Bodleian Library MS. 840

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checked against microfilm

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: Bodl. MS Bodley 840 [SC 27654]
  • Matheson no.: 56
  • Date(s): ca. 1420-30
  • Type of book: Brut Chronicle
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 1
  • Contents: Brut chronicle, fols. 1r-164v, colophon, fol. 117r, ‘Deo Gracias’,
  • Writing support: parchment
  • Watermark?:
  • Book Construction: Folio, Quarto etc.
  • Collation: tentative, from microfilm:
    • No of leaves: i + 165 + i
    • Blank leaves: 164v; fol. 165 was prob. also blank, but is now a  fragment.
    • Quires: i-xiv8; xv-xvi7; xvii-xx8
    • Foliation: C18, top right corner, every five fols., the rest of the fols. have modern foliation, top right corner.
    • Composite MS? unlikely.
    • Booklets?: poss. 2 booklets, 1: fols. 1-119, quire signatures iij a-iij n; 2: fols. 120-165, quire sigs. a j-f j. Note the quire signatures recommence at ‘a’, on fol. 120r, and the rubrication styles of the two sections are different.
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): 8v; 16v; 24v; 32v; 40v; 48v; 56v; 64v; 72v; 80v; 88v; 96v; 104v; 112v; [new quire begins at fol. 120]; 127v; 135v; 143v; 151v; 159v;
    • Quire signatures? (where?): 3r-4r: iij a-iiij a [ms damaged and dog-eared]: 9r-12r: j b-iiij b; 17r-20r: j c-iiij c; 25r-28r: j d-iiij d; 33r-36r: j e-iiij e; 41r-44r: j f-iiij f; 49r-52r: j g-iiij g; 57r-60r: j h-iiij h; 65r-67r: i j-i iij [fol. 68r dog-eared]; 73r-76r: j k- iiij k; 81r-84r: j l-iiij l; 89r-92r: j m-iiij m; 97r-100r: j n-iiij [100r trimmed, letter missing]; 113r; j; 120r-123r: a j- a iiij; 128r-131r: b j-b iiij; 136r-137r: c [ms trimmed]; 145r-146r: d [ms trimmed]; 153r: e ij; 160r-162r: f j-f [ms trimmed];.
    • Damage?: fol. 1: bottom outer corner torn away, no loss of text; fol. 30: bottom outer corner torn away, with loss of text; fols. 37v-40v: water(?) damage with some loss of text; fol. 104: top outer corner cut away, no loss of text; fol. 103: portion of outer margin cut away with some loss of text; fol. 155: top right corner torn away, no loss of text; fol. 165: a fragment, only a small portion of the inner centre part remains, approx 1/8 of the fol.
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: (ink or drypoint?) Scribe A: frames, prickings for lines visible; Scribe B: frames and lines.
b. columns: 1 throughout.
c. lines: Scribe A: 36; Scribe B: 36.

