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The Scottish metrical psalter of A.D. 1635 : reprinted in full from the original work ; the additional matter and various readings found in the editions of 1565, &c. being appended, and the whole ill. by dissertations, notes, & fac-similes online

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Online LibraryNeil LivingstonThe Scottish metrical psalter of A.D. 1635 : reprinted in full from the original work ; the additional matter and various readings found in the editions of 1565, &c. being appended, and the whole ill. by dissertations, notes, & fac-similes → online text (page 1 of 65)
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The Additional Matter and Various Readings found in the
Editions of 1565, &c. being appended,









Inscribed to



Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Boston Public Library


The present century has witnessed an extensive resuscitation of the Antiquarian Literature of Britain.
By the enterprise of individuals in some instances, and of Societies in others, manuscripts and rare
pubHcations, stretching far into the depths of the past, have been dragged from obscurity, illustrated
by the results of careful research, and rendered available to public inspection in forms fitted to ensure
their perpetuation for centuries to come. In this work of exploration and reproduction Scotland has
taken a proportionate share. In addition to numerous private undertakings, the labours of the Bannatyne,
Maitland, Spalding, Wodrow, and other Societies have resulted in a large assemblage of volumes, fraught
with matter of varied interest, and pouring a flood of light upon the social condition, the literature, and the
history civil and rehgious, of the Scottish people in the olden time.

Why the Scottish Church Psalter, here reprinted, should have failed to secure the patronage of any
of these Societies, is not easily explained. The claims of this rehc of their Reformation era upon the
remembrance of Protestants in this part of the kingdom, could hardly be regarded as inconsiderable. It
seemed specially congenial to the sphere of selection which the Wodrow Society had appropriated.
In England a precedent had been furnished by the Musical Antiquarian Society, in the re-publication of the
Music of Este's Psalter of a.d. 1592. The Maitland Club had printed the Breviarium Aberdonense, and,
in conjunction with the Bannatyne, had assisted in the publication of Mr. Dauney's volume upon the Scottish
National Melodies and the Skene Manuscript. But though such circumstances seemed to point to the
project, the fact remained that none of these Societies disturbed the repose to which the old Book had
been consigned. Nor has this neglect been compensated by private enterprise. The example presented
by the Rev. Mr. Havergal, in his re-issue of the Tunes of Ravenscroft's Psalter, has hitherto found no
imitator on this side of the Border.

My acquaintance with the Scottish Psalter arose not from any special predilection for Antiquai-ian
studies. I had been privileged to take part in the measures employed in recent years for promoting the
cultivation of Church Music in Scotland ; and as usually happens to those who enter with any degree of
earnestness into the study of such Music, ray enquiries were led back to the century following the
Reformation, as its golden age. More especially, having found it necessary to examine the work referred to,
from its relation to the practical objects I had in view, the opinion became strongly impressed upon my
mind that so venerable a legacy of past ages should, both in its literary and musical elements, be rescued
from the oblivion which had long been deepening over it, and in a trustworthy and creditable form,
brought within reach of the general community.

The grounds on which this opinion rested appear more fully in the preliminary Dissertations, but
may be here stated in outline. 1. In point of Antiquarian interest — the Tunes constitute the earliest
printed music of any description which Scotland possesses, and its only collection of sacred music belonging
to the Reformation period: while the poetry, though interesting from age and associations, has almost
entirely vanished from popular remembrance. As regards rarity, while even the later editions have become
very scarce, of the earlier only two or three copies are known to survive. In point of antiquity, three
centuries have been completed since the publication of the first edition, and two years more since the General
Assembly, out of its scanty resources, devoted a sum to assist their printer in preparing it: 229 years
have passed since the last editorial preface was furnished; 224 since the appearance of the last known
edition; and 214 since the old version was set aside. 2. In point of Ecclbsiastical interest — the Psalter
was not a private performance, but a portion of the publicly recognized standards of the National Church —
the materials being to a large extent borrowed, yet revised, modified, and supplemented by that Church
for its own purposes ; so that to Scotland a considerable proportion of the literary, and a large proportion of
the musical subject-matter are fairly ascribable. It continued in actual use as the vehicle of religious worship
over the whole country, and during three successive generations. Its music, moreover, is the only collection
which in the history of the church has held an authoritatively recognized position. 3. In point of Practical
interest — though the harmonies, in common with all others of that age, must be regarded as superseded,
yet many of the melodies are of a high order of excellence, are worthy of renewed examination, and are
fitted to impart not only an impulse, but a pure and wholesome character to the movement now in progress
for the improvement of Psalmody. And if the old version of the Psalms should serve no other purpose,
it demonstrates its superiority in variety of metrical forms to that by which it has been succeeded; and
suggests the question whether something should not speedily be done to repair a defect which is becoming
more deeply felt as the cultivation of Congregational Music advances?

