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Detailed record for Harley 1900

Author Ranulf Higden , translated by John Trevisa
Title Various texts including Dialogus inter Militem et Clericum; Polychronicon (ending with 1357), the Pseudo-Methodius, The Beginning and the End of the World (ff. 21v-23v)
Origin England
Date 1st quarter of the 15th century
Language English
Script Gothic
Decoration Large puzzle initials in red and blue with added pen-flourishing in purple and red (ff. 1, 44, 197, 234). Large initials in blue with added red penwork decoration.
Dimensions in mm 355 x 245 (260 x 175)
Official foliation ff. 1* + 310 (+ 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 3 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Marbled edges.
Provenance Inscribed early-16th-century copy of a 1448 indenture involving William Goodman, gentleman of Chester:'This indenture made the eighte day of novembre the yere of oure lord m cccc xlviii betwyxt will[i]a[m] goodmann [..]' (partly effaced), repeated in a ?17h-century hand (f. 41v).
Pen-flourishing added to some large coloured initials, ?15th-16th century.
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 ‘Sent in by my Lord Harley 12 July 1714’ (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 John Trevisa (b. c.1342, d. in or before 1402) completed his translation of the Polychronicon in April 1387.
Contains a few diagrams (e.g., f. 128v).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 1900.

Charlotte D’Evelyn, ‘The Middle-English Metrical Version of the Revelations of Methodius; with a Study of the Influence of Methodius in Middle-English Writings’, Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, 33, 2 (1918), 135-203 (p. 150-151, n. 52).

C. E. Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), p. 167.

Edward Donald Kennedy, XII: Chronicles and Other Historical Writing, A Manual of the Writings in Middle English 1050-1500, ed. by Albert E. Hartung, 8 (New Haven: Archon Books, 1989), pp. 2866, 2880.

* * *
Decorated initial

f. 234
Decorated initial

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