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Anthony de Solempne: attributions to his press

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Anthony de Solempne: attributions to his press

by David Stoker

(Published in The Library: The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, 6th ser. Vol.3, (1981), 17-32.)

During the summer of 1568 agents of John Parkhurst bishop of Norwich conducted a census of the large community of Dutch and Walloon refugees who had arrived in the city, particularly during the preceding year.1 The ensuing document lists a large number of tradesmen, the majority of whom were weavers, but also records the presence of two printers.2 Two years later the Norwich Corporation was employing one of these men, Anthony de Solempne, to print bye-laws,3 and shortly afterwards permitted him to purchase his full rights of citizenship as the first practitioner of this trade in the city.4 For a number of years when printing was severely restricted outside London, a press was therefore permitted to operate in Norwich which apparently paid little or no regard to these restrictions. Several items are known to have survived from the press of Anthony de Solempne, but an even larger number have at various times been incorrectly attributed to it. These mistaken attributions may be directly related to the unusual circumstances in which the press was set up and operated and to its slightly obscure relationship with other Dutch refugee presses on the Continent.5

Anthony de Solempne was apparently a spice merchant in Antwerp who was winding up his business affairs in June 1567, prior to the arrival in the Netherlands of the Duke of Alva and his army of Spanish veterans.6 He was a committed Calvinist who, like large numbers of his co-religionists, could foresee the imminent and most severe retribution that was going to he wrought on the Dutch Protestants as a result of the preceding months of rebellion and iconoclasm. The news of the mobilization of Alva's army was enough to cause thousands of Protestants to leave their country and swell the ranks of the existing Dutch refugee communities in Wesel, Emden, Aachen and London, and to form new communities in the cities of Hamburg, Canterbury and, most notably, Norwich.

Solempne arrived in Norwich in the late summer or autumn of 1567 together with his wife and two sons. He became a well-respected member of the Dutch congregation in Norwich and later served as either an elder or deacon.7 Presumably he had managed to save something of his fortune, for later Subsidy records show him to have been one of the most wealthy members of the refugee community.8 Fairly soon after his arrival, he was operating a printing press in the parish of St Andrew, close to the commercial centre of the city.9 Two books in Dutch bearing Solempne's imprint from 1568 testify that this was an unusually well-equipped and competently manned business. Later survivals were less ambitious, but show that the press was not only serving the Dutch refugees but also the native English population.

The last item which may, with certainty, be attributed to Solempne's press dates from 1571-72 and almost coincides with a change of accommodation which may also mark a change of occupation for the printer. His grant of citizenship of 1570 in fact recorded two trades; printer, and vendor of Rhenish wine. At some time in 1572 he moved to premises at the sign of the White Dove in the parish of St John Maddermarket.10 (In succeeding centuries these premises were always associated with the sale of liquor and no doubt served the same purpose at this time.) Solempne remained at this address until at least 1584 and possibly later.11

The first problem that requires an answer in any investigation of Solempne's press is where an apparently prosperous spice merchant obtained a wide range of printing materials and the level of expertise that is associated with his early productions. There is no evidence to suggest that he had any connection with the printing or book trades prior to his arrival in Norwich. There were no printers among the native population, and so Solempne's connection with the printing trade probably resulted from an acquaintance ship with other refugees. In this respect the reference to a second printer in the census of 1568 probably provides a clue to the answer.

Unlike Solempne, who came from the province of Brabant, Albert Christian the second printer originated in Holland.12 He may be identified with Albert Christiaensz one of the well-known group of rebel printers who were enabled to operate in the town of Vianen under the protection of the leader of the Protestant faction Hendrik van Brederode.13 Christiaensz printed anonymous political and religious tracts and played a part in the underground distribution of Protestant Bibles printed in Emden. Few works now surviving may be positively associated with his press, but the consider able trouble taken by the government in Brussels to bring about its suppression bears witness to its importance.14 Vianen finally fell to the forces of Margaret of Parma the Spanish regent on 3 May 1567, but this was no sudden or surprise defeat. It is known that the printer Augustijn van Hasselt was able to escape from the threatened town taking some of his equipment, and make his way to the haven of Wesel.15 In all probability Albert Christiaensz was able to do the same, and it would then have been quite Possible for him to have travelled north to Emden and by sea to Norwich.

There is no specific evidence to show that Christiaensz worked for, or in Partnership with Solempne, merely the single reference showing that both men were working as printers within the city during the summer of 1568, having both arrived approximately twelve months beforehand. There is also no further reference to Christiaensz in the surviving Norwich records relating to the Dutch community, which is perhaps an indication that he did not remain there for very long after this date. However, the most likely explanation for the sudden acquisition by Solempne of a wide range of typographical materials and a workforce with considerable skill, must be in an association of some kind with Christiaensz. This is not necessarily to suggest that Christianesz arrived in the city with his printing materials, hut he may well have advised Solempne and been instrumental in obtaining his equipment.

