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  • ItemOpen Access
    The Donnithorne-Christchurch ‘Wicked Bible’ Technical and Bibliographic Report
    (Canterbury University Press, 2024) Taylor, Quillan
    The Donnithorne-Christchurch Wicked Bible is a rare anthology volume consisting of four separate religious texts, each printed by a different London printer. Most notable is the Holy Bible printed in 1631 by Robert Barker and the assigns of John Bill, which contains one of history’s most infamous typograph- ical errors, the omission of ‘not’ from Exodus 20:14. This report contains a bibliographic and technical description of the volume. It details its physical attributes, including measurements, pagination, imprint area, collation, notable damage and errors and its red ruling. Red ruling is an unusual feature only present in five of the twenty-five known copies of the Wicked Bible. The report also discusses the conservation efforts used to preserve and restore this particular volume, including binding strengthening, the use of conservation boards and the cleaning and treatment of water damage and discolouration. Using this volume as a case study, the report investigates 17th-century English printing techniques and materials to provide insights into the methods that may have been employed by the various printers involved in the production process, including typecasting, compositing, pressing, inks and red ruling. In addition, the rarity and provenance of the Donnithorne-Christchurch Wicked Bible as well as its historical context are explored. This involves summarising the economic and legal struggles that shaped Robert Barker’s business strategies and printing methodologies, and the impact these had on his career and the broader landscape of English printing
  • ItemOpen Access
    Uncommon Justice: The court of High Commission in the early 17th century
    (Canterbury University Press, 2024) Stedman, Annika
    The court of High Commission was a judicial body established in England in 1558 to enforce religious conformity and to regulate various matters including printing, marriage and the behaviour of the clergy. Initially formed as a royal commission in the reign of Henry VIII, it went through many iterations before becoming an officially independent ecclesiastical court in the 1580s, and operated as such until its dissolution by the Long Parliament in 1641. During the early years of Elizabeth I’s reign it was used primarily against Roman Catholics but, by the late 1620s, its jurisdiction and freedom of operation had expanded far beyond other ecclesiastical courts of the day. The court was not limited geographically; it required only a quorum of specified members to constitute a sitting, and could often be in session in multiple locations throughout England.1 The discussion in this paper focusses primarily on the five-year period from 1630 through until 1635 and on the functions of the court as it sat in London during that time. By 1630 the High Commission can be considered to have reached its ‘maturity’—that is, to be exercising the greatest degree of authority in its history. By focussing on the court at its peak we can better understand the social role that it evolved to fill. It is also worth commenting here that the lack of accessible records for the earlier iterations of the court make research challenging. Further investigation is, however, certainly needed and, although beyond the scope of this paper, it would be of great interest to compare differences in process and jurisdictions over time