But how was the project of republication to be carried into execution? Though wilHng to devote the
literary labour required, I could not pretend to grapple with the pecuniary hazard. And what pubhsher
could be expected to incur that hazard amidst the apathy regarding church music, either old or new, which
basso long and so largely characterized my native land? The problem, however, was opportunely solved by
the highly esteemed friend to whom the work is inscribed, (a gentleman to whose varied accomplishments
and excellencies of character I rejoice in bearing my sincere though humble testimony,) who, with a
liberality and an appreciation of the object equally rare, took the responsibihty of that element of the case
entirely upon himself. It only remained to determine the plan of procedure, of which the leading features
are these:—!. Of the various editions of the original work that of a. d. 1635 has been selected as, though
not the earliest, yet the most complete, being the only one in which the tunes are harmonized. The
additional matter and various readings furnished by other editions of importance are collected in an Appendix,
so that the entire contents of the Psalter, from first to last, are exhibited to view. 2. In its sub)'ect-matter
the work is a strict verbatim reprint, in imitation, as far as practicable, of the antique typography; and, in
order to extend this imitation to the music, the expensive expedient has been resorted to of executing the
whole materials in lithography, the letter-press portions being transferred from the type to the stone.
3. In regard to arrangement it was judged advisable to adopt a size of page larger than that of the original,
in order that the harmonic parts might be placed in score, and as much as possible of each tune placed at
once under the eye. This necessitated the disposition of the letterpress in double columns. The original
arrangement, however, is exhibited in the fac-similies. 4. At least 100 copies are to be gratuitously
deposited in public Libraries of importance at home and abroad, in order to secure in some measure the
object of perpetuation. The remainder of a moderate impression is oifered for public sale on the lowest
practicable terms.

In supervising the Reprint great care has been taken to insure accuracy, which in a work of this
nature is of primary importance; and I think that, in this respect, examination may be challenged. Besides
my own, the entire work has undergone the scrutiny of one, and the musical portion that of two friends; both
being fully conversant with music, and the former equally so with printing.

In regard to the historical and explanatory accompaniments I have to crave indulgence on several
accounts. The line of enquiry has been to a considerable extent in the Literary, and almost entirely in
the Musical department, a new one ; so that I have felt myself very much in the condition of a traveller
explorino' an unknown territory. My secluded situation also, at a distance from many of the books which
I required to consult, has occasioned much inconvenience and delay, and has frequently suggested the wish
that the work had fallen to the lot of some one more favourably located. And as matter illustrative of facts
accumulated beyond my original calculations, I found it requisite to look more to condensation than elegance
of expression; and to exclude, with a few exceptions, the comments and reflections which constantly presented
themselves: perhaps in this pi'esuming somewhat on the prescriptive right of antiquarianism to be dry.
Amono" so many references and minute notices some mistakes may be expected, but I feel assured they
are not numerous nor important.

To the Librarians of the Signet and Advocates' Libraries, Edinburgh; the University, Glasgow; the
Bodleian, Oxford; and the British Museum, London; I beg to record my acknowledgments for the facilities
they have aiforded me. Obligations of a more private description are referred to elsewhere.

Four years ago the Tricentenary of the Scottish Reformation was celebrated amid general demon-
strations of deep and grateful interest; and as the Psalter embodied the results of that reformation, so far
as concerned the religious service of Praise, its reappearance will, I trust, be accepted as a not inappropriate
though somewhat late contribution to the work of commemoration. It is scarcely possible to look upon this
manual of Reformation worship without being vividly reminded of Reformation times, and the worthies who
in those times performed so conspicuous a part. It was in these long-forgotten strains that Knox, Welsh,
Melvill, Rutherfobd, Henderson, and many more whose names are dear to Scotland, sung the praises of
their God and Saviour, and found consolation amid perplexities and dangers.

