University of Illinois MS. 116

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Production Practicalities and Reception Issues:

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: Univ. of Illinois MS 116
  • Matheson no(s): 81, 120
  • Date(s): C15
  • Type of book: Brut chronicle              
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 1
  • Contents: Brut chronicle, fols. 1-206v.
  • Writing support: parchment
  • Watermark?: no
  • Collation:
    • No of leaves: 206 fols., with 2 paper flyleaves at beginning and 3 at the end, one of which is loose and may belong at the beginning.
    • Quires: i-xxv8; xvi6.
    • Foliation: mod. pencil, top right corner.
    • Composite MS? no
    • Booklets?: no
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): 8v; 16v; (no c/w at 24v; 32v poss trimmed away); 40v? (trimmed); 48v; 56v; 64v; 72v; 80v; 88v; 96v; 104v; 112v; 120v; 128v; 137v; 144v; 152v (trimmed); 160v; 168v (trimmed); 176v (trimmed); 184v; 192v; 200v.
    • Quire signatures? (where?): 180: j? red ink; 193r hh or ll (trimmed); 194r hh or ll (trimmed). If there were originally quire sigs. they have been trimmed away.
    • Damage?: 1 loose flyleaf at the end, binding coming loose at bottom, but excellent condition.
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: (ink or drypoint?) frames and lines in drypoint up to fol. 185r, then ink.
b. columns: 1
c. lines: Scribe A: 30; Scribe B 30; Scribe C; 29.

