University of Virginia Library

Observations on the 1562 Editions of Cardinal Reginald Pole's De Concilio and Reformatio Angliae
Curt F. Bühler

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.



The De concilio and the Reformatio Angliae are here treated as a unit, though the Roman editions were so printed that they could be sold either separately or together. In the other two editions, the two tracts form a single book with continuous pagination. The editions and their sigla are:

Rome: Paulus Manutius, 1562
— R1 (for both texts)
Rome: Paulus Manutius, 1562
— R2 (for both texts)
Venice: Giordano Ziletti, 1562
— V
Dillingen: Sebald Mayer, 1562
— D
See also Antoine Augustin Renouard, Annales de l'imprimerie des Alde (1834), pp. 185-186, and Otto Bucher, Bibliographie der deutschen Drucke des XVI. Jahrhunderts: I, Dillingen (1960), pp. 96-97, no. 158.


DNB, XLVI, 45.


Johann Jakob Herzog and Albert Hauck, Realencyklopädie für protestantische Theologie und Kirche (1896-1913), XV, 504, lists the Dillingen edition first.


See the entries in the Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in Italy and of Italian Books Printed in other Countries from 1465 to 1600 now in the British Museum (1958), pp. 529-530.


This has led to the remark: "the British Museum Catalogue lists it in the first place" (William Salloch, Catalogue 235 [1966], no. 1095).


It includes the De concilio, De baptismo Constantini, and Reformatio Angliae. In R1 and R2 the De baptismo Constantini is printed with the De concilio.


For further remarks on these Roman editions, see my "Paulus Manutius and his first Roman Printings," PBSA, 46 (1952), 209-214.


The errata of R1 were incorporated in R2.


See Bühler, pp. 213-214.


In the De baptismo Constantini, the errata of R1 suggests that (in 60.b.23) "semper professus" should be corrected to read "semper est professus." However, R2 prints "semper professus est." Since both V and D follow the correction as in R1, it may be assumed that they did not use R2 as their copy.


In 59.a.13, R1 has been altered, by means of pen and ink, so that "conciliorum" reads "consiliorum." D follows uncorrected R1, while R2 and V adopt the new reading of R1.


R1 (60.b.11) corrects "acta" to read "actae" by an ink emendation. Again D follows the original reading of R1, while R2 and V both make the correction. See Bühler, p. 212.


By following the erasure in R1 of the "n" in "ante," R2 and D read (59.b.15) "iam a te dictum est." V, however, preserves the uncorrected text of R1; see Bühler, p. 212, no. 11. Since V sometimes accepts the corrections and at other times prints the original text where D does the direct opposite, it seems certain that D and V must be quite independent of one another. Sometimes V differs from the three other texts. Thus, in 13.b.1 in the De concilio, R1 has "cum eum principium" in common with R2 and D — but V omits "eum." In 2.a.15 of R1 and R2 (and so in D), we read: "legatis sunt communes" but V omits the "sunt." Similarly, in the Reformatio Angliae, R1 (26.b.21) in common with R2 and D has "an eorum bona" where V (127.a.14) alone prints "an uerò bona."