William Caxton established his first press in Bruges, ca. 1474, after learning about printing in Cologne, and in 1475 printed The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye, his own translation of a work by Raoul Le Fevre and the first book printed in English. After printing several other works in French and English he moved to Westminster.
The detail reproduced here shows William Caxton's device from the first leaf of the 1489 edition of The dictes and sayings of the philosophers. His original edition of this work printed in 1477, the year after he founded his press in Westminster, was the first dated book printed in England (probably preceded by his undated edition of Chaucer). A moralistic work, originally an Arabic collection, it was translated into French by Guillaume de Tignonville, and then into English by Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers. Rivers was a leading supporter of Edward IV, and also brother of Edward's queen, Elizabeth Woodville. He was executed for treason on the orders of Richard III.
Note the College bookplate alongside, one of two produced for the College in 1710.
Donated by Thomas Baker, Fellow, ca. 1740.