In 1966, University Books of New Hyde Park, New York, launched an ambitious project to reprint in a volume-by-volume facsimile The Dictionary of Slang and its Analogues that was published privately by subscription, and in the teeth of legal obstructions by printers who claimed that their modesty was shocked by the work's content, between 1890 and 1904 in seven volumes. Sensibly University Books commenced work by re-issuing the second edition of the first volume, revised and enlarged by the original compilers, John Stephen Farmer and William Ernest Henley, and published in two parts, in 1903 and 1909. It is unfortunate that this is as far as the project went and no further volumes were reprinted.
However, aside from the importance of having the quite rare revision made available again, and in a handsome, cased edition, this solitary volume had a couple of additions that make it even more valuable. First there are two Introductions, one, 'On Sexual Speech and Slang,' by the late Gershon Legman, being of particular interest; and secondly there is reproduced, as the frontispiece, the only known photograph of Farmer, which Legman acquired from Dr. Eric Dingwall, himself an authority on some of the more curious bypaths of literature.
Legman's introductory essay deals at considerable length and in great detail with sexual slang and related unorthodox language, and the attempts, historically, to document and catalogue it. In section VII (p. lvi) of this essay, Legman describes his frustrations with attempting to learn more about the "mysterious and enigmatic figure of John Stephen Farmer."
Despite extensive research, the best Legman was able to do was to quote (presumably from a letter) that Farmer was "very peculiar, believed in the occult, never had any money, and lived with a woman to whom he was not married." The man who supplied this tidbit got it himself second-hand, from a clergyman who had apparently known Farmer in his last years. Legman adds: "As biography, that will hardly do." Indeed. But this was in 1962, before the appearance of a short article on Farmer by Dr. Dingwall that was published in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research (vol. 51, 1981-82) which adds a little more to our knowledge of the subject, and from which the following is drawn.
Almost nothing is known of Farmer prior to 1880, and he seems to have sprung, fully formed so to speak, onto the literary stage at the age of twenty-six. Dingwall states, without giving his source for saying so, that Farmer's father Alfred was a "painter, plumber and glazier," yet the census records, which are described more fully in the genealogical section below, indicate that his profession or occupation was that of a "City Missionary." This latter might account in some measure for Farmer's earliest occupations and books, at least four on the subject of spiritualism, and his association with Light - "A High Class Weekly Journal for Spiritualists and Inquirers." He managed and edited Little Hearts and Little Hands, described on its masthead as "An Illustrated Monthly for the Children of Spiritualists", and contributed to Home Chats. He was also associated with The Psychological Review for which he wrote articles and editorial material.
I said 'at least four' books on spiritualism, but there is a possible fifth, called Ex Oriente Lux, which is as enigmatic as its author. It appears listed together with other Farmer titles in the 'by the same author' advertisements in several of his books, and yet I've been unable to trace a copy of it anywhere. It appears in none of the major national or university libraries, most of which can be conveniently searched by using such 'umbrella' internet search sites as WorldCat and Copac, and neither is it to be found in the libraries of the Society for Psychical Research, the College of Psychic Studies and the Spiritualists' National Union, officers of which kindly instigated searches at my request. Finally, I was not able to find a copy in the Harry Price Library of Magical Literature at the Senate House Library of the University of London, although there is evidence to suggest that the collection is not formally catalogued.
In addition to his labours in the field of spiritualism, Farmer also acted in the capacity of confidential secretary to Quintin Hogg (1845-1903), the philanthropist best known as the benefactor of the Royal Polytechnic institution at Regent Street, London, which today is the University of Westminster, for whom he also undertook editorial duties on various periodicals such as Home Tidings and the Polytechnic Magazine.
Farmer's work on the early drama seems to have begun in 1905 with three volumes that were 'Privately Printed for Subscribers of the Early English Drama Society', the address of which was 18 Bury Street, London, W.C. In an affidavit dated 24 April 1905, submitted as part of his divorce proceedings, Farmer states that he was living at 18 Bury Street, which suggests that the Society might have been his own invention, with himself as the only member, save his subscribers. This thought is reinforced by my inability to trace any reference to such a society as an entity unconnected with the sale of books published under its ægis. However, the address was also occupied by a publisher named Gibbings and Company whose name appears on some of the Society's publications, as will be seen in the checklist below. Perhaps Farmer was renting rooms from them, or else using them as an accommodation address?
About 1907, Farmer began to publish reprints of old plays beneath the umbrella of the 'Tudor Facsimile Texts,' at first from 16 Henrietta Street, the London address of T. C. & E. C. Jack, a publisher who also had offices in Edinburgh. This relationship lasted until about 1909, after which no publisher's name is given, and the general consensus in library catalogues is that they were all published in Amersham, Buckinghamshire where Farmer was living in 1911, at The Laurels, Beamond End, Amersham.
(In a slightly interesting aside, an advertisement in The New York Dramatic Mirror for August 6th 1904 urges theatrical agents to be on the lookout for "Leon Morris's Big New Act. The Perfection of Animal Training," obligingly providing Mr. Morris's address, which also happens to be The Laurels at Beamond End. Mr. Morris seems to have been something of a celebrity, with an article by Foster Coates devoted to him in the April 1892 number of The Ladies Home Journal. Sadly, the year after the 1904 advertisement appeared, The Pharmaceutical Journal (Dec. 16 1905) reports that Mr. Morris's wife, whilst "in a fit of temper," comitted suicide by drinking carbolic acid. But I digress.)
Like the 'Early English Drama Society', the 'Tudor Facsimile Texts' has no apparent existence as an organizational entity, which further strengthens the idea that Farmer was publishing these valuable facsimiles himself, although he certainly had some help. In both A Rough Hand-List of the Tudor Facsimile Texts (1911) – which carried Farmer's Amersham address – and A Hand-List to the Tudor Facsimile Texts (1914) the titlepages states that the series was published under the "General Editorship and Supervision of John S. Farmer, assisted by Craftsmen of Repute and Standing." Who these craftsmen might have been is unknown, at least to me.
