Survival of the Goostly Psalmes

Miles (or Myles) Coverdale’s undated ‘Goostly Psalmes’ contains just over 40 songs in English, mostly translations of German hymns, with printed music. It is printed in the quarto format, with colophon ‘Imprynted by me Johan Gough. / Cum privilegio Regalj’. The only known complete copy is at The Queen’s College, Oxford, consisting of 60 leaves in total. Fragments can be found the Bodleian and Beinecke Libraries. In the foldable sheets linked here, we have joined images of these two sets of fragments: two leaves at the Bodleian, one each from signature B and signature C, and three leaves from signature C, at the Beinecke Library.

The recording of an event featuring all three can be viewed here:

Question: How would you go about determining whether the surviving fragments at the Bodleian and the Beinecke came from the same copy of the printed sheets?

A folding exercise is offered here inspired by the Taylor Institution Library ‘Fold your own pamphlet’ . The pages can be printed out at A4 size using the print dialogue ‘Shrink oversized pages,’ to make a smaller-than-lifesize version of the fragments, or at A3 to approximate life-size. A letter-size PDF is also downloadable.


Goostly Psalmes Queen’s College Sel.d.81(4), in Digital.Bodleian :

Blogpost Singing the Reformation in English and filmed lecture on Miles Coverdale’s ‘Goostly psalmes and spirituall songes’, Podcast, Singing the Reformation in English.

Beinecke Library, Yale University: folios 9 & 12 (conjoined) and folio 10. Catalogue record and Digital version:

Oxford SOLO (online catalogue) record for The Queen’s Library copy and Bodleian fragment:

See: Robin A. Leaver, ‘A Newly-discovered Fragment of Coverdale’s Goostly psalmes’
Jahrbuch für Liturgik und Hymnologie, Vol. 26 (1982), pp. 136-147.