Our press takes its name from the part of Oxford known as Jericho where Chip Coakley and his family lived from 1991 to 1993 and spent summers from 1994 to 2007. (Printing goes back before that to the 1980s when the press was set up in Luneside Studios in Lancaster. It was then just 'the Press of J. F. Coakley'.) Our logo, from a wood-engraving by Nancy Ruth Jackson, shows a woman weeping among the ruins of Jericho. The horn alludes to the story in Joshua chapter 6.
In 2008 after fifteen years in America, the Coakleys moved to Ely, near Cambridge where Chip's wife Sarah is now the Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity. The press now operates in a renovated studio in the back garden of the Ely house.
Our printing machinery consists of a Vandercook model 4 proofing press and an Arab crown folio treadle platen. These machines, and 100+ cases of type, are the kinds of equipment possessed by many amateur letterpress printers, or at least those of a certain age who were able to equip themselves in the 1980s when commercial printers were getting out of letterpress, and when a large range of Monotype founts could be bought off the shelf.
The special and prized asset of the Jericho Press is a collection of oriental and other exotic types, including some old founders' types from the Oxford and Cambridge University Presses. Some of the items listed below make use of these types, especially Syriac (the subject of an article in John Randle's annual Matrix, no.10 (1990), pp.181-91). See also below The Hebrew types of the Jericho Press, 2010, and The Greek types of the Jericho Press, a companion volume, 2014.
Other, non-exotic, books have been the result of collaborations with friends who offered me interesting and significant texts to print, and with other friends who are wonderful wood-engravers. Still other books are just projects that seemed useful and appealing.
You can see a picture of the press and printer in January 2014, part of an article on 'academic' private presses in the Times Higher Education Supplement.
W.A. Wigram: A fragment of autobiography, edited by J. F. Coakley. 9 pp. with a line illustration. Lancaster, 1985.
out of print
Saint Ephrem: A Hymn on the Eucharist (Hymns on Faith, no. 10), edited and translated by Sebastian Brock. Types: Oxford large Estrangela Syriac, and Monotype Garamond. Lancaster, 1987.
out of print
James T. Coakley, Army Days 1942-1945. Reminiscences of the printer's father (1909-1986). 23 pp., paper. Types: Monotype Garamond. Lancaster 1987. ISBN 0 9511627 1 3.
price on application
Synopsis of the oriental and some other non-Latin types in use at the Press of J. F. Coakley. Broadside, Lancaster, 1990.
out of print
The Church's bridal feast: A Syriac homily for Epiphany. Syriac text edited and translated by Sebastian Brock. 14 pp., 1992. Types: Cambridge small estrangela (designed after the handwriting of F. C. Burkitt) and Monotype Garamond. ISBN 0 9511627 2 1.
out of print
An amulet for the binding of guns, spears, swords, daggers and all implements of war. Syriac text edited and translated by Erica C. D. Hunter, 13 cm., 9 pp., with one hand-coloured illustration reproduced from the manuscript in the John Rylands Library, Manchester.
opposite p. 3: MS John Rylands Library MS Syriac 52, fol. 41v.
Paper, 1992. 200 copies on Zerkall paper. Types: Drugulin's Nestorian Syriac, and Monotype Garamond.
$15 or £9
Preces privatae by Lancelot Andrewes : the introductions to each days prayers in Greek edited with an English translation by David Scott, 23 pp., with a wood-engraved frontispiece by Jane Lydbury.
