Lectern King James Bible

The Holy Bible : conteyning the Old Testament, and the New : newly translated out of the originall tongues

London: Robert Barker, 1611. In-folio

STC (2nd ed.) / 2216. Darlow & Moule (Rev. 1968), 309 

STROZIER, Special Collections Vault (double oversize) -- BS185 1611.L6. Carothers p. 8

Pages displayed:  title-page of the New Testament. The woodcut border was already used by Barker in his 1602 in-folio edition of the Bishops’ Bible.


First edition of the King James Version, published seven years after the Hampton Court Palace conference of 1604 in which English bishops, Puritan leaders and other churchmen convened by James I gathered for the purpose of determining "things pretended to be amiss in the church". The fifty odd translators were divided into six companies, two at Westminster, two in Oxford and two in Cambridge, who worked on the basis of the Bishop’s Bible to produce a text deliberately sought to eschew controversy, with an apparatus limited to a selection of biblical cross-references. The privilege of printing and publishing the KJV was conferred to the King’s Printer, Robert Barker, and remained in the Barker family until 1709.

This second issue of the first edition is characterized by the reading “she went” instead of “he went” in Ruth 3:15, hence the common denomination “She Bible”. As the previous large format liturgical Bibles published in England the black-letter typefaces of the KJV betray an archaic Parisian origin.

The Strozier copy belonged to Francis Fry (1803-1886), businessman, philanthropist and bibliographer, who bequeathed the majority of his extensive collection of early printed Bibles to the British and Foreign Bible Society in Cambridge.