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Printer Joachim Wielandt's Privilege for Popular Chapbooks, Denmark–Norway, Copenhagen (1721)

Source: Danish National Archives, Københavns Universitet, Konsistorium: Kopibog (1538-1882) 1213-09: 1712 9 - 1727 9 mm.

Printer Joachim Wielandt's Privilege for Popular Chapbooks, Denmark–Norway, Copenhagen (1721), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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15 translated pages

Chapter 1 Page 1

Greatest King

Most Merciful Hereditary Lord

Since Your Most Gracious Majesty the King allowed me to set up a printing press, I have partially finished printing [the following books], while the rest are still being printed:

1.     Continuatio Alberti Stadensid per And. Hoiar

2.     Coldings Zebulon eller Søehavn

3.     Harangue sur le paix, traduite par Montaigu

4.     Marcus Giøe om Elephantordenen

5.     Kiøbenhavns Beskrivelse

6.     Lønborgs Vaabenting

7.     Falsteri vigiliæ in Gellium

8.     A. Cranbergs vorberitung zum Sehligen Tode

9.     M. Daur klygtige Sentenzer og Domme

10.  Jomfru Birgitta Billes Slegt-Register

11.  Tabula Cisterciensium Jorana

12.  Fasting om den venetianske Krig

13.  Jongere Hartbrehs Hellige Anatomie af Hebr. IV, cap. 12

14.  Kiempeviserne de gamle og forbedrede


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15.  Pr. Trellund Desensio Sectionis II. Exenitationis Bibliæ de loco 2. Con. II, 19.

And as no small harm could be done to me by the reprinting of such writings, which have been published at my expense, it is requested in the deepest submissiveness that Your Royal Majesty, by His Royal Grace, will grant me and my heirs a sovereign privilege for a period of 30 years, so that no one other than me, my heirs, and whomsoever is commissioned by us, shall be permitted to print or deal in the same books or anything similar during the said period, under due penalty,

In the deepest submissiveness, would that your Royal Majesty would graciously grant me and my heirs the privilege, without reprinting, for the following 30 years from the time of the publication of the books, which may most humbly be recorded at the [Danish] Chancellery by the submission of the preparatory copies, or, during the two years from the date of the privilege, to have printed and negotiated, without the intervention of anyone, subsequent small books on which either we or the most sovereignly granted privileges have expired,


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and which in part have become costly and rare:

16.  Lassenii Communions andagt, Dansk og Tydsk

17.  Lassenii Psamlebog med stor stül, Tydsk

18.  Dorothea Engelbrecht Sangkoor

19.  Bordings Psalmer

20.  Bordings aandelige og verdslige viser

21.  Kingos Psalmer oversatte paa Tydsk ved Lützau

22.  Saxo Grammaticus paa Dansk

23.  Vulfs Encomion Regni Daniæ

24.  Anders Berntz Danmark og Norges frugtbar herlighed

25.  Wulfs Norrigia Illustrata

26.  Kongeloven

27.  Munches nordvestiske seilatz

28.  Jens Claussons Norges og omliggende øers beskrivelse

29.  Debes Beskrivelse om Færøe

30.  Coldings Søekrantz

31.  Munches Reise til Gønland og Nova Daniam

32.  Kühns poetiske Ester

33.  Tristia Ovidu paa Dansk ved Falster

34.  Ritualet paa Latin ved Terpager

35.  Curtius paa Dansk

36.  Salustius paa Dansk

37.  Cornelius Nepos paa Dansk

38.  Bangs passions tanker

39.  Sielens frælse

40.  Kingos poemata

41.  Coldingu descripto Daniæ


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42.  Slangendorp de primordus Ecclesiæ lütheranæ in Dania

