Click here to skip to content

Henry VII Being Presented With The Book, in a Collection of Astronomical Treatises and Tables

Henry VII Being Presented With The Book, in a Collection of Astronomical Treatises and Tables

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1490

Shelfmark: Arundel MS 66

Item number: f.201r

Length: 44

Width: 29

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript

Believed to have been made for presentation to Henry VII, this manuscript contains astrological tables and treatises along with some other texts. A team of three artists created its decoration, varying with first- and second-rate renditions of later 15th century English painting and highly skilled work in Flemish style. An inscription on one of the pages gives the date of completion (30 June 1490) and the name Johannes Wellys, thought to be the scribe. Henry VII was the earliest English king known to have a library. A luxury illustrated book on astrology would have been desirable for a king because the stars were believed to exert powerful influences upon human character and affairs.

This manuscript provides one of the best documentations of the use of astrology by medieval kings in the picture on this page. It is in a section of the famous treatise by the 13th-century Tuscan astrologer Guido Bonatti on annual revolutions or the sun's entry into Aries at the beginning of the astrological year and movement through the zodiac. Placing the king's picture at this point compared his power in his kingdom with that of the sun upon the world. The bishop and presenter of the book point to the stars.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites

Newsletter

Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: