Item #4983 S. Patricio, qui Hibernos ad fidem Christi convertit, adscripta opuscula, quorum aliqua nunc primum ex antiquis mss. Codicibus in lucem emissa sunt, reliqua recognita; omnia notis ad rem historicam et antiquariam spectantibus illustrata, opera et studio Jacobi Waraei Euquitis Aurati. Apud Johannem Crook, sub signo navis in coemeterio Paulino. MDCLVI. Saint IRELAND. Patrick, James Ware, or 493 A. D., 1594–1666.
S. Patricio, qui Hibernos ad fidem Christi convertit, adscripta opuscula, quorum aliqua nunc primum ex antiquis mss. Codicibus in lucem emissa sunt, reliqua recognita; omnia notis ad rem historicam et antiquariam spectantibus illustrata, opera et studio Jacobi Waraei Euquitis Aurati. Apud Johannem Crook, sub signo navis in coemeterio Paulino. MDCLVI.
S. Patricio, qui Hibernos ad fidem Christi convertit, adscripta opuscula, quorum aliqua nunc primum ex antiquis mss. Codicibus in lucem emissa sunt, reliqua recognita; omnia notis ad rem historicam et antiquariam spectantibus illustrata, opera et studio Jacobi Waraei Euquitis Aurati. Apud Johannem Crook, sub signo navis in coemeterio Paulino. MDCLVI.
S. Patricio, qui Hibernos ad fidem Christi convertit, adscripta opuscula, quorum aliqua nunc primum ex antiquis mss. Codicibus in lucem emissa sunt, reliqua recognita; omnia notis ad rem historicam et antiquariam spectantibus illustrata, opera et studio Jacobi Waraei Euquitis Aurati. Apud Johannem Crook, sub signo navis in coemeterio Paulino. MDCLVI.
S. Patricio, qui Hibernos ad fidem Christi convertit, adscripta opuscula, quorum aliqua nunc primum ex antiquis mss. Codicibus in lucem emissa sunt, reliqua recognita; omnia notis ad rem historicam et antiquariam spectantibus illustrata, opera et studio Jacobi Waraei Euquitis Aurati. Apud Johannem Crook, sub signo navis in coemeterio Paulino. MDCLVI.
S. Patricio, qui Hibernos ad fidem Christi convertit, adscripta opuscula, quorum aliqua nunc primum ex antiquis mss. Codicibus in lucem emissa sunt, reliqua recognita; omnia notis ad rem historicam et antiquariam spectantibus illustrata, opera et studio Jacobi Waraei Euquitis Aurati. Apud Johannem Crook, sub signo navis in coemeterio Paulino. MDCLVI.

S. Patricio, qui Hibernos ad fidem Christi convertit, adscripta opuscula, quorum aliqua nunc primum ex antiquis mss. Codicibus in lucem emissa sunt, reliqua recognita; omnia notis ad rem historicam et antiquariam spectantibus illustrata, opera et studio Jacobi Waraei Euquitis Aurati. Apud Johannem Crook, sub signo navis in coemeterio Paulino. MDCLVI.

London: Johannes Crook, 1656.

Price: $15,000.00

Octavo: 15.6 x 10.8 cm. [xxii], 151, [1] blank p., [4] index, [1] errata], [3] blank pages. Collation: A8. [a]4, B-L8 (blank A1 and blank L8 both present)

FIRST EDITION.

Bound in contemporary blind-ruled calf (discreet repairs to spine, boards a little bowed.) A very fine, fresh copy. Provenance: Robert Davies (early signature on title); Robert Pirie. Very rare. ESTC locates 6 copies in the U.S.: Harvard, Folger, Huntington, UCLA, Yale., B.C.

