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I should here like to thank Professor Fredson Bowers for his most welcome assistance and wise counsel; his help has been absolutely invaluable. It would be improper, however, to hold Mr. Bowers responsible for any possible errors in the deductions I have set down here.


Ada Thurston and Curt F. Bühler, Check List of Fifteenth Century Printing in The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, 1939, no. 1829.


E. Gordon Duff, Fifteenth Century English Books, Bibliographical Society, Illustrated Monograph no. XVIII.


M.-Louis Polain, Catalogue des livres imprimés au quinzième siècle des bibliothèques de Belgique, Bruxelles, 1932, passim.


It is hardly likely that the shrinkage caused by the wetting of the paper would make an appreciable difference in the measurements. The headlines are relatively short and the effect of shrinkage would not be perceptible in millimetre measurements below a maximum 33 mm. for the longest normal headline.


For the definition of this term, see Fredson Bowers, "The Headline in Early Books," English Institute Annual, 1941 (1942), p. 186, and his general discussion of the problem in "Notes on Running-Titles as Bibliographical Evidence," The Library, 4th ser., XIX, 315-338.


Very minor variations in the position of the headline may, of course, be due to the difference in the amount of pressure when the headline was locked but such a change would necessarily be quite small.


On the first printed page [a2], c4 (see below) and d3, the beginning of Easter term.


The measurement is taken from the left extremity of the cross-bar in T to the point at the bottom tip of j.


h6 verso is, of course, blank.


If one should assume that Machlinia began printing with the first sheet of quire h—printing both formes of this and the second sheet with only one skeleton, there is no apparent reason why he should have preserved the skeleton from the previous quire for use only in both formes of the innermost sheet. If he had been printing "outside in", one would expect to find the same skeleton used for all three sheets, or (if he here used two skeletons) to find the second skeleton used for the second sheet.


This, naturally, would be a suitable headline for Duff 419 (Year-Book 34 Henry VI). Through the courtesy of Mr. H. G. Nicholas, Librarian of Exeter College, Oxford, I learn that the section for Hilary term 34 Henry VI occurs on signatures f2 through h3 of Duff 419. This slight misprint perhaps means that the two books were printed about the same time.


In quire d, the situation is equally complex. For the first sheet of this quire, Machlinia seems to have taken, from the skeleton of c1-c8v, Hilary (β) for the inner forme as it reappears (just once again) on d1v and Henry (1) for the outer, since this reading is found only on d1 and was not used again till quire f. The innermost sheet, in turn, has the same headline in both formes: Pasche xxxvij (j undotted)—Henry (3); the latter appears here for the first time. This combination of running titles occurs only once more, in the outer forme of the second sheet of gathering e. In the rest of quires d and e, the only recto headline is Henry (2); the verso running-heads seem to defy classification.


One must otherwise assume that separate headlines were supplied for all four formes, since (as we shall see) parts of the original pair of running titles appear in the complementary formes. But these running titles seem to be identical and it seems mathematically most improbable that Machlinia could four times have set such headlines with the same combination of abbreviations, spacings and measurements. This is especially true in view of the noticeable variety found elsewhere whenever he was called upon to supply new letter-press. It is true that the headline on c6 verso seems to measure one millimetre more than the others but it is possible that this particular forme was not locked up as tightly as the other two. The measurements for the Trinity headline, it should be noted, depend on the space between the term and the year—a somewhat different matter than simple over-all length. Even a slight loosening of the pressure would probably spread the increased length more or less equitably throughout the running title, not necessarily in just one particular place.


This marks the end of the Michaelmas term.


The headline "De t'mino hill' anno H sexti.xxxvij." is supplied to mark the opening of the Hilary term.


If he had printed normally (that is, first the inner and then the outer formes of c4.5 and c3.6), he would have had available (from outer c3.6) the pair "Henry (2)—Hilary (α)" for printing outer c1.8. Since, however, he set up new combinations for both c1.8v and c2.7, it seems to indicate that the old pair of headlines was no longer available.


Charlton Hinman ("New Uses for Headlines as Bibliographical Evidence," English Institute Annual, 1941, pp. 207-222) has suggested that, when two skeletons were employed, this was done solely for the purpose of speeding up the presswork. He also states (p. 209): "It follows as a general principle that in any book printed on a single press two sets of headlines will appear only if the book was printed in an edition large enough for composition to keep ahead of presswork—and of presswork at the increased speed which the use of two skeletons would make possible." Neither of these conditions necessarily applies here, but it must be borne in mind that Machlinia was working, almost certainly with rather simple equipment, more than a century earlier than the period with which Hinman concerns himself. For the way the supply of type affects this problem, see Fredson Bowers, "An Examination of the Method of Proof Correction in Lear," The Library, 5th ser., II, 20-44.