Bible, in Latin

Item date: Strasbourg: [Johann (Reinhard) Grüninger,] 26 April 1497
Grant Value: £2,250 [B H Breslauer Foundation Fund]
Item cost: £5,625
Item date acquired: 2021
Item institution: John Rylands Library, University of Manchester
Town/City: Manchester
County: Lancashire

Julianne Simpson, Collections and Discovery Manager, writes: The John Rylands Research Institute and Library (JRRIL) is very grateful to the Friends of the National Libraries for its generous grant to support the acquisition of this late 15th century Latin Bible published in Strasbourg by the prolific printer Johann Reinhard Grüninger. This copy contains signs of English ownership from the 16th century onwards, and perhaps was present in England from its publication, providing vital evidence for the import trade of books into England during this period. The volume was subsequently owned by George Kenyon of Peel Hall Lancashire and then by descent through the Kenyon family until its sale, as part of a selection of early English books from the Gredington Library, at Christie’s in July 2021.

In addition to short inscriptions and doodles on the title page and other blank pages, this copy has been extensively annotated throughout (also with underlining and manicules), probably by one of its early identified owners. This is likely to be Lawrence Langley, from a prominent Manchester family, who matriculated at Brasenose College Oxford in 1588. Several books owned and annotated by Langley have survived, another one already at the Rylands and also at Chetham’s Library in Manchester. These also show evidence of later 17th century ownership from the North West of England.

The timely acquisition of this volume will contribute to the work of a new AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award postgraduate student. This PhD project, supported by the JRRIL and Chetham’s Library, on ‘Early Modern Readers in North West England’ will commence in September 2022.

Item Provenance
Bought from Christie’s (14 July 2021, Lot 110)