Commentary on Star Chamber Decree 1637

Research output: Other contribution


A decree of the Star Chamber designed to regulate the printing of all literary works, whether ecclesiastical or secular in nature. The decree further entrenched the significance and validity of ‘stationers' copyright' in requiring that no work be printed without first being entered on the Company of Stationers' Register Book. The decree also provided that any materials printed thereafter were to carry both the name of the printer and the author of the work.
The commentary describes how, by comparison with earlier decrees (see: uk_1566; uk_1586), the 1637 Decree provided a more elaborate system for licensing both ecclesiastical and secular works as well as a more comprehensive set of regulations to govern the operation of the printing trade. As a regulatory measure, it is widely regarded as representing the high point of the Company of Stationers' control and authority over the book trade.
Original languageEnglish
TypeScholarly Commentary
Media of outputOnline
PublisherUniversity of Cambridge
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Please cite as: Deazley, R. (2008) ‘Commentary on Star Chamber Decree 1637', in Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,


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