Finally, there is the suspicion that Farmer may have been involved in some erotica around the turn of the 19th century. This possibility seems to have originated with Gershon Legman in an essay originally published in issue no. 9 (1953) in Samuel Roth's periodical American Aphrodite, and later reprinted, with some revisions, as the title essay in The Horn Book (New York: University Books, 1964). In this, Legman discusses at length an erotic work called The Horn Book: A Girl's Guide to the Knowledge of Good and Evil first published in 1898– Legman gives the date as 1899, but this was a pirated second edition. He shows that it is actually a translation or adaptation of an earlier French work called Instruction libertine, but he argues that the inclusion in the English version of a substantial number of references to, and digressions on, English sexual slang not found in the French texts points to Farmer's hand in its production. Legman's argument is strengthened by the fact that although the first edition of The Horn Book was published at Paris, by Charles Carrington, it was printed by H. C. A. Thieme, in Nimeguen, Holland, who were also the printers of some volumes of Farmer's acknowledged Slang and its Analogues.
Another book which has elements pointing to Farmer's involvement is Suburban Souls (1901), also published at Paris by Carrington. In this, the narrator or central character is called, variously, 'Jacky S.' or 'John S.' and a number of references are made to him editing and adapting two works for Carrington, one being The Horn Book. Chapters are often preceded by quotations from early English plays by authors such as Massinger and Ford, precisely the playwrights featuring in Farmer's series of facsimile reprints. The novel, which is semi-epistolary in form and published in three volumes, is an account of the obsession of a middle-aged English broker at the Paris bourse with 19-year-old Lilian Arvel, the daughter of a colleague. For an English erotic book it is, unusually, quite well written, but is stylistically 'odd' in a way which suggests that, like The Horn Book, it may be an English adaptation or reworking of a French novel, but one that is lost to us. Alternatively, it could be an English version of a French MS that came into Carrington's hands. Either way, Farmer could have undertaken the translation or editorship, or both.
Two other erotic titles may, for similar reasons, be included in the possible repertoire of Farmer's involvement in the genre: The Double Life of Cutherbert Cockerton (1899 or 1900) and Love and Safety (1885). The former, like The Horn Book and Suburban Souls, was published at Paris by Charles Carrington, and is a translation or adaptation of Restif de la Bretonne's somewhat unpleasant incest fantasy L'Anti-Justine, originally published at Paris in 1799.
Love and Safety is something of a challenge since unlike the other books mentioned in this context, it was published in London by either William Lazenby or, more probably, Edward Avery, and printed there by James Henry Gaball. If Farmer was connected with this title in any capacity, it suggests a possible conduit for him to have met and formed a relationship with Carrington in Paris since there is evidence that Carrington – who was English although of Portugese descent, being named in reality Paul Ferdinando – may have acted as a 'runner' for Avery in the late 1880s before taking up publishing on his own account.
The evidence is admittedly circumstantial, but to borrow Legman's final remark in regard to his suggestion Henry Spencer Ashbee was the author of My Secret Life, 'a more likely candidate will not easily be found.'
The following genealogical information emerged initially from E. J. Dingwall's discovery of Farmer's date of birth, and the names of his mother and father. Despite this information having been published in Dingwall's article in The Journal of the Society for Psychical Research in 1981-82, it wasn't picked up by any of the major research libraries, who, if they make a stab at his dates at all, give 'c.1845-c.1915.' Given a solid starting point, I was able to put together many of the basic facts of his life, as will be seen. The details of his legal problems in respect of his wives and abandoned children have been summarized from the work done on Stuart Gregory's genealogical site dedicated to the early pioneer settlers of the mid north coast of New South Wales, Australia, and I refer to the entry there for John Stephen Farmer and in particular the notes by Richard Farmer. These were in their turn a précis of the legal documents held in the Public Records Office, but I am nevertheless in the debt of Mr. Gregory and Mr. Farmer for their research and permission to draw on it.
John Stephen Farmer born at Bedford March 7th 1854 to Alfred Henry Farmer (born August 27th 1827 at Biggleswade, Bedfordshire), described in the census returns as a 'City Missionary,' and Pheobe [sic] Sheppard (born about 1830 at Beaford, Bedfordshire). Alfred and Pheobe were married April 29th 1850 at Bedford.
John Stephen was the first of eight children born to Alfred and Pheobe: Herbert Alfred Farmer (born 1856 at Bedford). - Frederick Farmer (born 1857 at Loddon, Norfolk). - Arthur Sheppard Farmer (born 1860 at Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire). - Ellen Elizabeth Farmer (born 1st Nov. 1861 at Greenwich). - George Albert Farmer (born 21st November 1862 at Westminster). - Elizabeth Ellen Farmer (22nd May 1865 at Bedford). - Alfred Henry Farmer (born 1871 at Lambeth).
John's marital relationships were irregular to say the least. His first marriage was to Mary Elizabeth Kate Chapman, the daughter of a coachman, which took place 31st May 1873 at St. Michael's Church, Pimlico. John's profession was that of 'reporter' and at the time he was living at 37 Moreton Place, Pimlico. The witnesses were Herbert Farmer and Laura Priscilla Chapman. Following the marriage, the pair lived for a time at 69 Eccleston Square Mews, Pimlico, which seems to have been the home of Mary Elizabeth's parents who were shown as living there in the censuses for 1871 and 1881, and at other times Hendon and Brixton. This marriage produced two children, both born at Lambeth: Jessie Sarah Farmer (born 23 August 1878) and Janet Daisy Farmer (born 3rd November 1880).
Mary Elizabeth Kate filed for divorce on 19th January 1884. The petition lists the two children mentioned above, and claims that John Stephen deserted Mary Elizabeth in July 1880 and thereafter cohabited with "a woman who passed as Mrs. Farmer" at Epsom and East Moulsey. The woman referred to is almost certainly the Edith Farmer, who appears in the 1881 census returns as John Stephen's wife. There seems no evidence that they were indeed married, although there was one child from the affair, Eleanor D. Farmer. Although Eleanor is included in the 1881 census, where she is said to have been born about 1880 at Wandsworth, I've been unable to find an official registration of her birth.
