Joseph Mendham's ecclesiastical books to auction at Dreweatts

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions will offer a selection of ecclesiastical books from the collection of renowned clergyman and bibliophile Joseph Mendham on March 20 in London.

Joseph Mendham books
Mendham was a controversialist, studying the differences between Protestant and Catholic faith

Born in 1769, Joseph Mendham rose to become a priest in the Church of England and was known as a controversialist, studying Catholic and Protestant  differences as a strong advocate of the Protestant church.

Leading bids in the auction will be Pope Gregory XIII's The Holy Bull, And Crusado of Rome (1588), a text that compares the holy scriptures to criticise the papacy and the Spanish for their justification of the Anglo-Spanish war.

A rare offering, it includes an account of the Spanish Armada that details the provision on board the ships: "nine hundred thousand kintals of Biscuit… two and thirty thousand peeces of Wine… forty thousand Arrobes of Cheese".

Bound with two other works relating to papal bulls, the book is expected to see £4,000-6,000 ($6,657-9,985).

Also starring in the sale is a book with a strong collecting history, having been featuring in England's first ever public auction of books and once housed in several prominent collections, with inscriptions spanning the 16th-18th centuries.

Valued at £1,000-1,500, the copy of Catechismus brevis christianae disciplinae summam continens (1552) is attributed to English Protestant author John Ponet. It originally featured as lot 1079 in the 216-day auction of 105,000 volumes from the library of Richard Heber.

Such is the rarity of the work that even in 1692 it is detailed in Peter Heylin's Certamen Epistolare: "this Catechism is so hard to come by, that scarce one scholar in 500 hath ever heard of it; and hardly one in a 1000 hath ever seen it."

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a Henry VIII signed manuscript for sale, a remarkable piece from the man who led the English Reformation.

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