Cased, 1993. 150 copies on Zerkall paper. Types: Robert Proctors famous Otter Greek type (on which see Matrix 13 (1993), 179-89), and Monotype Octavian. ISBN 0 9511627 4 8.
out of print
A book of family graces, with an appendix of scholarly graces, edited by the printer & as used by his family. 21 pp. landscape. Types: Monotype Joanna, plus Greek, Hebrew, and Syriac; also with some music. Cased, 1994. 100 copies on Zerkall paper. ISBN 0 9511627 5 6.
out of print
Veritas imprimata : the typography of the Harvard arms, by J. F. Coakley. 29 pp., with 63 illustrations of the Harvard arms, cased, 1995. 240 copies on Zerkall paper. Types: Monotype Joanna. Some of the Harvard arms shown are original designs by Bruce Rogers. The blocks used in printing the arms belonged to the Harvard University Press. For the story of their rediscovery see an article in Harvard Magazine, March-April 1996, 64-65. ISBN 0 9511627 6 4.
$60 or £36
Captain Kidd and two others, verses from A book of Americans by Stephen Vincent Benét illustrated with wood-engravings by Nancy Ruth Jackson, 10 pp., paper, 1997. 150 copies on Zerkall paper. Types: Monotype Octavian and Albertus. ISBN 0 9511627 8 0.
$25 or £15
The Epistle of secrets, translated from the Latin by Rodney G. Dennis and edited by J. F. Coakley. Types: Monotype Joanna, with Hebrew words in Stam and Monotype Mayer, the latter having its first showing here. iii + 44 pp., cased, 1998. 150 copies on Zerkall paper, of which 90 are for sale. ISBN 0 9511627 9 9.
The Epistle of Secrets is one of the earliest texts of Christian kabbalah, and the first to be printed, in 1487 or 8. We have it only in a Latin translation - or perhaps it is an original composition - by Paulus de Heredia, a Jewish Christian convert and supposed teacher of Pico della Mirandola. In spite of its importance, the Epistle has never been reprinted, and this is its first translation into any modern language.
$50 or £30.
An ancient colophon : a memoir by William Cureton, edited by J. F. Coakley. i + 13 pp., cased, 1999. Types: Walbaum, with Syriac words in serto and estrangela types. 75 copies.
Cureton's description of how he encountered the most famous of Syriac manuscripts (British Library Add. 12,150), the oldest dated codex manuscript in any language. The text is re-edited from Cureton's book The festal letters of Athanasius (1848) with some additional notes.
out of print
The Harvard B.A. degree diploma 1813-2000, by J. F. Coakley. 11 pp., large oblong format, cased, in a box including six specimen diplomas, 2000. Types: Octavian, Ehrhardt, Dartmouth.
Fifty copies. This book was printed by the Jericho Press for the Harvard College Library. Some copies may still be available from the Librarian's secretary at Houghton Library.
The collects of the first English prayer book 1549 by Thomas Cranmer, edited by J. F. Coakley; with an introduction by Geoffrey Hill and a wood-engraved frontispiece by Jane Lydbury. 6 + 89 pp., cased, 2002. Types: Ehrhardt, in red and black.
This edition reproduces the text of the collects, in large type, from the Houghton Library copy of the 1549 Book of Common Prayer. After each collect is the Latin original, if any, and a note about its transmission in the 1662 prayer book and in the current American Book of Common Prayer and English Common Worship.
Fifty copies were printed for subscribers.
out of print
O sacred head: a Passiontide hymn. Words and music, with an introduction by John W. Coakley, Thomas S. Hansen, Carl D.N. Klein, and the editor J. F. Coakley. 11 + 8 pp., quarto, cased, 2003. Paper: Zerkall mould-made. Types: Octavian with Ehrhardt, in purple and black. The title-page has this wood-engraving by Simon Brett.
The introduction discusses the famous hymn of Paul Gerhardt O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden; its thirteenth-century Latin original; the musical settings of the German hymn; and its English translations. There follow four different musical settings of the hymn, below which are the complete German text and the English translations of James W. Alexander and Robert Bridges. These pages are cut horizontally so that any of the musical settings may be paired with any of the versions.
Sixty numbered copies were printed, mostly for subscribers.
out of print
Archimedes, On floating bodies I. 1-2. Greek text edited with an English translation by N. G. Wilson. 14 pp., quarto, cased (quarter red cloth and gray paper), 2004. Paper: Zerkall mould-made. Types: Proctor double-pica Greek and Monotype 18-point Ehrhardt, in red and black.
