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Detailed record for Harley 5977

Part 1 ff. 35r-v 
Title Fragment from a Missal, on parchment
Origin England
Date Last quarter of the 14th or 1st quarter of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Initials in gold with pen-flourishing purple or blue, or in blue with pen-flourishing in red. Rubrics in red. Line-filler in blue and gold.
Dimensions in mm 115 x 70, in two columns, each more than 50 mm wide
 
Part 2 ff. 37r-v 
Title Fragment from and Canon law (?) text, on paper
Origin Italy
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Semi-humanistic
Decoration Initial in blue with penwork decoration in red. Paraphs in blue or red.
Dimensions in mm 195 x 175 (165 mm. wide), in two columns
 
Part 3 ff. 42r-v and 58r-v 
Author Jerome
Title Fragments from Jerome's 'Liber Tobiae', on parchment
Origin England
Date 1st half of the 14th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Historiated initial and border in colours and gold, effaced (f. 58v). Running titles and chapter numbers in blue with pen-flourished decoration in red and blue.
Dimensions in mm 65 x 105 and 70 x 65, in two columns, each 60 mm wide
 
Part 4 ff. 56r-v 
Author Jerome
Title Fragment from Jerome's 'Commentariorum in Isaiam prophetam libri duodeviginti', Book 3, on parchment
Origin England
Date 2nd half of the 13th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Puzzle initial with penwork decoration in blue and red. Rubric and title in red and brown ink.
Dimensions in mm 120 x 60, in two columns, each more than 55 mm wide
 
Part 5 ff. 57r-v 
Title Fragment from a Decretum Gratiani, Book 2, causa 33, on parchment
Origin France, S., or Italy
Date 2nd half of the 13th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Puzzle initial and title with penwork decoration in red and blue. Small initials in red or blue. Paraph in red.
Dimensions in mm 105 x 70, in two columns, each 50 mm wide
 
Part 6 ff. 59r-v 
Title Fragment from a Missal, on parchment, which was possibly a gift of bishop Leofric according to unpublished notes of Michael Gullick
Origin England, S. W. (Exeter)
Date 2nd quarter of the 11th century
Language Latin
Script Caroline minuscule
Decoration Large initials in green and silver or oxidised red. Rubric in silver or oxidised red.
Dimensions in mm 90 x 135
 
Part 7 ff. 62r-v 
Title Fragment from a text with extracts from Luke and Matthew, possibly a Lectionary, on parchment
Origin England
Date Last quarter of the 10th or 1st quarter of the 11th century
Language Latin
Script Caroline minuscule
Decoration Small initials in green.
Dimensions in mm 125 x 120 (105 mm wide)
 
Part 8 ff. 63r-v 
Title Fragment from a Life of St Gertrud (?), on parchment
Origin Germany
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Initial with interlace decoration and clasps in red and brown ink. Rubric in red. Title in display capitals. Initials highlighted in red, occasionally oxidised.
Dimensions in mm 180 x 130 (160 x 100)
 
Part 9 f. 65 
Title Fragment from a Psalter (?), Psalm 103, on parchment
Origin England or France
Date 2nd half of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Initials and paraphs in green, red or blue. Line-filler in red and blue.
Dimensions in mm 145 x 105 (130 x 80)
 
Part 10 ff. 69r-v 
Title Fragment from a Psalter, Psalms 43 and 44, on parchment
Origin England
Date 2nd half of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Initials in red or blue with penwork decoration in the other colour.
Dimensions in mm 140 x 170 (130 mm. wide)
 
Part 11 f. 79 
Title Fragment from a Missal, with musical notation (Chants for the Masses of St Mary Magdalene and St Apollinaire), on parchment
Origin Germany
Date 1st half of the 13th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Initials in brown with penwork decoration in red. Rubrics in red. Musical notation: square notation on four-line black staves.
Dimensions in mm 150 x 100
 
