The Book of Common Prayer
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    History of the American Prayer Book



The American Book of Common Prayer is a revised edition of the English Book of 1662, with many verbal changes, some omissions, and a few additions, but, in all other respects, the American is an exact reproduction of the English Book. If one has any doubts on this subject, it will only be necessary to examine the two Books, to see that they are the same, save in the comparatively few changes that have been made in the later revision. The Preface to our Book openly and officially acknowledges that the American Book is a revision of the English. It affirms that "the attention of this Church was in the first place drawn to those alterations in the Liturgy [of the Church of England] which became necessary in the prayers of our Civil Rulers, in consequence of the Revolution," and then it states that "the different alterations and amendments will appear, and, it is to be hoped, the reasons of them also, upon a comparison of this with the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England."

The General Convention also, in 1841, recommended the Printing Committee for the correction of typographical errors in the Prayer Book to consult not only "the former standard editions of the Prayer Book, set forth under the authority of this Church," but also "the edition of the English Prayer Book printed at the University Press, Oxford, by Samuel Collingwood & Co., 1840." This Committee would scarcely have been directed to consult the English Book, if the Convention had not considered that as the source of our own Book. And at this day, the Sealed Books of 1662, and particularly the MS. Book, formerly attached to the Act of Uniformity in 1662, are usually reckoned as the Standard by which language common to both Books should be corrected.


In the notes below, the "Griffiths" notation refers to the identification of the book in David Griffiths' Bibliography of the Book of Common Prayer

Probably Griffiths 1840/9





Proposed Edition of the American Prayer Book.

The short-lived "Proposed Book" was printed in Philadelphia, Hall & Sellers, MDCCLXXXVI., 8vo, and 4,000 copies of it were ordered to be published. A few of these were handsomely bound in red morocco with gilt ornamentation. It was reprinted in London, England, M,DCC,LXXXIX., 8vo, and from a manuscript note in Bishop Stevens' copy, as mentioned in The Historical Magazine, vol. i., p. 221, 'Ye learn that there were only fifty copies of this English Reprint published, and these were probably for the use of the English Bishops, who were then considering the request of the American Church for the "Succession."

The Standard Books.

The General Convention directs, from time to time, by Canon, which particular edition of the Prayer Book shall be the Standard Book, by which all editions shall be corrected, and to which all are to conform. There have been, thus far, seven different "Standard" editions, so named by Canon, and these were published respectively in the years of our Lord, 1793, 1822, 1832, 1838, 1845, 1871, and the last in 1892. To these seven Standard editions, so entitled by Canonical authority, must necessarily be added our editio princeps, in 1790, and thus there have been eight editions, each one of which was for a time the standard book. There are, besides, Standard copies of various Offices, usually bound up, and of equal authority, with the Prayer Book, to wit: The Standard of "The Ordination Offices," a royal quarto volume, New York, Hugh Gaine, 1793, containing only thirty-five printed pages; the Standard of "Articles of Religion," a small octavo pamphlet, New York, T. & J. Swords, 1802; and the Standard of "An Office of Institution," an octavo pamphlet, New York, Swords, 1808. The Standard of "The Prayer for Convention," adopted in 1799, would seem to be the copy printed, by order of the Convention, at the end of the original "Journal of the General Convention of 1799," or it may have been printed after the "Form of Consecration of a Church or Chapel," adopted also in 1799, a Standard edition of which was probably set forth at that time, though there is no order for such in the Journal of that year. It is desirable, also, for reference, to possess copies of the stereotyped editions of the Prayer Book, which were altered into Standards, where there have been such. As a complete collection of these Standards and Pre-Standards (if a word may be coined for use in a special sense), is a great rarity, and the writer, after many years' search, partly through purchase and partly through gift, has fortunately been able to acquire all of them, it is purposed for the information of those less fortunate, to give a short account of them, with some of their peculiarities, and the more important corrections or changes in them.


Griffiths 1786/9


Griffiths 1789/8

[Another reprint was issued in 1873 by the Reformed Episcopal Church: Griffiths 1873/18.]

