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Jacob Bathen, printer, publisher and bookseller in Louvain, Maastricht and Düsseldorf c. 1545 to c. 1557

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[Jacob Bathen was born in or before 1516 as the son of Arnold Bathen and Marie Stroots. Part of his youth was spent on the farm at Vinckenbosch, part of the estate of Park Abbey near Louvain. He had two brothers named Jan (possibly also a printer) and Godfried. In 1530 he matriculated as an 'artes' student at the university in Louvain as 'Jacobus Baten de Parco'. He completed his studies in about 1535, in the process gaining the title of 'magister'. He then learned the art of printing, probably from a printer in Louvain. It is possible that he initially worked for a while as a corrector or proofreader for this printer (possibly Servaas Sassen). In 1545, in partnership with Reynier Velpen van Diest, he embarked on a career as a printer. On 4 November 1546 and 5 October 1547 he received patents allowing him to print and sell books. (There is no reference to bookbinding in the patents.) He was married to Katrien van den Berghe and the couple had at least six children. It looks very much as if Jacob Bathen was one of the two bookbinders or booksellers who stamped their bindings with the famous Spes plate stamp. It is possible, if one is minded to do so, to see in the lines of the IB monogram the letters of Bathen's name. Probably because of what was for him the economically unfavourable climate of Louvain, towards the end of 1551 Bathen decided to move his press to Maastricht. In that town, however, his printing shop and bookshop failed to flourish as he had hoped, and at the end of 1554 or beginning of 1555 he decided to go to Düsseldorf. But there business was no better. He died in 1558 and his widow subsequently remarried. Bathen's speciality was the printing of musical works with musical notation: staves and tablature for the lute. He also printed numerous ordinances and decrees on commission for both church and state, as well as a multitude of different sorts of other works: mathematical, poetical, medical, grammatical, sermons, and musical treatises. The 57 known works printed by Bathen are described briefly in a finding list., Jacob Bathen was born in or before 1516 as the son of Arnold Bathen and Marie Stroots. Part of his youth was spent on the farm at Vinckenbosch, part of the estate of Park Abbey near Louvain. He had two brothers named Jan (possibly also a printer) and Godfried. In 1530 he matriculated as an 'artes' student at the university in Louvain as 'Jacobus Baten de Parco'. He completed his studies in about 1535, in the process gaining the title of 'magister'. He then learned the art of printing, probably from a printer in Louvain. It is possible that he initially worked for a while as a corrector or proofreader for this printer (possibly Servaas Sassen). In 1545, in partnership with Reynier Velpen van Diest, he embarked on a career as a printer. On 4 November 1546 and 5 October 1547 he received patents allowing him to print and sell books. (There is no reference to bookbinding in the patents.) He was married to Katrien van den Berghe and the couple had at least six children. It looks very much as if Jacob Bathen was one of the two bookbinders or booksellers who stamped their bindings with the famous Spes plate stamp. It is possible, if one is minded to do so, to see in the lines of the IB monogram the letters of Bathen's name. Probably because of what was for him the economically unfavourable climate of Louvain, towards the end of 1551 Bathen decided to move his press to Maastricht. In that town, however, his printing shop and bookshop failed to flourish as he had hoped, and at the end of 1554 or beginning of 1555 he decided to go to Düsseldorf. But there business was no better. He died in 1558 and his widow subsequently remarried. Bathen's speciality was the printing of musical works with musical notation: staves and tablature for the lute. He also printed numerous ordinances and decrees on commission for both church and state, as well as a multitude of different sorts of other works: mathematical, poetical, medical, grammatical, sermons, and musical treatises. The 57 known works printed by Bathen are described briefly in a finding list.]

10.1163/157006989X00131
/content/journals/10.1163/157006989x00131
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/content/journals/10.1163/157006989x00131
1989-01-01
2017-11-18

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