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Petition of and Privilege to Orazio Torsellini for his History of the House of Loreto, Rome (1598)

Source: Vatican Secret Archives Sec. Brev. Reg. 266 F. 50 (1598)

Petition of and Privilege to Orazio Torsellini for his History of the House of Loreto, Rome (1598), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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            Chapter 2 Page 1 of 3 total

Superscript = inserted by original or different author between lines

[ ] = inserted by original or different author in margin

{ } = supplied by transcribers

Bold Script [or] Script or scribble = written in a different hand(s)

Strike through = crossed out, but legible

[XXX] = illegible

Translation from the Handwritten Privilege

[1-10] For the future memory of the matter: we have learned that our dear son, Orazio Torsellini a cleric of the Society of Jesus [Jesuit Order], has compiled written down the history of the Sacred House of the Madonna of Loreto with much studiousness and diligence, and intends to bring to light [the work] for the spiritual comfort of the pious faithful. But he hesitates, fearing that if anyone at all is permitted to print such a history, it may be full of errors and defects. Therefore he humbly supplicated himself before us, so that we would - out of our Apostolic benevolence - see fit to favorably provide [in this matter].

[10-12] We, therefore, wish to grant this Orazio special favors and goodwill, judging [him absolved] from whatever [sentences of] excommunication, etc.

[12-23] This type of supplication influences us favorably towards this Orazio. Therefore, for the next decade (counted from the first printing of this History) nobody in either the city or anywhere else in the whole of our Ecclesiastical State, whether subject directly or indirectly to the Holy Roman Church, may print the aforementioned History in either Latin or in the common Italian tongue [and] in either small or large format, nor can they sell a printed copy or hold one for sale without the special permission of [either] Orazio or those who have permission from him, with the Apostolic authority we permit and grant [the privilege] in the tenor of the present proceedings.

[23-45] And thus to each and every person of both sexes, particularly the Christian printers and sellers of books—during the said decade—either in the city or elsewhere, whether subject directly or indirectly to the said Ecclesiastical state: lest they presume to sell the aforementioned History in whatever dialect, without the specific permission of the named Horatius, or of those who hold rights from him, or lest they dare to hold it for sale, or to display it, we restrain them under the penalty of five-hundred ducats of gold (the type which is used by the Apostolic treasury)—one part for the Apostolic Treasury, and another part for the said Horatius (or for those who possess a license from him), and the remaining third part to the accusers and to the executing Judge; and of the loss of books and of types from the aforementioned Horatius, and aforementioned penalties will be applied equally to them, and will be incurred for each violation; and to our dear children of the Holy Roman Church, the chamberlain, and the Legates of the Apostolic seat, the Vicelegates, the Governors, and other ministers of Justice, and others whom it concerns, we command that it is necessary to help the same Horatius, and those above-written having cause from him that they assist the decree by the protection of effective legal prosecution, that they carry out the aforementioned penalties unwaveringly against whoever opposes him.

[45-53] Notwithstanding any decrees, apostolic declarations, statutes, customs--even [those] strengthened by oath, apostolic confirmation, or any other force--as well as privileges, indulgences, apostolic letters that go against the decrees, however granted, confirmed, and approved: we expressly and particularly in this matter derogate from each and every one of these things to the extent that they have legal force inconsistent with what has been presently been expressed, as well as from  all other things contrary whatsoever.

[53-57] We wish, however, that the same credit should be fully applied to copies of the present decrees, also printed in the History itself, underwritten by the hand of some notary public, and protected by the seal of a person situated in ecclesiastical dignity, as would be applied to these present ones.

[58-60] Dated in Rome at Saint Peter’s [under the Ring of the Fisherman], January 5th, 1598. In the sixth year of our pontificate.

M. Vestrius Barbianus


For Orazio Torsellino, a Jesuit priest,

a privilege to prevent the printing of a

History of the Church of Loreto



the history of the Sacred

House {of Loreto}

December 12


His Holiness was content

so that XXX

XX XXX dal in

the Ecclesiastical state

Monsignor Marc Antonio

so that he makes the memo

It is written

to the most Reverend Monsignor Secretary

Marcello Vestrio


Superscript = inserted by original or different author between lines

[ ] = inserted by original or different author in margin

{ } = supplied by transcribers

Bold Script [or] Script or scribble = written in a different hand(s)

