BL MS. Royal 11 B ix

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Production Practicalities and Reception Issues:

checked against microfilm 10-09-2003

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: BL MS Royal 11 B. ix
  • Matheson no.: 201
  • Date(s): 1): C13, temp. Edward I; 2) C14; 3) C15; 4) C15? 5-6) C15; 7) C14-15.
  • Type of book: Cartulary with miscellaneous additions
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 7
  • Contents: 1) Cartulary of the monastery of  S. Andrew, Northampton, fols. 2r-131v; 2) summary of contents of 1), fol.132r; 3) Two fragments of the Brut chronicle, fols. 133r-v, 134r-v (see heading xi c); 4) Fragments concerning the custody of the  priory, 20-22 Rich. II [1396-1399], and copies of charters of Henry IV and V relating to the revenues of the priory, fols. 135r-139 and 142r-144r; 5) fragment of a charter, fol. 140r-v; 6) Fragment concerning Edward  the Confessor, fol. 141r-v; 7) fragment, fol. 145r.
  • Writing support: vellum, except fol. 1, paper. The mixing of media here is due to the badly mutilated and fragmentary nature of the MS, which has necessitated the mounting of the leaves.
  • Watermark?:
  • Book Construction: Folio, Quarto etc.
  • Collation:
    • No of leaves: 145 fols.
    • Quires: (based on numbering on recto leaves, see heading f. below) i-iii?; iv-vi8; vii5; viii-ix?; x8; xi-? xiii?.
    • Foliation: modern, top right corner of mounting leaf. Fols. 133 and 134 have been bound out of order, and a note next to the foliation states (fol. 133) ‘after f 134’ and (fol. 134) ‘before f 133’. Also foliated in left margin, prob. pencil, modern? Does not agree with the mounted foliation (e.g. fol. 14 is foliated 10 in the margin).
    • Composite MS? yes
    • Booklets?: possible, but MS is guarded, mounted, and too badly mutilated to tell. It is also uncertain when the (now) fragmentary remaining leaves were added to item 1, or whether these leaves were part of a binding at some stage in the manuscript’s history. Considering the dates of the various items in the ms, the compilation must have occurred during or after the C15, and it is obvious that the remaining leaves were not part of the original plan for the ms. It is possible that some of the charters may have been produced to accompany the original (esp. item 4), or if not, that they were added to the original ms because of a generic (and in the case of item 4, thematic) relationship. Generically and thematically, the Brut seems to stand alone.
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?):MS too badly mutilated, but Latin numbering on some recto leaves survives: 33r: quartus; 41r: quintus; 49r: sextus; 57r: septimus; 62r: octauus; 78r: decimus; 86r: undecimus; 101r: fragmentary (…deci…);
    • Quire signatures? (where?): none visible
    • Damage?: Extensive. The MS was badly burned in a fire in 1731. 1) is in the best condition, with fols. 16r-62v missing little, if any, text. Fols. 63r-132v are mutilated at the edges, and missing text. The rest of the ms is fragmentary; of the Brut, around half the text remains on fol. 133, and less than half on fol. 134. Of fols. 140-145, little more than scraps survive.
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: (ink or drypoint?) 1): frames and lines in ink; 2): frames in ink; 3-7): not visible
b. columns: all items: 1
c. lines: 1): 30 2): 28 3): 28-29; 4): fol. 135r: 11 (text runs vertically from bottom to top of fol.); 135v: blank; 136r-139v: leaves too mutilated to get a number; 5-7): leaves too mutilated to get a number.