As part of her petition, Mary Elizabeth asks for dissolution of the marriage, custody of the children and alimony payments. At the time of the petition, she was living in Dunstans Road, Honor Oak in Surrey. John Stephen was living at 3 Great James Street, Bedford Row in London, and working as a journalist.
On 9 August 1884, John Stephen was found guilty of adultery but not of desertion. No reason for this decision is given in the documentation. John Stephen did not appear in court. On 20th January 1885, he was ordered to pay costs of 65 pounds 19 shillings 4 pence and on 12 May 1885, was ordered to pay alimony at the rate of a pound per week, backdated to 25 April.
On 14 February 1887, Mary Elizabeth filed a supplementary petition, alleging that John Stephen had deserted her for a period of two years prior to submission of the second petition. This was accepted by the court, and a decree nisi was granted on 30 March 1887. Mary Elizabeth was given custody of the children. On 1 November 1887, a decree absolute was issued, just nine days before John Stephen's marriage to his second wife.
On 4 June 1891, John Stephen was ordered to pay Mary Elizabeth further costs of 30 pounds 2 shillings.
John Stephen's second marriage took place at St. Mary, Hornsey, by license, on 10th November 1887. His bride was Alice Amelia Caswell who was living at 35 Park Road, Hornsey, the daughter of a deceased corn trader. John himself appears to have been living at the National Liberal Club, and gave his profession as an author and journalist. His own father was also deceased by this time. The witnesses to the marriage were Eliza Ann Caswell and Frances Brindle.
There were three children born of this union: Ralph Ashley Farmer (1889-1971) and Harry Bernard Farmer (1892-1958).
The third, Harold F. Farmer, is something of a puzzle. Unlike his siblings, he isn't included in the divorce proceedings between John and Eliza, which are described below, but does appear in the 1901 census where he said to have been born in 1888 at Winchester, Hampshire. Also present in this census are Harry and Ralph Farmer, their mother Alice and her older sister Eliza. John Stephen is elsewhere, specifically visiting an attorney named Edgar F Church in Putney, in the company of his third wife, Rose Georgina Farmer. Curiously, the places of birth given for John Stephen and his wife are transposed, with John being born in Sheerness in Kent and Rose Georgina in Bedford.
I've been unable to trace the birth of a Harold A. Farmer between 1887 and 1889 in Hampshire, and the name appears only three times in the records: in the 1901 census, already mentioned, in the 1911 census where he listed as an unmarried lodger at Croaton House, 126 Grosvenor Road, Rugby; and in the death records where he is listed as dying in 1965, also at Rugby. One possibility for Harold not being included in the divorce proceedings may be that he was not actually John Steven's son. The birth and census records are not exact, and Harold is shown as being born in 1887 or 1888. As John married Alice in November 1887, it maybe that Alice was already pregnant with another man's son, or had already given birth to him.
Alice Amelia filed a petition for divorce on the 8th May 1894, which claimed that between 1892 and 1894 John Stephen was violent towards Alice Amelia, neglected both her and the children and committed adultery on numerous occasions with Rose Fordham, who would become John Stephen's third wife. As part of her petition, Alice Amelia asks for dissolution of the marriage, custody of the children and alimony payments. At the time of the petition, she was living at 47 Acacia Road, Sydenham in Kent.
On the 28th January 1895, John Stephen was found guilty of adultery and cruelty. He was in court but did not contest the findings. A decree nisi was granted and Alice Amelia given custody of the children. John Stephen was ordered to pay costs. A decree absolute was issued on 20 April 1896. As with his divorce from his first wife he didn't wait too long to married again, this time just six weeks.
Claiming to be a widower, as he did on his marriage certificate to Alice Amelia Caswell, John Stephen married Rose Georgina Fordham at Brighton Registry Office on June 4th 1896. John's father is described as a clergyman, and Alice is the daughter of a retired grocer named Henry Fordham. At this time, John was forty years of age and his new wife was twenty-five.
The documentation surrounding Rose Georgina's divorce from John Stephen is incomplete. The original petition and response to it that John Stephen might have made are missing, as are the certificates of decree nisi and decree absolute. What remains are the issues treating of Rose Georgina's allegations of desertion and payments of alimony.
An affidavit presented on behalf of Rose Georgina, who at the time as living at 171 Wardour Street, London, states that she was receiving payments of 30 shillings per week, but these had ceased. Rose Georgina and John Stephen have not lived together for two years, the "last cohabitation" having occurred the previous August. The main body of this affidavit is undated, but seems likely to have been made between February and May 1905; a note appended to the affidavit, dated 16 May, states that a separation order had previously been made in February 1900 but that Rose Georgina returned to John Stephen in October 1901; census returns show that they were living together in 1901, but she was in the St Pancras Workhouse in December 1904.
John Stephen wrote an affidavit on 24 April 1905, perhaps in response to Rose Georgina's, in which he argued that he could not pay Rose Georgina more than fifteen shillings a week, claiming that he was very short of money as a result of, variously, a downturn in the publishing trade, the bankruptcy of a literary agent, and the death of a colleague who is unnamed, but was presumably William Ernest Henley, his collaborator on Slang and its Analogues, who had died in July 1903. At the time, Farmer was living at 18 Bury Street, London.
Farmer was summoned to appear at a Petty Sessional Court on 16 May 1905 to answer a charge of desertion and was found guilty. The magistrate issued a further separation order. John Stephen was ordered to pay four shillings in costs and provide Rose Georgina with twenty-five shillings per week. On 24 May 1905, John Stephen filed a notice of appeal, arguing that twenty-five shillings week was "excessive and not reasonable having regard to the means of the said Defendant". The appeal was allowed at a divisional court, and the weekly payment reduced to fifteen shillings. According to Court Minutes, a decree absolute was issued on 6 June 1905.
