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Detailed record for Harley 1023

Title Gospel Book, imperfect, with glosses in Irish and Latin
Origin Ireland, N. (Armagh?)
Date 1st quarter of the 12th century
Language Latin, with some Irish
Script Irish minuscule
Decoration 2 full-page or nearly full-page symbols of the Evangelists in brown ink, in rectangular borders, turned sideways (ff. 10v, 64v). 3 large initials in ink with washes of yellow, pink, and brown, with penwork decoration (including of an animal head) at the beginning of Mark, Luke, and John (ff. 11, 34, 65). Small initials in brown.
Dimensions in mm 205 x 145 (145 x 85)
Official foliation ff. 88 ( + 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 3 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Black leather; marbled endpapers.
Provenance Attributed to Armagh on the basis of its textual similarity to 'The Book of Armagh' (in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin), and its artistic similarity to 'The Gospels of Mael Brigte' (Harley 1802), which was written in Armagh in 1138.
Corrections in an English 12th-century hand in the margins.
Additions in an English 15th-century hand of page headings to the first two Gospels and chapter numeration.
Edward Stillingfleet (b. 1635, d. 1699), bishop of Worcester and theologian (see Wright 1972).
Edward Stillingfleet (b. 1661, d. 1708), physician and Church of England clergyman, son of the former; in 1707 acquired by Robert Harley (see Wright 1972).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts.
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d.1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Notes Henry and Marsh-Micheli's Group IVA: 'Middle and Late Twelfth-Century Manuscripts from the North-East of Ireland and Galloway with initials of the 'knotted wire' type.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), I, no. 1023.

J. A. Herbert, Illuminated Manuscripts (London: Methuen, 1911), p. 82.

E. S. Buchanan, The Four Gospels from the Latin Text of the Irish Codex Harleianus numbered Harl. 1023 in the British Museum Library (London: Heath Cranton & Ouseley, 1914).

Standish Hayes O'Grady and Robin Flower, Catalogue of Irish Manuscripts in the British Museum, 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1926-1953), II, Robin Flower (1926), pp. 432-3.

H. H. Glunz, History of the Vulgate in England from Alcuin to Roger Bacon (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1933), no. 22.

Françoise Henry and G. I. Marsh-Micheli, 'A Century of Irish Illumination (1070-1170)', Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 62 (1962), pp. 101-164 (p. 102, 111, esp. 146-8, pls XXIVb, XXV).

Françoise Henry, Irish Art in the Romanesque Period-1020-1170 A.D. (Lndon: Methuen, 1970), p. 47, 53, 63-4, pls 6, 7.

J. J. G. Alexander, Insular Manuscripts: 6th to the 9th Century, A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 1 (London: Harvey Miller, 1978), no. 75 [with additional bibliography].

C. R. Dodwell, The Pictorial Arts of theWest 800-1200 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), pp. 92-3, 414, pl. 73.


Images
* * *
 
Text page

f. 9
Text page
Text page

f. 10
Text page
Lion

f. 10v
Lion
 
Decorated initials

f. 11
Decorated initials
Decorated initial

f. 34
Decorated initial
Text page

f. 63v
Text page
 
Eagle

f. 64v
Eagle
Decorated initials

f. 65
Decorated initials
Text page

f. 88v
Text page
 

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