Bodleian Library MS., Rawlinson Poet. 32

From Project Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search


Production Practicalities and Reception Issues:

checked against microfilm

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: Bodl. MS Rawl. Poet 32 [SC 14526].
  • Matheson no(s): 115, 160, 90 (in order of the textual versions as they appear in the MS.)
  • Date(s): The Brut might only have been completed ca. 1381, however, the original section of the Brut, and other items may be slightly earlier. Most of the items in this composite manuscript are prob. 4th quarter C15.
  • Type of book: Composite collection of secular and religious verse, and historiographical material.
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 12
  • Contents: item 1: Latin and English verse by John Lydgate, Graunte Cato, fols. 3r-29v; item 2: verse, Lydgate, ‘Stans Puer ad mensam’, fols. 30r-31v; item 3: verse, Lydgate, ‘A prayer of the cross’, fols. 31v-32r; item 4: verse, ‘Whanne lyfe is most louyd’, fols. 32v-35r; item 5: verse, ‘the xxx virtues of the masse’, fols. 35v-37v; item 6: verse, Lydgate, ‘The Marchaunt of Baldok’, fols. 38r-53v, ends imperfectly; item 7a: verse, ‘The Prouerbis of Wysdom’, fols. 54ra-55rb; item 7b: verse, ‘The x Comandements’, fol. 55rb; item 8: a table of kings from Brutus to 1461, fols. 55v-56v; item 9: Brut chronicle, fols. 57r-168r; item 10: verse, ‘The xv Oois’, fols. 169v-172v; item 11: verse, The Libel of English Policy, fols. 173r-193r; item 12: ‘A Process of Philosophers’, fols. 194r-204r.
  • Writing support: paper and parchment composite ms.
  • Watermark?:
  • Book Construction: Folio, Quarto etc.
  • Collation: tentative, from microfilm:
    • No of leaves: ii + 206 fols.
    • Blank leaves: fols. 1 and 2 were prob. originally blank C15 flyleaves; bottom half of fol. 35r; bottom third of fol. 37v; fol. 54r; bottom two-thirds of fol. 56v; 168v-169r; bottom half of fol. 193r; 193v; fols. 204-205 were prob. originally blank C15 flyleaves.
    • Quires: 2 flyleaves; i-ii8; iii12 (wants 1); iv-vi8; vii20 (wants 1); viii20; ix23 (prob. 24 wants 1) x-xii18; xiii4; xiv21 (prob. 22 wants 1); xv12.
    • Foliation: modern ink, top right corner; fols. 57-150 have also C15 foliation, running j- iiijxx xiiij.
    • Composite MS? yes
    • Booklets?: yes: 1: items 1-5, fols. 3-37; 2: item 6, fols. 38-53; 3: items 7-9, fols. 54-168; 4: item 10, fols. 169-172; 5: item 11, fols. 173-193; 6: item 12, fols. 194-205.
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): 10v, 18v, 37v, 53v, 72v, 92v, 133v.
    • Quire signatures? (where?): quires i-vi signed on leading edges a-f j-iiij (quire c is j-vj);
    • Damage?: outer ½ of fol. 3 cut away with loss of text.
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: (ink or drypoint?) items 1-5: frames, prob. in ink; item 6: frames, poss. in lead; items 7-8: frames and columns, poss. in lead; item 9: frames, poss. in lead; items 10, 12: ruling not visible on film; item 11: frames, poss. in lead.
b. columns: items 1-6, 8-12: 1; items 7-8: 2.
c. lines: items 1-5: approx. 27 ; item 6: 28  ; item 7: 42  ; item 8: 39; item 9: 33-35; item 10: 31-32; item 11: 30-33; item 12: 37-39.

