BL Additional MS. 70514

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Production Practicalities and Reception Issues:

checked against microfilm

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: BL MS Add. 70514
  • Matheson no.: 150
  • Date(s): ca 1461-1482
  • Type of book:  Brut Chronicle
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 1
  • Contents: Brut chronicle, begins and ends imperfectly, fols. 1r-38v.
  • Writing support: parchment
  • Watermark?:
  • Book Construction: Folio, Quarto etc.
  • Collation:
    • No of leaves: vi + 38 fols. Front flyleaves i-iv are paper.
    • Blank leaves: no
    • Quires: i[14?]; ii8; [iii-iv prob.8 but no catchword at fol. 30v].
    • Foliation: modern (ink?), top right corner.
    • Composite MS? no
    • Booklets?: no
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): 14v, 22v, 38v.
    • Quire signatures? (where?): not visible on film.
    • Damage?: fols. 1r, 38v rubbed.
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: (ink or drypoint?) frames and lines prob. in lead.
b. columns: 2
c. lines: 43

  • Ink:
  • Dimensions:
    • front board:
    • Folio / page: 310 x 210 mm.
    • Writing space: 215 x 150 mm.
  • Binding: C20 dark brown leather, tooled.
  • Decoration?:
  • Artist?:
  • No. of Scribes: 1
  • Named scribes?:
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: C15 Anglicana: double-compartment ‘a’, descender of ‘g’ typically loops up to form double compartments, ‘2’-shaped ‘r’.
  • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?:
  • Compiler?:
  • Rubrication, sigla: 2-line solid caps, prob. in red (or spaces for them); chapter headings with numbers, prob. in red; running titles, poss. in red; proper names underlined, prob. in red; paraphs in text; side notes; genealogy of Edward III (fols. 30r-32r) laid out in roundels (prob. in red) with double joining lines, prob. in red.
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
    • Front pastedown: bookplate of William Arthur 6th duke of Portland; modern pressmarks.
    • Flyleaf (iir): ‘found lying at the back of a bookshelf and bound 1930’; modern pressmark.
    • Letter from H. H. L. Craston, Bodleian Library, to ‘Needham’ concerning the ms.
    • 1r: ‘no 1’, C19?
    • 15r: ‘no 3’, C19?
    • 23r: no 4’, C19?
    • 25r: ‘try and then trest after good assurance but trest not ear you try for fere of repentanys’, C16.
    • 26r: Names etc., written in single hand, 'Edward Hawkesworth/ Elli[za?] Hawkesworth/ Helen Margaret/ Register [P or FF]aurton(?) } Earth(?) and buried Abby / [__ __ ___(?)]', C16-C17.
    • 29r: pen trials, C16.
    • 32r: Obits of Robertus Hill, armiger 1493, father of Egidius Hill, died 1546, and Egidius’ wife Agatha, died 1552. The latter two were buried at ‘Netelcombe in com Somerset.’
  • Glosses and underlining:
    • C16 glosses on fols. 1v, 21v, 26r, 37r.
    • C18 glosses on fols. 3v, 33v.
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage:
  • Later ownership(s): poss. Hill family, C15, 16.
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc:
  • Language(s); translation activities:
  • Dialect:
  • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.:
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural: Nettlecombe, Somereset, rural, in C15-16.

Intertextual relations:

  • Textual descent: Matheson ‘Peculiar Version’, group PV-1419:C. See Matheson, PB, pp. 265-266.
  • Evidence of exemplar:
  • Intra-textual relations to texts in same MS:
  • Extra-textual to other books, texts, traditions: text is an amalgamation of the Brut with a genealogy of Edward III and an unknown source text containing material on France.
  • Decoration:
  • Translation, language:

Credits and acknowledgments:

The description of this MS is from microfilm work by J O’R. Textual descent based on Matheson, PB.  Revisions by Ryan Perry.

Select Bibliography for this MS:

The manuscript is the lone member of a textual grouping.


The genealogical roundels on fols 29v-32r are incomplete, and some have been wrongly filled out, eg. fol. 31, where we are provided with the children of John Beaufort, duke of Somerset, instead of the issue of John Holland, Duke of Exeter (the names of the children have been filled by the scribe, and the duke and his wife in an other hand). Interestingly, beneath these roundels is the exclamation in the scribe's hand, 'be com faire issue and plentevus'. As such an exortation is not matched in relation to any other genealogies, it may imply a particular connection with either the line of Exeter or Somerset.

For examples of other manuscripts which manifest interest in the house of York and its legitimacy, see the added roundels in BL Harley 53 [1], fol. 10v (seemingly placed to frustrate the authenticity of a genealogy from Adam to Henry VI), and the genealogy of Edward IV in Yale, Beinecke MS. 323 [2], fol. 2. 

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