Friday, October 8, 2010

"Tithes too hot to be Touched": A Seventeenth-Century Sammelband of Pro-Tithing Pamphlets

[Sammelband of English pamphlets in defense of tithing and episcopacy, 1637-1660]. 4to. Contemporary full calf binding. Each pamphlet labeled by a different letter of the Roman alphabet

A term first used to describe the combination of print and manuscript texts in late medieval European tract volumes, sammelband (Ger. “anthology”) has since been applied to “bound volume[s] containing a number of separately published pamphlets on a connected theme” (Oxford Companion to the Book). Collectors fashioned their sammelbände as custom anthologies to reflect a subject or theme of personal interest: one could collect Shakespearean drama, or pamphlets on the Northern Rebellion, for instance. Pragmatism equally governed the compilation of such collections, especially for practical or devotional texts. Wealthier readers could purchase an entire year’s worth of different almanacs and bind them together to create a single, convenient reference manual. Speed’s genealogies and map of the Holy Land were frequently bound into compilations containing the Bible, Psalms, and Book of Common Prayer. The Center owns a number of sammelbände, many of which were probably compiled by nineteenth-century book collectors. These include several devotional books, a collection of William Prynne’s works, and a compilation of mid eighteenth-century French erotic novels. We have two sammelbände surviving in their contemporary bindings (the pro-tithes collection discussed below and a German philological handbook), both of which were probably compiled in the seventeenth century.

Title page to Tithes too hot to be Touched (1646)

The “Tithes Controversy” was one of the many hot-button religio-political issues of the 1640s and 50s that helped polarize Civil War England. Throughout the seventeenth century, popular support arose for the non-payment of tithes—an attack on the very idea of a state church. The problem with tithes stemmed from the rise of Separatist or "congregationlist" sentiments, in part from economic issues such as lay “impropriations,” that is, the collection of tithes by lay owners of ecclesiastical lands (tithes were expropriated to lay owners following the dissolution of the monasteries). Even pro-tithe spokesmen like Henry Spelman vilified lay impropriators who “imployed the church to prophane uses, and left the parishioners uncertainly provided of divine service.” In the more radical views of non-conformist groups like the Diggers, the abolition of tithes was bound up with the abolition of rents and private property, a notion voiced in a number of polemical pamphlets that undoubtedly put conservative landowners on edge. Ironically, backlash against impropriators in the form of non-payment of tithes left legitimate ministers without a means of living in some parishes. In turn, many wished to change the way ministers made a living, either through government stipends, voluntary parishioner contributions, or by putting ministers to work. Nonetheless, the laws largely stayed the same and the non-payment of tithes continued on unabated. If anti-tithing pamphlets galvanized this behavior, a number of writers sought to counteract it by waging pamphlet warfare of their own. (Special thanks to Professor Joseph L. Black for his comments on this section.)

Pamphlet "G" (#4)
Pamphlet "H" (#5)
Pamphlet "K" (#7)

The book shown here is a sammelband of English pamphlets in defense of tithing and episcopacy, two orthodox Anglican practices attacked by non-conformist religious groups during the Civil War. These pamphlets argue for the ancient precedent of tithing and its necessity for the monetary support of the Church, while at the same time dispelling the false characterizations of tithing disseminated in non-conformist pamphlets. Considering these texts alongside the collection’s pro-episcopal pamphlets, we can surmise that the compiler was an orthodox Anglican and probably a Royalist.

manicules and underlining, Pamphlet #15

manicule and marginal note, Pamphlet #15
The book’s compiler added manicules and marginal notes to some of the pamphlets, especially William Barlow's Summe and Substance of the [Hampton Court] Conference (1638; pamphlet #15 below), with which he seemed to disagree. To organize the collection and create a quick reference tool, the owner also wrote out two different manuscript tables of contents (one on the inside front cover, the other on a loose endpaper) in which each text has been assigned a different letter of the alphabet. 