Part 12 ff. 84r-v 
Title Fragment from an astronomical text (?), on parchment
Origin England or France
Date 1st half of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Large initials in blue or red.
Dimensions in mm 150 x 105, in two columns, each 80 mm. wide
 
Part 13 bifolium foliated 85 
Title Fragment of Psalm 118, on parchment
Origin England
Date 2nd half of the 13th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic, written below top line
Decoration Large initials in red or blue with pen-flourished decoration in the other colour. Small initials in red or blue. Line-fillers in floral or geometric design in red and blue.
Dimensions in mm 205 x 155 (180 x 110)
 
Part 14 ff. 94r-v 
Author Gregory IX
Title Fragment of Gregory's Decretals , Book 4, on parchment
Origin England
Date 2nd half of the 13th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic, written below text
Decoration Bar-border with foliate and hybrid figure decoration in blue, red and gold, and title in display capitals with penwork decoration in red and blue (turned green) (f. 94). Initials with penwork decoration in red and blue (turned green). Small initials and running titles in red.
Dimensions in mm 190 x 105 (140 x 80)
 
Part 15 ff. 98r-v 
Title Fragment from a Canon law commentary (?), on parchment
Origin France
Date 2nd half of the 13th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Initials in blue with pen-flourished decoration in red. Paraphs in red or blue. Rubrics in red.
Dimensions in mm 175 x 125 (more than 160 x 110)
 
Part 16 f. 100 
Author Gregory IX
Title Fragment from Gregory's Decretals , Book 3, titulus 13, on parchment
Origin France
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 13th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Initials in red or blue with penwork decoration in the other colour. Small initials in red or blue. Rubric in red.
Dimensions in mm 205 x 110 (180 x 100), in two columns
 
Part 17 f. 101 
Title Fragment from a Breviary, on parchment
Origin England
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 13th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Initials with penwork decoration in blue and red. Rubrics in red. Initials highlighted in red.
Dimensions in mm 180 x 100 (more than 150 x 95), in two columns
 
Part 18 f. 102 
Author Richard Rolle of Hampole
Title Fragment from Rolle's 'Incendium amoris', Book 1, chapters 7-8, on parchment
Origin England
Date 1st quarter of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic cursive (Secretary)
Decoration Initial in blue with pen-flourished decoration in red. Paraphs in red.
Dimensions in mm 160 x 105 (150 x 95)
 
Part 19 f. 105 
Title Fragment of prayers, on parchment
Origin England
Date 2nd half of the 14th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Rubrics in red. Paraph in blue. Line-filler in red and blue. Accents in red. Initials highlighted in red.
Dimensions in mm 135 x 100
 
Part 20 f. 107 
Title Fragment from a Book of Hours (?), on parchment
Origin England
Date Last quarter of the 13th or 1st half of the 14th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Initials with penwork decoration in blue and red. Rubrics in red. Initials highlighted in red.
Dimensions in mm 135 x 100 (80 mm. wide)
 
Part 21 f. 110 
Title Fragment from Psalter on parchment
Origin England
Date 2nd half of the 13th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Initial in blue with penwork decoration in red. Initials, rubric and paraphs in red.
Dimensions in mm 135 x 90 (125 x 80)
 
Part 22 f. 114 
Title Fragment of a Missal, on parchment
Origin England
Date Last quarter of the 14th or 1st quarter of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration 'Champ' initial in colours and gold with foliate decoration. Initials in blue with red penwork decoration including foliate motifs. Small initials in gold with purple penwork decoration, or in blue with red penwork decoration. Rubrics in red.
Dimensions in mm 190 x 145 (more than 160 x 100)
 
Part 23 f. 138 
Title Fragment from a theological text (?), on parchment
Origin Italy
Date 2nd half of the 13th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Initial in blue with penwork decoration in red.
Dimensions in mm 125 x 100, in two columns, each 50 mm wide
 
Part 24 ff. 142r-v 
Title Fragment from a Bible, Exodus, chapter 4, on parchment
Origin France
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 13th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Initials with penwork decoration in blue and red. Running titles in blue and red. Initials highlighted in red.
Dimensions in mm 135 x 100 (120 x 80), in two columns
 
