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Detailed record for Harley 6580

Title Speculum Christiani (ff. 2-62) and Oriaciones de Saluatore Nostro (ff. 62v-64v)
Origin England
Date First half of the 15th century
Language English
Script Gothic cursive
Scribe Scribe 1 (ff. 2-62); Scribe 2 (ff. 62v-64v).
Decoration 'Champ' initial in colours with foliate spray (f. 2). Numerous decorated initials in blue with red pen-flourishing. Alternating red and blue paraph marks. Rubrics underlined in red. Spaces left blank for initials (ff. 62v-64v).
Dimensions in mm 215 x 140 (130 x 95)
Official foliation ff. 68 (+ 2 unfoliated paper flyleaves and 4 unfoliated parchment flyleaves at the beginning and +4 unfoliated parchment flyleaves between ff. 66-67 and 2 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the end)
Collation Quires of 8.
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Late 14th century Latin text on original flyleaf (f. 66).
Added text, early 16th century: 'The artekyls of the fayth' (ff. 64v-66).
Wylliam Sowlby, early 16th century: inscribed with his name (f. 67v).
Inscribed 17th century: 'A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds; a man of deeds and not of words is like a prive full of turds' (f. 68).
Sir Henry Spelman (b. 1563/4, d. 1641), historian and antiquary: inscribed with 'Speculum Christiani quod quidam Byrde aut condidit aut transcripsit vt patet in fine libri' (f. 1v) and his name (f. 2).
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 Decorated catchwords.
At the end of Speculum Christiani the scribe writes 'Amen quod Rogerus' and directly after this in red, a rubricator writes 'Explicit liber de speculo christiani quod byrde' (f. 62). See Holmstedt 1993, p. clxxvii.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 6580.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), p. 468.

Speculum Christiani: A Middle English Religious Treatise of the 14th century, ed. by Gustaf Holmstedt, Early English Text Society, Original Series, 182 (London: Early English Text Society, 1933), p. xxxii-xxxvii, clxxvii.


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Champ initial

f. 2
Champ initial

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