Marginal Sketch Of Fishing, In A Volume Of Works By St. Augustine, St. John Of Damascus, And Others
Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum
This manuscript was apparently made towards the end of the 13th century for a member of the Grey family, whose heraldic arms are incorporated into the decoration of the first page; but within a generation or so it had found its way to Ramsey abbey, as it has the ownership inscription of the abbot, Simon. One of the key features of interest is that the manuscript has been annotated with the indexing symbols devised by Robert Grosseteste (c.1175-1253), bishop of Lincoln, one of the greatest minds of the 13th century ('Grosseteste' is a nickname, and is French for 'big head'). I
n addition to the indexing symbols of Grosseteste (between the columns of text) this manuscript sometimes has sketches relating to the text: here an image of fishing occurs adjacent to the mention of fish and a fisherman. Ramsey Abbey lay within the diocese of Lincoln, so it is not surprising that Grosseteste's influence should be evident there.