Strike through = crossed out, but legible

[XXX] = illegible

Handwritten Privilege


Clemens Papa VIII

  1. Ad futuram rei memoriam. Cum sicut accepimus, dilec=
  2.  tus filius Horatius Torsellinus Religiosus So=
  3. cietatis Iesu Historiam sacrae Domus Laure=
  4. tanae magno studio,et diligentia compilaverit conscripserit,
  5. et in lucem proferre ad piorum fidelium spiritualem
  6. consolationem intendat, dubitetque ne si omnibus
  7. huiusmodi Historiam imprimere liceat, illa mendis,
  8. et erroribus repleatur. Propterea nobis humiliter
  9. supplicari fecit, ut in praemissis opportune providere, de
  10. benignitate Apostolica dignaremur. Nos igitur
  11. eumdem Horatium specialibus favoribus, et gratiis
  12. prosequi volentes, et a quibusvis excomunicationis, etc. cen=
  13. sentes, huiusmodi supplicationibus inclinati eidem Horatio,
  14. ut ad decenium proximum, a primaeva dictae
  15. Historiae impressione computandum, nemo tam
  16. in urbe quam alibi, in toto statu nostro Ecclesiastico
  17. nobis, et S.R.E. mediate, vel immediate su=
  18. biecto, Historiam praedictam, tam Latino, quam
  19. vulgari Italico idiomate, ac tam in parvo, quam in
  20. magno folio imprimere, aut impressam vendere,
  21. seu venalem habere, sine speciali dicti Horatii, aut


  1. ab eo causam habentiu{m} licentia, possit, auctoritate Apostolica
  2. tenore praesentium concedimus, et indulgemus. Ac
  3. propterea universis, et singulis utriusq. sexus
  4. Christifidelibus praesertim librorum Impressoribus, et
  5. Bibliopolis, ne dicto decennio durante, in Urbe,
  6. aut alibi, in dicto Ecclesiastico, statu mediate, vel imme=
  7. diate subiecto, Historiam praefatam in quocunque idio=
  8. mate, sine speciali dicti Horatii, aut ab eo causam
  9. habentium licentia imprimere, aut impressum
  10. vendere, seu venalem habere, vel proponere audeant,
  11. seu praesumant, sub quingentorum ducatorum auri de
  12. Camera, pro una Camerae Apostolicae, ac pro alia dicto
  13. Horatio, seu ab eo causam habentibus, ac pro reli=
  14. quae tertiis partibus accusatori, et Iudici exe=
  15. quenti; nec non amissionis, et librorum et Typorum
  16. omnium praefato Horatio, seu suis praefatis pari=
  17. ter applicandorum poenis, eo ipso incurrendis inhi=
  18. bemus; ac dilectis filiis nostris S.R.E. Camerario,
  19. ac sedis Apostolicae Legatis, Vicelegatis, Gubernatoribus,
  20. et aliis Iustitiae ministris, caeterisque ad quos spectat,
  21. ut eidem Horatio, et causam ab eo habentibus su=
  22. pra scriptis in praemissis efficacis defensionis praesidio


  1. assistendum, poenas praedictas contra quoscunque contradictores
  2. irremisibiliter exequantur mandamus. Non obstantibus
  3. quibusvius Constitutionibus, et ordinationibus Apostolicis, statutis
  4. quoque, et consuetudinibus, etiam iuramento, confirmatione Apostolica, vel
  5. quavis firmitate alia roboratis, ac privilegiis, in=
  6. dultis, et litteris Apostolicis in contrarium praemissorum, quomodolibet
  7. concessis, confirmatis, et approbatis: Quibus omnibus et
  8. singulis eorum tenores praesentibus pro expressis habentes, hac vice
  9. dumtaxat specialiter, et expresse derogamus: caeterisque contrariis
  10. quibuscunque. Volumus autem ut praesentium transumptis,
  11. etiam in ipsa Historia impressis, manu alicuius Notarii
  12. publici subscriptis, et sigillo alicuius personae in
  13. dignitate Ecclesiastica constitutae munitis, eadem fides,
  14. quae praesentibus ipsis adhiberetur, adhiberi debeat.
  15. Dat. Romae apud S{anctum} Petrum {sub annulo Piscatoris}, die V. Ianua=
  16. rii 1598. Anno 6.                                                

M. Vestrius Barbianus


Pro Oratio Torsellino Presbytero Societatis Iesu.

privilegium de non imprimendo Histo-

riam Ecclesiae Lauretanae



l’historia della S.ta

Casa {di Loreto}.

Die. 12 December


Sanctissimus fuit contentus

dummodo pro XXX

XXXXXXX dal in

statu (?) Ecclesia{?} or ecclesiastico  

Monsignor Marc Antonio

che faccia la minuta


Al Reverendissimo Monsignore il Segretario

Marcello Vestrio.


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