The most interesting of the two works known to have come from Solempne's press in 1568 was an edition of the psalms and some prayers in metre translated by Petrus Dathenus together with a catechism for the use of the Dutch Reformed Church (STC 2741). The work may have been printed from an anonymously printed edition of these two titles dating from 1567 (British Library 3434.c.zi) which shared the same preface by Dathenus and was printed with virtually the same combination of printing types. However, Solempne's edition also included annotations to the psalms and a short introduction to the fundamentals of psalm music; the layout of the text on the page was also quite different. Solempne's psalter was very well printed using five fairly common black letter types,16 a brevier roman, a pica italic, individual sorts from an uncial type, and many examples of Granjon's second music type-face.17 Two designs of printers' ornament are also found together with one ornate woodcut initial letter 'U' which was used to mark the opening word of the catechism.

The second work from 1568 was apparently a reprint of a Dutch translation of the Confession of Faith drawn up by the Swiss Reformed Church and subsequently studied by some of the Dutch Calvinists (STC 23557). This book was printed using the same five black letter types, the pica italic, and the woodcut initial 'U' which were used in the psalter. The main point of interest in this work is that there are three identifiable skeleton formes, the running titles of which all make use of variant spellings of the word 'Switzerland'. Evidence from running titles is notoriously unreliable as a guide to the organization of a printing office18 but nevertheless the use of three skeleton formes with variant spellings may be some indication that the work was not printed by an extremely small or primitively organized business.

Items surviving from the press which were produced after 1568 differ from the two works mentioned above in a number of ways. They were much smaller and less ambitious productions which were no longer solely aimed at the refugee community or specifically related to the Dutch Reformed Church. Three of the four remaining works which are undoubtedly from Solempne's press were broadsheets and the fourth consisted of only one octavo gathering, but from this meagre evidence it is obvious that later standards of workmanship were lower. It also appears that after 1568 this press had at its disposal smaller quantities of the range of types that had been used and the Granjon music type is not found again. There is no concrete evidence to explain these changes. Do they illustrate the results of the end of a partnership between Solempne and Christiaensz and the withdrawal of the assets of the latter in the form of typographical materials? But this explanation perhaps makes too many assumptions about a business arrangement for which there is no real evidence.

The next surviving works to bear Solempne's imprint were an execution broadside in English and a perpetual calendar and almanac in Dutch, both dating from 1570. Certayne Versis writtene by Thomas Brooke (STC 3335) contained lines purporting to have been written by one of the leaders of a minor conspiracy who was hanged in Norwich in August 1570. This work displays three of the above-mentioned black letter types together with a rather distinctively styled woodcut initial 'I' quite different from the initial used in the two earlier works. The broadsheet also carried the legend, 'Seane, and allowyd, accordynge to the Quenes Maiestyes Iniunction', showing that it conformed with the Injunction of 1559 and had been licensed by the local ecclesiastical authorities.

The perpetual calendar was a rather curious publication consisting of one octavo gathering and displaying all of Solempne's black letter and roman types together with an uncial not found elsewhere (STC 401.6)19. This work was similar in content to a number of perpetual calendars found in the preliminary matter of some editions of the New Testament in Dutch (e.g. British Library 3041.a.7 and 3041.a.8) giving information relating to feast days, important fairs, solstices and important historical dates. However Solempne's edition also contained material that was clearly aimed specifically at the Norwich refugee community.20 The title-page of this small work contained a rather crude representation of the English Royal Arms together with the loyal slogan, 'Godt bevvaer de Coninginne Elizabeth'.

These two publications coincide with two documentary references showing that the printer was undertaking commissions for the English citizens. Brief reference has already been made to the employment of Solempne to print bye-laws in May 1570, but about the same time he was also paid four shillings by the overseers of the poor for the parish of St Andrew for printing 'pclamacons'.21 Finally, there has recently been discovered another broadsheet in English bearing Solempne's imprint on this occasion hand-written - dating from 1572. A Prayer to be Sayd in the End of the Mornyng Prayer Daily (through the Dioeces of Norwich) during the Tyme of this Sharp Wether, of Frost and Snow (STC 16510.5) was printed using three of Solempne's black letter type faces, and there is no reason to doubt the authenticity of the hand-written statement, 'Imprinted at Norwich in ye parish of St Andrewe by Antho: de Solempne'. This work was also 'seane and allowyd, by the licensing authority.

These five titles represent the complete output of this press surviving with Solempne's imprint. They were markedly uncontroversial works; the two books in Dutch were related to the worship of the Dutch Reformed Church which was tolerated in England, and the remaining three pieces were ephemera which might have been printed by any press in London. However there is evidence that on one occasion at least Solempne did not attach his name to a work which he printed and did not adhere to the legal requirement of having it inspected by the ecclesiastical authorities prior to publication.

