AELFRIC, Grammaticus (955-1020), abbot of Evesham. A testimonie of antiquitie, shewing the auncient fayth in the Church of England touching the sacrament of the body and bloude of the Lord ... receaved in the Saxons tyme, about 600. yeares agoe. Edited by Archbishop Matthew Parker. London: John Day .
Small 8° in 4's (145 x 83mm). Collation: +4 +4 *4 **4 A2 s2 B-P4 *2 Q-S4. Following quire A is one leaf of errata and a blank leaf; between quires P and Q are two leaves containing the bishops' approbation. (Lacking S4, probably a colophon; title cut down and mounted, with small hole affecting two letters; R2 from a smaller copy.) 18th-century calf. Some early light underlining in ink of the Anglo-Saxon text. Provenance: Bute bookplate. FIRST EDITION. STC 159
A testimonie of Antiquitie, shewing the auncient fayth in the Church of England .... London: John Day, [1566?].
Small 8° (136 x 82mm). Collation: A-L8. (Lacking final blank; outer blank margin on I8 extended; text on E6-8 lightly crossed out.) 19th-century calf gilt (spine rubbed). Provenance: Thomas Dyet, the gyfte of Mr. Cristopher Anckton? (contemporary inscription on verso of last leaf); John Robertson (18th-century signature on title); Cardiff Castle bookplate. SECOND EDITION. STC 159.5, variant title page omitting the royal privilege
THE FIRST BOOK PRINTED IN ANGLO-SAXON TYPE, specially cut by the printer John Day for Archbishop Matthew Parker. The text is the Anglo-Saxon original of Aelfric's Sermon on Easter day, based on two manuscripts, with an English translation on facing pages.
The two volumes as described above were believed to be two variant issues of the first edition (in the old STC both are no. 159), until John Bromwich published his article 'The first book printed in Anglo-Saxon types', Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society (1962), vol.III pp. 265-291. It then became clear that they are entirely different settings of the text. (2)