Three Worthy Martyrs
TYNDALE, William. Whole Works of W. Tyndall. John Frith, and Doct. Barnes, three worthy Martyrs... London: Printed by John Daye , 1573.
First edition. Edited by John Foxe. Three parts in one folio volume (11 1/8 x 7 3/8 inches; 281 x 187 mm). [14], 478, [17, index], [1, blank]; [4], 3-172, [3, index], [1, blank]; [8], 183-376, [3, index], [1] pp. With B4 in the first part, and HH1 in the second part canceled as usual. Black letter and roman letter in double columns. Title and two sectional titles with repeated woodcut border (McKerrow and Ferguson 76). Half-page woodcut illustrations on A4 of the first part, and on the first and last leaves (*AAa1* verso and Rrr4 verso) of the third part. Woodcut historiated and foliate initials, typographical ornaments. The woodcuts comprise the martyrdoms of Tyndale and Barnes.

Contemporary full calf, rebacked to style. Boards elaborately tooled in blind. Boards a bit rubbed, and head of spine with some chipping. Some minor spots and toning throughout. Occasional early marginal manuscript notes. Leafe CCiii with corner torn away, only affecting page number. Leaf BBv with corner lacking, barely affecting marginal notes. Leaf GGv (index) with 3-inch closed tear , no loss of text. Leaf MMiii, with corner lacking, not affecting text. Overall a very good good copy.

“The Epistle or Preface to the Christian Reader” (A2-A3) contains Foxe’s celebrated praise of the invention of printing: “As we haue great cause to geeue thankes to the high prouidence of almighty God, for the excellent arte of Printing, most happely of late found out, and now commonly practised euery where, to the singular benefite of Christes Church... I suppose this science of Printing first to be set vp and sent of God to mans vse, not so much for temporall commoditie to be taken, or mans glory to be sought thereby, but rather for the spirituall and inwarde supportation of soulehealth, helpe of Religion, restoring of true doctrine, repayring of Christes Church, and repressing of corrupt abuses.”

"Tyndale's story as an especially significant protestant martyr was developed by Foxe...Foxe had also introduced John Day's 1573 volume of The Whole Works of Tyndale, Frith, and Barnes; they were not popularly published again until the Parker Society series of the mid-nineteenth century." (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).

McAlpin Collection I, p. 70. STC 24436.

HBS # 67800 $35,000