# Primary Sources on Copyright - Record Viewer




Privilege of the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg, Würzburg (1479)

Source: Universitätsbibliothek Würzburg, Inc. f. 43, fol 38.

Privilege of the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg, Würzburg (1479), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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Chapter 1 Page 1

      Rudolph, by the Grace of God Bishop of Wrzburg and Duke of East Franconia;
Cilian of Bibra, Doctor of Theological Doctrine; Provost Wilhelm of Limburg,
Baron of the Holy Roman Empire and Imperial Cup-bearer; and the whole Chapter
of the Cathedral of Wrzburg: By being present here we seek to bring to the
attention of everyone how, for the praise and high glory of God, we are
resolved on the following: we have arranged for all of the books used in
canonical hours both in the principal and other collegiate churches, as well
as the parishes and chapels, of our city and diocese of Wrzburg to be
examined with great care so as to determine what parts of their content will
be most appropriate and beneficial. We have established that it is above all
necessary for such books [to be compiled] in similar quantity and sequence
to the liturgical books of the choir of our greater Wrzburg church: only for
this purpose and so as to achieve due consistency in the directions [for the
conduct of services] are they to be revised and renewed. Accordingly, just
as we ordered that over the course of several months the liturgical books of
our Wrzburg Choir should be circumspectly examined, corrected, and improved
with the utmost care by selected men whom we considered suitable for this
task - which we have indeed found to have been carried out with utmost
attentiveness - so, in order that the prelates and other priests and office-
holders of our city and diocese might in all future times benefit and prosper
from this due correction and integral renewal of the books, we have therefore
decided that nothing could be more proper and even opportune than that in
accordance with the correction and improvement of the liturgical books their
impression should be carried out and adapted by some outstanding masters in
the art of printing. For which purpose we have come to an agreement with the
following far-sighted men who are devoted to us in Christ and whom we sincerely
esteem: Stephan Dold, Georg Reiser and Johannes Beckenhub, alias Mentzer -
these being most experienced masters in this art - and we have brought them to
our city of Wrzburg on the basis of contracts and equal terms.
To them alone and to no one else have we given the opportunity to print
accurately and in the best possible way these liturgical books (as indicated
above). We have taken them and their families, their goods and chattels, under
our dutiful and paternal protection and defence. Therefore, so that a fuller
faith might reveal itself to all thanks to such a printing of the books, we
have ordered and allowed the master printers to decorate the canonical books
which are to be printed in the manner mentioned above with the insignia of
our Pontificate and Chapter.
Issued in our city of Wrzburg, in the year of the Lord 1479, on the 20th of

Translation by: Luis Sundkvist, based on a German version by Karl Zeiler


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