The Mysterie of Witch Craft. Thomas Cooper. 1617

This bibliographical description was prepared by: Marie-France Guénette, doctoral student in Translation at Université de Montréal. Bilingual French/English, knowns Spanish and Czech. No knowledge of Latin, relied on classmates for Latin inscriptions. New to bibliographical research. Contact me through Twitter @MFGuenette


Title page:


The Seuerall Vses of this

Doctrine of

Printed by Nicholas Okes.

Size: 8,3 cm wide
18,8 cm long
2,9 cm thick

Latin inscription dated June 24, 1629, after the table of contents and errata:

June the 24
per multum risum poteris cognoscere stultum
English translation, notably documented on Wikipedia ( Through excessive laughter one can recognize the fool.

Potential explanations: – An unrelated handwritten note, where the person was using the paper for personal notes.

An allusion to the Ship of fools led by a woman?


Dedicatory epistle to: Maior of the Ancient citie of Chester; the worthy Justices of Peace, of that Countie Palatine; Grace and Peace from God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ be multiplied.

by Thomas Cooper

Table of contents “This treatise is digested into three bookes”
First book = 10 chapters. An explanation for why it is relevant to prosecute witches today.
Second book = 5 chapters. Dedicated to the detection and conviction of witches
Third book = 18 chapters.

Anomalies: My book has the same pagination errors as the digitized version on EEBO (STC code 1133). However, my version has a different title page. My title page also has erased text, presumably because the title page provided was supposed to be the title page for the Third Book of the treatise. The STC 1133 edition has a more elaborate title page that includes the author’s name.

In 1622, there is a new (second) edition of the book titled “Sathan transformed into an Angell of Light, expressing his dangerous Impostures under glorious shewes. Emplified Specially in the Doctrine of Witch-craft, and such sleights of Satan, as are incident thereunto. Very necessary to discerne the speci-plague raging in these days, and so to hide our selves from the snare thereof. London, Printed by Barnard Alsop. 1622” The dedicatory epistle of the second edition is different from that of the first.

1617: ESTC citation S108665, STC (2nd ed.), 5701. The ESTC entry (British Library) claims that the pagination is continuous, however, this is not true. “The second and third books each have separate dated title page; pagination and register are continuous.” The digital version available on EEBO shows the same dedicatory epistle, and the same pagination errors, but a different title page than the physical book from the University of Victoria.

The only copy in North America is located in the University of Victoria rare books, special collection. Call number: BF1581 C65.

1622: STC (2nd ed.), 5701.3 / ESTC citation number S116346

Notes: There do not seem to be any documented translations of Cooper’s book.

Catchwords: There are catchwords on each page leading to the next.

Printed by: Nicholas Okes (active 1606-1639)

Running titles:

Left pages: The Mysterie of
Right page: Witch craft discouverd.


First pages A1, A1, A2, A3
After 2. Aa. Aa2…. Bb. Bb2…, continued to Z4. Then Aa, Aa2, Aa3, Aa4, Bb, Bb2, Bb3, Bb4,
Note that in the alphabet order j, u, ww

Available on EEBO: Author Thomas Cooper.
STC citation: 5701
UMI Collection/reel number: 1133:04

Other notes: I researched other websites and catalogues to find additonal information, such as additional copies with the same title (Worldcat, EEBO, Library of Congress, Gallica, British Library, Google). However, I did not find any.

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