First edition, edited by the Irish historian, scholar, and manuscript collector Sir James Ware (1594–1666) of the only two extant works by St. Patrick, : his autobiographical “Confessio” (our only authentic source for the greater part of St. Patrick’s life and mission) and the “Epistola” to the soldiers of Coroticus, in which Patrick, using his authority as Bishop of Ireland, condemns the men who had attacked and enslaved members of Patrick’s Irish Christian converts. Slavery was particularly abhorrent to Patrick, who himself had been enslaved at age 16 (He escaped six years later.) For an in-depth life of Patrick, see Clare Stancliffe, Patrick [St Patrick, Pádraig], in Oxford DNB. Excerpts from her discussion of the “Confession” are to found below in this description.

The Edition:

In preparing his edition, Ware consulted the “Book of Armagh” (Trinity College, ms. 52, 9th c.) and the manuscripts in the British Library (Cotton Nero E.1, 10th-11th c.) and the Salisbury Cathedral Library - interim Bodleian Library, Oxford - (221 and 223, 11th and 12th c.). Ware’s discussion of the manuscripts begins on page 94 of this printed edition.

Also included are the 34 canons of a synod held before the year 460 by Saints Patrick, Auxilius, and Isserninus; another series of 31 ecclesiastical canons, entitled ‘Synodus Patricii’, probably written in the 6th c., though “some of its decisions could date to Patrick’s lifetime”(DND). There are also further synodical decrees, including the famous ‘Si quae quaestiones in hac insula oriantur, ad Sedem Apostolicam referantur’ (If any difficulties arise in this island, let them be referred to the Apostolic See); the ‘Charta S. Patricii’, and the two tracts entitled ‘De abusionibus saeculi’ and ‘De tribus habitaculis’.

The Confession:

“[For our knowledge of Patrick’s life], the crucial text is his Confession. This is a complex work, combining the testimony of a dedicated Christian with apologetic elements. Patrick's intended readership and the circumstances that led him to write have both to be inferred from the text. Unfortunately its intended audience is far from clear. In some passages near the beginning Patrick seems to be gazing anxiously over his shoulder at well-educated Romano-Britons, themselves polished literary performers, who will look askance at his lack of literary skill. These, however, were not his primary readers, for Patrick shows greater concern to address a more sympathetic group (or groups): in §6 he calls upon his 'brothers and kinsmen'; in his final paragraph 'those who trust in and fear God'. The crucial passage, however, is §§47–54, where he addresses his 'brothers and fellow servants' (§47) who have trusted him, and among whom he has lived from his youth; and he continues by defending his conduct in Ireland in such a way that it implies that this group was financing his mission. Confusingly, he then talks of how he spent freely 'on your behalf so that they might receive me, and I went amongst you and everywhere for your sake'. On this basis, Thompson has argued that Patrick's primary readership was educated Britons living in Ireland (Thompson, 113–24). A more traditional approach would point out that Patrick in any case addresses more than one group in his Confession and that he occasionally jumps from one thing to another in a most confusing manner (as in §21). It would see Patrick as addressing Christians in Britain in §§47–50, and then getting carried away by his subject matter to address those in Ireland directly (if rhetorically) in §§51–3 (Malaspina, 199–203, 223); one might compare the way his letter against Coroticus veers from one audience to another. Both views raise problems; the latter seems more plausible. It should be noted that 'brothers' need not carry monastic overtones in Patrick's writings.

“From the tone of much of the Confession, it can be inferred that one important reason for its composition was that Patrick felt that his mission was misrepresented in Britain. Christians in the late Roman empire did not think in terms of having a missionary duty to take Christianity beyond its frontiers to the ‘barbarians’. Some in Britain (perhaps the educated and aristocratic ecclesiastical hierarchy) were therefore highly dubious about Patrick's conviction that God had called him to go and preach to their Irish enemies. They regarded him as an improbable candidate for the job, given his rudimentary education; and they apparently felt that he must have an ulterior motive, a desire to make an economic profit. Other possible grounds for underlying tension might be their Pelagian leanings as opposed to Patrick's emphasis on grace, and conceivably their displeasure at Patrick's handling of Coroticus's raid (see below). Patrick, replying in his Confession, openly admits his educational deficiencies, but insists that it is God who has raised him up and called him to his task, and that he had no motive for returning to Ireland except to preach the gospel there. There is, then, much of autobiographical relevance in the Confession; but it is highly selective and told in terms of God's call to Patrick and Patrick's response, with few references to human or mundane agency, only two named places, and no dates…

