Item, That all Books concerning the Common Laws of this Realm shall be printed by the especial Allowance of the Lords Chief Justices, and the Lord Chief Baron for the time being; or one or more of them, or by their Appointment: And that all Books of History, belonging to this State, and present Times or any other Book of State Affairs, shall be licensed by the Principal Secretaries of State, or one of them, or by their appointment; And that all Books concerning Heraldry, Titles of Honour and Ams, or otherwise concerning the Office of Earl Marshal, shall be licensed by the Earl Marshal, or by his Appointment; and further, that all other Books, whether of Divinity, Physick, Philosophy, Poetry, or whatsoever shall be allowed by the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, or Bishop of London for the time being, or by their Appointment, or the Chancellors, or Vice-Chancellors of either of the Universities of this Realm for the time being. XI. But in case any Master Printer hath more Employment than he is able to discharge with help of his Apprentice or Apprentices, it shall be lawful for him to require the help of any Journeyman or Journeymen Printers who are not Employed; and if the said Journeyman or Journeymen Printers so required, shall refuse Employment, or neglect it when he or they have undertaken it, he or they shall suffer Imprisonment, and undergo such Punishment as this Court shall think fit. A Decree of the Star Chamber Concerning Printing July 11, 1637. Item, For that Printing is, and for many Years hath been an Art and Manufacture of this Kingdom, for the better encouraging of Printers in their honest, and just Endeavours in their Professions and prevention of divers Libels, Pamphlets, and seditious Books Printed beyond the Seas in English, and thence transported hither. Originally published by D Browne, London, 1721. XXXII. Teachers and parents! Item, That no Joiner or Capenter, or other Person, shall make any Printing Press, no Smith shall forge any Iron-work for a Printing-Press, and no Founder shall cast any Letters for any Person or Persons whatsoever, neither shall any Person or Persons bring or cause to be brought in from any Parts beyond the Seas, any Letter Founded or Cast, nor buy any such Letters for Printing; unless he or they respectively shall first acquaint the said Master and Wardens, or some of them, for whom the same Press, Iron Works or Letters are to be made, forged, or cast upon Pain of such Fine and Punishment, as this Court, or the High Commission Court respectively, as the several Causes shall require, shall think fit. XXXIII. VIII. Item, That no allowed Printer shall keep above two Presses, unless he hath been Master or upper Warden, of his Company, who are thereby allowed to keep three Presses and no more, under pain of being disabled for sever after to keep or use any Press at all, unless for some great and special Occasion for the Publick, he or they have for a time leave of the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, or Lord Bishop of London for the time being, to have or use one or more, above the aforesaid Number, as their Lordships, or either of them shall think fit. every Master Printer that is, or hath been Master or Upper Warden of his Company, may have three Apprentices XIX. The Company's charter gave it the right to seize illicit editions and bar the publication of unlicensed books. The Register itself allowed publishers to document their right to produce a particular printed work, and constituted an early form of copyright law. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our. In 1637 the Star Chamber issued its most drastic decree, which confirmed previous enactments, laid down detailed licensing procedures, reduced the total number of printers to 23, and prescribed severe penalties for offenses. Version 5.0. Item, That every Person or Persons, now allowed or admitted to have the use of a Press, and Printing House, shall within Ten Days after the Date hereof, become bound with Sureties to his Majesty in the High Commission Court, in the Sum of Three Hundred Pounds not to Print, or suffer to be Printed in his House or Press, any Book or Books whatsoever, but such as shall from time to time be lawfully licensed, and that the like Bond shall be entered into by all, and every Person and Persons that hereafter shall be admitted or allowed to Print, before he or they be suffered to have the use of a Press. They're like having in-class notes for every discussion!”, “This is absolutely THE best teacher resource I have ever purchased. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Item, That no Merchant, or other Person or Persons whatsoever, which shall import, or bring any Book or Books into the Kingdom, from any Parts beyond the Seas, shall presume to open any Dryfats, Bales, Packs, Maunds, or other Fardals of Books, or wherein Books are; nor shall any Searcher, Waiter, or other Officer belonging to the Custom-House, upon pain of losing his or their Place, or Places suffer the same to pass, or to be delivered out of their Hands or Custody before such Time as the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, or Lord Bishop of London, or one of them for the time being, have appointed one of their Chaplains, or some other Learned Man, with the Master and Wardens of the Company of Stationers, or one of them, and such others as they shall call to their Assistance, to be present at the opening thereof, and to view the same; and if there shall happen to be found any Seditious, Schismatical, or Offensive Book or Books, they shall be forthwith be brought unto the said Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Bishop of London for the time being, or one of them, or to the High Commission Office, to the end that as well the Offender or Offenders may be punished by the Court of Star-Chamber, or the High Commission Court respectively, as the several Causes shall require, according to his or their demerit; as also that such further Course and Order may be taken concerning the same Book or Books, as shall be thought fitting.