A Companion for the Festivals and Fasts of the Church of England

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by Robert Nelson

A Companion for the Festivals and Fasts of the Church of England, with Collects and Prayers for Each Solemnity is a catechism written by [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Nelson_%28nonjuror%29 Robert Nelson (1656–1715), London-born religious writer and philanthropist. The catechism, as the title suggests, provides an account of a particular saint for every day of feast and fast found in the Book of Common Prayer in 1622. Appropriate prayers and a homily on which aspects of Christian life were associated with the particular festival or fast followed each entry. The catechism was widely disseminated—there were more than forty editions—even outside of England and was used by the clergy for sermon ideas on holy days.[1] "It is firmly of its time. Biblical criticism and historical study of the lives of saints have made some of the material out of date, while the ethical and moral precepts reflect the social and political presuppositions of Nelson's day."[2]

Bibliographic Information

Author: Robert Nelson

Title: A Companion for the Festivals and Fasts of the Church of England, with Collects and Prayers for Each Solemnity

Publication Info: 11th ed. London : Printed by W. Bowyer for R. Bonwick, T. Goodwin, J. Walthoe, M. Wotton, B. Tooke, R. Wilkin, R. Smith, and T. Ward, 1720.


Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Purchased by George Wythe from the Williamsburg Printing Office for 12/6 in 1764.[3] All of the Wythe Collection sources (Goodwin[4], Dean's Memo[5], Brown's Bibliography[6] and George Wythe's Library[7] on LibraryThing) list this title. Dean suggests the 1704 edition while the other three sources list the 1720 edition purchased by the Wolf Law Library.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in early full leather with ink signature of the former owner at the top of the titlepage. Purchased from Apleford Bookoom.

View this book in William & Mary's online catalog.


  1. Alan Cook, [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/19883 "Nelson, Robert (1656–1715)" in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004- ), accessed 11 Nov 2013.
  2. Ibid.
  3. The Virginia Gazette Daybooks, 1750-1752 & 1764-1766, ed. Paul P. Hoffman (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1967).
  4. Mary R. M. Goodwin, The George Wythe House: Its Furniture and Furnishings (Williamsburg, Virginia: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library, 1958), lii. Available at http://research.history.org/DigitalLibrary/View/index.cfm?doc=ResearchReports\RR0216.xml
  5. Memorandum from Barbara C. Dean, Colonial Williamsburg Found., to Mrs. Stiverson, Colonial Williamsburg Found. (June 16, 1975), 8 (on file at Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary).
  6. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433
  7. LibraryThing, s. v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on June 28, 2013, http://www.librarything.com/profile/GeorgeWythe