  • Ink:
  • Dimensions:
    • front board:
    • Folio / page: 290mm  x  215mm approx.
    • Writing space:
  • Binding:
  • Decoration?:
  • Artist?:
  • No. of Scribes: 8 (or 9, see below):  A: items 1-5; B: item 6; C: items 7-8, item 9 fols. 57r-115v; D: item 9, fols. 116r-150v; E: item 9 fols. 151r-168r; F: item 10; G: item 11; H: item 12.
    Note by RP: it is possible that there is another changeover in the Brut not recorded by JO'R; there appears to be a change of hand between fols 68r and 68v, the second scribe continuing up to fol. 115.

  • Named scribes?: Item 1 signed ‘G E’;  according to SC also ‘J Th’, but the latter is not visible on film; item 12 signed ‘R T’.
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: A: C15 Secretary with some Anglicana features: single-compartment ‘a’ and ‘g’, looped-ascender ‘d’, ‘r’-shaped and ‘2’-shaped ‘r’, Secretary ‘v’ and ‘w’; B: C15 Secretary with Anglicana features: single-compartment ‘a’ and ‘g’, both looped-ascender and single-ascender ‘d’, both long ‘r’ and ‘r’-shaped ‘r’, Anglicana ‘v’ and ‘w’, C: C15 Secretary with increasing use of Anglicana features as the text progresses: single-compartment ‘a’, both single and double-compartment ‘g’, both single and looped-ascender ‘d’, Secretary ‘v’ and ‘w’, D: C15 Anglicana: double-compartment ‘a’ and ‘g’ , looped-ascender ‘d’, both long and ‘2’-shaped ‘r’, Anglicana ‘w’ and ‘v’. E: C15 Secretary: single-compartment ‘a’ and ‘g’, single-ascender ‘d’, Secretary ‘v’ and ‘w’; F: C15 Secretary: single-compartment ‘a’ and ‘g’, both looped and single-ascender ‘d’, Secretary ‘v’ and ‘w’; G: C15 Anglicana: double-compartment ‘a’, looped-ascender ‘d’, single-compartment ‘g’, both long and ‘2’-shaped ‘r’, Anglicana  ‘v’ and ‘w’; H: C15 Secretary with Anglicana forms: C15 Secretary: single-compartment ‘a’ and ‘g’, looped and single-ascender ‘d’, long, ‘2’ and ‘r’-shaped ‘r’, Secretary and Anglicana ‘v’ and ‘w’
  • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?:
  • Compiler?:
  • Rubrication, sigla: Running titles added to items 1-5 by E. Umfreville in C18; item 1, fol. 3r: 5-line solid cap, infilled with foliage with pen flourishes into margins, prob. in colours; rest of item: Latin distiches prob. in red with 1-line caps, prob. in red; some ascenders of top line letters and descenders of bottom line letters extended or flourished into margins, sometimes with strapwork; occasional side notes; item 2, fol. 30r: 3-line solid cap, prob. in red or blue; rest of item: 1-line caps; sidenote; text underlined; item 3, fol. 31v: space left for 2-line cap with guide letter; rest of item: text underlined; item 4, fol. 32v: space left for 2-line cap with guide letter; rest of item: rhyme markers; item 5: 1-line caps; rhyme markers; item 6, fol. 38: 5-line solid cap, prob. in red or blue, infilled with foliage and pen flourishes into margins, prob. in colours; rest of item: occasional 1-line caps; catchword rubricated in half-box; item 7a: space left for 2-line cap with guide letter; running title; rhyme markers; item 7b: running title; rhyme markers; explicit; item 8: running title; brackets; numbering in columns; item 9, fol. 57: 10-line strapwork cap with floral sprays extending into right and top margins, void filled with foliage and flowers, 3 straps are inscribed ‘aue gracia’, ‘plena’, ‘due teas’; heading, prob. in red; prolegomena poss. in red, with 2-line solid cap, poss. in red or blue; rest of item: 2 or 3-line solid caps, prob. in red or blue; chapter headings and numbers poss. in red or blue, sometimes with line markers; occasional decorative strapwork caps of varying sizes at first line of fol. e.g. 65r (this capital has 'ihc' and 'man' penned in straps);  ascenders of