Columbia University Library, MS. Plimpton 262

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Production Practicalities and Reception Issues:

checked against microfilm.

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: Columbia MS Plimpton 262.
  • Matheson no. 26.
  • Date(s): 2nd quarter of C15
  • Type of book: Brut chronicle.
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 1
  • Contents: Brut chronicle, fols. 1r-135r.
  • Writing support: parchment with added C16 paper fols. (59, 105, 108, 131).
  • Watermark?:
  • Book Construction: Folio, Quarto etc.
  • Collation:
    • No of leaves: i + 136 + ii. Front and end flyleaves are prob. C18 paper.
    • Blank leaves:
    • Quires: i-x8; xi8 (wants 1); xii8 (wants 1); xiii-xvii8.
    • Foliation: modern, top right corner.
    • Composite MS? no
    • Booklets?: no
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): 8v; 16v; 24v; 32v; 40v; 48v; 56v; 64v; 72v; 80v; (fols 88-89 wanting); 97v; 112v; 120v; 128v.
    • Quire signatures? (where?): not visible on film; quires numbered in mod. pencil.
    • Damage?: fols. 88-89 wanting.
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: (ink or drypoint?) frames and lines
b. columns: 1
c. lines: 39

  • Ink:
  • Dimensions:
    • front board:
    • Folio / page: 285 x 195 mm.
    • Writing space: 210 x 140 mm.
  • Binding: ca. 1750 English red Morocco, tooled and stamped in gilt with panelled back and gilt tooled turnovers; marbled endpapers.
  • Decoration?:
  • Artist?:
  • No. of Scribes: 1
  • Named scribes?:
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: C15 Secretary with Anglicana forms of ‘d’,  ‘w’ and ‘a’ (double-compartment).
  • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?:
  • Compiler?:
  • Rubrication, sigla: fol. 1r: space left for two-line cap; rest of ms: two line solid caps, prob. in red or blue, on fols. 1r-11r, 115r-116r; rest of ms has spaces with guide letters; chapter headings and numbers, prob. in red; catchwords rubricated in scrollwork; ascenders of some top line letters flourished into margin; descenders of some bottom line letters flourished into margin; double hyphens, poss. in red; running titles added by a later hand (C15-16), from fol. 49v (William the Conqueror).
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
    • Front pastedown: bookplate of George A. Plimpton; plate with note of bequest by Mrs. George A. Plimpton in Feb. 1952.
    • Front flyleaf (i verso): ‘MJ’, modern; pressmark L/4.
    • Front flyleaf (iir): erased marginalia, ‘N.B. This book was written about the beginning of the [‘fifteenth’ inserted by a later hand in pencil] Fourteenth [cancelled in pencil] Century; and is now July 1749 upwards of 3oo years old. Palmer’; book stamp of Thomas Phillipps of Middle Hill, numbered 2307.
    • Front flyleaf (iiv): ‘262’, mod.
    • 17r: ‘75’.
    • 89v: ‘two leaves wanting’, ‘11’, mod. pencil.
    • 135r: ‘O lord in whom is all my truste geue here vnto my Fraunces Button’, C15-16?
    • 135v: ‘iste liber pertenit dme [Ow?]ttius Gilbert [Sabinsminae?]’, C15-16; religious and moral maxims and pen trials, C15, C16.
    • 136r: ‘Om[…]’, C15?; ‘Iste liber constat Ricardo Wolston’ (twice), C15-16; ‘Iste liber constat Jhon wollston [with note, headed ‘Caxton’s chronicle’ on Edward II and de Spenser taken from the Brut], C15-16;.
    • 137r: inverted: ‘Thomas Hor[ace?]’,C15-16; religious maxims and marginalia illegible from film, C15-16; ‘17 quaternions’, C18?
    • End flyleaf (ir): ms description plate with mod. pencil note (‘ca. 1420 see ricci’).
    • Front flyleaf (iir): ‘501’; ‘(59)’; ‘mr Wheatby augt 24/26’, (all mod.).
  • Glosses and underlining:
    • Marginal ‘+’ at fols: 25v, 33v, 35r-v, 48v, 62r, 72v, 86v, 92v, 94v.
    • Text expanded upon, same hand as running titles (C15-16), fol. 58v.
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage: poss. Francis Button; Richard and John Wolston; Gilbert [Sabinsmin?].
  • Later ownership(s): C15-16: Richard and John Wolston; poss. Francis Button; Thomas Hor[ace?]; 1749: Ralph Palmer; C19: Sir Thomas Phillipps; C20: George A. Plimpton.
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc:
  • Language(s); translation activities: some marginalia 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-1419[men]:A. See Matheson, PB, pp. 98-99.
  • Evidence of exemplar:
  • 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, supplemented by a typed MS cover slip, Berkeley Digital Scriptorium Database [1]. Textual descent based on Matheson, PB.

Select Bibliography for this MS



Takamiya MS 29


Peterhouse MS 190

LP MS 264
Sion College MS L40.2/E 42

Secondary Texts:
De Ricci, p. 1801.


Rubrication was not finished.

The running titles and C16 fols. are prob. in the same hand.

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