National Library of Wales MS. 442D

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Production Practicalities and Reception Issues:

checked against microfilm

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: NLW 442D
  • Matheson no.: 114
  • Date(s): mid C15
  • Type of book: Brut chronicle
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 1
  • Contents: Brut chronicle, pp. 1-342.
  • Writing support: parchment
  • Watermark?:
  • Book Construction: Folio, Quarto etc.
  • Collation:
    • No of leaves: i ?+ 342 pages + i?
    • Blank leaves:
    • Quires:
    • Foliation: paginated in ink, C18?, top outer corners.
    • Composite MS? no
    • Booklets?: no
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): 16, 32, 48, 64, 80, 94, 110, 126, 142, 158, 174, 190, 206, 222, 238, 254, 270, 286, 302, 318.
    • Quire signatures? (where?): signed on leading edges, ‘+’ (next is ‘a’)- j-iiij (many trimmed away).
    • Damage?:
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: (ink or drypoint?) frames, prob. in ink, prickings visible.
b. columns: 1
c. lines:  30-33

  • Ink:
  • Dimensions:
    • front board:
    • Folio / page:
    • Writing space:
  • Binding:
  • Decoration?:
  • Artist?:
  • No. of Scribes: 1
  • Named scribes?: no
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: C15 Anglicana with Secretary features: single-compartment ‘a’, double-compartment ‘g’, looped-ascender ‘d’, ‘2’-shaped, long, and ‘r’-shaped ‘r’, Anglicana ‘w’, both Anglicana and Secretary ‘v’.
  • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?:
  • Compiler?:
  • Rubrication, sigla: p. 1: full bar border with foliage and sprays, prob. in colours; 6-line cap, poss. in gold, on background and infilled with foliage. Prob. in colours; rest of ms: 2 or 3-line caps prob. in red or blue, with pen flourishing into margin, prob. in red or blue; chapter headings and numbers, prob. in red; paraphs in text, prob. in red or blue; occasional side notes and ‘nota’; running titles, pp. 209-213, added in C16.
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
    • 1: ‘D W 1723’.
    • 14: ‘jhus’, C15.
    • 121; ‘Nemo sine crimene vive’, C18?
    • 133 sums.
    • 163: ‘nothing more swetar then life’, C18? See p. 121.
    • 195: ‘John Seton capp’, C16.
    • 342:  brief chapter list, prob. by paginator, C18-19?
  • Glosses and underlining:
    •  Mid-C16 extensive glosses, sometimes in Latin, with occasional Maniculum and underlining on almost every page, in two hands (A: pp. 1-44, and 255-342; B: pp. 44-234); cancelled text in glosses by B on pp. 63, 90, 139, 142, 155, 163, 215.
    • C7-118 glosses on pp. 29, 53, 54, 59, 170, 171.
    • C18 Latin glosses on pp. 87.
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage:
  • Later ownership(s):
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc:
  • Language(s); translation activities:
  • Dialect:
  • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.:
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural:

Intertextual relations:

  • Textual descent: Matheson ‘Extended Version’, group EV-1419:B. See Matheson, PB, pp. 188, 194-95.
  • 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 largely based on Microfilm work by J O’R supplemented by Marx (See bibliography). Textual descent based on Matheson, PB. Revisions by Ryan Perry.

Select Bibliography for this MS:



CUL MS Add. 2775
CUL MS Ff.2.26
University Library MS 185
University of Glasgow MS Hunterian 230
Lincoln Cathedral Library MS 98
BL MS Add. 24859
BL MS Harley 4827
BL MS Harley 2182
Bodl. MS Rawl. Poet. 32
Trinity College MS 5


University of Virginia MS 38-173

Secondary Texts:
Marx, C. W., ‘Middle English Manuscripts of the Brut in the National Li­brary of Wales’, The National Library of Wales Journal,27 (1991-92), 361-82.


This is one of the most heavily glossed Bruts I (JO'R) have witnessed to date. It looks as if there are two programs, A who does the early and late parts of the ms (and whose hand may be somewhat earlier than B’s), and B who does the middle part of the ms. Few pages are left unglossed. Perhaps B noticed the gaps in A’s glosses and decided to fill them in, or perhaps the two glossators were working together.

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