Printed by John Baskerville
The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New.
Cambridge: John Baskerville, 1763. (Prothro B-65)
Throughout most of its history, the King James Version was protected by a royal privilege that allowed only the king’s printer or the official printers of the universities of Cambridge and Oxford to print its text. John Baskerville (1706–1775), the most meticulous and innovative of the eighteenth-century English typographers, became the printer to the University of Cambridge in 1758. His first edition of the King James Bible, printed in his own typeface on fine paper, is a monument of stately design and functional clarity. Sold by subscription, Baskerville’s Bible set a new standard of craftsmanship that only a handful of nineteenth- and twentieth-century private presses could approach.