11 - 13 July 2000
MORE, Thomas, Sir. (1478-1535). The Supplycacyon of Soulys. [London: William Rastell, 1529].
2° (264 x 181mm). Batarde type. 7-line opening initial. (Title stained at left hand margin, two small worm holes running through text, more severe worming of last quire, L, lower margin of the same quire repaired, final leaf laid down, some marginal dampstains.) Modern black morocco, spine gilt-lettered. Provenance: Contemporary pen trials and signatures (on blank mounted at end).
SECOND OF TWO EQUALLY-RARE EDITIONS printed by More's nephew, William Rastell, in 1529. The work was a reply to Simon Fish's The Supplication for the Beggars which represented the clegy as 'thieves,' responsible for the distress of the poor. Countering Fish's call for the dissolution of the monasteries, More treats the general confiscation of church property as a threatened evil, and envisages souls in Purgatory 'supplicating' the continuance of the prayers offered by the clergy for their release. It was the first book to come from William Rastell's press in the five years that he was active as a printer. Although Gibson treats this as the first edition, it is cited in STC as the second. Both editions were printed in an impressive fount of batarde type. Gibson More 71; STC 18093.
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