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Detailed record for Harley 45

Title Treatise on the Paternoster (ff. 28v-48v), and other religious texts, including A myrour to lewde men and wymmen
Origin England
Date First half of the 15th century
Language English and some Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration 1 large initial in gold on a red and blue ground with floral sprays (f. 1). Smaller initials in blue with red pen-flourishing. Plain initials in blue. Paraphs in blue. Rubrics and marginal notes in red.
Dimensions in mm 270 x 190 (180 x 100)
Official foliation ff. 1*-2* + 170 (+ 2 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 3 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Erased inscription, possibly relating to ownership (f. 1).
Margaret Brent (Brente): 'Brente' inscribed six times (f. 1*); her 15th-century ownership inscription and a poem in the same hand: 'Now Blessid Lord, as I have trust in thee / that everlasting I shall nott confounded be; / And for thi bytter Passyon, that you hast suffirryd, / In thi ryghtwysness, swet Iesu, that I be delyveryd. Amen/ Iste liber constat domina Margareta Brent cum magno honore. Amen' (f. 169); the poem, with slight variations in spelling, and the inscription, 'Iste liber decet a domina Margareta Brent' (f. 2*); inscribed, 'Brent Margarytt Dame' (f. 170).
Elyzabeth Pyckaring:her ownership inscription (now erased) (f. 1).
John Stowe, (b. 1524/5, d. 1605), chronicler and antiquary: the followng inscription appears to be in his hand, 'promised to J. Harvy for reasonable gayne yf I sell it' (f. 1*v).
The date 2 December 1580 (f. 1*v).
Edward Tynes (d. c. 1640): inscribed, 'Disce mori mundo vivere disce Deo' [Learn to die in the world, learn to live in God], with his name and the date 14 September 1627 (f. 2*).
Sir Simonds d'Ewes (b.1602, d. 1650), 1st baronet, diarist, antiquary, and friend of Sir Robert Cotton (see Wright 1972).
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 Ruled in ink.
For a detailed list of the contents, see the Harley Catalogue.
ff. 1*, 2* are parchment flyleaves with various inscriptions (see Provenance)
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), I (1808), no. 45.

Hope Emily Allen, 'The Speculum Vitae: Addendum', Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, 32 (1917), 133-62 (p. 155).

Rossell Hope Robbins, 'Popular Prayers in Middle English Verse', Modern Philology, 36 (1939), 337-50 (p. 340).

R.H. Bowers, 'A Middle English Mnemonic Poem on Usury', Mediaeval Studies, 17 (1955), 226-32 (pp. 228-30).

Gerald Robert Owst, Literature and Pulpit in Medieval England (Oxford: Blackwell, 1966), p. 411.

Siegfried Wenzel, The Sin of Sloth: Acedia in Medieval Thought and Literature (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1967), p. 75 n. 29.

A. S. G. Edwards, 'A Fifteenth Century Didactic Poem in British Museum Add MS 29729', Neuphilologische Mitteilungen: Bulletin of the Modern Language Society, 4 (1969), 702-06 (p. 703 n. 4).

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 82, 131, 279, 319, 333.

R. H. Bowers, 'A Middle English Poem on Usury' Medieval Studies 17 (1955), 226-32 (pp. 228-30)

John Scattergood, ‘Fashion and Morality in the Late Middle Ages’, in England in the Fifteenth Century: Proceedings of the 1986 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. by David Williams (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1987), pp. 255-72 (p. 264, n. 28).

Laura F. Hodges, 'The Wife of Bath's Costume: Reading the Subtexts', The Chaucer Review, 27 (1993), 359-76 (p. 368 n. 76).


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