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Records of the Exchequer.
III. and Edw. I.
Stone Tower and 1841, Nov. 4 . 1841. Nov.. · Removed for the purpose of calendaring, recellaneous Records of the
1842, Feb. 8. pairing, &c. On the removal of the Records, Queen’s Remembrancer. Office.
&c., from the Augmentation Office (Nos. 12 Transfers from the Custody of the Master of the Rolls
and 13), these Records were again removed to
the Carlton Ride with the general series. to the Officers of Chancery. 19. Ledger and other Ac- Office of Clerk of
1841. Nov. 4. 1841. Nor. 4 count Books.
Reports in the
Master of the
>Reports in Chan
1841. Nov, 24 cery.
Dec. 3 and Reports and Certificates,
11. 1834 to 1841, and Ca
1842, Jan. 31
These transfers were occasioned by the aboli. lendars.
tion of the Equity Side of the Court of Minutes of Decrees and
1842. Jan. 20 Exchequer, by statute 5 Vict., c. 5. Orders in Equity, 1820
Chancery. to 1841. Bills, Answers, Deposi
Six Clerks in
As requested tions, and other Pro
20. Welsh Records : certain
Records of the late Court
Clerks of Records 1845. April 28. | 1845, May 2
Ditto ; these Records having been received
LONDON: Prissted by W. Clowes and Sons, Stamford Street,
For Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
QUEEN'S PRINTERS (SCOTLAND).
REPORT from Her MAJESTY's sole and only Master Printers in Scotland.
(PRESENTED TO PARLIAMENT BY HER MAJESTY'S COMMAND.)
UNTO THE QUEEN'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
YOUR MAJESTY's sole and only Master Printers in Scotland, humbly present their duty to Your Majesty, and beg to report their proceedings in discharge of the important trust which Your Majesty has confided to them, from the 1st day of January 1848, the date of their last Report, to the 1st day of January 1850. They are deeply sensible of the grave responsibilities of the office which they have the honour to hold under Your Majesty's most gracious Commission; and they trust, that they will be found to have fulfilled the duties which it requires of them, in such a manner as shall obtain for them the distinguished reward of Your Royal approbation. They are conscious to themselves, that the faithful fulfilment of those duties has been ever the object of their most anxious solicitude.
They continue to be guided by the view taken by them of Your Royal warrant, for the institution of the Board, and relative Letter of Instructions, as formerly explained. It has thus been their constant aim to reduce, as far as possible, the cost price of the Sacred Scriptures, and other works held under their privilege, by opening the printing and publishing of those works to free competition ; limited only by such restrictions as they judged to be necessary to secure a correct text.
The instructions which they received from Your Majesty, equally comprehensive and distinct, they have found, by experience, to make ample provision for both these objects. Indeed, practical rules, applicable to every department of their duty, have been thus furnished to them, which leave nothing to be desired. The business of the Board has been reduced, in consequence, to the due observance of those rules on their own part, and to the enforcing of a like observance of them on the part of publishers. To the Board they supply every facility that can be required for protecting the deep interest of the public in an incorrupt text; while on the trade no restriction is imposed by them, but such as an upright publisher must feel to be a privilege.
The conditions under which the Lord Advocate grants license to print an edition of any of the works to which the privilege of the Board extends, were explained in former Reports. They continue unchanged, and are, briefly, the following :- Intimation must be made to his Lordship, according to a prescribed form, of the particular work to be undertaken, and of a previously authorized edition of the same work, in conformity with which the proposed edition is to be printed ; a copy of the Standard Edition referred to in this intimation must be lodged with the Secretary to the Board ; and a cautionary bond must be given that the reprint shall be executed with fidelity,—that specimen sheets of every part of it, as finally printed off, shall be transmitted to the Board for inspection, and that all deviations from the standard text shall be cancelled, or otherwise corrected, as they in the exercise of their discretion shall determine. No further condition is imposed; and, it is obvious, that the requirements now enumerated, neither subject the publisher to inconvenience, nor put any unnecessary check on free competition.
With the conditions which they have, thus shortly recapitulated, the Board have uniformly exacted unqualified compliance; and nothing further has appeared to them to be necessary to enable them to discharge, satisfactorily, the functions
more immediately devolving on themselves. They have never considered it to be a part of those functions, to charge themselves with the correction of the press, or to lighten in any respect the responsibility of the publisher. It has been their uniform care, on the contrary, so to deepen his sense of responsibility, that the public should find in it the best guarantee that can possibly be given by him for the faithful performance of his work. This object they believe themselves to have attained, by requiring that the specimen sheets transmitted to them for inspection, shall be taken from the entire impression of the portion of the edition to which they belong. The final revision of the specimen sheets by the Board, therefore, to enable them to determine whether the conditions of the license have been complied with, instead of encouraging carelessness on the part of the publisher, must tend rather to make him doubly careful, and is thus, as it ought to be, an additional security to the public for an accurate text.