There seems to have been no children from Farmer's marriage to Rose Georgina, but he compensated for this with his next wife, actually a common-law arrangement, with Mary Jane Dicker. With Mary Jane, John seems to have had three children: Phyllis May Farmer (born 2nd October 1900 at Headington Workhouse, Headington, Oxford, died June quarter 1967 at Hove, Sussex). – Cecilia Jack [?] Farmer, who was born 30 May 1902 at Alton, Hampshire, and died in the June quarter of 1956, at Islington as Cecilia J. Harris; she was previously married to Reginald Herrington. – Harry Bertram Farmer (born 14th January 1904, at Stockbridge, Hampshire, died December quarter 1979 at Worthing, West Sussex). John was living with all three of the children in the 1911 census at The Laurels, Beamond End, Amersham, Buckinghamshire, where he was pursuing the occupation of 'author and man of letters.' There was no sign of a wife or other female companion.
John Stephen Farmer died 18th January 1916. His address was The Rookery, West Bergholt, Essex. In his will he left £1524 12s to Mary Jane Dicker, 'spinster.' Where she was at the time - or even in 1911 when she was conspicuous by her absence from John Stephen in the census - is uncertain. There are a number of women with the same name included in the 1911 census, but the most likely is one who was born in the December quarter of 1878 in Basingstoke. In 1911, she is unmarried and listed as a 'housekeeper' at her brother Thomas's house at 50 Kings Road, Brownswood Park, Stoke Newington.
Many of the works appearing in the lists that follow are freely available online for download and/or inspection at the Internet Archive website, a most valuable resource.
[188?]. - Ex Oriente Lux. [This work is cited in a number of Farmer's publications - in 'Twixt Two Worlds (1886) for example - but I've been unable to trace a copy in any library.]
1880. - Spiritualism as a New Basis of Belief. London: E. W. Allen, 1880. 8vo. pp. xxvii. 152.
1882. - A New Basis of Belief in Immortality. London: E.W. Allen : Office of 'Psychological Review', 1882. 8vo. pp. 120.
1883. - How to investigate spiritualism. London: Psychological Press, 1883. 8vo. pp. 26.
1886 - 'Twixt Two Worlds: a narrative of the life and works of William Eglington. London: Psychological Press, 1886. 4to. pp. 196.
1889. - Americanisms, Old and New. A Dictionary of Words, Phrases, and Colloquialisms peculiar to the United States, British America, the West Indies, &c., &c., their Derivation, Meaning, and Application, together with numerous Anecdotal, Historical, Explanatory, and Folk-lore notes. Compiled and edited by John S. Farmer. London: Privately Printed by Thomas Poulter & Sons, 6, Arthur Street West, E.C., 1889. 4to. pp. xx. 564.
1889. - The Periodical Press Index [edited by John Steven Farmer]. London: 1889. 4to. [No more published.]
1890. - 'Twixt Two Worlds: a narrative of the life and works of William Eglington. [Second edition.] London: E.W. Allen, 1890. 4to. pp. 196 p.,  leaves of col. plates : ill., facsims., ports.
1890-1904 - Slang and its analogues past and present A Dictionary, historical and comparative, of the heterodox Speech of all classes of Society for more than three hundred years With synonyms in English, French, German, Italian, etc Compiled and edited by John Stephen Farmer [vol 2, etc, by John Stephen Farmer and William Ernest Henley]. London: For Subscribers Only, 1890-1904. 4to. Seven volumes.
1896 - Musa Pedestris. Three Centuries of Canting Songs and Slang Rhymes [1536-1896]. Collected and Annotated by John S. Farmer. [London:] Privately Printed for Subscribers Only, 1896. 8vo. pp. xv. 253.
1897 - A Satirycall Dialogue or a Sharplye-Invectiue Conference, betweene Allexander the Great, and that truelye woman-hater Diogynes (A). [By William Godard] … From a unique copy in the British Museum. Edited by John S. Farmer. London: Privately Printed for Subscribers Only, 1897. 4to. Unpaged. Vol. 1 of the Choice Reprints of Scarce Books and MSS series.
1897. - National Ballad and Song. Merry Songs and Ballads prior to the year A.D. 1800. Edited by John S Farmer. [London?] Privately printed for Subscribers Only, 1897. 8vo. Five volumes.
1899 - A New Dictionary of the terms ancient and modern of the canting crew, in its several tribes of Gypsies, Beggars, thieves, cheats, &c. : with an addition of some proverbs, phrases, figurative speeches, &c. : useful for all sorts of people, (especially foreigners) to secure their money and preserve their lives : besides very diverting and entertaining, being wholly new. By B.E. [London: Smith, Kay & Co., 1899.] 8vo. pp. . Facsimile reprint of the original edition, "Printed for W. Hawes & P. Gilbourne & W. Davis", London, [1699?]. No apparent connection with J. S. Farmer noted in online catalogue sources, but his editorship cited by G. Legman in: Dictionary of Slang and Its Analogues (NY: University Books, 1966), p. lxxv.
1899 - The Choise of Valentines, or The Merie Ballad of Nash his Dildo. [From MSS. Copies in the Inner Temple (Petyt MS. 538, Vol. 43, f. viii., 295 b, circa 1680) and Bodleian (Rawl. MS. Poet 216, leaves 96-106, circa 1610-20) Libraries] Edited by John S. Farmer. London: [Privately Printed for Subscribers Only] 1899. 4to. Vol. 2 of the Choice Reprints of Scarce Books and MSS series.
1900 - The Public School Word-Book. A Contribution to a Historical Glossary of Words Phrases and Turns of Expression Obsolete and in Present Use Peculiar to our Great Public Schools. Together with some that have been or are modish at the Universities. London: Privately issued for subscribers only by Hirschfeld Brothers, 13 Furnival Street, E.C. 1900. 8vo. pp. viii, 243.
1901 - The Regimental Records of the British Army. A Historical Résumé, Chronologically Arranged of Titles, Campaigns, Honours, Uniforms, Facings, Badges, Nicknames, &c. London: Grant Richards, 9 Henrietta Street, 1901. 4to. pp. 238.
1903 - Slang and its Analogues past and present Compiled and edited by John Stephen Farmer and William Ernest Henley. Revised edition [of vol 1]. London: For Subscribers Only, 1903. 4to. pp. 461.