MS table of contents, inside front cover
MS table of contents, front endpaper

Each item has been rebound into the compilation's contemporary calf binding, but each bears the material signs of their earlier forms as stab-stitched pamphlets. You can still see the holes made through the paper for these crude bindings:

Stab-stitch holes that line up
Stab-stitch holes that don't line up
In the first image you can see that the holes line up perfectly, and so they should since this opening occurs in the middle of a pamphlet. But in the second image the holes don't line up, because the opening occurs between two different pamphlets, both of which were originally printed and bound for separate sale. By analyzing the number of stab-stitch holes and whether or not they line up, we can determine which pamphlets were originally bound together or sold separately. 

It is likely the owner purchased the pamphlets during the Civil War, and bound them together around the time of the Restoration. If this pattern of book purchasing and compilation is accurate, then we can characterize this sammelband as a retrospective collection of literature related to the Tithes Controversy, probably made by an Anglican apologist. A few of the pamphlets in the collection are exceedingly rare (#s 3 and 5 are one of four copies known worldwide, #s 10 and 14 unrecorded in Wing). 

 What follows is a list of the sammelband's pamphlets with the relevant bibliographical data:

List of Texts in the Pro-Tithes Sammelband
(with special thanks to John Lancaster for his admirable cataloging)

1.     Spelman, Henry. Tithes too hot to be touched: certain treatises, wherein is shewen that tithes are due : by the law of nature, Scripture, nations, therefore neither Jewish, popish, or incovenient / written by Sr. Henry Spelman knight and others ; with an alphabetical table.  London : Printed for Philemon Stephens, [1646]. Wing S4931. A,B,C,D.1
2.     Spelman, Henry. De non temerandis ecclesiis = Churches not to be violated : a tract of the rights and respects due unto churches : written to a gentleman who having an appropriate parsonage imployed the church to prophane uses, and left the parishioners uncertainly provided of divine service in a parish neere there adjoyning / vvritten and first published thirty years since by Sir Henry Spelman knight. Oxford: Printed by Henry Hall, 1646. Wing S4921. A,D.1
3.     Andrewes, Lancelot. Three learned, and seasonable discourses / by the Right Reverend Father in God Lancelot Andrews, Late Lord Bishop of Winchester ; translated for the benefit of the publike. [London? : s.n.], Printed in the yeer. 1647. Wing A3153A. D.2,E,F
4.     R. B. (Robert Boreman). The country-mans catechisme, or, The churches plea for tithes: wherein is plainely discovered, the duty and dignity of Christs ministers, and the peoples duty to them. London : Printed for R. Royston, 1652. Wing B3757. G
5.     Anonymous. A vindication of a short Treatise of tythes, lately written, and excepted against by a pamphlet, styled, The funeral of tythes, &c. London : Printed by T. Newcomb, for Thomas Heath, 1653. Wing V467. H
6.     Heylyn, Peter. The undeceiving of the people in the point of tithes : wherein is shewed : I. That never any clergy in the church of God hath been, or is maintained with lesse charge to the subject, then the established clergy of the Church of England : II. That there is no subject in the realme of England, who giveth any thing of his own, towards the maintenance of his parish-minister, but his Easter-offering : III. That the change of tithes into stipends, will bring greater trouble to the clergy, then is yet considered, and far lesse profit to the countrey, then is now pretended / by Ph. Treleinie, gent. London : Printed by J.G. for John Clark, 1651 [i.e. 1652]. Wing H1742. I
7.     Crashaw, William. Decimarum & oblationum tabula : a tything table, or, Table of tithes and oblations : according to the ecclesiastical laws and ordinances established in the Church of England, now newly reduced into a book : containing as well the very letter of the law under which these rights be severally comprised, together with such questions of tything, and their resolutions by the lawes canon, civil, and approved doctors opinion of the same, as be ordinarily moved, and which doe often prove to controversies herein : as also a brief and summarie declaration of composition, transaction, custom, prescription, priviledge, and how they prevail in tything : annexed hereunto summarily, such statute lawes of the land concerning these rights, as have been herein authorised, and now doe remain in their force accordingly : to the easie and plain instructions of all the subjects ecclesiastical of lay, whether in these rights to demand them, or bounden to perform the same. London: Printed by J. T[wyn] for Andrew Crook, 1658. Wing C148B. K
