Anselm Crowther, Jesus, Maria, Joseph, or, The Devout Pilgrim, 1657

This Catholic devotional book was part of the library of Mary Tichborne, who also owned  A Pious Exercise of Devotion, 1686, which we wrote up recently on this blog. Mary was the wife of Sir Henry Tichborne, of Tichborne House in Hampshire.  Her signature appears on the front flyleaf, opposite the title page. (A much later nineteenth-century bookplate was pasted below.)


The author, Anselm (or Arthur) Crowther (1588/9-1666) was an English Benedictine monk deeply devoted to the worship of the Virgin Mary. With the blessing of Pope Innocent X, he set up “the Chapel of the Rosary in London.”  This Benedictine establishment was attended “by many of the nobility and gentry,” and “met at Cardigan House in Lincoln’s Inn Fields.” (Quotes from Allanson and ODNB on Maggs website – see below.)  It is possible that the Tichbornes worshipped there when they were in London.

The book itself was “Published for the benefit of the pious Rosarists, by A.C. [Arthur Crowther] and T.V. [Thomas Vincent],” also a Benedictine monk.  The Rosarists were those who belonged to this devotional group which focused on the Virgin and praying the rosary.  Notably, the book was printed in Amsterdam, not London, where in 1657 Cromwell was still in power and Catholics were out of favor.

The original binding stamped with a pot of flowers and the names “Jesus Maria Joseph” is mentioned in the dedication to Robert Brudnell, 2nd earl of Cardigan (1607-1703), at whose home the Rosarists met.


Source: Book offered for sale by Maggs of London, March 2020.  Images reproduced with permission.

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