1905 - A Dictionary of Slang and Colloquial English. Abridged from the seven-volume work, entitled Slang and its Analogues, edited by John Stephen Farmer and William Ernest Henley. London: George Routledge and Sons Limited ; New York: E. P. Dutton & Co. 1905. 8vo. pp. viii. 534.
1905 - Six Anonymous Plays. First Series (c. 1510-1537). Comprising [:] Four elements. - The beauty and good properties of women (usually known as Calisto and Melibæa). - Everyman. - Hickscorner. - The world and the child. - Thersites. Note-Book and Word-List. Edited by John S. Farmer. London: Privately printed for subscribers by the Early English Drama Society, 18 Bury Street, Bloomsbury W.C. 1905. 4to. pp. 286.
1905. - The Dramatic Writings of John Heywood. Comprising [:] The Pardoner and the Friar. - The Four P.P. - John the Husband, Tyb his Wife, and Sir John the Priest. - Play of the Weather. - Play of Love. - Dialogue concerning Witty and Witless. - Note-Book and Word-List. Edited by John S Farmer. London: Privately Printed for Subscribers of the Early English Drama Society, 18 Bury Street, Bloomsbury, W.C. 1905. 8vo. pp. 280. Limited to 60 copies.
1905. - The Dramatic Writings of Richard Wever and Thomas Ingelend. Comprising [:] Lusty Juventus. - Disobedient Child. - Nice Wanton. - Note-Book and Word-List. Edited by John S. Farmer. London: Privately Printed for Subscribers of the Early English Drama Society, 18 Bury Street, Bloomsbury, W.C. 1905. 8vo. pp. 140.
1906. - Anonymous plays. 3rd Series. Comprising [:] Jack Juggler. - King Darius. - Gammer Gurton's Needle. - New Custom. - Trial of Treasure. - Note-Book and Word-List. Edited by John S. Farmer. London: Privately Printed for Subscribers of the Early English Drama Society, 18 Bury Street, Bloomsbury, W.C. 1906. 8vo. pp. 302.
1906. - Gammer Gurton's Needle. By Mr. S., Mr. of Art. [c. 1562] Edited, with an Introduction, Note-Book and Word-List by John S. Farmer. Published by Gibbings & Co. for the Early English Drama Society, 18, Bury St. (Near British Museum) 1906. 8vo. pp. xvi. 75. The Museum Dramatists no.1.
1906. - Pardoner and the Friar: the Curate and Neighbour Pratt (c. 1533), (The) ; The four P. P. (c. 1540) by John Heywood. Edited with an introduction, Note-Book and Word-List by John Stephen Farmer. London: Published by Gibbings & Co. for the Early English Drama Society, 1906. 8vo. pp. x. 78. The Museum Dramatists Series, no. 2.
1906. - Proverbs, epigrams and miscellanies: A Dialogue of the Effectual Proverbs in the English Tongue concerning Marriages. - The First Hundred Epigrams. - Three Hundred Epigrams upon Three Hundred Proverbs. - The Fifth Hundred Epigrams. - A Sixth Hundred Epigrams. - A Description of a Most Noble Lady. - A Ballad of the Green Willow. - A Ballad against Slander and Detraction. - A Brief Ballet Touching the Traitorous Taking of Scarborough Castle. - A Ballad of the Marriage between our Sovereign Lord and our Sovereign Lady. - A note-book, word-list, and index to proverbs and colloquialisms. Edited by John Stephen Farmer. London: Privately Printed for Subscribers of the Early English Drama Society, 18 Bury Street, Bloomsbury, W.C. 1906. 8vo. pp. 466.
1906. - Six Anonymous Plays. (Second Series). Comprising [:] Jacob and Esau. - Interlude of Youth. - Albion, Knight. - Misogonus. - Godly Queen Hester. - Tom Tyler and his Wife. Note-Book and Word-List. Edited by John Stephen Farmer. London: Privately Printed for Subscribers of the Early English Drama Society, 18 Bury Street, Bloomsbury, W.C. 1906. 8vo. pp. 478. Part of the Early English Dramatists series.
1906. - The Dramatic Writings of Nicholas Udall. Ralph Roister Doister. - A Note on Udall's Last Plays. Note-Book and Word-List. Edited by John S. Farmer. London: Privately Printed for Subscribers of the Early English Drama Society, 18 Bury Street, Bloomsbury, W.C. 1906. 8vo. pp. 160. Part of the Early English Dramatists series.
1906. - The Dramatic Writings of Richard Edwards, Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville . Comprising [:] Damon and Pithias. - Palamon and Arcyte (note). - Gordubuc (or Ferrex and Porrex). - Note-Book and Word-List. Edited by John S. Farmer. London: Privately Printed for Subscribers of the Early English Drama Society, 18 Bury Street, Bloomsbury, W.C. 1906. 8vo. pp. 191. Part of the Early English Dramatists series.
1906. - The Dramatic Writings of Ulpian Fulwell. Comprising [:] Like Will to Like. - Note-Book and Word-List. Edited by John S. Farmer. London: Privately Printed for Subscribers of the Early English Drama Society, 18 Bury Street, Bloomsbury, W.C. 1906. 8vo. pp. 67.
1906. - The Summoning of Everyman. [Edited, with an introduction, Note-Book, and Word-List, by John Stephen Farmer.] London: Published by Gibbings & Co. for the Early English Drama Society, 18 Bury Street (Near British Museum), 1906. 8vo. pp. vii. 36. The Museum Dramatists Series, no. 3.
1907. - John the Evangelist. [Published under the supervision and editorship of John Stephen Farmer.] [London:] 1907. 8vo. pp. [2, 21]. Half title reads: "John the Evangelist. Supposed date of composition … bef. 1520. Supposed date of only extant copy c. 1565. Reproduced 1907." Original title with vignette (St. John): Here begynneth the enterlude of Johan the Euangelyst.
1907. - Ralph Roister Doister by Nicholas Udall. [Edited, with an introduction, Note-Book, and Word-List, by John S. Farmer.] Published by Gibbings & Co, for the Early English Drama Society, 18, Bury St, (near British Museum), London, W.C. 8vo. pp. xi. 151. The Museum Dramatists Series, no. 5.