some top line letters by scribe C flourished into margin, sometimes with strapwork; catchwords in boxes; work of scribe E, fols 151r-168r: 3-line solid caps, prob. in red or blue; chapter headings, prob. in red, with line markers and paraphs, prob. in red or blue; paraphs in the text, prob. in red or blue; item 10, fol. 169: 3-line strapwork cap, rest of item: 2-line strapwork caps for ‘O’s; occasional ‘nota’ marks; item 11, fol. 173r: title, poss. in red or blue, with 2-line cap, poss. in red or blue; 2 line solid cap; rest of item:  2-line solid caps; chapter headings underlined with ‘nota’ ,marks in margin; extensive side notes, underlined with ‘nota’ marks in margin; explicit; item 12 fol. 194: 4-line solid cap; rest of item: 2-line solid caps; paraphs in text, prob. alternating red and blue; explicit in 2 line text.
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
    • Front pastedown: modern pressmarks; bookplate of Richard Rawlinson.
    • Front flyleaf (ir) : pasted letter by ‘ J M & E. U. [mfreville]’, dated 25 March 1750, concerning the contents of the book, expressing particular interest in the Libel of English Policy, and stating: ‘the MS Acct of geneva is at yr service – but I never imagin’d geneva was so antient as the acct given of it.’; modern pressmark.
    • 1v: ‘Ireland is xvj score in lengeþ and viiij score myle in bred[…] þt was yfounde in the first pattrikkis tyme a man þt hiZte Ruanvs þe wh[…]yd […] had lyued xv hundred Zere /// The lengeþ of England forto bygyn at penw[…] tret in cornwale and streche so along in to catenesse þt  is bi Zonde scottlond and hit is viijc myle and englond is more þan [twoo?] hundred myle brod from menema þt ys in wallis to gernenuriham yn norfolke’, ‘there bene yn englelond xxx[…] schyrys and lv Mll & xj parich churches and lx Mll & xxv knyZtus ffeis where off þere ben yn relegeous handis xxviij Mll and xv The [?]mcc of a xv the þorowe oute yngeland ys ys [sic] xxxviij Mll ix C xxxti l ix s [?]  clerely wt oute collectours and expencys þt ys CCC xxij [l?] vj s viij d’, C15; 3 stanzas of verse, begins ‘Whanne faith faileth […]’, C15.
    • 2r: list of the ms contents, poss. in red as well as ordinary black or brown ink, C15; pressmark: ‘ix D. 69’ poss. a ref to the Royal collection?
    • 2v; pen trials.
    • 54r: ‘S. [e?]dus’, C15.
    • 58r: ‘mercy jhs’, c15, poss. scribal.
    • 168v: ‘jhs xpe’, C15.
    • 172v: religious maxim, C15, comp. verse on see fol. 1v.
    • 204v: notes on the age of the world, C15, comp. fol. 1v.
    • 205r: 4 lines of verse, begins: ‘xxxij teth that beþe full kene’, dimensions of St. Paul’s cathedral in London, C15, comp. fol. 1v; ‘Rychard turnower’, C15-16.
    • 206r, modern librarian’s note.
  • Glosses and underlining:
    • C15 glosses, in two hands, one in Latin (1) the other the hand of the prob. compiler (2), on fols. 55v (hand 1, with maniculum), 61v, 63v, 65r, 67v, 75r, 77r-v, 78v (1), 80v, 81v (1), 89v 1), 97 (1), 99r (1), 101v (1), 102r (1), 116r-v, 117v, 118r-119r (1), 119v, 120v, 124v (1), 126r (1, with maniculum), 133v-134r (1), 135r136v (1), 140v-142r (1), 142v, 143v (1), 144r, 171r, 202r, 203v.
    • C18-19 glosses on fols. 2v, 205r.
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage:
  • Later ownership(s): prob. E Umfreville, 1750.
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc: the note on fol. 1v suggests that the book was in a financial / administrative /  governmental context at some point in the C15; poss. to do with tax collection?
  • Language(s); translation activities: some glosses and side notes in Latin.
  • Dialect:
  • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.:
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural:

