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A great cedar tree representing the Catholic church, contrasted with two smaller trees representing later denominations. Engraving after W. Cave, ca. 1675.

Cave, William, 1637-1713.

About this work


The tree in the centre has the legend "The church catholick". Banderolles around the trunk from the ground upwards read "Jesus Christ"; "Bishop of our soules 1 Pet. 2.25"; "12 apostles bishops Act 1.20"; and "Their successors bishops Acts 20.28". Lettering up the trunk of the tree, from "The church catholick": "Governed by episcopacy 1541 yeares". The tree being planted on the left has the legend "New, but not true, plants." while the one on the right has "These hold neither root not order". Two subsidiary trunks break off from the base of the main trunk. The left one is lettered "Presbytery. Began 1541" and has branches engraved with the names of reformers: Smectymnuus (pseudonym of a group of Puritans), [Christopher] Cartwright, [John] Knox, [Theodore] Beza, [Jean] Calvin. The right one is lettered "Independency began 1647" and has branches engraved with the names of [Sydrach] Simpson, Burrow [Jeremiah Burroughs], [William] Bridge, [Philip] Nye and [Thomas] Goodwin, all members of the Independent church in the 1640s. A banderolle linking the two split-off trunks says "These hold the roote, but not the order of the Catholick church" The branches arising from the trunk are engraved with the names of places where churches were formed: Abyssenes; Cyrene; Numidia; Islands; Egypt; France; Syria; Italie; Greece; Asia Minor; Spaine; Britania; India. Higher branches are engraved with the names of the apostles. The fruits of the tree are crowned, and engraved with the names of churches which appointed bishops. The outermost leaves of the tree are engraved with the names of church fathers and early saints


The goodly cedar of Apostolick and Catholick episcopacy, compared with the moderne shoots & slips of divided novelties, in the Church. ...


[London] : [R. Norton for R. Royston], [1675?]


[State without "before the Introduction of the Apostles Lives" added below the lettering "Place this figure at page 23"].

Physical description

1 print : engraving ; image 26.5 x 31.9 cm

Publications note

British Museum, Catalogue of political and personal satires, vol. 2?, London 1870, no. 1997


Wellcome Library no. 36255i

Creator/production credits

By the English clergyman and patristic scholar William Cave (1637-1713). "Cave published his portion of the work [Antiquitates Christianae by Jeremy Taylor] (Antiquitates apostolicae) independently several times; it includes the lives of the twelve apostles as well as Paul, Mark, and Luke and ends with an account of the first 200 years of the 'five great churches' founded by the apostles. ... Cave's interest in charts and tables continued throughout his life" (Oxford dictionary of national biography)


  • English


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