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Detailed record for Royal 18 A XII

Author Vegetius, translation attributed to John Walton
Title De re militari (the Book of Vegecye of Dedes of Knyghthode)
Origin England, S. E. (London?)
Date c.1483-c. 1485
Language English
Script Gothic cursive
Decoration 4 foliate initials in colours and gold, 2 decorated with the royal arms, with full borders, at the beginning of each book (ff. 1, 26, 49, 98). 'Champ' initials in gold on blue and rose grounds with penwork decoration in white and foliate extenders. Paraphs in gold with dark blue pen-flourishing, or in blue with red pen-flourishing.
Dimensions in mm 240 x 155 (150 x 100)
Official foliation ff. 123 (+ 3 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and 2 at the end, 1 unfoliated modern parchment flyleaf at the beginning and at the end, and 2 unfoliated medieval parchment flyleaves at the beginning and 3 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. 19th century; gilt edges.
Provenance Richard III (b. 1452, d. 1485), king of England from 1483 and lord of Ireland: the royal arms of England supported by boars, with the griffin of Salisbury, suggesting that the manuscript was perhaps intended for Richard III's son, Edward [Edward of Middleham], prince of Wales and earl of Salisbury (b. c. 1474-1476, d. 1484), (f. 1); and the arms of Anne [née Anne Neville] (b. 1456, d. 1485), queen of England, Richard's wife (f. 49).
Presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757 as part of the Old Royal Library.
Notes Includes one of 11 extent copies of the first English translation of 'De re militari' of Flavius Vegetius Renatus made in 1408 for Thomas, Lord Berkeley and attributed to John Walton: see Sutton and Visser-Fuchs 1997 p. 79.
The colophon is 'Here endeth the boke that clerkes / clepeth in latyn Vegecii de re / militari. This boke of Vegecii / of dedes of knyghthode was translated out / of latyn in to english at the orden[a]unce and / bidding of the worthy and worshipfull lord / Sire Thomas of Berkeley . . . This boke was t[ra]nslate / in to English in the vigill of all hallowes / the yere of oure lord god M CCCC and VIIIth/ yere' (f. 123v).
Bifolium signatures.
Select bibliography 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), II, p. 267.

Pamela Tudor Craig, Richard III (London: National Portrait Gallery, 1977), no. 131, p. 57, pl. 11 [exhibition catalogue].

Charles R. Shrader, 'A Handlist of Extant Manuscripts Containing the De Re Militari of Flavius Vegatius Renatus', Scriptorium: Revue internationale des études relative aux manuscrits, 33 (1979), 280-305 (p. 303).

Eberhard König, 'A Leaf From a Gutenberg Bible Illuminated in England', The British Library Journal, 9 (1983), 32-50 (pp. 40, 49, n. 34).

J. J. G. Alexander, 'Painting and Manuscript Illumination for Royal Patrons in the Later Middle Ages', in English Court Culture in the Later Middle Ages, ed. by V. J. Scattergood and J. W. Sherborne (London: Duckworth, 1983), pp. 141-62 (p. 153).

Anne F. Sutton and Livia Visser-Fuchs, 'Richard III’s Books: IV. Vegetius De re militari', Ricardian: Journal of the Richard III Society, 99 (1987), 541-52.

Anne F. Sutton and Livia Visser-Fuchs, Richard III’s Books: Ideals and Reality in the Life and Library of a Medieval Prince (Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton, 1997), pp. 17, 79, 89 n. 63, 282-83, fig. 35.

Philippe Richardot, Végèce et la culture militaire au Moyen Age (Ve-Xve siècles) (Paris: Econimica, 1998), p. 213.

Christopher Allmand, ‘The Fifteenth-Century English Versions of Vegetius’ De Re Militari’, in Armies, Chivalry and Warfare in Medieval Britain and France, ed. by Matthew Strickland Harlaxton Medieval Studies VII (New Series) Proceedings of the 1995 Symposium, (Stamford : Paul Watkins, 1998) pp. 30-45 (p. 44).

Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination (London: British Library, 2011), no. 127 [exhibition catalogue].
Last revised: 05 May 2011


Images
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Royal arms of England

f. 1
Royal arms of England
Griffin of Salisbury

f. 1
Griffin of Salisbury
Royal arms of England

f. 1
Royal arms of England
 
Arms of Anne Neville

f. 49
Arms of Anne Neville
Illuminated initial

f. 49
Illuminated initial

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