In July 1569 a wealthy merchant commissioned Solempne to print one hundred copies of a small broadsheet in French entitled Tableau de l'oeuure de Dieu (STC 3792). The table was the work of Antonio del Corro a Spanish Protestant minister who had fled from Antwerp to London in 1567. Corro later related that the printer was not conversant with the French language and so he asked De la Forest, the minister of the Walloon church in Norwich, to correct the proof of the broadsheet. The minister was so horrified by the doctrines expressed in the table that he covered the margins with twenty-five 'censures', claiming that it represented an attack on orthodox christology and predestination.22 Despite this criticism the work was produced but with no name of printer or place of publication, and it soon became the cause of a major controversy between Corro and the elders of his adopted Italian Protestant congregation in London. This dispute came to the notice of Edmund Grindal, Bishop of London, who specifically noted that the publication had not been submitted for approval before it was printed.23 The bishop tried unsuccessfully to resolve the dispute between the preacher and his elders but was eventually forced to suspend Corro from preaching.

The author later claimed that his table was printed in Norwich only because Solempne could quote a lower price - one crown - and was willing to undertake such a small job.24 However, the problems resulting from the publication of this small work, and the fact that no attempt was made to obtain authority to publish, makes it appear that there may have been other factors in the decision to have the table printed in Norwich. Without doubt there would have been considerably more difficulty in getting the work legally printed in London. An examination of the sole surviving copy of the table confirms the documentary evidence; four of Solempne's black letter type-faces and two of his ornaments from the edition of the psalms are found to have been used. The following year an extended and revised Latin version (STC 3793) and a second French version (STC 3792.3) of the table were published without imprint. The Latin version was given the speculative imprint London? or Norwich? 1570?] in the first edition of STC, but there appears to be no bibliographical or documentary evidence to associate either work with Solempne's press.25

The dispute resulting from the publication of the first French version of the Tableau de l'oeuure de Dieu in 1569 demonstrates - albeit in a small way -that Solempne had not been working under the same constraints as English printers up to this time and that he might find it convenient quietly to ignore the regulations relating to the licensing of printed works. The subsequent controversy certainly brought the Norwich press to the notice of the Bishop of London, and may even have been instrumental in tightening the control over its operations. There is no record of any action being taken against the printer for his part in the misdemeanour, but it may be significant that subsequent broadsides carry the legend 'seen and allowed'.

In the library of Trinity College Dublin there was to be found an interesting volume which was probably once part of the library of James Ussher, archbishop of Armagh (Trinity College Library CC.h.7/7A, now rebound in two volumes). The book originally contained Solempne's edition of the psalms, his perpetual calendar, and an anonymously printed octavo edition of the New Testament from the Dutch translation of the Deus-aes Bible incorporating the annotations of August Marlorat. On the title-page of this New Testament is a very fine oval woodcut depicting a man felling the barren fig tree from Matthew 3, and the date 1568. The work has an editor's preface dated 29 October of the same year.

Henry Cotton, the nineteenth-century bibliographer, was the first to describe the Trinity College volume in print and had no doubt about the origins of the New Testament: 'when it is stated that it is printed with the same types as those of the psalms, bears the same date, is of the same size, and bound up in the same volume, there cannot be the slightest doubt that this as well as the other two is the product of Anthony de Solemne's press'.26 There are, in fact, examples of all five of Solempne's black letter types found in the New Testament as well as two others not found in any work by this printer. This combination of type-faces might be thought to be conclusive evidence of Solempne's workmanship27 especially when it is taken with the circumstantial, but nevertheless very significant, association with other works from the press; an association which probably dates from the sixteenth century. Furthermore one woodcut initial from this work (see Plate Tic), is a very close copy of the initial used in Solempne's execution broadside, and three others appear in a work by Reginald Gonsalvius Montanus intitled Der Heyliger Hispanischer Inquisitie (STC 12001) which, although it was not known to Cotton, has nevertheless been attributed to Solempne's press since the end of the nineteenth century.

In spite of all this evidence Cotton was wrong; the New Testament was almost certainly printed in Emden rather than Norwich. It is one of a series of Dutch New Testaments including octavo and duodecimo editions of 1567 and 1568 and a sextodecimo of 1567, each of which has the same distinctive woodcut on the title-page. The 1567 octavo differs slightly from the others by having no annotations of Marlorat and having an imprint 'Ghedruckt by Lenaert der Kinderen'.28 All the types and a large number of the woodcut initials found in these works can also be found in books attributed to the Emden presses of Steven Mierdman, Willem Gailliart and Lenaert Der Kinderen. The relationship between these men is obscure. Gailliart succeeded to the business and printing materials of Mierdman in 1558, but Kinderen may not have been a master printer in his own right.

H. F. Wijnman has suggested that the name Kinderen may have been a pseudonym for Willem Gailliart,29 but an alternative view is that he may have been an itinerant publisher who employed several printers including Gailliart.30 It may therefore be said that the New Testament described by Cotton was printed using materials which were in use in Emden and which were probably in the hands of Willem Gailliart in 1568.