1907. - Recently Recovered "Lost" Tudor Plays, With some Others. Comprising: Mankind. - Nature [by H. Medwall]. - Wit and Science [by J. Redford]. - Respublica. - Wealth and Health - Impatient Poverty - John the Evangelist. Note-Book and Word-List. Edited by John S. Farmer. London: Privately Printed for Subscribers of the Early English Drama Society, 18 Bury Street, Bloomsbury, W.C. 1907. 8vo. pp. viii. 472.
1907. - The Dramatic Writings of John Bale, Bishop of Ossary. Comprising: The Three Laws of Nature, Moses, and Christ. - The Chief Promises of God unto Man. - John Baptist's Preaching in the Wilderness. - The Temptation of Our Lord. - John, King of England. - A Note on the Tragedy of David and Absolom (attributed). Note-Book and Word-List. Edited by John S. Farmer. London: Privately Printed for Subscribers of the Early English Drama Society, 18 Bury Street, Bloomsbury, W.C. 1906. 8vo. pp. 347.
1907. - Wealth and Health. C. 1557-8. [One of the Tudor Facsimile Texts.] Privately Printed for Subscribers Only, 1907. [Title printed in red in University of Toronto copy.]
1908. - Five anonymous plays. (Fourth series). Comprising: Appius and Virginia. -The marriage of Wit and Science. - Grim the Collier of Croydon. - Common Conditions. - The Marriage of Wit and Wisdom. - Note-Book and Word-List. Edited by John Stephen Farmer. London: Privately Printed for Subscribers of the Early English Drama Society, 18 Bury Street, Bloomsbury, W.C. 1908. 8vo. pp. 328.
1908. - The Spider and the fly. By John Heywood. Together with an Attributed Interlude entitled 'Gentleness and Nobility'. Edited by John Stephen Farmer. London: Privately Printed for Subscribers of the Early English Drama Society, 18 Bury Street, Bloomsbury, W.C. 1908. 8vo. pp. viii. 472.
1908. - The Maid's Metamorphosis. 1600. (One of the Tudor reprinted and parallel texts. Under the Supervision and Editorship of John S. Farmer) [London:] Privately printed for subscribers, 1908. 4to. pp. vii, . Reprint set from a photographic copy of the original in the British Library.
1908. - Two Tudor "Shrew" Plays - (1) John John the Husband, Tib his Wife, and Sir John the Priest, by John Heywood (c 1533); and (2) Tom Tiler and his Wife, anonymous (c 1551). [Edited, with an introduction, Note-Book, and Word-List by John S. Farmer.] London: Published for the Early English Drama Society by Gibbings & Co., 18 Bury Street (Near British Museum), London W.C., 1908. 8vo. pp. x. 72. The Museum Dramatists Series no. 4.
1909. - Impatient Poverty. 1560. (One of the Tudor reprinted and parallel texts. Under the Supervision and Editorship of John S. Farmer) [London:] Privately printed for subscribers, 1909. 4to. pp. vi+36+[ii].
The following works, all published by Farmer using the imprint of T.C. & E.C. Jack, follow practically the same bibliographical pattern, and are in general unpaged, save for the (usually) single Introductory page written by Farmer. Since these titles were all culled from online catalogues their format – i.e. octavo, quarto, &c. – are not known and I've thought it best not to attempt to convert the irritating modern library trend of expressing format in terms of a book's vertical height only, in centimetres.
In general, the titlepage transcription of these books conforms to the following model:
' [in blackletter:] The Tudor Facsimile Texts | [rule] | [in italics:] Under the Supervision and Editorship of | [in roman caps:] JOHN S. FARMER | [title, author and/or date] | [in italics:] Issued for Subscribers by | [in caps:] T. C. & E. C. JACK, 16 HENRIETTA STREET | LONDON W. C. : AND EDINBURGH | [date in Roman caps] '
1907. - King Darius. An Hitherto (1906) Unknown Edition.
1907. - Believe as ye List. By Philip Massinger. [A facsimile of the autograph MS in the British Museum]
1907. - Lusty Juventus by Richard Wever. An hitherto (1906) unrecorded edition.
1907. - Mankind. The Macro Plays. No. 1.
1907. - Wisdom or Mind, Will and Understanding. The Macro Plays. No. 2.
1908. - Apius and Virginia. 1575.
1908. - Castle of Perseverance (The). The Macro Plays. No. 3.
1908. - Comedy Concerning (A) Three Laws of Nature, Moses and Christ, by John Bale, Bishop of Ossory. 1538.
1908. - Damon and Pithias. 1571.
1908. - Disobedient Child (The), by Thomas Ingelend. [1570?]
1908. - Ferrex and Porrex [or Gorboduc]. By Thomas Sackville and Thomas Norton. 1570-1.
1908. - Hickscorner. [c. 1497-1512.]
1908. - Jacob and Esau. 1568.
1908. - Life and Repentance of Mary Magdalene (The). By Lewis Wager. 1567.
1908. - Nature by Henry Medwall. [c. 1486-1500.]
1908. - Nature of the Four Elements (The).
1908. - New Custom. 1573.
1908. - Nice Wanton. An Unrecorded Edition (1906).
1908. - Of Gentleness and Nobility. [By John Heywood?] [1535?]
1908. - Play Called the Four PP (The), by John Heywood. [1545?]
1908. - Play of the Weather (The), by John Heywood. An Unrecorded Edition (1906).
1908. - Respublica, by Nicholas Udall. The Macro Plays. No. 4.
1908. - Trial of Treasure, (The). 1567.
1908. - Youth. [c. 1560-2.]
1909. - Beauty and Good Properties (The) of Women [otherwise Calisto and Melibæa, c. 1530]
1909. - Contract of Marriage between Wit and Wisdom (A) [c. 1579].
1909. - John John the Husband, Tyb his Wife, and Sir John the Priest, by John Heywood. 1533.
1909. - Like Will to Like by Ulpian Fulwell. 1587.
1909. - Marriage of Wit and Science (The) 1569-70.
