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Detailed record for Harley 211

Title Prayers, including to the Trinity
Origin England
Date 1st half of the 15th century
Language Latin and English
Script Gothic cursive
Scribe Roger Alban, who signed to other manuscripts: Harley 3138 and Stowe 8 (see Sharpe 1997)
Decoration Drawing representing the symbols of the Passion in red and brown (f. 135). Initials in red or blue. Rubrics in red. Highlighting of letters in red.
Dimensions in mm 195 x 130 (140/145 x 85/90)
Official foliation ff. 202 (foliation includes ff. 103* and 121*; + 4 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and 3 at the end)
Collation Gatherings mainly of 8, with horizontal catchwords.
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1875; marbled endpapers.
Provenance Written mainly by Roger Alban (d. after 1461), genealogist, copyist and Carmelite friar (see Sharpe 1997):
A number of added inscriptions suggest a connection with Norwich and the Carmelite convent (ff. 69, 166v, 174, 191v; see Ker 1964). The inscriptions are as follows:
a) Thomas de Bradley Scrope (d. 1492), an anchorite in the Carmelite convent at Norwich: suffrages for him (ff. 174, 191v).
b) Thomas Waterpytte (d. 1508), prior of the Carmelite convent at Norwich, c. 1486-1508: given by him to Richard Cake (f. 166v; see Watson 1966).
c) Richard Cake or Coke, probably identifiable with the rector of Bradfield, co. Norf., c. 1503-1512: given to him by Thomas Waterpytte (f. 166v; see Watson 1966).
d) George Canay, monk at Norwick: late 15th or early 16th century, his ownership inscriptions (f. 69); see Watson 1966.
? Elizabeth mad (?): late 16th or early 17th century, her name in Gothic display script with decorated initial ink (f. 176v).
Sir Simonds d'Ewes (b.1602, d. 1650), 1st baronet, diarist, antiquary, and friend of Sir Robert Cotton (see Watson 1966, Wright 1972): although not listed in any of his catalogues (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 Add. 70478 (formerly Loan 29/254 packet 2); Watson 1966; Wright and Wright 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 The volume is a composite theological miscellany of manuscripts of different origin, and also includes:
Richard Lavenham , 'A Litil Tretys on the Seven Deadly Sins', 1st half of the 15th century, initials with penwork decoration in red (ff. 35-46);
Edmund of Pontigny's Orationes (f. 146);
A collection of biblical excerpts, 13th century, initials in red (ff. 193-200).
Late 15th-century annotations and additions include one medical charm for staunching blood (f. 85v) and four recipes for the stone in the bladder (f. 104).
Roger Alban signed two other manuscripts: Harley 3138 and Stowe 8 (see Sharpe 1997).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), I (1808), no. 211.

C. H. Talbot, ‘A List of Cistercian Manuscripts in Great Britain’, Traditio: Studies in Ancient and Medieval History, Thought and Religion, 8 (1952), 402-18 (pp. 408, 411).

R. Lavenham, A Litil Tretys on the Seven Deadly Sins, edited ... from MS. Harley 211 in the British Museum, with variants from thirteen other copies, ed. by Johannes P. W. M. van Zutphen (Rome: Institutum Carmelitanum, 1956).

Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books, ed. by Neil R. Ker, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, 3 (London: The Royal Historical Society, 1964), p. 139.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril E. Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), I: 1715-1723, p. xviii n. 3.

Andrew G. Watson, The Library of Sir Simonds D'Ewes (London: British Museum, 1966), p. 321 no. [X 37].

Siegfried Wenzel, The Sin of Sloth: Acedia in Medieval Thought and Literature (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1967), pp. 232 n. 99, 233 n. 110..

Cyril E. Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 80, 92, 94, 131, 259, 349, 374.

Valerie Edden, 'Marian Devotion in a Carmelite Sermon Collection of the Late Middle Ages', Mediaeval Studies, 57 (1995), 101-29 (p. 101 and n. 3).

Richard Sharpe, A Handlist of the Latin Writers of Great Britain and Ireland before 1540, Publications of the Journal of Medieval Latin, 1 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1997), p. 580.

Richard Copsey, 'Alban, Roger (d. after 1461)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) [], accessed 3 April 2009.

Catalogued for the Harley Medical Manuscripts Project [], accessed on 3 April 2009.

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Symbols of the Passion

f. 135
Symbols of the Passion

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