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Detailed record for Harley 1666

Author John Purvey
Title General prologue to the Old Testament
Origin England
Date 1st quarter of the 15th century
Language English
Script Gothic
Decoration 1 large initial in blue with red pen-flourishing (f. 1). 2 smaller initials in blue with red pen-flourishing (ff. 35, 50v). Red initials (ff. 67, 89, 77). Paraphs and marginal annotations in red.
Dimensions in mm 130 x 100 (90x 65)
Official foliation ff. i-iii +111 (+ 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning + 5 unfoliated flyleaves at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Matthew Parker (b. 1504, d. 1575), archbishop of Canterbury in 1559, colllector of manuscripts, which he bequeathed to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (see Harley Catalogue and note by Frederick Madded f. [iii]).
Mr Agarde of London: added extracts, 17th century (see Forshall and Madden).
Henry Worsley (b. 1675, d. 1747), scholar and manuscript collector, envoy at the Court of Portugal (1714-21) and governor of Barbados (1721-31); donated by him to Robert Harley together with other manuscripts from Worsley's collection (now Harley 1585-1747, 1811, 1812) before December 1712 (see Diary 1966).
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 For a detailed description of the contents, see the Harley Catalogue.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 1666.

The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments with the Apocryphal Books, in the Earliest Versions Made from the Latin Vulgate by John Wycliffe and his Followers, ed. by Josiah Forshall and Frederic Madden, 4 vols (Oxford: Clarendon, 1850), I, xli.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), I: 1715-1723, pp. xix-xx.

Sven L. Fristedt, The Wycliffe Bible, 2 vols (Stockhom: Almquist & Wiksell, 1953-1969), Part I: The Principal Problems Connected with Forshall and Madden's Edition, Stockholm Studies in English, 4, p. 17.

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. 268, 362.

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Decorated initial

f. 1
Decorated initial

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