A very RARE and remarkable
well preserved ILLUSTRATED FOLIO 1562 edition of the Great Bible containing the
complete Old Testament, Apocrypha and New Testament! No pages
lacking, which is extremely rare to find as usually sections in the
front and back are missing.
This Bible is described in
Herbert's catalogue as #117 - printed by Richard Harrison. This
offering lacks almost all the preliminary leaves as well as the
general title. All other titles (four in total are present). It
start with a perfectly preserved full page engraving of Adam and Eve
in the Garden of Eden with the list of books on verso.
The Bible text is divided into
five sections: 1) Pentateuch (5 Books of Moses); 2) Joshua-Job (with
title present); 3) Psalter to Malachi (with title present); 4)
Apocrypha (with title present) and 5) the New Testament (with Table
and large engraved title Anno Do. M.DLXII ). The Bible ends
with the dated colophon.
The Bible is printed in Gothic -
Black letter font, with 2 columns of 58 lines. Just about all books
begin with a woodcut illustration. Some books also have
illustrations at other chapters and the book of Revelation has a
special series of 20 special cuts as chapter illustrations. Also
just about all chapters have engraved woodcut first chapter
initials. The pages have large bold printed headers and the leaves
are numbered in roman numbers on the right top. Except for the
Psalter where the leaves are number by a count of Days.
The Great Bible was
the first authorized edition of the Bible in English, authorized by
King Henry VIII of England to be read aloud in the church services
of the Church of England. The Great Bible was so called due to Sir
Thomas Cromwell, Secretary to Henry VIII and Vicar General requiring
the clergy to "set up the Holy Bible of the largest volume in every
church so that parishioners may read it". Hence it has often
been referred to as Cromwell's Bible. This was the first and only
truly "Authorised Version" and was commonly chained to the pulpit in
the churches. It remained the official bible for the Church of
England for the the period from 1538 till the publication of the
Bishop's Bible in 1568.
This 1562 edition was the FIRST
AUTHORIZED printing after the accession of Elizabeth I and was
issued to refocus the Church of England to the Great Bible as the
The Great Bible's New Testament
is basically William Tyndale's translation. The Old Testament and
the Apocrypha were translated by Myles Coverdale, under the
supervision of Thomas Cromwell.
This Bible has amazing
PROVENANCE as it belonged to (the family of) the Right Reverend
Robert Skinner. Bishop of Bristol. There is extensive documentation
in the front of the Bible, including: 'This Volume "The Bible
Cranmer Harrison 1562" belonged to the family of the Right Reverend
Robert Skynner...Bishop of Bristol, Oxford... He was the LAST Bishop
appointed by Charles I. While Bishop of Oxford he joined with 11 of
his brethren in a protest against the proceedings of the Parliament
in consequence of which he was committed to the Tower. He alone of
all the Bishops remained in his Diocese during the troublesome time
of the commonwealth, reading every Sunday...preaching and confirming
children and ordaining such as would accept orders in a ruined
Church, so as to have men to fill the pulpits, when, as he always
believed a "restoration" would take place; and indeed when he died
in 1670 ten years after the Restoration of Charles II, he
had ordained more priests than all the surviving Bishops put
together. He was buried in Worcester Cathedral.'
VERY GOOD+ and WELL PRESERVED condition: Bible with woodcut devices
and initials, in English, with illustrated scenes at the beginning
of most books; printed in two columns with frequent notes and
marginal commentary, as shown throughout. Strong English style
binding with gold gauffered/decorated page edges. Extensive
provenance on the blank pages in the front. Complete Bible text.
Various smudges and some discoloring throughout. Large margins
around the text. Some damages on the pages in the front and back. See
the 90+ pictures below!
An AMAZING rare ILLUSTRATED
FOLIO GREAT BIBLE!