Primer, Kings

Primer, King's is an English ecclesiastical document published in 1545, containing the Calendar, the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Salutation of the Virgin, the seven penitential psalms, a litany, and prayers for various occasions. It was edited by the authority of King Henry VIII, and hence derives its title. A prefatory admonition to the reader complains of several books calculated to mislead the people in their application to the saints, and to set God and his creatures on the same level. Though many divines had made a special distinction between λατρεία and δουλεία, and appropriated the first only to God, yet in practice this distinction was too often forgotten.

Besides the King's Primer, there is also the Goodly Prymer of 1535, drawn up by Marshal, archdeacon of Nottingham, and the Manual of Prayers or the Primer in English, of 1539. Primer means first book, and was used often as analogous to the term prayer-book, though it contained selections of services made according to the discretion of the compiler. The Prymer of Salisbury Use bears the date of various years, the first edition being published in 1527. — Eadie, s.v. See Collier, Eccles. Hist. pt. 2, bk. 2; Procter, Commentary on the Book of Common Prayer, p. 12, 75; Wheatly, On the Book of Common Prayer, p. 23.

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