First Edition in English, and the First Occurrence of the Term "British Empire" and With a Welsh to English Dictionary
LLWYD, Humphrey. The Breuiary of Britayne. As this most noble, and renowmed iland, was of auncient time deuided into three kingdomes, England, Scotland and Wales. Contaynyng a learned discourse of the variable state, [and] alteration therof, vnder diuers, as wel natural: as forren princes, [and] conquerours. Together with the geographicall description of the same, such as nether by elder, nor later writers, the like hath been set foorth before. Writen in Latin by Humfrey Lhuyd of Denbigh, a Cambre Britayne, and lately Englished by Thomas Twyne, Gentleman. London: [By Richard Iohnes] , 1573.
First Edition in English. Translated from the original Latin titled Commentarioli Britannicae descriptionis fragmentum by Thomas Twyne. Small octavo (5 5/16 x 3 1/4 inches; 135 x 84 mm). [22], 96 leaves. Text in black letter. Title within a woodcut border. Decorative woodcut initials and tail-pieces. Printerís name and address from colophon. Leaves ** and **2 misbound at the end of the preliminary leaves. Complete with the three-page Welsh to English dictionary as the final two leaves.

Dictionary states "Certayne Welsh, or rather true British Woordes, converted into Latin by the Authour, & now translated into English.

Other than the Macclesfield copy of 2008, no complete copy has been at auction in the past thirty years.

Full early nineteenth-century speckled calf. Spine ruled in gilt. Red morocco spine label, lettered in gilt. Board edges tooled in gilt. Title-page laid down, verso of both of these leaves blank, so no loss of text. Top inner corner of title-page with small amount of loss, just touching woodcut border. Bottom outer corner of title-page with tiny loss, not affecting printing. Small top corner repair to final leaf, not affecting text. Top margin trimmed close, occasionally affecting headline and foliation. Some minor ink marginalia. Previous owner's bookplate on front pastedown. Overall a very good copy.

["Llwyd] wrote the Commentarioli Britannicae descriptionis fragmentum, a short historical and geographical description of Britain which he dispatched to Ortelius on 3 August 1568; it was published in Cologne in 1572 and is dedicated to Ortelius. It was translated by Thomas Twyne under the title The Breviary of Britayne and published in 1573. It was the first attempt to compile a chorographia of Britain as a whole. Central themes of Llwyd's work are his defence of Geoffrey of Monmouth (particularly countering the attacks of Polydore Vergil), and his belief in the integrity of the early British church." (Oxford DNB).

While John Dee is generally credited for the creation of the term "British Empire" and first using it presumably in 1576, it is clearly noticeable that that "A Welshman named Humphrey Llwyd (1527-1568) used it some eight years earlier...In 1568 he wrote Commentarioli Britannicae descriptionis fragmentum, one of several sixteenth-century apologies for the Brut History. The volume was published in 1572, and a year later Thomas Twyne (1543-1613) produced an English translation entitled The Breuiary of Britayne. In Commentarioli there is one passage containing 'British Empire' : 'Caduanne also, who from Prince of Gwynedh, became Kynge of the Britaynes, and his sonne Cadwalla...whilst the British Empire was in decaying: were Valient kynges.' (Commentarioli page 75; Breuiary page 92). " ("John Dee, Humphrey Llwyd, and the Name 'British Empire.'" Bruce Ward Henry. Huntington Library Quarterly)

ESTC S108126. STC 16636.

HBS # 67888 $6,000