 The First Book, the Editio Princeps of 1790.

Our first American Prayer Book, as set forth by the General Convention in October, 1789, is a small duodecimo volume, published in Philadelphia, in August, 1790, by Hall & Sellers. This firm was the successor of Franklin & Hall, and "The Newest Printing Office" on the board over their door, which remained in that position until 1814, was placed there originally by Benjamin Franklin. The Proposed Book had also been published by Hall & Sellers. This editio princeps of 1790 is a carefully printed book, on good paper, with two columns to a page, and with a line between the columns, and has very few typographical errors in it. As in English Prayer Books of that time, the pages of it are not numbered, except in the Psalms in Metre, where a separate title-page is given, and the pages are marked by Arabic numbers, in all 221 (iii) pages. The Committee appointed by the Convention of 1789 to superintend the printing of this Book, consisted of Bishop White, Rev. Doctors Smith, Magaw, and Blackwell, and Messrs. Hopkinson and Coxe. They were instructed, "besides a full and complete edition of the said book, printed in folio or octavo or in both, to have an edition published, to contain only the parts in general use and the Collects of the day, with references to the Epistles and Gospels." But notwithstanding this instruction, complete editions of this Book in folio or octavo were not published, so far as I can learn.



Griffiths 1790/13

The chief peculiarities in our First Prayer Book are as follows: In reading under A Table of Fasts, "The Season of Lent," instead of "The Forty Days of Lent;" in printing "He descended into Hell," of the Apostles' Creed — in the Morning and the Evening Prayer, in the Catechism, and in The Visitation of the Sick — in brackets and in italics; and in putting in small capitals the entire phrase "WHICH WE NOW OFFER UNTO THEE," in the Oblation of the Prayer of Consecration. The printing of this last phrase in capital letters was in a direct following of the later Scotch Book since 1755, and of Bishop Seabury's Communion Office of 1786. In both of these Books, the entire sacred phrases, "THIS IS MY BODY," "THIS IS MY BLOOD," and the important word "DO" in "Do this," were printed in capitals; and in our Book of 1790, though the capitals throughout were omitted, yet each of these phrases began with a capital letter This capital "T" in "This" and "D" in "Do," of our first and second editions and in the First Standard, were never changed by authority, but a small "t" and "d" have crept into our later Standards from stereotyped editions, in which these letters were changed by a printer's mistake, and which afterwards became Standards, with or without other corrections, the small "t" being thus tacitly introduced in the Standard of 1822 from an edition of 1818, and the small "d" into the Standard of 1832 from an edition of 1831. The capital 'D' in "Do this" has been restored in our last Standard of 1892. "This is my Body — Blood," had also been printed in capital letters in a folio English Prayer Book, London, Norton & Bill, 1627. In like manner, from the Scotch Books we have inherited the position of the reference-letter to the marginal Rubric (e) in the Prayer of Consecration, it being placed before, and not after, the word "This." In the Churching of Women, the Doxology to the Lord's Prayer, which had been added in the English Book in 1661, was omitted in the American. On the other hand, at the beginning of the Office of the Holy Communion, the Doxology was added in our Book. In the Standard of 1892 this Doxology has again been omitted.