43.  Den Danske Rim chrønicke

44.  Grønlands Beskrivelse paa Rim

45.  Strelovu Gullandia

46.  Jøde Chrønicken paa Rim

47.  Hens Sofrenson om de første kriker og apostlernes lefnet

48.  Christen Jensøns forklaring over Primstaven

49.  Welleri Pave-Chrønicke

50.  Katternes Rettergang mod Hunderne

51.  Reiniske-Tross

52.  Peder Lolles

53.  Peder Syvs ordspraag

54.  Skiempt og Alvor

55.  Sperres Historie

56.  Planete bogen

57.  Sebylle Spaadom

58.  Joris pinis historie

And finally, the following small stories

59.  Theagenis og Cariclea

60.  Blanestor et flores

61.  De 7 vise mestere

62.  Ugelspil

63.  Magelones eller Peder af Provence

64.  Marcolphus

65.  Machus

66.  Judas

67.  Josephus

68.  Susanna

69.  Samson



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70.  Den forlorne Søn

71.  Absalon

72.  Cleopatra

73.  Cansus

74.  Maderus

75.  Pilatus

76.  Blanca Meretha

77.  Signilda

78.  Svanhvida

79.  Wilhelm af Paller

80.  Persenober et Constantinobis

81.  Grisillis

82.  Helena

83.  Fortunatus

84.  Wilibaldus

85.  Melusina

86.  Viglois

87.  Octavianus

88.  Carolus Magnus

89.  Olges Danske

90.  Roland

91.  De 12. Jæfninger

92.  Rosana

93.  Kong Laurin

94.  Kong Edvard

95.  Kong Atus

96.  De 12. Patriarker og

97.  Den lystige Spaamands bog

Most Gracious King, these books are not of great


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significance, but they have become common in Your Majesty’s lands and realms, and there is no small demand for them, so that significant investment and expenses are required for their printing, and it is such goods that must bear a great risk and the considerable costs associated with the production of genuine and good books. Unfortunately, I have found that the sale of such books here in the Kingdom is difficult and very poor. I most humbly request for myself and my heirs a thirty-year liberty to print and distribute these specified and previously printed books, with due punishment of those who might infringe such a privilege of Your Royal Majesty by printing or distributing any further copies of them, [speaking] of those that may already be finished, and guaranteeing that not a single word in them shall be incorporated in new ones, which in any way could be contrary to Your Royal Majesty’s order for the authorization of books for printing and the order given in the law. I promise this to the day of my death.


Your Royal Majesty’s most humble and faithful servant.

J. Wielandt


The 22nd of July



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The University Consistor’s reply

Most Sovereign Hereditary King and Lord

The most humble petitioner, Secretary Joachim Wielandt, has asked Your Royal Majesty for 30 years of privileges on 97 books, as mentioned in the petition of the said petitioner. Your Majesty has since referred the same request to our most humble declaration. We have therefore, firstly, made the copy of the petition clearer, as it was previously written in a somewhat obscure and unclear manner, and we have most humbly attached the same copy to the declaration, so that Your Majesty may all the more easily know the contents of the declaration. As for the above 15 numbers, most of them belong to the kind of books that


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one should not be afraid of reprinting so hastily to the detriment of the first publisher. It may well be that Number 1 will in time be introduced somewhere in Jydland in a volume of Scriptori Germanicorum, if now Your Royal Majesty should be so gracious as to grant the supplicant the privilege requested thereon, then it would follow that the aforementioned Collectio Scriptorum Germanicorum (if it should appear) would not have to be negotiated here in the kingdom for the next 30 years, which would be inconvenient for both bookkeepers and enthusiasts.

Nos. 2, 5, 12 are not, in our opinion, unusual books.

No. 11 is rather misprinted and should therefore be revised so that it can be republished. Should Secretary Wielandt have the time and opportunity to do so, he seems the fairest person to publish this little book, which he first published in print. But if someone else should take the trouble to do so, I humbly suggest that the same should be asked for his edition. A privilege for either will not be deemed necessary.

No. 14 belongs to Bockenhoffer’s publishing house, and we believe


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we have as many copies in stock as the public may require for many years.

It would then be unnecessary for anyone else in the country to trouble them with a new privilege. The improvements and alterations referred to in the petition could be left to Secretary Wieland to make, without any one expecting an indictment.

Numbers 16, 17, 18 are to be obtained from the accountant Hieronymus Paulli, who is the publisher of them. We are of the unreserved opinion that it is not advisable that they should fall into the other’s [Wieland’s] publishing house, and thus deprive him of the profit that might be made on such small books.

No. 19 was printed some years ago in the back of another hymnal, and is not very desirable. I do not see how a privilege would help.

As for No. 20, we do not really know whether the supplicant has sufficient means or the long diligence to collect the many separate pieces. However, we do know of two persons who have diligently collected these poems of Bording with a view to having them printed. If Your Majesty were to grant a privilege to the third, their efforts would have been in vain, for Bording


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is one of our best Danish poets, and his verses are worthy of being printed in one volume.

No. 21 was never printed, so we have nothing more to say about it.

No. 22 has long been in the hands of Assessor Lorentzen to be published with comments. If nothing comes of it, we would like the new edition to be given a special privilege. It is a large book that cannot be printed at low cost. It will probably not be reprinted abroad, as it is in Danish. It is now more than 110 years that no one has undertaken to reprint it.

No. 23 has not been printed since 1654. This would be a sign that there was no great danger in publishing it without a privilege.

No. 23 has not been printed since 1654. This would be a sign that there was no great danger in publishing it without a privilege.

