You are in Introduction. Click here to skip the navigation.
British Library
Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search  Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Contact us  Main
print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back

search tips  Search tips
 
 

 

 
 

Detailed record for Harley 3908

Title Life of Mildreth, and other texts, including Textus translationis Mildrethae, Missa de sancta Mildretha, and Historia de sancta Mildretha
Origin England, S. E. (Canterbury)
Date 1st half of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Large initials in red, some with simple penwork decoration. Small initials in brown.
Dimensions in mm 165 x 120 (130 x 95)
Official foliation ff. i + 117 ( + 2 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and 3 at the end); f. i is a paper flyleaf.
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1977.
Provenance ? The Benedictine abbey of St. Augustine, Canterbury: evidence of the script and contents (Augustine is mentioned in the texts; the relics of Mildred were probably moved to St Gregory's hospital, near the abbey): see generally Rollason 1982.
Inscribed 'liber Colignam (?) (f. 100v).
ff. 101-117v contain added text in Latin and French in a 14th or 15th-century hand.
Inscribed 16th century 'Philipps' and 'Thomas' (f. 100).
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 '16 Julii, 1720' (f. i). 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 Musical notation: Anglo-Norman neumes on four-line blind-ruled staves, England, late 12th century (ff. 43-50v).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808) , no. 3908.

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.

D. W. Rollason, The Mildreth Legend: A Study in Early Medieval Hagiography in England (Leicester: Leister University Press, 1982), p. 106.

K. D. Hartzell, Catalogue of Manuscripts Written or Owned in England up to 1200 containing Music (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2006), no. 164.

Richard W. Pfaff, The Liturgy in Medieval England: A History (Cambridge: University Press, 2009), p. 118.


Images
* * *
 
Decorated initial

f. 1
Decorated initial
Coloured initial

f. 43
Coloured initial
Decorated initial

f. 51
Decorated initial
 

print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back
top Back