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Detailed record for Harley 3490

Author Edmund of Abingdon ; John Gower
Title Speculum religiosorum or ecclesiae (ff. 1-6v); Confessio amantis, imperfect (ff. 8-215v), (also known as The Rede (Boarstall) Gower)
Origin England
Date c. 1444
Language English and Latin (only rubrics)
Script Gothic
Decoration Large initial in colours and gold combined with a partial foliate bar border with acanthus leaves and feathering including a different coat of arms at the beginning of each book (ff. 8, 11, 13v, 33, 54, 71, 94v, 146, 161v (same arms as f. 8), 196v (same arms as f. 11)). Smaller initials in blue with red pen-flourishing including foliate motifs. Paraphs in alternating red or blue. Rubrics underlined in red rather than written in red. A few cadels (e.g. ff. 145v, 161).
Dimensions in mm 365 x 250 (265 x 180) in 2 columns
Official foliation ff. 215 (+ 1 unfoliated paper flyleaf at the beginning and at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Red leather with gold fillets.
Provenance Made in c. 1444 for Edmund Rede the Younger (b. 1413, d. 1489), sheriff of Oxfordshire and other counties, knighted in 1469: the arms of Rede: azure three pheasants or (ff. 8, 161v); Marmion of Checkenden, Oxfordshire: vair three mascles gules (ff. 11, 196v); James: Per chevron gules and argent three unicorn heads couped and counter-changed (f. 13v); Haudlo: argent a lion rampant azure crowned armed and gutty or (f. 33); Fitz-Nigel: argent a fess gules in chief two crescents gules at the base a hunting horn stringed vert (f. 54); St Amand: or fretty sable on a chief of the second three besants (f. 71); De la Pole: azure a fess or charged with a plate sable between three leopards' faces or (f. 94v); Cottesmore of Baldwin Brightwell, Oxfordshire: azure an eagle displayed with two necks argent on its breast and escutcheon gules charged with a leopard's head or (f. 146). All these arms appear in the so-called Boarstall Cartulary, which was made for Edmund Rede the Younger in 1444 and the years following: they record his title to the Boarstall estate in Buckinghamshire and how it was acquired (see Pearsall 2000, pp. 95-97).
Inscribed 'O dames remorse', 15th-16th century (f. 98).
Lord William Howard (b. 1563, d. 1640), antiquary and landowner, of Naworth Castle, Cumberland, the younger son of Thomas Howard (b. 1538, d. 1572), 4th duke of Norfolk: recorded as being at Naworth in 1697 (see Bernard 1697), inscribed in his hand 'Jhon Gower' (f. 8), 'Chaucer by writinge purchas'd fame And Gower gatt a worthy name Sweet Surrey suck't Pernassus springs And wiatt wrote of woundrous things' (f. 215v).
W. Horner, 17th-18th century (=?William Horner (b. 1746/7, d. 1826), preacher, father of Willliam Horner (b. 1786, d. 1837), mathematician): inscribed 'W. Horner' (f. 215v).
John Warburton (b. 1682, d. 1759), of Bury, county Lancashire, antiquary and herald, Somerset Herald in 1720: acquired by Harley in 1720 (Diary 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 as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley ‘16 Julij, 1720’ (f. i).
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. 7 is an unwritten parchment leaf.
Catchwords written horizontally.
The Confession amantis is lacking 48 lines at the end (f. 215v), and is the first recension of the text.
'Kathleen Scott identifies two border-artists at work in Harley 3490, the one (Hand A) responsible for eight of the borders, the other (Hand B) for those on fols 94v and 161v. Hand A did three other dated manuscripts, Oxford, Exeter College, MS 58 (1452), MS 62 (1454) and MS 64 (1456), all with text of Hugh of St Cher made for Roger Keys, archdeacon of Barnstaple, with coats of arms in the lower border on a bracked as in Harley 3490, and all written by a continental scribe, William Salomon, working in Oxford. The owner of Harley 3490, Sir Edmund Rede [...] evidently had his copy of Gower made in Oxford. The second border artist (Hand B) is probably responsible for the decoration in BL, Cotton MS, Nero C.iii [...].' (Pearsall 2000, p. 92). 'Presumably the quire containing the Speculum, having been done in the same workshop and by the same scribe as the Gower, was bound up with it for convenience or protection.' (idem, p. 94).
On the Boarstall Cartulary, see H. E. Salter, The Boarstall Cartulary, Oxford Historical Society, 88 (Oxford, 1930).
Select bibliography Edward Bernard, Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum Angliae et Hiberniae, 3 vols (Oxford: Sheldonian, 1697), II, no. 611.

Edward BernardA Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 3490.

[George Ornsby], Selections from the Household Books of the Lord William Howard of Naworth Castle, Surtees Society, 68 (1878, for 1877), p. 469.

C. H. Talbot, ‘A List of Cistercian Manuscripts in Great Britain’, Traditio: Studies in Ancient and Medieval History, Thought and Religion, 8 (1952), 402-18 (p. 409).

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, p. 58 n. 5.

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. 197, 198-99, 346.

Edmund of Abingdon, Speculum Religiosorum and Speculum Ecclesie, ed. by Helen P. Forshaw, Auctores Britannici Medii Aevi III (London: Oxford University Press, 1973), p. 4.

A. I. Doyle, 'English Books In and Out of Court from Edward III to Henry VII', in English Court Culture in the Later Middle Ages, ed. by V. J. Scattergood and J. W. Sherborne (London: Duckworth, 1983), pp. 163-82 (p. 176 n. 36).

Derek Pearsall, 'The Rede (Boarstall) Gower: British Library, MS Harley 3490', 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), 87-99.

Derek Pearsall, 'The Literary Milieu of Charles of Orléans and the Duke of Suffolk, and the Authorship of the Fairfax Sequence', in Charles d’Orléans in England (1415-1440), ed. by Mary-Jo Arn (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2000), p. 149 n. 14.

Derek Pearsall, ‘The Manuscripts and Illustrations of Gower’s Works’, in A Companion to Gower, ed. by Sian Echard (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2004), pp. 73-97 (pp. 74, 82, 84, 90, 91, 95).

John Gower,Trilingual Poet: Language, Translation, and Tradition, ed. by Elisabeth Dutton, with John Hines and R. F. Yeager. (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2010), pp. 18-19.

* * *

f. 13v
Decorated initial and bar border

f. 33
Decorated initial and bar border
Decorated initial and bar border

f. 54
Decorated initial and bar border
Decorated initial and bar border

f. 94v
Decorated initial and bar border
Decorated initial and bar border

f. 196v
Decorated initial and bar border

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