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Buyer sought for Tudor Traictise

01 November 2013


Notes on an argument: pages from the 16th century Traictise that is under an export bar

Notes on an argument: pages from the 16th century Traictise that is under an export bar

A BUYER in the UK is sought for a rare 16th-century manuscript that documents an argument between two bishops over the right of priests to marry. The Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey, has put a temporary export bar on the volume, after its sale to a foreign buyer.

The manuscript includes A Traictise declarying and plainly prouying, that the pretensed marriage of Priestes. . . is no marriage (1554). It was written by a lawyer, Thomas Martin, and possibly Stephen Gardiner, who was Bishop of Winchester from 1531 to 1551, and then from 1553 to 1555.

It belonged to John Ponet, who was Bishop of Winchester from 1551 to 1553, but fled into exile when Queen Mary came to the throne and restored the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Traictise rebuts the argument set out by Ponet in his Defence for mariage of Priestes (1549). The manuscript contains both Ponet's annotations and a draft of his reply to his critics.

Mr Vaizey took the decision to defer the granting of an export licence after a recommendation from the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA).

The export bar lasts until 23 December. This may be extended until 23 March if there is notice of a "serious intention" to raise the recommended price of £116,500.

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