under the date 1543, which I
think was also bound by Berthelet.

1540 (?). Jul. Claud Iguini oratio ad Hen. VIII. MS. This is bound in
dark brown calf, and is ornamented very simply with gold-tooling and
blind lines. In the centre is a well-designed stamp of the royal coat of
arms, ensigned by a very large crown, and encircled by a garter with
buckle, and bearing the motto, “Honi soit qui mal y pense.” This design
is enclosed between four Greek words, ΗΑΙΟΣ ΠΑΝΤΑΣ ΑΛΑΙΕΝΟΝ ΕΞΑΡΚΤΟΤ,
the signification of which is not clear. A simple rectangular border in
gold, made up of successive impressions of one of Berthelet’s happily
designed curves, completes a design which, although plain, is yet very
charming.

1540. There is a fine specimen of one of Berthelet’s bindings in white
doeskin in the library of Trinity College, Oxford. It measures about 9
by 6 inches, and is a copy of “Theophylacti in omnes divi Pauli
epistolas enarrationes, etc. Basileae, 1540.” The sides are fully gilt,
and ornamented with scroll-work and royal badges. In the centre is the
crowned royal coat of arms of Henry VIII., surrounded by four chief
decorative points, bearing, respectively, the royal initials, crowned,
and crowned badges, double rose, fleur-de-lys, and portcullis. Each of
these small designs is contained within a framework of golden scrolls,
and the remaining space is rather closely filled with a rich tracery of
scrolls and arabesques symmetrically arranged. The broad edges are cream
coloured, and on them in large capitals are the words, “REX IN ETERNUM
VIVE.”

[Illustration: PLATE XV.

WHITE LEATHER BINDING OF “JOANNES A LASCO. BREVIS DE SACRAMENTIS ECC.
CHRISTI TRACTATIO. LONDON 1552.”

See page 88.]

1541. Elyot. The Image of Governance. T. Berthelet, London, 1541. Bound
in white deerskin, and tooled in gold with a few blind lines. In the
centre is an irregular panel made up with curves and arabesques, within
which are the words, “DIEU ET MON DROIT.” The panel is enclosed within
an outer line of cleverly arranged scrolls, at the sides of which are
the letters H R. An outer rectangular border of small S-shaped stamps,
with fleurons at the outer corners, encloses the whole, the inner
corners being filled with more scroll-work and arabesques. The ground is
dotted with stamps of a daisy, a small circle stamp, and a five-pointed
star.

A single daisy is impressed in gold in the centre of each of the panels
on the back, and on the white edges of the book itself the words, “REX
IN ETERNUM VIVE,” are written in gold in capital letters.

1543. A Bible printed at Zurich in 1543, bound in orange-coloured
velvet, which was probably originally some shade of crimson, is
embroidered with designs outlined in gold cord. It measures 15 by 9-1/4
inches, and has been ruinously rebacked with leather. It forms part of
the old English Royal Library at the British Museum, and belonged to
King Henry VIII.

The king’s initials, tied together by a knot, are in the centre, within
a circle, above and below which are symmetrical curves of like character
to those on several of Berthelet’s leather bindings, from which no doubt
these are taken. A broad rectangular border encloses the central panel,
and is ornamented with large double Tudor roses at each corner, the rest
of the border space being cleverly filled with repetitions, right and
left, of a simple fleuron with leaves.

The central circle, as well as the forms of the scrolls used in this
binding, are all suggestive of Berthelet’s methods of design; and in
consideration of the fact that he actually mentions velvet books in his
bill as having been bound by himself (p. 43), I think that this binding
may be claimed as his with some degree of probability. If the designs
were on leather, one or other of Berthelet’s known stamps would fit them
all. Several of the curves are very similar to those worked on the satin
bindings of 1536, already described. The edges of the leaves are
elaborately painted in colour, the groundwork being creamy white; on the
upper edge at the top is a winged cherub, in the centre is a large gold
fleur-de-lys on a blue ground, enclosed in a red eight-pointed
framework, and beneath this is a square panel in which is a flying dove;
the remainder of the space is filled with graceful arabesques, with
figures and fleurons in gold and colour. The front edge is not in good
condition, as it naturally has been more affected by use, and
some of the painting is obliterated. It is ornamented with
five principal designs, all of which are connected by an ornamental
framework,--scrolls, flowers, and arabesques in gold and colour. The
five designs, beginning at the top, are: a small rectangular cartouche
with a figure of God the Father; the royal coat of arms, crowned, within
a laurel wreath tied with white ribbon; a broad oblong of dark colour,
on which was most probably the word “BIBLIA” in gold; a large red rose
with white centre within a circle; and a small rectangular panel, the
design upon which has been worn off. The lower edge, at the bottom of
the book, has nearest the back a satyr upholding scrolls, in the middle
a circle, the design upon which has been obliterated by wear, and near
the front edge an arabesque pattern.

This is the most highly decorative book edge which exists on any English
book of the early sixteenth century, and when it was first done must
have attracted much attention and admiration, as it is excellently
painted. There is hand-painting in colour inside the book, especially
on the title-page, and it is very probable that the same artist executed
all this work, both inside and outside, as there is a great similarity
of style.

1546. In Trogum Pompeivm sive Ivstinvm chorographica ad excellentiss.
Dominum D. Edwardvm Principem, etc., 1546. A manuscript list of
countries and cities mentioned in Trogus Pompeius and in the Epistles of
Cicero, addressed to Prince Edward by Petrus Olivarius.

Bound in brown calf, rather lighter than usual, measuring 10-1/4 by
7-1/4 inches, and bearing in the centre the badge of three ostrich
feathers within a prince’s coronet, with a label bearing the words, “IHC
DIEN,” and flanked by the initials E P.

Prince Edward never was Prince of Wales, a title which is conferred on
the eldest son only at the pleasure of the sovereign. The triple-feather
badge, which certainly has been associated with this title ever since
Edward VI., and has been used as a special badge by all the Princes of
Wales since his time, is, however, originally not connected especially
with Wales or with any particular son of the sovereign. It was first
used by the descendants of Edward III., and appears to have been
considered a family badge, borne by them because of their ancestress,
Queen Philippa of Hainault. The feathers were the cognizance of the
Province of Ostrevant, an appanage of the eldest sons of the House of
Hainault. The motto, “IHC DIEN,” seems really to have been used by the
Blind King of Bohemia, who was killed at Crecy, and the Black Prince
adopted it as his own; the two have been inseparable ever since.

On this binding the ostrich plume and its belongings are enclosed within
a circle of flames, alternately straight and wavy; the circle is within
an oval cleverly marked by a succession of curved arabesques, in the
designing of which Berthelet was very skilled, several of them being
capable of effective and even surprising combinations. They have
something of the quality so valued by designers of wall-papers, and fit
each other in a very remarkable way. The ground is ornamentally dotted
with roses, stars, and a diamond-shaped floral ornament. The arabesque
oval has a handsome symmetrical fleuron at the top and bottom, and is
enclosed within a rectangular border of rather elaborate design. First
is a gold line with ornamental corners; within it is another gold line,
the intermediate space being dotted with small arabesques, single roses,
and five-pointed stars; then comes a richly designed Italianate fillet
with roses at each outer corner, and an outer line with fleurons at each
of the outer corners. The book is divided into four panels. As is usual
on all Berthelet’s bindings in calf, there are a few blind lines as
well.

1544. A Commentary in Latin on the Campaign of the Emperor Charles V.
against the French in 1544, addressed by Antonius de Musica to Henry
VIII.; in manuscript; measures 12-1/4 by 8-1/4 inches.

It is bound in deep brown calf, and tooled in gold with some lines in
blind. In the centre, within an upright panel of gold and blind lines
with small fleurs-de-lys at the corners, is the royal coat of arms of
Henry VIII., cleverly outlined with reversed curves, crowned, and
flanked with the letters H R, repeated twice. Directly above and below
the central panel are two broad rectangular cartouches made in gold
lines, and small arabesques with “anvil” handles. In each of these
cartouches is a legend; those on the upper cover contain the words,
“VERO DEFENSORI FIDEI | ERRORVMQVE PROFLIGATORI OPTIMO”; those on the
lower cover, “MAXIMO HENRICO OCTAVO | REGI ANGLORVM FRANC. HIBERNIEQVE,
P. M. P. P. D. G.” No one has yet elucidated the signification of these
last letters. The centre panel is flanked on

[Illustration: PLATE XVI.

