The Historie of the Holy Warre, Second edition, Thomas Fuller, London, 1640.

Fuller03I bought this many years ago from a book dealer in Borough Park, Brooklyn, New York. I don’t know how it ended up there, as its provenance (as we shall see) is Hertfordshire, England.

My copy also has a map. often missing from other copies, which is of interest, as well as a nicely engraved frontispiece.

The author, Thomas Fuller was a 17th-century English historian who particularly notable for his historical accounts of English worthies and the Church of England. He wrote ‘History of the Holy War’ – a popular book on the Crusades, taken from several notable and accurate accounts, in 1638.  This book was the first Anglican view of the Crusades, and the first in English following the reformation. His account has been described as mocking the Crusades and the allure of Islamic pilgrimage.  As an Anglican of his time, he is not very complementary to the Jews.

Fuller01There is an interesting inscription and bookplate stuck down inside the front cover of the book.  The book was apparently in the library of Tyttenhanger House, a seventeenth century country mansion, now used as offices, at Tyttenhanger, near St. Albans, Hertfordshire.  The estate was owned by the Abbey of St. Albans and was then granted by the Crown (under Henry VIIIth) to Sir Thomas Pope.  He had no children and left the estate to his wife Elizabeth Blount, and on her death to her nephew Sir Thomas Pope Blount (1552-1638), who was the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 1598.  He demolished the original building and built the present mansion in 1654/5.  The house stayed in the family until modern times.

The label says that the book was at Poterells, in Hertfordshire.

Poterells was an estate in North Mimms, Hertfordshire, that was sold to Thomas Coningsby of North Mimms Park in 1632.  The house remained in the family until 1753 when it was left to two cousins – Charles Delaet (named in our bookplate) and Catherine Dell. Charles Delaet became the sole owner on the death of his cousin in 1769. He died in June 1792 (as stated on the bookplate), without issue, leaving his property to his friend Justinian Casamajor, of High Canons in the neighbouring parish of Shenley, and his third son William Charles Casamajor (godson of Charles Delaet), and their heirs male. In the unlikely event of a failure to produce an heir, the property was to go to distant cousins of Delaet, the Sibthorps of Canwick in Lincolnshire. The bookplate states that the book was brought by Coningsby C. Sibthorp from Poterells in 1889.

The frontispiece below has the motto at the top of the main panel: We went out full but return empty.


The map is an interesting Holy Land map, published over 380 years ago…


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