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Huntington Library, MS HM 1339

Described by: Ryan Perry from microfilm analysis and with reference to the Digital Scriptorium
Revision Date: June 1st, 2010


Nicholas Love, Mirror of the Blessed Life, 1st quarter C15.

Condition of the MS

There is water damage towards the rear of the book, fols 97-106.

Number of Items


Title(s) of Pseudo-Bonaventuran Text(s)

Mirror of the Blessed Life


" Speculum Vite xpi

O [rubricator’s error for A]t þe bigynnynge þe proheme of the Book þt is cleped þe mirour
of þe blissed lif ihesu criste
þe firste parte for þe moneday", fol. 1, (heads Table of Contents).
For an image of fol 1 see the Digital Scriptorium.


"Drede ∴ Shame & Thynk on", fol. 105r, penned beneath the explicit.

Secundo Folio

"How þt mawdelyne & oþre maries came to þe Graue Cam 41m", fol. 2r (Table of Contents).


"...Amen. Amen. Amen.
Ihesu lorde þi blissed lif, helpe & conforte oure wrecch[ed lif] Amen.

Explicit speculum v[ite xpi] (leaf is damaged)", fol 105r.
For an image of fol. 105 see the Digital Scriptorium.

Languages of the MS


Detailed Description of Contents


Estimated Date of Production

1st quarter C15.

Writing Support



i (C16 paper) + 106 fols + iii (modern flyleaves).

Dimensions of Page and Writing Space

  • Leaf size: 280 × 195 approx.
  • Writing Space: 205 × 135 mm approx.


1-138 142 (+3, flyleaf)


1 column, 32 lines; text block and lines ruled, but no columns and lines for running headings and marginal apparatus; pricking visible.

Rubrication/ Ordinatio

  • Initials: This text is one of those described by Kathleen Scott as having 'divergent' initials, ie. "not marked by blue letters with red flourishing" (71). The Proheme begins with a 6-line initial divided or 'parted' initial (red and blue), fol. 2v, and 4-line initial divided initial opens Dei Lune on fol. 4v, each parted red and blue; 3-line and 4-line blue initials with a voided zig-zag design begin chapter 50 (the Ressurection, and the beginning of the Sunday section of the Mirror) and the opening of the Treatise. Chapters and sections generally begin with 2-line blue initials, though a 3-line initial opens the Friday section.
  • Titles, Headings, Rubrics: headings on recto side only, in the same ink as the text; Chapter titles occur within the text in red with chapter numbers (Roman Numerals) also within the text block; alternating red and blue initials adorn the running headings, subdivide the text, and mark the side-notes.
  • Other: Catchwords are set within a scroll cartouche; quire signatures employ arabic rather than roman numerals (this is also true of the chapter numbers in the Table of Contents, but not as they occur within the text).

  • For images see the Digital Scriptorium.



Number of Scribal Hands


Style of Hands

A stiff anglicana formata. The hand was identified by the late Jeremy Griffiths as the hand of 2 other mss containing the Mirror (CUL MSS Oo. vii. 45(i) and Mm. v. 15).

Estimated Date of Hands

Ist quarter C15.

Scribal Annotation

Sargent records 476 marginal notes in the MS.

Notable Dialect Features


Localisable on Google Earth
(click markers to view sample dialect forms)


Annotation and Marginalia

  • “Is primo Eliensis antistes deinde Eboracensis archiepiscopus et anglici regni Cancellarius ad postremum Guilielmo Corteneio qui vix annum pontificatum gesserat in Cantuariensi sede successit. 1415 henrici quinti primo”, fol. 2r, beneath the Memorandum.
  • There are a number of crosses in the margins of the MS, presumably marking readings.


"Governe the" with an exaggerated capital 'G", written upside-down beneath the colophon.

Names recorded, signatures, ex libris marks

"Written in England in the first half of the fifteenth century. Said by E. M. Thompson, The Carthusian Order in England (London 1930) 331 and 339 to have once belonged to Mount Grace because of its later Ingilby ownership; however, the manuscript seems to have entered the Ingilby library at a relatively late date, given the frequence of other sixteenth century ownership notes. Notes and pen trials include: f. 21, s. XV, in plummet, recorded in the 1930s, but no longer visible, “F a mersy quod s”; in the same hand apparently, and only barely visible, f. 36v, “W. Saxy.” In late sixteenth century hands are: f. 1v, twice, “Christofer ”; f. 80, “Thys indenteuer mayd þe xiiii day of fabruary in the xi year of the reayne of oure soferayng lady Elezabeth by the g.” (1569); f. 96v, “Wylliam Barkar est verus possessor,” “William Barkar ons this booke” 3 times (possibly the Cambridge scholar, William Barker, fl. 1572); f. 97, “Thys Indenture mayd the xxiii day of iuli in the xi day [sic] of the reande of our soferyegn lady Quen,” and, in a different hand, “Thomas Allyn of ronla ys a good felo honorificatibilitudinitatibus ” (this same playful word in New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Library, MS 60, f. 141); f. 106v, “Peter sa ”; f. 107, a copy of a receipt in which “Lorances Baynes” is paid for one close for a term of 6 years, to be occupied by “Rychard Stewenson,” 18 October 1556. Belonged to Sir William Henry Ingilby (1874-1950); his sale, Sotheby’s, 21 October 1920, lot 160; Sotheby’s, 30 January 1922, lot 876 to Archer; Sotheby’s, 31 July 1922, lot 627 to Maggs; Maggs Catalogue 456 (1924) n. 268. Acquired by Henry E. Huntington from A. S. W. Rosenbach in February 1926." (From Huntington Catalogue Description).


There are few signs as to whether this might be a professional production, or a production that might be connected to a religious house.

References and Other Resources

Huntington Catalogue Description

S. De Ricci, with the assistance of W. H. Wilson, Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada (New York 1935-37) p. 105.

Historical Manuscripts Commission 6th Report, App. (1877) pp. 355-56.

K.L. Scott, 'The Illustration and Decoration of Manuscripts of Nicholas Love’s Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ’, Nicholas Love at Waseda, eds. Shoichi Oguro, Richard Beadle and Michael G. Sargent (1997), p. 71.

Sargent Groupings


Sargent Pages

Intro. 97, 107, 110-11, 140.

Sargent Number



Please note: Descriptions of Mirror MSS are indebted to: Nicholas Love, The Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ: A Full Critical Edition, ed. by Michael G. Sargent (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2005)