Greek text (Latin when the Greek is absent) and facing English translation of the opening of this treatise. The editor Nigel Wilson is one of a team of scholars working on a palimpsest manuscript rediscovered in 1998, and this is the first-fruit of their project of a new edition. Part of the Greek text had not been previously read, and therefore of this passage ours is a FIRST EDITION of Archimedes in Greek.
left-hand page showing the Proctor Greek type and a diagram
Archimedes joins the short list of books ever printed in Proctor's Greek type (which includes Lancelot Andrewes, Preces Privatae, above).
out of print.
Elementale quadrilingue: a philological type-specimen (Zürich 1654) reproduced with a commentary by John Huehnergard, Geoffrey Roper, Alan D. Crown and the editor J. F. Coakley; 13 pp., in black and purple. Paper: Zerkall mould-made. Cased, 33 x 23 cm. 2005.
In 1654 the Zürich printer J. J. Bodmer published a broadside entitled Elementale quadrilingue, supposedly a guide to reading Samaritan, Arabic, Hebrew, and Syriac, by the famous Johann Heinrich Hottinger; but really, not so much a work of philology as a specimen of types newly made by the punchcutter Balthasar Köblin who was then working for him. This type-specimen survives in a perhaps unique copy in Houghton Library, unrecorded until lately. Our edition includes a same-size facsimile, with commentary devoted to Hottinger and to the three new types (Arabic, Syriac, and Samaritan). The commentary is hand-set in Monotype Walbaum and various founders' types in the relevant languages from the Jericho Press collection.
One hundred copies,
$75 or £45
Robert Furber, Popular English historical rhymer. 8 pp. Cased. 2006.
Robert Furber (great grandfather of Sarah) was a schoolmaster in Whitchurch, Shropshire. He composed this set of verses for his pupils to learn the names and dates of English sovereigns. Its special merit is that the dates are made memorable by being part of the rhyme-scheme. It was printed as a small pamphlet entitled Popular English Historical Rhymer in 1874. Only one or two recorded copies survive.
Thirty copies, printed for the family.
not for sale
A book of family graces. Second edition, revised and enlarged. 21 pp. landscape. Types: Monotype Joanna, plus Greek, Hebrew, and Syriac; also with some music. Cased. 2006.
Family Graces in its first edition of 1994 has been the most popular of our books, and I wanted to keep it available. The format of this second edition is the same as the first. Almost all the graces (though re-set) are kept from the old edition. Several English graces have been added, along with two in Latin and a longer one in Hebrew. There are two new wood-engravings by Jane Lydbury.
$65 or £40
The Hebrew types of the Jericho Press. A specimen with notes by J. F. Coakley. 25 pp. Types: Bell, plus various Hebrews. Cased, 25 x 16 cm. 2010.
The Jericho Press has accumulated Hebrew types, and Monotype matrices for Hebrew, over the years. This is a specimen showing what these are, and adding some typographical history by the way. The history of Hebrew types, especially for the modern period, remains a rather little-known subject; and this is so in particular for Monotype Hebrew, even though Monotype dominated the look of scholarly Hebrew printing in the letterpress era. I hope it will be valuable to others to have some notes on the history and design of these types.
Sixty numbered copies.
$75 or £45
Psalter collects. An introduction and sampler by Bridget Nichols. 12 pp. Latin and English text set in Ehrhardt, with Albertus, and printed on Zerkall mould-made paper. On the colophon page is a wood-engraving of Ely Cathedral by Andy English. 24 x 16 cm. With a decorated paper cover. 2011.
Psalter collects are Latin prayers composed for use at the end of the recitation of the Psalms. Three collections of these collects (Roman, African, and Spanish) survive in liturgical manuscripts of the ninth to the eleventh centuries. Bridget Nichols gives a short introduction to the three collections, and a sample of two collects from each with a commentary.