The same printer was probably responsible for the 1569 edition of the account of the Spanish Inquisition by Reginaldus Gonsalvius Montanus referred to above. This work was first ascribed to Solempne's press by a nineteenth-century owner (probably Charles Rahlenbeck) on the basis of a correspondence between the text type with that used in Solempne's Belijdnenisse ende eenuoudige wtlegghinge des gheloofs, 1568 (STC 23557), the translation of the Confession of Faith. Both these books were purchased by Cambridge University Library from the Rahlenbeck sale in 190431 and the attribution was thereafter accepted by Sayle32 and the compilers of the first edition of STC. However only three of the seven types found in Der Heyliger Hispanischer Inquisitie may be associated with Solempne whereas many of the typo-graphical materials and woodcuts appear in works printed by Gailliart.33

These two mistaken attributions do however highlight some coincidental connections between the presses of Solempne and Gailliart. All the black letter type-faces owned by Solempne were also owned by Gailliart. Of the two woodcut initials known to have been owned by Solempne, the letter 'I' was a copy of a cut belonging to Gailliart, and the letter 'U' was a good replica of a 'U' (see Plate lie) from a series of cuts owned by Mierdman many of which later passed to Gailliart.34 The perpetual calendars found in the preliminary matter of the duodecimo and sextodecimo New Testaments mentioned above clearly formed the basis of Solempne's calendar of 1 70, and the Trinity College volume contains Solempne's calendar bound before the anonymous New Testament in exactly the same way that these perpetual calendars precede the text in the smaller formats.35

A second volume from the Library of Trinity College Dublin (CC.h.22) which was also possibly from Ussher's collection, has resulted in another wrongful attribution of a work to the press. This volume contains a second copy of Solempne's perpetual calendar and of his psalter, bound together with an anonymously printed edition of Der Siecken Troost dated 1566.36 This title was not seen by Cotton but was noted by W. H. Alnutt;37 it contains examples of all five of the black letter types owned by Solempne and no others, but not one of the woodcut initials appears in books which have ever been attributed to the press. Assuming that the date on the title-page is genuine, the work could not possibly have been printed by Solempne in Norwich and it also probably originates from Emden.

There are some indications, therefore, that there was some contact between the refugee printers in Norwich and those in Emden although there is insufficient evidence to be able to judge exactly how extensive. It appears that Solempne's typographical material originated from the same source as much of that belonging to Gailliart. It is also quite likely that items printed in Emden were fairly readily available to the Dutch refugees in Norwich, perhaps through the agency of one or more of the four Dutch booksellers listed on the 1568 census.38 Such contact is not surprising; each of the refugee communities maintained its part in an elaborate system of communication with one another and in particular with the mother churches of London and Emden.39 (The Norwich community was larger than that in London but was established later and was less influential.) In some respects, and particularly in matters of religious doctrine, the Reformed Congregation of Norwich was more closely akin to that of Emden.

An anonymous note in a nineteenth-century journal suggests that Solempne's press was set up as a part of the well-known network of refugee presses centred on Emden which produced anti-Spanish propaganda and vernacular translations of scripture with the intention that these should be smuggled back into occupied areas of the Low Countries.40 Another nineteenth-century commentator even went so far as to say that the press was responsible for some editions of the Bible in Dutch printed c. 1575 which were to be found in the Library of Trinity College Dublin.41 Unfortunately, it is not now possible to trace these Bibles and it is open to real doubt whether they ever existed for 1575 is at least seven years after the great period of refugee Bible printing.42 These unsubstantiated claims, (which perhaps come from the same source) give rise to the valid, if almost unanswerable question why such a press should have been founded in Norwich at that time. Solempne must have realized that it was totally uneconomic for him to print books in Dutch for sale to a community of at most 4,000 adults. The examples of printing in English after 1570 may be an illustration of his trying to broaden the economic base of his business, but there appears to be no satisfactory explanation why such a singularly well-equipped venture was set up in the first place and how it survived during the crucial early years from the end of 1567 to 1569.

Bearing in mind the heavy controls on all English printing and the rather ambiguous foreign policy towards Spain that was being pursued by Elizabeth's government during the early years of the revolt in the Netherlands, it seems hardly conceivable that a press could have existed in the English provinces during the late 1560s and early 1570s for printing works to be smuggled abroad. But it might be argued that any kind of press in Norwich would seem equally unlikely were it not that there is so much evidence to prove that it existed. It is also intriguing to speculate by what means Solempne was able to evade the terms of the Royal Charter of the Stationers' Company of 1557, for he appears to have had no recorded dealings with the company. By implication his actions were either licensed43 or were quietly permitted by the Crown in some way which is not recorded. It may be that this was done through the influence of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, who was a patron and supporter of the interests of the Norwich refugees before his fall from grace,44 but this must remain speculation.

These questions have been considered because they have a bearing on other attributions which are frequently made to Solempne's press, the truth of which are yet to be satisfactorily resolved. There are two books in particular which have been attributed to Solempne on several occasions in print. These give rise to many problems for they were both produced a decade after the more substantial works from his press and at least six years after he appears to have given up printing.