Intertextual relations:

  • Textual descent: Matheson ‘Common Version’, group CV-1461; ‘Extended Version’, group EV-1419:B; ‘Peculiar Version’, group PV-1422:A, See Matheson, PB, pp. 157, 162-63, 188, 195-97, 271-2, 275-76.
  • Evidence of exemplar:
  • Intra-textual relations to texts in same MS: item 8 (kings of England) based on item 9 (the Brut).
  • Extra-textual to other books, texts, traditions:
  • Decoration:
  • Translation, language:


Credits and acknowledgments:

The description of this MS is from microfilm work by J O’R supplemented by SC; revisions and additions by Ryan Perry. Textual descent based on Matheson, PB.

Select Bibliography for this MS:


TCD MS 506

Takamiya Fragments

The Chronicles of England, Caxton 1480.
NLW MS Add. 442D
CUL MS Add. 2775
CUL MS Ff.2.26
Edinburgh University Library MS 185

Hunterian MS 74
Hunterian MS 228
Hunterian MS 230
Lincoln Cathedral MS 98
BL MS Add. 24859
BL MS Cotton Claudius A.viii
BL MS Harley 2252
BL MS Harley 4827
College of Arms MS Arundel 8
LP MS 264
Bodl. MS Laud Misc. 550
Trinity College MS 5

Cambridge Mass.
Harvard MS Eng. 530
University of Virginia MS 38-173
San Marino
Huntington MS HM 136


Secondary Texts:


Poss. change of scribe at fol. 68v?

The notes on 1v could be worth comparing to TCC MS O.9.1 which has similar notes on Ireland and England (esp. concerning churches and knight’s fees), and belongs to the Extended Version of the Brut (although a different subgroup).

The MS was compiled from 6 separate manuscripts or booklets in the C15; the Brut is a composite text, the fols. up to 151r having been completed by two scribes, and the list of kings also copied by one of them after the main text was finished; the remainder of the Brut was prob. added at a later stage by scribe E, although the quires are of similar numbers of leaves and are ruled the same way to those used by the other scribes in the completion of the first part.

The work of Brut scribe E has not been foliated or glossed in C15, and may have been added to the collection after part of the compilation process had already taken place. The style of caps is the same as the rest of the text, which may suggest that the whole text was rubricated by the same person; this may have happened some time after the text was written however, by a later C15 compiler.

Catchwords and quire sigs. for items 1-6, may have been added in C15 by MS compiler. Catchwords in the Brut may also have been added by the same hand. It seems as if this collection was assembled from separate booklets / manuscripts, some of which may already have been combined to form mini-anthologies, e.g. items 1-6 (a booklet of poetry), item 8 and the first two scribal stints at the Brut (a booklet of historiographical material).

The notes on England and Ireland are less exhaustive, but similar to those found in TCC MS O.9.1, and may point to a milieu where manuscripts were being compiled in the C15 and where booklets were readily available. Other mss of the Extended Version also suggest a particular milieu. Lambeth Palace 306 is also a composite ms, prob. originally assembled in the C15 and then re assembled in the C16; the C15 booklets suggest a particular scribal milieu, due to certain resemblances in the decoration of the script. This ms also contains poetry by Lydgate. Lincoln Cathedral ms 98 is also composite containing historiographical material from the C12, C13 and C14 along with a quire of the Brut. Univ. of Virginia ms 38-173, Harley 2182 and the Takamiya Fragments are all copied by the same scribe, whose dialect is from Northamptonshire or Herefordshire. The case is building for a limited circulation of the Extended Version in a governmental milieu where scribes are also assembling manuscripts. Such contexts may explain the wider picture of the Brut being found in so many legal contexts in the C16; the text was already in use by lawyers or administrators in the C15, and it simply remained in those contexts. The reason for so many copies of the Brut being made may be simply because it was a valuable legal tool for researching genealogy, settling disputes over land etc.

Personal tools