 Griffiths 1627/1






 In the first Edition of 1790, sundry changes that had been adopted in the Proposed Book, seem unconsciously to have been reproduced. Thus, before the Prayer of Absolution, wherever it occurred, the word Priest, in accordance with the English Book, was carefully preserved, yet this retention was overlooked in the Offices at Sea, and in The Visitation of Prisoners, in both of which, as taken from the Proposed Book, the word Minister was continued in that position evidently by an oversight since this was afterwards corrected by authority, in the Standards of 1822 and 1838. The Gloria Patri was omitted after the Easter Canticle, "Christ our Passover," as in the Proposed Book, but has been restored to our Book in 1892.  
The word "again" was dropped in the Apostles' Creed after the word "rose," but has been restored in 1892. In the Visitation of the Sick, the ancient Interrogative Creed of the English Church was omitted, and the ordinary Declarative Creed, in an interrogative form, was put in its stead,. but this was carefully corrected in the Standard of 1793. The Ordinal, and Articles of Religion, were not at first admitted into our Book, and the prose part of it ended with the Psalter. In the Office for Holy Matrimony, the form, "I M. take thee N.," was adopted, after the English Book of that date, instead of the original form, "I N. take thee N.," as given in the Sealed Books. The earliest Prayer Book in which this change has been noticed is a folio edition, Cambridge, Joseph Bentham, 1757, a copy of which is preserved in Christ Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts. In like manner, in Psalm 68.4, of the Psalter, the later form "JAH" was given, where the Sealed Books have "Yea." This change probably began early in the eighteenth century. The form" Jah" is in different Oxford editions, as early as 1701, 1703, and 1715, and the present full form "JAH" in a folio, Oxford, John Baskett, 1718. There was a slight typographical error in the Preface in the word "places" for" place," in the phrase quoted from the English Preface, "those who are in place of authority," and this was corrected in 1892. A remarkable error, in the insertion of a wrong question and answer at the Receiving of Infants, in the Private Baptism of Children, was continued in our Book till ordered to be omitted by the General Convention of 1832.

 Griffiths 1757/2



 Griffths 1718/4






Peculiarities Inherited from Old English Editions.

The different editions of the English Prayer Book, as published by the University Press of Oxford or of Cambridge, and by the Queen's Printers at London, Edinburgh, or Dublin, differ somewhat from one another in spelling and typography, even at the present day, and much more during the last century. Thus the Oxford editions, following therein the Sealed Books, in the Gospel for Septuagesima Sunday, generally have "peny" with one n; in the Epistle for Sexagesima, they have "journeying;" and in that for Quinquagesima, "no charity;" but the Cambridge and London editions, usually have "penny," "journeyings," and "not charity." The present Cambridge editions, in Psalm 107.27, in the phrase "wits end," have the apostrophe after the s, while the Oxford and London editions, and our Bibles have it before the s. Now our American Book of 1790 being a revision of the English Book, it would be interesting and important to us, if we could know certainly what particular edition or editions were used in preparing our Book, and of what year or years. There are peculiar readings in the American Book, many of which have continued to the present time, and most of those in the Psalter may be found in London editions by Mark Baskett, near the close of the last century, as may be seen by examining the folio edition of the same, in 1766, still preserved in the Sacristy of Christ Church, Philadelphia and an octavo edition in 1765. If one will examine English Prayer Books of the last century, he will find that they almost all read in the Lord's Prayer, "and the Power," and in the General Thanksgiving Prayer" they may shew," instead of "the Power," and" they shew," as they now read, in accordance with the Manuscript Book and the Sealed Books. This proves that the "and" and the" may" were not changes intentionally made in our Book, but were inherited as typographical errors. The" may" was omitted in our Book in 1871, but the "and" is still retained. The Doxology, and with this wording" The Power," was added to the Lord's Prayer, for the first time, in the original Scotch Book of 1637, and from that it was introduced into the English Book in 1662.

The marginal note to the Prayer for Christ's Church Militant, in the present English Prayer Books, reads, after the Sealed Books, "If then be no alms or oblations, then shall the words [of accepting our alms and oblations] be left out unsaid." In the American Book, after the Proposed Book, in this note, the phrase "[of accepting]" is printed “[to accept]," and the word "out" is omitted before "unsaid.” It is possible this was an intentional change, but as that same reading is to be found in a few old English Prayer Books of the last century, particularly in Cambridge editions, as in 1797 and 1813, it is quite likely that the American form is a copy of a misprint.

In the English Book, the terms "Mattins" and "Evensong" had always been in use in connection with the Proper Lessons for Sundays and Holy-days, and with the Proper Psalms. It is possible, however, that their omission in the American Book may have been a typographical error after an old English Book, for Stephens (vol. i., p. ccxx) calls attention to a Cambridge edition of 1816 in which" Morning" and "Evening" had been printed in their stead, and the same has been observed in copies of the Cambridge Press in 1813 and 1815; and besides, the American Book has adopted that same short form of the Cambridge Book, "Morning" and" Evening," where" Mattins" and "Evensong" had been, and not the full title "Morning Prayer," "Evening Prayer," as it is given in the Daily Calendar, in both the English and American Books.
















