British Library MS Royal 18 B iii

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Production Practicalities and Reception Issues:

Checked against microfilm.

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: BL MS Royal 18 B. iii
  • Matheson no.: 49
  • Date(s): C15
  • Type of book: Brut Chronicle
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 1
  • Contents: Brut chronicle, fols. 1r-275v, begins and ends imperfectly.
  • Writing support: paper
  • Watermark?:N/A
  • Book Construction: prob. folio
  • Collation: tentative, from microfilm:
    • No of leaves: i? + 275 fols. + ii?
    • Blank leaves:
    • Quires: i12; ii-xxviii8; xxix7 (prob. 8 wants 1); xxx-xxxiii8;
    • Foliation: modern pencil, top right corner.
    • Composite MS? no
    • Booklets?: no
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): 12v, 20v, 28v, 36v, 44v, 52v, 60v, 68v, 76v, 84v, 92v, 100v, 108v, 116v, 124v, 132v, 140v, 148v, 156v, 164v, 172v, 180v, 188v, 196v, 204v, 212v, 220v, 228v, 236v, 243v, 251v, 259v, 267v.
    • Quire signatures? (where?):none visible on film.
    • Damage?:  top outer corner of fol. 5r torn away without loss of text; top outer corner of fol. 131 torn away with some loss of text; bottom margin of fol. 138 torn away, without loss of text; bottom outer corner of fol. 143 torn away with some loss of text; bottom outer ¾ of fol. 173 torn away with loss of text; top margin of fol. 221 torn away without loss of text.
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: (ink or drypoint?): frames, prob. in lead; lines poss. in lead (see fol. 11v); prickings visible, e.g. fol 147.
b. columns: 1
c. lines: 26-32

  • Ink:
  • Dimensions:
    • front board: N/A
    • Folio / page: 11 ½ x 8 in.
    • Writing space: N/A
  • Binding: N/A
  • Decoration?: N/A
  • Artist?: N/A
  • No. of Scribes: 1
  • Named scribes?: no
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: C15 Anglicana with Secretary features: single-compartment ‘a’, occasional Secretary ‘g’; predominantly double-compartment ‘g’, both long and ‘2’-shaped ‘r’, ‘d’ with looped ascenders.
  • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?: N/A
  • Compiler?: N/A
  • Rubrication, sigla: spaces left for 2-line caps with guide letters; chapter headings with numbers, prob. in red; occasional line and double-slash line markers, prob. in red; proper names underlined in red; occasional side notes; catchwords rubricated in half-boxes.
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
    • Front pastedown: modern pressmark.
    • Flyleaf (ir): modern pressmark.
    • 1r: modern pressmark.
    • 4v: ‘Thomas Watson’, C16.
    • 5r: ‘Chronicle of Englande from Brute to K […] v of Henry Ye. in olde englishe imperfect’, C18?
    • 5v: Latin maxim, C15.
    • 10r: ‘lx………’, C15.
    • 11r: pen trials, C15.
    • 20v: ‘john’, C15.
    • 36r: ‘by that Erasymus gaynesford was born the xvij daye of june in the yere of or lorde god M ccccc xxxvj in the xx[vij?] yere of kyng henry the viiijth’, medical recipe for ‘piles’.
    • 37r: medical recipe for a ‘best that hathe styes’, see fol. 36r.
    • 43v: erased or faint marginalia.
    • 60r: ‘yn my most’, C15.
    • 68r: ‘Jon ywyrs’, C15-16; ‘George gaynesseford’, C15-16.
    • 68v: pen trial, C15-16.
    • 70v: ‘Jhus’, C15-16.
    • 72v: cancelled marginalia, poss. a religious maxim.
    • 77r: ‘thomas ducke’, C16.
    • 94; ‘myn owne good’, C15.
    • 97v: ‘hooper’ (twice), ‘Jhn hunt’, C16.
    • 109r: ‘john’, C15.
    • 109v: ‘hic sanctus est the first sonday’, C15.
    • 110r: pen trials.
    • 112r: pen trials.
    • 123r: ‘john Watt[s?]on’, C16.
    • 126r: scribbles.
    • 127v: ‘my most especyall good’, ‘m Rafe gaynesford Rafe’, C16.
    • 130v: ‘templers’, C16; ‘to Rafe M myn owen gard mother M y with the yn ward af[ee?] j recommend vnto yow an’, C16, see fol. 127v.
    • 131r: ‘Jhons barronus’, ‘Jhon’, ‘finis’, C15.
    • 133v: two pen drawings of human faces, ‘john kinges ffase’, C15-16.
    • 134r: ‘Chrystofer watson’, C15-16.
    • 140r; ‘ffor holy chirche had no more reuerence than hit had bene a bordell howse’, C15?
    • 140v: ‘myn owen gard mother’, C16, see fol. 127v etc.
    • 143r: inverted: ‘thys ys the cronacle book of kynges myn an dyght M Tomas maltby’, C15-16.
    • 148v: pen trials, geometric designs.
    • 149r: ‘Thomas’, C15.
    • 150v inverted: pen drawing of human face.
    • 151v: ‘Mr mychelborn’, C16; cancelled marginalia.
    • 154v: ‘jhus’, ‘v ml li’, C15.
    •  156v: religious maxim, C16.
    • 157r: ‘vj score’, poss. scribal.
    •  159v: ‘Wylliam Hartwell’, C16.
    • 160r: ‘Chrystopher watson ons this booke’, C16.
    • 162r: ‘Chrystopher [Watson?]’, C16 see fol. 160r.
    • 162v: religious maxim?, C16, religious maxim in Latin, C16.
    • 167v: ‘It ys nocommon welthe when a theff ys as moche extemyd as a trwe man a brallar & a brecare of pease as a nonest man & were as virtue ys not commendid & vyse [?] pounyshyd the comman welthe shall sone com to confucyon’, ‘vertu est’, C16.
    • 176v: cancelled text, see fol. 167v; ‘wylliam’, C16.
    • 180v: pen trials.
    • 181r: ‘W johes gaynynsford johes wd[t?]’, C15-16; pen trials, C15.
    • 185r: erased marginalia.
    • 188r: ‘jhon mar[…]’, C16.
    • 188v: ‘john gaynsfford’, pen trials, C15-16.
    • 189: ‘but also’, ‘to my louyd frynd Crystofer weston’, C16; pen trials, C15.
    • ‘Item’ ‘Mary Gaynsforyd […]’, C16.
    • 196v: ‘Tomas maltby’, C15-16.
    •  197r: ‘mij score’, poss. scribal.
    • 199r: musical score.
    •  202: religious maxim, C15.
    • 204v: 2 lines of French verse, C16.
    • 205r: ‘departyng yt a prewy payn’, C16, see fol. 204v.
    • 211v: cancelled marginalia.
    • 216r: ‘Thomas’, C15-16.
    • 220v: ‘gaynesforde’, C15-16; pen trials.
    • 228r: pen trials.
    • 229r: mar gaynes[…]’, C16.
    • 230v; ‘james dal[…]’; ‘Jhon Banet of lenham in kente’, C16.
    • 234v, ‘thome’, C15?
    •  238r; ‘ij score’, C15, poss. scribal.
    • 243v: ‘jhus xtus lord amen’ (three times), C15-16; ‘Jhus Thomas gaynesford’, C15-16.
    • 244r: cancelled marginalia.
    • 250r: ‘jhus mary lady’, C15-16.
    • 258v: ‘Gyffe to the poure suche as thou haste be fre to and make no waste’, C15-16.
    • 259v: ‘Tomas’, C15-16.
    • 263v: ‘Jhus’, C15-16.
    • 264v: ‘Thomas gaynesford [twice] John gaynesford’, C15-16.
    • 265: ‘Thomas gaynesford Jhus Marey’, C15-16.
    • 266v: ‘Jhu kynge jhu marey amen jhu marey amen’, C15-16.
    • 267v: pen drawings of human faces.
    • Back flyleaf (ir): librarian’s note.
    • Back flyleaf (i verso):British Library record of examination, dated 23-12-91.
  • Glosses and underlining:
    • C15 glosses on fols. 20r, 76v, 77v, 78v, 79v, 119r, 132v, 141r, 153v, 154r-v, 155v, 159v, 168v, 182r-v, 184v, 185v, 186v, 187v, 188r, 189v, 219r, 229v, 235r, 240r, 242r, 244r, 245r, 255r, 259v.
    • C16 glosses on fols. 56r-v, 74v, 78r, 88r, 89r, 90r, 91v, 92r, 98r, 103r, (112v?), 117v, 139r, 143v, 159r, 160r, 164r, 169r, 175r, 177r, 180r, 192v, 251r, 260r, 273v.
    • C18 glosses on fols. 248v, 254r-v.
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage:
  • Later ownership(s): prob. Gaynesford family in early C16.
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc: N/A
  • Language(s); translation activities: Some Latin and French graffiti (maxims and verse)
  • Dialect: N/A
  • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.:  N/A
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural: prob. Carshalton, Surrey in early C16, poss. late C15 (Gaynesford); Lenham, Kent (John Banet) in mid-C16.

