CHARLES I AND II - STONEYWOOD BIBLE The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New, sold as an association item

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Lot 36
The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New, sold as an association item

Sold for £ 200,250 (US$ 276,379) inc. premium
The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New, OT and NT titles within typographical border, lacks additional engraved title [ESTC S122140; Herbert 513], Cambridge, Thomas Buck and Roger Daniels, Printers to the Universitie, 1637; The Genealogies Recorded in the Sacred Scriptures, title within typographical border with decorative ornament, double-page map of Canaan, 2 leaves frayed at fore-margin [ESTC S124878], [Printed by Felix Kingston, 1632-1635?]; The Whole Book of Psalmes: Collected into English Metre, title within typographical border, lacks final leaf [ESTC S122393], Cambridge, Thomas Buck and Roger Daniel, 1637, bound with an incomplete Book of Common Prayer, together 4 works bound in 1 vol., contemporary embroidered binding with stumpwork design in silver thread on blue velvet, central panel with the Prince of Wales' feathers and crown within Garter badge, incorporating a banner with the motto "Honi soit qui mal y pense" surmounted by a large crown flanked by the initials "C.P." (altered to "C.R."), and with rose and thistle at lower inner corners, embroidered palmette design outer order, spine comprising six compartments with floral embroidery in each, rebacked retaining original spine, some wear (mostly to central banner with loss of some of the lettering to the motto), rear pastedown with remnants of eighteenth century notes (including unclear mention of names Jean Erskine and "Moire"), loosely inserted a blue silk bookmark with a design in silver and gold thread (split at centre with some loss); housed in a nineteenth century velvet-lined morocco case, covers with 3-line fillet border, gilt roll tool inner border and thistle cornerpieces, simple lozenge centre panel with circular decorative border enclosing a large device of an upturned crown, broken sceptre and axe above a banner proclaiming "Remember", the decorative gilt spine lettered "Holy Bible 1637. Charles Rex. Beheaded 30th Jany. 1647", with Scottish thistle and English rose devices, and the crown and axe emblem (as on cover), edges fully gilt, rubbed, small losses to leather on spine, without key and lock-catch, the whole preserved in a nineteenth century glass-panelled display case by Drew & Cadman, Holborn (signed on handle), 4to (the Bible 220 x 155mm.), sold as an association item


  • "THE BIBLE OF KING CHARLES THE FIRST USED BY HIM ON THE SCAFFOLD DURING HIS LAST MOMENTS..." - THE STONEYWOOD BIBLE, BOUND FOR KING CHARLES II, but long reputed to have belonged to Charles I, and to have been presented by him "upon that awful occasion to Juxon, Bishop of London who assisted the devotions of his unfortunate Monarch" (manuscript note on box).

    The Royal Collection holds a 1638 Book of Common Prayer with an almost identical binding, described as "bound for King Charles II when he was Prince of Wales..." (RCIN 1047677, see Royal Collection Trust website for image, noting that Queen Victoria loaned the volume to the Burlington Fine Art Club Exhibition of Fine Binding, 1891).

    The Bible is in an exceptionally fine embroidered binding, decorated with the emblem of the Prince of Wales and the initials "C.P." (altered to "C.R.", for Carolus Rex"), and passed through generations of the Moir and Skene families (see below), during which time several narratives, recorded in The Story of the Stoneywood Bible (1949), were attached to it: "The Bible was kept in the chest of Stoneywood [near Aberdeen]. One day it disappeared. With it went the "luck" of the Moirs... One of the family's maid-servants was the thief... but [whilst other valuables were lost]... the Bible was secretly returned... One morning it was found under a chestnut tree near the entrance to the Moir mansion". A further adventure is recorded in a note, probably by its nineteenth century owner James Skene, a close friend of Sir Walter Scott, pasted to the box in which the Bible is housed: "...The Bible remained in perfect preservation untill [sic] the Rebellion [of] 1745 when it was stolen, and afterwards found in the its present dilapidated state concealed in a hole underground".

    In his Horae subsecivae (1858) the celebrated Scottish essayist John Burns noted "The family of Stoneywood seem from the earliest record down to their close, to have been devotedly attached to the house of Stuart. In the old house there long hung a portrait of Bishop Juxon, who attended Charles 1. on the scaffold, and through this prelate must have come a still more precious relic, long preserved in the family, and which is now before us, the Bible which the doomed King put into the hands of the Bishop on the scaffold, with the word 'Remember,' having beforehand taken off his cloak and presented it and the insignia of the Garter to the same faithful minister and friend... We have the sacred and royal book before us now,—a quarto, printed in 1637, bound in blue velvet, and richly embroidered and embossed with gold and silver lace. There is the crown and the Prince of Wales' feathers, showing it had belonged to Charles II when prince. He must have given it to his hapless father, as the C.P. is changed into C.R.".

    Further literature: Charles Roach Smith reproduced an image of the Bible in his Collectanea Antiqua (1848-1880), stating "There is so much external evidence of the genuineness of this very beautiful and interesting relique, that no doubt that no doubt can exist to its perfect authenticity". This image, and a version of the story, also appeared in The Illustrated London News, 26 January 1850, at which time the Bible was in the possession of Robert Skene, of Rubislaw; Illustrated (captioned "Prayerbook of Charles I") in Felicia Skewes of Oxford. A Memoir by E.C. Rickards, 1902; A manuscript (MS. 20478), titled "Reminiscences and notes concerning the Moir family Bible which had belonged to Charles I" by James Skene is held by the National Library of Scotland.

    Provenance: Bound for Charles II, when Prince of Wales; reputedly given by Charles I to William Juxon (1582-1663), Bishop of London; bequeathed by him to Patrick Scougall [or "Scorgie"] (1607-1682), Bishop of Aberdeen, as told in The Story of The Stoneywood Bible, reprinted from The Aberdeen Press and Journal, 26 January 1949 (a copy of which is included with the lot); William Scroogie, Bishop of Argyle, whose daughter Mary married James Moir II, of Stoneywood (1659-1739) in 1683; Moir family, subsequently through the marriage of Jean Moir to George Skene (1736-1776) of Rubislaw, Aberdeen; James Skene (1775-1864); by descent to the present owners.
CHARLES I AND II - STONEYWOOD BIBLE The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New, sold as an association item
CHARLES I AND II - STONEYWOOD BIBLE The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New, sold as an association item
CHARLES I AND II - STONEYWOOD BIBLE The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New, sold as an association item
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