WHITE LEATHER BINDING OF “D. AURELII AUGUSTINI HIPPONENSIS EP. TAM IN
VETUS QUAM IN NOVUM TEST. COMMENTARII. BAS., 1542.” MADE FOR QUEEN MARY.

See page 90.]

one side by two impressions of a portrait stamp of Plato, and on the
other two of Dido, the remaining spaces being sparsely filled with leaf
stamps. An outer border of Italian design, with fleurons at each outer
corner, encloses the whole. The small medallion stamps containing
portraits of Dido and Plato, which are found on this volume, were often
used by Berthelet as the chief ornamentation on small books bound by
him. They usually occur singly as a centre ornament within a gold line
panel, with small fleurons at the outer corners.

[Illustration]

1547. Xenophon. La Cyropedie. Paris 1547.

Bound in rich brown calf, and ornamented with gold-tooling, black
fillets, and some blind lines. In the centre is the royal coat of arms
of Edward VI., very effectively outlined with arabesques, crowned, and
flanked by the letters E R. Above and below the coat is a double rose
and two five-pointed stars.

The royal shield is contained within two interlaced fillets, outlined in
gold and stained black; the inner is in the shape of an upright
diamond; the outer is turned and curved upon itself so as to make a
double border. The spaces left between these various curves and lines
are filled with gold ornaments, the most noticeable of which is a large
stamp of a cornucopia. The other small stamps are arabesques and
five-pointed stars. The outer corners are marked by a gilt fleuron, and
on the front edge of each board are the remains of two ties. The back
probably had double roses stamped in gold between each of the bands, but
the book, which is, with this exception, in excellent condition, has
recently been restored here with new stamps cut after the old pattern.

1547 (?). In the Advocates’ Library at Edinburgh is a fine specimen of
Berthelet’s work in binding. It was bound for Edward VI. in calf, and
bears in the centre his coat of arms flanked by the initials E R, and
above and below the coat, on each side, is a long rectangular panel with
a kind of handle at each end, like those found afterwards on the
horn-books. The legends on the panels read, on the upper cover, “An idle
or deceitful hande maketh pore | But a diligent Labourynge hand maketh
ryche. Proverb. 10”; and on the under cover, “No man lyghteth a candle
and putteth it | in a privie place--neither under a bushell. Luke II.”
In the panels of the back are, alternately, a small upright lion and a
fleur-de-lys.

1548. Among the books bound by Berthelet for King Edward VI. is a small
copy of Ptolemy’s _Geografia_, printed at Venice in 1548. It is simply
bound in calf, with a plain gilt line along the edges of the boards, and
the words, “Omnis potestas a Deo,” in a cartouche in the middle of the
side. As far as the binding goes, this volume is one of Berthelet’s
simplest, and I should not, for that reason, have noticed it here; but
the book is remarkable because of the way he has painted the edges.
These are pale blue, and are ornamented with heraldic designs on
shields. On the upper edge is

[Illustration: PLATE XVII.

CALF BINDING OF QUEEN MARY’S PRAYER BOOK. MS. ON VELLUM. BOUND FOR THE
QUEEN.]

the coat of arms of France, on the front edge that of England, and on
the lower that of Ireland. These shields are flanked by the initials of
the king, and the rest of the space is filled with a very prettily
arranged interlaced strap-work in black, in and out of which wind
delicate, graceful curves and flowers painted in gold.

[Illustration]

1548. Bude. Commentarii linguae Graecae, etc. Parisiis, 1548. 13-3/4 by
9.

Bound in brown calf, and ornamented with gold-tooling and some blind
lines. In the centre the royal coat of arms of Edward VI., crowned, is
flanked by the letters E R, above and below each of which is a small
five-petalled flower. The coat is enclosed between two interlaced
squares, outlined in gold and stained black. At each of the four corners
of the horizontal square is a floral arabesque in gold, with a spray of
pear.

The centre design is enclosed at a considerable distance by a broad
black fillet, outlined in gold, parallel to the edges of the board,
mitred in gold at the corners, and decorated alternately at short
intervals along its length with scrolls and small five-petalled flowers
stamped in gold. The inner angles of the fillet are marked by a gold
double rose, and the outer angles by an elaborate fleuron in outline.