Freb-Chuech Manse of Stair, by Ayr,



1. Principles embodied in the Scottish Psalter, 2

(1.) Relating to the Poetry and Music, 2

(2.) " ' Poetry, 3

(3.) " " Music, 5

2. History of the Psalter, 8

(1.) From beginning of Reformation till 1562, .... 9

(2.) " 1562 till 1600; 12

(S.) /' 1600 till 1655, .........18

3. The Literary Materials 24

(1.) Tlie Metrical Psalms- — Authorship, Progress,

Variations, Merits, ....25

(2.) Appendages to the Psalms — Spiritual Songs —
Prose Version — Conclusions — Prayers —
Contents, &c., 33

4. The Musical Materials, 38

(1.) Classification and Progress, 39

(2.) Sources, 41

(3.) Characteristics, 44

(4.) Merits, 46

(5.) Agency, ^ 47

5. Various Correlative Topics, 50

(1.) The Musical Notation, 50

(2.) Wood's MSS., 54

(3.) Chapel Royal, &c., 55

(4.) Typography, Errors, &c., ,..56

(5.) Concluding Observations, 58

6. Notes, 60

7. Fac-simile Specimens — yarious editions, 71


1. Conclusion Verses— in fac-simile, 76

2. The Common Tunes, .» I.

3. Tunes in Reports, IX.

4. Preface by E. M XVL

5. The whole Book of Psalms in Verse, with

Contents and Proper Tune to each Psalm,
and accompanied on the margin by the
prose version from the Geneva Bible, 1

6. Spiritual Songs, 220

7. Index to Psalms and Spiritual Songs, 228

Containing additional matter and various readings found in other editions of the Psalter.

1. Division — Literary.



(I.) Introductory Matter,

(2.) Metrical and Prose Versions, ///.

(3.) Spiritual Songs, IV.

(4.) Contents of the Psalms — Edition 1.595 V.

(5.) Conclusions to the Psalms — do. VI.

(6.) Prayers upon the Psalms — do. IX.

(7.) Authorship XVIII.

2. Division — Musical.


(1.) Common Tunes — Melodies XIX.

(2.) Common Tunes — Harmonized, XX.

(3.) Tunes in Reports, XXIII.

(4.) Proper Tunes, ,

(5.) References to Proper Tunes, XXV.

(6 .) Various Readings of Proper Tunes,

(7.) Relative Extracts, XXX.

[*^ There are four series of pages, reckoned thus : 1 . Dissertations, ijfc. in sloped figures ; 2. Common Times, ij-c. in Romau numerals • 3, Psalms .
in upright figures ; 4. Ajypendix, in italic numerals. The first at the top, the others at the bottom of the page.


To those who may wish to consult the English and Foreign
authorities referred to in the Dissertations, the following notices
may be useful. Only the older and rarer works are included,
and some are omitted because it was not known where copies
are to be found. The Scottish are specified in the text.


1538. Bohemian Hymn Book. The copy mentioned by the
musical historian Burney as possessed by himself, and as at one
time the property of Sebastian Bach (V. III., p. 31), is now in
the possession of the Rev. W. H. Havergal of Wolverhampton.

1540. Dutch Psalter, Latin prose version on margin ; tunes
seem secular ; many scripture songs.

British Museum.

1543 and 1545. Luther's Geistliche Lieder, 2 editions,
different to some extent.

Brit. Museum.

1543. Cinquante Pseaumes de David, par Clement Marot,
aveo epistre aux Dames de la France, 1543. No tunes.

Mr. George Offor, Hackney, London.
Tunes seem to have been added about 1545 or 6.

1555. Attached to a Bible, " Chez Jean Crespin," psalms
in the same case as in Edition 1559, but the 7 additional are
wanting. Contains Old 100th tune.

W. Eidng, Esq., Glasgow, Mr. Offor.

1559. French Psalter, unfinished, (Disser.IV.,p. 42,) attached
to a Bible.

Mr. AucMerlonie, teacher, Glasgow.

1561. Hondert Psalmen. London, Day ; printed for refugees
from the Low Countries ; tunes from French Psalter with some
German ; limited to 100 psalms, but not continuous.

Musettm; W. Euing, Esq., Glasgow.

1562. French Psalter, with tunes and prose version, first com-
plete edition.

Mr. Offor, London; Rev. W. H. Havergal, Wolverhampton.

Another edition, without the prose, bound with New Testa-
ment, by A. Caen, " quaranteneuf by C. Marot;" rest by Beza.
Mr. M' George, writer, Glasgow.