This revision is conducted under the direction, and on the responsibility of the secretary; and any deviations from the standard text that may be found to occur, are submitted in detail for the decision of the Board. If such deviations should be so numerous as to render the publisher liable to be charged with culpable remissness, the Board would feel it to be their duty, without specifying the errata, to refuse, simpliciter, to give their sanction to the edition. They are bound to state, however, to the credit of the trade, that only two or three instances of a carelessness of this aggravated character have happened in the course of their experience, and that no case of the kind has occurred within the period for which they are now reporting. When cancels have been ordered, the sanction of the Board is withheld from the edition until satisfactory evidence be produced to them that the cancels have been duly executed.
The Board have much pleasure in reporting that the editions of works falling under their privilege, published during the last two years, have been characterised by a very high degree of accuracy. For some years after their appointment cancels were usually exacted by them only in the case of such errors as tended either to obscure the sense or disfigure the page. Minor inaccuracies, if not so numerous as to indicate a culpable want of care, they satisfied themselves, meanwhile, with intimating to the publisher, as imperfections to be obviated in subsequent editions. But at no time did they conceal from him their purpose of ultimately insisting upon the cancel of every error which the due superintendence of the press might enable him to prevent. To this purpose, for the period to which their Report refers, they have given full effect; and the result has been most satisfactory. So great is the care now applied in printing the editions to be submitted for their examination, that instances have repeatedly occurred in which, while portions of 10 or 12 different editions have been consecutively revised by them, they have not found it necessary, even on the stringent principle by which their decisions have been guided, to order so much as a single cancel.
Further experience has only deepened the conviction of the Board of the necessity of the regulation adopted by them in regard to impressions from stereotype plates, by which it is provided, that every impression taken after an interval, that is, after the plates have been removed from the press, shall be considered a new edition. From the chips and breakages by which the plates are so liable to be mutilated, a careful reinspection of them, on each renewed occasion of their use, is absolutely requisite. Further, as for each of their stereotype works, printers have usually two or three sets of plates, cast in the same matrix, a substitution may be made in whole or in part, if not designedly, yet through inadvertence, for a set of plates which has been corrected, in conformity with the final revision of the Board, of a parallel set to which the necessary corrections have not yet been applied. As regards stereotype editions, then, that a satisfactory guarantee may be obtained, as well for an accurate as for an unmutilated text, the regulation now noticed, which provides an independent revision for each separate impression, is obviously quite indispensable. It must be carefully ascertained that every new impression, bearing to be a reprint, not only presents an unmutilated page, but is an impression from plates, the accuracy of which has been already tested. Instances have occurred in the experience of the Board, in which their attention has been particularly drawn to the necessity of guarding against the substitution, in successive stereotype impressions, of one set of plates for another
While the reasons which have been adduced, however, render indispensable the exercise of unremitting care in the supervision of stereotype editions, the Board feel it to be but an act of justice to state that, with scarcely a single exception, the editions of this class, which have been submitted to them for examination during the last two years, have been executed in a style of accuracy, and even beauty and elegance of typography, justly deserving of their warmest commendation. It is clearly established by those editions, that, where only a moderately large size of type is used, and due attention applied in the superintendence of the press, the art of printing from plates has now attained to so high a degree of perfection, as to be capable of producing works of the most unexceptionable character. In not a few of the stereotype editions which have been brought before the Board, they have been unable to detect a single instance either of mutilation or indistinct typography.
During the two years which elapsed from the 1st day of January 1848 to the 1st day of January 1850, there were published, under the authority of the Board, 26 editions of the Bible, 18 of the New Testament, three of books of Scripture printed separately, 33 of the Scotch Metrical Version of the Psalms, 31 of the Shorter Catechism, an edition of the Confession of Faith, and seven editions of the Book of Common Prayer. The editions published in 1848 and 1849 respectively, were as follows:
1849: 18 Bibles
consisting of 114,250 copies. 14 New Testaments
169,000 Two separate Books of Scripture
30,000 20 Metrical Psalms
94,000 19 Shorter Catechisms
622,000 One Confession of Faith
10,000 One Common Prayer
11,000 The diminished production of the works, embraced by the privilege of the Board in the years 1847 and 1848, the Returns for the former year having been nearly equally low with those for the latter, is probably to be ascribed to various causes. It may have been occasioned partly by the generally-depressed state of trade during these years, and partly by the over-production of the period immediately preceding. The proximate causes were, undoubtedly, the withdrawal from business of Your Majesty's late Printers, and the suspension of operations by another company, still more extensively engaged in the publication of privileged works. It might have been supposed, from these results, that, in consequence of the keen competition which had previously sprung up between the publishing interest in Scotland and Your Majesty's Printers in England, profits were reduced so far as to be no longer remunerating. Even had this been the only solution of which the case admitted, still, the wisdom of opening the printing and publishing of the Sacred Scriptures, and derivative Standards of the Faith, to free competition, would have been fully justified. A certain rise of prices must have, no doubt, taken place, but the public would have thus possessed, nevertheless, an efficient guarantee for the regulation of price by the cost of production.
