Yale University, Beinecke MS. 494

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Manuscript Identity

Here may a man hure hov Engelonde was ferst callede Albyon and after wham hit hadde that name.

Matheson Number:

Matheson Version:
Common Version to 1333 (CV-1333)

Matheson discusses the MS on pages:

Proposed date of MS production:
first quarter of C15

LALME reference (where provided):
No reference in LALME.

Dialects evident in the MS:
not recorded

Possible locations for the MS production/ reception:
Early association with a Dominican convent in Suffolk or Chelmsford is suggested by item 1 (see CBM, 2, 479). Possible Yorkist connection with Nasby family?

Items in the MS:

Contents of the MS:

  • 1: Unfinished obituary calendar of a Dominican convent (see CBL, 2, p.478)
  • 2: Brut chronicle, fols. 3r-103r

Languages used in the MS
item 1: Latin; item 2: English; some Latin glosses

Evidence of Exemplar?

Institutional Associations?
(E.g., household, religious house, library, private collection, etc.)
Early association with a Dominican convent in Suffolk or Chelmsford is suggested by item 1 (see CBM, 2, 479)

Suspected Association?

Related Manuscripts
(biobibliographically, textually, stemmatically and so on)

  • The scribe resposible for the Brut also copied Society of Antiquaries MS. 93.
  • Evidence of early C17 book-borrowing and reading: ‘memorandum that I haue borrowed of master Lynch the Dyall of princes tyll martynmas next this xviith of september 1603 by me Thomas Kendall’.

Manuscript Construction

Number of Scribes:

  • A: item 1.
  • B: item 2, the Brut. Scribe B is hand B in Society of Antiquaries MS. 93.

: iii (i unfoliated, ii-iii foliated 1-2) + 103 + iii (i-ii foliated 104-105, iii unfoliated). CBM, however, gives: ‘ii (contemporary parchment, foliated 1-2) + 102 (modern foliation 3-104 in lower right corner)’. From the microfilm, modern foliation is only visble on top right corner of fols. 3-105 (description uses this foliation); poss. ms refoliated after the film was produced?

i-ii8; iii8 (wants 6-8); iv8 (wants 3-6); v-vi8; vii8 (wants 8); viii8 (wants 1-2); ix-xiv8. Fol. 104 is a stub.

Any blank leaves?
not recorded

modern, upper right corner. C18 pagination on fols. 3r-103r.

possible; possibly a composite MS

10v; 18v; 28v; 36v; 44v; 57v; 65v; 73v; 81v; 89v; 97v

Quire Signatures:
3r: a j; 12r-14r: b ij-iiij; 21r-23r: c ij-iiij; 25r-26r: d i-ij; 29r: e j; 37r-40r: f i-iiij; 45r-48r: g-iiij; 52r-53r: hiij-iiij; 58r-61r: I-iiij; 66r: k j; 74r-76r: l j-iij; 82r m j

fol. 50 missing bottom outer corner, sewing of binding breaking.

a. ruling: frames in crayon, prickings visible. b. columns: 2 c. lines: 37-43 Page: 282 x 196 mm

Page Dimension and Materials:
nothing recorded

Writing Space:
198 x 128 mm


C15; boards: leather over vellum bifolia; four tawed slit thongs; spine not covered.

Decoration and Rubrication

Nothing recorded




Blue caps varying between nine and two lines, some spaces left unfilled (fols. 38v, 52v, 89r, 90r-103r); chapter headings and numbers in red with blue spiral line markers (heading missing at fol. 90v); paraphs in blue for headings, red for text; some ascenders extended into top margin; side notes, sometimes with chapter numbers and rubrication; some running titles, e. g. fol. 27; rubricated catchwords in two different styles: fols. 10v, 18v, 57v, 65v, 73v, 89v with paraphs, 28v, 36v, 44v, 81v, 97v in boxes.

