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Detailed record for Harley 3641

Author William of Malmesbury
Title Gesta pontificum anglorum, imperfect
Origin England
Date 2nd half of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Large initials in red or blue, with penwork decoration in the same colours (ff. 1, 1v, 46v). Initials initials in red, blue, or green, some with simple penwork decoration. Line-fillers in red. Rubrics in red. Quire signatures of Roman numerals decorated in green (f. 8v).
Dimensions in mm 345 x 215 (255 x 155) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 95 ( + 2 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 3 at the end)
Collation i-xi 8 (ff. 1-88), xii seven (ff. 89-95)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance The Cistercian abbey of St Mary, Byland, Yorkshire (founded in 1134, becoming part of the Cistercian order in 1147): contemporary inscription 'Liber Sancte marie de Belelanda' (f. 1).
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 with the date of acquisition by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley ' . . .1716' (a small parchment strip affixed to the lower margin of 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 Ampersands; punctus flexus punctuation.
Includes Mynors and Lawrence-Mathers's 'split petal' motif.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 3641.

Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books, ed. by N. R. Ker, 2nd edn, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, 3 (London: Royal Historical Society, 1964), p. 23.

Anne Lawrence, ‘English Cistercian Manuscripts of the Twelfth Century’, in Cistercian Art and Architecture in the British Isles, ed. by Christopher Norton and David Park (Cambridge: University Press, 1986), pp. 284-98 (p. 293, pl. 183).

David N. Bell, An Index of Authors and Works in Cistercian Libraries in Great Britain, Cistercian Studies Series, 130 (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1992), p. 148.

Anne Lawrence, ‘The Artistic Influence of Durham Manuscripts’, in Anglo-Norman Durham 1093-1193, ed. by David Rollason, Margaret Harvey, and Michael Prestwich (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1994), pp. 451-469 (p. 465).

Anne Lawrence-Mathers, Manuscripts in Northumbria in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries (Woodbridge: Brewer, 2003), p. 210 n. 69.

* * *
Decorated initial

f. 1
Decorated initial
Decorated initial

f. 1v
Decorated initial
Decorated initial

f. 46v
Decorated initial

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