[Illustration]

1550. Andreasius. De amplitudine misericordiae Dei, etc. Basileae, 1550;
measures 6 by 4 inches. It is bound in rich brown calf, the royal coat
of arms of Edward VI. being placed in the centre, flanked by the letters
E R. Parallel with the edges of the boards are lines in gold and blind,
with small fleurs-de-lys in gold at the four inner corners and arabesque
fleurons at the outer corners. Although this little book is very simple,
it is nevertheless very charming, the beautiful brown colour of the calf
being well brought out by the bright gold lines and the dark blind
lines.

1552. Bembo. Historiae Venetae. Lib. XII. Venetiis, 1551; measures 12 by
9 inches. It is bound in brown calf, and ornamented with gold-tooling,
blind lines, and black fillets. In the centre is the royal coat of arms
of Edward VI., to whom the book belonged, enclosed in a very cleverly
interwoven fillet outlined in gold and stained black. This fillet is so
arranged in straight and curved pieces as to give the general effect of
being arranged in eight circles and eight semicircles. The coat of arms,
ensigned with the royal crown, is outlined by arabesques and surrounded
by ten small stars, six of which are within a single curved-line border
having fleurons and daisies at its four extremities, and four without
it, beyond which comes the inner broken line of the fillet, spreading
out at the top into a large circle, within which are the words, “DIEV ET
MON DROYT,” and below into another circle, also large, bearing the date
MDLII. Flanking the coat of arms are two small circles, within which are
the crowned initials E R. The fillet now takes a rectangular form, and
extends upwards and downwards from these small circles, while the
irregular corner spaces left between this rectangle and the outer edges
of the inner line of the fillet are each ornamented with one handsome
reversed arabesque, with fleuron, two stars, and a double daisy. Four
large circles of equal size to that enclosing the royal motto are
arranged over the right-angled corners of the mitred parallelogram which
is part of the fillet, and the spaces within these circles are each
filled with an ornament made up of a graceful reversed arabesque, with a
fleuron and three small flowers. Where the fillet becomes the outer
border of the design it is rectangular in form, broken by semicircular
indentations in the centre of each of the four sides; in these hollows
are arabesques and double daisies. The remaining spaces just within the
outer border are filled, top and bottom, with short lines of the
cornucopia stamp, with double daisies and stars, and at each side by an
impression of a handsome arabesque curve with one small flower. At each
of the outer corners is a double daisy. As a book this is a curious
specimen, the back being arranged and gilded so as to resemble the
front, and unless the volume is carefully examined it appears to have no
back at all. This is the earliest instance of this peculiarity known to
me, but I have met with a few similar cases of later date and in Italian
work. It has nothing to recommend it, and is useless and ugly as well as
being constructively vicious. It is interesting to note that Berthelet
here reverts, perhaps unknowingly, to the old English appreciation of
the decorative use of the circle. This is probably, in all details, the
finest binding he ever made.

1552. Joannes a Lasco. Brevis de Sacramentis Ecclesiae Christi
Tractatio, etc. London, 1552; measures 5-1/2 by 3-1/2 inches, and is
bound in cream-coloured deer or doe skin and tooled in gold. There are
two holes for tie-ribbons near the front edge of each board.

The decoration consists of a central rectangular panel closely filled
with solid arabesques symmetrically arranged. The panel is enclosed in a
double border, the inner division of which has an arabesque filling and
small fleurons at each angle; the outer is ornamented with repetitions
of a circular stamp intersected by arabesque forms of a pattern very
commonly found on Berthelet’s work, and closely copied from an Italian
original; at each of the angles is a large fleuron. The narrow space
between the edge of the boards and the outer border is ornamented with
scattered impressions of a small crescent and a diamond.

Each of the panels of the back contains a single impression from a small
four-petalled flower stamp. The edges of the leaves are gilded, and upon
them is a wavy spray of vine, with leaves and grape clusters, impressed
by means of a small ring stamp.