The first of these works is an octavo edition of the second book of the so-called sermons of Brother Cornelis Adrians, a well-known preacher and extremist leader of the Catholic party in Bruges (STC 151) Paradoxically the two books of the sermons of Brother Cornelis which were anonymously printed in 1569 and 1578 represented important pieces of anti-Catholic propaganda. The sermons may be suppositious, or were perhaps adapted for the use of the preacher's enemies, but together with a satirical commentary, they depict him as a vindictive and immoral man.45 The imprint of the second book of sermons has the ambiguous statement, 'Nu eerstmael in Druck vuytgegeuen, buyten Noirdvvitz', and the last two words have been variously translated as 'except in Norwegian'46 and, more convincingly, as 'outside Norwich City Walls'.47 Cotton had no doubt that a copy of this work in Trinity College Dublin was printed by Solempne,48 and this attribution was accepted in the BMC and by the compilers of the first edition of STC. There is, however, a body of opinion that believes this imprint is fictitious and that the work was printed on the Continent.49 This judgement is wholly supported by an examination of the type-faces and woodcut ornaments found in the book, for not one can be found in any piece of Solempne's printing or any other work that has been associated with his press. Furthermore, there are a number of conventions used by the printer of these sermons - such as pagination rather than foliation - which also decry any connection with Solempne's press.

Although it is possible to state with some certainty that the second book of the sermons of Cornelius Adrians is not the work of Solempne, the matter is further complicated by a recent suggestion made by Herman de la Fontaine Verwey that Solempne might have been responsible for the first book of sermons, entitled Historie van B. Cornelis Adnaensen van Dordrecht.50 The bibliographical evidence for such a suggestion is fairly strong as this book contains four black letter types and one italic used by Solempne as well as the same two type ornaments. One roman type does not, however, correspond with those known to have belonged to Solempne, and a woodcut initial 'N' came from the same series as Solempne's 'U'. The publication date of 1569 also fits neatly into the printer's known period of working. However, unsupported typographical evidence of this kind does not provide a sufficiently strong case finally to attribute the work to Solempne. Professor de la Fontaine Verwey notes that the typography of the Historie does not exclude the previously accepted opinion that the work was printed by the Bruges Catholic printer, Pieter de Clerck, although he believes it very unlikely that such a book was printed in the Netherlands under Alva's rule.

The second problematic attribution concerns the Chronyc Historie der Nederlandtscher Oorlogen (STC 17450), which was printed about 1579 or 1580. This was a translation of Adam Henricpetri's Niderlendischer erster Kriegen Emporungen (Basle, 1575), to which was added additional material, in itself more than the length of the original work, which brought the story up to date. The new material, constituting book three of the Dutch version, was apparently not by Henricpetri but by his translator, a man signing himself 'Theophilus idiota'. There is no name of a printer given on the book, merely the imprint 'Ghedruckt tot Noortwitz na de Copie van Basel. Anno 1579'.

In this extended form, the Chronyc Historie is of major importance to Dutch historiography, representing the most detailed early work on the revolt in the Netherlands. Although violently anti-Catholic in tone, the book nevertheless gives a reliable account of the early years of the struggle and had considerable effect as a piece of anti-Spanish propaganda. In 1581 the whole work was translated into French by the same man, this time signing himself 'Theophile D.L.', and claiming the authorship. In 1583 it was translated into English (STC 17450.3) and also completely rewritten in a Pro-Spanish, second French version which was published in order to deceive readers into thinking it the same work.

The importance of the Chronyc Historie has caused a great deal of discussion about the identification of the author/translator and the first printer.51 The author was once thought to be Philips van Marnix, Lord of St Aldegonde, but this attribution is no longer widely accepted.52 A more convincing case for the authorship of Gilbert Roy or Regius has been made recently on the basis of a note in a manuscript chronicle of the Antwerp engraver, Phillips Galle, to the effect that he had borrowed much of his material from documents put at the disposal of Roy so that he could write a history of the wars in the Low Countries. This suggestion was made by B.A. Vermaseren who also claimed that the pseudonym, 'Theophilus idiota', was adopted by Roy because he was frequently confused with the savant, Bonaventura Vulcanius.53 Another widely accepted candidate for the translator of the whole work, and thereby the authorship of the latter part, is Carolus Ryckewaert, a Dutch refugee minister who fled to Norwich. At the time of this publication Ryckewaert was living in Thetford in Norfolk following a dispute with some of his colleagues in Norwich.54 Throughout his career Ryckewaert used, and was known by, the pseudonym 'Theophilus' -and there are numerous contemporary references to him by this name. The letters 'D.L.' following the French version are ambiguous and have been interpreted in a number of ways to support the claims of both Ryckewaert and Roy.

