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Detailed record for Harley 209

Author Richard of Saint-Victor, Peter of Oxford, and others
Title Miscellany of devotional and theological texts, including De statu interioris hominis post lapsum, a treatise relating to penance, and the Summula confessionis (imperfect)
Origin England, S. (Abingdon)
Date 2nd half of the 13th century
Language Latin and French
Script Gothic, written below top line
Scribe Written by more than one scribe
Decoration 1 large initial in red with red penwork decoration (f. 31). Plain initials in red, some large, some small. Rubrics and marginal annotations in red. Capitals marked in red. Paraphs in red.
Dimensions in mm 195 x 150 (160 x 110)
Official foliation ff. 1* + 9* + 18* + 123 (+ 5 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 2 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance The Benedictine abbey of St Mary, Abingdon, Berkshire: added list of abbots up to Richard de Henred, abbot from 1262 to 1289 (f. 1v); and customs of the abbey (ff. 11v-12, 85v-87v).
Daniel Foxcroft: 16th-century inscription recording the gift of the manuscript by him to Henry Savile (f. 2).
Henry Savile, of Banke (b. 1568, d. 1617), collector of manuscripts: no. 172 in his library catalogue (see Gilson 1906-1908; Watson 1969); and inscription in his hand recording the gift of the manuscript to him by Daniel Foxcroft (f. 2).
Sir Simonds d'Ewes (b. 1602, d. 1650), 1st baronet, diarist, antiquary, and friend of Sir Robert Cotton (see Wright 1972): inscribed with his name (f. 1); no. 105 in his library catalogue.
Sir Simonds D’Ewes (d. 1722), 3rd baronet and grandson of the former: inherited and later sold the D’Ewes library to Robert Harley on 4 October 1705 for £450 (see Watson 1966).
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 f. 1*v: Note on bloodletting, added in the 14th century, beginning: 'Inicio marcii debemus extrahere sanguinem in septimo die de dextro brachio', and ending 'quam diu vixeris vero lumen amittes'.
ff. 1*, 1, 119, 120-122 are flyleaves with added texts and inscriptions.
f. 12 bears the date 1263.
f. 123 is a reused parchment leaf from a lectionary and a former parchment pastedown.
Some of the added texts date to the 14th or 15th centuries. For a detailed list of contents, see the Harley Catalogue.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), I (1808), no. 209.

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. 3.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 47, 131, 156, 298.

Ruth J. Dean and Maureen B. M. Boulton, Anglo-Norman Literature: A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts, Anglo-Norman Text Society, Occasional Publications Series, 3 (London: Anglo-Norman Text Society, 1999), p. 509.

Rudolf Goy, Die Handschriftliche Überlieferung der Werke Richards von St. Viktor im Mittelalter, Bibliotheca Victorina, 18 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2005), p. 196.

Catalogued for the Harley Medical Manuscripts Project [http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/manuscripts/INDEX.asp], accessed 27 January 2009 [with additional bibliography]


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Decorated initial

f. 31
Decorated initial

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