Odds and quads - 8 August 2013

This 400-year-old Bible is probably the most infamous of the rare religious books and manuscripts held in the University of Leicester’s Robjohns Collection

August 8, 2013

It was the cause of great controversy in 17th-century Britain – all thanks to a single typo that seemingly encouraged infidelity.

This is the “Wicked Bible” of 1631, so called because the printers omitted the word “not” in the Seventh Commandment so that it reads: “Thou shalt commit adultery”. The offending passage, from Exodus 20:14, is pictured.

The book was co-published by Robert Barker, printer of the first edition of the King James Bible. As one of the royal printers, the mistake drew the attention and scorn of Charles I (pictured) and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Barker and fellow publisher Martin Lucas were heavily fined and all 1,000 copies of the Wicked Bible were ordered to be destroyed.

It is thought that only a small number remain in existence, including this example at Leicester.

Send suggestions for this series on the treasures, oddities and curiosities owned by universities across the world to matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Research Assistant LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE LSE
Lecturer in University Study Skills UNIVERSITY OF HAFR AL BATIN
Lecturer in English Language UNIVERSITY OF HAFR AL BATIN

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest