BL Egerton 650

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Original description: 25-02-03


1. Production Practicalities:

checked against microfilm

i. Pressmark / Name of Book: BL MS Egerton 650

ii. Matheson no. 29

iii. Date: C15

iv. Type of book: Brut Chronicle, fols. 2-111v (including London chronicle fols. 111-114v).

v. Manuscript or print?: MS

vi. Writing support: Paper or parchment?: parchment

vii. Watermark?:N/A

viii. Collation:

  • a. No of leaves: 114
  • b. Quires: N/A
  • c. Foliation: modern pencil, top right hand margin.
  • d. Booklets?: No
  • e. Catchwords? yes (9v; 18v poss; 25v; 35v; 58v; 66v; 74v; 96v poss; 106v;).
  • f. Quire signatures? No – poss. they have been removed by trimming.
  • g. Damage?: Imperfect at beginning; margins trimmed.

ix. No of items: 2

x. Page layout:

  • a. ruling: frames and lines ruled in ink
  • b. columns: 1
  • c. lines: 32 – 34 per page

xi. Ink: N/A

xii. Size, binding: N/A

xiii. Decoration?: N/A

xiv. Artist?: N/A

xv. No. of Scribes: 1 (or poss. 2)

xvi. Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: Scribe A: C15 secretary with some anglicana features (occasional use of anglicana ‘d’ in initial positions, even in same line as secretary initial ‘d’); Scribe B: C15 secretary with some anglicana features (could in fact be, Scribe A trying some different ‘y’ and ‘g’ forms, with straighter, right –angled descenders, see the letter ‘g’ in the last line of fol. 83v, ‘lyghtnyng’, and last line of fol. 88r, but inconsistent: see also last line of fol. 93r, ‘gret gyftes’)

xvii. Rubrication, sigla: caps and chapter headings in different ink (probably red)

xviii. Contents: Brut chronicle, fols. 2-111r; London Chronicle, fols. 111v-114v.

2. Production Culture:

i. Compiler?: N/A

ii. Named scribes?: N/A

iii. Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification: the use of the plural ‘we’ in the scribal note on fol. 111 suggests that the production was collaborative. McLaren asserts that this indicates commercial production (McLaren,‘The Textual Transmission of the London Chroni¬cles’ 60, London Chronicles 123, and PB 101).

  • a. Flyleaf : various notes of purchase e.g from Baynes auctioneer’s 29th may 1836, entry from Baynes’ catalogue 1836; various numberings; ‘No. xci of Dr Adam Clarke’s collection of mss’.
  • b. Fol. 1r: ‘The Chronicle of England: commencing with a part of the reign of Constantinus, son of Cador, Duke of Cornwal; when the teo sons of Mordred rebelled against him. One seizing on London the other on Winchester, when they were both defeated & slain by King Constantinus which happened about A.D. DXLIII. And ending with the IX year of Henry VI A.D. M.CCCC.XXXI. Nicholas Wotton being Lord Mayor of London. Written about A.D. M.CCC.L’. Ink, in modern hand.
  • c. Fol. 1v : printed book plate (stamp?) with coat of arms (unidentified at present).
  • d. Fol. 1a r (inserted fol./slip?): ‘This chronicle is the same as that generally called the brute and with some alterations and additions was printed by Caxton in 1450. See my edition of Havelok. F.M. It ends with the siege of Rouen, temp. Hen. 5. The subsequent additions contain e…tr…oning matter’ F. M’ Modern hand in pencil. Probably F. Madden, see bibliography.
  • e. Fol. 2r: possible signatures; needs to be checked against MS, very difficult to make out from film. ‘MS_C’ in modern hand.
  • f. Fol. 10: pentrials; ‘chaunget þat (þe?)’ faint, possibly an attempted erasure? The catchword on the preceding fol. is ‘chaunget so þat þe kyng’.
  • g. Fol. 10v: too faint to read from film.
  • h. Fol. 11v: scribal pentrials.
  • i. Fol. 19r: ‘William 1.’ Modern hand provides the names of kings at the top of each recto until the end of the MS.
  • j. Fol. 24v: two crosses in circles ‘(+)’ top margin, of unknown significance.
  • k. Fol. 26r: ‘a…pin john? s? leh az? Jio h? …’ etc looks like pentrials, C15 hand, ink.
  • l. Fol. 28r: ‘…thysdssd’ pentrial? faint, trimmed. C15, ink; scribal gloss at bottom of page.
  • m. Fol. 33r: ‘William lath(?inn)(imer?) de  ?Perbalde [Parbold, Lancs.?] gyuyes a …’ trimmed, ink.
  • n. Fol. 36r: ‘fontal’ C15 ink; ‘K(?)eniall’ C15 ink.
  • o. Fol. 41v: ‘Gilbert thornton de white more’; ‘... rnton’ same C16 hand.
  • p. Fol. 42r: ‘…entrete me vnto’ C15. Trimmed.
  • q. Fol. 44v: ‘nota’ C15.
  • r. Fol. 45r: ‘Do ye shall vndirstonde þat my m…r? ?arre kyld’ C15 ink.
  • s. Fol. 53r: scribal gloss (?): ‘shent þrogh þe false’. Looks like a catchword but isn’t picked up as such on the next fol.; modern notes: ‘203’; ‘204’ (these numberings appear frequently from now on); ‘see my mss. A and B. ^’.
  • t. Fol. 56r: truncated drawings, only 2 pairs of legs remain.
  • u. Fol. 58v: ‘… to make sauf malapyrt … and meddsy(d?) of (w?)arde? C15, ink.
  • v. Fol. 62r: ‘William nellson’; ‘William mas(?)n’ both C15
  • w. Fol. 66r: ‘In my meos(f?)(l?)’ C15
  • x. Fol. 67v: ‘fayls not by ?iix wyse, fflor(ed?) hyt …’ trimmed C16.
  • y. Fol. 68r: ‘lend thy’ C16 (same hand as previous fol.)
  • z. Fol. 70r: ‘?per (v?)ied an(d?) vse e(i)se er(a?)wly ?sennede’ C16?
  • aa. Fol. 70r; ‘in ?glory ….’ C15?
  • bb. Fol. 74v ‘here MS A ends’ modern pencil.
  • cc. Fol. 76r: ‘(a?)lso to all mayrye sheryffes baylye constabylye and other (h? l?)aw … within ?lybirte a(e?)wont to …um thye present wryttyng shall …’ C15.
  • dd. Fol. 77r: ‘fr..fty’ C16.
  • ee. Fol. 81r: Missing chapter heading (no. cxxxi) supplied by modern hand in space left by scribe: ‘ How king Edward held his parliament at Westminster, and of the eclipse & the drought that followed after, and of a rain like a sanguine colour’.
  • ff. Fol. 83v: ‘not ad(mi?)elain…’ C15?.
  • gg. Fol. 84v: ‘Byme ?seth banna(s?)ter Byme (J?)ann(?) Clifton  ?Seth’ C16 ink.
  • hh. Fol. 89v: pentrials, trimmed note at bottom.
  • ii. Fol. 92r: ‘þe s… of m… to…’ C15 ink. Trimmed.
  • jj. Fol. 93r: ‘ … my … defyryng to how…’ C15 ink.
  • kk. Fol. 94r: ‘ … mark what’ ; ‘Jn another (p?)ersson…’ C15 ink. Trimmed.
  • ll. Fol. 96v: ‘the murder of Thomas á Woodstock by order of his nephew Richard 2nd king of England’. Modern ink.
  • mm. Fol. 100v: ‘…and ?sayd hys ?messe ston… m…?’ C15? Ink. Trimmed.
  • nn. fol. 102r: ‘demo… fr…’; ‘quid nan… ynyd…g’ (same hand as 70r).
  • oo. fol. 105r: pentrials? Trimmed: ‘nnnent … fenvertrh’.
  • pp. Fol. 111r: ‘Here is no more of the sege of Rone and þat is be cause we wanted þe trew copy. Þr of bot who so euer owys þis boke may wryte it oute in þe henderend of þis boke or in þe forþ end of it whene he gettis þe trew copy where it is written wryte in þeis iij voyde lyne where it may be foundyn’; ‘see Hall’s chronicle Fol. Lx, &c. edit. 1548’ modern ink.
  • qq. Fol 111v: see fabian’s chronicle, Vol. II; fol. CXXXVI. Edit 1533. Page 402..….. 1559’. Modern ink. same as previous fol.
  • rr. Fol. 114r: ‘schereffy(s?)’ C15; pentrials (or else v. heavily abbreviated text) C15.
  • ss. Fol. 114v: ‘M.CCC.XXXI.’ modern hand (same as flyleaf). Book stamp same as flyleaf. Pentrials.