  • Ink: black
  • Dimensions:
    • front board: 274 x 197 mm
    • Folio / page: 265 x 192 mm
    • Writing space: 187 x 120 mm
  • Binding: Brown morocco over cardboard; marbled endpapers; front and back board borders tooled in gold, turnovers and edges in gold geometric pattern; spine tooled in gold with floral patterns and two panels in red, 1: the motto and seal of the order of the garter in gold (‘honi soit qui mal y pense’) in roundel containing a griffin surmounted by a crown with floral pattern in corners; 2: ‘M.S.S’, with gold tooled edges; gatherings sewn onto 5 thongs; raised bands; headbands in blue.
  • Decoration?: Large cap on fol. 1r floriated in green, blue and purple; floral pattern runs down left and bottom margins and extends to the top of the page and 1/3 of the way across the top margin. Originally gilded, but now only traces visible; fol 67r: large cap in gilt on blue and purple background; pen flourishes with olive ink with gilding in spots. This section of text refers to William the Conqueror, and must be of some significance, since no other caps (apart from fol. 1) are decorated in this way.
  • Artist?:
  • No. of Scribes: 3: A: fols 1r-20v, l.2; B: fol. 20v, l.3-184v; C:185r-206v scribe C takes over in the middle of a word, see PB, pp. 148-149.
  • Named scribes?:
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?:  A: C15 secretary; B: C15 secretary with some anglicana features; C: C15 secretary.
  • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?:
  • Compiler?:
  • Rubrication, sigla: Caps in blue with pen flourishes in red; Chapter headings in red; Arabic chapter numbers in margins in red with blue paraphs; blue paraphs in chapter headings before roman numbers; occasional words picked out in red, e.g. ‘Stella Comota’ on fol. 156v; fols. 1r-16v proper names underlined in red, comp. Chicago MS 254 (programme that seems to have been abandoned in this MS but is maintained in Chicago MS); Scribes A and B keep to margins and end lines with hyphens (‘=’) to break words, or markers (‘~’) to fill spaces, Scribe C frequently overruns margin and ends final lines of fol. with markers (‘//’);  catchwords rubricated in different styles: 1: no rubrication (fols. 8v,16v, 88v); 2: line drawings of animal and human figures sometimes tinted in pale red and rubricated in red ink (fol. 40v, griffin; 48v man in hood; 64 angel (twice, once in colour); 72v, beast with human face; 80v, griffin); 3: scrollwork with 1 band tucked under at top left and bottom right (fols. 96v-184v); 4: trapezoid box with small roundels in each corner (fols192v, 22v); fols. 43v, 44r, 49r-51v, 81r-83r, 86r, the ascenders of first lines are flourished and decorated with pen drawings of human faces, particularly frequent on fols 49v-51v; fol. 103r, ‘Burbrigge’ in red ink; fols. 145v, 167r: space left by scribe not filled in by rubricator.
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
    • Flyleaf (i): ‘C.6.J’, ‘C C 1’, ‘P c’ Brown ink; ‘K-373’ mod. pencil; ‘Dalkeith House’ C18-19? Brown ink; bookplate of Amherst (this is indicated by a note in pencil, ‘amherst’), motto: ‘Victoria Concorda Crescit’; Book plate of Library of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, stamped ‘rare book room’
    • Flyleaf (iir): ‘Headdrifci cap: 130’ mod. pencil; ‘the poem on the siege of Rouen starts on p. 189’, mod. pencil (poss. hand of de Ricci cataloguer); ‘51’ in box, mod. pencil.
    • Flyleaf (iiv): ‘7 mar. 51 stonehill’, mod. pencil.
    • 1r: ‘in dei nimine amen’ poss. C16.
    • 9r: ‘Cornwall’ copied in later (C15?) hand, scribe A has written ‘Cor’ but left a blank space and a cross in the margin to indicate such.
    • 27v: erased marginal inscription.
    • 61v: ‘thra’? faint.
    • 65r: extensive erasure in top margin, needs UV or infra red inspection.
    • 73r: erasures (prob. of ‘Seynt’) next to Thomas Becket’s name.
    • 74r: ‘cap. 146’ pale brown ink, seems to be similar to erasure on fol. 65r.
    • 77r-78v: ‘popes’ blotted but still visible.
    • 82v: ‘thos’? pale greyish ink.
    • 99v: ‘th’? very pale.
    • 104r: ‘D’, C17 or later, brown ink.
    • 113r: ‘and’ (?annoi) very faint.
    • 138r: ‘70 D’ see fol. 104r.
    • 142r ‘pope’ erased.
    • 137r: ‘D’ (see fols. 104r, 138r).
    • 159r: ‘John Brome’, C16 pale grey ink, smudged.
    • 161v: erasure (scribal mistake, duplication of ‘þe duke’).
    • 166r: marginal ‘t’ (twice).
    • 167r: scribal space left for rubricator but missed, filled in by C16 hand in brown ink: ‘duchesse of Norfolk’.
    • 172v: erasure: ‘and’.
    • 196r: ‘’B’ (see 104r, 138r, 137r).
    • 206v: ‘not no nf’ C16 black ink.
  • Glosses and underlining:
    • 27v: English gloss, C15, black ink.
    • 28v: English gloss, C16, black ink.
    • 29r: English gloss, C16, black ink.
    • 46v: English gloss, C16, black ink.
    • 47r: English gloss, C16, black ink.
    • 51r: English gloss, C16, brown ink.
    • 68r: maniculae in black ink; C16 gloss.
    • 185r: ‘x’ in mod. pencil next to text: ‘they fought our englysshmen in dyuers parties off  þe seege’.
    • 202v: ‘nota’ in olive-brown ink, poss. scribal.
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage:
  • Later ownership(s): poss. John Brome
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc: Later affiliation with the Order of the Garter?
  • Language(s); translation activities:
  • Dialect:
  • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.:
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural:

Intertextual relations:

  • Textual descent: Matheson ‘Common Version’, group CV-1430 JP:B; Matheson ‘Extended Version’, group EV-1419:C . See Matheson, PB, pp. 149-49; 200-01.
  • Evidence of exemplar: change of exemplar at fol. 185, new hand and new leaf, see PB, pp 148-149.
  • Intra-textual relations to texts in same MS:
  • Extra-textual to other books, texts, traditions:
  • Decoration: see heading 1. xxii.
  • Translation, language:


Credits and acknowledgments:

The description of this MS is largely based on MS work by J. O’R and S. K.; revised by Ryan Perry. Textual descent based on Matheson, PB.

Select Bibliography for this MS:



Corpus Christi College MS 182
TCC MS O.9.1

BL MS Harley 753
LP MS 331
Society of Antiquaries MS 223

Bodl. MS Laud. Misc. 571

PUL MS Garrett 150

San Marino
Huntington Library MS HM 133

 [Sometimes there will be more than one entry for a MS in PB, since continuations, for example of John Page’s Poem or a London chronicle will also have a classification, see headings 1. vii and 4.i.]

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