Maggs Bros Ltd

Contra Hieron. Osorium, eiusq; odiosas infectationes pro Evangelicae veritatis necessaria Defension, Respnsio Apologetica. Per clariss. virum, Gualt. Haddonum inchoata: Deinde suscepta & continuata per Ioan. Foxum.

HADDON Walter &; FOXE John (1577)

£14000.00  [First Edition]


First Edition. 4to. [7], 414, [1] ff. Contemporary London binding of calf, the covers elaborately tooled with a border of a single and a double gilt fillet, in the corners a pair of arabesque cornucopia corner blocks, the same tools used four times in the centre to form a large oval centrepiece; smooth spine divided into seven panels by gilt rules, and tooled with four bands with three impressions of a foliate roll and three wider panels tooled with a fretwork of diagonal lines and dots, edges with an elaborate parcel-gilt gauffered arabesque strapwork design (joints, head of the spine and corner extremities neatly repaired, small holes where two pairs of fabric ties are missing; plain pastedowns but no flyleaves).

London: [John Day] Iohannis Daij Typographi,

STC 12593 (+ in U.K.; Folger, Huntington, Library of Congress & Yale only in North America).


The Portuguese bishop of Sylva, Jeronymo Osorio da Fonseca (1506-80) had a European-wide reputation as a Latin writer of the neo-ciceronian style that became popular in the mid-16th century. "Of the continental Ciceronians Osorius enjoyed a particular esteem in England." (J.W. Binns). Ascham sent copies of Osorio's books to Lord Paget, Sir William Petre and Cardinal Pole accompanied by letters praising his style and occasionally corresponded with him, as did Walter Haddon, the author of the first part of this book.


In 1563, however, Osorio severely blotted his reputation in England by publishing a "widely admired book urging Elizabeth to embrace Catholicism. Walter Haddon, a celebrated Latinist, responded in 1563, and Osorio replied in 1567. Haddon's second response was interrupted by his death in 1572. At Burghley's behest Foxe took up Haddon's pen and completed the work, in the end writing five-sixths of it. In doing so, Foxe followed his own agenda. In contrast to Haddon's point-by-point rebuttal of Osorio, Foxe dealt only with selected issues, but discussed them at enormous length. Thus a six-folio declaration by Osorio that Luther's teachings had led people to despair of their salvation was answered by a forty-one-folio discourse by Foxe on justification. Foxe's book was consequently less a rebuttal of Osorio than a treatise on theological issues in which he was particularly interested" (ODNB).


Haddon & Foxe's lengthy treatise was dedicated (by Foxe) to King Sebastian I of Portugal who was to be lost with most of his army on a crusade in Morocco in the following year (1578).


Haddon, himself, had a considerable reputation as a Latin prose stylist. In his dedication Foxe took the first steps in what was to become a more general reaction of writers such as Gabriel Harvey and Francis Bacon to Osorio's flowery neo-ciceronian style: "we have framed accordyng to our slender capacitie this Apology, how conveniently to the purpose I have not to say, to what successe it will come, is in the handes of the Lord, surely for the garnishment of phrase and Stile thereof I have no great regard. For this our contention tendeth not toe blazyng of excellency in eloquence, neither treate we here of the delicacy and finesse of speach, neither descant we lyke Minstrelles of warbling of stringes, ne yet tosse we our questions to and fro in vaunt of bravery of witte, or Sophisters use to argue of moates in the Sunne in their triflyng and Dunsticall Schoole: But we dispute as Devines in matters of greatest importaunce of true righteousness, of the way to eternall salvation, and everlastyng damnation, and of the true worshippyng of allmighty God." (as translated by James Bell, Against Ierome Osorius ...., 1581, A2v).


Binding: The pair of cornucopia corner-blocks used on the covers are very close, but distinct, to a pair used by the so-called "MacDurnan Gospels Binder" who worked for Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury. The copy bound for Queen Elizabeth (formerly at Chatsworth and now at the British Library, British Museum Quarterly, Sept. 1962, pl. VIIb; H. M. Nixon, "Elizabethan Gold-tooled Bindings", p. 257, no. 32) is bound by the MacDurnan Gospels Binder with a central velvet sunken panel. This binding was also almost certainly commissioned for presentation.


The Folger copy is in a handsome vellum binding with a central gilt block with the name of Sir John Savile (1546-1607), a judge, tooled in the centre (see Frederick A. Bearman, et al., Fine and Historic Bookbindings from the Folger Shakesepare Library, 1992, p. 117).


Provenance: An early signature on the title has been heavily crossed-out - the word "york" has been written next to it in a later hand  At the top of the title is "prise 12s" (probably in the same hand as "York").


Literature: J.W. Binns, Intellectual Culture in Elizabeth and Jacobean England: the Latin Writings of the Age (1990), chapter 15 "Ciceronianism in sixteenth-century England: the Latin Debate", pp. 270-90. H. M. Nixon, “Elizabethan Gold-tooled Bindings”, in D. E. Rhodes, ed., Essays in Honour of Victor Scholderer (1970), pp. 219-70.

Stock Code: 216004