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Detailed record for Harley 1736

Author John Bradmore
Title Medical miscellany, including Bradmore's 'Philomena' in Middle English translation (ff. 6-184v)
Origin England
Date c. 1446
Language English and Latin
Script Gothic cursive
Decoration Pen drawings of surgical instruments in red and black (ff. 42, 42v). Rubrics in red. Relevant passages underlined in red. Notabilia and other marginal notes in red, purple and black. Astrological tables in black and red (ff. 235, 235v). A wood-block Nativity (verso of a small leaf inserted between ff. 1* and 1).
Dimensions in mm 210 x 145 (150/160 x 95/100)
Official foliation ff. 1* + 249 (ff. 1* and 249 are the original upper and lower parchment pastedowns; + one paper slip inserted between ff. 1* and 1, and 3 modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and 4 at the end).
Collation Gatherings mostly of 8, with leaf signatures in the lower margin of rectos in the first half of gatherings, many cropped away.
Form Paper codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1968.
Provenance The copy of the manuscript is dated 1446 (f. 6; see Lang 1992).
Late 15th- early 16th-century marginal additions.
Thomas Cobb or Colb, unidentified: owned in the 15th century, his inscription 'Iste liber pertinet ad Thomam colb' (ff. 1* verso, 249).
Ricardus Faber, possibly identifiable with Richard Smith, a scholar from Eton and Fellow of King's College Cambridge in 1587: owned in the 16th century, his inscription 'liber Ricardi fabri de colegio / Regali Cantabrigie' (ff. 2, 230 crossed out).
Henry Worsley (b.1675, d. 1741), scholar and manuscript collector, envoy at the court of Portugal (1714-21) and governor of Barbados (1721-31): possibly his manuscript no. 76 (see Bernard 1697); donated to Robert Harley before December 1712 together with other manuscripts from his collection (now Harley 1585-1747, 1811, 1812; see Wright and Wright 1966, 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, inscribed by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley, ‘Coll Worsley’ (f. 1*).
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 manuscript is a medical compendium including a number of collections of medical recipes in Middle English and Latin, and texts relating to the use of astrology for medical purposes (ff. 232-234, 234v-237v).
A table of content to Bradmore's treatise (ff. 2-5v).
The original flyleaves are the two halves of the same leaf from an early 13th-century manuscript (ff. 1*, 249).
A full table of contents in the on-line British Library Manuscripts Catalogue [].
Select bibliography Edward Bernard, Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum Angliĉ et Hiberniĉ in unum collecti, cum indice alphabetico, 3 vols (Oxford: Sheldonian, 1697), II, p. 214, no. 6924.

A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 1736.

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

Cyril 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, 148, 361, 400.

Richard T. Beck, The Cutting Edge: Early History of the Surgeons of London (London: Lund Humphries, 1974), pp. 105-19.

S. J. Lang, 'John Bradmore and His Book Philomena', Social History of Medicine, 5 (1992), pp. 121-30.

Laura Nuvoloni, 'The Harleian Medical Manuscripts', The Electronic British Library Journal, 2008, art. 7, p. 6.

Catalogued for the Harley Medical Manuscripts Project [], accessed 25 February 2009.

* * *
Drawing of surgical instrument

f. 48v
Drawing of surgical instrument
Surgical instrument

f. 48v
Surgical instrument

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