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Detailed record for Harley 2169

Title Coats of Arms in the time of Henry VI
Origin England
Date Last quarter of the 15th century
Language English
Script Gothic cursive
Decoration 2 tinted drawing in ink and colours of kings Henry V and Henry VI on horseback (ff. 2, 3). Coats of arms of the English nobility in brown ink, generally nine shields per page, a few with added colours (ff. 4-71). Full-length figures in brown ink, holding banners and surrounded by shields (ff. 66, 67). Tables listing saints, kings, worthies, and the nobles of England (ff. 72-75).
Dimensions in mm 290 x 210 (255 x 175)
Official foliation ff. iii + 2* + 75 (+ 5 unfoliated paper flyleaves the the beginning + 4 at the end)
Form Paper codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Tan leather with gold-tooling; marbled endpapers.
Provenance Added drawing of a mounted knight pasted onto f. 2*.
Phyllepe Bowth or Bowthe: his name inscribed in the 16th century (f. 1).
Holme family, Chester, arms painters and antiquaries: acquired with other Holmes manuscripts by Robert Harley in 1710 through the mediation of Francis Gastrell, bishop of Chester: inscribed, 'Randle Holme' (f. 1) (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 The London shields include those of Wyfolde or Wywold, Gregory and Norman, Lord Mayors in 1450, 1451, and 1453; John Derby, sheriff of London in 1446; John Stockton and William Stoker, Lord Mayors in 1470 and 1483 and the arms of the Tallow Chandlers, granted in 1456 (see Barron 1902).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2169.

Oswald Barron, 'A Fifteenth Century Book of Arms', The Ancestor: A Quarterly Review of County and Family History, Heraldry and Antiquities, 3 (1902), pp. 185-213 [with descriptions of many of the blazons].

Robert Cooke and Joseph Foster, Two Tudor Books of Arms (London: London Colour Printing Company, 1904) [a compendium of the blazons in Harley 2169 and Harley 6163].

A Catalogue of English Medieval Rolls of Arms, ed. by Anthony Wagner (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1950), pp. 101-02.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 79, 194-95.

Stephen R. Reimer and Pamela Farvolden, ‘Of Arms and the Manuscript: The Date and Provenance of Harley 2255’, Journal of the Early Book Society for the Study of Manuscripts and Printing History, 8 (2005), 239-60 (fig. 3, p. 251 n. 25).


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Henry VI

f. 3
Henry VI

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