Harvard University MS. Eng. 750

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Production Practicalities and Reception Issues:

checked against microfilm

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: Harvard MS Eng. 750
  • Matheson nos.: 164, 165.
  • Date(s): late C15 or C16, C16
  • Type of book: collection of secular historiographical texts
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 5
  • Contents: item 1: historical chronologies and notes in Latin, fols. 3r-7v; item 2: Brut chronicle, fols. 10r-71v; item 3: A copy of an Inspeximus of 36 Henry VI, fols. 71v-74r; item 4: historical notes and extracts in Latin, fols. 76r-81v; item 5: Brut chronicle, fols. 84r-103v (ends imperfectly); item 6: Treaty of Bretigny in French, fols. 103r-107r; item 7: Roger of Wendover, Flores Historiatum, in Latin, fols. 109r-427r (ends imperfectly); item 8: the retinue of Edward III at the siege of Calais, fols. 431r-432v; item 9: Nicholas Trevet, Chronicle, fols. 433r-459r.
  • Writing support: paper
  • Watermark?:
  • Book Construction: Folio, Quarto etc.
  • Collation: tentative, from film
    • No of leaves: i + 459 fols.
    • Quires:
    • Foliation: inside bottom corner, mod. (description uses this foliation); alternative foliation at top right corner up to fol. 300 (283 in this description), prob. added by same hand as quire sigs.
    • Composite MS? poss.
    • Booklets?: poss.
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): 
    • Quire signatures? Prob. added later: fols. 3r-6r: d ij-v; 10r-32r: e j-xxiiij; 56r-66r: f i-xj; 76r-80r: g i-v; 84r-89r: h j-vj [alternate sigs.: 87r-89r: a (cancelled), 90r-93r: a v-01?]; 94r-97r: i j-iiij; [alternate sigs.: 96r-97r: b (cancelled), 98r: b v]; 104r-106r: k i-iij; 109r-123r: l ij-xvj; 138r-140r: m i-iij; 142r-143r: n j-ij; 144r-155r: o i-xij; 166r-182r: p i-xvij; 198r-204r; q i-vij; 210r-217r: r i-viij; 222r-228r: s i-vij; 234r- 240r: t i-vij; 246r-252r: u i-vij; 258r-270r: x i-xiij; 282r-290r: y i-ix; [fols. 291-309 damaged at bottom]; 310r-317r: A i-viij; 324r-331r: B i-viij; 338r-350r: C i-xiij; 362r-372r: D i-xi; 382r-394r: E i-xiij; 406r-417r: F i-xij; 428r-433r: G i-vj; 437r-441r: H i-vj; 446r-454r: J i-ix.
    • Damage?: top outer corner of fol. 101 torn away with some loss of text.
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: (ink or drypoint?)
b. columns: all items: 1.
c. lines: item 1 (Scribe A): approx. 37 (extremely variable); item 2 (Scribe B): 41-49; item 3, (Scribe C): 46-49;  item 4, (Scribe D): 33-44; item 5 (Scribe E): 29-34; item 5 (Scribe F): 37-44; item 6 (scribe G): 38-46; item 6 (Scribe H): 48-52; item 7 (Scribe I): 33; item 8: (Scribe F): 44-46

  • Ink:
  • Dimensions:
    • front board:
    • Folio / page:
    • Writing space:
  • Binding:
  • Decoration?:
  • Artist?:
  • No. of Scribes:  9: A: fols. 3r-7v; B: 10r-71v, l. 10; C: fols. 71v, l. 11-74r; Scribe D: 7r, ll. 22-37-7v, 76r-81r; Scribe E: 84r-103v; Scribe F: 104r-107r, 433r-459r; G: 109r-111r, 114r-115r, l. 29, 115v, 118r, 119r, 122r, l. 21-427v; Scribe H: 111v-113v, 115r, ll. 30-52, 116r-117v, 118v, 119v-122r, l. 1-20; Scribe I: 431r-432v.    
  • Named scribes?:
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: A: C16 Secretary; B: early C16 Secretary; C: C16 Secretary; D: mid-late C16 Secretary; E: C16 Secretary; F: C16 Secretary; G: C16 Secretary with looped ascenders on ‘d’; script angles to the right; H: C16 Secretary with straight ascenders on ‘d’ and ‘v’ which are almost horizontal; I: C16 Secretary; J: C16 Secretary.
  • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?:
  • Compiler?:
  • Rubrication, sigla: item 1: Items begin with a large cap, approx 3-line; straight line markers; item 2: fol. 10r: seven-line cap ‘I’, in margin; rest of item: large one, two, or three-line caps in left indent of chapter headings; chapter headings, not numbered; paraphs in text; item 3: not rubricated; item 4: paraphs at beginning of each entry; item 5: chapter headings, not numbered; item 6: Approx. three-line cap at beginning of text, but otherwise no rubrication; item 7: two or three-line caps; chapter headings, not numbered; some side notes; item 8: straight line markers; item 9: two-line caps at beginning of chapters; some side notes. 
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
    • Front pastedown: ‘No. 15’, ‘£50’, C19; ‘trevet’, C20; ‘S 84 M s84-86 .22.’, C20; Bookplates of Thomas Philip earl de Grey, Wrest park, and Child Memorial Library, Harvard University.
    • Flyleaf (ir): ‘Cronicon Nicholas Treuet’, C18? ‘15’.
    • Flyleaf (i verso): mod. pressmark; ‘Br 98.373 F *’, ‘jan 17, 1923’ with book stamp of Child Memorial Library’, ‘Trivet, Nicholas’, C20.
  • Glosses and underlining:
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage:
  • Later ownership(s): Thomas Philip earl of Grey, Francis Child, mod.
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc:
  • Language(s); translation activities: ms is in Latin, French 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:A. See Matheson, PB, pp. 278, 282-83, 293-94.
  • Evidence of exemplar: suggested in PB, p. 283, that the second Brut text (item 5) is a copy of the first (item 2).
  • Intra-textual relations to texts in same MS:
  • Extra-textual to other books, texts, traditions: Nicholas Trivet’ Chronicle is also found in College of Arms ms Arundel 38 (as a source for part of the compiled text), and in translation in Harvard ms 938.
  • Decoration:
  • Translation, language:

Credits and acknowledgments:

The description of this MS is largely based on SC. Textual descent based on Matheson, PB. Minor ammendments by Ryan Perry

Select Bibliography for this MS:


TCD ms 505


Takamiya ms 18.


NLW ms 21608D
TCC ms O.11.11
Nottinghamshire County Council ms DDFS 3/1
Bodl. ms Lyell 34

Univ. of Illinois ms 82

Secondary Texts:


Item 3 has fol. references, but they do not apply to this ms.

The scribal situation of item 7 (Flores Historiatum) is unclear. There may have been more than one scribe at work on this text, since there is considerable variation in the script. At the moment, I would posit one main scribe (G) with contributions by at least one other scribe and possibly more. Some stints by other scribes seem, however, to have been very short and to alternate with G. For example, fols. 11-22, where scribe H has done as little as 23 lines (fol. 115r) of one fol., and no more than 7 fols. Another scribe may have contributed ll. 21-45 of fol. 122r, and the whole of fol. 24r, but this suggestion has to be counterbalanced against the fact that there is a great deal of variation in the duct of scribe G’s hand anyway, and the latter fols. resemble G’s hand much more closely than do those by H. Unfortunately there isn’t enough time to spend on this text, so more research is needed.

The ms was poss. compiled by Scribe D, or in collaboration with several scribes; both D and F have worked on more than one text or quire.

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