Antiquarian Auctions

SA Auction #102 begins on 06 Oct 2022

US Auction #13 begins on 02 Nov 2022

Edmund Calamy (compiler)

Cromwell’s Soldier’s Bible 1895

Published: Elliot Stock, London, 1895

Edition: 1895 Facsimile Edition

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1895 Facsimile Edition, Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, E.C. London. 12mo., 12cm x 19.2cm, 16pp. Yellow paper stringed wraps, with black titles and portrait of Cromwell to front. Sixteen pages of facsimile print plus 5 page introduction by Viscount Wolseley.

Title Page: Cromwell’s Soldier’s Bible: being a reprint, in facsimile, of “The Souldier’s Pocket Bible”, compiled by Edmund Calamy, and issued for the use of the commonwealth army in 1643. With a bibliographical introduction and a preface by Field Marshall the Rt. Hon. Viscount Wolseley, K.P., G.C.B.

The Soldier's Pocket Bible was first issued in 1643 to Cromwell's army and was put in general use among his soldiers. The Soldier's Pocket Bible had just 16 pages that contained some 150 verse quotations from the Geneva Bible, all related to war and intended to inspire morale among Cromwell’s soldiers. The 150 war-related verses were organized in sixteen sections. Cromwell helped select some of the verses used and supervised the editing of the Soldiers Pocket Bible by Edmund Calamy.

It was usually buttoned on the inside waistcoat, placed near the heart, and under the soldier's outer coat. English Puritan church leader Richard Baxter, relates a story that the life of one of Cromwell's soldiers was saved by his carrying a copy of the Soldier's Pocket Bible near his heart; a bullet fired at him became lodged in the pamphlet instead of his heart.

Two copies exist of the 1643 edition of The Soldier's Pocket Bible. The London copy was presented by George III to the British Museum. The only other 1643 copy known is found in the United States and was once owned by the prominent 19th-century book collector George Livermore. The work was reissued in 1693 under the title "The Christian Soldier's Penny Bible." This version is similar to Cromwell's Soldiers' Pocket Bible except for changes to some of the "Headers" and minor alterations in the text. The latter reflect the King James Version of the Bible rather than the Geneva Bible text used for the 1643 edition.

In 1861 Riverside Press reprinted one hundred copies of the 1643 text in facsimile for Livermore. At the time of the American Civil War, the American Tract Society printed The Soldier's Pocket Bible in large numbers to serve as a religious manual for the Northern troops. About fifty thousand copies of The Soldier's Pocket Bible were reprinted for the troops at that time.

Cromwell's Soldier's Pocket Bible was the first of the shortened, concise Bible versions that became popular for distribution to troops by military authorities and for use by individuals for personal guidance and inspiration.

Condition: Cover worn and torn on spine and chipped and scuffed round the edges. String binding is tight. Pages age-toned and very slightly stained. Pencil mark on p 4 of the introduction.

Please not that this lot will be posted from the UK.

  • Jacket Condition: No Jacket
  • Binding Condition: Fair
  • Overall Condition: Fair to Good
  • Size: 12cm x 19.2cm
  • Sold By: The Smokey Owl
  • Contact Person: Carol Hayman
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: +27827793318
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Electronic Transfers, PayPal
  • Trade Associations: AA Approved

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