The whole booke of Psalmes faithfully translated into English metre


The Bay Psalm Book is an English translation of the Book of Psalms in verse, meant to be sung as hymns in a church. Dissatisfied with the existing psalm books, the leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony resolved to prepare their own. Printed in Cambridge in 1640, the Bay Psalm Book is the first text to be printed in British America. Only 11 of the original 1,700 copies survive. The copy in the JCB bears the autograph of one of the translators, Richard Matter, and is the only complete copy in its original binding. It was bought in 1881 by Sophia Augusta Brown from their neighbour and book collector Caleb Fiske Harris. In 1883, her son John Nicholas Brown brought the book to London to have it rebound by the famous binder Francis Bedford. The original binding of the book was only saved because Bedford was too sick and John Nicholas decided to take the book back to Providence.

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