Marginalia and Annotation


  • Front pastedown: ‘810, 000’, modern.
  • Fol. 1r: slip: bookplate of Yale University Library, ‘gift of Edwin J. Beineke Yale 1907’; ‘sight renidens[?] father and mother’, C16; ‘dym[n?]ely’, C16; ‘Md that John haill saruent […]’; C15; prayers[?], C15-16; ‘pertaining . l j . [?] . ire’, C15.
  • Fol. 1v: C15 pen trials e. g.: ‘dome dominus notre soverayne’, ‘here Ze may’; ‘Ihs This book coste me William Nasby [‘William Nasby’ written over an erasure]skyner of London þe xii day of Aprill. In þe Zere of þe reigne of our soueraigne lorde kyng Edwarde þe iiijte after the conquest þe iijde yer Summa[?] Cl s1. Od’, [1464]; C15-16 pen trials; ‘[…] london’, C15-16; prayer? C16.
  • Fol. 2r: ‘thys boke yhuyne[?] yt cost me 4li strlying monye ii r r./ yere ago […] wat[?] jn the on[?] pray for me char[?] dedbycho[e? …] booke’, C15-16; ‘pray’; ‘Sir w wyllyam Nasby’, C15; ‘and robart nasby’, C15; ‘memorandum that I haue borrowed of master Lynch the Dyall of princes tyll martynmas next this xviith of september 1603 by me Thomas Kendall’; ‘ This book was in the 3rd year of Edw. The 4ths time William nasby’s but is now owned 1696 by Simon Segar son of Simon the son of Thomas the son of Sir William Segar knight garter principall King at arms (living temp Elizabeth Reg. and king James the first) the son of Francis the son of Nicholas [cancelled word] by the daughter of … [sic] Crasanthorp the son of another Nicholas the son of Gerrard &c’; ‘ this MS comes down to ye year 1332 or ye 6th year of Ed. Ye third’, C17-18; ‘pray for ye Soull of Thomas Bisschup which decesid ye 7 day of september in ye yeere of our lord Mo 5c and iiij on whose [word blotted out]’, C17-18.
  • Fol. 2v: ‘asyd r affred Evropia’, C15-16; ‘examined by me with great interest at the White House, Washington, U.S.A Jan 16th 1905 Theodore Roosevelt’; ‘Dudley Ld Lt Ireland Inver 1903’, ‘pray for ye Soull of’, ‘pray for ye Soull of Thomas Bisschup which decesid ye 7th day of september in ye yeere’, C17-18; ‘Grey Governor General Canada. Ottawa Jan 1 1905’; bookplate of Thomas Frewen ‘of Lincoln’s Inn in the County of Middlesex esqe 1711&rsquo
  • Fol. 18r: ‘Moreton Frewen Gov House Jan 1 1905. Ottawa’.
  • Fol. 19r; ‘William Swanne longeth ffor a blacke cote’, C16.
  • Fol. 37r: inverted: ‘W Bourke Cockran Washington D. C. Jan 10th 1905’, ‘member congress’, hand of Moreton Frewen.
  • Fol. 38r: inverted; prayer, C16.
  • Fol. 41r: ‘John barker [barton?]’, C16; poss. erased text in bottom margin.
  • Fol. 42v: ‘Wayne MacVeagh Washington D. C. January 19: 1905’.
  • Fol. 43r: ‘pray for ye Soull of Thomas Bisschup which decesid ye 7th day of 7bere in ye yeere of our lord Mo 5c and iiij on whose SOULLYS IHU have mercy Amen’, C17-18.
  • Fol. 47r: ‘Jhon S[wanne?]’, C16.
  • Fols. 49r, 58r. 48r: ‘Moreton Frewen Washington USA. May 1903’.
  • Fol. 49r; erased: ‘William[?] swann[?] Swanne William[?] [?]’, C16.
  • Fol. 51r: ‘... þe [?]’, C15.
  • Fols 51v-51r: mirror writing?
  • Fol. 53r: verse [prayer?], C16.
  • Fol. 58r: ‘Leon Swanne longeth for a blacke cote’, C16.
  • Fol. 59r: ‘william’, C16.
  • Fol. 96v: C16 maxim.
  • Fol. 103r: ‘ffrantyt har’, C16; pen trials, C15-16.
  • Fol. 103v: ‘thys ys master naysbe boke he that stellht yt shall be hangged uppon on a hoke as hy as I may loke by me Robard naysbe’, C15; religious maxim, C17-18; ‘yours truly W. J. Bryan January 21 1905’; cancelled text: ‘pray for ye Soull of Thomas Bisschup which decesid ye 7th day of september in ye yeere of ourse lord Mo 5c and iiij on whose’, C17-18; erased text ‘pray for ye Soull of Thomas Bisschup which decesid ye 7th day of September’, C17-18.
  • Fol. 104r: beginnings of a family tree: ‘Nicholas Carleil=Ann d.o [prob. daughter of] Sherra [Sherry?]’; offspring: ‘SE Francis Jacob’, C17-18, poss. same hand as glossator of heading xxv.c below.
  • Fol. 105r: ‘Henry Jones 1716’.
  • Fol. 105v: ‘robard naysbe a good man and a trwe’, C15; ‘thys ys the boke of the cronakyall’, C16; pen trials, C15, C16; ‘caterpillar has a sleep - m’, C19-20; inverted: ‘ys lyber per […]oma’, C15; ‘So that […] vnto than […] memorandum that I dely[uered?] vnto Jan […] son of London staryng[?] mony be Jhon’, C 15.
  • End flyleaf (iiir): ‘Thys book cost me Ca s1[?] of S. Belamy l anno rþ henry sexti tuc. Anno xxxiijti’, C15; ‘10893’, modern.

Evidence of erasures:
Fol. 52r: erased text, poss. signature.


  • C15-16 Latin glosses on fols. 27r.
  • C16 English glosses on fols. 19r, 23r, 60v, 61r, 62r.
  • C17-18 English glosses and underlining on fols. 9r, 15v, 16r-18v, 20v, 21r, 24r, 30r, 31r-32r, 35r, 56v, 62v, 66r.
  • Underlining on fols.: 15v-18v, 19v-21r, 23v, 24r, 30r, 31r, 32r, 33r, 35r, 37r, 39r, 42v, 48v, 49r, 54r-v, 56v, 58r-v, 59v, 60v, 61r, 68r, 73r, 88r.

Graffiti (pen trials etc):

  • Front flyleaf (ir): knotwork pattern, pen trials, C15-16.
  • Fol. 87r: pen trials C15-16.
  • Scribbles on fols. 22r, 24r, 56r, 103r.

References, Acknowledgements and Credits

Secondary references

CBM, pp.478-480.

DNB, xvii, p. 1136.

Warne, H. M., A Catalogue of the Frewen Archives, 5 (Lewes: East Sussex County Council, 1972).

Associated MSS according to Matheson

Aberystwyth NLW MS Peniarth 398D
London BL MS Harley 3945
Society of Antiquaries MS 93
Manchester Rylands MS Eng. 103
Rylands MS Eng. 206
Oxford Bodl. MS Rawlinson B.171
Bodl. MS Douce 323
Bodl. MS Rawlinson. C.155

New York Mrs J. D. Gordon MS 63.

The description of this MS is based on CBM and microfilm work by J O’R. Textual descent based on Matheson, PB.

Described by:
Jason O'Rourke; Revisions and additions by Ryan Perry (including identification of scribe).

Date of description:

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