Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Let us begin on the first page.  Here Maximilian Joseph outlines the rights and privileges of use and distribution of the book.  (The first sentence is 83 words long. We will break it up.)

We, Maxilian Joseph, King of Bavaria, by God's grace:
      On December 26 of the previous year, we authorized the introduction of a new hymnal for all the protestant congregations in our kingdom.  Now we also wish to grant the rights to said hymnal to a yet to be established foundation for pastor's widows.  Similarly all of the liturgical writings yet to be published for the use of the church, as well as all of the protestant books of religion for use in the instruction in the schools will be used to further the establishment this institution for the widows and orphans of pastors.
       Therefore, we grant to this foundation for pastor's widows the sole right to publish, print, distribute and sell the above mentioned books in order to achieve the best sales price and the necessary uniformity.  It may distribute these through its own network in the entire kingdom.
     As a consequence we prohibit all the subjects of the kingdom, especially all printers and distributors of books, from permitting the printing of these books and writings for any reasons whatsoever.  Such action will meet our very highest condemnation and a fine of one hundred ducats.  One half of this fine will go to the public treasury and the remaining half to fund the pastor's widows.
     At the same time, we empower the administration of the fund for pastor's widows, in order to enforce their rights, to take measures against any infringements upon them, to have illegal editions confiscated, and to deal with the according to received instructions.  For this reason, also, all writings published by the pastor's widows fund shall bear a particular stamp.
    We have signed this document in our own hand, attached our own seal and announced the measures in our government newsletter.
   This is an edict from our capital city of Munich on the fourth of August, 1811, in the sixth year of our reign.
    Max Joseph, Duke of Montgelus.

Interesting.  He calls all his non-Catholic (Bavaria was always strictly Roman Catholic) "protestants."  He grants a copyright to a charitable foundation to achieve a good price and consistency.   He does not actually mention the catechism, but it seems to be included in the general "liturgical writings."

I think Maximilian Joseph would approve of the University of Michigan making a charitable donation for its reprint.

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