Trinity College Dublin MS. 505

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checked against microfilm

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: TCD MS 505
  • Matheson no. 167
  • Date: poss. mid-C15 (Brut) and 4th quarter of C15 (section A of MS.)
  • Type of book: Genealogy of English kings; catalogues of ancient and biblical rulers and popes,  and archbishops of Canterbury; comments on the demography of England; Brut chronicle. Possibly a historical reference book?
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • Writing support: Paper or parchment?: parchment
  • Watermark?:
  • Collation:
    • No of leaves: 288
    • Quires: i-iii8; iv2 +1; v8; vi8 (lacks 6-7); vii-xvi8; xvii8+1; xviii8; xix8 (lacks 3, 6-8). Pp.1-4 and 287-288 are medieval flyleaves. Pp. 257-258 is an inserted loose slip (looks to be by the same scribe).
    • Foliation: modern pagination in top corners, ink.
    • Booklets?: The MS is classified as being in two parts by Colker (Vol. II, p. 935). Part A, pp. 6-83? Or 85? was written after 1471, Part B (the Brut), is pp. 86-288 is C15. The two sections (probably booklets) were put together at an early date, since the decoration of p. 86 is similar to decorations on pp. 5, 9, 10-133, 15 and 16, and according to Colker (vol. II, p. 935) were probably by the same artist. Part A has more than one scribal hand, part B a single hand. Pp. 1-5, 58, 286-288 originally blank, 84-85 blank.
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): Part B has catchwords, part A does not (this is perhaps to be expected since part A is mostly diagrammatic, and is not laid out as running text). Catchwords at pp. 102; 118; 134; 150; 166; 182; 193; 214; 230; 246; 264; 280;
    • Quire signatures? (where?): 109? 116?;  167 fj; 169 fij; 171 fiij (ag iii); 173 fiiij (a(g?) iii);   183 gj; 185 gij; 187 giij (?sd iij); 189 giiij (?sd iiij); 199 hj; (?? trimmed); 201 hij (? ii); (trimmed, prob. hiij ? iii); 205 hiiij (? iiij); 215 Ij (p j); 217 Iii (p ij); 219 Iiij (p iij); 221 Iiiij (p iii trimmed); 231 kj l (q j); 233 kij (trimmed?) 235 kiij (trimmed); 237 kiijj (qiiij); 247 lj; 249 lij; 251 liij; 253 liiij; 265 ? should be mj, but mostly obscured by bookmark in photograph (as are 267, 269, 271 (…j), 281 (n ?j); 283 nij (t ); 285 ?needs to be checked, v faint if present at all (t ii)  .
    • Damage?: loss of leaf after p. 284., text jumps.


  • No of items: 5
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: columns and frames in Part A.
b. columns: double throughout.
c. lines: 41-42 (part B)

  • Ink:
  • Folio Size : 296 x 198 mm
  • Writing Space: 200 x ca. 138 mm?
  • Binding: C19 brown Morocco with gilt edges.
  • Decoration?: Part A: line drawings (often tinted in blue and yellow poss. by later artist): p. 5: Noah’s Ark; p. 9: Castle or Town; pp. 10-13, 15: English towns eg.p. 10  includes Canterbury, with a bishop’s mitre, p. 12 Northampton, p. 13 Lincoln. Names faintly labelled for rubricator ; p. 16 Stable at Bethlehem with roundel. Roundel text (in monumental gothic script) reads ‘Ihesus Christus dominus noster natus est’;  Part B: p.86: detailed line drawing of London. Tinted in blue, orange-red and green,.
  • Artist?:
  • No. of Scribes: Part A: poss. 2 or more scribes; Part B: 1.
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: both sections of the manuscript contain neat bookhands with a mixture of anglicana and secretary forms. The hand of B is poss. mid-C15
  • Rubrication, sigla: Part A: red or blue initials, red caps; Item 1: roundels framed in red with linking lines in green, yellow, blue, pink or red. Kings indicated by a yellow crown above the roundel; Item 2: red-framed roundels; item 3 red-framed roundels, some remain blank. Erasure of Thomas prob. Bourgchier archbishop of Canterbury, 1454-86). part B: initials in coloured letters on gold backgrounds with coloured foliage; other initials blue with red flourishes, capitals in sentences frequently touched with colour, prob. red. Items 2 and 5 (Brut) have running titles. In Item 2 the word ‘pape’ has been erased from most titles. From p. 160 onwards the king of England is indicated by abbreviations in the top margin, beginning ‘Edward 1. king’, then ‘E 1’ etc, in ?red.
  • Contents: 1, pp. 6-56: genealogical descent of English Kings from Noah to Edward IV (recording Edward IV’s wife Elizabeth, d. 1483, and their son Thomas, earl 1471-75); 2, pp. 59-79: catalogue of rulers in two parts: a, pp. 59-78: biblical and ancient rulers (cf TCD MS 117 start of Petrus Pictauinensis’ Compendium Historiae in Genealogica Christi); b, pp. 63-78: emperors and popes; 3, pp. 79-83: catalogue of archbishops of Canterbury from Augustine to John Stafford (1443-1452), but note erasure of Thomas ?Bourgchier after Stafford (see heading 4.ii below); 4, p. 86: Line drawing of London showing (in roundels) the geographical extent of England, the number of towns and cities in England, and English fiefs (cf Bodl. MS Lyell 17). According to Colker this picture is ‘meant to go closely’ with the Brut which follows); 5, pp. 87-285: Brut chronicle.