The identity of the printer of this work was for many years assumed to be Anthony de Solempne, largely on the basis of the word 'Noortwitz in the imprint and the certainty that this printer knew Ryckewaert, having been an elder of his church. This attribution is likewise not universally accepted. Thus, Dr B. A. Vermaseren cited the opinion of Dr Leon Voet, that on typographical evidence the work might be ascribed to the press of Willem Silvius, who had recently fled from Antwerp to Leiden.55 Dr Vermaseren suggested that the word 'Noortwitz' was an allusion to Silvius, being derived from 'Noordwijk', the manor of his friend Janus Dousa. W. J. C. Moens, in an earlier work, suggested that the Chronyc Historie was printed by Solempne, who used the form 'Noortwitz' rather than 'Nordwijck' in an attempt partially to disguise the origin of the work.56 'Noortwitz' was, however, a perfectly acceptable Dutch rendering of Norwich, very similar to the form 'Noorwitz' used in Solempne's imprints of 1568.

Although at least four of the five black letter types found in the Chronyc Historie were owned by Willem Silvius,57 and the book had the same 'run down' appearance of some of his productions of this period, all five of these types were owned by Solempne. But this work also contains small quantities of two roman types, an italic, and a type ornament which are not found in Solempne's work. The evidence of woodcut initials is inconclusive and rather confusing, but there are apparently no woodcuts corresponding with those used by Silvius. The initials used are similar in style to the set owned y Gailliart, a copy of one of which was owned by Solempne. An initial 'D' Is, however, either an excellent copy of perhaps the same cut as one used eleven years earlier in the 1567 octavo New Testament mentioned above (compare Plates Ha and lib).

The circumstances surrounding the production of the Chronyc Historie are still clothed in mystery and it is not possible to make a definite judgement on whether or not Solempne was the printer. On the basis of the evidence presented here it may be argued that the case for Solempne having been the printer is as strong as that for Silvius but the evidence is far from conclusive and it is not even certain that these are the only possible candidates. The main difficulty with an attribution to Solempne's press is reconciling the date of 1578 with this printer's career. If he did begin printing again after a gap of about seven years, it could only have been for exceptional and non-commercial reasons. A second point is that even a cursory examination of the Chronyc Historie shows that it was very badly produced, perhaps using inexperienced workmen and certainly with type that was in very short supply.58 It is impossible to reconcile this production with the fairly high standards of the Dathenus psalter of 1568 unless, perhaps, the hypothetical departure of Albert Christiaensz, taking with him a proportion of the types, is taken into account.

Finally, there are two further attributions to the press which may be dismissed with more certainty. The first of these was an anti-Catholic pamphlet De Val der Roomscher Kercken (STC 21307.5), which had already been published in a number of editions in Dutch and English before the appearance of another Dutch edition containing no imprint, no date, and no preliminary matter of any kind which might give a clue to its origin. This edition was apparently first attributed to the press of Solempne together with the clearly incorrect speculative date of c. 1550, in a sale catalogue of the library of M.-J. Six De Vromade published by Van Stockum's Antiquaariat in 1925.59 Another copy of this edition was acquired by the British Museum where it was attributed to the press of S. Mierdman, Antwerp C. 15 6o (British Library 3925.a.5) STC does, however, include this copy with the provisional imprint [Norwich, A. de Solempne? C. 1570]. Of the three types used, only two were owned by Solempne, and there are no woodcut initials or printers ornaments which might give a clue to the origin of the work. In the absence of further evidence, the attribution of this work to Solempne's press should be rejected.

For the sake of completeness, mention should also be made of one other title which has been ascribed to Solempne but which is probably a ghost, although it may just possibly be a genuine edition which has been lost for a century. Writing in 1862, Charles Rahlenbeck mentioned a duodecimo edition of Bullinger's Somme der Christelyke Religie dated 1578 with the printer's imprint.60 If such a work did exist and the date quoted is correct, much that has been written in this paper would be invalid. However no subsequent commentator has mentioned this work, and the note in which it is described also carries an extremely inaccurate description of Solempne's Confession of Faith which mistakes the date, the wording of the title, and the format.

Few sixteenth century printers have suffered from such a relatively large number of works being wrongfully attributed to them as Anthony de Solempne. This must be partly due to the lack of any real knowledge about the true function of the press, the reason why it was set up and the way it was run. It is also noteworthy that Solempne had no lasting impact on the history of the city of Norwich. The existence of his press was forgotten during the seventeenth century and so the next printer - Francis Burges -was able to state quite surely that he had introduced the trade to the city in 1701. A few years later the antiquary, Thomas Hearne, discovered and published the execution broadside,61 and Francis Blomefield came across the entry for Solempne in the Register of Freemen.62 But it was not until the publication of Cotton's Typographical Gazetteer in the nineteenth century that there was any published description of works from his press.

Reading, 1980

Footnotes

1 The census was carried out in centres where refugees had settled. See J. Strype The Life and Acts of Matthew Parker (Oxford, 1821), I, 521-22.

