From the Introduction by Benedict J. Williamson.
It is useful to recount the manner and order in which the Fama Fraternitatis and Confessio Fraternitatis were printed. The Fama was in circulation in manuscript form starting around 1610. The first known printing of the Fama occurred in or around August of 1614, and was printed in Cassel in Hesse by Wilhelm Wessel. The volume contained a preface (the First Preface), followed immediately by a satire on the General Reformation, then the Fama, and ending with a letter by Adam Haselmeyer. Although the letter was included in the book to give credence to the Fama and the fraternity, it would have been possible to dismiss the publication without much effort.
A second printing that was almost identical with this first one occurred later in 1614. It was also printed in Cassel. The only change between this and the first edition was the addition of another reply to the fraternity. This reply was signed by M. H. and I. I., which both beg to be accepted into the brotherhood.
In the beginning of 1615, two new volumes were published at Cassel. The chronological order of these volumes is not certain. One of them was a volume containing a Brief Consideration of Secret Philosophy by Philip à Gabella followed by a Latin version of the Confessio Fraternitatis. This edition is similar to those of 1614 in that the Rosicrucian work takes second place in importance. The other volume in early 1615 contained the Fama and the Confessio, with the Confessio both in Latin and in a German translation. This is the first time the two appear together. A reprint of the combined Fama and Confessio was then printed in Marburg in Hesse.
The next edition was printed in May or June of 1615 at Frankfurt-on-the-Main by Johann Bringer, under commission for Johann Berner. This volume included a new preface (the Second Preface), the Fama, a second German translation of the Confessio, a total of four letters to lend credibility to the Fraternity, including Haselmeyer's Reply and three new letters, and, at the very end, the General Reformation.
Sometime in mid 1615, an edition was printed by Andreas Hünefeldt in Danzig. It was similar to the Frankfurt edition, save that the General Reformation was not included, and a fifth letter was added. It should be noted that with the exception of Haselmeyer, all of the correspondents have only given their initials rather than their names.