[Illustration]

1552. The King’s Revenues. The original certificate of the state of the
revenues of King Edward VI., drawn up on the 10th of Decr. 1552, by
Thomas Lord Darcy, Thomas (Thirlby), Bishop of Norwich, Sir Richard
Cotton, Sir John Gate, Sir Robert Bowes, and Sir Walter Mildmay, His
Majesty’s Commissioners. With their signatures appended. MS. on vellum,
measuring 15-3/4 by 11 inches.

Bound in brown calf, tooled in blind and gold. In the centre is the
royal coat of arms of England flanked by the letters E R, and crowned.
The outline of the shield is skilfully made by impressions from the
pair of arabesque stamps used in the ornamentation of the two decorative
rectangular cartouches above and below it. On the upper of these small
panels are lettered the words, “THE KYNGES REVENVES,” and on the lower,
“Anno quinto Regis Edwardi Sexti”; and they are further adorned with
“solid” stamps in gold of an Italian character. The border has a
handsome gilt-tooled design enclosed within eight lines in blind; the
pattern of the gilt part is taken from an Italian model. There are gilt
fleurons at the outer and inner corners of the panel.

1553. Strena Galteri Deloeni, ex Capite Geneseos quarto deprompta, etc.
MS. Dedicated to Edward VI., and measuring 5-3/4 by 4 inches.

Bound in cream-coloured deerskin and tooled in blind and gilt. In the
centre is the royal coat of arms flanked by the initials E R, and
surmounted by a double rose, above which is a royal crown. Just below
the coat of arms is another stamp of the double rose. Above and below
each of the initial letters is a very graceful stamp of a cornucopia.
The upper part of the panel is filled with stamps of two arabesque
scrolls, two double roses, and a daisy; the lower part has two double
roses, and a daisy with stalk and two leaves. The inner corners of the
panel are marked with long stems, at the end of each of which is a small
fleuron, and the remaining spaces are dotted freely with a small
six-rayed star. All these stamps are found constantly on Berthelet’s
bindings.

This is the only book bound in white deerskin for Edward VI. at present
known.

1553. D. Aurelii Augustini Hipponensis episcopi, tam in vetus quam in
nouum Testamentum Commentarij, etc. Basileae, 1542.

Bound in white deerskin for Queen Mary, and measuring 12-1/4 by 8
inches. The coat of arms on this volume is put in a very unusual

[Illustration: PLATE XVIII.

CALF BINDING OF “EPITOME OMNIUM OPERUM DIVI AURELII AUGISTINI. COL.,
1549.” MADE FOR QUEEN MARY.

See page 94.]

place. It is near the top of the design, the centre ornament being
merely an arabesque. The boards have an irregular rectangular
double-lined panel with right-angled projections at each side, outlined
in gold; within these lines are small fleurons at the angles, and small
scrolls, fleurs-de-lys, and rosettes. Between the centre and the inner
edge of the plain panel is a double-lined diamond, edged with curves and
scrolls, the corners ornamented with fleurons. Between the outer edge of
the panel and the edge of the book are curves and Tudor badges, each
held up either by a curved or a straight stalk, the royal coat of arms
forming the chief ornament at the top, and two double roses at the
bottom. The corners are closely and cleverly filled with a few curves
reversed again and again. The original book is in a perfectly sound
state, but the gilding upon it became rubbed, and many years ago it fell
into the hands of an unscrupulous restorer, who regilded it all over
with stamps cut to some extent like the old ones, but not exactly. The
impressions of the old stamps still remain quite sufficiently to be
recognized, and I have made a drawing of this binding, which shows the
original form of its decoration. It is one of the latest bindings made
by Berthelet, and in some ways it must have been one of his finest.

However much it may be considered advisable or necessary to replace old
leather on bindings by new, it is quite certain that no state of decay
can under any circumstances justify the regilding or restamping of any
gold-tooled work. This unfortunately has been a favourite proceeding
with many binders, with disastrous effects, and it cannot be too
strongly condemned from every point of view.

1553 (?). A manuscript poem of controversy against the Reformers is
addressed to Queen Mary by Myles Haggard; bound in calf, and tooled in
gold and blind, by Berthelet. It measures about 9 by 6 inches, and has
the remains of green silk ties on the front edges of the boards. In the
centre is the royal coat of arms, crowned, and flanked by two scrolls,
all contained within a circle stained black and outlined with gold
lines, the outer edge being ornamented with a series of impressions of a
small flame-shaped stamp on a narrow, slightly curved foot. The initials
of Queen Mary, M R, are shown twice, arranged squarely, just beyond the
flamed circle.