2. 'Anthonius de la Solemme tipographus cum uxore et duobus pueris ex Brabantia huc venit Anno 1567' and 'Albertus Christiani tipographus ex Hollandia venit huc Anno 1567'. A contemporary copy of the return is preserved in the Norwich Dean and Chapter Archive (unnumbered). It was published by Walter Rye in Norfolk Antiquarian Miscellany (Norwich, 1877), III, 215.

3 Norfolk Record Office, Clavors Book (1550-1601), 21st May 1570.

4 P. Millican The Register of the Freemen of Norwich 1548-1713, (Norwich, 1934), p. 111.

5 . I have been assisted by a number of librarians and scholars who have answered my letters about Solempne but I owe a particular debt to Miss Katharine Pantzer of the Houghton Library, Mr Harry Carter of the Oxford University Press, and Professor Herman de La Fontaine Verwey of Amsterdam for their advice. Any errors are my own

6 Antwerpsch archievenblad, ii 434.

7 ' N.R.O., Mayors Court Book 10 (1576-1581), f. 298.

8 Public Record Office, Lay Subsidy Rolls, 23 Eliz., St John's Parish, Wymer Ward Norwich (152/403 membrane 7).

9 . This address is given on the imprint of T. Brooke Certayne Versis (Norwich, 1570).

10 N.R.O. Miscellaneous Military Documents (13A) iii-vi, 1572-1580 and Norfolk and Norwich Notes and Queries, 1 ser. (1888), 34

11 See Norfolk Archaeology 20, 231. A new building was erected on this site in 1586. Solempne's name does not appear on a number of lists of Dutchmen living in Norwich compiled after 1584, but the churchwardens’ accounts of St Stephen’s parish have one isolated entry for this name in the year 1606-07. This probably refers to one of the printer's sons.

12. Rye, 217.

13 . H. de La Fontaine Verwey, 'Hendrik van Brederode en de drukkerijen van Vianen', Het Boek 30 (1949), 3. Vianen was a sovereign fief held directly of the Emperor by the Brederodes and therefore provided more security for Protestant Printers.

14 B. A. Vermaseren, 'The Mother-in-Law of Albert Christiaensz, Printer and Book Dealer at Vianen', Quaerendo 6 (1976), 195.

15 L. Voet, The Golden Compasses (Amsterdam, 1969~72), 1, 50.

16 Using the nomenclature of H. Vervliet, Sixteenth-Century Printing Types of the Low Countries (Amsterdam, 1968), these were T3, T52, T30, T43, and T47. Other types have not been identified with certainty.

17 D. W. Krummel, English Music Printing 1553-1700 (1975), p. 51.

18 See D. F. McKenzie, 'Printers of the mind', SB 22 (1969), 1.

19 Vervliet U7.

20 E. M. Beloe, Anthony de Solempne’s Perpetual Calendar, Norwich, 1570 (Kings Lynn, 1915), p.5.

21 F. Beecheno, St Andrew’s Church and Parish (Norwich, 5911), p.15. The original is apparently now lost.

22 P. Hauben, Three Spanish Heretics and the Reformation (Geneva, 1967), p. 46; W. McFadden The Life and Times of Antonio del Corro 1527-1591, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Queens University Belfast, 1953; and E. Boehmer Spanish Reformer of Two Centuries from 1520 (Strasbourg, 1904), III, 92. See also D. Woodfield, Surreptitious printing in England 1550-1640 (New York, 1973), p.2.

23 J Strype, The Life and Acts of... Edmund Grindal (1710), p.225.

24 Boehmer, p. 94.

25 These works possibly came from the press of Henry Bynneman in London - information from Miss K. Pantzer.

26 H. Cotton Typographical Gazetteer (Oxford, 1831), p. 196. The name 'Deus-aes' apparently comes from Luther's use of the metaphor of gaming dice to refer to the lower classes, the nobility, and the middle classes, in a marginal note to Nehemiah in 1534; 'Deus-aes has nothing, six-cinque won't give anything, quater-dry helps greatly' (Cambridge History of the Bible, 511, 122-25).

27 Vervliet (p. 17) suggests that the correspondence of four type faces will usually be sufficient evidence to ascribe the work to a given printer, but the four larger sizes of black letter type owned by Solempne were particularly common amongst Dutch printers at this time. The two types found in this New Testament not found elsewhere in works by Solempne were Vervliet T51 and an unidentified brevier schwabacher.

28 This edition was described by P. Vogel in 'Der Niederlindisebe Bibeldruck in Emden 1556-1568', Gutenberg Jahrbuch (1961). 170 and 'Die Druckermarken in den Emdener Niederlindisehen Bibeldrucken 1556-1568', Gutenberg Jahrbuch (1962), 456 with reservations about the likelihood of its having been printed in Emden.

29 H. F. Wijnman, 'Grepen uit de geschiedenis van de Nederlandse emigrantendrukkerijen te Emden', Het Boek 36 (1963-64), 141' and 37 (1965-66), 121.

