THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
The privilege for Early in his career Athias began printing Bibles in English, and for so doing he
printing Bibb was шісе prosecuted in 1659 for contravening decrees ofthe States General. Never-
iu English theiesS( in l6?0 ke was grantecl by the States of Holland an exclusive privilege for
printing English Bibles. This privilege brought him in conflict, with the widows of
two printers at Amsterdam who had engaged before him in counterfeiting English
editions of the Bible intended to be sold in England. The widow of Jan Frederiksz.
Stam and the widow of Jan Jacobsz. Schipper obtained a suspension of the privilege
pending a hearing of their case.1 The Widow Stam died in November 1670 and her
place was taken by her daughter, Anna Maria.
By 1673 the contending parties had come to terms, and a partnership was formed
between them for the trade in English Bibles to last for 15 years. In the same year
nerg ©tftrict fulcftg gefettet; enöe füllen öe boojfc&ebe £>cí)íp*
perg moeten eroberen aicte ban be ißagtftraet/ ban öe toelette fg
lugöen 3íjn getieft;/enöe ban öe opgemelte Collégien ter Hlömira*
biegt öaer ou berfoeeften en öe bernrggen Sitte ban an»¿ubane/ bíe
t' elcneng naer 't berloop ban ttoee jäten betníeutot füllen moeten
too?öen/ op poene ban bet effect ban bien te berüefen:
feftepen nochte peinigten niet en ftonnen baren/ foo füllen öe 4©a*
geng/ Darren enöe jbleöen öie öe boojfs I&eerlugöen öan füllen
moeten gebmgehen om öe boojf5 Д©агеп te berboeren/ miöfga*
öerg al fulcfce anöere Д©адеп enöe ^leeöe-lugöen al£ öe refpectibe
Jiìàagfttraten naer bare bífereríe füllen goet enöe öienttigft binöen/
in boegen aty boojen te <£eöen/ geöugrenöe öen felben tijö ban be
beffate l©ateren/ öe boo?f3 Фоеоегеп binnen 'gHanög mögen ber*
boeren fonöer ^afpoojt te nemen/ mtö$ al boojen $ bebnjfenöe öat
fg ge-eeöe #oerlugöen $п/ of öen <£eö afy boojen gheöaen beb*
ben; enöe inöien fg lugöen tegen öen boojfî <ßeö öoen/ füllen fg
ghettraft toojöen met öe berbeurte ban öe l©ageng/ Darren/
jbteeöen en ^aeröen/enöe boojtg algftierboojen op öe^eerlugöen
té geflatueert; met öien berftanöe noc&tang öat alle öe Utoopman*
febappen öie ban bugten innomen/ enöe in öie boojf? ©eerfchepen
of l©agen toeröen ghelaöen/ fetpon öie al eenige öagen in een
^aebhug^ of anöerg haööen opgefïagen getoeeft/ füllen moeten
bg ï)aer tjebben enöe behouöen öe $>afpoo?ten ban betalinge ter
eerflen Comptoir gelicht/ om foo toel onbertoeegh algterplaetfe
ban be loffinge/ öaer op gebiftteert enöe gerecherebeert te toojöen ;
ten toelchen opfichte l©g berflaen öat öe bjgijegt ban öe ©eerfefte*
pen enöe gheftooren |©agen of ïiarreïugoen berleent/ bg öefen
toert gereftringeert enöe bepaelt; foo nocljtang öat öe boo?f3 Com*
onöertoegen öan alleen зиііеп mögen öoen/ toanneer fg eenige ap*
parente reöen ban fufpítíe fouöe mögen bebben/ enöe öe boojf5
Ifâarct- en ©eer-fchugten öaer op goetbinöenöe te bífíteeren/ öe
boojf3bífttatíe füllen moeten öoen en boltrecbenbínnenftetugr ban
'tarribement ban öe boojfs ^etjugten; enöe íngíjeballe fg öe boojf3
bifttatie binnen ben boo?f3 tijö ban een ugr niet fouöen mögen ijeb*
ben geöaen/ öat öe boo¿f3 ¿lcl)ipperg in fooöanige gijeballe bare
regfe füllen mogften bojöeren/ tmögöocerenöeöatfgeenugrlangi)
Fig. 50. Pica Black Letter No. 18, cut by Christoffel van Dijck. Resetting of a page
of a Placaet, The Hague, Jacobus Scheltus, Printer to the States General, 1687.