  • Ink:
  • Dimensions:
    • front board:
    • Folio / page: 10 ¼  x 7 ½ in.
    • Writing space:
  • Binding:
  • Decoration?:
  • Artist?:
  • No. of Scribes: 2: A: fols. 1r-117r, l. 5 (ends with colophon, Deo Gracias); B: fol. 117r, l.5-164v.
  • Named scribes?: no
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: A: early C15 Anglicana with occasional split-top or thickened ascenders amongst other decorations to top lines (e.g. fol. 117r); B: C15 Anglicana, with Secretary ‘d’ and ‘w’.
  • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?:
  • Compiler?:
  • Rubrication, sigla: Scribe A: two-line caps, prob. in red or blue; chapter headings and numbers, with wavy line markers, prob. in red; paraphs in text, prob. in red; proper names underlined, prob. in red; catchwords rubricated in scrollwork, poss. in red; occasional side notes, poss. in red; ascenders of top line letters ornamented from fol. 43v onwards; Scribe B: spaces with guide letters left for two-line caps; chapter headings (not numbered) with paraph line markers, prob. in red; catchwords not rubricated, quire sigs. poss. in red; occasional double slashes at ends of lines.
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
    • Front pastedown: mod. pressmarks.
    • Front flyleaf (i verso): mod. pressmark.
    • 1r: ‘This chronicle was written by Marianus a monke teste Joaime in his first pt of þe acte of english votaries’, C17-18?; note, signed ‘T.H’, identifying the text as a Brut chronicle, and mentioning Caxton, C18-19;  pressmark: ‘MS Super C.Art.4. [/] Arch.D.100.’, C18? circled and labelled ‘olim’, C19?.
    • 10v: ‘Brother Willm’, C16.
    • 11r: partially erased or smudged: ‘This is tho[mas?]es ffrynde[?] He[nrey?] hary[?] lange[?]’, C16.
    • 15r: inverted: ‘allyngeZ’, pen drawing of human face, C15-16.
    • 24r: inverted: memorandum that ‘J mychell Branyt haue […]’, C16.
    • 34r: memorandum addressed to ‘ffather’, C16.
    • 37r: ‘Thomas’ [twice], C16.
    • 49r: inscription illegible from film.
    • 51v: religious maxim, C16.
    • 52r: ‘Right worshipfull Sir Thomas david[?] kinges [?]’, C16.
    • 53v: ‘Th[enworth?] [twice], C16.
    •   54v: ‘beventure dne [due?]’, C16.
    • 74r: marginalia illegible from film.
    • 80v: ‘in the name of god amen’, C16.
    • 81r; pen trials, C16.
    • 98r-v: pen trials.
    • 104r: ‘nota by and by the hole chaptre’, C15, prob. scribal.
    • 112r: ‘essex’, C15-16, see fols. 120r-v.
    • 113: religious maxim, C16.
    • 115r: maxim, C16.
    • 116v: pen trials.
    •  120r: ‘essex’, C16, see fols. 112r, 120v.
    • 120v: ‘This ys Wylliam henworthes booke of Chelmesford in the countye’, C16, see fols. 112r, 120r.
    • 122r: ‘Robertus Richard thomas henry George Gregory William Jerome Crystopher henworth’, C16.
    • 123r: ‘this shall […] john pechey […]’, C16; ‘to [w?] [?]rusey William frend thomas henworth the […]’, pen trials, C16.
    • 123v: scribbles.
    • 124r: ‘This is William henworthes boke of chelmesford in the countie of Essex and bowt of Thomas Wallinger of chelmesford in the countie afforsaid’, C16.
    • 125v: ‘john’ in mirror-writing, C16.
    • 126r: ‘john’, C16.
    • 128v: ‘John [?]’, C16.
    • 131r: religious maxim, C16.
    • 134r: ‘Willm taylor of chelmesford in the countie of essex Betwene[?] the xxviiijto daye of August deffered ought of this xrent[?] worlde in the ffaithe of  jhesu’, C16, hand of William Henworth?
    • 135r: ‘Thomas raynold of Chelmesford in the countie of essex yeoman to personalie appeare beffor our sovereigne Lord Edward the sext by the grace of god kinge of yngland ffraunce and yerlond defender of the faith [erased (smudged): and …]’, ‘to the right worshippfull sir Thomas wentworth knight yeve thiese[?] with[?] sped[?], C16, hand of William Henworth?
    • 135v: ‘To the right worshipful m[cancelled by later hand] Thomas wentworth knight […]’, C16.
