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Detailed record for Harley 3594

Title Collection of medical texts and notes, including Avicenna, 'Canon medicinae' (ff. 7-53), Pseudo-Mesue, 'Canones universales' (ff. 56-92)
Origin France
Date Last quarter of the 15th century or 1st quarter of the 16th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic hybrid
Decoration Three large initials in blue or light brown on square grounds of contrasting colour with foliate decoration highlighted in gold or white (ff. 7, 56, 57). Chapter initials in red and blue with guide letters, paraph marks in alternating red and blue, and rubrics in red (ff. 7-92).
Dimensions in mm 285 x 230 (185 x 110)
Official foliation ff. i + 201 (including several fragmentary leaves; + a number of modern blanks inserted in the text and 3 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and 5 at the end)
Collation Mostly in quires of 12
Form Paper codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance The name 'Robeart Croll/Croft/Cross' among pen-trials by a 16th-cent. English hand (ff. 1, 124v).
Samuel Knott (d. 1687), rector of Combe Raleigh, Devon (1661-1668), antiquary and collector of manuscripts: his notes (passim; see Wright 1972).
Robert Burscough (b. 1650/51, d. 1709), prebendary of Exeter in 1701, archdeacon of Barnstaple in 1703, rector of Cheriton Bishop in 1705: his manuscript no. 56: sold by his widow on 17 May 1715 to Robert Harley, along with other manuscripts (see Wright and Wright 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, inscribed as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley, Ĺ17 May 1715ĺ (f. 1).
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, nÚe 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 ú10,000 (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 A collection of medical texts and notes bound together in a composite volume.
A medieval foliation '1-85' in dark brown ink in the upper right corner of rectos (ff. 7-92).
Select bibliography Edward Bernard, Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum AngliŠ et HiberniŠ in unum collecti, cum indice alphabetico , 3 vols (Oxford: Sheldonian, 1697), II, p. 234, no. 7675.

A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 3594.

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. 11 n. 3.

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. 87-88, 211, 431.

Sieglinde Lieberknecht, Die 'Canones' des Pseudo-Mesue. Eine mittelalterliche Purgantien-Lehre. ▄bersetzung und Kommentar, Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Pharmazie, 71 (Stuttgart: Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, 1995), p. 192, no. 25.

Catalogued for the Harley Medical Manuscripts Project, with further bibliography relating to the text.
[], accessed 8 December 2008.

Laura Nuvoloni, 'The Harleian Medical Manuscripts', The Electronic British Library Journal 2008, art. 7, p. 14, with pl.
[], accessed 3 April 2009.

* * *
Decorated initial

f. 7
Decorated initial
Text pages.

ff. 124v-125
Text pages.

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