iv. Hand, rubrication in other MSS?: N/A

v. Decoration: N/A

vi. Scribal and authorial identification: N/A

vii. Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage: N/A

viii. Language(s); translation activities: N/A

ix. Dialect: See linguistic profile link in short description

x. LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.: N/A

xi. Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc: N/A

xii. Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural: N/A

3. Reception Cultures / communities:

i. Owner(s): poss Gilbert thornton de white more; poss William Nellson; poss William mason; poss (S?)eth Banna(s?)ter.

  • a. Gender(s): all male
  • b. Occupation(s): N/A

ii. Reading networks: N/A

iii. Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc: N/A

iv. Locality: region; household (secular/religious): poss. Whitemoor, Cornwall; poss. Whitmore, Staffs;

v. Language: English

vi. Decoration: N/A

vii. Possible function(s) of book: chronicle collection

viii. Reading contexts: gendered, institutional, political, secular / religious: N/A

4. Intertextual relations:

i. Textual descent: Matheson ‘Common Version’, group CV-1419(men):A. See Matheson, PB, pp. 100-01.

ii. Evidence of exemplar: scribal note on fol. 111r (see heading 2.3.pp) indicates that the exemplar was incomplete or at least corrupt.

iii. Intra-textual relations to texts in same MS: Brut is accompanied by London Chronicle

iv. Extra-textual to other books, texts, traditions: PSL MS V-3A includes an adaptation of the London chronicle material (Matheson states that PS V-3A must have been copied from a MS ‘closely related to Egerton 650’ (PB, 104). Bodl. MS Rawl. B.173 also contains a London Chronicle.

v. Decoration: N/A

vi. Translation, language: N/A

5. Credits and acknowledgments:

The description of this MS is largely based on microfilm work by JO’R. Textual descent based on Matheson, PB. Revised by Ryan Perry.

6. Select Bibliography for this MS




Bodl. MS Rawlinson B.166

Bodl. MS Rawlinson B.173


University Park, Pennsylvania State University Library


PSL MS Vault-Merlin [quire p of PSL MS V-3A].

Secondary Texts:

Madden, Frederick, ed., introd., The Ancient English Romance of Havelock the Dane, Roxburghe Club 46 (London: Nichol; Shakespeare Press, for the Roxburghe Club, 1828).

McLaren, Mary-Rose, ‘The Textual Transmission of the London Chroni¬cles’, in English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700, ed. by Peter Beal and Jeremy Griffiths, Vol. III (London: The British Library; Toronto: Uni¬versity of Toronto Press, 1992), 38-72, pp. 60-61.

_____, The London Chronicles of the Fifteenth Century: a Revolution in English Writing (Cambridge: Brewer, 2002), 123.

PB, pp 100-101.

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