Glasgow, Hunterian MS. 83

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Production Practicalities and Reception Issues:

Checked against microfilm, complete on 4-11-2003

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: Univ. of Glasgow MS Hunter 83
  • Matheson no(s): 123, 94  
  • Date(s): C15, prob. after 1483, see Matheson, Death and Dissent, p.68.
  • Type of book: collection of historiographical texts
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 6
  • Contents: 1: list of monarchs, in English and Latin, fols. iii recto-iv recto; 2: carol, fol. iv verso; 3: Fructus Temporum with prologue, fols. 1r-9r; 4: table of contents for the St. Albans edition of the Chronicles of England, fols. 10r-v (items 3 and 4 are both copied from the St. Albans edition [ca 1483), where the Chronicle is prefacedby the Fructus Temporum)  5: verse with music (2 x carols), fol. 12r; 6: Brut chronicle, fols. 15r-140v; 7: Warkworth’s Chronicle, begins imperfectly, fols. 141r-148v. Flyleaves at front (i recto-verso) and end (i recto-verso) are fragments of a deed, C17.
  • Writing support: paper with parchment flyleaves at front and end
  • Watermark?:
  • Book Construction: Folio, Quarto etc.
  • Collation:
    • No of leaves:  iv (with paper padding at front end,; ii is a parchment flyleaf) + 148 + ii (i is a parchment flyleaf, ii is paper); fol. 14 is prob. the original flyleaf.
    • Quires:
    • Foliation: padding leaves at front foliated a-d; modern foliation top right corner
    • Composite MS? yes
    • Booklets?:
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): poss. on fols. 61v, 90v, 110v, 116v, 120v; 127v. 
    • Quire signatures? (where?): 38r-49r: j g-xii; 62r-73r i-xii; 86r-96r: j- xi; 111r-120r ij-xi.
    • Damage?: fol. 5 is a stub (prob. cancelled by scribe); lower margin of fol. 8 torn off, text missing; 14r, bottom outer corner cut away; 140-148: bottom outer corner torn or cut away (repaired), some loss of text (side notes) on fol. 144.
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: 1: frames poss. in lead; 2: score ruled in ink; 3: not visible; 4: frames and columns, poss. in lead; 5: frames poss. in lead, score in ink; 6 scribe B: prickings visible, scribe A: frames in brown crayon; 7: frames, prob. in brown crayon.
b. columns: item 1: 1; item 2: 2; item 3: 1; item 4: 2; item 5: 2; items 6-7: 1.
c. lines: item 1: 27-28; item 2: 19; item 3: 40; item 4: 40; item 5: 37; item 6 scribe B: 35-39; scribe A: 41-42; item 7: 40-43 .

