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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Treveris, Peter

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TREVERIS, PETER (fl. 1525), printer, is known only from having issued books from 1522 to 1532. His surname was supposed by Ames to show that he was a native of the city of Treves or Treveris. It has been maintained, however, that he was a member of the Cornish family of Treffry, a name sometimes spelt Treveris. A Sir John Treffry fought at Poictiers, and took as supporters to his arms a wild man and woman. These were retained by Peter Treveris in his trade device (Notes and Queries, 4th ser. xii. 374), but they were not uncommon in the devices of other printers of the period. A Peter Trevers was, on 4 Aug. 1461, appointed keeper of the chancery rolls in Ireland (Cal. Patent Rolls, 1461–7, p. 26).

Treveris's printing office was in Southwark at the sign of the ‘Wodows.’ His first dated book was an edition of the ‘Syntaxis’ of Robert Whitinton, issued in 1522. Several earlier works are quoted by bibliographers, but the dates ascribed to them are either supposititious, or else refer to the writing rather than the printing. Treveris issued in all between thirty and forty books, and more than half of these were small grammatical tracts. Perhaps the most important book which came from his press was the handsome edition of Trevisa's translation of Higden's ‘Polychronicon,’ issued in 1527, and printed at the expense of John Reynes. This, the ‘Great Herball,’ and the two works of Hieronymus Braunschweig, ‘The noble Experyence of the virtuous Handy-worke of Surgeri’ and ‘The vertuouse Book of the Dystillacion of the Waters,’ are the only important books which he printed.

It has been stated that Treveris printed for a while at Oxford, but there is no evidence that such was the case (cf. Madan, Early Oxford Press, pp. 10, 273). One book of his, however, an edition of the ‘Opus Insolubilium’ for use at Oxford, was printed for ‘I. T.,’ probably John Dorne or Thorne, the Oxford bookseller.

Some of the printing material which had belonged to Treveris found its way, on the cessation of his press, into Scotland, and was there used by Thomas Davidson, who, like Treveris, used as his device a shield, bearing his mark and initials, suspended from a tree, and supported by two savages or ‘wodows.’

[Ames's Typogr. Antiq. ed. Herbert, iii. 1441–1446.]

E. G. D.