“The title of Patrick's work is obviously reminiscent of Augustine's, and his work, like Augustine's, is also a confessio in the threefold early Christian sense of that word: it contains and mingles elements of a confession of faith, an acknowledgement of sin, and praise of God. Again, the first part of Patrick's work is cast in the form of a spiritual autobiography, as with Augustine… Patrick wrote out of what he had experienced and what he had given his life to, and he saw all of this as inspired by the loving purposes of God. For all their shortcomings, his works are powerful. Part of this is due to his use of visual images, but even more to the impressive integrity of this man who cares passionately about the mission to which, he feels, God has called him; and who abandons himself totally to God's will, something which leads him to go where none of his fellow countrymen would previously have ventured and to take risks, even to the extent of living in daily expectation of death—an outcome he readily accepts. All this comes across with a startling directness, which makes an undeniable impact on the reader.”(DNB)

About the editor:

“Sir James Ware (1594–1666), antiquary and historian… entered the recently founded Trinity College, Dublin, in 1610, graduating MA in 1616. Ware began to collect manuscripts and charters that had a bearing on Irish history, and developed an acquaintance with Irish scholars, one of whom, Duald MacFirbis (Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisig), proved particularly helpful to him. He went to England for the first time in 1629, and undertook research in several libraries…

“He was elected MP for the University of Dublin in the Irish parliaments of 1634 and 1637, and became a member of the privy council in Ireland in 1639; he also joined the staff of Thomas Wentworth, earl of Strafford, the lord deputy. In 1633 he made a major contribution to Irish scholarship by publishing three important Elizabethan accounts of Ireland, by Edmund Campion, Meredith Hanmer, and Edmund Spenser. (This was the first printing of Spenser's View of the Present State of Ireland.) Ware entitled this collection The History of Ireland and dedicated it to Wentworth. Also dedicated to Wentworth was his De scriptoribus Hiberniae, published in Dublin, 1639, a biographical register of Irish writers which contains an impressive number of names and titles that give an impression of great scholarly achievement in the early Christian centuries…

“In 1643 Ware assisted the marquess of Ormond in the treaty with the Irish rebels after their defeat, and in 1644 he was sent by Ormond, along with Lord Edward Brabazon and Sir Henry Tichborne, to inform King Charles about the situation in Ireland. Charles was then based in Oxford, and Ware spent much time in the libraries there; he was created DCL during his visit. On the voyage back his ship was captured by a parliamentarian vessel, but Ware was able to throw overboard a packet of letters to Ormond from the king. For eleven months he was a prisoner in the Tower: on his release he returned to Dublin, only to be expelled from that city in 1649 by Colonel Michael Jones, the parliamentarian governor. Ware then went to France, where he spent time at Caen and Paris. Ware moved to London in 1651; his friends during this period in England included John Selden, Sir Roger Twysden, William Dugdale, Elias Ashmole, Sir John Marsham, and Edward Bysshe. In 1654 he published in London his major work De Hibernia et antiquitatibus eius disquisitiones (2nd edn, 1658), the most comprehensive account of Ireland, from its legendary origins to the conquest by the Normans, that had yet appeared…

“Ware returned to Ireland at the Restoration in 1660, and resumed his position as auditor-general. He was made one of the commissioners for lands but managed to devote much time to antiquarian researches, publishing Venerabilies Bedae epistolae duae (1664), Rerum Hibernicarum annales, 1485–1558 (1665), and De praesulibus Hiberniae commentarius (1665). He died at his family house in Castle Street, Dublin, on 1 December 1666, and was buried in St Werburgh's Church. His manuscripts, of which catalogues were published in Dublin in 1688 and in London in 1690, were purchased by Henry Hyde, second earl of Clarendon, in 1686 when he was lord lieutenant of Ireland. They subsequently passed to the British Library (Clarendon Collection) and the Bodleian Library (Rawlinson Collection).” (Graham Parry, ODNB).