Production Culture:

  • Compiler?:
  • Named scribes?:
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification: erasures in roundels item 2, pp: 75, 78; item 3, p: 83.
    • p. 1: ‘o com and lett vs sing’ C15?; astrological symbols, numbered 5-13, 2-3 on a scale, accompanied by verses in Welsh:

oen hwrdd trwy gyvwrdd tarw gevell krank llew
llaw morwyn ai dichell
Davl sarff sydd seythydd seithwell
Gavr dwvr pysg o vordir pell
Per me Llewys Dwnn 1593’

(trans: A Ram [hwrdd = ‘Aries’; ‘Stupid person’ ‘assault’; ‘blow’] through meeting a bull, twins, a crab a lion,
hand of a maiden [handmaiden?] and its [her] deceit
Scales, a serpent which is a seven times better archer,
A goat, water, fish from a distant sea.
By me Lewys Dwnn 1593).

    • p. 2: record of births and marriages of the Chichester family, dated 1605-11 (all in one C17 hand):

‘Edward Lord Viscount Chichester was maried to Anne daughter and soale heir of John coperstone of Eggsford Esq. July 4o 1605o in the 3o yeare of the raigne of king James’.

Arthure Chichester his sonne & heire and now viscount and Earle of Donegall was borne the 16o junius between 2 and 3 in the afternoone being monday – 1606 and in the 4th yeare of the raigne of King James’.

Elizabeth Chichester since maried to Sir William Wrey was borne Junius 29o 1607o betweene 6 and 7 in the afternoone in the 5 yeare of the raigne of King James’.

Mary Chichester since maried to Thomas Wise Esq was borne io:br 6:o 1608o betweene 10 and ii at night in the 6: yeare of the Raigne of King James’.

John Chichester Esq was borne on Wedensday the 22o of ?Ffebruary 1609o Betwene 11 & 12 at night in the 7th yeare of King Jame’s Raigne’.

Edward Chichester was borne J:br 1o 16ii in the 9th yeare of King Jame’s Raigne’.

