HUGUENOT PRAYERS

seigneur ouvre me levres, & ma bouche announcer ta loüange. Ps. 51.v.17.

Se vend à Charenton, par Pierre Auvray, demeurant à Paris … [1670s?]

8vo., pp. 30, wanting a terminal leaf? (possibly blank or a colophon, as the prayer text ends on p. 30; woodcut device to title-page (an imitation of the Estienne olive-tree device), woodcut head-piece on p. 3 (printed upside-down); inner margin of first and last leaves neatly restored, withal a fine, crisp copy.

£850

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seigneur ouvre me levres, & ma bouche announcer ta loüange. Ps. 51.v.17.

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First edition, extremely rare, of a prayer in preparation for a fast, published for sale in Charenton, the first Protestant centre in the Paris region.

The Edict of Nantes (1598) had granted limited rights to the Huguenots, but the construction of temples was not permitted within five leagues of major cities. The temple at Charenton, built 1607, was a huge construction, designed to hold 4000 and cater for the entire Paris region; it burned down in 1621 and was rebuilt in 1623, lasting until its final destruction after the revocation of the Edict in 1685. The prayer includes an apposite plea: ‘conserve nous … la liberté de nous assembler en ton nom, regarde en tes misericordes tant de pauvres troupeaux espars, redonne leur consolation de la predication, & la conserve dans les lieux où l’on s’efforce de l’oster; fais particulerement cette faveur à cette Eglise …’.

The Auvray family had been Protestant printer-booksellers since the sixteenth century, and had seemingly maintained premises in Charenton and Paris since the construction of the temple. Pierre Auvray I (fl. 1614-40) was succeeded by his sons, both called Jacques, and grandson Pierre (fl. 1661-98); the Paris addresses changed frequently, but the present (‘rue Saint Jacques, aux trois Antonnoirs’) is associated with the latter Pierre.

Not in OCLC, CCFr, or Copac.

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