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New York, Columbia University Library MS. Plimpton 262

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Codicological Data

Begins on fol. 1, '[]ere a man may hure hou Engelond was first callede Albion and thurgh wham hit hadde [th]at name'.
Matheson Version
CV-1419 [men]: A (a)
Matheson Number
Pages in Mathson, The Prose Brut
Date of production
Poss. 2nd quarter C15
References in LALME
No entry in LALME
Items in the MS
Brut Chronicle, fols 1-135r, colophon, 'deo gracias'.
Related Manuscripts
    It is interesting that both this scribe and the scribes of Takimiya MS. 29 and Lambeth Palce MS. 264 (manuscripts in the same textual grouping, according to Matheson) similarly write the same variant 'Robesburgh', instead of 'Rokesburgh', (Brie 307:10); if not coincidental, the variant may suggest an especially close genetic relationship between the manuscripts.
Number of Scribes
1 (discounting an early C16 hand, which writes the text on fols 59, 105, 108 and 131.)
Number of Leaves
ii + 135 + iii (the first of the rear flyleaves is original to the production, and is ruled in preparation for copying)
1 column, 39 lines; lines ruled, frames visible.
290mm x 190mm approx.; evidence of trimming
Materials and writing support
Parchment; inserted leaves (C16) are paper
Writing Space
210mm x 140mm approx.
    Initials have been added at a later date in the spaces reserved, generally 3-line spaces with guide letters. Because there is no space for the capital 'I' on fol. 1 of the manuscript, it was presumably conceived as a sinuous 'I' form, typically completed in the margin.
    Chapter titles and numbers (roman numerals) in red, however, the scribe failed to add headings on three quires between fols 41-65; double punctus strokes may indicate where paraphs should have been inserted, presumably at the stage of production when capitals would also have been completed; dots are used by the scribe as punctuation, and are apparently contingent with modern commas and full-stops; a C16 hand provides running titles from the reign of William the Conqueror onwards, and because this hand also provides titles on the later inserts (fols 59, 105, 108 and 131), it is possible that the addition of running titles was contemporary with this period of the book's history. Catchwords are set within decorative scrolls.
    Fol. 25v: 3 marks set beside Merlin's prophecies, seemingly relating to Brie 72:28;34 and 73:23.
    It is possible that some of the pages which were replaced in the C16 were removed on grounds of theological politics; the excisions relate to Brie, 164:15-168:4 (king John submits to the Pope); 301:12-303:30 (contains several positive references to the papacy); 309:10-311:34 (reference to papal dispensation and to a ceremony between England and France rooted in Catholic ritual see 311:27ff); 377:18-380:23 (perhaps excised due to Henry V's return to London where he makes an offering at the shrine of St. Thomas and is greeted by 14 bishops).
    Several pentrials and names, eg.:
  • Flyleaf ii (front):Erased note of the "Bibliotheca Palmeriana, Londini, 1747" of Richard Palmer.
  • Fol. 135r: immediately beneath the text, under a pious caption is the name 'Fraunces Button', poss. C16.
  • Fol. 135v: at the top of a page containg various pentrials is a poss. ownership inscription by a 'Willms Gilbert'.
  • Fol. 136r: ownership inscription by a 'Rico. Wolston' (the name Jhon Wolston is also written here), poss. late C15.
Style of hand
Anglicana with some secretary influence, eg. single lobed miniscule 'a'.
Approximate date of hand
Poss. 2nd quarter C15.
Described by (in order of investigator)
Ryan Perry
Further information in the wiki?
Long Description.

Culturally Mapping New York, Columbia University Library MS. Plimpton 262

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Date of Description
Credits and Sources
The description of this MS. is based on microfilm work, supplemented by a typed MS cover slip (on microfilm), and reference to the Long Description; see also the images and description in the Digital Scriptorium. Textual descent based on Matheson, PB.