PROPERTY OF A COLLECTOR
John Lewis (for whom see the life by Scott Mandelbrote in ODNB and the older article by J. Shirley, "John Lewis of Margate", in Archaeologia Cantiana, 64 (1951), 39-56) was from the West Country and although destined by his family for trade, became a clergyman, scholar and the author of a number of interesting works, including one on William Caxton. His Church Catechism Explained was a popular work and was translated not only into Irish, a version which was frequently reprinted, but also into Welsh. The translator was John Richardson (1664-1747) and the Irish text is printed in Irish letter, a type said by E. Rowe Mores to have been cut by Moxon in the 1680s, and which passed to Eleanor Everingham.
The Hebrew catechism, cast in the form of a dialogue between a rabbi and his pupil, was printed first in Venice in 1595 and was widely printed and translated into Latin and other languages. A Latin edition was printed in London in 1679 and a unique copy of an English translation, published in London in 1680, survives at the Folger Library (Wing J122A-C). The author was an Italian scholar working in a number of cities, who seems to have acted as a tutor to various families. The Yiddish version was made in the seventeenth century and printed at Wilmersdorf and Jesnitz in 1714 and 1719. A copy of the German part only of this edition is to be found in the Bodleian (Opp. Add. 8vo iii.185(1)). The translator, Hermann von der Hardt, was abbot of Marienthal.
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