Yale University, Beinecke MS. 323

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Production Practicalities and Reception Issues:

checked against microfilm, complete on 21-10-2003

  • Pressmark / Name of  Book: Beineke MS 323
  • Matheson no.: 41
  • Date(s): mid C15, ca. 1440.
  • Manuscript or print?: MS
  • No of items: 3
  • Contents: 1) List of Kings from Henry III – Edward III (not Edward IV as in Shailor) with notes on the Clare family, fol. 1r; 2) genealogy of Edward IV, fol. 2r; 3) Brut chronicle, fols. 3r-157v.
  • Writing support: parchment with two paper flyleaves at both front and back. Fols. 1 and 2 are contemporary parchment leaves which have been bound with the Brut.
  • Watermark?:
  • Book Construction: Folio, Quarto etc.
  • Collation:
    • No of leaves: ii + 158 + ii.
    • Quires: i-xi8; xii8 (wants 2); xiii-xix8; xx6.
    • Foliation: modern top right corner
    • Composite MS? no
    • Booklets?: no
    • Catchwords? (on which fols?): 10v; 18v; 26v; 34v; 42v; 50v; 58v; 68v; 74v; 82v; 90v; 96v; 104v; 112v; 120v; 128v; 136v; 144v; 152v;  
    • Quire signatures? (where?): none visible
    • Damage?: Only a stub remains of Fol. 158.
  • Page layout:

a. ruling: (ink or drypoint?) frames in ink, prickings visible.
b. columns: 1
c. lines: 37

  • Ink:
  • Dimensions:
    • front board:
    • Folio / page: 322 x 224 mm.
    • Writing space: 210 x 132 mm.
  • Binding: C17-18 brown calfskin; 5 raised bands; blind-tooled with red label tooled in gold.
  • Decoration?:
  • Artist?:
  • No. of Scribes: 1
  • Named scribes?:
  • Hand date; style; version; holograph, autograph?: C15 Anglicana with some secretary features
  • Hand, rubrication in other MSS?:
  • Compiler?:
  • Rubrication, sigla: fol. 1r: bar border on all sides, with acanthus leaves in blue, green and pink and sprays in black; Six line illuminated cap, pink on gold background also with blue, green and pink acanthus leaves. Rest of ms: Chapter headings and numbers in red sometimes with line markers (prob. in blue); two line caps, red with blue flourishes; alternate red and blue paraphs; catchwords rubricated except on fols.: 10v; 18v; 26v; 34v; 42v; 50v; 58v; 82v; 112v; 152v; rubricated side notes and running titles (names of kings in top right corner) added later in C15.
  • Biobibliographical information: marginalia, glosses, signatures, compiler/ scribe / owner / authorial identification:
    • Front pastedown: ‘Later Library of Herschel V. Jones’ (1861-1928) note pasted over cancelled text  (prob. ‘A.38’? shelfmark of Henry Powle, 1630-92); bookplate of Yale University Library.
    • Front flyleaf (ir): ‘Mattw Lee 2. 18. 6’; ‘No. 19 Thomas Huckell Lee’, C18?; ‘An old Chronicle from the first inhabiting of Brittaine to the time of H.5’, C18; bookplate of Lord Amherst (William Amhurst Tyssen-Amherst (1835-1909).
    • Front flyleaf 1r: religious lines, C16; ‘thys ys edward mayes book’, ‘hic liber ist Edwardus m[…]’ C16; ‘[…] ?diui Albertt’, C15-16; pen trials.
    • 1v: verse partially erased: ‘A man may bryng a hors […]’, C16; pen drawing of bearded man.
    • 2r: pen trials.
    • 2v: ‘history of Albion’, C16; ‘A man may bryng a hors to water  but he can not compell hym to drynke therto . amen.’, pen trials, C16.
    • 19r: ‘thow prat thowe thys his’, C16.
    • 21r: ‘In my hylle Ma[…] mast part J’, C16.
    • 29r: ‘ye deathes are he deye’, ‘ J […]yde’, C16
    • 57v: ‘Dorothe Leuenthorp’, C16.
    • 62r: ‘mercy for his c’sp’, C16.
    • 110r: ‘Jheu [etc]’ C16, erased.
    • Back flyleaf (ir): erased (or faded) modern note.
    • Back pastedown: ‘A 498’, modern.
  • Glosses and underlining:
    • Erased (or partially erased) glosses on fols.: 4r, 5r, 33r, 34v, 62r, 71r, 84r, 102r, 113r, 124r, 126r, 130v, 131r, 139r, 151r, 152r.
    • English glosses (C15-16) on fols.: 15r, 122r, 143r, 149r.
    • English glosses, C15 on fols.: 35r, 58r.
    • English glosses, C16 at fols.: 100r, 122r, 136r.
    • English glosses, C17-18? on fols.: 52, 149r.
    • Cancelled text at fol. 63v.
    • Scribbles, ink blots and pen strokes across text at  fols. 64r-69v.
  • Immediate Ownership(s) / Patronage:
  • Later ownership(s): Edward Mayes, C16; poss. Dorothy Leventhorp, C16; prob. Henry Powle, 1630-92; poss. Matthew Lee and (or) Thomas Huckell Lee, C18?; Lord Amherst (William Amhurst Tyssen-Amherst), 1835-1909; Herschel V. Jones, 1861-1928.
  • Affiliations: (geo-)political, institutional etc:
  • Language(s); translation activities: items 1 and 2 in Latin, item 3 in English.
  • Dialect:
  • LALME vol., page, LP, grid no.:
  • Locality: region; household (secular/religious) urban / rural:

Intertextual relations:

  • Textual descent: Matheson ‘Common Version’, group CV-1419[r&g]:A. See Matheson, PB, pp. 110-111.
  • 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 based on CBL and microfilm work by J O’R. Textual descent based on Matheson, PB.

Select Bibliography for this MS:



Bibliothèque Royale MS IV.461

Takamiya MS 67

CUL MS Kk.1.12
TCC MS O.10.34
Fitzwilliam MS McClean 186
Hunterian MS 61
Hunterian MS 228
BL MS Add. 26746
BL MS Harley 2248
BL MS Royal 17 D. xxi
BL MS Royal 18 B. iii
College of Arms MS Vincent 421
Rylands MS Eng. 104
Bodl. MS Bodley 231
Bodl. MS Douce 290
Bodl. MS Rawlinson B.216

Univ of California MS 152
Cambridge, Mass.
Harvard MS Eng. 587

Secondary Texts:

Altschul, M. A Baronial Family in Medieval England: the Clares 1217-1314 , Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science series 83, 2 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1965).

CBL, 2, pp.135-36.

De Ricci, Seymour,A Handlist of a Collection of Books and Manuscripts Belonging to the Right Hon. Lord Amherst of Hackney and Didington Hall, Norfolk (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1906), p. 357.

Matheson, Lister M. ‘Historical Prose’,in Middle English Prose: a Critical Guide to Major Authors and Genres, ed. by A. S. G. Edwards (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1984), 209-48, p. 233.

Rosenthal, Joel T., ‘The Estates and Finances of Richard, Duke of York (1411-1460)’, in Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History 2,ed. by W. M. Bowsky (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1965), 115-204, p. 194.


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