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 1498

Title Quadripartite Indenture for Henry VII's Chapel
Origin England, S. E. (London)
Date 1504
Language English with Latin
Script Gothic cursive
Decoration 4 historiated initials in colours and gold of Henry VII, or of the manuscripts in use at a ceremony, and full bar borders of red roses on a gold ground, with a gold portcullis on a blue ground with gold, and England's arms on a gold ground (ff. 1, 59, 76, 98). 'Champ' initials in colours and gold at the beginning of each section.
Dimensions in mm 370 x 255 (180 x 140)
Official foliation ff. i + 129 (+ 1 unfoliated parchment flyleaf at the beginning and 2 at the end)
Collation Quires of 8
Form Parchment codex
Binding Pre-1600. Original chemise binding (see Notes)
Provenance The Benedictine abbey od St Peter, Westminster, agreement between Henry VII (b. 1457, d. 1509), king of England and lord of Ireland, and John Islipp, Abbot of Westminster Abbey, and the monks of Westminster Abbey, made on 16 July 1504: the beginning of the text reads: 'This indenture made betwebe the moost cristen and moste excellent Prince kynge Henry the seventh by the grace of God Kyng of Englande and of France and Lord of Irelande the xvi daye of July the vyntene yere of his moost noble reigne and John Islipp Abbot of the monastery of Saynt Petre of Westm. and the prioure and convent of the same monaster' (f. 1)
Henry VIII (b. 1491, d. 1547), king of England and Ireland; probably removed to the Westminster palace after the dissolution of the monastery in 1540. Stored in the little study next to the king's old bed chamber: listed as 'Item a booke of Kynge Henry the viith his foundacion of his chappell at Westminster' in the post-mortem inventory of Henry VIII's palaces of 1547-50, under the heading 'The Guarderobe at Westminstre in the chaedge of John Reede' (see Carley 2004)
Sir Thomas Hoby, 3rd baronet of Bisham (b. 1685, d. 1730); given by him to Harley (see 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.
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 Full digital coverage available for this manuscript: see Digitised Manuscripts at http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts.
The original chemise binding is of burgundy velvet (outside) and pinkish gold damask (inside). One large tassel remains on the top left corner in gold and burgundy thread. Two fore-edge clasps with gold buckles featuring a Tudor rose topped by an angel and attached with embroidered straps. There are five painted enamel badges on the front and back covers: four badges (one in each corner) in green and white, each with a portcullis, and a larger badge in the middle with England's arms.
The chemise binding hangs beyond the manuscript to protect the five royal seals that are each attached to the manuscript with gold ropes.
Four of the green wax seals show the seated king on his throne and the fifth shows the Henry VII on horseback. Each seal is protected by a silver case with a crowned rose on the front and a crowned portcullis on the other.
Fore-edge tabs with knotted gold thread mark each new indenture.
The top edge of each page has been trimmed like a chirograph and shows remnants of letters that have been partially cut away. Visible ruling.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 1498.

Calendar of the Close Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office: Henry VII, 2 vols (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1963), II (1500-1509), no. 389, pp. 138-51 [contains text of indenture].

C. E. Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), p. 191.

Michelle P. Brown, Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms (London: British Library, 1994), pl. on p. 38.

Jan Storm Van Leeuwen, 'The Well-shirted Bookbinding: On Chemise Binds and Hülleneinbände,' in Theatrum Orbis Librorum: Liber Amicorum presented to Nico Israel on the occasion of his seventieth birthday (Utrecht: HES Publishers, 1989), pp. 277-305 (pp. 293-94).

The Libraries of King Henry VIII, ed. by James P. Carley, Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, 7 (London: British Library, 2000), p. 285.

Kathleen Scott, 'The Illustration and Decoration of the Register of the Fraternity of the Holy Trinity at Luton Church, 1475-1546', in The English Medieval Book: Studies in Memory of Jeremy Griffiths, ed. by A. S. G. Edwards, Vincent Gillespie and Ralph Hanna (London: British Library, 2000), pp. 155-83 (p. 183 n. 58).

Margaret Condon, ‘God Save the King! Piety, Propaganda, and the Perpetual Memorial’, in Westminster Abbey: The Lady Chapel of Henry VII, ed. by Tim Tatton-Brown and Richard Mortimer (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2003), pp. 59-97 (pp. 76-78).

James P. Carley, The Books of King Henry VIII and His Wives, preface by David Starkey (London: British Library, 2004), pl. 25.

Scot McKendrick, John Lowden, Kathleen Doyle and al., Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination (London: British Library, 2011), no. 41 [exhibition catalogue].

Scot McKendrick, ‘The Manuscripts of Edward IV: The Documentary Evidence’, in 1000 Years of Royal Books and Manuscripts, ed. by Kathleen Doyle and Scot McKendrick (London: The British Library, 2013), pp. 149-77 (pp.162-63)


Images
* * *
 
Back binding

Back binding
Back binding
Seals

Seals
Seals
Seals

Seals
Seals
 
Henry VII

f. 1
Henry VII
Henry VII

f. 1
Henry VII


Seal 1
 


Seal 1 open


Seal 1 verso
Text page

f. 1v
Text page
 
Text page

f. 2
Text page


Seal 2


Seal 2 open
 


Seal 2 verso


Seal 3


Seal 3 open
 


Seal 3 verso


Seal 4
Seal

Seal 4 open
Seal
 


Seal 4 verso


Seal 5


Seal 5 open
 


Seal 5 verso
Henry VII

f. 59
Henry VII
Henry VII

f. 59
Henry VII
 
Ceremony

f. 76
Ceremony
Ceremony

f. 76
Ceremony
Henry VII

f. 98
Henry VII
 
Henry VII

f. 98
Henry VII

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