The Booke of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments. And other parts of divine Service for the use of the Church of Scotland. [With, as issued:] The Psalter, or Psalmes of David: After the Translation set forth by authority in King James his time of blessed memory. As it shall be sung or said throughout all the Churches of Scotland.

  • (Book of Common Prayer)
  • Edinburgh: Printed by Robert Young 1637
  • ESTC S101893; Griffiths 1637.9.


SKU: 3894 Category: Tags: ,


Folio, pp. [456]. First title-page and Calendar printed in red and black. Late 18th-century sprinkled calf, boards bordered with a gilt roll enclosing a blind roll, spine divided by raised bands, black morocco label, other compartments with central gilt sunburst tools, marbled endpapers. Several excisions and rubbings-out to titlepage, with an accompanying marginal tear, browned in places, some foxing and minor staining, headlines occasionally shaved. Binding scratched, extremities worn, joints cracked but holding. Ownership inscriptions of James Herbert (1831) and the Rev. George Howell R.D. (gift to Thomas Babington Jones, March 1871) to second flyleaf, further inscriptions of Charles William Jones (surgeon, Brecon, 1823) to title-page along with earlier excised or rubbed-out inscriptions.


The famous Prayer Book imposed on Scotland by Charles I, resulting in riots in St Giles's, Edinburgh, when first used in a service - the catalyst being a stool thrown at the dean while he read by an anonymous woman, traditionally named as 'Jenny Geddes'. The follow-on effects of this book included the National Covenant of 1638, the Bishops' Wars, Charles I's downfall and the English Civil War, and it 'provided a model for the American BCP of 1789 and its successors; the prayer books of the Scottish Episcopal Church (1929) & the Province of South Africa (1954)' (Griffiths).
An impressive as well as an important piece of printing, it was produced in considerable numbers thanks to an act mandating two copies in every parish in Scotland, though this was only issued after printing had started, leading to a frantic process of resetting and reprinting with attendant multiple variations, cancels, etc. The prose Psalter here is the scarcer 'second edition' described by Morgan in The Bibliotheck 5, p. 16, with no catchword on kk6 and the title reading 'After the translation...'. Leaf hh3 was cancelled in both editions, and a cancellans printed in two separate settings, resulting in copies having one of four potential leaves (two cancellans, two cancellanda); in this case the cancellans with line 1 verso ending 'he' is present.
This copy made its way to Wales by the 19th century, at least, where it passed through several hands within the century: from the collection of a surgeon in Brecon via one James Herbert to the rector of Llangattock in Breconshire, thence to a Thomas Babington Jones (perhaps the Welsh cricketer, 1851-1890 - as a graduation present?).

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