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Detailed record for Harley 318

Title History and genealogy of the kings of Wessex, Essex, East Anglia, Northumbria, Mercia and England (to Henry VI)
Origin England
Date 3rd quarter of the 15th century, after 1445 and before 1461
Language Latin
Script Gothic cursive
Decoration Coloured drawing with Henry VI, king of England, and his wife Margaret of Anjou accompanied by their patron saints George and Margaret kneeling before God holding Christ on the Cross (f. 8*v). Red, green and black ink are used for the vertical lines representing lineage, and names are enclosed in circles. Spaces for initials left blank.
Dimensions in mm 350 x 230
Official foliation ff. 1*-8* (Harley 318) + 16 (Harley 1632) + 1*-2* + 10 (Harley 6270) (+ 4 unfoliated paper leaves at the beginning and 15 at the end)
Form Parchment (ff. 1*-8* only) and paper codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance 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).
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 bound with Harley 1632 and 6270.
Henry VI (r. 1422, d. 1461) married Margaret of Anjou in 1445, was in a forced retirement from 1461. According to Scott 2000, this is the first known image of a king and queen of England before a devotional image.
Harley 6270 is a 16th-century copy of Thomas de la More's Life and Death of Edward II, translated from French into Latin, on paper and with no decoration.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), I-III (1808), no. 318, 1632 and 6270.

Walter de Gray Birch and Henry Jenner, Early Drawings and Illuminations: An Introduction to the Study of Ilustrated Manuscripts (London: Bagster and Sons, 1879), p. 16.

Andrew G. Watson, The Library of Sir Simonds D'Ewes (London: British Museum, 1966), no. H149c.

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.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), p. 131.

Kathleen Scott, 'The Illustration and Decoration of the Register of the Fraternity of the Holy Trinity at Luton Church, 1475-1546', in The English Medieval Book: Studies in Memory of Jeremy Griffiths, ed. by A. S. G. Edwards, Vincent Gillespie and Ralph Hanna (London: British Library, 2000), pp. 155-83 (pp. 167, 177, pl. 7).

* * *

f. 6*
Henry VI and Margaret

f. 8*v
Henry VI and Margaret

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