The Great Bible

The Great Bible

Collection ID

BIB.002904

Type

Bible - Printed Book

Date

1539

Geography

London, England

Language

English

Medium

Printed on paper

Dimensions

15.5 × 12 × 1.5 in. (39.4 × 30.5 × 3.8 cm)

Exhibit Location

On view in The History of the Bible, Revolutionary Words


First edition. Printed by Richard Crafton and Edward Whitchurch. In 1534, the Upper House of Convocation of Canterbury petitioned King Henry VIII to authorize a Bible in the English language. Myles Coverdale was asked to revise the “Matthew’s Bible” and make a new translation to be placed in every church in England. This Bible, known as the Great Bible, due to the page size (roughly 14 by 9 inches), is the only Bible ever to be ‘authorized’ in Britain. The title page includes God quoting Isaiah 55:11 and Acts 13:22 above a seated Henry VIII who passes the Bible to Archbishop Crammer and Vicegerent Cromwell.

Printed in 1539, by Richard Crafton and Edward Whitchurch, London, England. Acquired by Richard Lovett (1851–1904), England; [1] Purchased at auction in London by Edward Peterson (1869–1943), Stratford, Iowa; [2] By descent in 1943 to Harriet Lundquist, Stanhope, Iowa; [3] Purchased at auction in 2007 by David C. Lachman, bookseller, Philadelphia; Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection; Donated in 2017 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry) under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] A handwritten note (undated and unsigned) on the front free endpaper states that it was from a “Mr. Lovett’s Library.” This probably refers to Rev. Richard Lovett (1851–1904), whose collection, which included a 1539 Bible, was auctioned by Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge in 1907. The description in the auction catalog matches that written in the present text. [2] A newspaper article from the Des Moines Register (John Karras, ‘The Great Bible’ [unknown date]) notes that Harriet Lundquist inherited the Bible through her father Edward Peterson, a banker and mayor of Stratford, Iowa. He purchased the Bible at a London auction sometime at the turn of the 20th century. It is highly likely, given the timeframe and description, that he purchased it in 1907. [3] Lundquist sold the Bible at auction through Jackson’s on December 5, 2007, lot 0855.

Museum of the Bible Publications:
Jennifer Atwood and Stacey L. Douglas, eds., Passages: Exploring the Bible in Four Movements - An Exhibition Guide (Oklahoma City: Museum of the Bible, 2015).

Description

First edition. Printed by Richard Crafton and Edward Whitchurch. In 1534, the Upper House of Convocation of Canterbury petitioned King Henry VIII to authorize a Bible in the English language. Myles Coverdale was asked to revise the “Matthew’s Bible” and make a new translation to be placed in every church in England. This Bible, known as the Great Bible, due to the page size (roughly 14 by 9 inches), is the only Bible ever to be ‘authorized’ in Britain. The title page includes God quoting Isaiah 55:11 and Acts 13:22 above a seated Henry VIII who passes the Bible to Archbishop Crammer and Vicegerent Cromwell.


Provenance

Printed in 1539, by Richard Crafton and Edward Whitchurch, London, England. Acquired by Richard Lovett (1851–1904), England; [1] Purchased at auction in London by Edward Peterson (1869–1943), Stratford, Iowa; [2] By descent in 1943 to Harriet Lundquist, Stanhope, Iowa; [3] Purchased at auction in 2007 by David C. Lachman, bookseller, Philadelphia; Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection; Donated in 2017 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry) under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] A handwritten note (undated and unsigned) on the front free endpaper states that it was from a “Mr. Lovett’s Library.” This probably refers to Rev. Richard Lovett (1851–1904), whose collection, which included a 1539 Bible, was auctioned by Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge in 1907. The description in the auction catalog matches that written in the present text. [2] A newspaper article from the Des Moines Register (John Karras, ‘The Great Bible’ [unknown date]) notes that Harriet Lundquist inherited the Bible through her father Edward Peterson, a banker and mayor of Stratford, Iowa. He purchased the Bible at a London auction sometime at the turn of the 20th century. It is highly likely, given the timeframe and description, that he purchased it in 1907. [3] Lundquist sold the Bible at auction through Jackson’s on December 5, 2007, lot 0855.

Museum of the Bible Publications:
Jennifer Atwood and Stacey L. Douglas, eds., Passages: Exploring the Bible in Four Movements - An Exhibition Guide (Oklahoma City: Museum of the Bible, 2015).


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