July 23

Here lyes the Daye that darkness could no blind
When Papish fogges had overcaste the sunne,
This Daye the cruelle nighte did leave behind
To view, and show what blodi actes were donne
He set a Fox to wright how martyrs runne
By Death to lyfe. Fox ventured paynes and health
To give them light: Day spent in print his wealth,
But God with gayne returned his wealth agayne
And gave to him as he gave to the poore.
Two wyves he had, partakers of his payne,
Each wyf twelve babes and each of them one more:
Als [Alice] was the last increaser of his store
Who mourning long for being left alone,
Set up his tombe, herself turn’d to a stone.

Obit July 23, 1584

As prolific out of bed as in, John Day was the great English printer of his time. Born in 1522 he was apprenticed to Thomas Reynolds and by 1546 was operating a printing office in St. Sepulchre’s parish of London with William Seres. Fortunately he enjoyed the patronage of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, for whom he produced a number of books. In 1472 he printed on His Grace’s own press De Antiquitate Britaniccae Ecclisae, written by Parker, believed to be the earliest privately printed book produced in England.

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