“LAUD’S LITURGY”: 1637 FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST SCOTTISH BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, THE BOOK THAT SPARKED THE SCOTTISH REVOLT OF 1638 AND HELPED PRECIPITATE THE ENGLISH CIVIL WAR
(BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER). The Booke of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments. Edinburgh: Robert Young, 1637; Thomas Harper, 1636. Quarto, early 19th-century full polished paneled tan calf gilt rebacked with orignal spine laid down, raised bands. $13,500.
First edition of the first Scottish Book of Common Prayer—the book that became a harbinger of the English Civil War—beautifully printed in Gothic type, with decorative woodcut initials throughout, handsomely bound.
"In the 1630s events in the Scottish Church moved towards crisis. In 1633, using an elaborate English form of ritual, Charles was crowned at Edinburgh. Three years later, new ecclesiastical canons were drawn up for the kingdom. They enforced church furnishings of the English type, strengthened the powers of the bishops… [and] excommunicated any person who challenged the King's supremacy in church matters. Matters came to a head in 1637 with the attempted introduction of a Scottish Book of Common Prayer… drafted by Scottish bishops following the advice of Archbishop Laud. It takes a higher view of church practice than its English counterpart… [and] contains undertones of prayers for the dead and the eucharistic sacrifice. Its attempted introduction at St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh on July 16, 1637 ended in riot, and the Scottish Council promptly suspended the book" (Aspects of the Western Religious Heritage 25). Charles I overrode the Scottish Council, insisting on enforcement of the Scottish prayer book. His order began the chain of events that led to his downfall and eventual execution; in February 1638, Scottish committees which had formed to protest Laud's Book of Common Prayer convened to sign the National League and Covenant, repudiating royal authority in Scotland. Two years later the English parliament was recalled, and by 1642 the English Civil War had begun. The majority of the text in large Gothic type, with beautiful woodcut initials throughout. Both title pages within typographical borders; first title page and Almanack printed in red and black. Without two suppressed leaves of "Certaine Godly Prayers" ([R7]-[R8]), almost never present. Bound with second edition of Psalter (no catchword at leaf [2k6v]—that gathering intended to be in eight leaves, but leaves [2k7]- cancelled in most copies, including this one). Griffiths 1637:9. STC 16606, 16607.
Mild marginal dampstaining to first two and final two gatherings, scattered throughout rest of text block. Minor paper restoration toward gutter of prayer book title page. Small abrasion to rear board. A near-fine copy, handsomely bound.