Cambridge: Printed by Joseph Bentham, Printer to the University, Sold by Benjamin Dod. 1762, First edition, first printing of the "standard" edition of the King James Bible, prepared by F.S. Paris of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and H. Therold, fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge. This set was issued in quarto volumes later in the same year; the folio edition is a legendary rarity, most copies having been lost in a fire. ESTC records only thirteen copies of the folio edition, eight in the United Kingdom (including three at Cambridge) and five in North America, including two at Harvard, and one each at the American Bible Society, New York Public Library, and the Huntington Library. 15 1/2 x 10"; 39.4 x 25.4 cm. , A-z8, Aa-Oo8; , Pp-Zz8, Aaa-Ddd8, Eee2, [Apocrypha:] *A-*M8, [New Testament:] Fff-Yyy8, Zzz4. Engraved title-page, text in double columns. The preliminary blanks of Volume I have the family records of the Roberts family, beginning with William Hayward Roberts, who married Jane Pitt in 1761 in the Cathedral at Gloucester on July 16, 1761. Roberts (bap. 1734-d. 1791) was a poet and Church of England clergyman. The names of each of their children, who were born between 1762 and 1774, are listed, together with further family records down to 1916. The title-page bears the neat earlysignature of Tom Roberts of Worplesdon, Surrey, whose exact connection and dates are unknown. Intermittent minor foxing and soiling, some neat restoration to hinges, sympathetic new spine labels. a lovely, well-margined copy in its original state, in two half calf clamshell boxes. Full contemporary black Cambridge-style morocco with elaborate dentelle borders on covers in gilt, each cover with a central diamond-shaped onlay with elaborate floral and leaf decoration in gilt. Gilt spine with raised bands, in seven compartments, two with burgundy morocco lettering-pieces, printed in gold. The remaining five compartments have all-over elaborate floral and leaf decoration. Gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Two volumes, folio. Item #16861
This edition is the most important textual revision for over a century in either direction. Following the 1755 publication of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary—the first English dictionary—this edition of the King James Version was the first with standardized spelling. "In this Bible a serious attempt was made to correct the text of King James' version by Amending the spelling and punctuation, unifying and extending the use of italics, and removing printers' errors. Marginal annotations, which had been growing in some Bibles since 1660, although excluded from others, were finally received into the place they have occupied ever since, sundry new ones being added" (Herbert, p. 274). "It is of great importance, as being in the main the foundation of our modern Bible…Much care was taken over it" (Dore, J.R., Old Bibles or an Account of the Various Versions of the English Bible, 1876).
William Hayward Roberts was the author of Judah Restored: a Poem, in Six Books (1776), which was commended by Southey as one of the inspirations behind Thalaba. Roberts was educated at King's College, Cambridge. For a time he was rector of Eton College, and later rector of Farnham Royal, Buckinghamshire. For many years he was one of the king's chaplains. His children from his first marriage were William, John, Richard, George, Henry, Rosamond, and Eleanor, all noted in the preliminaries here. After the death of his first wife Jane, he made a financially advantageous marriage to Charlotte Chamberlayne, the sister of Charles Chamberlayne, fellow of Eton.