8.     Steward, Richard. An ansvver to a letter vvritten at Oxford, and superscribed to Dr. Samuel Turner, concerning the Church, and the revenues thereof : wherein is shewed, how impossible it is for the King with a good conscience to yeeld to the change of church-government by bishops, or to the alienating the lands of the Church. [London : s.n.], 1647. Wing S5516. L
9.     Hoard, Samuel. The churches authority asserted : in a sermon preached at Chelmsford, at the metropoliticall visitation of the most Reverend Father in God, VVilliam, Lord Arch-bishop of Canterbury his Grace, &c. March 1, 1636. London : Printed by M[iles] F[lesher] for John Clark, 1637. STC 13533. M
10.  Hammond, Henry. Considerations of present use concerning the danger resulting from the change of our church-government. London : [s.n.], 1644. ESTC R226831 (not in Wing). N.
11.  Stephens, Jeremiah. An apology for the ancient right and power of the bishops to sit and vote in parliaments as the first and principal of the three estates of the kingdome : as Lord Coke sheweth, 3. Institut. c.1. and other both learned lavvyers and antiquaries, as Camden, Spelman, Selden, and many others : with an answer to the reasons maintained by Dr. Burgesse and many others against the votes of bishops : a determination at Cambridge of the learned and Reverend Dr. Davenant B. of Salisbury, Englished : the speech in Parliament made by Dr. Williams L. Archbishop of York, in defence of the bishops : two speeches spoken in the House of Lords by the Lord Viscount Newarke, 1641. London : Printed by W. Godbid, for Richard Thrale, 1660. Wing S5446. O,P,Q
12.  Falkland, Lucius Cary, Viscount. A draught of a speech concerning episcopacy. Oxford : Printed by Leonard Lichfield, 1644. Wing F319. R
13.  Hall, Joseph. An humble remonstrance to the High Court of Parliament. London : Printed by M[iles] F[lesher] for Nathaniel Butter, 1640 [i.e. 1641]. STC 12675. S
14.  H. S. (Henry Savage). Reasons shewing that there is no need of such a reformation of the publique 1. doctrine : 2. worship : 3. rites & ceremonies : 4. church-government : 5. discipline : as is pretended by reasons offered to the serious consideration of this present Parliament, by divers ministers of sundry counties in England. London : Printed for Humphrey Robinson, 1660. ESTC R236863 (not in Wing). T
15.  Barlow, William. The summe and substance of the conference, which it pleased his excellent Majestie to have with the Lords Bishops, and others of his clergie (at which the most of the Lords of the Councell were present) in his Majesties privie-chamber at Hampton Court Inn. 14. 1603 / contracted by William Barlovv, Doctor of Divinity, and Deane of Chester ; whereunto are added some copies (scattered abroad) unsavory, and untrue. London : Printed by Iohn Norton, and are to bee sold by Ioshua Kirton and Thomas Warren, 1638. STC 1459. V
  1. Fisher, Edward. A Christian caveat to the old and new sabbatarians, or, A vindication of our Gospel-festivals : wherein is held forth, I. that the feast of Christs nativity is grounded upon the scriptures; was observed in the pure, ancient, apostolique times, and is approved by all reformed churches : II. that Christ was born on the 25 day of December; and all objections to the contrary refuted : III. that the keeping holy the Lords-Day was appointed by the Christian Church; and that the morality, and divine institution of the Lords-Day are meer fictions : IV. that the day of Christs nativity, the day of his passion, and the like, have equall authority, equall antiquity, equall right to be observed as the Lords Day; and that to work on those dayes is equally sinful : V. that the observation of the Sabbath Day is abolished in Christ; and that to call the Lords Day the Sabbath, is sensless, Jewish, unchristian, unwarrantable : together with questions preparatory to the better, free, and more Christian administration of the Lords supper. London : Printed for Edw. Blackmore and R. Lowndes, 1655. Wing F992. W

No comments:

Post a Comment