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Detailed record for Royal 1 A XIV

Title West Saxon Gospels (the 'Wessex Gospels')
Origin England, W.
Date 2nd half of the 12th century
Language English
Script Protogothic
Decoration 2 initials in green with penwork decoration in red, or in red with penwork decoration in green (ff. 3, 83), and 2 initials in red on green grounds (ff. 33, 135), at the beginning of Gospels. Initials in green or red.
Dimensions in mm 220 x 150 (155 x 105)
Official foliation ff. 175 (+ 5 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and 4 at the end; ff. 1-2 and 174-175 are medieval parchment flyleaves)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1967.
Provenance Added leaves from a Missal, 13th century (ff. 1, 2, 175).
The Benedictine abbey of Christ Church, Canterbury: Christ Church pressmark 'D[istinctio] xvi Gra[dus] iiii (f. 3); listed in Henry of Eastry's catalogue of Christ Church library, of 1337-38 as 'Textus iv evangeliorum anglice' (See Ker, 1959, p. 316).
Thomas Cranmer (b. 1489, d. 1556), archbishop of Canterbury: inscribed 'Thomas Cantuarien[sis] (f. 3).
John Lumley, 1st baron Lumley (b. c. 1533, d. 1609), collector and conspirator: inscribed with his name (f. 3); listed in the 1609 catalogue of his collection, no. 903 (see The Lumley Library, 1956); passed to Henry, prince of Wales.
Henry Frederick, prince of Wales (b. 1594, d. 1612), eldest child of James I: his collection became part of the Royal Library.
Presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757 as part of the Old Royal Library.
Notes Full digital coverage available for this manuscript: see Digitised Manuscripts at
Copied, directly or indirectly, from Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley 441, omitting some passages due to defects in the Bodley manuscript (Marc 16:14-20, Luke 16:14- 17:1, and 24: 51-53). The first and last omission was supplied with the correct text by the scribe of Oxford, Bodleian Library, Hatton 38, the Gospel book copied itself from Royal 1 A XIV.
Quire signatures (first two quires only) and catchwords.
Select bibliography The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments with the Apocryphal Books, in the Earliest English versions made from the Latin Vulgate by John Wycliffe and his Followers, ed. by Josiah Forshall and Frederic Madden, 4 vols (Oxford: University Press, 1850), I, pp. ii, n. k, iii, n. z.

The Gospel according to Saint Luke in Anglo-Saxon and Northumbrian Versions Synoptically Arranged, with Collations Exhibiting all the Readings of all the Manuscripts, ed. by Walter W. Skeat (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1874), pp. vi, xi, xii.

E. M. Thompson, Wycliffe Exhibition in the King’s Library (London: Clowes and Sons, 1884), no. 3.

B. Quaritch, 'Thomas Cranmer Archbishop of Canterbury, 1489-1556', Contributions towards a Dictionary of English Book-Collectors (London: Quaritch, 1892), p. 7.

Frederick Henry Ambrose Scrivener, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, 4th edn, ed. by Edward Miller, 2 vols (London: George Bell & Sons, 1894), II, p. 164.

Facsimiles of Biblical Manuscripts in the British Museum, ed, by F.C. Kenyon (London: British Museum, 1900), no. XX.

James Wilson Bright, The Gospel of Saint John in West-Saxon: edited from the Manuscripts (Boston: D. C. Heath & Co, 1904), p. xxi.

British Museum Bible Exhibition 1911: Guide to the Manuscripts and Printed Books exhibited in Celebration of the Tercentenary of the Authorized Version (London: British Museum, 1911), no. 21.

George F. Warner and Julius P. Gilson, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Old Royal and King’s Collections, 4 vols (London: British Museum, 1921), I, p. 5.

Max Förster, 'Abt Raoul d'Escures und der Später 'Sermo in festis S. Mariae'', Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen, 62 (1922), 43-48 (p. 45, n. 13).

R. W. Chambers, 'The Lost Literature of Medieval England', The Library, Fourth series, 5 (1925), 293-321 (p. 315).

The Lumley Library: The Catalogue of 1609, ed. by Sears Jayne and Francis R. Johnson (London: British Museum, 1956], p. 116.

N. R. Ker, Catalogue of Manuscripts containing Anglo-Saxon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957), no. 245, pp. 315-16.

Sir Frederic Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, rev. by A. W. Adams, with introduction by G. R. Driver (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode: 1958), pp. 269-70.

Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books, ed. by N. R. Ker, 2nd edn, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, 3 (London: Royal Historical Society, 1964), p. 36.

Minnie Cate Morrell, A Manual of Old English Biblical Materials (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1965), p. 185.

David G. Selwyn, The Library of Thomas Cranmer (Oxford: The Oxford Bibliographical Society, 1996), pp. lix, n. 210, 169, 258.

Michelle P. Brown, The Lindisfarne Gospels: Society, Spirituality and the Scribe (London: British Library, 2003), pp. 96, 134, 148n.

Michelle P. Brown, Painted Labyrinth: The world of the Lindisfarne Gospels (London: British Library, 2003), p. 46.

Michelle P. Brown, 'Preaching with the Pen: the Contribution of Insular Scribes to the Transmission of Sacred Text, from the 6th to 9th Centuries', University of London Annual Palaeography Lecture, January 2004, School of Advanced Study, Institute of English Studies, University of London, Centre for Manuscript and Print Studies, Courses & Events, ,[], p. 30 n. lxxvii [accessed 3 April 2006].

Jane Roberts, Guide to Scripts used in English Writings up to 1500 (London: British Library, 2005), no. 28.

* * *
Coloured initial

f. 3
Coloured initial
Coloured initial

f. 83
Coloured initial

f. 134

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