1674 BCP in Arabic | Salisbury Cathedral

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Cover of 1674 Book of Common Prayer in Arabic

The original seventeenth century binding with gold tooling detail. The spine in particular has sustained some damage and wear during its history.

The Lord's Prayer in Arabic

Being an Arabic text the book would have been read from right to left, the opposite to the European custom. On the left hand side is the text of the Lord's Prayer.

Front boards of the 1674 Book of Common Prayer in Arabic

As you can see the binding is somewhat pitted and cracked, probably just caused by deterioration over a period of time. It may also have suffered from damp at some point in the past 330 years.

The title page of the 1674 Book of Common Prayer in Arabic

Being an Arabic text, the title pages is in European terms at the 'back' of the book,

Inside the front cover of the 1674 Book of Common Prayer in Arabic

The Cathedral Library's bookplate has been affixed to what in European terms is the front of the book. The book forms one of a large collection from Bishop Seth Ward's personal library and which he bequeathed to the Cathedral after his death in 1689.

Inscription to Bishop Seth Ward from Edward Pococke in the 1674 Book of Common Prayer in Arabic

Inscription in the book probably in Edward Pococke's hand. Translated it reads 'Seth of Salisbury [Sarum] a gift from the translator'. The inscription is dated March 1st 1674 or 1675 depending on whether the Old Style or New Style dating is used. 1752 was the first year in England to officially begin on 1 January. Until the Calendar Act of 1752, the year in England began officially on 25 March (Lady Day), and not 1 January (even though this was when New Year’s Day was celebrated). So for a document dated any time between January and 24 March before 1752, it is necessary to add a year, often this written as January 1750/51, the year as it was known at the time / the year as we know it now. This is also known as OS (Old Style) and NS (New Style).