Griffiths 1766/1
Griffiths 1765/1

Two Impressions of the First Edition.

There have been at least two impressions of our first edition, and both of these, so far as known, were printed in the year 1790 only. In a copy of the editio princeps of 1790, which may be called a prima immpressio, the Second Morning Lesson in the Calendar for November 29 reads, "Acts 10 to v. 31," following in this the Proposed Book of 1786, instead of "to v. 34," as in several other copies of 1790 which have been examined. "To v. 34" is the correct reading in the Second Standard in 1793, and it had been correctly printed also, even in the copy mentioned, in the parallel Lesson for May 29, where again the Proposed Book had read "to v. 31."



Griffiths does not list this variant printing.

 A Second Edition of the First Book.

There is a second edition of our First Book, printed in Philadelphia in 1791, by the same publishers, Hall & Sellers. This is also a duodecimo volume, but a little less in size than the first edition, and in somewhat smaller type, but corresponds almost exactly, page for page, to the former edition.

There are, however, some decided typographical and verbal changes m this second edition in 1791. The Lesson in the Calendar for November 29 is corrected. In the beginning of the sixth paragraph of The Preface, the word "aforesaid" is inserted, and the clauses are transposed as follows: "In consequence of the aforesaid revolution, the attention of this Church was, in the first place, drawn to those alterations in the liturgy which became necessary in the prayers of our civil rulers." The edition of 1790 concludes after the Hymns with the words: "End of the PRAYER BOOK," and this had also been the conclusion in the Proposed Book, but the edition of 1791 and the Standard of 1793 both close simply with the usual expression, "THE END." No doubt this change was made at the suggestion of Bishop White, for in his Memoirs, and in his Report to the General Convention of 1821, he calls attention to the fact that the Prayer Book proper ends with the Psalter, and not with the Hymns. Certain instructions, also, of the General Convention of 1820 declare: "2. That the Book of Common Prayer be distinguished from the Book of Psalms in Metre, the Articles of Religion, and Sundry Offices set forth by this Church, . . . . all which are of equal authority with the Book of Common Prayer, but which, when bound up with it, ought not to appear as parts thereof." '

The entire phrase, "WHICH WE NOW OFFER UNTO THEE," was printed in this edition of 1791, as in that of 1790, in small capitals, and continued to be so printed in impressions of this edition, even up to the year 1800, and perhaps to a later date. "He descended into Hell" in the Creed, was uniformly printed with brackets, but the italics in this edition of 1791, in that phrase, varied with different impressions. A copy in the Whittingham Library has" He descended into Hell" in italics in the Morning and the Evening Prayer only, and in ordinary type in the Catechism, and in the Visitation of the Sick. Another copy of this second edition has it in italics in the Morning Prayer only. In most of the other copies which have been examined, the italics are in the Evening Prayer only. In Dr. Harison's copy, now belonging to the General Convention, it is not in italics anywhere, though the brackets are continued, as in all the other copies. A separate edition of The Catechism, octavo, Philadelphia, Z. Poulson, Jr., M DCC XCII., has that phrase in brackets, but not in italics. The Standard of 1793 omitted the brackets as well as the italics.