[Illustration]

There is a gold line, with blind, parallel and near to the edges of the
boards, and at the outer angles of this rectangle are arabesque
fleurons. In the panels of the back are single impressions of small
roses.

1554 (?). Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis, etc., or Queen Mary’s
Prayer-Book, written on vellum and beautifully illuminated in colours,
is bound in deep brown calf, delicately ornamented with gold and blind
tooling, and measures 8-1/4 by 5-1/2 inches.

In the centre is a small royal coat of arms with a specially cut border,
ensigned with a large royal crown and flanked by the initials M R. A
broad rectangular fillet of gold and blind lines runs parallel with the
edges of the boards, the gold being the inner of all, and mitred at the
corners. This fillet marked by gold lines is ornamented along its length
by impressions of a small arabesque cluster and a rosette, and at each
of the outer corners is a large fleuron.

This binding is one of the most finely executed of any that can without
doubt be attributed to Berthelet. The stamps used upon it are original
in design, and although the Italian feeling is still evident, it is not
so marked as in many other instances. The curious plan of adorning a
fillet with impressions of small detached stamps is, I think, originally
an Italian idea, but it is found more frequently on Berthelet’s bindings
than it is on those of any other master. Sometimes it occurs on fillets
which are stained black, in which case a little bare place is left for
the gold impression,--it is not gilded over the stain. Sometimes, as on
this book, the fillet is left uncoloured. The unknown binder who worked
for James I. and his sons used dots on fillets, but never stained them;
and Samuel Mearne, royal binder to Charles II., revived the plan of
gilding on a black fillet, but he did not carry it out to such an
elaborate extent as did Berthelet, only using dots or dotted lines.

1554. Expositio Beati Ambrosii episcopi super apocalypsin. Lutetiae,
1554; measures 9-1/4 by 6-1/2 inches, and is bound by Berthelet in dark
brown calf, tooled in gold, with a few blind lines. In the centre is an
ornamental cartouche enclosed within a rectangular border, and bearing
the royal coat of arms of Queen Mary, crowned, and flanked by two
scrolls; this is enclosed by a circle of wavy flames, and again by an
outer irregularly shaped border of curves, straight lines, and
arabesques. The space between the flamed circle and the outer arabesque
line is filled with a powdering of small circular stamps.

The rectangular outer border is composed of straight lines in gold and
blind, with centre fillet of an ornamental circular stamp crossed with
arabesques of Italian character. The inner corners of the rectangle are
filled with a trefoil stamp and the outer corners with an ornamental
fleuron. There are the remains of two green silk ties on the front edge
of each of the boards. The book is not in a good condition, the back
having been entirely spoiled and tooled with recent stamps.

1555. Epitome omnium operum divi Aurelii Augustini, etc. Coloniae, 1549;
measures 12-1/2 by 8-1/4 inches, and is bound in brown calf, tooled in
gold, with some blind lines. In the centre is the royal coat of arms of
Queen Mary, crowned, and flanked by two arabesque curves, contained
within a circle stained black, with waved rays of gold issuing outwards.
The coat is enclosed by a long upright rectangular fillet stained black,
interlaced by another in diamond shape of similar width, also stained
black. The spaces within these two fillets are filled with gold curves
and arabesques, except the two small triangles flanking the centre,
which have the initials M R.

The black fillets are enclosed by a double border; the inner one, broken
in four places by the points of the diamond, is thickly ornamented with
corner fleurons and arabesque scrolls, the outer closely filled with a
handsome arabesque made with two reversed curves. Outside all is another
black rectangular fillet, with fleurons at the outer corners.

This is one of the finest calf bindings Berthelet made for Queen Mary,
and it is wonderfully well preserved, the leather being only a little
discoloured and the gold bright and clear. The black on the fillets is
also in good condition.