$27 or £17
Brother Gregory, In praise of Ely, translated by Janet Fairweather. 16 pp. Printed in Octavian type on Zerkall paper, cased. 2011.
Brother Gregory was a monk of Ely in the early twelfth century. His praise of Ely - its natural beauties as well as its abbey - is part of a Latin poem The Life and Miracles of St. Ætheldreda. The English translation by Janet Fairweather is illustrated with five wood-engravings (including the headpiece shown here) by Andy English.
You can see a description of Andy English's work on this book on his blog.
One hundred copies. Copies may be had from Toppings' bookshop, High St., Ely, as well as from the printer.
$65 or £40
F. F. Irving, Easter in Ula, Salmas. 11 pp. Octavian with Albertus, printed on Zerkall mould-made paper. With a four-colour map engraved by Andy English. 21 x 15 cm. Cased. 2012.
F. F. Irving was an English missionary who lived among the Assyrian Christians in Persia in the 1890s. This is his description of Easter observances in the village of Ula in 1895.
$27 or £17
A Heyrick bestiary Poems on birds and animals by Thomas Heyrick, edited with an introduction by John Wells., and with five wood-engravings by Jane Lydbury. iv + 19 pp. Cased. 2013.
Thomas Heyrick was a parish priest in Harborough, Leicestershire, in the 1680s and 90s. As a poet he is best known for his poems on the natural world. This book collects all of his shorter poems on birds and animals - the first new edition of these poems since 1691. The subjects range from moles to crocodiles, dogs to apes, eagles to peacocks, and even include an 'Indian tomineios' – a South American hummingbird.
John Wells says, 'Heyrick has never been a widely-known poet, but his best work is full of spirit and imagination, and these twelve poems about living creatures are among the most attractive things he wrote.'
$40 or £25
The Greek types of the Jericho Press. A specimen with notes by J. F. Coakley. 22 pp. Types: Garamond, plus various Greeks. Cased, 25 x 16 cm. 2014.
A companion volume toThe Hebrew types published in 2010. The Jericho Press collection includes most of the Monotype Greeks in academic use, as well as Proctor's famous type of 1903 (see Lancelot Andrewes and Archimedes above) and 'Alexandrian' and 'Sussex' uncials (the latter perhaps never before shown). Along with the specimen showings, the book includes some previously unpublished information on the history of Monotype New Hellenic, and of Will Carter's Greek type designed (but never produced) for the Cambridge University Press.
Sixty numbered copies.
$75 or £45.
Hebrew types and Greek types together $125 or £75.
Lyra catenata Verses by A. N. L. Munby, edited with a preface by Liam Sims. v + 15 pp. Cased. 2015.
A. N. L. ('Tim') Munby (1913-1974), Librarian of King's College, Cambridge and well-known bookman, was a prisoner of war in Germany from 1940 until 1945. His verses reflect the life of a POW in an officers' camp - not extremely oppressive, but tedious and frustrating. The verses, always cheerful and clever, were partly written for camp dramatic productions, and they must have helped keep up his own and others' spirits. Tim published nine of his poems privately in 1948 under the title Lyra catenata, 'a chained song', in an edition of 35 copies. The present edition reprints these nine and adds two more: one from a 1947 anthology, and another ('Augustus Stokes: a cautionary tale') by kind permission of the author's son Giles Munby from among the unpublished verses in his notebooks.
Eighty numbered copies, printed in Walbaum types on Zerkall mould-made paper. Part of the proceeds from the sale of this book goes to the Munby Fund at King's College, building on Tim's bibliographical legacy.
$48 or £32
Copies of any of the publications in print can be ordered from the printer. Please write to J. F. Coakley, Annesdale House, 21 Castelhythe, Ely CB7 4BU, UK; or send him a message by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Postage normally has to be added to the prices.
This page is copyright © J. F. Coakley 2015. It was last updated on 23 July 2015.