The Articles of the Pope's Bulle, Westminster (1518)

Source: British Library, c.18.e.2.(8)

The Articles of the Pope's Bulle, Westminster (1518), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Record-ID: uk_1518

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These be the Articles of the Pope's Bulle ... to which are added letters of protection from Henry VIII

Full title original language:

One of the earliest examples of works printed by Richard Pynson, the King's Printer between 1508 and 1530, to make reference to the fact that the work in question was printed under the protection of the King. The royal printing privilege provided one of two different models for preventing the unauthorised reproduction of works after publication which prefigured the introduction of statutory copyright in the early eighteenth century.The commentary describes the early attitudes of the monarchy towards the regulation of the printing trade within England, and the exercise of the royal prerogative in granting printing privileges not just to the royal printer, but to other favoured subjects both in relation to individual works as well as to entire classes of work (with the latter more often referred to as printing patents).

1 Commentary:

  • Siebert, F.S., Freedom of the Press in England 1476-1776 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1965)

  • Feather, J., A History of British Publishing (London & New York: Routledge, 1988)

  • Clegg, C.S., Press Censorship in Elizabethan England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997)

  • Bennett, H.S., English Books & Readers, 1475 to 1557 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1952)

Related documents in this database:
1559: Jugge and Cawood's printing patent for statute books

Author: N/A

Publisher: Richard Pynson

Year: 1518

Location: Westminster

Language: English

Source: British Library, c.18.e.2.(8)

Persons referred to:
Henry VIII
Leo X
Pynson, Richard

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
St Peter's Basilica


Reformation, the
guild regulation
printing, history of
privileges, Papal
privileges, printing
religious works

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