1563. The same. A. Lyon. 8vo.

Mr. D. Laing, Edinburgh .
Later editions are more common, but are much the same.

1565. French Psalter Tunes, harmonized by Goudimel.

Mr. Warren, organist, Chelsea.

1579. Psalmen. T'hantwerpen. Hymns added. Many
German Tunes.

Brit. Museum.


1538. Coverdale's Psalms and Spiritual Songs, with Tunes.
Queen^s College, Oxford.
Republished by Parker Society, but without the Tune s.

1549. Sternhold & Hopkins — 44 psalms without tunes.

Public Library, Cambridge.

Reprinted several times, 1551-53.

Bodleian, i&c.

1556. Crespin, Geneva, 51 psalms, with tune to each.
Bodleian ; Pub. Lib., Cambridge ; Advocates'', Edinburgh.

1660. 65 psalms with tunes — London, Jugge & Cawoode,


Christ Church, Oxford.

1560. (Supposed.) Archb. Parker's Psalter, 9 tunes.
Bodleian and Brazen Nose, Oxford; Brit. Museum; Lam-
beth ; Britwell Library, Buckinghamshire.

1561. Geneva, by Durand, 87 psalms, with 66 tunes.

St. PauVs Lib., London.

There was another edition of this work, without place or
printer's name, but probably printed in England. It closely
resembles the Genevan.

Britwell Lib., Buck.

There was a Continental reprint of the Genevan work of 1561,
including the prose documents, and the 87 psalms as before, but
having the remaining psalms taken from the English Psalter as
a supplement. " Imprim^, pour Henrile Mareschal. m.d.lxvi."
No place.

1562. Complete English Psalter, first edition, small 4to, Old
English letter, long lines. Title has ornamental edging. Entire
at both ends, but one or two leaves wanting in middle. There
seems to be only one copy of this edition remaining which is in
possession of

Francis Fry, Esq., Coiham, BristoL

1563. Same work, 2d edition. Lea Wilson supposed this to
be the earliest, but this is proved to have been a mistake. From
the description he has left of it, however, it appears to have been
substantially identical with that of the preceding year, though not
corresponding, page for page. It had several second versions
appended which were wanting in the 1562. The title adds after
' Aldersgate ' " benethe Saint Martins."

Since the statements in p. 42, &c. were written it has been
ascertained on the best authority that Wilson's copy of this work
is now the property of

James Lenox, Esq., New York.

1563. Psalm Tunes, in four parts, with specimen verses, each
part making a separate oblong volume. London, Day. The
oldest known harmony of English psalm tunes. Supposed to
have been edited by William Parsons.

Brazen Nose, Oxford; Britioell Lib., Buckinghamshire;
Dr. Rimbault, London ; and two parts in Brit. Museum.

1565. English Psalter, small folio. London, Day. Here the
second versions are inserted according to their numbers, and
the set of hymns completed. Bound up with Liturgy. Melodies
without harmony.

Brit. Museum.; Francis Fry, Esq., Bristol.
Later editions, with melodies only, are very numerous.

Brit. Museum, Bodleian, <&c.

1575. Brieff Discours, &c. — P. 10., Disser. II. — Reasons for
assigning the authorship to Whittingham, by Professor M'Crie,
are presented in the Introduction to a reprint of the work by
Petheram, London, 1846.

1579. The Psalter Tunes harmonized, in four parts. London,
Day. Known as Daman's Psalter. Preface by Edward Hake.

Brit. Museum.

An improved edition in 1591, in which the melody is assigned
to the Treble voice, being the first instance of this in British

1592. Este's Psalter, being the psalms with the tunes harmon-
ized. (Diss. IV., p. 40.)

Brit. Museum; W. Euing, Esq., Glasgow.

The tunes have been republished by the Antiquarian Musical
Society, edited by Dr. Rimbault. 1844.

1599. The Psalter Tunes, in four parts, edited by Alison.
The melody given to the Treble.

Brit. Museum ; Mr. T. L. Hately, Edinburgh.

The title of this work led to the mistake of representing
it in Disser. I., p. 7, as containing the entire psalms. It has
only specimen verses to the tunes.

1621. English Psalms and Tunes, in parts. Melody to the
Tenor. By Ravenscroft.

Euing, Glasgow; Laing, Edinburgh.
Tnnes republished by Novello, edited by Havergal. 1845.


