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I quote from the original of the Register at Stationers' Hall, Liber C, fol. 161r. This entry is reproduced in Cyprian Blagden, The Stationers' Company, a History, 1403-1959 (1960), figure iv, p. 111. (The note on this figure, however, is wrong: the items are not "sixteen plays.") See also Edward Arber, ed., A Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers of London; 1554-1640 A. D. (1875-94; 1967), iii. 365; and, for the play titles, W. W. Greg, A Bibliography of the English Printed Drama (1939-59; London, 1970), p. 24. In this essay, I have silently altered all legal-year dates to the calendar year.


For a complete description of the Drayton editions, see Bent Juels-Jensen, "Bibliography of the Early Editions of the Writings of Michael Drayton" in The Works, ed. by J. William Hebel, 5th Corrected Edition, ed. by Kathleen Tillotson and Bernard Newdigate (1961), v. 271-306. Juels-Jensen describes Smethwick's 1619 edition as "by far the most important of the collected editions of the Poems." (p. 288). It is obvious that Smethwick took a rather wide view of which titles the assignment referred to. In later years he also brought out three other titles which had not been mentioned in the assignment: Jonson's Every Man Out, Weever's An Agnus Dei, and William Burton's translation from Erasmus (see below).


See John F. Pound, ed., The Norwich Census of the Poor 1570 (1971), pp. 28, 86. The Pockthorpe property, which eventually passed to Nicholas Ling, "housed eight families, or 22 people in all." (p. 14).


Percy Milligan, ed., The Register of the Freemen of Norwich 1548-1713 (1934), p. 122.


David A. Stoker, "A History of the Norwich Book Trades from 1560 to 1760." 2 Vols. (Library Association Thesis: London, 1975), pp. 115-127, 385-386.


W. W. Greg & E. Boswell, eds., Records of the Court of the Stationers' Company 1576 to 1603 (1930), pp. 48 and 61.


William A. Jackson, ed., Records of the Court of the Stationers' Company 1602 to 1640 (1957), p. 10. Ling paid this fine on the same day (Arber ii. 839). I have found no record that he actually served a prison sentence.


The entry for Ling in McKerrow's A Dictionary of Printers and Booksellers . . . 1557-1640 (1910; rpt. 1977) states that Ling's will is P. C. C., 58, Wingfield. But this Nicholas Ling was a merchant who lived in the parish of St. Dionis Backchurch. (See the edition of the Register of that parish by Joseph L. Chester [1878], passim.) His burial date is recorded as 27 February 1609. His will was recorded in that year (23, Dorset) and proved in 1610 (58, Wingfield). His wife's will was recorded in 1613 (123, Capell). For those interested in trivial coincidences, it is unfortunate that this Ling was not the publisher, for his wife's name, when he married her, was Elizabeth Hamlet. (See Boyd's Marriage Index for 1594 and her will.)


The information on Bynneman's shops is taken from Mark Eccles, "Bynneman's Books," The Library, V, 12 (1957), 88 and 92.


Ling published Calvin's A Commentarie uppon the Epistle to the Philippians in 1584 "to be sold at the West dore of S. Pauls Church." (STC 4402). He entered this work on 3 August 1584 (Arber ii. 434), but this entry probably followed the publication as he was assessed a fine of twelve pence on the same day for printing the book "without order" (Arber ii. 857). He published without entrance A Godlie Exhortation to Vertuous Parents and Modest Matrons (STC 11503) in 1584. Of Udall's sermons, Ling, Man, and Broome published, all without entrance, Amendment of Life (STC 24489) and Obedience to the Gospel (STC 24501) in 1584. According to the imprint, Ling published Peters Fall (STC 24503) alone in that year. Reprints of these works in 1585-89, however, indicate that they were published by Man (or Man and Thomas Gubbin in the second edition of Amendment of Life). Ling's last publication before his return to Norwich was probably the single sheet folio of visitation articles for the Church of England (STC 10268). This imprint is undated, but the heading indicates that the visitation was "holden the yeere. 1584 the 15. and 19. of Ianuarie" (i.e., 1585).


See my essay on John Busby, forthcoming in The Library, March 1985.


Ling's publisher's device (McKerrow #301) appears for the first time on the fifth edition of Pierce Penniless, 1595 (STC 18375). It contains Ling's initials and a visual pun on his name: a ling (fish) entwined in honeysuckle. McKerrow notes that the honeysuckle has not been explained. D. Carroll Allen suggests that it might be "a pictoral anagram—Honisocal—Nicholas—possible with a number of variant spellings." Skialetheria (1974), p. 100.


The catalogue of the Pforzheimer Library (English Literature, 1475-1700 [New York, 1940]) calls attention to a comment on this play by William Covell in his Polimenteria, 1595. Covell writes that this play stands "naked vpon euery poste" and notes in the margin that it is "A work howsoeuer not respected yet excellently done by Th. Kyd." (Q3v).


