BL Harley MS. 2279

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1. Production Practicalities and Reception Issues:

checked against microfilm

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: BL MS Harley 2279
  • Matheson no.: 15
  • Date(s): C15
  • Type of book: Brut Chronicle
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 1
  • Contents: Brut chronicle, fols. 3r-146r.
  • Writing support: parchment
  • Watermark?:
  • Book Construction: Folio, Quarto etc.
  • Collation:
  • No of leaves: 146 fols. + ii (fols. 1-2 are C18 flyleaves, poss. vellum, back flyleaves are prob. C18, poss. vellum).
  • Blank leaves: bottom 1/3 of fol. 146r, and all of fol. 146v.
  • Quires: i8 (+ 2 C18 flyleaves); ii-xviii8 .
  • Foliation: modern pencil, top right corner.
  • Composite MS? no
  • Booklets?: no
  • Catchwords? (on which fols?): 10v, 18v, 26v, 34v, 42v, 56v, 58v, 66v, 74v, 82v, 90v, 98v, 106v, 114v, 122v, 130v, 138v.
  • Quire signatures? (where?): none visible on film.
  • Damage?:
  • Page layout:
  • a. ruling: frames and lines, prob. in lead; prickings visible.
    b. columns: 1
    c. lines: 33

  • Ink:
  • Dimensions:
  • front board:
  • Folio / page:
  • Writing space:
  • Binding:  prob. C18
  • Decoration?:
  • Artist?:
  • No. of Scribes: 1
  • Named scribes?: no
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: C15 Anglicana with Secretary features: single-compartment ‘a’, double-compartment ‘g’, ‘d’ with looped ascenders, anglicana ‘w’, uses both elongated and ‘2’-shaped ‘r’.
  • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?:
  • Compiler?:
  • Rubrication, sigla: spaces left for 3-line caps with guide letters; chapter headings with numbers and occasional spiral line markers, poss. in  red or blue; spaces left for paraphs in text; catchwords rubricated in scrollwork; small double slashes in text.
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
  • Front pastedown: modern pressmarks.
  • 1r (Flyleaf): beginning of dedication in Latin and English, dated 13 August 1724 (see fol. 2r); modern pressmarks.
  • 2r: ‘13 die Augusti, A. D. 1724. Liber in excusatione Mutensis Et defensione ipsius. ~ ~ [Dedication in English verse to ‘my lord’ with motto: ‘Cana Cano’ in scrollwork]’.
  • 46v: verses on king Arthur in Latin, C16 (see fol. 146r).
  • 146r: the glossator of fol. 46v has added the following: four lines added to the end of the text; ‘This English booke that is present / was made to a good entente / ffor hem that englishe vnderstonde / of the cronicles of Engelond / this was translated by good avyse / owt of ffrensh into Englyse / By sire John the maundeuyle / that hath ben person but a whyle / Jn Brunham Thorp that little town / God graunt him hise benison / The yeer of Henry J vnderstonde / the sexte kyng of Engelond / After the Conquest soth to seyn / the xiij yeere of hise reygne / he that sitt in trynitee / one god and persons three / Save the kyng from all mischaunce / Bothen in Engelond and in ffraunce’, with the note: ‘thes verses written in the end of this mans translacion which doth somewhat vary from this translacion owt of þe first originall frenche’, C16.
  • Glosses and underlining:
  • C15 glosses on fols. 33v, 34v, 35r-v, 37r, 39v-40v, 41v-43r (annotator adds the headings which had been left incomplete) .
  • C16 glosses and underlining on fols. 15r-16r, 18r-v, 28v, 32r, 49v (Latin), 85v.
  • C18 glosses on fol. 146r (Latin).
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage:
  • Later ownership(s):
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc:
  • Language(s); translation activities:
  • Dialect:
  • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.:
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural:
  • 2. Intertextual relations:

  • Textual descent: Matheson ‘Common Version’, group CV-1377 f.c. stage 1. See Matheson, PB, pp. 88, 89-90.
  • Evidence of exemplar:
  • Intra-textual relations to texts in same MS:
  • Extra-textual to other books, texts, traditions:
  • Decoration:
  • Translation, language:

    3. Credits and acknowledgments:


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

    4. Select Bibliography for this MS:



    Corpus Christi MS 174
    BL MS Stowe 68
    Rylands MS Eng. 102
    Rylands MS Eng. 103


    Free Library MS Lewis 238


    5. Notes:
    The addition of colours to the ms was prob. never undertaken, although the chapter headings may be in blue – it is difficult to tell from microfilm. The copying of the text is incomplete as well, ending 2/3 down the last fol. and with a blank fol. following. The suggestion is that the ms as a whole was never completed.

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