Partridge.   John     - Extremely rare.
THE TREASURY OF Hidden Secrets,
Commonly called, The Good-huswives Closet of provision, for the health of her Household. Gathered out of sundry experiments, lately practised by men of great knowledge: And now newly inlarged with divers necessary Physick helps, and knowledge of the names and disposition of diseases, that most commonly happen to Men and Women. Not imeprtinant for every good Huswife to us ein her House, amongst her own Family. [Printers woodcut device] LONDON, Printed by Jane Bell, and to be sold at the East-end of Christ-Church, 1653.
Quarto, A-I in 4's. 1fep. Title page. [1] A2 - FINIS. [Total pp 63] 3p The Table. 1fep. Original full dark brown calf. Blind tooled border line to boards. Spine with gilt lines and lettering re-laid. Pages are age browned with browning to edges. Text in black letter. Top of one leaf restored without loss. A good copy of an extremely rare book.
- John Partridge was an Elizabethan author of historical poem-romance. The earthy, mundane cookbook was an unusual transgression from the norm. His book, the ‘Treasury of Hidden Secrets’ was a popular 16th and early 17th century English handbook of cookery, herbals, and medicine. First published around 1573, it was printed in London by Richard Jones, and gives John Partridge as the author. It was frequently reprinted for over 75 years; the present volume is that of the 1653 edition printed by Jane Bell. The earliest extant copy of the book is the 1573 edition. Its title was ‘The Treasurie of Commodious Conceits & Hidden Secrets’, reprinted in 1584, again by Jones, the title-page advertised it as 'now the fourth time corrected, and inlarged,' The Elizabethan printer might have been exclusively a printer, or both bookseller and printer; but booksellers were not necessarily printers. Both printers and booksellers in London were tightly controlled, licensed, censored, and fined for violations. Some copies note that Jones’s 1584 printing was 'at Eliot’s Court Press for Henry Car,' suggesting Car as a bookseller who helped to finance the printing. When the book was reprinted in 1591, Richard Jones is now located specifically ‘at the Rose and Crowne neere Holborne bridge.’ The Bodleian’s bibliographic record suggests J. Charlewood as the 1591 printer. Jones is again given as printer for the 1596 edition. The book was again reprinted in 1608. This seems to be the latest date that the name John Partridge occurs in the text; subsequent editions are published anonymously. The next reprint was in 1627, from a new bookseller and printer; the book was ‘Printed [by Eliot’s Court Press] for E.B[rewster] and R.B[yrd], and are to be sold at the ‘signe of the Bible in Cheapside.’ By 1627 the phrase, ‘Commodious Conceits’ had dropped out of the title and the title page identifies it as ‘The Treasurie of Hidden Secrets.’ In 1633 it was first printed by a woman ‘Elizabeth All-de dwelling neere Christs-church.’ Elizabeth was the widow of Edward All-de, a typical London printer whose father, John, was also a printer and whose work and style is well known. In 1637 ‘Treasury’ was ‘printed by Richard Oulton, dwelling neere Christs-church.’ As McKerrow (genealogy resources) suggest that Allde died in 1628, Richard Oulton may have taken over the press from his widow by 1637. Finally, ‘Treasury’ was last reprinted in 1653 'by Jane Bell and to be sold at the East end of Christ-church.' Originals of the 1573 printing are held by the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Henry E. Huntington Library. The only other work attributed to John Partridge is the cookery-medicine book called ‘The Widowes Treasure'. Partridge borrowed from a friend a copy of a household book written for the private use of ‘a gentlewoman in the country’, and decided it was his duty to publish it in 1585 under the title, 'The Widowes Treasure'. Copies of both Partridge's books are extremely rare, with none at auction since 1926. The BL only locates two other copies of the 1653 edition of ‘Treasury of Hidden Secrets’, one in the UK, and one in the US.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 11023