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licence, to be granted free of all expense, whose consciences we charge, that before they grant any licence of this kind, they will carefully examine, or cause to be examined, by able and catholic persons, the works to be printed; and that they will take the utmost care that nothing may be printed wicked or scandalous, or contrary to the orthodox faith.” The rest of the bull contains regulations to prevent works already printed from doing mischief. All catalogues and books printed before that period were to be examined, and those which contained anything prejudicial to the Catholic religion were to be burned. In the beginning of the sixteenth century it was ordered by the well-known Council of the Lateran, held at Rome in the year 1515, that, in future, no books should be printed but such as had been inspected by ecclesiastical censors. In France, the faculty of Theology usurped, as some say, the right of censuring books; but in the year 1650, when public censors, whom the faculty opposed, were appointed, without their consent, they stated the antiquity of their right to be two hundred years. For they said, “ It is above two hundred years since the doctors of Paris have had a right to approve books without being subjected but to their own faculty, to which they assert they are alone responsible for their decisions." ;
In countries where the Inquisition was established the work of the censorship was undertaken by the Holy Office. Elsewhere it was taken up by the bishops. In England it was especially discharged by the Star Chamber, a Court that was in fact, whatever the theoretic constitution, mainly in the hands of the bishops. Long before Archbishop Laud's time this Court had exercised authority over the Press (as, for example, at Whitgift's instance in 1585); but it was under him that its restrictive power was put forth in its severest form. On the 11th day of July, 1637, was passed the notorious Decree of Starre-Chamber Concerning Printing. This document may be found entire in Mr. Arber's Reprint of the Areopagitica. We quote here only the more relevant of its thirty-three clauses. "In Camera Stellata coram Concilio ibidem, vndecimo die
Iulii, Anno decimo tertio CAROLI Regis. Imprimis, That no person or persons whatsueuer shall presume to print, or cause to bee printed, either in the parts beyond the Seas, or in this Realme, or other his Maiesties Dominions, any seditious, scismaticall, or offensive Bookes or Pamphlets, to the scandall of Religion, or the Church, or the Government, or
Governours of the Church or State, or Commonwealth, or of any Corporation, or particular person or persons whatsoeuer, nor shall import any such Booke or Bookes, nor sell or dispose of them, or any of them, nor cause any such to be bound, stitched, or sowed, vpon paine that he or they so offending, shall loose all such Bookes and Pamphlets, and also haue, and suffer such correction, and severe punishment, either by Fine, imprisonment, or other corporall punishment, or otherwise, as by this Court, or by His Maiesties Commissioners for causes Ecclesiasticall in the high Commission Court, respectiuely, as the several causes shall require, shall be thought fit to be inflicted upon him, or them, for such their offence and contempt.
‘II. Item, That no person or persons whatsoeuer, shall at any time print, or cause to be imprinted, any Booke or Pamphlet whatsoever, vnlesse the same Booke or Pamphlet, and also all and euery the Titles, Epistles, Prefaces, Proems, Preambles, Introductions, Tables, Dedications, and other matters and things whatsoeuer thereunto annexed, or therewith imprinted, shall be first lawfully licenced and authorized onely by such person and persons as are hereafter expressed, and by no other, and shall be also first entred into the Registers Booke of the Company of Stationers; vpon paine that every Printer offending therein, shall be for euer hereafter disabled to use or exercise the Art or Mysterie of Printing, and receiue such further punishment, as by this Court or the high Commission Court respectiuely, as the severall causes shall require, shall be thought fitting.