30 Information from Professor H. de La Fontaine Verwey, Amsterdam.

31 Information from Mr D. McKitterick, Cambridge University Library. STC gives the title for 23557 as reproduced here; the title on the title-page actually concludes: des waerachtighen gheloofs. "

32 C Sayle, Early English Printed Books in the University Library Cambridge 1475-1640 (Cambridge, 1900-07) III, 1768 reprints a manuscript note in the volume, 'Prob. imp s Norwich en Angleterre par Antoine Solen refugie flamand'.

33 The types used in this work are Vervliet T30, T43, T47, R17, 1T3, IT10, and an unidentified pica roman. The information on Gailliart from Professor H. de la Fontaine Verwey.

34 The 'I' was also used in a quarto Bible with the imprint Lenaert Der Kinderen, 1563 (British Library 464.a.11). The 'U' appears in a folio Bible printed by Mierdman in 1568 (British Library 3040.e.4).

35 Even the wording of the title-pages is very similar: 'Het nieuwe Testament. . . Hier is oock byghenoecht: Eenen Kalendier Historiael met de Jaermerckten van diuersche Landen / Steden ende Urijheden' (British Library 3041.a.7 and 3041.a.s) and 'Eenen Calendier Historiael / met den Jaermercten van diuersche Landen Steden ende Urijheden' (STC 401.6).

36 Der Siecken Troost has been given a provisional number in the STC revision as 5600.5 but the new entry will carry a note to the effect that the work was probably printed abroad - information from Miss Pantzer.

37 W. H. Alnutt, 'English provincial presses', Bibliographia, 2 (1896), 153.

38 These were Cornelius van Hille, Joannes Paetz, Anthonius Rabat and Petrus Jason.

39 G. Parker, The Dutch Revolt ('977), pp. 118-19.

40 Norfolk and Norwich Notes and Queries, I ser. (1888), 308.

41 J H Van Lennep published a note to this effect in De Narvorscher 10 (I860), 132-33 on the basis of information from an unnamed correspondent in England.

42 . See the table in L. Hahn, Die Ansbreitung der neuhochdeutschen Schrift sprache in Ostfriesland (Leipzig, 1952), pp. 122-23.

43 C. Rahlenbeck, 'Notes sur les auteurs, les imprimeurs et les distributeurs des pamphlets politiques et religieux du xvie siecle - Theophile', Bulletin du bibliophile Belge, 18 (1862), 419 states that Solempne received a patent from Elizabeth in 1570 as a printer and bookseller. He cited British Library Add. MS 5151 'Collections by Joseph Ames' as a source for this information, but I have been unable to trace this reference in the manuscript.

44 A. H. Smith, County and Court' (Oxford, 1974). p.31.

45 H. de la Fontaine Verwey, 'The first private press in the Low Countries. Marcus Laurinus and the Officina Goltziana', Quaerendo 2 (1972), 294.

46 Beloe, p. 61.

47 L. Forster Janus Gruter's English Years (Oxford, 1967), p.32. There are a number of instances of 'buiten' in the imprints of clandestine books and the idea was evidently to tease the censor. The wording probably means 'outside Norwich' although perhaps nothing so literal as 'outside the walls' - information from Mr H. Carter.

48 Cotton, p.597.

49 Nieaw Nederlandsch woordenboek (Leiden, 1915-37) iv, 451.

50 H. de la Fontaine Verwey, Quaerendo 2 (1972), 294-310.

51 Rahlenbeck, pp.416 if.; F. van Ottroy 'Contribution a 1'histoire des imprimeurs et des libraires Belges, etablis a l'etranger', Revue des bibliotheques 36 (1926), 295; P. J. Blok, 'Theophilus Henricpetri', Bijdragen voor vaderlandsche gesehiedenis en oudheidkunde 4 (1908), 195; W. J. C. Moens, 'Bibliography of "Chronyc historie der Nederlandtscher oorlogen etc.", Archaeologia 51 (1888), 205.

52 See Moens, 235 and the note accompanying the STC 17450.

53 B. A. Vermaseren, 'Gilb. Roy, alias Theophilus, auteur van de anonieme "Chronyc historie" . of "Histoire des troubles . . . des Pays-bas" (1582)', De Gulden Passer (I958), p.91.

54 Nieuw Nederlandsch woordenboek, 313, 1114.

55 Vermaseren, p. 100.

56 Moens, p.206.

57 Vervliet T3, T52, T30, and T43. This statement is based only on an examination of those books printed by Silvius in the British Library.

58 Two of the founts used were foul. The book was printed using a single skeleton forme and there is considerable loss of register between the printed matter on each side of many of the sheets. This may have been the result of the sheets being perfected some time after the first forme was printed, the paper having shrunk slightly in the meantime.

59 Woodfleld, p.140.

60 Rahlenbeck, p.

61 T. Hearne, Joannis Lelandi Antiquarii du rebus Britannicis collectanea (1770), VI, 41.

62 F. Blomefield, An Essay towards a Topographical History of Norfolk (Fersfield, Norwich and Lynn, 1739-73), II, 210.