You are in Introduction. Click here to skip the navigation.
British Library
Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search  Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Contact us  Main
print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back

search tips  Search tips
 
 

 

 
 

Detailed record for Stowe 39

Author Richard Rolle (attributed to)
Title The Abbey of the Holy Ghost (ff. 4-10); Vado mori; Desert of Religion (ff. 10v); Debate for the Soul (f. 32r-32v)
Origin England
Date 1st half of the 15th century
Language English
Script Gothic cursive
Decoration 5 full page miniatures in colours and some gold (ff. 8v, 9, 10, 11, 32v). 22 large miniatures in colours and usually gold, illustrating the text (ff. 10v, 11v, 12v, 13v, 14v, 15v, 16v, 17v, 18v, 19v, 20v, 21v, 22v, 23v, 24v, 25v, 26v, 27v, 28v, 29v, 31v, 32). 20 full-page and 1 large (f. 30v) diagrammatic trees in green and often other colours and gold with text written on the leaves (ff. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31). 2 large initials in gold on a dark blue background, with foliate decoration in gold, red, and blue forming a two-sided border (ff. 4, 10v). Large initials in colours and gold with foliate decoration extending into the border. Paraphs in red. Highlighting of letters in red.
Dimensions in mm 265 x 190 (205 x 150)
Official foliation ff. 34 (+ 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Green leather; the eddges of the leaves with red stripes.
Provenance ? Made for a Benedictine nunnery (see Scott 1996 II p. 193).
Rev. Gastrell: inscribed 'The Gift of the Rev Mr Gastrell Jan. 11 1756 to Richd. Greene Apothecary Lichfield' (f. 33).
Richard Greene in 1756 (b. 1716, d. 1793), antiquary and museum proprietor, of Lichfield: his book-plate (inside upper cover); inscribed 'Lichfield 9 October 1767 Sir/ I beg your acceptance of this MSS to enrich your collection/ Richd Greene/ To Thos Astle' (f. 33).
Thomas Astle (b. 1735, d. 1803), archivist and collector of books and manuscripts in 1760: inscribed 'Thos Astle/ Janry 7th 1768' and his notes (ff. 1v-2); see also inscription above.
Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville (b. 1776, d. 1839), 1st duke of Buckingham and Chandos, of Stowe House, near Buckingham inscribed with the press-mark ' 3 No. 26' (f. 3) corresponding to his catalogue; see O’Conor 1818-1819.
Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville (b. 1797, d. 1861), 2nd duke of Buckingham and Chandos: sold in 1849 to Lord Ashburnham.
Bertram Ashburnham (b. 1797, d. 1878), 4th earl of Ashburnham, of Ashburnham Place, Sussex.
Bertram Ashburnham (b. 1840, d. 1913), 5th earl of Ashburnham: purchased by the British Museum from him together with 1084 other Stowe manuscripts in 1883.
Notes The pictorial subjects follow closely those in Cotton Faustina B. VI, Pt. II (see Scott 1996 II p. 193).
Scott 2007 p. 144 notes that scenes arranged in registers are uncommon in English manuscripts.
Select bibliography Charles O'Conor, Bibliotheca Ms. Stowensis: A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Stowe Library, 2 vols (Buckingham: Seeley, 1818-1819), II, 147-49.

Catalogue of the Stowe Manuscripts in the British Museum, 2 vols (London: British Museum, 1895-1896), I, no. 39.

Carleton Brown, A Register of Middle English Religious & Didactic Verse , 2 vols (Oxford: Bibliographical Society, 1916-1920), I: List of Manuscripts, p. 369.

Two East Anglian Pictur Books : A Facsimile of the Helmingham Herbal and Bestiary and Bodleian Ms. Ashmole 1504, ed. by Nicholas Barker (London: The Rorburghe Club, 1988), pp. 9,-10, pl. 15.

John B. Friedman, Northern English Book Owners and Makers in the Late Middle Ages (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1995), pp. 90, 195-97, 246..

Kathleen L. Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts 1390-1490, A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 6, 2 vols (London: Harvey Miller, 1996), I, 67 n. 32, 68 n. 1, 75 n. 59; II, 183, 193 [with additional bibliography].

Julia Boffey, 'The Charter of the Abbey of the Holy Ghost and its Role in Manuscript Anthologies', Yearbook of English Studies, 33 (2003), 120-130 (pp. 127, 129).

Kathleen L. Scott, Tradition and Innovation in Later Medieval English Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2007), pp. ix, x, xi, 45, 61-86, 141, 144, 146-67, figs. 53-55, 62, 68-70.


Images
* * *
 
Illuminated initial

f. 4
Illuminated initial
Nuns

f. 8v
Nuns
Nuns

f. 8v
Nuns
 
Detail

f. 8v
Detail
Detail

f. 8v
Detail
Nuns

ff. 8v-9
Nuns
 
Nuns

f. 9
Nuns
Detail

f. 9
Detail
Detail

f. 9
Detail
 
Mary and Child

f. 10
Mary and Child
Preacher

ff. 10v-11
Preacher
Tree

f. 14
Tree
 
Lion and bear

ff. 22v-23
Lion and bear
Living Cross

f. 23v
Living Cross
Tree

f. 24
Tree
 
Building

f. 24v
Building
Dialogue with Death

ff. 31v-32
Dialogue with Death
Dialogue with Death

f. 32
Dialogue with Death
 
Debate for the Soul

f. 32v
Debate for the Soul

print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back
top Back