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EXPLANATION OF THE ENGRAVED TITLE,
ARMS OF THE MEMBERS OF THE ROXBURGHE CLUB.
The design surrounding the in- tess of Richmond, mother of King scription represents the entrance Henry VII. the Patroness of Wynto an ancient shrine or chapel; kyn de Worde: on the left of it are the interior of which appears over the Armorial Ensigns of Thomas the front screen. At the sides are Cromwell, Earl of Essex, the pafour sculptured niches, containing tron of Richard Grafton; and on effigies of the ecclesiastical sup- the right are those of Thomas Cecil, porters of learning antecedent to the Lord Burleigh, the patron of Regiinvention of Printing; and within, nald Wolfe. Beneath the inscripare several armorial ensigns of the tion of the title is a similar line of most illustrious Patrons of the Art shields, containing, in the centre, in England. Thus, in the centre of the arms of the Archiepiscopal see the upper part, appear the arms and of Canterbury, and having on the supporters of King Edward IV. in left those of Archbishop Cranmer, whose time W. Caxton commenced also a patron of Wolfe; and upon Printing at Westminster, about the the right those of Archbishop Paryear 1474. Beneath them is a copy ker, the patron of John Day. The of a very fine illumination from a arms and supporters of Queen Elizamanuscript preserved in the Archie- beth, as a general encourager of piscopal Library at Lambeth Pa- Printers and Learned Men, are lace; it represents Anthony Wood-placed at the lower part of the enville, Earl Rivers, presenting Cax-graving, to correspond with those ton to King Edward IV. his Queen, of King Edward at the top. and Prince, with the translation of The Armorial Ensigns of the the Dieties and Sayinges of the Phi- Members of the Roxburghe Club, losophers, executed by Lord Rivers, to face the list of their names. The and printed by Caxton at Westmin- design represents the entrance to an ster, in November, 1477. Vide the ancient chapel or hall, of Knights present Vol. p. 145, No. 7. "The Companions, in which are shewn Portrait of the Prince, afterwards their stalls, and banners suspended Edward V." says Lord Orford, by above them. In the centre front is whom this painting was first en- an altar containing the date of the graved, is the only one known of institution of the Roxburghe Club: him, and has been engraved by Ver- and upon it is placed a bust of W tue among the heads of the Kings. Caxton, alluding to the monument The person in a robe and cap of which was erected to his memory state, is probably Richard, Duke of by the Members of that association Gloucester, as he resembles the vide the present volume, page 206 King, and as Clarence was always At the foot of the altar is the ensign too great an enemy of the Queen to adopted by the Rev. T. F. Dibdin, be distinguished by her brother. Vice President of the Club, namely The book was printed in 1477, when the devices of Laurentius of Haer Clarence was in Ireland, and in the lem, John Guttemburg, John Faust, beginning of the next year he was Peter Schoeffer and William Cax murdered A Catalogue of the ton. The Armorial Ensigns of Royal and Noble Authors of Eng- the other Members are disposed land-Works of Horatio Walpole, round the entrance: those of tel Earl of Orford, Lond. 1798. 4to. five Peers are placed on the banners Vol. I. pp. 243, 284. Beneath this at the top, of which the President's scene appear three shields of Arms is the highest; and the line then in quatre-foil panels, of which the passes down the left hand side, and centre is that of Margaret, Coun-afterwards down the right.
Now, Reader, ere this work you scan,
And strictest Truth the case decide.
HOWEVER Fancy may paint to our imaginations thre importance of this "Divine Art," in what glowing colours must the picture afterwards appear, when we have explored the records of Time, and traced (in the Historic page) the various discoveries which have been made for the benefit of mankind: when these are contrasted with that which gave them birth, must they not sink (however great each may individually appear) into comparative insignificance!
We beg the candid and enquiring Reader to draw a parallel between the present state of society and that of the dark ages, in which mankind had so long remained under the arbitrary dominion of Idolatry and Priestcraft, when the devoted bigots, bound to her iron car with adamantine chains, were compelled to follow in her train: but no sooner did this bright luminary (the Press) burst upon Europe, than its brilliant rays, like the meridian sun, not only enlightened and invigorated mankind, but also dispelled the murky clouds which had for ages cemented the bonds of Ignorance and Superstition. How trebly blest and highly-favoured ought Britons to consider themselves, that, notwithstanding all the restrictions under which the Press in this country at present labours, we have yet to boast,
through the blessings of a Divine Providence, more real freedom than any of our surrounding neighbours ever did, or even to this day enjoy.
We are now arrived at the period when we are called upon to put the seal to our labours in the present instance that we have great reason to rejoice at this event, we feel persuaded the majority of our Readers would readily admit, if they were in possession of only a small portion of the difficulties with which we have had to contend; and although they were chiefly of a pecuniary nature, yet through them many others were produced; and no sooner had we overcome one barrier, than others equally formidable presented themselves to our view, every one of which was almost sufficient to have deterred us from proceeding further; yet, notwithstanding these trying circumstances, we are proud to state, that although we have had to ascend mountain after mountain for the last six years, yet our ardour has never once abated, and our minds, soaring far above all difficulties, were uniformly steady to the point, being anxiously and resolutely determined on its completion.
It was not without the greatest reluctance on our part, even though solicited by a great number of the best informed members of the Profession, that we were induced to commence the present undertaking, which was then intended (as our first Prospectus, dated July 20, 1818, shews), to have merely given an abridgement of the work, coutaining the most essential points connected with the Art; but, after having composed the first sheet, want of means to proceed necessitated us to let it stand over for the space of six months, during which period, having leisure to re-consider the subject, a patron kindly stepped forward and voluntarily proffered his assistance, upon which we determined to use our ut