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Detailed record for Harley 1728

Author Ranulf Higden
Title Polychronicon with a continuation to the reign of Richard II (c. 1398), vol. 1
Origin England
Date 2nd quarter of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Drawings of Noah's Ark in red ink (f. 47). 4 initials in colours and gold with foliate decoration including acanthus and kidney-shaped leaves extending into the margins at the beginning of the prologue and of each book (ff. 9, 11, 43, 67v). Numerous smaller initials in blue with red pen-flourishing.
Dimensions in mm 300 x 210 (215 x 125), in 2 columns
Official foliation ff. 101 (+ 1 unfoliated paper flyleaf at the beginning and at the end + 1 unfoliated leaf after f. 101)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Binding of brown mottled calf with gold fillets.
Provenance Alphabetical index with coloured initials in blue added late 15th or early 16th century, with later 16th-century additions up to the date of 1558 (ff. 1v-7).
Late 15th-century added text concerning Brabant written on a separate smaller folio (f. 24) sewn onto f. 23.
Added post-medieval pagination.
Nicholas Shaxton (d. 1556), fellow of Gonville Hall, Cambridge 1510-1534, bishop of Salisbury 1535-39: owned these 2 volumes until c. 1535-1539, inscription mentioning the gift of this manuscript to Matthew Wottone by him while bishop of Salisbury (f. 1).
Matthew Wotton (d. 1551), scholar and fellow of King's Hall, Cambridge 1523-1540, perhaps the treasurer of Salisbury in 1551: inscription dated 1551 recording the gift of this manuscript in 1551 to Godfridus Cobon (f. 1).
Godfridus Cobon: owned these 2 volumes from 1551 (f. 1).
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 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 This manuscript is volume 1 of 2 volumes: vol. 2 is Harley 1729.
Catchwords.
f. 8 is ruled but unwritten.
f. [102] is from a 14th-century lliturgical manuscript with a few initials and signs of the cross with penwork decoration.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 1728.

John Taylor, The Universal Chronicle of Ranulf Higden (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966), p. 154.

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.

C. E. Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 106, 303, 361, 362-63.


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Ink drawings

f. 47
Ink drawings

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