No. 24, which is correctly called Arent Berntsen’s Denmark’s etc. is a useful book. But if it were to be republished, it would probably need to be revised, improved and explained beforehand, as there have been many changes since 1656 when the book was printed.

No. 25 is not particularly valuable. It has been recently published here in the city, and we therefore assume that it neither needs nor deserves privilege.


Chapter 2 Page 5

No. 26 is the King’s Law. We humbly recommend it to His Royal Majesty’s own will, whether or not Your Majesty will allow it to be replaced.

No. 27 and no. 31 are exactly the same book. It was printed in Danish only once, in 1624. So it seems that there was not much demand for it. It is, however, a readable little book.

No. 28 (whose author is rightly called Peder Claussen) is a good, useful book. It is to be hoped, however, that if it is to be re-issued with privileges, it will first have to be improved in several places, which will not be possible without diligent work and sufficient subsidies.

No. 29 is also a good book. But to publish it again so hastily would probably not be advantageous to the publisher, because here in town there is seldom a book auction where a copy is not to be found, and often it is at auction 5 or 6 or even 10 times, mostly since the death of the bookseller Christian Geertsen, who published it in large numbers.

No. 30 was recently printed by secretary Wielandt himself. We do not think that this book is very desirable, on the contrary,

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we think that the copies printed should be superfluous to satisfy the enthusiasts for 30 years or more.

Nos. 32, 33 have been printed so recently that we do not think they need to be reprinted so soon.

No. 34 seems to be able to remain cheaply in translation at Mag. Terpagers, with whom he would prefer to publish it if it were to be reprinted.

Nos. 35, 36, 37 were formerly printed without privilege. We have no doubt that they will continue to be printed.

Nos. 38, 39 are innocent books. However, we have no reason to believe that they will ever need a privilege.

As for No. 40, we do not know whether the supplicant has the necessary means to obtain the poems of the aforementioned Blessed Bishop Kingo, which we understand to be infinitely large, since they consist of many separate parts, which would be very difficult to organise. If the supplicant has already provided himself with such a collection, we consider it honourable for the nation that the same poems should be printed together. Your Majesty’s privilege in this is that the collection should have it as a reward for his work, to sell his collection alone, for some years.


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That No. 41 should be reprinted is so far from our unfathomable thoughts that we think it would have been better if it had never been printed in the form in which it is. There is something good in the book, but there are many things that should have been different. The Swedes in particular feel that it is a slander against their nation, which cannot be denied in any way.

Nos. 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 49, 50 are books of no particular value, we suppose, and do not deserve to have the high name of your Majesty placed upon them.

No. 38 never existed, except for a single leaf in a book called Christen Jensen’s Norwegian Glossary, printed in Copenhagen in 1646.

There are 3 more editions of no. 51. One old and curious, 1555, another much newer and almost common, the third printed for some years and to be got in abundance. All these editions are without any privilege, which we firmly believe may remain so.

No. 52 is worth nothing.

No. 53 is not even printed, and that without any privilege. We believe that no copies have yet been made of it.

No. 54 is of no great value.

Nor is No. 55, although it is a historical subject as it is.

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As for Nos. 56, 57 and 59, we have to admit that we do not know these three.

As for the three Nos. 65, 73, 74, we might otherwise infer from the other neighbouring ones that they must be of the same kind. Of all these Nos. (except 76, 77, 78, 78, 90, 91, etc.) it may be said that they consist of useless comedies, romances, and unreadable, unreasonable fables, which little boys tell in the streets, and others, as ignorant as the tellers, buy to amuse themselves at the spinning wheel, or in public company. Would it then be a great abuse of your Majesty's high name to sell by monopoly and under your Majesty’s honourable privilege such useless and partly evil goods? Nos. 76, 77, 78 are Swedish comedies, which would scarcely fit here, where one in a hundred would understand them; and as to No. 76 in particular, it is a coarse invention about a Danish princess who was married to Sweden about the year 1298, and it would be strange if it were reprinted here in this kingdom, since [even] the Swedes themselves almost despise the same


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piece. But we would here excuse the petitioner for not being familiar with these pieces, and perhaps not even with some of the others presented, for Nos. 90 and 91 (which we mentioned earlier as an exception) have, as far as we know, never been printed in Danish, but in French and Italian.

This we all recommend to Your Majesty’s most sovereign discretion, and we remain most respectfully obedient.

Most Grand Most Sovereign Most Supreme

Hereditary King and Lord


Your Royal Majesty’s

Your Royal Majesty’s most undersigned and most dutiful

Servants and hereditary subjects

Rector and Professors

At Copenhagen

The 8th of December 1721


Th. Bartholin


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