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Detailed record for Harley 3255

Author Richard Barre, bishop of Ely (d. 1202)
Title Commentary on the Old and New Testaments (ff. 2-233v), preceded by a prologue (ff. 1r-v)
Origin England
Date 1st quarter of the 13th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic, written above top line
Decoration Plain and puzzle initials with foliate decoration extending into the margins, with the occasional zoomorphic feature, in blue, red and green or in two colours. Titles in display capitals in alternate red and green. Small initials in red and green. Rubrics and marginal glosses in red. Guide letters for the coloured initials in ink at the outer edge of the leaves.
Dimensions in mm 340 x 240 (225/250 x 130/135) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 234 (f. 234 is an original flyleaf; + 2 unfoliated early modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and one original parchment and 2 early modern paper at the end)
Collation Gatherings mostly of 8, with horizontal catchwords in the lower right corner of the last verso of each gathering, occasionally trimmed away.
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Harleian' binding of blind- and gilt-tooled mottled brown leather, attributable to Christopher Chapman.
Provenance An added table of concordances, 13th century (f. 234v).
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 composition of the work is datable between January 1190 and October 1191. In the prologue the author offers the work to William Longchamp, bishop of Ely 1189-1197.
Marginal glosses in English documentary hand often arranged in figures of division.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 3255.

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. 459.

Richard Sharpe, 'Richard Barre's Compendium Veteris et Novi Testamenti', The Journal of Medieval Latin, 14 (2004), 128-46 (pp. 133-36, 143-46, with pls).

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Coloured initial

f. 106v
Coloured initial

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