BL Harley MS. 2256

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Production Practicalities and Reception Issues:

checked against microfilm.

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: BL MS Harley 2256
  • Matheson no.: 75
  • Date(s): C15
  • Type of book: Brut Chronicle
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 1
  • Contents: Brut chronicle, fols. 1r-202v.
  • Writing support: paper and parchment; parchment used as wrappers for paper quires.
  • Watermark?: None visible
  • Book Construction: Paper is quarto
  • Collation: tentative from microfilm:
    • No of leaves: i (?) + 206 fols. + i(?); the first of the front flyleaves is prob. modern paper; 1*-203 and 2*-204 are parchment bifolia which wrap the Brut; although they are C15, and were prob. added early in the lifetime of the manuscript, they may not be original to the production; fols. 2* and 204v may have been pastedowns; the back flyleaf is prob. mod. paper.
    • Quires: i-xi12; xii11 (wants 1); xiii12; xiv11 (wants 1); xv12; xvi10 (wants 2).
    • Foliation: mod. pencil? top right corner; the original front flyleaves are foliated 1* and 2*
    • Composite MS? no
    • Booklets?: no
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): 10v, 22v, 34v, 46v, 56v, 68v, 80v, 92v, 104v, 116v, 128v, 140v, 151v, 163v, 174v, 186v, 196v.
    • Quire signatures? (where?): signed on leading edges, a-s, j-vj.
    • Damage?: N/A
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: (ink or drypoint?) frames and lines poss. in ink.
b. columns: 1, except John Page’s Poem (fols. 189r-193v) in double columns.
c. lines: 30

  • Ink: N/A
  • Dimensions:
    • front board: N/A
    • Folio / page: 270mm x 205mm approx.
    • Writing space: 205mm x 150mm approx.
    • Binding: N/A
    • Decoration?: N/A
    • Artist?: N/A
    • No. of Scribes: 1
    • Named scribes?:N/A
    • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: C15 Anglicana with some secretary influence; double compartment ‘a’ and ‘g’; looped ascenders on ‘d’ backwards 'e'.
    • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?:N/A
    • Compiler?:N/A
    • Rubrication, sigla: Fol. 1r: 4-line solid cap on background with foliage into ¾ of top and inner margin, prob. in colours; rest of ms: 2-line solid caps, prob. in blue with pen flourishing into margin, prob. in red; chapter headings with line markers in various styles, prob. in red; proper names and dates underlined, prob. in red; occasional side notes (poss. added in C16); catchwords rubricated in half-boxes; John Page’s Poem (fols. 189r-193v) set out as verse with couplet markers in double columns.
    • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
    • Front pastedown: modern pressmark
    • 1*v: musical score, pen trials and maxims in Latin and Greek, C17?
    • 2*r: ‘Rouland Lathum’, ‘Rouland’, monograms, C15;  erased marginalia, C15?; ‘Dedit dor?’, C16?;  modern pressmarks.
    • 2*v: ‘Thomas Godwyn’, C17?; ‘Thomas linacer’, C17.
    • 5r: ‘John he’, pen trials C16.
    • 5v: modern librarian’s note.
    • 15r: ‘John thomassome […] the fowrth of the […]’, C16.
    • 80r: religious maxim in Latin, C16, comp. 15r.
    • 106r: religious maxim in verse, ‘probatn’, C16.
    • 131r: ‘John ff[…]’ erased, C16.
    • 152r: ‘Jho John Awdeley squier’, C15.
    • 187v, 189v: librarian’s notes, modern.
    •  198r: […] henre his sone bo[?] ne md wm […]’, C16.
    • 202v: pen trials, C16.
    • 203r: cancelled marginalia: ‘Be hit knowento all Crysten men þt y Rych Deuenysshe be come d[…] sere[…] the y[ear?] the viij day of Nouembre þe yere of kyng herry vjte þe first yere’; ‘Thomas [Abington?] [sainctt?] [?]’, C16.
    • 203v: Maxims in Latin, eg. 'Actipe librum cum multo fenore', C15-C16.
    • 204r: Pen trials, C15; erased memorandum.
    • 204v: Pentrials, Latin etc.
    • Back flyleaf (ir): modern librarian’s note.
  • Glosses and underlining:
    • C16 glosses on fols. 15r, 20r, 22v (erased), 23r, 27r, 42v, 45r, 46r, 48r, 57r, 64v, 66v, 68v, 70r, 79v, 81r, 97r, 115v, 141v.
    • Cancelled text (‘pope’ etc) on fols. 75r-v, 76v-79r, 80r.
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage: N/A
  • Later ownership(s): poss. Rouland Lathum, John Awdely, in C15; poss. Rych[ard] Deuenysshe, John Tomassome, in C16; poss. Thomas Godwyn, Thomas linacer in C17.
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc:
  • Language(s); translation activities: Various Latin maxims etc. recorded on MS.
  • Dialect: N/A
  • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.:
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural: N/A

Intertextual relations:

  • Textual descent: Matheson ‘Common Version’, group CV-1430 JP:A. See Matheson, PB, pp. 135-136, 138-145.
  • Evidence of exemplar: N/A
  • Intra-textual relations to texts in same MS: N/A
  • Extra-textual to other books, texts, traditions: N/A
  • Decoration: N/A
  • Translation, language: N/A


Credits and acknowledgments:

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

Select Bibliography for this MS



CUL MS Ee.4.31
BL MS Cotton Galba E.viii
BL MS Harley 266
Holkham Hall MS 670

5: Notes
Quire sigs. are written in a very large script, approx. twice the size of the narrative script.

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