  • Ink:
  • Dimensions: approximate, from microfilm
    • front board:
    • Folio / page: approx. 280 x 200 mm.
    • Writing space: item 1: 230 x 172 mm.; item 2: 133 x 170 mm.  mm.; item 3: 225 x 157 mm.; item 4: 222 x 144 mm.; item 5: 226 x 183 mm.; item 6: scribe B: 256 x 177 mm.; scribe A:235 x 165 mm.;  item 7: 205 x 144 mm.
  • Binding: C 17; Brown (poss. faded red) calf over  wooden boards; stamped with Royal arms in gilt; alternately blind-tooled and tooled in gold; Prince of Wales’s feathers blind-tooled in corners; 6 raised bands visible on microfilm; traces of 4 silk ties.
  • Decoration?: line drawing of a castle, fol. 4r Artist?:
  • No. of Scribes: 2: A: fols.: iii(?)-12r , 128r-148v; B: 15r-127v
  • Named scribes?:
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: A: C15 Secretary with some Anglicana forms; B: C15 Secretary with some Anglicana forms (poss. Scottish, see PB, p. 205, Parkes, p.13).
  • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?:
  • Compiler?: Poss. scribe A.
  • Rubrication, sigla: poss. same rubricator throughout ms (Scribe A?); same rubricator for items 6-7 (see Matheson, Death and Dissent, p. 70); 1: fol. iii: three line cap, poss. in red or blue, flourished into top and side margins; ascender of second letter flourished into top margin; rest of item: side marks and brackets to indicate chapters; side notes giving compass points; 2 and 5: side marks and brackets to indicate stanzas, some ascenders of top letters extended into margin; 3: two – six line caps (poss. in coloured ink) at chapter headings; rubricated running titles; paraphs and one line caps in text; side notes; proper names underlined; line markers; chapter headings numbered by year; pen diagrams at fols. 2r (Adam and Eve), 3v (Noah), 4r (Tower of Babel), 5v (Abraham), 9r (Albion); all diagrams have been copied from the woodcuts in the ca. 1483 St. Albans printed edition. 4: fol. 10r: four line cap, flourished into top margin; two line cap at new chapter; one line caps for each line; chapter headings; proper names underlined; explicit with line markers; 6: Scribe B: fol. 15r: four and three line caps, decorated, sometimes with human face e.g. 17r (see also fol. 143v, flourished into margin; heading underlined; rest of item: two line caps new chapters poss. decorated in different coloured ink, flourished; rubricated chapter headings, poss. in different coloured ink; side notes with chapter numbers; some ascenders of  top lines and some descenders of bottom lines flourished in to margin; proper names underlined; some rubricated running titles; some slashes for punctuation (poss. in red); Scribe A, and item 7: two, (predominantly) three or four line caps, flourished and decorated, sometimes with human faces, poss. in different coloured ink; rubricated chapter headings, poss. in different coloured ink, some with numbers; spiral line markers at most chapter headings; side notes with chapter numbers, and finding notes, poss. in different coloured ink; some running titles; proper names underlined.
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
    • Front pastedown: bookplate of the Hunterian Library, with pressmarks Hunter 83 and T. 3. 21; samples of original binding materials, numbered 1-4
    • Flyleaf (a): details of binding samples on front pastedown in modern pencil.
    • iiir: modern pressmark.
    • 9r: inverted: ‘sciantus [?] presentes’, C15.
    • 12r: verse, 1 stanza, addition to item 5, C15; poss. erased marginalia.
    • 14r: Latin verses, poss. C16; knotwork patterns; ‘this ys Wyllyam Bromwells boke’, ‘William Bromwell’, ‘This ys Master bromwelles boke’, ‘ Thys ys meyster wyllyam Bromwelles boke whoeuer stelythe thys boke shall be hangyd on […] hoke as he as  J ma[…]’, C16;  ‘samcone’, C15-16? [according to Young and Henderson, but not visible on microfilm, also ‘ffor mr. John Parker’, ‘John B. Samsone’]; Latin prayer [?]; pen trials.
    • 14v: erased marginalia; ‘henricus […]’, C16-17 [Young and Henderson give: ‘henricus dei gratia rex erit et frence et wallie et hibernie’ and attribute poss. to prince Henry]; pen trials.
    • 27v: ‘Jhu’, C15-16?
    • 32v, pen trials, C15-16 (poss. scribal).
    • 62r: pen trial? Or gloss? C16
    • 76v: ‘Thoma[is?], C15.
    • 88v: ‘to nany’[?], C15-16.
    • 98r: ‘anno r 1605’.
    • 122r: memorandum, C15-16.
    • 127v: ‘Sampson erdyswycke’, ‘Sampson Walkedey’, C16 [according to Hunterian online catalogue in the hand of John Stow]; partially erased: ‘to[…]ny’, C15-16.
    • 132v: erased marginalia.
    • 137v: ‘to my ar’[?], C15-16, see fols. 88v and 127v.
    • 146r: ‘Jahane chyldyrys margt chyldyrys frances Ades hary omondes off crone key in london’, C16.
    • 147v: pen trials, C 15-16.
  • Glosses and underlining:
    • C15-16 glosses on fols. 22r, 32r, 37r.
    • C16 english glosses on fols. 62v, 97r, 147r.
    • C15-16 Latin gloss on fol. 131v.
    • C17? french gloss on fol. 102r.
    • C 17-18 glosses, running titles and dates on fol. 61r, 64r, 65r, 66r, 75r, 77v-82v, 83v, 84r, 140r, 141r-142r, 143v, 144r, 146v, 147r, 147v.
    • Latin side note, C17? Fol. 107v.
    • 127v: gloss by John Stow[?].
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage:
  • Later ownership(s): William Bromwell C15-16; poss. C16: Sampson Erdyswycke, Jane Chyldyrys, Margaret Chyldyrys, Frances Ades, Harry omondes, poss. (no date) John Sampson, John Parker; C18, Dr. William Hunter (for details see Death and Dissent, pp. 90-92).
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc: C16 Crown Key, London (see Death and Dissent, p. 91).
  • Language(s); translation activities: contemporary glosses in Latin and English; later glosses in Latin, French and English.
  • Dialect: Scribe B has been ascribed a Northern dialect, see PB, p. 205.
  • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.:
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural:

Intertextual relations:

  • Textual descent: Matheson ‘Common Version’, group poly. 1461W.C; ‘Abbreviated Version’, group AV-1419:A . See Matheson, PB, pp. 167-68; 205,  .
  • Evidence of exemplar:
  • Intra-textual relations to texts in same MS: Warkworth’s Chronicle added to Brut as a continuation.
  • Extra-textual to other books, texts, traditions: Brut continuation (1419-1461) sourced from Caxton’s Chronicles of England and Polychronicon. Side notes by Scribe A to the Brut and Warkworth’s Chronicle taken from the B version of Hardyng’s Chronicle. See Matheson, Death and Dissent, pp. 70-72.
  • Decoration:
  • Translation, language:


Credits and acknowledgments:

The description of this MS is based on Young and Henderson, Matheson, Death and Dissent, and microfilm work by J O’R and B B. additions and revisions by Ryan Perry.  Textual descent based on Matheson, PB.

Select Bibliography for this MS:



Peterhouse MS 190
BL MS Harley 3730
Bodl. MS Digby 185


Ellis, Henry, ed., The Chronicle of John Hardyng (London: F. C. and J. Rivington, 1812).

Lumby, Joseph L., ed., Polychronicon Ranulphi Higden Monachi Cestrensis,Vol. 8, Rolls Series 41 (London: Longman, 1882), pp. 522-87.

Matheson, Lister M. ed., Death and Dissent: Two Fifteenth-Century Chronides (Cambridge: Brewer, 1998).

Secondary Texts:

Hunterian Library Online Description:


Matheson, Lister M., ‘Printer and Scribe: Caxton, the Polychronicon, and the Brut’, Specu­lum, 60 (1985), 593-614.

Nixon, H.M., Twelve Books in Fine Bindings from the Library of J.W. Hely-Hutchinson (Oxford: Roxburghe Club, 1953), pp. 10-12.

Parkes, Malcolm B., English Cursive Book Hands 1250-1500 (1969; repr. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1980), p. 13 and plate 13.

Young, John and Henderson Aitken P., A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of the Hunterian Museum in the University of Glasgow (Glasgow: James Maclehose, 1908), pp. 88-89.

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