1909. - Pardoner and the Frere, the Curate and Neybour Pratte (The). [By John Heywood] 1533.
1909. - Play of Love (A), made by John Heywood, 1534. Unpaged save for the Introduction by Farmer, which has pp. viii.
1909. - Play of the Weather (The), by John Heywood. 1533.
1909. - Temptation of Our Lord (The), by John Bale, Bishop of Ossory. 1538.
1909. - World and the Child (The), otherwise Mundus and Infans. 1522.
As with the books published under the T.C. & E.C. Jack imprint, the titlepages of the works that follow all have a more-or-less common appearance. There is, similarly, no pagination in the books, and I have again skated over the formats. All the books carry a single page of Introductory matter by Farmer which invariably includes a brief paragraph extracted from the Librarian of whichever Institution was the source of the copy-text praising the quality and excellence of Farmer's facsimile reprint.
In general, the titlepage transcription of these books conforms to the following model:
' [In black-letter:] The Tudor Facsimile Texts | [rule] | [in italics:] Under the Supervision and Editorship of | [in roman caps:] JOHN S. FARMER | [title, author and/or date] | [in italics:] Issued for Subscribers by the Editor of | [in roman caps:] THE TUDOR FACSIMILE TEXTS | [date in roman numerals] '
1910. - All for Money. By Thomas Lupton. 1578.
1910. - Birth of Merlin (The), "by William Shakespear & William Rowley" 1662.
1910. - Book of Sir Thomas More (The), by Anthony Munday.
1910. - Cambyses King of Persia by Thomas Preston. [c. 1584.]
1910. - Gammer Gurton's Needle. 1575.
1910. - History of Horestes (The). 1567.
1910. - Livest the More Fool Thou Art (The). By W. Wager. [c. 1568].
1910. - London Prodigal (The), "By William Shakespeare" 1605.
1910. - Magnificence. By John Skelton. [c. 1515-1530.]
1910. - Mucedorus. 1598.
1910. - Promos and Cassandra. By George Whetstone. 1578.
1910. - Reign of King Edward III (The) [c. 1589.]
1910. - Tide Tarrieth No Man (The). by George Wapull. [1576.]
1910. - True Chronicle History of King Leir (The). 1605.
1910. - Two Noble Kinsmen, (The), by "John Fletcher & William Shakespeare." 1634.
1910. - Yorkshire Tragedy (A). 1608.
1911. - Arden of Faversham. Attributed to William Shakespeare. 1592.
1911. - Captain Thomas Stukeley. 1605.
1911. - Cobler's Prophecy (The). By Robert Wilson. 1594.
1911. - Conflict of Conscience (The). By Nathaniel Woodes. 1581.
1911. - Death of Robert Earl of Huntington (The). [By Anthony Munday] 1601.
1911. - "Doubtful" Plays of the Third Shakespeare Folio (The).
1911. - Englishmen for My Money or A Woman will have Her Will, by William Haughton. 1616.
1911. - Fair Em. 1631.
1911. - Knack to Know a Knave (A). 1594.
1911. - Life and Death of Jack Straw (The). 1593.
1911. - Locrine, newly set foorth, overseene, and corrected. By W. S. [i.e. William Shakespeare.]
1911. - Merry Devil of Edmonton (The). 1608.
1911. - Misfortunes of Arthur (The). By Thomas Hughes & Others. 1587.
1911. - Nobody and Somebody. [c. 1592].
1911. - Patient Grissill. By "Henry Chettle, William Haughton & Thomas Dekker." 1603.
1911. - Pedler's Prophecy (The). 1594.
1911. - Puritan or the Widow of Watling Street (The). "Written by W. S." 1607.
1911. - Rough Hand-List of the Tudor Facsimile Texts, (A) Old English Plays printed … MSS. Rarities Exact Collotype Reproductions in folio & quarto. Under the general editorship of John Stephen Farmer, Assisted by Craftsmen of Repute and Standing. Beamond End, Amersham, Bucks: Issued for Subscribers by John S. Farmer, 1911. 4to. pp. 24.
1911. - Sir John Oldcastle "written by William Shakespeare" 1600.
1911. - Thomas Lord Cromwell. "Written by W. S." 1602.
1911. - Three Ladies of London (The). By R. W. [Robert Wilson?] 1584.
1911. - Trial of Chivalry (The). 1605.
1911. - Troublesome Reign of John, King of England (The). Part I. 1591.
1911. - Troublesome Reign of John, King of England (The). Part II. 1591.
1911. - Two Angry Women of Abingdon (The). By Henry Porter. 1599.
1911. - Wars of Cyrus, (The). 1594.
1911. - Weakest Goeth to the Wall. 1600.
1912. - Book of Jahn-a-Kent and John-a-Cumber (The). By Anthony Munday. 1595.
1912. - Contention between Liberality and Prodigality (The). 1602.
1912. - Everyman.
1912. - Fair Maid of Bristow (The). 1605.
1912. - Gismond of Salerne. By R[obert] W[ilmot] & Others.
1912. - Grim the Collier of Croydon. 1662.
1912. - Histrio-Mastix, or, The player whipt. By George Peele & John Marston.
1912. - How a Man May Choose a Good Wife From a Bad. 1602.
1912. - Jack Drum's Entertainment. 1601.
1912. - Jack Juggler. [c. 1553-61]
1912. - Knack to Know an Honest man (A). 1596.
1912. - Larum for London (A). 1602.
1912. - Look About You. 1600.
1912. - Maid's Metamorphosis, (The). 1600.
1912. - Pilgrimage to Parnassus, (The).
1912. - Return from Parnassus (The). 1606.
1912. - Sir Giles Goosecap. 1606.
1912. - Solimon and Perseda. 1599.
1912. - Taming of a Shrew (The). .
1912. - Thersytes. [c. 1550]
1912. - Three Lords and Three Ladies of London (The), by R. W. 1590.
1912. - Tom Tyler and His Wife. [c. 1551 (Kirkman).]
1912. - Tragedy of Tancred and Gismund (The). By R[obert] W[ilmot] & Others. 1592.
1912. - Virtuous Octavia (The). By Samuel Brandon. 1598.