There are other slight changes from the edition of 1790 in that of 1791, which, since they appear also in the Standard of 1793, would lead one to infer that this edition of 1791, rather than the editio princeps of 1790, was followed in the Standard of 1793. Thus, in Psalm 73.18, "Oh" of 1790, was changed to "O" in 1791 and 1793, and this change continues through the Standard of 1871. In Psalm 38.4, "burden" was altered to "burthen," and this spelling continued till the Standard of 1845. In the Confession at Sea, “burden" was altered, in like manner, to "burthen," and this alteration continued till the Standard of 1838. In Psalm 114.7, the commas before and after" thou earth" were omitted in the edition of 1791, probably by an oversight, and they continued to be wanting till the Standard of 1845. In Psalm 56.3, "sometime" was printed" sometimes," and that change remained, till the Standard of 1845. In the Table of Contents, in "The Ministration of Private Baptism of Children, in Houses," a comma was inserted after "Children," in the edition of 1791, and the comma continues to the present time. The only special change made in the edition of 1791, so far as has been observed, which was not followed in the Standard of 1793, was in the peculiar transposition of the first clauses of the sixth paragraph of the Preface.



Griffiths 1791/18

Folio and Quarto "Partial" Editions of the First Book.

Besides the two duodecimof1dl editions of 1790 and 1791, by Hall & Sellers, in Philadelphia, there are reprints in folio and quarto (and perhaps in octavo also) of "the parts in general use," as ordered by the General Convention of 1789. It was only within the last few years that the writer has been able either to hear of, or to see, any of these partial editions. They include the Calendar of the Lessons, The Morning and The Evening Prayer, The Litany, The Occasional Prayers and Thanksgivings, The Communion Office, A Form of Prayer and Thanksgiving, The Ten Selections of Psalms, Selections for Holy-Days, and a few of the Hymns. These partial editions were evidently printed with the intention of their being inserted in old English Prayer Books then in use. And we find that they were actually so used in many of the older parishes of our land. From S. John's Parish, Baltimore and Harford Counties, Md., there is a folio copy of an English Prayer Book, Oxford, John Baskett, 1718, in good preservation, now in the Whittingham Library, Baltimore, in which is inserted and bound up a folio edition of "the parts in general use" of our first American Prayer Book, and in common with that first Standard, it has "He descended into Hell" in italics and brackets, and the phrase "WHICH WE NOW OFFER UNTO THEE" in capital letters throughout. Similar old folio English Prayer Books, with this American folio partial edition bound up with them, or pasted in them, are to be found at Christ Church, Boston; Christ Church, Cambridge, Mass.; and S. John's Church, Portsmouth, N. H. An unique copy of this folio partial edition — corresponding exactly in the portions given, in typography and spelling, to the duodecimo editions of 1790 and 1791, in its original blue paper cover, and containing sixty-four printed pages — may be seen in the Rector's library of the late Dr. Edson, at Lowell, Mass. A copy also of the quarto partial edition is preserved in the American Antiquarian Library, at Worcester, Mass., and this copy was given to that library by the famous early printer Isaiah Thomas, who was called by Franklin the Baskerville of America, and he affirmed that it had been printed by the old firm of Thomas & Andrews. These partial editions have no title, publisher, or date on them. In one of the folio English Prayer Books, at Christ Church, Boston, a portion of the full folio American Book of 1795 is inserted, together with a portion of the partial folio, corresponding to the edition of 1790. In both the folio and quarto partial editions, the Lesson for November 29 is correctly printed, "to v. 34."

It is doubtful whether an octavo partial edition was ever published, but an unique copy of "Alterations" in the English Book for the American Book, in octavo, without title, publisher, or date, is in the possession of the writer, and would seem to have been intended as an octavo partial edition, as it answers the requirement of such an edition, and contains about all that the other partial editions contain. This unique book, in its original paste-board binding, is evidently the same document as the "rare pamphlet," referred to by Bishop Perry, in Vol. III of his General Convention Journals, pp. 449-485. It has 60 pages, unnumbered. It was evidently printed in 1790, for it has all the peculiar readings of the first edition, and was probably the first book published, since it has directions for changes not elsewhere given, as for instance, when it says: "In the general confession, the Lord's Prayer, and in all other places for them that, read those who." The directions about the use of the Apostles' Creed are somewhat differently worded from the rubric as given in the full Book, for it says:— "the words in the Apostles Creed, he descended into hell, may be omitted, and any Churches may substitute the words, he went into the place of departed Spirits, which are, &c.



Griffiths 1793/12 (the date of 1793 is obviously incorrect)

The Second Book, the Standard of 1793.

