The Holy Byble, conteining the Olde Testament and the Newe.HOLY BYBLE
London: Christopher Barker. 1585.
Folio. 413x257mm. leaves: , 536, 137. A2-4 B6 C6 2[par.]2 A-4T6 4U8; A6-Z5. New Testament has separate foliation and register. Lacking blank leaves at beginning and end. Title page, almanacke and calendar printed in red and black. Separate title pages (all within woodcut borders) for New Testament and for The Psalms and the Apocrypha. Full page woodcut of Adam Eve in the Garden of Eden and two woodcut maps. Charming and inventive woodcut initials and tailpieces throughout. General title is faded and has been mounted with some loss to margins. Fore-edges of A1-6 of the Old Testament and top edges of Z1-5 of the New Testament have been repaired. Some very small worming to Old Testament up to T1 and to the New Testament from T2 to the end. Some staining to margins in places. Internally in excellent condition overall. Herbert notes that the borders for the general title page and for the Psalter and New Testament are the same as the general title for Barker's 1583 Geneva version.
Early twentieth century panelled tan calf with some slight scuffing and rubbing to corners, the front edge of the upper cover and to head and foot of spine but overall in very good condition.
This is a very good example of the Bishop’s Bible which first appeared in 1568 as a revised version of the Great Bible which drew on the Hebrew and Greek originals and the Geneva version. In 1571 the Bishop’s Bible was ordered to be placed in every cathedral and, if possible, every church. It therefore became the official Bible of the Church of England until the King James Version of 1611. However, from 1572, all editions of Bishop’s Bible took their translation of the Psalms from the Book of Common Prayer. The only exception to this was the 1585 edition which retained the Psalter of the Bishops’ version of 1568. This Byble is, then, an example of the important Bishop’s version in its originally intended state.
Provenance: “William Hanbury, His Boak, Anno Domini, 1727” inscribed on General Title page. On the verso of leaf Yy2 and on the last leaf of the Old Testament are records of the Skyrme family from 1826-1919 showing them living in Monmouthshire, Gloucestershire and, finally, in Hastings. Verso of the final leaf of the New Testament has the undated signature of Jeremiah Bosley.
STC. 2143. Herbert, 188.