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Detailed record for Harley 6358

Part 1 ff. 2-58v 
Author Geoffrey of Monmouth
Title Historia regum Britanniae
Origin England
Date 2nd half of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Drawings in light brown ink of a bird, animal and face (margins of ff. 10, 19). 1 large initial in green with penwork decoration in green and red (f. 10v). 1 large initial in red with a reserved design (f. 2). 2 large initials in red with some penwork decoration (ff. 2, 22). Numerous simple initials in red, one in green (f. 10v). Rubrics in red.
Dimensions in mm 200 x 145 (175/185 x 110/120)
 
Part 2 ff. 60-83v 
Title Historia Turpini
Origin England
Date c. 1200 - c. 1216
Language Latin
Script Gothic, written above top line
Decoration 1 initial in red with a reserved design (f. 60). Numerous initials in blue with penwork decoration in red or in red with penwork decoration in blue. Simple initials in blue and red. On several pages an ornamented descender extends across the lower margin.
Dimensions in mm 200 x 145 (165 x 110)
 
Part 3 ff. 84v-86v 
Title Extracts from the chronicle of Chester
Origin England
Date c. 1400
Language Latin
Script Cursive
Decoration None
Dimensions in mm 200 x 145 (varies)
 
Official foliation ff. 86 (+ 3 paper flyleaves at the beginning and 2 at the end; + 1 unfoliated blank parchment leaf between ff. 58-59)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1964.
Provenance Part 1
The 'First Variant' of the 'Historia regum Britanniae' was completed before the death of Geoffrey of Monmouth (d. 1154); ff. 2-41v were copied after a manuscript with the 'First Variant' text, probably at the end of the 12th century (see Crick 1991, esp. p. 191 and Wright 1988).

Part 2
Copied between 1200-1216 for Ranulf de Blundeville (b. 1170, d. 1232), sixth earl of Chester and first earl of Lincoln (see Crick 1991, p. 53; Richard Eales, 'Ranulf (III) [Ranulf de Blundeville]', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004). [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/2716, accessed 24 Jul 2007]).

Part 1 or 2
Richard Blysset, c. 1500: inscribed, 'Iste est liber Ricardi Blysset', the initial for 'I'(ste) is in the shape of a fish (f. 59v); perhaps Richard Blissett admitted to Magdalene College, Oxford, 31 July 1488, aged 16 (see Wright 1972 and A. B. Emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500, 3 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957-1959), I, p. 202); f. 59 may have belonged to part 1 or 2.

Parts 1, 2 and 3 were bound together by the 16th century: added, in 16th-century hand, list of contents for the entire manuscript (f. 1).
John Dee (b. 1527, d. 1609), mathematician, astrologer, and antiquary: added his mark (ff. 60r, 83v) and notes (f. 58v); two erased inscriptions (ff. 2, 84), one of which (f. 2) might have been in Dee's hand (see Watson 1966, p. 245).
Sir Simonds d'Ewes (b.1602, d. 1650), 1st baronet, diarist, antiquary, and friend of Sir Robert Cotton (see Wright 1972): added some catchwords and further notes (see Watson 1966).
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 Catchwords.
Part 1: Uncrossed tironian ets.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III, no. 6358.

Harry Leigh Douglas Ward, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1883-1910), I (1883), pp. 235-36, 560-61.

Andrew G. Watson, The Library of Sir Simonds D'Ewes (London: British Museum, 1966), no. C233.

C. E. Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 74, 127, 131.

The Historia Regum Britannie of Geoffrey of Monmouth, (Cambridge: Brewer, 1985- ), II: ed. by Neil Wright, The First Variant Version: a critical edition (1988), pp. lxxxvi-lxxvii (siglum 'H').

The Historia Regum Britannie of Geoffrey of Monmouth, (Cambridge: Brewer, 1985- ), III: Julia C. Crick, A Summary Catalogue of the Manuscripts (1989), pp. 172-74 (no. 106).

The Historia Regum Britannie of Geoffrey of Monmouth (Cambridge: Brewer, 1985- ), IV: Julia C. Crick, Dissemination and Reception in the Later Medieval Ages (1991), pp. 15 n. 10, 38, 52-54, 100, 102, 117 n. 36, 123, 145, 173, 182, 197.


Images

Part  1   ff. 2-58v
Geoffrey of Monmouth Historia regum Britanniae
* * *
 
Decorated initials

f. 1
Decorated initials

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