University of Virginia Library

The Stansby 1617, the "Jaggard 1617" and the Jaggard 1621

The first notice of the "Jaggard 1617" (STC 20638a) was given by Brushfield in 1886 (The Western Antiquity, V, 244). Sabin, on the strength of Brushfield's notice, listed it in his dictionary, but indicated that he had


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not seen it (Bibliotheca, XVI, 259-260). Brushfield said of this edition in 1908: "It is the first with a title-page headed 'The History of the World in fiue Bookes by sir Walter Ralegh, Knight.' Occupying more than one half of it is a portrait of Ralegh. . . . We may take it for granted that this edition was revised by him."[16]

Even though he gave no supporting evidence, Brushfield's conclusion has stood unchallenged. On the basis of this claim, some have come to regard it as the most authoritative text, which no doubt has caused much inconvenience since it is by far the rarest.[17] Brushfield's conclusion, however, is false. The relations between the Stansby 1617 and the "Jaggard 1617" and 1621 (STC 20639) show not only that Ralegh did not revise, but that the "Jaggard 1617" is a ghost. The spectral nature of the "Jaggard 1617" is proved by two conditions: the same type-pages printed both Jaggard texts; the copy-text of the Jaggard edition was the Stansby 1617.

I have examined the Williams College Library copy of the "Jaggard 1617." It collates: 20, π4 A-B6 C4 a6 b8 A-S6 T-V4, 2A-5Z66 ¶¶6 *6 **8.[18] I have compared photostats of twelve selected pages from the Yale, Cambridge University, and British Museum copies with the Williams copy. The same type-pages printed all four copies. Each bears the colophon: "London / Printed by William Iaggard for Walter / Burre, and are to be sold at his Shop in Paules Church-/yard at the signe of the Crane. / 1617." Moreover, I have compared side by side the Jaggard texts and can confirm Brushfield's description of them as identical.[19] Both contain the two title-pages. The date in the colophon is the only means of distinguishing between the two, except for two signature variations (1617 [A] as B is corrected in the 1621; 1617 **2 is erroneously ** in the 1621) and for two pagination variations (1617 [473] as 437 and [448] as 484 are corrected in the 1621). The 1621


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colophon page (not a cancel) is identical with the "1617" except that the date was reset; nothing else was. The same type-pages printed both Jaggard texts including the colophons.

However, in order to classify the Jaggard 1621 as a re-impression of the "Jaggard 1617," as Brushfield did (Bibliography, p. 91), one must assume that the Jaggard 1621 was printed from standing type (the type-pages complete with furniture kept inactive four years). Such an assumption is, of course, absurd. Therefore the conclusion must be drawn that the "Jaggard 1617" was printed after 1617.

This conclusion is proven by the relations between the Stansby 1617 and the Jaggard edition. The differences between the two editions resulted from the efforts to reduce costs, which evidently were formidable.[20] The size of the folio was reduced by some hundred leaves, mainly through increasing the number of lines per page from fifty-four to fifty-eight. Nothing in the text was omitted. That Jaggard used the Stansby 1617 as his copy text is shown by an analysis of the original 131 errata. Of these readings the Jaggard follows the text of the Stansby 1614 three times. It follows the corrections of the Errata three times. It introduces two new errors. It follows the text of the Stansby 1617 123 times.

Of these 123 readings, 104 are corrections. Seventeen are original errata which were uncorrected in the Stansby 1617. The remaining two readings are substantive errors introduced in the Stansby 1617.[21] No other source exists. The following examples are typical of many which reveal that Jaggard's compositors used the Stansby 1617 with (as the second example shows) an occasional glance at the 1614 Errata page. First are listed the erratum and correction of the Errata page, then the readings in the Stansby and Jaggard texts.

  • erratum To confirme them in this opinion. M. Bœbius
  • correction To confirme them in this opinion, M. Bœbius [without any breaking]
  • Stansby 1614 To confirme them in this opinion. / M. Bœbius [the line is completed to the right margin] (Bks. III-V, p. 575, ll. 14-15)
  • Stansby 1617 To confirme them in this/opinion. [line blank to right margin]/ M. Bœbius [rest of line complete] (III-V, 575, 14-16)
  • Jaggard 1621 To confirme them in this opinion: [line blank to right margin]/ M. Bœbius [rest of line complete] (III-V, 492, 26-28)
We may surmise that Stansby's 1617 compositor (who repeated the punctuation error) blocked out line 15 with quads in order to begin line 16 in agreement with his copy text. Jaggard's compositor (alert enough to correct


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the punctuation) blocked out his line 27 with quads for no other reason than that he was following the Stansby 1617.
  • erratum Galilœus is superfluous
  • Stansby 1614 Galilœus, Galilœus, a worthy Astrologer now liuing, (I-II, 100, 50)
  • Stansby 1617 GALILÆVS, a worthy Astrologer now liuing, (I-II, 100, 50)
  • Jaggard 1621 A worthy Astrologer now liuing, (I-II, 85, 43)
Using the Stansby 1617 along with the Errata page and unaware that the correction had been made, Jaggard's compositor removed GALILÆVS and inadvertently made the "astrologer" anonymous. If he had been using the Stansby 1614 text, he would simply have made the correction.

In reprinting the History, Jaggard used the most recent edition available to him, the Stansby 1617. How then could both editions have appeared in the same year? The Pforzheimer Catalogue (III, 846) estimates the time necessary for printing a work this size as "several years." A new edition with a new makeup could not have been composed and printed in less than a year. Thus we have further indication that the Jaggard edition did not first appear in 1617.

Since the Jaggard had as its copy-text the Stansby 1617 and since it was impossible that the 1621 was printed from standing type, the conclusion must be drawn that the "Jaggard 1617" is a ghost. A few copies were run off with a misdated colophon (perhaps accounting for its rarity); the error was discovered and corrected.

This study indicates that instead of five printings of the History between 1614 and 1621, there were three: the Stansby 1614, 1617, and the Jaggard 1621. The only substantive edition is the 1614; the second and third editions are unrevised reprints of no authority.