Totell's Printing Patent, Westminster (1553)

Source: photographed at the National Archives, Kew: C66

Totell's Printing Patent, Westminster (1553), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Record-ID: uk_1553

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Full title:
Richard Totell's Patent for Common Law Books

Full title original language:

An early example of a privilege granted to print an entire class of works (in this case, books concerning the common law). 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.

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:
1553: William Seres' Printing Patent
1553: John Day's Privilege for the Catechism
1559: Seres' patent for Primers and Psalters
1559: Totell's patent for Common Law Books

Author: N/A

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1553

Location: Westminster

Language: English

Source: photographed at the National Archives, Kew: C66

Persons referred to:
Tottell, Richard

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:


Reformation, the
guild regulation
law books
printing, history of
privileges, printing
religious works

Responsible editor: Ronan Deazley

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