III. Item, That all Bookes concerning the common Lawes of this Realme shall be printed by the especiall allowance of the Lords chiefe Iustices, and the Lord chiefe Baron for the time being, or one or more of them, or by their appointment: And that all Books of History, belonging to this State, and present times, or any other Booke of State affaires, shall be licenced by the principall Secretaries of State, or one of them, or by their appointment; And that all Bookes concerning Heraldry, Titles of Honour and Armes, or otherwise concerning the Office of Earle Marshall, shall be licenced by the Earle Marshall, or by his appointment; And further, that all other Books, whether of Diuinitie, Phisicke, Philosophie, Poetry, or whatsoeuer, shall be allowed by the Lord Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, or Bishop of London for the time being, or by their appointment, or the Chancellours, or Vice Chancellors of either of the Vniuersities of this Realme for the time being
* Alwayes prouided, that the Chancellour or Vice-Chancellour, of either of the Vniuersities, shall Licence onely such Booke or Bookes that are to be Printed within the limits of the Vniuersities
respectiuely, but not in London, or elsewhere, not medling either with Bookes of the common Law, or matters of State.
‘IV. Item, That euery person and persons, which by any Decree of this Court are, or shall be appointed or authorised to Licence Bookes, or giue Warrant for imprinting thereof, as is aforesaid, shall haue two seuerall written Copies of the same Booke or Bookes with the Titles, Epistles, Prefaces, Proems, Preambles, Introductions, Tables, Dedications, and other things whatsoeuer thereunto annexed. One of which said Copies shall be kept in the publike Registries of the said Lord Arch-Bishop, and Bishop of London respectiuely, or in the Office of the Chancellour, or Vice-Chancellour of either of the Vniuersities, or with the Earle Marshall or principall Secretaries of State, or with the Lords chiefe Iustices, or chiefe Baron, of all such Bookes as shall be licenced by them respectiuely, to the end that he or they may be secure, that the Copy so licensed by him or them shall not bee altered without his or their priuitie, and the other shall remain with him whose Copy it is, and vpon both the said Copies, he or they that shall allow the said Booke, shall testifie vnder his or their hand or hands, that there is nothing in that Booke or Books contained, that is contrary to Christian Faith, and the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England, nor against the State or Gouernment, nor contrary to good life, or good manners, or otherwise, as the nature and subiect of the work shall require, which licence or approbation shall be imprinted in the beginning of the same Booke, with the name, or names of him or them that shall authorize or license the same, for a testimonie of the allowance thereof.
• VII. Item, That no person or persons shall within this Kingdome, or elsewhere imprint, or cause to be imprinted, nor shall import or bring in, or cause to be imported or brought into this Kingdome, from, or out of any other His Maiesties Dominions, nor from other, or any parts beyond the Seas, any Copy, book or buoks, or part of any booke or bookes, printed beyond the seas, or elsewhere, which the said Company of Stationers, or any other person or persons haue, or shall by any Letters Patents, Order, or Entrance in their Register book, or otherwise, haue the right, priuiledge, authoritie, or allowance soly to print, nor shall bind, stitch, or put to sale, any such booke or bookes, vpon paine of losse and forfeiture of all the said bookes, and of such Fine, or other punishment, for euery booke or part of a booke so imprinted or imported, bound, stitched, or put to sale, to be leuyed of the party so offending, as by the power of this Court, or the high Commission Court respectiuely, as the severall causes shall require, shall be thought fit.
VIII. Item, Euery person and persons that shall hereafter Print, or cause to be Printed, any Bookes, Ballads, Charts, Portraiture, or any other thing or things whatsoeuer, shall thereunto or thereon Print and set his and their owne name or names, as also the name or names of the Author or Authors, Maker or Makers of the same, and by, or from whom any such booke, or other thing is, or shall be printed, vpon pain of forfiture of all such Books, Ballads, Chartes, Portraitures, and other thing or things, printed contrary to this Article; And the presses, Letters and other instruments for Printing, wherewith such Books, ballads, Chartes, Portraitures, and other thing or things shall be printed, to be defaced and made vnseruiceable, and the party and parties so offending, to be fined, imprisoned, and haue such other corporall punishment, or otherwise, as by this Honourable Court, or the said high Commission respectiuely, as the seuerall causes shall require, shall be thought fit.
