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ever were permitted to import books and manuscripts, and also to print them in the kingdom; but this liberty was afterwards revoked by Henry VIII, in the year 1533, by an order which may be found in Ames.* In 1538, Henry issued an order respecting the printing of bibles; and in 1542, he gave a bookseller an exclusive privilege during four years for that purpose.

With a view of finding the oldest Spanish privilege I consulted a variety of works, and among others Specimen bibliothecae Hispano-Majansianae,† but I met with none older than that to the following book: Aelii Antonii Nebrissen Introductiones in Latinam Grammaticen. Logronii Cantabrorum Vasconum urbe nobilissima; anno salutis millesimo quingentesimo decimo. fol. That privileges to books were usual in Poland has been shown by Mr. Am Ende, in Meusel's Collections before mentioned; and Origny, in his Dictionnaire des Origines, says, that the first privilege to a book in France was granted by Louis XII, in 1507; but Origny is an author in whose testimony one cannot place much confidence.

* Page 494.

Specimen bibliothecae Hispano-Majansianae; ex museo Davi dis Clementis. Hanoverae 1753, 4to.


THE first printers printed books at their own expense, and sold them themselves. It was necessary therefore, that they should have large capitals. Paper and all other materials, as well as labour, were in the infancy of the art exceedingly dear for those periods; and, on the other hand, the purchasers of books were few, partly because the price of them was too high, and partly because, knowledge being less widely diffused, they were not so generally read as at present. For these reasons many of the principal printers, notwithstanding their learning and ingenuity, became poor.* In this manner my countrymen Conrade Sweinheim and Arnold Pannarz, who were the first, and for a long time the only, printers at Rome, a city which on many accounts, particularly in the sixteenth century, might be called the first in Christendom, were obliged, after the number of the volumes in their warehouses amounted to 12,475, to solicit support from the Pope.t In the course of time this profession was divided, and

* Several of them were editors, printers, and proprietors of the books which they sold.

+ Their lamentable petition of the year 1472 has been inserted by Fabricius in his Bibliotheca latina. Hamburgi 1772, 8vo. iii. p. 898. See also Putter von Büchernachdruck, p. 29,

there arose booksellers. It appears that the printers themselves first gave up the bookselling part of the business, and retained only that of printing; at least this is said to have been the case with that well-known bookseller John Rainmann, who was born at Oehringen, and resided at Augsburg. He was at first a printer and letter-founder; and from him Aldus purchased his types. Books of his printing may be found from the year 1508 to 1524; and in many he is styled the celebrated German bookseller. About the same period lived the booksellers Jos. Burglin and George Diemar. Sometimes there were rich people of all conditions, particularly eminent merchants, who caused books which they sold, to be printed at their own expense. In this manner that learned man Henry Etienne was printer at Paris to Ulric Fugger at Augsburg, from whom he received a salary for printing the many manuscripts which he purchased. In some editions, from the year 1558 to 1567, he subscribes himself Henricus Stephanus, illustris viri Hulderici Fuggeri typographus. In the like manner also, in the beginning of the 17th century, a society of learned and rich citizens of Augsburg, at the head of whom was Marx Welser, the city-steward, printed

* Mr. Vou Stetten, Kunst-geschichte der reichs-stadt Augsburg, p. 43.

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a great number of books, which had commonly at the end these words, Ad insigne pinus.* Printing therefore thus gave rise to a new and important branch of trade, that of bookselling, which was established in Germany, chiefly at Franckfort on the Mayn, where, at the time of the fairs particularly, there were several large booksellers-shops in that street which still retains the name of bookstreet.

George Willer, whom some improperly call Viller, and others Walter, a bookseller at Augsburg, who kept a very large shop, and frequented the Franckfort fairs, first fell upon the plan of causing to be printed every fair a catalogue of all the new books, in which the size, and printers' names were marked. Le Mire, better known under the name of Miræus,† says, that catalogues were first printed in the year 1554; but Labbe,‡ Reimmann and Heumann, || who took their information from Le Mire, make the year perhaps erroneously to be 1564. Willer's catalogues were

Von Stetten, p. 40.

Le Mire, a Catholic clergyman, who was born in 1598, and died in 1640, wrote a work De scriptoribus ecclesiasticis sæculi xvi. which is printed in Fabricii Bibliotheca ecclesiastica Hamburgi 1718, fol. The passage to which I allude may be found p. 232; but perhaps 1564 has been given in Fabricius instead of 1554 by an error of the press.


Labbe, Bibliotheca bibliothecarum. Lipsiæ 1682, 12mo. p. 112, § Einleitung in die Historiam literariam, i. p. 203. Conspectus reip. litter. c. vi. § 2. p. 316.

printed till the year 1592 by Nicol. Bassæus, printer at Franckfort. Other booksellers however must have soon published catalogues of the like kind, though that of Willer continued a long time to be the principal.

Among the many curious and rare articles in the library of professor Baldinger, there is a collection of old catalogues, the earliest of which are the following: Catalogus novus nundinarum autumnalium Francofurti ad Moenum anno 1586 celebratarum. Plerique apud Joan. Georg. Portenbachium et Th. Lutz bibliopolam Augustanum venales habentur: A catalogue of all the new books-printed at Franckfort by Peter Schmid. This catalogue was published by booksellers of Augsburg; but not by Willer, of whom we have: Catalogus novus nundinarum autumnalium Francofurti ad Moenum anno 1587- -Plerique in aedibus. Georgii Willeri, bibliopolae Augustani, venales habentur. A catalogue of almost all the -books which have been published between last Easter and the present September fair. Franckfort on the Mayn printed by Nicolas Bassæus. †

In all these catalogues, which are in quarto, and

* Verzeichnuss aller neuwer bucher-Gedruckt in Franck fort durch Peter Schmid.

+ Verzeichnuss fast aller neuwer bucher welche seyther der nechstverschienen fastenmess, biss auff diese gegenwertige herbstmess, in offentlichem truck seyn aussgangen. Gedruckt zu Frankfurt a M. durch Nicolaum Bassæum.

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