  • Ink:
  • Dimensions:
    • front board: approx 340 x 235 mm
    • Folio / page: mount: approx 295 x 250 mm; 1-2): approx 195 x 140 mm; 3) approx. 210 x 160 mm; 4-7): too mutilated.
    • Writing space: 1-2) approx 175 x 135 mm; 3) approx. 265 x 135; 4-7): too mutilated.
  • Binding: after 1731. entire MS has been rebound and mounted after the fire of 1731.
  • Decoration?:
  • Artist?:
  • No. of Scribes: 7: A: items 1 and 2; B: item 3; C and D: item 4; E: item 5; F: item 6; G: item 7.
  • Named scribes?: no
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: 1-2): Anglicana Formata, temp Edward I; 3) C15 Anglicana with secretary features; 4a) C15 Anglicana with Secretary features; 4b) C15 anglicana with secretary features; 5) early C15 6) early C15; 7) C14-15.
  • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?:
  • Compiler?:
  • Rubrication, sigla: 1): 2-3 line caps in red; sidenotes (poss. in red); some chapter headings (poss. in red); 3): nothing visible; 4): chapter headings (prob. in black); 5): 3 line cap (prob. in red); 6-7): nothing visible.
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
    • 2r: monogram containing the letters TOIOBAV surmounted by a cross.
    • 4r: ‘Liber Johan Theyer de Couper's hill com ciuit glouc.’, ‘Joha Theyer’ C17 (see heading xxvii below).
    • 7r: ‘(?c)anon s(?)deris de villa de …’ C15.
    •  115r: ‘agnes’, C15.
    • 139r:  ‘11 B.ix.p.191’ modern ink.
    • End pastedown: ‘fol. 145. JH’, mod. ink.
  • Glosses and underlining:
    • Latin glosses, underlining and ‘notae’ at fols.: 7r, 8r-v, 10r, 13r, 14r, 15r, 18r, 20v-25r, 26v, 27r-28r, 29v, 33v, 34r, 36r-40r, 42v, 45r, 46r, 47r, 56v, 57r, 87r, 91v, 92r, 94r, 96r, 100r, 108r, 109r, 115r-v, 120r, 121r. An early fourteenth-century anglicana hand has added some Latin chapter headings (e.g at fol. 46v), and inscribed place names (e.g. fols. 53r-59r ‘wodeford’) in top or side margins. Fols. 100v-127r, place names in top margins in a C15 secretary hand (after fol. 127 ms top margin mutilated).
    • English glosses (most are place names) at fols.: 8v-10v, 11r-12v, 13v, 14v, 15r, 16r, 18v, 19r, 20r, 21r, 22v, 23r, 24v, 25r-26r, 28r-29r, 31r, 35r, 37r-39v, 41r-42r, 44v, 49r-v, 51v, 68r, 100r, 101r, 102v, 106r,
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage:
  • Later ownership(s): John Theyer, (1597-1673). Theyer sale cat. no. 107.
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc:
  • Language(s); translation activities: ms mostly in Latin, Brut is the only English text; glosses in Latin and English, but English is mostly restricted to place names.
  • Dialect:
  • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.:
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural:

Intertextual relations:

  • Textual descent: Matheson ‘unclassified text’. See Matheson, PB, p. 337.
  • Evidence of exemplar: fols.132v, 135v, 142v (has some text but poss. bleed through from recto) and 143v are blank.
  • Intra-textual relations to texts in same MS: generically, the fragmentary charters (items 4-7) connect to the monastic cartulary (item 1), in particular item 4 which refers to the later history of the monastery. The two folios of the Brut seem rather incongruous in this company, and due to the damage done to the ms and subsequent conservation work, their presence in this ms context may never be explained.
  • Extra-textual to other books, texts, traditions: according to Warner and Gilson’s description, ‘Copies of all the charters are probably contained in the later (15th cent.) chartulary in [BL] Cotton MS. Vesp. E. xvii’. Warner and Gilson also tell us that the text of the Brut from this ms ‘resembles [BL]Harley MS. 2182, (cf. [BL MS]17 D. xxi)’.
  • Decoration:
  • Translation, language:

Credits and acknowledgments:

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

Select Bibliography for this MS:


BL MS Cotton Vespasian E. xvii
BL MS Harley 2182
BL MS Royal 17 D. xxi

Secondary Texts:
CMA, 6528.
George F. Warner and Julius P. Gilson, A Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Old Royal and King’s Collections in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Longman;  Quaritch; Milford, 1921).
Kennedy, Edward Donald, ‘Chronicles and Other Historical Writing’, A Manual of the Writings in Middle English 1050-1500,ed. by Albert E. Har­tung, Vol. VIII (Hamden: Archon Books for the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1989), p. 2819.

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