The Gardyners Passetaunce [c.1512]. Edited with an introduction by Franklin B. Williams, Jr.

GARDYNER Thomas, Monk of Westminster Abbey (1985)


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With notes on the two unique editions in Westminster Abbey Library, descriptions of the bindings in which they were preserved, and the other items found in these bindings by Howard M. Nixon.


Image of a bust of Henry VIII by Torrigiani as frontispiece, facsimiles of the Pynson edition in full and the existing fragments of the Goes edition, images of bindings and other fragments in the text. Pp. xvi, 75. 4to., original brown cloth in mint condition. London, Printed for presentation to members of The Roxburghe Club.

The Gardyners Passetaunce is a propaganda poem promoting the newly formed Holy League which was proclaimed on 4 October 1511. It is a simplified version of a densely-written Latin tract by James Whytston[e]s which discusses the nature of a just war, the merit of fighting in defence of the Pope and compares Louis XIII of France to various tyrants and persecutors of religion. Richard Pynson, the king's printer, published this 'tabloid' poetic version at the behest of the King and Court to spread the propaganda to a wider less academic public, a second edition appeared, probably in the same year, printed by Goes and Watson. The poem is anonymous but Nixon's essay, this was published posthumously from his notes, does provide all the available evidence on the subject and draws his conclusions.


A recent essay by Matthew Payne & Julia Boffey finds "compelling grounds" to attribute it to Thomas Gardyner, a monk of Westminster Abbey, appointed chantry priest of Henry VII's newly-constructed Lady Chapel in 1511 and author of The Flowers of England, a short chronicle history of England with Tudor genealogies known in his autograph manuscript, c. 1516, at Trinity College, Dublin, and two other early manuscript copies. In 1521 Gardyner was appointed 'kitchener' at the abbey and it was in the binding of a volume of kitchen accounts that the Pynson leaves were discovered. "The Gardyners Passetaunce, the Flowers of England, and Thomas Gardyner, Monk of Westminster" in The Library (June, 2017), pp. 175-90.


Published in honour of Howard M. Nixon after his death, the book includes essays by him on the history of the poem, on the two editions and the bindings from which these editions were extracted.

Stock Code: 217696

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