The Standard of 1793 is an octavo edition, ordered by the General Convention of 1792, and published in New York, by Hugh Gaine, in 1793. This is a most important Standard, for it is the first that was so named by Canon, to wit, Canon III. of 1801, and it was published with an authentication of it in these words, "By the Direction of the General Convention," placed at the foot of its title-page. In the General Convention of 1792, a joint committee was appointed — consisting of Bishops Seabury and White, Rev. Dr. Magaw, and Dr. Benjamin Moore, afterward Bishop of New York, Rev. Mr. Jarvis, afterward Bishop of Connecticut, and Colonel Ogden, John De Hart, Esq., and Dr. Hindman — who were directed "to compare the printed edition of the Book of Common Prayer with the original acts of the last General Convention," and their report was considered "by paragraphs," and, "with amendments," was passed by both houses. A joint committee, composed of Bishop Provoost, Rev. Drs. Moore and Beach, and Dr. Johnson, was also appointed "to superintend the printing a correct edition of the Common Prayer Book. "We may, therefore, conclude that this edition represents the matured views of our American revisers. It is printed in clear, large type, but has very many typographical errors. In it the brackets and italics in the Apostles' Creed, in "He descended into hell," are both removed. This change was evidently made by special order of the Convention of 1792, but it seems to have been only a compromise, or "some such composition," as Bishop White calls it, and does not fully meet the original intention of the House of Bishops, which designed the rubric to be merely "explanatory," as we gather from Bishop White, and not permissive of an omission or a substitution, and, therefore, neither brackets nor italics would be required in the text of the Creed. In the Office for the Visitation of the Sick, the ancient interrogative form of the Creed is deliberately restored. The phrase, "which we now offer unto thee," is printed in the same type as the rest of the prayer, both in this Standard Prayer Book, and in the Quarto Standard of the Ordination Offices, published as a separate volume, and for the first time, in 1793. In the Invocation, in the clause" with thy Word and Holy Spirit," the expression "thy Word" is printed with a capital "W," which is continued to the present time. In the rubric of the Confirmation Office, before the prayer "Defend, O Lord," the word "hand," of the First Book, 1790, 1791, and of the English Book, is changed to "Hands," "he shall lay his Hands." The word "shew" is modernized, and spelled everywhere "show." In the Calendar, "Civil and Religious Liberty," opposite July 4, is omitted. The page-title of "Private Baptism of Infants," after the English Book, is changed to "Private Baptism of Children," to make it conform to the title of the office, both here and in the Table of Contents. In the Public Baptism of Infants, the Doxology which had been added to the Lord's Prayer, in our First Book, 1790, 1791, probably by an oversight, is omitted. In the rubric after the Collect for Saint Stephen's Day, the word "unto," of the English Book, and of our First Book, is changed to "until." "Ever one God," in the conclusion of the Collects for Advent III., Christmas, Epiphany VI., Septuagesima, Good Friday, and Easter, is punctuated with a comma before the "ever," where in the First Edition it had been printed "ever, one God," and followed in this particular the Proposed Book and the Oxford edition of 1775, by which Dr. White tells us he had punctuated that book, " as ye said edition appears to have been made on great Deliberation in that Seat of Letters." This matter is somewhat discussed in the "Notes and Queries," Fifth Series, vol. X., pp. 431, 471 472. The Litany is punctuated, "O God, the Father of Heaven i" both in this Standard and in the Quarto Standard of the Ordinal; and this clause was not changed to its present form. "0 God the Father of heaven," till the Standard of 1845. Our First Book, 1790, 1791, including the folio and quarto partial editions, read "O God the Father, of heaven," after that valuable Oxford quarto edition of 1775, copies of which may still be seen at Christ Church and S. Peter's Church, Philadelphia. The First Book of Edward VI; Whitchurch, June; and The Ordinal, 1549, Grafton (New York reprint), had each of them a similar punctuation. The capitalisation — of the beginning of each liturgical clause in the Collects, and in the Confession in the Office of the Holy Communion — which had been carefully preserved in our First Book, is omitted in this Standard of 1793, probably through the publisher's want of familiarity with liturgical printing. This was carefully corrected in the Standard of 1845. In Psalm 107.27, after Oxford and London Prayer Books, and our English Bible, an apostrophe is inserted before the s in the phrase "wit's end." In Psalm 68.27, "Zabulon" is spelled "Zebulon," and this continued till the Standard of 1845. Most of the typographical errors of this Standard have long since been corrected, chiefly in the Standard of 1822. Hugh Gaine, the printer of the Standard of 1793, came to this country in 1750, and died here April 25, 1807, aged eighty one years.



