London and Oxford: James Parker, 1870. First edition. Large folio (17 by 13 1/2 inches), original blind-stamped pebbled blue cloth, gilt titles to spine and both boards, all edges red. Very slight edge-wear, small abrasion to lower rear board, some cracking to interior text block but binding holding firm, corners sharp, gilt bright, boards clean. A nearly-fine copy. Item #990
"A VALID SUCCESSION OF THE CLERGY IS THE KEYSTONE TO THE ECCLESIASTICAL EDIFICE" Rare first edition of this enormous folio collection of the "Statutes, Documents, and other evidence attesting the validity of Anglican orders"—printed in Latin and English and illustrated with a stunning hand-colored coat-of-arms of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury. Edited by the Rev. T.J. Bailey of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, this defense of Anglican ordinations in the Church of England consists of three parts: Two sections of text—the first in Latin and the second in English—with separate title pages and separate pagination are supplemented with an illustrated section including 20 photo-lithographic facsimiles of manuscript documents (with tissue guards) and the arms of Matthew Parker. The Latin-English text consists of four parts: Chapter I. On the Most Reverend Father, Matthew Parker, Sometime Archbishop of Canterbury, Chapter II. On Episcopal Consecration, Chapter III. Of the Consecrators of Parker, Chapter IV. On Jurisdiction, etc. Rev. Bailey's brief prefatory Advertisement mentions the need for a fourth and final chapter, On Jurisdiction: "Although even on the Papal theory not necessary for the 'validity' of Holy Orders, is nevertheless vehemently and continually urged by Roman Catholic controversialists as being fatal to the Anglican claim as being part of the Visible Church of Christ." Bound with a distinguished List of Subscribers (including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Archibald Campbell Tait). Laid-in is a printed Rector's Letter from the Church of the Incarnation, Washington, D.C. (dated April 1885). Most copies encountered have library or institutional markings and condition issues. This superb copy is from a private collection and quite scarce in this overall condition.