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Detailed record for Harley 43

Author Boethius, translated by John Walton
Title The Consolation of Philosophy , in English verse with the Latin text in the margin (ending imperfectly) and other texts (see notes)
Origin England
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 15th century, before 1461
Language English and Latin
Script Gothic cursive (English) and semi-humanistic (Latin)
Scribe Partly written by Thomas Chaundler
Decoration Large puzzle initial in red and blue with red pen-flourishing (f. 4). 4 large initials in blue with red pen-flourishing at the beginning of each book (ff. 17, 33, 59, 74v). Small coloured initials in red or blue throughout.
Dimensions in mm 280 x 200 (205 x 155)
Official foliation ff. 92 (+ 2 unfoliated paper flyleaves and 1 parchment leaf at the beginning + 2 paper flyleaves at the end, f. [iii] is a parchment leaf forming a bifolio with f. 1)
Collation Quires of 14.
Form Parchment and paper codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Owned and partly written by Thomas Chaundler (b. c. 1417, d. 1490), university principal and humanist scholar, chancellor of Wells and Oxford (from 1461): inscribed, 'Liber Thomes Chaundler' (f. 1v) and 'Thomas Chaundeler universitatus oxonus et ecclesie wellen cancellacius' (f. 4). The Latin text is in Chaundler's hand until f. 29v (according to Watson, 1966), some of the headings and marginalia certainly in his hand (according to unpublished notes of A. C. de la Mare at the Bodleian Library, Oxford): inscribed 'Explicit primus liber. Quod Chawndelere' (f. 17) .
Verses in English (imperfect), 15th century (f. 3)
John Bunge, 15th century: inscribed 'John Bunge' (f. [iii]).
Pen-trials in various 15th-16th-century hands (see ff. 2r-v, 45, 87r-v) including various names: 'Elizabeth', 'Richard Gournard', 'Richard ?Wender', 'Charles' (f. 2).
Added texts in various early modern hand: a portion of 'A Treatise between Information and Truth,' by William Cornysh (ff. 88-91), Bible verses (f. 87).
William and Robert Richbell, late 16th century: inscribed 'Information will teach a doctor his game. By me William Richbell' (f. 91) and '1588 yn the yeare of our Lord Jesus Christ the soone of god' (f. 24), 'This is Roberte Richbelles' (f. 87).
John Johnson of London, late 16th century: inscribed 'John Johnson of London' (f. 76v).
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 Contents:
The Consolation of Philosphy (prologue and preface omitted) with parallel Latin text (ff. 1-86)
The beginning of a sermon on the words of Acts 10:6 (f. 87)
A Treatise between Enformacione and Musyke by William Cornysshe (ff. 88-91)
A Balade of Trouthe (imperfect) (f. 92r-v)
Uses John Walton's translation of Boethius (fl. 1410).
The outer bifolio of each quire is in parchment.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), I (1808), no. 43.

Montague Rhodes James, The Chaundler Manuscripts (London: Roxburghe Club, 1916), p. 57.

Boethius, De Consolatione Philosophiae Translated by John Walton, ed. by Mark Science, Early English Text Society, no. 170 (London: Boydell and Brewer, 1927) [edition of the text]

Andrew G. Watson, The Library of Sir Simonds D'Ewes (London: British Museum, 1966), no. E25.

Roberto Weiss, Humanism in England: during the 15th Century (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1967), pp. 133-38.

Duke Humfrey and English Humanism in the Fifteenth Century: Catalogue of an exhibition held in the Bodleian Library (Oxford: Bodleian Library, 1970), no. 34 (c) [exhibition catalogue, with additional bibliography].

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. 87, 103, 131, 205, 285.

Daniel Wakelin, Humanism, Reading, and English Literature 1430-1530 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 12-14, 16.

Ian Johnson, ‘Walton’s Sapient Orpheus’ in Studies in the Vernacular Translations of De Consolatione Philosophiae (Cambridge: Brewer, 1987) pp.139-164 [on the text].

Chaucer’s Boece and the Medieval Tradition of Boethius, ed. by A.J. Minnis, Chaucer Studies, 18 (Cambridge: Brewer, 1993) pp. 26-27, 85, 186 [on the text].

Ian Johnson, ‘Placing Walton’s Boethius’ in Boethius in the Middle Ages, ed. by Hoenen, Maarten and Nauta (Leiden: Brill, 1997) pp. 217-242 [on the text].


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Decorated initial

f. 17
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