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Detailed record for Hargrave 274

Title Nova Statuta , 1 Edward III to 3 Henry VII (ff. 50-350v), preceded by an alphabetical list of contents (ff. 1-49)
Origin England, S. E. (London)
Date 1488 or 1489
Language French
Script Gothic cursive
Artists The historiated initials are by two artists: one does the first five, the other does the last three. Scott (1996) has named the first artist 'The Placentius Master'; he also worked on Cotton Nero D VII, Harley 2887, and Royal 12 B VI.
The borders are probably by two artists: that on f. 274 is either by a different artist, or else is executed with considerably more care than the others.
The small initials are also probably by two artists: one does the (four-line) initials within quires vii-xxxii (ff. 49-255); the other does the (five-line) initials in the rest of the volume.
Decoration 8 large historiated initials in colours and gold, at the beginning of the statutes of each reign (ff. 50, 118v, 162, 187, 204v, 274, 328v, 339v), accompanied by full foliate borders incorporating heraldic arms, in colours and gold. Small initials in colours and gold. Paraph marks alternately red or blue, some flourished.
Dimensions in mm 300 x 210 (190 x 135 - variable)
Official foliation ff. [iv] + 353 + 273* [ii] (ff. [i-ii] and [355] are unfoliated modern flyleaves; ff. [iii] and [354] are 18th/19th-century paper flyleaves; ff. [iv] and 351-352 are original parchment)
Collation i-v8 (ff. 1-40), vi8+1 (last leaf inserted; ff. 41-49); vii-xx8 (ff. 50-161), xxi-xxxi8 (ff. 162-249), xxxii6 (ff. 250-255); xxxiii-xxxiv8 (ff. 256-271), xxxv4-1 (last leaf excised, probably blank; ff. 272-273*); xxxvi-xlv8 (ff. 274-353). Physical divisions occur at the start of the statutes for Edward III and Edward IV; the start of the statutes for Henry IV also corresponds with a quire-division.
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1964; yellow edges.
Provenance ? John Gill/Gyll (b. c.1430, d. 1499), of Buckland, Hertfordshire, c.1488: with his arms in all the borders: sable, two chevrons argent, the second charged with three pierced mullets of the field, in base a cinquefoil of the second, on a canton or, a lion passant guardant gules (see General Armory Two: Alfred Morant's Additions and Corrections to Burke's General Armory, ed. by Cecil R. Humphery-Smith (London: Tabard Press, 1973), p. 71); the last statutes are from the regnal year ending in August 1488, suggesting that the manuscript was written and decorated shortly thereafter; spaces are left for additions in the list of contents, and three original ruled leaves follow the end of the main text. Unlike the other initials, the image of Henry VI (f. 204v) shows him attended by angels holding a sceptre and crown, with an open book on his lap, and with the attendants apparently kneeling (Scott, 1989, pl. 9; Scott, 1996, fig. 480): this is doubtless a reflection of the contemporary campaign to have him canonized.
Francis Hargrave (b. 1740/41, d. 1821), legal writer: signed with his name (upper margin of ff. 1, 50).
Purchased as part of the Hargrave collection of legal manuscripts by the British Museum, 1813.
Select bibliography Kathleen L. Scott, 'A Late Fifteenth-Century Group of Nova Statuta Manuscripts', in Manuscripts at Oxford: An Exhibition in Memory of Richard William Hunt (1908-1979), Keeper of Western Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library Oxford, 1945-1975, on Themes Selected and Described by some of his Friends, ed. by A. C. de la Mare and B. C. Barker-Benfield (Oxford: Bodleian Library, 1980), pp. 102-05 (no. XXIII.8).

Kathleen Scott, 'Caveat Lector: Ownership and Standardization in the Illustration of Fifteenth-Century English Manuscripts', in English Manuscript studies 1100-1700, 1, ed. by Peter Beal and Jeremy Griffiths (1989), 19-63 (pp. 33-34 and pls. 8-9).

Kathleen L. Scott, ‘Design, Decoration and Illustration’, in Book Production and Publishing in Britain 1375-1475 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), pp. 31-64 (p. 58 n. 43).

Kathleen L. Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts 1390-1490, Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 6, 2 vols (London: Harvey Miller, 1996), no. 133. [with further bibliography]

Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination (London: British Library, 2011), no. 124 [exhibition catalogue].

Anthony Musson, 'Ruling 'Virtually'?: Images of Royalty in Medieval English Law Books' in Every inch a king : comparative studies on kings and kingship in the ancient and medieval worlds ed. by Lynette Mitchell and Charles Melville (Leiden: Brill, 2013), pp. 151-72 (p. 158).


Images
* * *
 
Text page.

f. 40
Text page.
Edward III enthroned

f. 50
Edward III enthroned
Detail

f. 50
Detail
 
Detail

f. 50
Detail
Henry VI

f. 50
Henry VI
King

f. 118v
King
 
King

f. 162
King
Henry VI

f. 204v
Henry VI
Henry VI

f. 204v
Henry VI
 
Text page

f. 205
Text page
Edward IV

f. 274
Edward IV
Edward IV

f. 274
Edward IV
 
Arms

f. 274
Arms
Richard III

f. 328v
Richard III
Henry VII

f. 339v
Henry VII
 

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