BL MS. Cotton Galba E.viii

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Production Practicalities and Reception Issues:

checked against microfilm, complete 15-10-2003

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: BL MS Cotton Galba E.viii
  • Matheson no.: 74
  • Date(s): C15
  • Type of book: historiographical collection
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 3
  • Contents: 1) Lydgate, ‘Kings of England sithen William Conqueror’ (from William the Conqueror to Henry VI), fols. 2r-v; 2) the Three Kings of Cologne, fols. 3r-28v;  Brut chronicle, fols. 29r-148r.
  • Writing support: parchment
  • Watermark?:
  • Book Construction: Folio, Quarto etc.
  • Collation:
    • No of leaves: iii (i-ii prob. mod. paper, iii parchment) + 148 (1 is a parchment flyleaf) + ii (ii is numbered 150); (prob. also iii-iv mod. paper, but not visible on film).
    • Quires: from film, tentative: i10; ii-iii8; iv14?; v-xii12
    • Foliation: C19? top right corner, except on damaged folios.
    • Composite MS? no
    • Booklets?: no
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): 10v; 18v; 26v; 40v; 52v; 64v; 76v; 88v; 100v; 112v; 124v; 136v;
    • Quire signatures? (where?): none visible.
    • Damage?: ms damaged by fire; front fols. damaged at inner and outer top corners; missing text at fols. iii- 5, and 17-19 at end top corners of outer leaves damaged or missing, but no loss of text; staining at top of fols. 8-30v.
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: (ink or drypoint?) frames, prob. in lead or ink
b. columns: 2
c. lines: 50

  • Ink:
  • Dimensions: (from film)
    • front board: approx. 380 x 245 mm
    • Folio / page: approx. 365 x 225 mm
    • Writing space: approx. 258 x  157 mm
  • Binding: N/A
  • Decoration?: N/A
  • Artist?: N/A
  • No. of Scribes: 2: A: item 1; B: items 2-3.
  • Named scribes?: N/A
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: A: C15 Secretary (with both Anglicana and Secretary ‘d’); B: C15 secretary
  • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?:
  • Compiler?:
  • Rubrication, sigla: 1) headings with line markers (markers prob. in red); side notes with brackets and line markers; 2) index or prologue, fols 3r-4r: ten line cap ‘I’ (prob. in gold) with sprays in the top and side margin; paraphs (prob. in red or blue ink); main text: fol. 4r side bar with sprays extending into top and bottom margins; four line caps, prob. gold on coloured background, second cap sprays extend into intercolumnar margin; side note (prob. in red or blue ink); remainder of text: three line caps, prob. in red or blue ink, flourished (prob. in red or blue ink); side notes (prob. in red ink); catchwords rubricated; 3): fol. 29r: side bar with sprays extending into top and bottom margins; heading poss. in red or blue ink); remainder of text: two line caps (prob. in red or blue ink), flourished (prob. in red or blue ink); paraphs (prob. in red or blue ink); chapter headings with line markers (prob. in red ink), not numbered; slashes in text for punctuation (prob. in red ink); John Page’s Poem,fols. 140r-143v, set out as verse with rhyme markers for couplets.
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
    • Front pastedown: ‘21 XXI. I’ mod. pencil
    • Flyleaf (ii verso): ‘XXII. J’ mod. pencil
    • Flyleaf (iiir): ‘Galba E viii’, C19?
    • 1r: legal note, Latin lines, ‘George’, ‘gorge’, ‘Jorge’, C16.
    • 1v: Latin lines, C16 (see fol. 1r), Latin summary of contents, ends: ‘Liber olim Joannis Dee 1579’, C19?
    • 29r: ‘Wyllm my’, C16?
    • 131r: ‘henre sante’, C16.
    • 148v: ‘cons. fol. 147’; ‘cons. fol. 148’, modern; ‘iste lyber le[…] orde Re a’, C16
    • end flyleaf (149r): poss. legal note, C16.
    • end flyleaf (150r): ‘momera’, C15-16.
    • end flyleaf (150v): list of kings from William the Conqueror to Henry VI, C16; ‘Rychard Rendale’, C15-16; ‘Joy dolor’. C15-16; ‘Moneryus’, ‘Monerytes me perfatus edwardus’, C15-16; Legal note dated 13th december, C16.  
  • Glosses and underlining:
    • English glosses and underlining on fols. 39r, 42v; 43v, 45r, 50v, 93r.
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage:
  • Later ownership(s): poss. Richard Rendale, C15-16; poss. John Dee 1579 (no evidence for this in ms except later [C19?] note).
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc:
  • Language(s); translation activities: Latin and English; extensive use of Latin in the English Brut.
  • Dialect:
  • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.:
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural:

Intertextual relations:

  • Textual descent: Matheson ‘Common Version’, group CV-1430:JP:A. See Matheson, PB, pp. 134-135.
  • Evidence of exemplar: gap in text at fol. 100 r (3 lines); text appears to be complete, blank space of approx 34 lines; Latin headings raise interesting questions regarding sources and exemplars.
  • Intra-textual relations to texts in same MS: item 1 was probably added to the original ms after completion, and it would seem that the second two texts were originally intended to accompany each other in a mini-collection of historiographical material.
  • Extra-textual to other books, texts, traditions:
  • Decoration:
  • Translation, language:

Credits and acknowledgments:

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

Select Bibliography for this MS:



CUL MS Ee.4.31
BL MS Harley 2256
BL MS Harley 266
BL MS Royal 8 F. ii, fol. 18v [Three Kings of Cologne]
Holkham Hall MS 670


Horstmann, C, The Three Kings of Cologne, EETS OS 85 (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2002).

Kingsford, Charles L., English Historical Literature in the Fifteenth Century (Oxford: Claren­don Press, 1913; repr. New York: Franklin, 1972), pp. 299-309, 394-439.

 Secondary Texts:

Mooney, Linne R., ‘Lydgate’s Kings of England and Another Verse Chro­nicle of the Kings’, Viator,20 (1989), 255-89, pp. 256-63, 277.

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