XII. Item, That no - stranger or forreigner whatsoeuer, be suffered to bring in, or vent here, any booke or bookes printed beyond the seas, in any language whatsoeuer, either by themselues or their secret Factors, except such onely as bee free Stationers of London, and such as haue beene brought vp in that profession, and haue their whole meanes of subsistance, and liuelihood depending thereupon, vpon paine of confiscation of all such Books so imported, and such further penalties, as by this Court, or the high Commission Court respectiuely, as the seuerall causes shall require, shall be thought fit to be imposed.
"XIII. Item, That no person or persons within the Citie of London, or the liberties thereof, or elsewhere, shall erect or cause to be erected any Presse or Printing-house, nor shall demise, or let, or suffer to be held or vsed, any house, vault, seller, or other roome whatsoeuer, to, or by any person or persons, for a Printinghouse, or place to print in, vnlesse he or they which shall so demise or let the same, or suffer the same to be so vsed, shall first giue notice to the said Master and Wardens of the Company of Stationers for the time being, of such demise, or suffering to worke or print there, upon paine of imprisonment, and such other punishment as by this Court, or the said high Commission Court respectiuely, as the seuerall Causes shall require, shall bee thought fit.
XV. Item, The Court doth declare, that as formerly, so now, there shall be but Twentie Master Printers allowed to haue the vse of one Presse or more, as is after specified, and doth hereby nominate, allow, and admit these persons whose names hereafter follow, to the number of Twentie, to have the vse of a Presse, or Presses and Printing-house, for the time being, viz. Felix Kingstone, Adam Islip, Thomas Purfoot, Miles Flesher, Thomas Harper, Iohn Beale, Iohn Legat, Robert Young, Iohn Haviland, George Miller, Richard Badger, Thomas Cotes, Bernard Alsop, Richard Bishop, Edward Griffin, Thomas Purslow, Richard Hodgkinsonne. John Dawson, Iohn Raworth, Marmaduke Parsons. And further, the Court doth order and decree, That it shall be lawfull for the Lord Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, or the Lord Bishop of London, for the time being, taking to him or them six other high Commissioners, to supply the place or places of those which are now already Printers by this Court, as they shall fall void by death, or Censure, or otherwise ; Prouided that they exceed not the number of Twentie, besides His Maiesties Printers, and the Printers allowed for the Vniuersities.
' XXII. Item, The Court doth hereby declare, that it doth not hereby restraine the Printers of either of the Vniuersities from taking what number of Apprentices for their seruice in printing there, they themselues shall thinke fit. Prouided alwayes, that the said Printers in the Vniuersities shall imploy all their owne Iourney-men within themselves, and not suffer any of their said Iourney-men to go abroad for imployment to the Printers of London (vnlesse vpon occasion some Printers of London desire to imploy some extraordinary Workman or Workmen amongst them, without preiudice to their owne Journeymen, who are Freemen) vpon such penalty as the Chancellor of either of the Vniuersities for the time being, shall thinke fit to inflict vpon the delinquents herein.
“XXV. Item, That for the better discouery of printing in Corners without licence; The Master and Wardens of the Company of Stationers for the time being, or any two licensed MasterPrinters, which shall be appointed by the Lord Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, or Lord B. of London for the time being, shall haue power and authority, to take unto themselues such assistance as they shall think needfull, and to search what houses and shops (and at what time they shall think fit) especially Printing-houses, and to view what is in printing, and to call for the license to see whether it be licenced or no, and if not. to seize vpon so much as is printed, together with the seuerall offenders, and to bring them before the Lord Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, or the Lord Bishop of London for the time being, that they or either of them may take such further order therein as shall appertaine to Iustice.
"XXVI. Item, The Court doth declare, that it shall be lawfull also for the said Searchers, if, vpon search they find any book or bookes, or part of booke or books which they suspect to containe matter in it or them, contrary to the doctrine and discipline of the Church of England, or against the State and Government,