BL Harley MS. 63

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Production Practicalities and Reception Issues:

checked against microfilm, complete on 31-10-2003

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: BL MS Harley 63
  • Matheson no.: 184
  • Date: C15 (prob. second half)
  • Type of book: Brut Chronicle
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 1
  • Contents: Brut chronicle, fols. 1-44v.
  • Writing support: paper
  • Watermark?:
  • Book Construction: Folio, Quarto etc.
  • Collation: from microfilm
    • No of leaves: i  (prob. mod. paper flyleaf) + 44 + i? (prob. mod. paper flyleaf).
    • Quires: poss.: i22; ii22
    • Foliation: mod. top right corner
    • Composite MS? no
    • Booklets?: no
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): 22v
    • Quire signatures? (where?): none visible
    • Damage?: bottom outer corner of entire ms missing (except for fol. 7) without loss of text; bottom margin of fol. 44 missing; top outer corners missing from fols. 1-2, 4-5, 8-9, 11, 25-44, but no loss of text.
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: not visible from microfilm
b. columns: 1
c. lines: 51-57

  • Ink:
  • Dimensions: from microfilm
    • front board:
    • Folio / page: approx. 310 x 123 mm.
    • Writing space: approx. 258 x 85 mm.
  • Binding:
  • Decoration?:
  • Artist?:
  • No. of Scribes: 1
  • Named scribes?: no
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: C15 secretary
  • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?:
  • Compiler?:
  • Rubrication, sigla: fol. 1r: heading poss. in red; rest of ms: chapter headings set apart from text in white space; proper names, dates and significant events underlined (poss. in red? Poss. not scribal?); some side notes (e.g. on fols. 4r-v)..
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
    • Front flyleaf (ir): ‘Harl 63’, modern.
    • 1r: modern pressmarks
    • 3r: ‘1210’; pen trials.
    • 7r: small pen drawing of a human face (poss. Lucius the ‘first Christian king’).
    • 9r-v: pen trials
    • 10v: pen trials; ‘x’s of uncertain significance.
    • 12r: pen trial
    • 13v: inverted: ‘for yowr parte yow shall have nothy[…]’, C16.
    • 18v: inverted: prayer in English, late C15.
    • 19v: inverted: prayer in English, late C15 (see fol. 18v).
    • 21v: inverted, partially erased: ‘Jo Jlfr[ess?]er thy [h?]oly […]’, same hand: ‘John Skydmore ffor one for yow[…] parte yow shall vnderstand that yow have reseved’, C16, see fol. 13v.
    • 36v: inverted: ‘be it  know knowen vnto all men by thys present [hyr?] that I John Skydmore of london hath reseved of Hary Comat plom mes  [plommes?] þe snd [second] of xviith so’, C16, see fols. 13v, 21v.
    • 43v: inverted and partially erased memorandum, ‘by yowre l brother John Skydmore’, C16, see fols. 13v, 21v, 36v,
    • 44v: pen drawings of Christ, showing his wounds, and of male and female human faces with accompanying prayers in Latin and English, C15; erased text and pen trials, C15, C16. 
  • Glosses and underlining:
    • C15-16 English glosses at 5v, 23r, 27v.
    • C16 corrections to text at fols. 30r, 31v, 39r.
    • C16 english glosses at fols. 35r.   
    • Maniculum at fols. 16r-v.
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage:
  • Later ownership(s): poss. John Skydmore, C16.
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc:
  • Language(s); translation activities: English text, some Latin glosses.
  • Dialect:
  • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.:
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural:

Intertextual relations:

  • Textual descent: Matheson ‘Peculiar Version’, group PV-1427. See Matheson, PB, pp. 316, 317-18.
  • Evidence of exemplar:
  • Intra-textual relations to texts in same MS:
  • Extra-textual to other books, texts, traditions:
  • Decoration: pen drawings of Christ etc. (see heading 1.xxiv, entry for fol. 44v).
  • Translation, language:

Credits and acknowledgments:

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

Select Bibliography for this MS:



Bibliothèque Nationale MS fonds anglais 30


Edinburgh Univ. Library MS 184


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