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Detailed record for Harley 2110

Part 1 ff. 4*-5*v 
Author Aelfric
Title Bifolium from of Aelfric's Homilies, First series, St John and St Stephen
Origin England
Date 1st half of the 11th century
Language English
Script Insular minuscule
Decoration Large initial and title in display capitals in red (f. 4*)
Dimensions in mm 220 x 150 (185 x 110)
Part 2 ff. 1-152 
Title Castle Acre cartulary, arranged mainly topographically.
Origin England, E. (Castle Acre, Norfolk)
Date 2nd quarter of the 13th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic, written above top line
Decoration Initials in green or red, some with penwork decoration in blue and/or red. Rubrics in red. Small initials highlighted in red.
Dimensions in mm 315 x 225 (250 x 165/170)
Official foliation ff. 5* + 152 (ff. 1*-3* are early modern paper additions; + 4 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and 5 at the end)
Collation Collation irregular; gatherings individually mounted on guards.
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1974.
Provenance ? John Wynchelsea , prior of the Cluniac priory of Castle Acre, c. 1510: his inscription 'Iohannes Wynchelse' (f. 5* verso; see Ker 1957).
The Cluniac priory of Castle Acre, Norfolk (see Ker 1957; Wright 1972).
With additional notes, 14th- to 16th-century.
The office of the King's Remembracer: excerpts from it copied by Roger Dodsworth in 1638 in what is now Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Dodsw 110, ff. 29 ss (see Watson 1966).
? Roger Dodsworth (bap. 1585, d. 1654), antiquary: mentioned as in his hand by William Dugdale in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Dugdale 48, f. 60 (see Watson 1966).
Sir Simonds d'Ewes (b.1602, d. 1650), 1st baronet, diarist, antiquary, and friend of Sir Robert Cotton (see Watson 1966, Wright 1972): mentioned as 'in bibl. Duevesiana anno 1644' by Dugdale (see Dodsworth and Dugdale1655; Wright 1938; Watson 1966).
? Sir Thomas Widdrington (b. c.1600, d. 1664), politician and speaker of the House of Commons: mentioned as in his hand by William Dugdale in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Dugdale 48, f. 60 (see Watson 1966).
Randle Holme II (b. 1601, d. 1659): possibly lent to him by D'Ewes or given by Widdrington: the Holme pressmark 'GGGG / Deeds of several places and countyes' (f. 1*verso; see Wright 1938; Watson 1966).
Randle Holme III (b. 1627, d. 1700), herald painter: his table of places mentioned in the cartulary (ff. 2*-2*v; see Wright 1938).
? A member of the Holme family, Chester, arms painters and antiquaries: possibly acquired with other Holmes manuscripts by Robert Harley in 1710 through the mediation of Francis Gastrell, bishop of Chester, as suggested by Humfrey Wanley in A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, II (1808), no. 2044, art. 57 (see Watson 1966; Wright 1972).
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 Aelfric's fragmentary leaves (ff. 4*-5*v) are a bifolium missing four lines of text in the upper part and incorrectly bound as f. 5* should precede f. 4*. The bifolium was used as part of the binding of Castle Acre cartulary.
The Castle Acre cartulary includes charters of the earls of Warenne (ff. 1-7), as well as royal and episcopal charters (ff. 112-152).
Select bibliography Roger Dodsworth and William Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum sive Pandectæ Coenobiorum, Benedictinorum Cluniacensium, Cisterciensium, Carthusianorum; a primordiis ad eorum usque dissolutionem, 3 vols (London: [n. pub.], 1655), I, p. 624.

A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2110.

H. H. C. Craster, 'Migrations of Historical Manuscripts', Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 3 (1925-26), 70-72 (pp. 71-72).

Cyril E. Wright, 'Two Aelfric Fragments', Medium Aevum, 7 (1938), 50-55.

Neil R. Ker, Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957), p. 308, no. 235.

Godfrey R. C. Davis, Medieval Cartularies of Great Britain: A Short Catalogue (London: Longmans and Green, 1958), p. 26, no. 215.

Andrew G. Watson, The Library of Sir Simonds D'Ewes (London: British Museum, 1966), pp. 333-34, no. X133.

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. 97-98, 131, 194, 364, 404.

Joyce Hill, 'The Preservation and Transmission of Aelfric's Saints' Lives: Reader-Reception and Reader-Response in the Early Middle Ages', in The Preservation and Transmission of Anglo-Saxon Culture: Selected Papers from the 1991 Meeting of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists, Studies in Medieval Culture, 40 (Kalamazoo: Western Michigan University, 1997), pp. 405-30 (p. 409).

Helmut Gneuss, Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: A List of Manuscripts and Manuscript Fragments Written or Owned in England up to 1100, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 241 (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2001), p. 76, no. 428 [ff. 4* and 5*].


Part  2   ff. 1-152
Castle Acre cartulary, arranged mainly topographically.
* * *
Coloured initials

f. 119
Coloured initials

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