Bodleian Library, MS. Rawlinson B 216

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Production Practicalities and Reception Issues:

Checked against microfilm, 12-1-2004

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: Bodl. MS Rawlinson B. 216
  • Matheson no.: 44
  • Date(s):
  • Type of book: Collection of mostly historiographical texts, some religious, some secular.
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 5
  • Contents: 1) Brut chronicle, fols. 1r-125r [begins imperfectly]; 2) Treaty of Troyes in English, fols. 125r-127v; 3) Mandeville’s Travels, fols. 131r-161r; 4) Proverbs of Solomon, fols. 161v-162r; 5) Lydgate, Life of St. Edmund, fols. 162v-171v.
  • Writing support: (mixed media mss: particular usage of parchment?)
  • Collation:
    • No of leaves: 171 fols.
    • Foliation: every fifth fol., top right corner.
    • Composite MS? poss.: Scribes A and C might have produced booklets which were then compiled into this ms at a later date, but the ruling of the leaves is uniform throughout the ms, which strongly suggests collaboration.
    • Booklets?: poss.: there are 6 blank leaves at the end of item 2 (fols. 128r-130v; fol. 127v only contains 11 lines of text), and blank spaces at the end of items 3 and 4.  The work of scribe A ends a quire, and the rest of the text is copied by scribe B, so it is possible that A’s stint makes up a booklet. The work of scribe C may also constitute a booklet. The uniform ruling of the leaves throughout the ms suggests collaboration, perhaps piecework?
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): 14v; 22v; 46v; 61v; 93v; 101v; 109v (trimmed); 125v (trimmed); 154v.
    • Quire signatures? (where?): not visible on film
    • Damage?: MS is stained on many fols. throughout.
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: (ink or drypoint?) All items: frames and columns, poss. in lead or crayon.
b. columns: All items: 2
c. lines: Item 1, scribe A: 39-44; Scribe B: 40-42; Item 2: 39; Item 3: 40-41; Item 4: 40: Item 5: 30.

  • No. of Scribes: 3: A: fols. 1-93v (item 1); B: fols. 94r-162r (items 1-4); C: fols. 162v-171v.
  • Named scribes?:
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: A: C15 Anglicana; B: C15 Secretary with Anglicana features; C: C15 Secretary
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
    • Front pastedown: modern list of contents and Bodleian pressmark; ‘11568’ modern ink; bookplate of Richard Rawlinson.
    • Flyleaf (ir): ‘m.s. knox ward clarencieux’, C19?
    • 15v: ‘tho(m?)’, ‘th’, C16.
    • 17v: ‘thomas’, ‘thom’, ‘B’ [twice], C16.
    • 32v: ‘Thomas E’, ‘C’, ‘EL’, C16.
    • 33r: ‘Bos’, C16.
    • 55v: ‘this chapter is wantinge yet no man better or worse for the same’, C16.
    • 60ra, 60va, 61ra, 61va: Letters 'B, 'C', 'A' and 'D' have been placed beside chapters which have been copied in the wrong order, cf. Harley MS. 4930, although in the Harley MS. the letter relates to an entire leaf, rather than as here, to a chapter. The disordered text realtes to Brie, 176:8-180:9.
    • 71r: erased inscription.
    • 117v: ‘pylaley’, C15.
    • 127v: ‘J m’, (?), C16.
    • 128r: love lyric, religious maxim in Latin, moral verse, C16.
    • 129r: ‘[…] yow[…] pour pepell of […] [erased word] myster Johnson Jn sydyng lane hath paid’, C15-16.
    • 130v: ‘Some is for that J have [?] of nycolas nemo xxx[ij?] [?] as for so [?] nothing some ] oot [name erased]’, C16; ‘Jhu’, C16; ‘Richard’, C16; religious maxims and sums, C16.
    • 134r: ‘f[?]rim John Satton [Seitton?] of London Sallter hatth[?]’, C15-16.
    • 153r: ‘for the lord thy god’, C16; ‘’To my moste lovinge’, C16.
    • 162r: rough pen drawing of a bishop.
  • Glosses and underlining:
    • C15-16 English glosses on fols. 144r, 159v (Latin).
    • C16 English glosses on fol. 7v.
    • C18 English glosses on fols. 46v, 57v, 76r, 77r, 107r, 112r, 162v (title in Latin), 163v (Latin), 164r (Latin), 165r (Latin), 167r-168r. (English and Latin),    
    • Marginal ‘x’ on fol. 41r.
    • Poss. erasures on fols. 44v, 45v, 53r, 55r(?).
    • Cancelled text at fols. 56r, 150r.
    • Underlining on fol. 146r.
    • Maniculum on fols. 97r, (138r, 143r-v, prob. scribal).
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage:
  • Later ownership(s): C16; poss. Richard; C19(?): Knox-Ward(?)
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc:
  • Language(s); translation activities: Treaty of Troyes in English, poss. translated for this ms? C18 glosses in English and Latin.
  • Dialect: N/A
  • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.: No entry in LALME
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural: marginalia mentions London and Siding Lane (prob. Merseyside), but no firm connection can be made.

Intertextual relations:

  • Textual descent: Matheson ‘Common Version’, group CV-1419[r&g]:A. See Matheson, PB, pp. 106-7, 112.
  • Evidence of exemplar:
  • Intra-textual relations to texts in same MS:
  • Extra-textual to other books, texts, traditions: See Seymour, Defective Version, pp. xxi-xxiii for a list of mss of Mandeville’s Travels in the same textual group as Rawl. B. 216; ms also linked to Lydgate and Proverbs of Solomon traditions.
  • Decoration:
  • Translation, language: Treaty of Troyes poss. translated for this ms?

Credits and acknowledgments:

The description of this MS is largely based on microfilm work by J O’R supplemented by Seymour, English Manuscripts” (see bibliography below). Textual descent based on Matheson, PB. Revisions and additions by Ryan Perry.

Select Bibliography for this MS:

MSS: note: mss marked * are listed by Matheson as doubtful, see PB, pp. 113-114.


Bibliothèque Royale ms IV.461 *


Takamiya ms 67


CUL ms Kk.1.12
Fitzwilliam ms McClean 186
TCC ms O.10.34
Hunterian ms 61 *
Hunterian ms 228
BL ms Add. 26746 *
BL ms Harley 2248
BL ms Royal 17 D. xxi
BL ms Royal 18 B. iii *
College of Arms ms Vincent 421
Rylands ms Eng. 104 *
Bodl. ms Bodley 231 *
Bodl. ms Douce 290 *
Longleat ms 183A


Berkeley ms 152 *
Cambridge, Mass.
Harvard ms Eng. 587
New Haven
Beineke ms 323


Power, A. D., The Proverbs of Solomon (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1949).

Seymour, Michael. C., ed., The Defective Version of Mandeville’s Travels, EETS OS 319 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).

Secondary Texts:

Seymour, Michael. C., ‘The English Manuscripts of Mandeville’s Travels’, Edinburgh Bibliographical Society Transactions,4 (1966): 167-210.

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