    • 136r: ‘ruare impeidit’, C16.
    • 136v: ‘this’, C16.
    • 137r: maxim, C16.
    • 137v: pen trials, C16.
    • 138: ‘Thomas Raynold of Chelmesford in the countie of essex draper the viijth day of this present month of Januarie Anno Regni Regis Edwardi Sexti ijunt’, ‘per me Thomas Baker Sulnis[?]’, C16.
    • 140: ‘essex’, ‘essex ha[…]’ erased, (smudged), C16.
    • 140v: inverted: ‘Thomas Wallinger de London & John turner de chelmesford’, C16.
    • 141r: inverted: ‘Crister Richeston de Chelmesford in com[?] p dit lub[?]’, C16.
    • 146v: legal maxim, C16; ‘Right Thomas’, C16.
    • 159r: ‘Thomas’, C16.
    • 159v: legal maxim, C16.
    • 161r: faint or erased marginalia, C16.
    • 164r: moral maxim, C16.
    • 164v: ‘Thomas henworth’, (three times) C16; ‘Robard holden yt […]’, C15-16, ‘Thomas’, C16; ‘in the name of god amend in the iiijth yere of the reigne of king of Englond [?], C16; note on Henry V, C17-18; ‘essex Johce[?] vate mille vic comiti [?]’, C16; ‘master mattew and milord’, C17-18?; ‘Thomas henworth of chelmesford in the countie of essex yoman the xx[ti?] day of julie’, C16; cristover henworth’, C16; various pen trials.
    • 165r: ‘de raginge one w’, C16; ‘jhu’, faint and illegible marginalia, C16?.
    • 165v: fragment of a bill, C16: ‘[…]bill madd the […] yere of the raign […]souerange lord & […] the […] by […] kinge […] [e?]nglond ffraunce […] of the faith in […] the supreme head […] [ch?]urch of England […]ylond m’, and ‘[…] party and johan […] and the […] deuysed […] his grace’, C15?
  • Glosses and underlining:
    • C15-16 glosses on fol.: 85r.
    • C16 glosses on fols. 70r, 111r, 120v, 121v, 136r (Latin), 137r, 144v, 145r, 146r, 147r, 160v?
    • C17 glosses on fols. 18r-v, 54v, 97r.
    • C18 glosses (names of kings) on fols. 56r, 57v, 59v, 60v, 63v, 69v, 83v, 95v, 98v, 100v-101v, 103v,  106r, 107v, 108r, 110v, 112v, 117, 118v, 119r, 122r, 125r, 155r, 156r, 156v; 157r.
    • Erasures on fols. 107r (‘pope John’ replaced by ‘byshop’), 135v (‘pope’).  
    • Scribbles in ink over fols. 42v, 66v, 67r, 135v.  
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage:
  • Later ownership(s): C16: Thomas Wallinger, Thomas and William Henworth (poss. Henworth family: Robert, Richard, Thomas, Henry, George, Gregory, William, Jerome and Christopher); poss.: Michael Branyt, Thomas Raynold, Thomas Baker, John Turner, Crister (Christopher) Richeston, Robert Holden.
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc:
  • Language(s); translation activities:
  • Dialect: Essex ‘with some Herefordshire relicts “probably to represent the flavour of the Brut original”’. PB, p. 118, LALME, vol. I, p. 146, vol. III, p. 117.
  • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.: vol. I, p. 146, vol. III, p. 117; LP 6090 (not on maps, but printed).
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural: Essex (Chelmsford) and London; probably urban in two contexts (Thomas Wallinger and the Henworth family).

Intertextual relations:

  • Textual descent: Matheson ‘Common Version’, group CV-1419[r&g]:B . See Matheson, PB, p. 118.
  • Evidence of exemplar: Matheson posits a change of exemplar at year 1333 (fol. 117r), although this continuation is in fact by a different scribe. Prob. the continuation after 1333 was from a different source than the text up to that point (PB, p. 118).
  • Intra-textual relations to texts in same MS:
  • Extra-textual to other books, texts, traditions:
  • Decoration:
  • Translation, language:


Credits and acknowledgments:

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

Select Bibliography for this MS:



Bodl. MS Bodley 840


TCD MS 490


Scribe B has prob. added his continuation of the Brut to scribe A’s 1333 text at a later date. The colophon at the end of A’s work on fol. 117r indicates that he saw his work as complete.

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