1555. Bonner. A profitable and necessarye doctrine. London (1555); is
bound in pale brown calf for Queen Mary, and tooled in gold, without
any black in the fillets. In the centre is the royal coat of arms
flanked by two scrolls and enclosed within a flanked circle. This circle
is contained in a diamond-shaped fillet, with leaf stamps in the upper
and lower corners, beyond which is a rectangular border of Italian
fashion, made by small circles intersected by arabesques,--a favourite
pattern of Berthelet’s, and very effective. The four inner corners of
the parallelogram are filled with arabesque ornaments, and the outer
corners have small fleurons. All the stamps are well known.



INDEX.


      PAGE

Abingtone, John, bequest to, from T. Berthelet, 53

Advocates’ Library at Edinburgh, binding by T. Berthelet at the, 84

Ambrosius. “Expositio super Apocalypsin. 1554.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 93

Andreasius. “De amplitudine misericordiae Dei. 1550.”
      Bound by T. Berthelet, 86

Anne Boleyn, Queen. Binding with her coat of arms, 24

Arber, Edward. His reprints of the transcripts of the Stationers Company, 31

Aurelius Augustinus.
  “Tam in vetus quam in novum Testamentum commentarii.
       1542.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 90
  “Epitome operum. 1549.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 94


Back curiously designed on a binding by T. Berthelet, 88

Bauduyn, Piers, stationer, 15

Bembo. “Historiae Venetae, Lib. XII. 1551.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 87

Berthelet, Anthony, bequests to, from T. Berthelet, 52

Berthelet, Edward, bequests to, from T. Berthelet, 52

Berthelet, Margaret, bequests to, from T. Berthelet, 52

Berthelet, Thomas, appointment as Royal Printer to Henry VIII., 26
  Bill for bookbinding, 35
  Books, etc., printed by, 48
  Colophons used by, 49
  Device of Lucretia stabbing herself, 49
  Grant of coat of arms, 33
  Patent of appointment as Royal Printer, 32
  Printing done by, 33
  Property in London, 50
  Signature of, 37
  Will of, 51

“Bible. 1534.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 74

“Bible. 1543.” Bound in velvet by T. Berthelet, 79

Bindings at the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 14

Boccaccio. “Decameron.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 76

Bonner. “A Profitable Doctrine. 1555.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 94

Border with design of boys in procession used by T. Berthelet
      in some of his titlepages, 49

Bude. “Commentarii linguae Graecae. 1548.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 85


Calf leather chiefly used for bookbinding by T. Berthelet, 64

Calf, books bound in, by T. Berthelet, 68 et seq.

Christ’s Hospital, bequest to, from T. Berthelet, 52

Circle flamed, used on bindings by T. Berthelet, 81, 92

Coat of arms granted T. Berthelet described, 33

Colophons used by T. Berthelet, 49

“Commentary on the Campaign of Charles V., in 1544.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 82

Coronation book of Henry I. described, 19

Courteys, Piers, Keeper of the King’s Great Wardrobe, 15

Cowper, Alice, bequest to, from T. Berthelet, 52

Crest granted to T. Berthelet described, 33

Cumdachs, 14


Davenport, C. His book on Royal English bookbindings, 61

Deerskin bindings by T. Berthelet, 65, 88, 90

Deloemus.
  “Libellus de tribus hierarchiis.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 68
  “Strena.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 90

Dimma’s Book, 14

Duff, E. Gordon, owner of a copy of St. Chrysostom’s works
      bound by T. Berthelet, 71


Edward IV., bindings made for, in Westminster Abbey, 13

Edward VI., books bound for, by T. Berthelet, 81 et seq.
  Coat of arms of, 83, 86

Edwards, James, the painted fore edges of his books, 67

Elizabeth of York, bindings made for, 15

Elizabeth, Princess, embroidered bindings worked by, 63

Elyot. “The Image of Governance.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 79

Embroidered bindings of the sixteenth century, 62

English royal heraldry, 22


Fletcher, W. Y. His book on bindings in the British Museum, 61

Fore-edge decoration on books, 66

Fore-edge painting on books bound by T. Berthelet, 80, 85

“Foy pour Debvoir” on a binding made for the Duke of Somerset
      by T. Berthelet, 77


George II.’s gift of the Old Royal Library of England
      to the British Museum, 63

