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Detailed record for Harley 315

Author Eadmer and Osbern
Title Canterbury Passionale (Lives of the Saints), imperfect, including a life of Dunstan and of Anselm of Canterbury
Origin England, S. E. (Canterbury)
Date 1st half of the 12th century, after c. 1123
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Scribe Written by more than one scribe
Decoration 1 large historiated initial in colours of Dunstan pinching the devil's nose (f. 15v). 1 smaller initial in colours with foliate and zoomorphic motifs (f. 21v). Small plain initials in red, green, or blue.
Dimensions in mm 380/85 x 270 (310 x 200) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 49 (+ 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Part I (ff. 1-39):
Effaced three-line inscription (f. 1).
Written at the Benedictine cathedral priory of Holy Trinity or Christ Church, Canterbury, Kent: listed in its catalogue (see Ker 1964 and Wright 1972).
John Dee (b. 1527, d. 1609), mathematician, astrologer, and antiquary: annotations in his hand.
Sir Simonds d'Ewes (b.1602, d. 1650), 1st baronet, diarist, antiquary, and friend of Sir Robert Cotton (see Wright 1972).
Sir Simonds D’Ewes (d. 1722), 3rd baronet and grandson of the former: inherited and later sold the D’Ewes library to Robert Harley on 4 October 1705 for £450 (see Watson 1966).

Part II (ff. 46-47)
Two leaves from a cartulary of St Swithin's Priory, Winchester, dating to the time of Edward I (Harley Roll CC.21 consists of two other leaves from this manuscript). According to Ker, 'Harley 315, ff. 46, 47 and Harley Roll CC 21 are four originally blank binding leaves [i.e. flyleaves] of a now missing manuscript to which the ex libris refers'.
Nicholaus de Tarente (d. 1309), prior of the Benedictine cathedral priory of Sts Peter, Paul, and Swithin, Winchester from 1305 to 1309): his ownership inscription, 'Ns Tarante prior', and note recording his gift of a now missing manuscript to the priory: 'liber ecclesie Sancti Swithuni Wynton ex dono fratris Nicholai de tarente' (f. 46).
Benedictine cathedral priory of Sts Peter, Paul and Swithin, Winchester: see above.
Thomas Dackomb (b. 1496, d. c. 1572), rector of Colbrooke, Winchester (see Watson 1963).

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 Full digital coverage available for this manuscript: see Digitised Manuscripts at
Cotton Nero C. vii (ff. 29-79), Harley 315 (ff. 1-39), and Harley 624 (ff. 84-143) are fragments of one volume. According to Michael Gullick, the order of the surviving leaves from vol. 3 of the multi-volume Passional is Harley 624, ff. 84-99, Cotton Nero C. vii, ff. 29-59, Harley 315, ff. 16-39, Harley 624, ff. 100-114, Harley 315, ff. 1-15, Harley 624, ff.115-136, Cotton Nero C. vii, ff. 60-72, Harley 624, ff.137-143, Cotton Nero C. vii, ff. 73-79.
Harley 315 contains the Life of Anselm, which was composed c. 1123 (see Southern 1962).
Running headers (ff. 1-39v).
Ff. 40-45v: added text concerning the Eucharist, refuting Wycliffe, imperfect, with no decorative elements.
Ff. 48-49: added texts of the 13th and 14th centuries (jocalia) with no decorative elements.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), I, no. 315.

Neil R. Ker, 'Membra Disiecta, Second Series', British Musuem Quarterly, 14 (1939-40), 79-86 (pp. 83-85).

Charles Reginald Dodwell, The Canterbury School of Illumination 1066-1200 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1954), p. 123.

Felix's Life of Saint Guthlac , ed. by Bertram Colgrave (Cambridge: University Press, 1956), p. 32.

Andrew G. Watson, 'An Identification of some Manuscripts owned by Dr. John Dee and Sir Simonds D'Ewes', The Library, 5th series, 13 (1958), 194-98 (p. 195).

The Life of St Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury by Eadmer, ed. by Richard William Southern (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962), p. xxiii (as ‘D’).

Andrew G. Watson, 'A Sixteenth-Century Collector, Thomas Dackomb, 1496- c. 1572', The Library, 18 (1963), 204-17 (pp. 206, 213-14).

Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books, ed. by Neil R. Ker, 2nd edn, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, 3 (London: Royal Historical Society, 1964), pp. 36, 200.

Andrew G. Watson, The Library of Sir Simonds D'Ewes (London: British Museum, 1966), no. E72.

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. 94-95, 122, 127, 131, 324.

D. J. Sheerin, 'An Anonymous Verse Epitome of the Life of St Anselm', Analecta Bollandiana, 92 (1974), 109-24 (p. 109).

C. M. Kauffmann, Romanesque Manuscripts 1066-1190 Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 3 (London: Harvey Miller, 1975), no. 22.

François Avril and Patricia Danz Stirnemann, Manuscrits enluminés d’origine insulaire VIIe-XXe siècle (Paris: Bibliothèque nationale, 1987), p. 23.

Richard Gameson, ‘The Romanesque Crypt Capitals of Canterbury Cathedral’, Archaeologia Cantiana, 110 (1992), 17-48 (p. 34 n. 27).

Richard Gameson, The Earliest Books of Canterbury Cathedral: Manuscripts and Fragments to c. 1200 (London: Bibliographical Society, 2008), pp. 227-47.

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f. 15v

f. 15v
Decorated initial

f. 21v
Decorated initial

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