1912. - Warning for Fair Women, (A). 1599.
1912. - Wily Beguild. 1606.
1912. - Wisdom of Doctor Dodypoll (The). 1600.
1912. - Wit of a Woman (The). 1604.
1913. - Claudius Tiberius Nero. 1607.
1913. - Contention between the Two Famous Houses of York and Lancaster, &c., (The First Part of the). 1594.
1913. - Devil's Charter (The). By Barnabe Barnes. 1607.
1913. - Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, (The). [By Anthony Munday] 1601.
1913. - Every Woman in Her Humor. 1609.
1913. - Famous Victories of Henry Fifth, (The). 1598.
1913. - George a Green the Pinner of Wakefield. 1599.
1913. - Greenes Tu-quoque, or, The City Gallant. By Io. Cooke. 1614.
1913. - History of the Two Maids of More-Clacke (The). By Robert Armin. 1609.
1913. - History of the Two Valiant Knights Syr Clyomon & Syr Clamydes (The). 1599.
1913. - King Richard the Third [by William Shakespeare] 1597.
1913. - Lingua. 1607.
1913. - Miseries of Enforced Marriage (The). By George Wilkins. 1607.
1913. - Noble Soldier (The). By S. R. 1634.
1913. - Ram-Alley or Merry Tricks [by Lo Barry]. 1611.
1913. - Tragedy of Caesar and Pompey (The). 1607.
1913. - Tragedy of Hoffman (The), or A Revenge for a Father. [By Henry Chettle] 1631.
1913. - True Tragedy of Richard, Duke of York (The). 1600.
1913. - Two Lamentable Tragedies. By Robert Yarrington. 1601.
1913. - Two Wise Men And All The Rest Fools. 1619.
1913. - Valiant Welshman (The), "Written by R.A. Gent" [Robert Armin?] 1615.
1913. - When You See Me You Know Me. By Samuel Rowley. 1605.
1914. - Blind Beggar of Bednall Green (The), written by John Day 1659.
1914. - Bloody Banquet (The), by T. D. 1620 (?)
1914. - Eastwood hoe made, by Geo: Chapman & Others. 1605.
1914. - Famous History of Sir Thomas Wyat (The), by Thomas Dekker & John Webster. 1607.
1914. - Glass of Government. By George Gascoigne. 1575.
1914. - Hand List to the Tudor Facsimile Texts (A): Old English Plays, Printed & MS. Rarities, Exact Collotype Reproductions in Folio & Quarto, Under the General Editorship and Supervision of John S. Farmer, assisted by Craftsmen of Repute and Standing. August 1914, Cancelling Previous Announcements. [Amersham:] Issued for Subscribers by John S. Farmer, 1914. 4to. pp. 47.
1914. - Honest Lawyer (The), Written by S. S. 1616.
1914. - Honorable Historie of Frier Bacon and Frier Bongay (The), made by Robert Greene. 1594.
1914. - New play Called: Beleeue as you List, (A). By Philip Massinger.
1914. - Looking Glasse for London and England (A). Made by Thomas Lodge & Robert Greene. 1594.
1914. - Roaring Girl (The). By T. Middleton and T. Dekker. 1611.
1914. - Robin Hood. c. 1561-9.
1914. - Swetnam the Woman-Hater. 1620.
1914. - Tragedy of Dido Queen of Carthage (The), Written by Christopher Marlow & Thomas Nash. 1594.
1914. - Tragicall History of D. Faustus (The), written by Ch. Marl[ow]. 1604.
1914. - Two Merry Milke-Maids (The). By J. C. 1620.
1914. - Westward Hoe, by Thomas Dekker and John Webster. 1607.
The items in the list below are included in either (or both) A Rough Hand-List of the Tudor Facsimile Texts (1911) or A Hand List to the Tudor Facsimile Texts (1914), but I have been unable to locate copies in any Library, which is odd in view of the fact that Farmer reproduced his facimile texts from original copies in the British Library, the Bodleian Library and elsewhere, and it is odd that these institutions do not seem to have have copies of them catalogued.
Alphonsus Emperor of Germany. By George Chapman. 1664.
Ball (The). By George Chapman & James Shirley.
Chabot Admiral of France. By George Chapman.
Changeling, (The). By Thomas Middleton & William Rowley. 1653.
Costlie Whore, (The). 1633.
Fair Quarrel, (A). By Thomas Middleton & William Rowley.
Fortune by Land and Sea. A Tragi-comedy by William Rowley and Thomas Heywood.
Ghost, (The), or, the Woman wears the Breeches. . 1653.
Honest Whore, (The). Pts. 1 & 2 by Thomas Dekker.
Insatiate Countess, (The). By John Marston.
Jeronimo pt. 1. By Thomas Kyd[?] 1604.
Jew of Malta, (The). By Christopher Marlowe. 1633.
Kirkman's Catalogue of Plays. 1671.
Knave in graine, new vampt, (The) : a witty comedy, acted at the Fortune. By John Day & Robert Cecil Bald. 1640.
Late Lancashire Witches. By Thomas Heywood & Richard Brome. 1634.
London Chanticleres. 1659.
Malcontent, (The). A tragi-comedy by John Marston & John Webster.
Old Law, (The). By Philip Massinger.
Pathomachia, or the Battle of Affections.
Play of Wit and Science, (The). By Master John Redford. 1535.
Second Maiden's Tragedy, (The). 1611.
Tragedy of Nero, (The). By Nathaniel Lee. 1607.
Tragedy of Richard III, (The).
Tragical Reign of Selimus, (The); Sometime Emperor of the Turus; a play reclaimed, by Robert Greene.
Travailes (The) of the three English brothers, Sir Thomas, Sir Anthony, Mr. Robert Shirley. By John Day. 1607.
Valiant Scot, (The). By J. W., Gent. 1637.
Virgin Martyr, (The). By Philip Massinger & Thomas Dekker.
Witch of Edmonton, (The). By William Rowley & Thomas Dekker. 1658.
Witty and Witless. By John Heywood.
Copyright © 2012 Patrick J. Kearney