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Detailed record for Harley 3908

Title Life of Mildreth, and other texts, including Textus translationis Mildrethae, Missa de sancta Mildretha, and Historia de sancta Mildretha
Origin England, S. E. (Canterbury)
Date 1st half of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Large initials in red, some with simple penwork decoration. Small initials in brown.
Dimensions in mm 165 x 120 (130 x 95)
Official foliation ff. i + 117 ( + 2 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and 3 at the end); f. i is a paper flyleaf.
Collation Collation: i-iv8 (ff. 1-32), v8 + 2 (ff. 33-42) vi-xi8 (ff. 43-90) , xii 8+1 (ff, 91-99), xiii16 (ff. 100-117).
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1977.
Provenance ? The Benedictine abbey of St. Augustine, Canterbury: evidence of the script and contents (Augustine is mentioned in the texts; the relics of Mildred were probably moved to St Gregory's hospital, near the abbey): see generally Rollason 1982.
Inscribed 'liber Colignam (?) (f. 100v).
ff. 101-117v contain added text in Latin and French in a 14th or 15th-century hand.
Inscribed 16th century 'Philipps' and 'Thomas' (f. 100).
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 Julii, 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 Musical notation: Anglo-Norman neumes on four-line blind-ruled staves, England, late 12th century (ff. 43-50v).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808) , no. 3908.

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. 44.

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. 347.

D. W. Rollason, The Mildreth Legend: A Study in Early Medieval Hagiography in England (Leicester: Leister University Press, 1982), p. 106.

Richard Sharpe, 'Words and music by Goscelin of Canterbury', in Early Music, 19 (1991), 94-97.

Helmut Gneuss, Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: A List of Manuscripts and Manuscript Fragments Written or Owned in England up to 1100, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 241 (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2001), no. 439.3.

K. D. Hartzell, Catalogue of Manuscripts Written or Owned in England up to 1200 containing Music (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2006), no. 164.

Richard W. Pfaff, The Liturgy in Medieval England: A History (Cambridge: University Press, 2009), p. 118.

Richard Sharpe and James Willoughby, Medieval Libraries of Great Britain (Oxford: The Bodleian Libraries, 2015) [accessed 25 August 2016].

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Decorated initial

f. 1
Decorated initial
Coloured initial

f. 43
Coloured initial
Decorated initial

f. 51
Decorated initial

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