The library continues its multiyear project to evaluate the print collection, deselect out-of-date materials and add resources where there are gaps. During this process, we occasionally come across forgotten little gems or items of interest.
Here’s one of them: The Pageant of Popes, printed in 1574 in London, and dedicated to the Earl of Sussex. For the non-history buffs out there, Lord Sussex was Lord Deputy of Ireland under both Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I – a major political feat on its own.
The Pageant of Popes is an anti-Catholic history of papal successions. A brief sample: “S. Peter not bishop of Rome. For so muche as the Bishops of Rome have claimed, and doo still clayme their usurped supremacy by right of inheritance and succession from Peter, because he (as they pretend) was bishop of Rome at the least xxv yeares, and so tied all this dignitie and preogatiue (whiche they fight for) to his chayre for euer: It shall be therfore nedeful to consider, how likely it is to be true, that Peter continued bishop in Rome according to their boasting.”
The book was originally written in Latin by John Bale (1495-1563) and ‘Englished’ by John Studley, 1545?-1590?.