Gold-tooling in leather described, 16

Grafton, Richard, trustee for the children of T. Berthelet, 53

Griggs, William. His colour plates of bookbindings, 61, 67

Grolier, Jean, bindings with circles made for, 21


Haggard. “Poem. 1553.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 91

Henry VII., the library and bindings made for 24,, 62

Henry VIII.
  Act passed in 1533 to restrain foreigners from selling
      bound books in England, 29
  Books bound for, by T. Berthelet, 68 et seq.
  Panel stamps bearing his coat of arms, 24
  Signature of, 36

Heydon crest on a binding by T. Berthelet, 76

Holmes, Richard R. His book on the bindings in the
      Royal Library at Windsor, 61

“Horae B. Mariae Virginis.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 92


James I. His visit to the Bodleian Library at Oxford, 70

James V., King of Scotland, binding made for, 57


“Ihc Dien” adopted as a motto by the Black Prince, 81

Iguinus. “Oratio ad Hen. VIII.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 78


Joannes a Lasco. “Brevis de Sacramentis Ecc. Christi
      Tractatio. 1552.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 88


Katharine of Aragon, Queen. Bindings with her coat of arms, 24

“The King’s Revenues.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 89


Legends on bindings made by T. Berthelet, 65, 89

Lindau, binding of the Gospels of, 14

Little Gidding, bindings made at, 21

Lucretia stabbing herself. The device of T. Berthelet, 49


Macray, W. Dunn. His book on the Annals of the Bodleian Library, 70

Mary I., Queen, books bound for, by T. Berthelet, 90 et seq.

Mearne, Samuel. The painted edges of his books, 67

Mediæval English leather bindings described, 18

Molaise’s Gospels, 14


Nantes, Edict of, revoked in 1685, 32

“New Testament. 1536.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 76


“Opus de vera differentia regiae potestatis.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 75

Ostrich-feather badge of the Princes of Wales, 81


Payne, Richard, trustee for the children of T. Berthelet, 53

Powell, Thomas, nephew and successor to T. Berthelet, 49, 51, 52

Ptolemaeus. “Geografia. 1548.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 84

Pynson, Richard, Royal Printer before T. Berthelet, 32


Quarter-circles used as decorations for book corners, 73


“Rex in Aeternum Vive.” Painted in gold on the edges of bindings
      by T. Berthelet, 66, 74, 78, 79

Richard III.’s act allowing foreigners to sell bound books in England, 29

Rose, large panel stamp of a, 25

Ryland’s Library, Manchester, binding by T. Berthelet in the, 76

St. Chrysostom. “Works.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 71

St. Cuthbert’s Gospels, binding of, 19

Salvoine, Martha, bequest to, from T. Berthelet, 52

Satin binding by T. Berthelet, 77

“La Science de Geometrie.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 74

Seymour, Edward, Duke of Somerset. Binding made for him by T. Berthelet, 77

Skynner, Prudence, bequest to, from T. Berthelet, 52

Stamps for bookbinding used by T. Berthelet, 62

Stowe missal, 14

Supporters used by Henry VII., Henry VIII., and James I., 69


Theophylactus. “In omnes divi Pauli epistolas enarrationes.”
      Bound by T. Berthelet, 78

Ties in early English bindings, 59

Tracts bound in satin by T. Berthelet, 77

Trinity College, Oxford, binding by T. Berthelet at, 78

Trogus Pompeius. “Chorographica.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 81

Tudor heraldic badges, 23

Types used by T. Berthelet, 48


Velvet binding by T. Berthelet, 79

Venetian bindings, 15

Verard, Antoine. Books printed by him in the library of Henry VII., 24

“Vitae illustrium Virorum.” Bound by T. Berthelet 68


Weale, W. H. James. His researches into the history of
      blind-stamped bindings, 20

Wekes, John, bequest to, from T. Berthelet, 53

Westminster Abbey, binding at, with the arms of Edward IV., 13

Wheatley, H. B. His book on the bindings in the British Museum, 61

Will of T. Berthelet 51

Winchester Domesday Book, binding of the 20

Witinton, Robert. Gold-tooled binding on one of his manuscripts, 17


Xenophon. “La Cyropedie.” Bound by T. Berthelet, 83

                    PRINTED FOR THE CAXTON CLUB BY
                    R. R. DONNELLEY & SONS COMPANY
                    AT THE LAKESIDE PRESS, CHICAGO





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