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Portrait of Ranulph Higden and Arms of Richard Beauchamp, in John of Trevisa's translation of Higden's 'Polychronicon'

Portrait of Ranulph Higden and Arms of Richard Beauchamp, in John of Trevisa's translation of Higden's 'Polychronicon'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1405

Shelfmark: Additional MS 24194

Item number: f.36r

Length: 42.1

Width: 26.15

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

John of Trevisa (1326-1402) was Vicar of Berkeley, Gloucester, and chaplain to Thomas, 10th Lord Berkeley. Having been expelled from his post at Exeter College, Oxford, Trevisa continued his career as a clergyman and scholar under Lord Berkeley's patronage. This manuscript presents his English translations of three Latin texts, one of which is incomplete. A translator rather than an original author and not a great scholar, he is credited mainly with providing important examples of early English prose which were used by later writers such as Shakespeare. Trevisa's most well-known work is his translation of the 'Polychronicon' of Ralph (Ranulph) Higden. This page follows an index and three prefaces. As the beginning of the work, it is given an historiated (bearing a picture) first letter showing a monk--probably meant to be Higden--studying. The roundels at the corners of the framing decoration contain the arms of Richard Beauchamp, who was probably the book's original owner.

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