London: John Crook, 1656. 8vo (156 x 106 mm). , 151,  pages. Title printed in red and black, complete with errata leaf and initial and final blanks. Contemporary English blind-ruled calf, printer's waste endpapers; cloth clamshell case. Provenance: Robert Davies (early signature on title); with Bernard Quaritch (collation note on rear pastedown). Discreet repairs to joints, a wide-margined copy with shoulder-notes uncropped. Item #404932
FIRST EDITION, in a contemporary binding, of this selection of Saint Patrick's works, edited by the Anglo-Irish historian James Ware (1594-1666). An important text, containing the editiones principes of St. Patrick's 'Confessio' and 'Epistola,' based on the 'Book of Armagh' and the manuscripts from the British Library (Cotton Nero E.1) and the Salisbury Cathedral Library. These are the two sole surviving manuscripts generally accepted as having been written by "The Apostle of Ireland." The first gives a short account of his life and mission. The 'Letter to Coroticus' (or 'Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus'), announces that he has excommunicated the Brittonic warrior Coroticus because he had taken some of Patrick's Christian converts into slavery while raiding in Ireland. ESTC records only five copies in the US: Folger, Harvard/Houghton, Huntington, UCLA/Clark, and Yale/Sterling. Scarce: according to auction records, only one copy has sold in at least the past fifty years. ESTC R15348; Wing P726. See Newport J. D. White, “Libri Sancti Patricii: The Latin Writings of Saint Patrick.” In: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature, vol. 25, 1904, pp. 201ff.