Columbia University Library, MS. Plimpton 261

From Project Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search


Production Practicalities and Reception Issues:

Checked against microfilm

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: Columbia, Plimpton 261
  • Matheson no.: 174
  • Date(s): 3rd quarter of C15
  • Type of book: Brut Chronicle
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 1
  • Contents: Brut chronicle, fols. 1r-133v, colophon: ‘Explicit liber chronicon Quod Ricardus Rede’.
  • Writing support: parchment
  • Watermark?: no
  • Book Construction: Folio, Quarto etc.
  • Collation: Tentative, from film.
    • No of leaves: iv + 133 + iv? fols. the first flyleaf is C18, the next 3 are C15. The first flyleaf is lettered a in this description, the next i-iii.
    • Blank leaves:
    • Quires: i-xvii8.
    • Foliation: modern, top right corner.
    • Composite MS? no
    • Booklets?: unlikely
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): 8v, 16v, 24v, 32v, 40v, 48v, 56v, 64v, 72v, 80v, 88v, 96v, 104v, 112v, 120v, 128v.
    • Quire signatures? (where?): fols. 20r: c iiij; 81r-83r: h [trimmed]; 89r-90r: m-m j; 121-122r: q? [trimmed]. Fol. 62r: ixs lxxix; fol. 63r: m(lo?) xvo.
    • Damage?:
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: (ink or drypoint?) frames and lines, prob. in ink. Prickings visible e.g on fol. 11.
b. columns: 1
c. lines: 24

  • Ink:
  • Dimensions:
    • front board:
    • Folio / page: 175 x 117 mm.
    • Writing space: 117 x 72 mm.
  • Binding: C18 English rough calf boards.
  • Decoration?:
  • Artist?:
  • No. of Scribes: 1
  • Named scribes?: The colophon, ‘Quod Ricardus [Richard] Rede’  occurs in the scribe’s hand below the text, but prob. indicates an association between the Latin version of the Brut (c.f. Bodl. Rawlinson MS. C.398), and the name, ‘Ricardus Rede’; the text in this manuscript is a translation of the second version of the Latin Brut into English. (See Matheson, _PB_, 42-6.
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: C15 anglicana with secretary infuence; double-compartment ‘a’, secretary ‘d’.
  • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?: Bodl. MS Rawl. B.398, a Latin Brut, was also copied by Richard Rede.
  • Compiler?:
  • Rubrication, sigla: fol. 1r: Simply wrought bar border extending to top and bottom margins, and into the first half of the outer margin, prob. in red and blue, with pen flourishes; two-line cap at beginning of heading and five-line cap at beginning of prologue, infilled, red on blue background; heading in red; rest of ms: two- or three-line caps, infilled, red on blue background; chapter headings (not present after fol. 8v?) in red, not numbered, sometimes with spiral line markers in red or blue; paraphs in text in red or blue; double hyphens prob. in red or blue; running titles and side notes supplied in C15 in Latin and English (poss. scribal?).  
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
    • Front pastedown: bookplate of Sir Mark Masterman Sykes of Sledmere, with note of sale in 1824; plate with note of bequest by Mrs. George A. Plimpton in Feb. 1952.
    • Front flyleaf (ar): Bookplate of George Plimpton with pressmark ms 261; Columbia University Library bookplate attributing the book as a gift of G. Plimpton; mod. pencil note: ‘chronicle written in the reign of Henry VI’, ‘c 1440’, pressmarks, C20.
    • Front flyleaf (a verso): ‘261’, C19.
    • Front flyleaf (ir): ‘Thomas’, ‘Lovell’, ‘[?] [?] 1550’ comp. with end flyleaf (iiir, ‘Thomas L[…] 1550 [1552?]’); ‘this bok[…]’, C16; cancelled marginalia; Sir T P Middle Hill 191’, C19?
    • Front flyleaf (ii verso): ‘Conniciter(?)ex gestis Bede & fertis(?) locis in hoc libio per compilacio ista fca fuit(?) [?] mense aprilis anno domine millo cccvij’, ‘xv.kt aprilis fuit primus dies scti Sir(?) henri(?) de ymagine mundi’, C15, poss. scribal?-same hand as side notes and running titles; bookplate of George Plimpton, plate with note of loan by Mrs. George A. Plimpton.
    • Front flyleaf (iir): notes in Latin giving various dates, e.g. birth of Abel, one entry reads: 5199:. Sir(?) kilyngworþ de college mertonis in oxonia’, C15 (poss. scribal, see preceding fol.); ‘William Pusey’, (surname cancelled), ca. 1500.
    • Front flyleaf (ii verso): cancelled and erased marginalia: ‘[Jhon?] w[…]gh[…]’, ‘william […]’, ‘ff[…] […]’; T layster’, C17?
    • Front flyleaf (iiir): moral maxim, C16; religious maxim, C15-16; erased marginalia.
    • Front flyleaf (iii verso): cancelled marginalia.
    • 1r: ‘Nettleton’, ‘boke 1550’; ‘phillipps ms 191’
    • 134r: Latin notes on Edward VI and Elizabeth I (of ‘Anglie Ffrancie et Jrelaundie’), dated 1559; ‘Thomas Pusey wrot this and a knaves name he doth not myss(e?)’, C16.
    • 134v: ‘J praye you good mr nettletonn let me be your heire of this booke, ether for love or money. yours to commaunde William Wray’, C16.
    • 135v: Latin maxim, C16 (poss. by T. Lovell); pen trials, ‘Whartone’, C16.
    • 136r: ‘Thomas […] 1559’, ‘Willm [wray?] When tha[t?] my mynde [y?]t […] 1559’; ‘Thomas L’.
    • 136v: ‘Edward sextus dei’, C16 (see fol. 134r).
  • Glosses and underlining:
    • C15-16 glosses on fols. 99v, 115v, .
    • C16 glosses on fols. 3r, 9r, 44v, 83r, 95r,
    • C 19-20 glosses on fols. 20r,
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage:
  • Later ownership(s): C15: prob. William Pusey; C16: Nell [Blois?], 1550, Mr. Nettletonn; prob. Thomas Pusey; poss. Thomas Lovell 1550, William Wray, Whartone; C17 T. Layster; C19: Mark Masterman Sykes, Thomas Phillipps; C20: Mr. & Mrs. George A. Plimpton.
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc:
  • Language(s); translation activities: marginalia in Latin and English.
  • Dialect:
  • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.:
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural:

Intertextual relations:

  • Textual descent: Matheson ‘Peculiar Version’, group PV-1437:B. See Matheson, PB, pp. 302-303, 305-306.
  • Evidence of exemplar: N/A
  • Intra-textual relations to texts in same MS:
  • Extra-textual to other books, texts, traditions: Latin Brut.
  • Decoration:
  • Translation, language: Brut text prob. translated from Latin (see PB, p. 305).

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.  Adapted and revised by Ryan Perry.

Select Bibliography for this MS:



Holkham Hall MS 669.

Bodl. MS Ashmole 791
Bodl. MS Rawl. C.398

Secondary Texts:
De Ricci, 1800.


Quire ix has been misbound after quire vii.
The C15 glossator of this ms writes in English and Latin. He also corrects the text (e.g. at fol. 23r, where he provides an insertion). The hand would appear to be  that of a scribe who knows the Brut text, but whether it belongs to the scribe is unclear. Possible Oxford connection, see front flyleaf, (iir) and fol. 54v. poss. in religious orders, see fol. 72v.

Personal tools