AN extremely rare book which dates back to the early 17th Century is to be auctioned in Macclesfield.
The Booke of Martyrs by John Taylor is a 1627 version of the original text by John Foxe published in 1563.
It was brought into Adam Partridge Auctioneers on one of its valuation days and was quickly recognised to be one of just two known in existence.
It details Christian martyrs throughout history, focussing in particular upon Protestant struggles under the Catholic Church.
Those mentioned include William Tyndale, the first person to translate the Bible into English, Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1533-1555, and Thomas Cromwell, 1st Earl of Essex, a character in the BBC’s recent adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall.
The book will be auctioned by Adam Partridge Auctioneers on March 5 and is expected to sell for between £3,000 and £5,000.
The owner from Northwich had no idea of its value until he visited the auction house during one of its valuation days.
The book was discovered by valuer Fiona Young who immediately knew it was special.
Fiona said: “Despite the size of the book, it was clear that it had some age to it, and the distinctive back-to-back binding caused it to catch my eye. After doing research into the item, its rarity became apparent and we are looking forward to it going up for sale.”