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Detailed record for Lansdowne 398

Part 1 ff. 3-55v 
Author William Fitzstephen
Title Vita Sancti Thomae Becket
Origin England
Date 15th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration 2 elaborate puzzle initials in red and blue with red and blue penwork decoration, often with foliate forms, and pen-flourishing extending into the margins (ff. 3, 8v). 1 large initial in blue with red penwork decoration and pen-flourishing (f. 45). Highlighting of letters in yellow.
Dimensions in mm 250 x 170 (150 x 95)
 
Part 2 ff. 77-80v 
Title fragment of the Visions of Piers Plowman (the B version of the text)
Origin England
Date 15th century
Language English
Script Gothic
Decoration Small initial in blue with red penwork decoration (f. 78v). Paraphs in red or blue. Highlighting of letters in red.
Dimensions in mm 225 x 135 (200 x 125)
 
Part 3 ff. 56-75v 
Title Life of Thomas of Canterbury, imperfect
Origin England
Date second half of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Large and small initials in red or green, a few with some penwork decoration in the same colour. Rubrics in red.
Dimensions in mm 235 x 165 (195 x 125)
 
Official foliation ff. 80 ( + 2 modern paper flyleaves at the beginning, and 2 at the end (including one foliated 'i' after f. 80), + 1 unfoliated parchment flyleaf at the beginning, and a fragment of parchment mounted on a paper leaf as f. 76)
Collation Part 1: i-vi 8 (ff. 3-50); vii five (ff. 51-55).
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1949.
Provenance 14th-century Latin texts (ff. 1v-2).
Inscription 'Smythfilde' (f. 5).
18th inscriptions (f. 2).
? Shelfmark or price '16s/ LLb' (f. 1).
William Petty (formerly Fitzmaurice) (b. 1737, d. 1805), 2nd earl of Shelburne and 1st marquess of Lansdowne, prime minister; purchased by the British Museum together with 1244 other Lansdowne manuscripts in 1807.
Select bibliography [Henry Ellis and Francis Douce], A Catalogue of the Lansdowne Manuscripts in the British Museum (London, 1819), no. 398.

Materials for the History of Thomas Becket, ed. by James Craigie Robertson and J. Brigstocke Sheppard, 7 vols, Rolls Series, 67 (London: Rolls Commission, 1875-1885), I, ed. by James Craigie Robertson, p. xxviii. [with additional bibliography].

Anonymous, 'Prologus et initium vitae S. Thomae', in Patrologiae cursus completes: Series Latina, ed. by Jacques-Paul Migne (Paris, 1844- ), 190 (1854), 361-70 [this manuscript used for the edition].

G. Kane and E. T. Donaldson, Piers Plowman, The B Version(London 1975), pp. 63-65. [on the text in ff. 77-80v].

Julia Boffey and A. S. G. Edwards, A New Index of Middle English Verse (London: British Library, 2005), p. 100, no. 1459, 'B' version.


Images

Part  1   ff. 3-55v
William Fitzstephen Vita Sancti Thomae Becket
* * *
 
Puzzle initial

f. 3
Puzzle initial
Detail

f. 3
Detail
Puzzle initial

f. 8v
Puzzle initial
 
Detail

f. 8v
Detail

Part  3   ff. 56-75v
Life of Thomas of Canterbury, imperfect
* * *
 
Decorated initial

f. 66v
Decorated initial
Detail

f. 66v
Detail

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