 For Stam's editions see A. F. Johnson, J. F. Stam, Amsterdam, and English Bibles, The Library 5th ser. 9, 1954, pp. 185-193;
reprinted in Selected "Essays, 1970, pp, 348-356.
TYPEFOUNDING AT AMSTERDAM: JOSEPH ATHIAS
die partners obtained from the States of Holland an exclusive privilege for the
English Bibles in all sizes. A year later the active partners were reduced to two,
Anna Maria van Outshoorn (née Stam) having withdrawn in return for a percentage
The Widow Schippers2 had succeeded in 1671 on her husband's death in 1669 to
a large business in printing, publishing, and bookselling. She and Anna Maria Stam
contributed between them 41,800 Bibles, printed or printing, to the common stock,
while Athias brought in 13,358. It was agreed that future printing for the partner¬
ship should be done in the house of Athias.
The firm's output was very large. Athias is reported as saying that he smuggled
more than 50,000 Bibles into England and Scotland in a year; it was alleged on
behalf of the University of Oxford in a lawsuit of 1679 that before it set up its
Bible Press in 1678 a quarter of the Bibles sold in England were printed in Holland.3
In their petition for renewal ofthe privilege in 1691 the partners asserted that they
kept the type standing in locked-up formes for various editions of the Bible and
that they could print 250 copies complete with the Metrical Psalms in four hours.
Clearly, this was a work calling for large supplies of type and consequently of
much concern to the Amsterdam typefounders. Athias had bought large amounts
of type from Christoffel van Dijck and Cornelis Glauwe;« the latter casting from
matrices he had bought from Athias. Jacques VaUet5 was the supplier of the
Schipper-Stam partnership. All these founders had died before 1675.6 It is not
known from what sources Athias then obtained his type, but he bought the equip¬
ment formerly Van Dijck's when it was offered for sale in 1681.
The foundry was bought by Athias on his own account, as appears by the docu¬
ments previously quoted.7 The first signs that the Widow Schippers had claims on
it are agreements of 8 and 13 March 1685 between her and Athias for the building
of a house and workshops on the Nieuwe Herengracht opposite the Plantage for
Successors to joscplt
tlte widow Schippers
and iter descendants
 Kleerfooper-Vatt Stocüiiin pp. 691-692.
 Ledeboer p. 153. Schipper was buried on 4 November 1669
(Kleertooper-Van Stoctaim p. 685; Van Eeghen 4 p. 96). In those days
an [s] was very often added to the original surname when used
by widows and descendants of the first of that name. Thus
Schipper became Schippers.
 University Archives, S.E.P., Pyx D., fol. 2(7). Also: H.
Carter, A history ofthe Oxford University Press 1, p. 95; S. Morison,
John Fell, 1967, p. 42. An interesting light on the work done
by the Widow Schippers in partnership with Joseph Athias
is thrown by a diary of a tour in Holland by William Nicolson,
antiquary, later Bishop of Carlisle, while he was an under¬
graduate at Oxford : 'August 8-10,1678. Amsterdam... Widow
Scipper's Print-house: where there were 18 hard at work
printing, and 6 or 7 setting letters. They print here many
English Bibles of all size[s], upon the title pages of which they
sett-'London, printed by R. Barker and the assigns of John
Bill &c.'. And they were (whilst I lookt on) printing a small
English Bible in Odiavo, on which they sett printed by the
aforesaid A.D. 1669. They showed me also several books
printed here with the title page as if at Collen, Leipsick,
Mentz, &c. Whence it comes to pass that you may buy books
cheaper at Amsterdam, in all languages, than at the places
where they are first printed: for here the Copy cost them
nothing' (Oxford, Queen's College, MS 68).
 See p. 130. Mr. H. Carter has suggested, though, that
Athias used a method of stereotyping for his English Bibles. A
letter by Nicholas Kis, combined with the text of an agreement
between Athias, the Widow Schippers and Anna Maria Stam,
has thrown light on this possibility. See H. Carter and G. Buday,
Stereotyping by Joseph Athias, Quaerendo 5, 1975, pp. 312-320.
 See pp. 110—in.
 See note 10 on p. 110 and note 1 on p. 130.
 The agreement between the Amsterdam typefounders
cited on p. 82 and the advertisements translated on p. 83.