This William Holme (or Holmes) was probably also the publisher of Edward Vaughan's A Plaine and Perfect Method for Understanding the Bible in 1603 (STC 24599.5), in which the imprint reads: "at the Peahenne, ouer against Serieants Inne in Fleetstreet." He may also have published in 1606 Chapman's Monsieur D'Olive (BEPD #236), which was printed "for William Holmes, and are to be sold at his Shop in Saint Dun-stones Church-yard in Fleete-streete." A "William Holmes Stationer" was buried in this church on 28 July 1607 (Parish Register of St. Dunstan's-in-the-West, Guildhall Library, Ms. 10,342. For his burial charges, see the Churchwarden's Account, Guildhall Library, Ms. 2968/1, fol. 531v.) But it is not certain that he was the "william Holme, Junior" who entered Vaughan's A Method, or Brief Instruction . . . for the Reading of the Old and New Testament on 6 July 1590 (Arber ii. 553, STC 24597). This edition gives no address in the imprint, and, according to the Revised STC, it is not the same text as STC 24599.5 (above), as Jackson quite understandably thinks (Records of the Court, p. 41, n. 1). Every Man Out, though not listed in the 1607 assignment, was later claimed by Smethwick. It appears under his name as publisher in the 1616 edition of Jonson's works.


Arber ii. 837. Two days later Smethwick and Brown paid half of their ten shilling fines, but there is no record that Ling was forthcoming with any of his. However, the copy was printed by Thomas Creede in several editions circa 1603-1607 (STC 6534 et seq.). No publisher is named, but the address, "Saint Donstones Church-yard in Fleete-Streete" is Ling's; moreover, his publisher's device is on the title-pages. In his introduction to The Plague Pamphlets of Thomas Dekker (1925; rpt. 1971), F. P. Wilson speculates that Ling may have "made matters smooth with the Company by paying his fine and by getting the pamphlet properly licensed." (p. xxxiv). If so, it is puzzling why he continued to omit his name from the imprint.


Antiquity; or the Wise Instructer, which was "Printed for J. Brooks, the Editor." The British Library copy of this edition (shelf mark 1075.1.3) is annotated by P. Bliss, who calls the book: "A singular instance of deception and plagiarism." Other than the new title-page, this book contains new preliminaries, including a twenty page list of subscribers, and a "Discourse on Man" added at the end. Otherwise, it appears to reproduce the text of Politeuphuia.


There are two issues of the first edition of Wits Theater. In the first (STC 381) the dedication to "Iohn Bodenham" is signed "Robert Allott" (A2-2v). In the second (STC 382) the dedication to "I.B." is unsigned. Though obscure, the wording of this dedication suggests that its author is laying claim not only to this book but also to Politheuphuia. Since Ling apparently had edited the latter work (and perhaps had worked on Wits Theater as well if it is the book of examples promised n the Address to the Reader in later editions of Politeuphuia), it may be that he disputed Allott's claim in this dedication and cancelled his name in the second issue.


See J. William Hebel, "Nicholas Ling and Englands Helicon," The Library, IV, 5 (1925), 153-160; and Hyder Rollins, ed., England's Helicon (1935), ii. 60. D. T. Starnes has traced the history of the form back through earlier sixteenth-century examples to Diogenes Laertes. ("Sir Thomas Elyot and the 'Sayings of the Philosophers,'" University of Texas Studies in English, Number 13 [1933], 5-36.) According to Starnes, the editor or collector of Politeuphuia "seldom translated from originals. He took matter second-hand and often slavishly followed his immediate sources." (p. 24)


Harold Jenkins, ed., Hamlet (1982), p. 15.


The DNB article on Bynneman states that Matthew Parker "allowed him to open a shed at the North-West door of St. Paul's at the sign of the 'Three Wells' . . ." I have been unable to find this reference in Parker's correspondence. Parker did write to Burghley on Bynneman's behalf in 1569 (the relevant section of this letter is reproduced in Plomer's article "Henry Bynneman, Printer," The Library, New Series, 9 [1908], p. 233), but there is no reference to a shop. I have found this sign in only one of Bynneman's books. The colophon in The Surueye of the World, or Situation of the Earth (STC 6901) reads: "Imprinted in Knightrider streete, at the signe of the Mermayde, 1572. And are to be sold at his shop at the Northwest dore of Poules Church, at the signe of the three Welles."


Lownes is located at this address in the following imprints: STC 13114, 1590; STC 14685.7, 1592; STC 1483, 1595; STC 7208, [1596]; and STC 1484, 1598. Smith sold the following editions there: STC 7, STC 629, STC 5632, STC 5637, and STC 23867, 1592; STC 17346, 1593; STC 17347, 1595; STC 17347.5, 1596; and STC 17348, 1597. When his copyrights passed to William Wood in 1598 (Arber iii. 131), Wood evidently also took over this shop (imprints in STC 4207 and STC 5234, 1599; and STC 17082, 1601). This was probably the Richard Smith from whom Bynneman had leased a shop at the west end in 1574 for ten years (Eccles, "Bynneman's Books," p. 88), but it is not clear which shop this lease refers to. Bynneman had printed two editions for a Richard Smith in the 1570's (STC 3181, 1571; and STC 11636, 1575). These editions were sold at the Northwest Door (STC 3181 specifies "the Corner shoppe, at the North-weast dore").


In the Folger Library grangerized copy of Drayton's Heroicall Epistles, 4th edition (STC 7196), the imprint reads: "Printed by I. R. for N. L. and are to be sold at his shop, in Paules Church-yard at the signe of the Crane. 1600." Evidently the imprints of other copies of this edition do not mention this shop sign. Juels-Jensen does not note it in his bibliography of Drayton. Ling's collaborator, John Busby, sold two editions at this address in 1598-99 (STC 17485 and STC 20307).


Guildhall Library, Ms. 3018/1, fol. 61v. Ling evidently moved to this parish late in 1598. A son of his was baptized in the Parish of St. Giles, Cripplegate, on 27 October 1598. (William E. Miller, "Printers and Stationers in the Parish of St. Giles-Cripplegate 1561-1640," Studies in Bibliography, 19 [1966], 30.)