Griffiths 1793/10

The Third Book, the Standard of 1822.

The Standard of 1822 is an octavo volume, published in Philadelphia by S. Potter & Co., from corrected stereotyped plates of the Common Prayer Book Society of Pennsylvania. This Standard is authorised in advance by the single Canon of the General Convention of 1821. It has the following certificate on its second page:

September 2nd, 1822.
WE certify, that this edition of the Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, &c., is published as the Standard edition of the said Book.


Committee of the General Convention.



Griffiths 1822/22

This edition was very soon after this date published by the Society for the Advancement of Christianity in Pennsylvania, that Society having purchased the plates from the Common Prayer Book Society, in October, 1822. A short report of this Committee was made to the General Conventlon of 1823, and in it they say that they have certified to this edition, under date of September 2, 1822. This Standard being a correction, by an authorised Committee, of an existing stereotyped edition, mentioned in the Canon of 1821, a comparison of the edition after correction, with an impression before revision, will enable one to see each minute change made by the Committee. The original edition was published in Philadelphia by "S. Potter & Co., for the Common Prayer Book Society of Pennsylvania, W. Fry, Printer, 1818," with a certificate of "Bishop White, Philadelphia, March 3, 1818." But the plates from which it was printed were stereotyped by D. & G. Bruce, New York, and were ordered from them by the Prayer Book Society, in February, 1818. There is also an earlier edition from these same stereotyped plates of D. & G. Bruce, published in New York: Printed and Sold by T. & J. Swords, No. 160 Pearl Street, 1818, with Bishop Hobart's certificate, New York, January 2, 1818. This is the first of the Standard Books which has the pages numbered throughout, and it contains 268 pages to the end of the Psalter, in all 392 pages to the end of the Hymns, with Table, etc.

 Griffiths 1818/32




 Griffiths 1818/25



The First Book Stereotyped in America.

From Lippincott's "American Encyclopedia of Printing" we learn "that to David Bruce, a Scotchman by birth, but for many years a resident of New York, belongs the honour of introducing stereotyping into America." In 1812 he visited England, and acquired by purchase a general knowledge of that art, and in 1813 brought it to this country. He was associated with his brother George, under the firm name of "D & G. Bruce." According to Lippincott, the first work stereotyped in America, a New Testament in bourgeois, was completed by them in 1814. But Munsell, in Thomas's "Printing in America," affirms that the larger "Catechism of the Westminster Assembly," stereotyped and printed by J. Watt & Co., of New York, in June, 1813, claims upon its title-page to have been the first work stereotyped in America. There is a duodecimo edition of the Prayer Book, stereotyped by Bruce, New York, with certificate of July 2, 1816, from the Stereotype Press of the Auxiliary New York Bible and Common Prayer Book Society. There is another duodecimo edition, stereotyped by E. & J. White, New York, with certificate of September 9, 1817. This octavo edition, stereotyped by D. & G. Bruce, New York, with certificates of New York, January 2, 1818, and Philadelphia, March 3, 1818, is, therefore, among the earliest of American stereotyped Prayer Books. In England, the first work printed after the stereotype process was issued from Cambridge, in 1807; whilst the earliest production of the Oxford Press bears date 1809.

 Griffiths 1816/18


 Griffiths 1817/18; there are a number of other stereotyped Prayer Books from this period also



 Griffiths has 1805/1 (publ. in Cambridge) as being the first stereotyped BCP.


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