The following Dissertations exhibit as full and accurate a survey as it has been in the Editor's power to furnish of the
origin, history, materials, partial variations, merits, authorship, and official position of the Scottish Protestant Church
Psalter ; together with an account of the priaciples upon which it was constructed, and of those incidents in the history of
the people with which it was more especially associated. Various collateral topics are introduced but are pursued no
farther than seemed necessary for the elucidation of the primary theme; though several of them, as for example, the
history of the cotemporary English Psalter, invited a more lengthened treatment The subject matter has been distributed
under several heads, which plan, though it may involve something of repetition and of reference from one division to
another, seemed on the whole preferable to that of deaUng with it in the aggregate. In most instances the quotations are
drawn from original sources, and have been verified by personal inspection.



The term psalmody is usually understood to describe the
Book of Psalms considered as material to be suiig in
religious worsliip. Hence it includes two ingredients :
primarily and of chief importance, the words ; subordinately
but yet essentially, the music. For though it is possible
that a spiritual worship may be rendered without either
of these elements, it is admitted by all except a small section
of professing Christians that the ordinance of praise when
the fvdl Scriptural idea of it is realized, involves not only
the inward exercise of the heart and ruiderstanding, but
also the outward embodiment of sijeech and musical
utterance. Of the poetical and musical thus combined,
either may sometimes be found treated of as psalmody,
but its relation to the other is implied and proceeded upon.
When a Church is called to deal practically with the
employment of psalmody in worship, various questions
present themselves in regard both to words and music.
Must the psabns alone be selected for this purpose, or may
other Scriptural passages be added, or may the range of
choice extend also to human compositions if consonant to
Scripture 1 Shall the material adopted be used in a prose
or a metrical form, or in both ? And, if metrical, what
poetic drapery should be preferred as most suitable ? The
musical element, which has been left to the discretion and
taste of man, in subjection to the general principles and
spirit of the Bible, presents an equally wide field of
enquiry. There are three forms in which music may be
made available for social worship. 1. That of the Chant,
adapted to rhythmic prose. The structure of the poetic
portions of Scripture, as consisting of paraUel clauses,
admits of this variety of musical application, which may be
defined as a tune for prose. 2. ITiat of the Metrical Tune,
suited to a particular form of regular poetic stanza. Both
of these agree in this respect that they are not meant to be
confined to particular words, but may be carried over a
succession of verses of the same general character. 3. That
of the Motet or Anthem, -in which the words are more
frequently in prose, though verse is also admissible — and
of which the distinctive peculiarity is that it is limited to
the passage for which it is composed, and incapable of
transference to any other. From this difi'erence between
the Anthem on the one hand, and the Chant and Metrical
Tune on the other, an important practical result follows—
that the former is capable of expressing all the minute
shades of emotion which a passage may contain, and of
exhibiting these in their relative force and iatensity ; while
the latter cannot pretend to more than the expression of
the general spirit of a passage as upon the whole marked
by solemnity, cheerfulness, or some other inilividual
emotion. Besides the question of selecting from or coinbin-
ing these methods, the further enqxiiry arises whether the
singing should be performed by the whole body of the
people, or confined to a select and specially qualified
company, mth whom others may unite mentally, in
accordance vnth. the method generally employed in social
prayer ; or whether both methods maybe used in different
portions of public devotional service? Dependent upon
such C[uestions others present themselves relative to the
style and qualities of the music. What all are to sing
must be simpler in structure than that which is intended
for the more skilful few ; and music boimd to particular
words may contain features which would be out of place in
that which is meant to shift from verse to verse. An
additional point of discussion stUl, is the employment of
instrumental music in connection with the vocal.

Such subjects necessarily fell under the consideration of
the founders of the Protestant Churches, who, moved by
the gross abuses prevalent in the Church of Eome in iiuB
as in other branches of religious duty, proceeded to examine
them in the light of Scripture and' of primitive practice.
All did not, however, arrive at precisely the same conclu-
sions ; and thus diversities of usage to some extent arose,
and stUl continue to exist, amongst protestant communities.

Online LibraryNeil LivingstonThe Scottish metrical psalter of A.D. 1635 : reprinted in full from the original work ; the additional matter and various readings found in the editions of 1565, &c. being appended, and the whole ill. by dissertations, notes, & fac-similes → online text (page 1 of 65)