First Edition with Hand-Colored Coats of Arms, And Two Long Poems by Wryley
WYRLEY, William. True Use Of Armorie. Shewed by Historie, and plainly proved by example: the necessitie thereof also discouered: with the manner of differings in ancient time, the lawfulnes of honorable funerals and moniments: with other matters of Antiquitie, incident to the aduancing of Banners, Ensignes, and marks of noblenesse and cheualrie. London: I. Iackson , 1592.
First edition. Small quarto (7 1/4 x 5 inches; 180 x 127 mm). [2], 159, [1, black] pp. Bound without the preliminary blank. The title-page is within an ornamental border. With fifteen woodcut Coats of Arms, all but one of which have been hand-colored in an early hand. This was issued colored and uncolored. With one large historiated initial. After "True Use of Armorie” which is pages 1-28, Wyrley added two two historical Poems of his own composition entitled, "Lord Chandos. The glorious life and honorable death of Sir Iohn Chandos" (pg 29-108) and "Capitall de Buz. The honorable life and languishing death of Sir Iohn de Gralhy Capitall de Buz” (pg 109-159), both in verse. We could only find one uncolored copy at auction in the past 40 years.

Eighteenth-century speckled calf, rebacked with original spine laid down. Boards tooled in gilt. Spine with two calf spine labels, lettered in gilt. Gilt board edges. Gilt dentelles. All edges marbled. Drab endpapers. Boards a bit warped. Some chipping of leather to front board and corners. Top margin occasionally trimmed close, only affecting headline and page numbers. A tiny hold to leaf L4, barely touching two letters. Some minor soiling throughout, mainly to final leaf. Some old ink maraginalia. Paper label on front pastedown. Overall very good.

“William Wyrley [was a] antiquary and herald...According to Wood, Ath. Oxon., 2.217, he had 'from his childhood ... an excellent geny for arms and armory' and as a result was taken into the household of Sampson Erdeswick of Sandon, the Staffordshire historian. By 1588 Wyrley was making a collection of heraldic notes for several midland counties including Staffordshire.Erdeswick made only a passing reference to his assistant in his 'View of Staffordshire', but he clearly made use of Wyrley's research, although not always the best use. Whereas Erdeswick concentrated on genealogy and heraldry, Wyrley ranged more widely. Thus at Wednesbury he noted the existence of coalmining and pottery making and at Walsall the large number of lorimers making horse furniture as well as mentioning the town's borough status. In 1592 Wyrley published The True Use of Armorie. Sir William Dugdale, who reprinted the main text in his The Antient Usage in Bearing of ... Arms in 1682, quoted William Burton as saying that his friend Erdeswick had told him that he himself was the real author of the book, 'though he gave leave to Mr Wyrley (who had been bred up under him) to publish it in his own name' (Dugdale, 4). Anthony Wood, however, considered the claim one more sign that Erdeswick's mind was unbalanced.” (Oxford DNB). ESTC S120446.

HBS # 68459 $8,500