But, notwithstanding the embarrassment occasioned by the causes which have now been adverted to, the production of Bibles and other relative works by the Scotch press, at the lowest prices that have yet been reached, promises, the Board are happy to be able to report, to be again as extensive as at any former period. A very considerable increase has arisen during the past year, and arrangements are in progress from which a much larger increase may be fidently expected. The Board have had submitted to them for examination, since the 1st day of January last, editions of the Bible, consisting of not fewer than upwards of 80,000 copies. 728.
The efficiency of the principle of free competition, as applied under the superintendence of the Board, in lessening the cost price of the works to which their privilege extends, was pointed out by them in their last Report. Since the date of that Report prices have remained stationary; and they will, therefore, now satisfy themselves with extracting from it the account which they then gave of the reductions previously effected. The comparative statement which they submitted to Your Majesty, on the occasion referred to, is as follows :
“On comparing the Catalogue of Your Majesty's late Printers in Scotland for 1838, the year before the expiry of their patent, with their Catalogue for 1847, the Board find a reduction of the prices of the former year, in the case, for example, of editions of the Bible, varying in amount from £.62°5 to £.30-75 per cent. The mean reduction of price on all the editions of the Bible, contained in the two Catalogues, which admit of exact comparison, is within a small fraction of £.44 per cent. Where editions have been introduced since 1838, new as to size, type or quality of paper, they are advertised at prices proportionably low with the reduced prices of the others. The reduction in the cost price of New Testaments varies from £.62.5 to £.31.25, the average or mean reduction in this case being £.47.3 per cent. The other works falling under the privilege of the Board have been reduced, taking one with another, in much the same proportion.
Equally gratifying is the result afforded by a comparison of the Catalogues issued by Your Majesty's Printers in England. Taking their Catalogue for 1839, the year in which the Scotch market was first thrown open to them, and that for 1847, the prices of the former year are reduced, for their editions of the Bible, by amounts varying from £.62.5 to £. 25 per cent., and for editions of the New Testament, from £.75 to £.23:3 per cent. For the Bibles, the mean reduction is £.47.5 per cent., and for the New Testaments, £.45.54
When these remarkable reductions in the cost prices of the works, held under the privilege of the Board, were formerly reported to Your Majesty, there was some reason to apprehend that the gratifying result might prove but temporary, as having been effected by undue competition. But all ground for any such apprehension appears now to be completely removed. The market having been steadily supplied at the reduced prices, for a period of upwards of three years, and the publication of privileged works in Scotland being again decidedly on the increase, and in the hands of firms of respectability and capital, it may be warrantably presumed that profits are found to be remunerating. In such a case there is rather ground to hope that, by the spirit called forth by free competition, the means of production will be yet further improved, and its cost, consequently, still further diminished. Already, however, chiefly, if not indeed entirely, by the institution of the Board, the cost price of the Sacred Scriptures, and relative national standards of religion, has been reduced, not for Scotland only, but for the whole United Kingdom, certainly not less, on an average, than £.45 per cent.--a result that, in any point of view in which it can be regarded, justly claims to be considered as of inestimable importance.
For the last four years no serious attempt has been made to introduce into the Scotch market unauthorized editions of any of the works held under the privilege of the Board. It is only about a twelvemonth ago, however, since one or two instances occurred, in which complaints, on this ground, were preferred to them. But it resulted on investigation, that the editions complained of were those which it was attempted to introduce, soon after the institution of the Board, and that, with a single exception, the parties charged with the offence had purchased the contraband copies found in their possession, at sales of bankrupt stock, in ignorance of their contraband character. The Board found no difficulty in protecting the fair trader from the injury thus threatened to be inflicted upon him. The production of spurious editions appears to have ceased. This result is to be referred, it is believed, partly to the facilities, which the additional instructions received from Your Majesty in January 1845 afford to respectable English publishers, of introducing into the Scotch market
, due security being given by them for the integrity of the text, any edition which shall be certified by London booksellers of reputation to be circulated without challenge in England, but, chiefly, to the greatly reduced prices at which authorized editions of the Scriptures and other works, published under privilege, are now sold. The regulated free competition encouraged by the Board, while, for the integrity of the works printed under their sanction, it affords.to the public entirely satis