Intertextual relations:

  • Textual descent: Matheson ‘Common Version’, group CV-1419[r&g]:A doubtful. See Matheson, PB, pp.106-107, 113-115.
  • Evidence of exemplar: N/A
  • Intra-textual relations to texts in same MS: N/A
  • Extra-textual to other books, texts, traditions: N/A
  • Decoration: N/A
  • Translation, language: N/A

Credits and acknowledgments:

The description of this MS is from microfilm work by J O’R, supplemented by Warner and Gilson. Textual descent based on Matheson, PB.

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
TCC MS O.10.34
Fitzwilliam MS McClean 186
Hunterian MS 61 *
Hunterian MS 228
BL MS Add. 26746 *
BL MS Royal 17 D. xxi
College of Arms MS Vincent 421
Rylands MS Eng. 104 *
Bodl. MS Bodley 231 *
Bodl. MS Douce 290 *
Bodl. MS Rawlinson B.216

Univ of California MS 152 *
New Haven
Yale University, Beineke MS 323
Cambridge, Mass.
Harvard MS Eng. 587
San Marino
Huntington MS EL 26. A. 13

Secondary Texts:
Boffey, Julia, Manuscripts of English Courtly Love Lyrics in the Later Middle Ages (Woodbridge: Brewer, 1985), p. 126, n. 42 [misnumbered as Royal 18 B. ii].

_____, and Carol M. Meale, ‘Selecting the Text: Rawlinson C.86 and Some Other Books for London Readers’, in Regionalism in Late Medieval Manuscripts and Texts,ed. by Felicity Riddy (Cambridge: Brewer, 1991), 143-69, p. 158 and n. 45.

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).

5. Notes:
The names of John King and Thomas Watson also appear in BL MS Add. 26746.

Huntington MS EL 26. A. 13 (Hoccleve, Regiment of Princes, Lydgate) was partially copied by John Shirley in C15, and has C15 marginalia by Elizabeth and Nicholas Gaynesford.

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