    • p. 9: ‘chester’ not scribal, C16?
    • p. 10: ‘villa ?Carlisle, scribal note for rubricator?; ‘canterbury  and [crossed out] shaftsbury’. C17 gloss on text?
    • P.72: glosses on names, C16?
    • P. 78-79 scribbles, erasure in roundel.
    • P. 95 glosses on names of British kings, ‘Scater’, ‘Dawallyer’, ‘Rudag’, ‘Doneband’. Modern hand, ink.
    • P. 101: ‘coelgode = boc.’ Modern hand?, ink.
    • P. 103: ‘Gnynwas’ C18? hand, ink.
    • P. 113: glosses on the town name Chester ‘castyr’ C16.
    • P. 115: ‘Howell ap Emyr Lhydaw’, C18?, ink.
    • P. 130-131 scribbles
    • P. 141: ‘… Ioan … married to the k. sycilie … 2. to … mund (Edmund?) E. …Tholouse’. C18? (See 115), ink.
    • P. 144-45 scribbles.
    • P. 170 scribal error, crossed out by scribe.
    • P. ‘(?)muina(c?)’ C16, ink.
    • P. 197: ‘(?)om(??) ?kenn’ C15?
    • P. 203 insertion into blank space left by scribe by later hand: ‘And he saide soothe  fore be the Bryni(?n)g of the best þ(?er) be tokened grette’ C15.
    • P. 253: ‘llö de jake Straw and Watt tyler’ C15?
    • P. 261: ‘how þe erle of Arun[del] cam to þe kyng’ C15 See p. 253
    • P. 262; how kyng Richard arested gud duke Thomas of wodstoke Erle of Glocestr’ see pp. 253, 261. other glosses on pp 264, 265,
    • P. 269, top margin, too faint to read, check against MS.
    • P. 275: ‘David Hume’ ‘monks lyers’ C16-17 hand, ink.
    • P. 287: ‘Indenture’ formal script, C16; verses, partially erased C16?: ‘Truste thow not ar for ?reconciled  / Leste thereby thowe mayst be fond beguiled [8 lines erased]

The pope ...
When this thin this ys ?measured (?) goodes hollye wonder
The People parte’
     y.  p. 288: ‘Thomas’, formal script, C16;  ‘Paule Humtington Emanuel’ C16-17; pen trials.

  • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?:
  • Decoration:
  • Scribal and authorial identification:
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage:
  • Language(s); translation activities: some Welsh glosses (e.g p. 115)
  • Dialect:
  • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.:
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc:
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural:

Reception Cultures / communities:

  • Owner(s): Chichester family (prob.); Lewys Dwnn (poss.); Paul Humtington Emanuel (poss.)
    • Gender(s): male, poss. female; male
    • Occupation(s): aristocracy; deputy herald; ?
  • Reading networks: Poss. link to C16 Welsh readership network through Lewys Dwnn, deputy herald, this is the sort of reference book that might have been used by the historical commission to investigate Edward VI’s genealogy (see NLW 21608). Dwnn knew of Gutun Owain’s genealogical work, but did not it seems, know him personally; alternatively the sort of MS that a herald might make use of in his work. For Lewys Dwnn see DWB 175-76).
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc:
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious): MS is of Welsh interest; in C16 Lewys Dwnn, and in C17 - C18 annotated with Welsh notes (e.g. p. 115)
  • Language: Latin, English and glosses and marginalia in Welsh.
  • Decoration:
  • Possible function(s) of book: historical reference book?
  • Reading contexts: gendered, institutional, political, secular / religious: political: headings appear at the beginning of Edward I’s reign; marginalia points to certain political events (e.g peasant’s revolt);

Intertextual relations:

  • Textual descent: Matheson ‘Peculiar Version’, group PV -1437:A. See Matheson, PB, pp. 285-87.
  • Evidence of exemplar: Item 3 incomplete; roundels are drawn and filled in up to p. 83, col. a, roundel 4. col. b roundels are not filled in. Accompanying text commentary finishes at the end of p. 81 col. b. Item 5 (Brut ) ends incomplete on p. 285: ‘a worthy kyng – he had oon hym xxx wondes whereof vii where deadly [scribal marks to indicate end of text in black and ?red ink]’; poss. defective exemplar? Textual evidence to suggest that the scribe had a number of different versions of the text at his disposal (se PB 286-87).
  • 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 Colker,Trinity College Library Dublin: Descriptive Catalogue, vol. II. Textual descent based on Matheson, PB. Adapted and revised by Ryan Perry

Select Bibliography for this MS:







NLW MS 21608.

Dwnn, Lewys, Heraldic Visitations of Wales and Part of the Marches, ed. by Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick (Llandovery: William Rees, 1846).
Secondary Texts:

Matheson, Lister, “The Middle English Prose Brut: A Location List of the Manuscripts and Early Printed Editions”, Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 3 (1979) 257.

Scatergood, John,  Manuscripts and ghosts: essays on the transmission of medieval literature in England (Dublin: Four Courts Press, forthcoming 2006).

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