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Detailed record for Harley 1896

Title Bilingual Psalter, in the later Wycliffite translation, with the Canticles, and the Athanasian Creed
Origin England
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 15th century
Language Latin and English
Script Gothic cursive
Decoration 2 full bordes in colours and gold with foliate decoration and gold balls and historiated initials at the beginning of Psalms 1, 109 (ff. 1, 78v). 5 3-sided borders in colours and gold with foliate decoration and gold balls at the beginning of Psalms 26, 38, 52, 80, 97 (ff. 16, 26, 36, 55v, 66v). Large initials in colours and gold with foliate decoration at the beginnings of Psalm 26, 38, 51, 52, 80, 97 (ff. 16, 26, 35v, 36, 55v, 66v). Large initials in blue with red penwork decoration and pen-flourishing, sometimes in the forms of leaves. Small initials in blue with red penwork decoration, or in red with brown penwork decoration. Latin text in red and English text in brown.
Dimensions in mm 290 x 210 (180 x 130)
Official foliation ff. 1* + 110 (+ 2 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 1 unfoliated parchment flyleaf and 1 paper flyleaf at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1964.
Provenance Sir Henry Spelman (b. 1563/4, d. 1641), historian and antiquary: inscriptions 'Henry Spelman' (ff. 1* verso, f. [111]).
Humfrey Wanley (b. 1672, d. 1726), librarian of Robert and Edward Harley, earls of Oxford: inscribed 'Liber Humfredi Wanley, A.D. 1714/5' (f. 1* verso). The manuscript must have been incorporated in the Harley library in the following years.
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 f. 1* is a parchment flyleaf.
Catchwords.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), I, no. 1896.

E. M. Thompson,Wycliffe Exhibition in the King’s Library (London: Clowes and Sons, 1884), no. 43.

Christopher Wordsworth and Henry Littlehales, The Old Service-Books of the English Church, 2nd edn (London: Methuen & Co., 1910), p. 115.

Scot McKendrick and Kathleen Doyle, Bible Manuscripts: 1400 Years of Scribes and Scripture (London: British Library, 2007), p. 147, fig. 133.


Images
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Historiated initial

f. 1
Historiated initial
Illuminated border

f. 16
Illuminated border

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