The Humble Remonstrance of the Stationers' Company, London (1643)

Source: Durham University Library: Arber, E., A Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers of London, 1557-1640, 5 vols. (London: n.p., 1875-94) 1: 584

The Humble Remonstrance of the Stationers' Company, London (1643), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Full title:
The Humble Remonstrance of the Company of Stationers to the High Court of Parliament

Full title original language:

A petition from the Stationers' Company to Parliament to introduce some form of legislative regulation of the press. The petition is significant in revealing the extent to which the Stationers depended upon the state to support the regulation of the book trade, as well as the nature of the various public and private interest arguments upon which they sought to base their claim. The benefits of the legal regulation they suggested concerned not only the censorship and suppression of seditious and heretical texts, but also facilitated the advancement of learning and knowledge and the flourishing of the printing industry itself. In addition, the petition presents the figure of the 'author' as reliant upon the benefit of his work, and that the 'production of the Brain' was to be regarded as equivalent to any other commodity or chattel.

1 Commentary:

  • Siebert, F.S., Freedom of the Press in England 1476-1776 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1965)

  • Patterson, L.R., Copyright in Historical Perspective (Nashville: Vanderbilt University, 1968)

  • Clyde, W.M., 'Parliament and the Press, 1643-47', The Library, 13 (1932-33): 399-424

  • Bracha, O., Owning Ideas: A History of Anglo-American Intellectual Property,

Related documents in this database:
1545: Venetian Decree on Author-Printer Relations
1643: An Ordinance for the Regulation of Printing
1647: Ordinance against Unlicensed or Scandalous Pamphlets
1649: An Act against Unlicensed and Scandalous Books and Pamphlets
1653: An Act for reviving [the 1649 Act]

Author: Henry Parker

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1643

Location: London

Language: English

Source: Durham University Library: Arber, E., A Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers of London, 1557-1640, 5 vols. (London: n.p., 1875-94) 1: 584

Persons referred to:
Catlyn, Sir Robert
Edward VI
Elizabeth I
Henry VIII
James I
Lucaris, Cyril
Preston, John
Richard III
Sibbes, Richard
Socinus, Faustus
Socinus, Laelius

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
High Commission
Star Chamber
Stationers' Company
University of Cambridge
University of Oxford

Star Chamber Decree 1566
Star Chamber Decree 1586

Stationers' Company
authorship, legal concept of
barter trade
guild regulation
learning, the advancement of
printing, history of
property theory, publishers' property

Responsible editor: Ronan Deazley

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