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Detailed record for Harley 2370

Author Albertus Castellanus
Title Ars moriendi (ff. 1-39v); Chronicle of England to 1427 (ff. 41-131)
Origin England
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Initials in colours and gold with foliate feathering extending into the margins (ff. 1, 41). 1 initial in blue with red pen-flourishing (f. 98). Coloured initials in red or blue. Capitals marked with red.
Dimensions in mm 120 x 85 (70 x 50)
Official foliation ff. 1* + 135 (+ 3 paper flyleaves at the beginning and 4 at the end)
Collation Mainly in quires of 8.
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1967.
Provenance Inscribed, ?15th century, 'Albans' (f. 63).
Added prayers and inscriptions, including mnemonic verses for the saints' feasts to be celebrated each month; written in different hands, mainly 15th century (ff. 131v-135).
Added text in blue ink entitled 'this exhortacyon was writen by lady Jane Dudley [Lady Jane Grey (b. 1537, d. 1554)] to her sister Katherine ?the night or life she suffred' (ff. 39v-41).
Jo. Higin: inscribed late 16th century 'Sum Higini' (f. 1), 'liber Jo. Higini' (f. 41).
Various added incriptions in post-medieval hands including the date of 1427 (f. 1*v).
Nathaniel Noel (fl. 1681, d. c. 1753), bookseller, employed by Edward Harley for buying books and manuscripts chiefly on the Continent, where his agent was George Suttie (see Wright 1972): sold to Edward Harley on 13 August 1724.
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 as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley ‘13 die Augusti, A.D. 1724’ (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 f. 1* is a former pastedown with later inscriptions.
Catchwords written horizontally. Leaf signatures.
f. 40 is parchment leaf with an added text.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2370.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), II: 1723-1726, p. 308 n. 2.

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. 190, 253-55.

* * *
Decorated initial

f. 1
Decorated initial

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