MAILLES, Jacques de. La tres ioyeuse plaisante & recreative hystoire composee par le loyal serviteur, des faiz gestes, triumphes et prouesses du bon chevalier sans paour et sans reproches le gentil seigneur de Bayart, dont humaines louengens sont espandues par toute la chrestiente ... Ensemble les guerres, batailles, recontres et assaultx qui de son vivant sont survenues, tant en France, Espaigne que Ytalie. Paris: Nicolas Couteau for Galliot de Pré, 18 September 1527.
4° (246 x 168mm). 102 leaves, gothic type, title printed in red and black, woodcut vignette with the French Royal arms, and numerous woodcut initials. (Minor repairs to title, occasional light spotting.) Modern binding re-using old green-painted vellum, earlier red speckled edges. Provenance: Daniel Wray (1701-83; 18th-century stamp recording the gift to:) -- Charterhouse School, London.
RARE FIRST EDITION of the chronicle of 'The Fearless and Faultless Knight'. The Catalogue collectif de France records copies only at the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Bibliothèque Municipale de Grenoble, and no copy appears to have been sold at auction in over 30 years. Pierre Terrail, Seigneur de Bayard (1476-1524), fought in numerous Spanish and Italian campaigns under Louis XII, Charles VIII and François I, who made him lieutenant general of Dauphin. Terrail was recognised in his day by Parlement as the saviour of his country for holding Mezieres, a critical battle in the conflict between François I and Charles V. 'Chivalry, free of fantastic extravagance, was mirrored in the character of Bayard. As a soldier he was one of the most skilful commanders of the age... In the midst of mercenary armies Bayard remained absolutely disinterested, and to his contemporaries and his successors he was, with his heroism, piety and magnanimity, the fearless and faultless knight... His gaiety and kindness won him, even more frequently, another name bestowed by his contemporaries, le bon chevalier' (Enc. Brit. 1911 ed, vol. III, p. 554).
Daniel Wray, antiquary and book collector, went to Charterhouse School as a day scholar at the age of 13. In 1755 he became vice-president of the Society of Antiquaries and on 18 June 1765 was appointed one of the trustees of the British Museum. 'Among Wray's many literary friends were Henry Coventry, William Heberden the elder, William Warburton, Conyers Middleton, and Nicholas Hardinge' (DNB). Brunet III 182 ('se distingue par sa rareté'); BLSTC French 147.