Latin Bible. Paris, c. 1476-77

[LATIN BIBLE]. 2 vols.
Paris: Ulrich Gering, Michael Friburger, Martin Crantz, [between 22 July 1476 and 21 July 1477].

Published by the first French press, Bridwell Library’s copy of the first Bible printed in France provides evidence of England’s initial dependence on France for its supply of printed books. In addition to handwritten annotations added by various English readers, an inscription by Sir Thomas Fairfax (1560–1640) at the back of volume II states that the Bible originally belonged to his ancestor Sir Guy Fairfax (1454–1495) of Steeton Castle in Yorkshire.

In volume I, the margin to the left of I Kings, chapter 8, includes an early sixteenth-century handwritten alphabet followed by the signature of “Franciscus Fairefax de Steton.” Sir Thomas Fairfax’s uncle, Francis Fairfax, probably wrote in the Bible as a youth, while it was still the property of his father, Sir William Fairfax (c. 1500–1558), the grandson of the original owner, Guy Fairfax. This is one of only four copies of this Bible preserved in America.

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Signature of Franciscus Fairefax de Steton

Printing in France
Latin Bible. Paris, c. 1476-77