University of Virginia Library

In 1562, four years after the death of Reginald Pole, four editions[1] of the De concilio and of the Reformatio Angliae by the Cardinal were put in print by three presses. Although it should have been entirely self-evident which editions were the first printings of both tracts, contrary views have, from time to time, been set forth. The account given in the Dictionary of National Biography [2] states only that the De concilio "appeared in Venice in 1562," while Herzog-Hauck[3] claims that the Dillingen edition is the editio princeps. In accordance with the British Museum's cataloguing rules,[4] the Venice edition of this tract precedes the Roman one in its Short-Title


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Catalogue.[5] But this arrangement is due solely to the fact that the Venetian edition is a collected one of opuscula [6] and thus is listed before the separate printings of these treatises.

It is unequivocally certain that the Roman edition of the De concilio, dated 1562 and with ten lines of errata, represents the first appearance in print of this tract.[7] Similarly, the Roman printing of the Reformatio Angliae, also dated 1562 and with a single line of errata, is certainly the first edition of that work.[8] This may be predicated on the fact that all four of the editions of the De concilio contain the preface by Paulus Manutius. It seems absolutely inconceivable that any printer in Venice or Dillingen could have obtained the text of this preface before Paolo had printed it himself. The first edition of the De concilio having been established through this and other evidence, as set forth in the study cited in note 7, a similar line of argument in determining priority can be applied to the Reformatio Angliae,[9] with the result noted above.

That the four editions are somehow related is also indicated by an omission common to all four. The De concilio consists of 86 questions and responses — but there is no Quaestio XXXIX in any of them. However, the first Roman edition and the two non-Roman ones restore the count by repeating the heading Quaestio XLI. The second Rome edition does not repeat no. XLI, so that thereafter there is always a numerical gap between it and the other three, this edition ending with Quaestio LXXXVII where the others have Quaestio LXXXVI. It can be argued, I think, that if either the V or D editions had used the second Roman printing as their copy, the numbering would have agreed with that edition. This suggests that V and D were either set up from R1 or that one was set from R1 and that the other copied this.[10]

That D was set from R1 can further be shown by a number of misprints which these editions have in common.[11] In R1 (25.b.7), one finds the phrase: "ut ad minutissimæ quæque legis obseruanda iidem promptos se


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ostenderint." With this D agrees. However, the third word should read "minutissima" as modifying "obseruanda" and both R2 and V have the correct form. This is further evidence to suggest that D was set from R1.[12] Again, in R1 (32.a.19/21), the text reads "habuit in ea ciuitate" which V also prints (52.a.2), though the errata emends to the plural "habuerunt." R2, at the same place, offers "habuerunt in ciuitate" while D has the text of R1 as corrected by the errata ("habuerunt in ea ciuitate"). Clearly, it is quite certain that V was set from R1, and it is highly probable that D was here following the corrected R1 rather than R2, though in certain other instances (as will be shown) D follows uncorrected R1. The examples cited here demonstrate, of course, the independence of D and V from one another.

Similar arguments can be advanced in the case of the several editions of the Reformatio Angliae. In R1 (6.b.13), the text reads: "in uniuersum orbem terræ primatum." Here the errata substitutes "tenere primatum" for "terræ primatum." R2 prints the corrected text and V (100.b.7) concurs in this reading. But D (folio 184 verso) preserves the erroneous text of R1! Since D could hardly have arrived at this misreading by coincidence, it follows that D must have used R1 as a Vorlage. Again, in 18.b.24, R1 has an erasure after the ampersand in the sequence "purgati, & [ ] qua." The compositor of R2 was apparently unaware of this correction and set the original, uncorrected text of R1: "purgati; & ea, qua." But both D and V print the corrected text of R1, not that of R2.

What, then, are the results of this investigation? That R1 of both the De concilio and of the Reformatio Angliae represent the first printings of these texts can hardly be questioned. D and V, in turn, are independent of one another[13] — and both of them, together with R2, derive from R1. Which of these is the second edition cannot be determined from internal evidence, and no chronological details are available to us to aid in finding the answer. Probably the Dillingen edition is the last of these four — an opinion largely based, and perhaps too presumptively, on the remoteness of the German town from Venice and Rome. But whether Ziletti issued his Venetian "piracy" before or after Paulus Manutius got around to reprinting his editio princeps must remain a matter of speculation until further evidence comes to hand.