Royal Bibles (1602, 1662)
Lower Library F.29.73, H.25.25
Two Royal Bibles are held in the Library's collections. The Queen Elizabeth Bible is a late edition of the Bishops' Bible first published in 1568. This 1602 edition was the base text for the King James Bible of 1611; 40 unbound copies were printed for the committee to annotate. The inscription on the title page and ER initials stamped on the binding suggests that it once belonged to Queen Elizabeth I.
The other is a Dutch Bible beautifully bound in red Moroccan leather and with painted fore-edges depicting the Garden of Eden (created by a technique known as gauffering). An inscription states that it was 'formerly the property of King William III, after his decease of Gilbert Burnett, Bishop of Sarum'. It then passed to a Major Ralph Whitfield, who donated it to the College in 1737.