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Detailed record for Harley 105

Title Theological miscellany, including Goselin's Life of Augustine and other saints' lives (see Notes)
Origin England, S. (Canterbury?)
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Very large initials in colours and gold with foliate decoration and acanthus leaves and/or entwined animals (ff. 6, 137, 138, 205). Large initial in gold on a blue ground (f. 3). Large initials in red, green, or blue, some with penwork decoration in the other colour or colours. Small initials in red or green. Text in alternating letters or words of red, blue, and green.
Dimensions in mm 275 x 195 (210 x 130)
Official foliation ff. 251 ( + an unfoliated parchment leaf at the beginning + 2 unfoliated parchment leaves after f. 135 and 1 after f. 188, and 2 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Brown leather with the arms of Sir Simonds D'Ewes in gold in the centre of each cover; metal clasps.
Provenance ? The Benedictine abbey of St. Augustine, Canterbury: evidence of the contents and scribe.
13th-century and additions (ff. 65v-67v).
Inscription regarding the translation of Mildrith with the names of abbots Aelfstan and Roger with the date 1269: 'Ego Aelfstanus abbas transtuli corpus beate virginis de Insula Taenet et hoc in loco honorifice condidi. + Ego abbas Rogerus II ipsum corpus sub testimonio bonorum virorum inspexi et iterato decentius in hoc loco coalltum anno gratie m. cc. lix mense maii' (f. 136v).
Sir John Cotton (b. 1621, d. 1702), 3rd baronet: inscription that it belonged to him with the date 20 March, 1665 (f. 1).
Sir Simonds d'Ewes (b.1602, d. 1650), 1st baronet, diarist, antiquary, and friend of Sir Robert Cotton (see Wright 1972): inscribed 'Simonds D'Ewes 1625 Mar. 22' and 'Volumine sive Tomo 65' (f. 1v); added description of the contents (f. 2); with his arms in the centre of the covers.
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 The manuscript was mostly the work of one scribe who wrote the 2nd, 4th, and 6th texts, and all but the first page of the 1st, who is identifiable as the scribe of Cotton Vitellius A.ii, according to information supplied by Michael Gullick, which we gratefully acknowledge.
Contents:
Life and assumption of St Augustine (ff. 1-37)
Hagiographical works:
St Mildreth (ff. 138-205)
Archbishop Hadrian (ff. 205-218)
Archbishop Theodore (ff. 218v- 227)
Bede's History of Archbishop Laurentius (ff. 227v -233)
St Mellitus (ff. 233v-243)
Archbishop Iustus (ff. 244-246)
Archbishop Honorius (ff. 246v-251)
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), I, no. 105.

C. R. Dodwell, The Canterbury School of Illumination 1066-1200 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1954), pp. 52, 123.

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. 44.

Andrew G. Watson, The Library of Sir Simonds D'Ewes (London: British Museum, 1966), no. A167, frontispiece and pl. IV.

M. L. Colker, 'A Hagiographical Polemic', Medieval Studies, 39 (1977) 60-108.

Colin G. C. Tite, ''Lost or Stolen or Strayed': A Survey of Manuscripts formerly in the Cotton LIbrary', British Library Journal, 18 (1992), 107-147 (p. 115).

D. W. Rollason, The Mildreth Legend: A Study in Early Medieval Hagiography in England (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1982), pp. 22, 105-6, pl. 3.

Biblical Commentaries from the Canterbury School of Theodore and Hadrian, ed. by Bernhard Bischoff and Michael Lapidge, Cambridge Studies in Anglo-Saxon England, 10 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), p. 82 n.


Images
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Decorated initial

f. 6
Decorated initial
Decorated initial

f. 6
Decorated initial
Dog

f. 137
Dog
 
Dog

f. 137
Dog
Dragon

f. 138
Dragon
Dragon

f. 138
Dragon
 
Dragon

f. 138
Dragon
Inhabited initial

f. 205
Inhabited initial

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