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Detailed record for Harley 50

Title Glossed Mark
Origin England, N.?
Date 2nd half of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Large puzzle initials in blue and red and red and blue pen-flourishing (ff. 1, 2). Small initials in red or blue. Paraphs in brown. Marginal decoration in brown, including of a bird (f. 36).
Dimensions in mm 275 x 195 (210 x 145) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 49 ( + an unfoliated paper and parchment flyleaf at the beginning and a parchment flyleaf and numerous paper flyleaves at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1953.
Provenance The Augustinian priory of St Mary, Bridlington, Yorkshire: 12th-century list of books with categories in red (f. 48v); erasure, perhaps of an ownership inscription (f. 1).
Henry Savile of Banke, Yorkshire (b. 1568, d. 1617), collector of manuscripts: no 54 in his library (see Wright 1972).
Sir Simonds D'Ewes (b.1602, d. 1650), 1st baronet, diarist, antiquary, and friend of Sir Robert Cotton (see Wright 1972): inscribed 'Symonds D'Ewes' (f. 1v); probably his marginal notes (f. 2).
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 f. 49 is a parchment leaf with a 15th-century inscription.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), I, no. 50.

J. P. Gilson, ‘The library of Henry Savile, of Banke’, Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, 9 (1906-1908), 127-210 (p. 165)

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. 12 [with additional bibliography].

Andrew G. Watson, The Library of Sir Simonds D'Ewes (London: British Museum, 1966), no. A325.

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. 83, 131, 298

Registrum Anglie de libris doctorum et auctorum veterum, ed. by Richard H. & Mary A. Rouse, and R.A.B. Mynors, Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, 2 (London 1991), p. 204.

The Libraries of the Augustinian Canons, ed. by Tessa Webber and Andrew Watson, Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, 6 (London: 1997), A4.

Anne Lawrence-Mathers, Manuscripts in Northumbria in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries (Woodbridge: Brewer, 2003), pp. 184-86.

* * *
Decorated initial

f. 1
Decorated initial
List of books

f. 48v
List of books

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