Prayer-books, pp.175-176.

[Scottish National Memorials Contents]

   ‘THE / BOOK / OF / COMMON PRAYER, / And administration of the / Sacraments, / and other / Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, / according to the use of the Church of England; / Together with the / Psalter or Psalms of / David, / Pointed as they are to be sung or said in / Churches. / Edinburgh, Printed by Richard Watkins, one / of His Majesty’s Printers, MDCCXLIV. /’ 12mo. 

   This book is exhibited as a specimen of Scottish contemporary bookbinding. Red morocco, tooled, with initials ‘A. G.’ 


   ‘THE / BOOK / OF COMMON PRAYER, / and Administration / of the / Sacraments; / and other parts of / Divine Service / for the use of the / Church of Scotland. / With / a Paraphrase of the Psalms in Metre / By / King James the VI. / Edinburgh: / Printed by James Watson, and sold at his Shop / opposite to the Lucken-Booths. MDCCXII. / From the copy printed at Edinburgh in the year 1637, by Robert / Young, Printer to King Charles the First. /’ 12mo. Title in black and red. 

   This, as the title-page shows, is a reprint of the famous Service Book which gave rise to so much controversy in Scotland. It is curious, considering the state of feeling at the time, that it was allowed to be published even in 1712. There were two printers of the name of James Watson. The elder seems to have died in 1687; his son died in 1722. Sir John Lauder of Fountainhall in his Historical Notices of Scottish Affairs (2 vols. 4to, Bannatyne Club, 1848), under the date 16th September 1686, writes of the elder Watson:- ‘Watson the Popish printer is, by a letter, made printer to the King’s familie, tho’ Anderson’s airs be by gift the King’s Printer.’ Again (ib. 9th August 1686): ‘James Watson, the Popish printer in the Abbey, is excepted from this Act [providing for the declaration by the printers and booksellers of Edinburgh of all books imported, printed, or sold by them during the last year]; so he and his son may print or sell what they please against the Protestants.’ One of the books issued from his press in ‘Holy-rood-house’ is The Following of Christ (à Kempis) 1687, 24mo. The younger Watson is best remembered by some of his editions of the Bible, which are very well printed, and by his Choice Collection of Comic and Serious Poems, Edinburgh, 1705-11, reprinted at Glasgow in 1869. He also printed the first fifty-five numbers of The Edinburgh Courant – from February 14, 1705; and he wrote The History of the Art of Printing, etc. Edinburgh: 1713, a little book that is valuable as well as rare. 


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