Part 25 ff. 143, 145 
Title Fragment from a portable Bible (?), on parchment
Origin France
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 13th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Initials in red or blue with penwork decoration in the other colour. Chapter number and running title in blue and red (f. 143).
Dimensions in mm 155 x 100 (135 x 85), in two columns
 
Official foliation Originally ff. 236, now 77 fragments foliated between 35 and 146 and mounted on early modern paper leaves.
Form Parchment and paper leaves and fragments mounted on guards.
Binding BM/BL in-house. 19th century, after 1891.
Provenance ff. 59r-v [part 6] come from a Missal that was probably a gift of bishop Leofric (Michael Gullick, unpublished notes): other fragments from the same manuscript can be found in Add. 62104, Oxford, Bodleian Library, Lat. Liturg. e.38; London, Westminster Abbey, 36/17-19, and two flyleaves in Lincoln, Cathedral, V.5.11 (see Rankin 1984, Ker and Watson 1987, Gameson 1996).

All parts:
John Bagford (b. 1650/51, d. 1716), bookseller and antiquary: part of the Bagford fragments sold to Edward Harley after his death.
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.
33 prints and drawings and 531 printed fragments were removed from the volume for the Print Room and the Department of Printed Books in the British Museum in 1814 and 1891.
Notes The volume is a collection of fragments from manuscripts of different date and origin. It was part of a collection of fragments from manuscripts and printed books, including maps and drawings, assembled in 64 volumes by the bookseller and antiquary John Bagford (b. 1650/51, d. 1716).
159 fragments from printed books were transferred from this volume to the Department of Printed Books in the British Museum in 1814 and 1891.
Other fragments in the volume with no significant decoration include:
Bede, De arte metrica, 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 11th century (f. 64);
Isidore, Etymologiae, 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 11th century (f. 71);
Thomas Hoccleve, Regiment of Princes, 1st half of the 15th century (f. 90).
Musical notation (f. 79).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 5977.

Cyril E. Wright and Ruth C. Wright, The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), I: 1723-1726, p. 440.

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. 59, 457.

Susan Rankin, 'From memory to record: musical notations in manuscripts from Exeter', Anglo-Saxon England, 13 (1984), 97-112 (p. 110, pl. 9a).

Christopher de Hamel, A History of Illuminated Manuscript (Oxford: Phaidon, 1986), pl. 210.

Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books, ed. by Neil R. Ker, Supplement to the Second Edition, ed. by Andrew G. Watson, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, 15 (London: The Royal Historical Society, 1987), p. 36, n. 1 [f. 59].

Scott Gwara, ‘Newly identified eleventh-century fragments in a Bagford album, now London, British Library, MS Harley 5977’, Manuscripta, 38 (1994), 228-36 (pp. 228-29).

Richard Gameson, 'The Origin of the Exeter Book of Old English Poetry', Anglo-Saxon England, 25 (1996), 135-85 (p. 145 no. 9).

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), pp. 78 nos. 442.3 and 442.4 [ff. 62, 64 and 71], 88 no. 524 [f. 59].

Nicholas Perkins, Hoccleve’s 'Regiment of Princes': Counsel and Constraint (Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer, 2001), p. 171 n. 76 [f. 90].

K. D. Hartzell, Catalogue of Manuscripts Written or Owned in England up to 1200 containing Music (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2006), no. 203 [f. 59].


Images

Part  1   ff. 35r-v
Fragment from a Missal, on parchment
* * *
 
Illuminated initial

f. 35
Illuminated initial

Part  2   ff. 37r-v
Fragment from and Canon law (?) text, on paper
* * *
 
Coloured initial

f. 37
Coloured initial

Part  3   ff. 42r-v and 58r-v
Jerome Fragments from Jerome's 'Liber Tobiae', on parchment
* * *
 
Decorated running title

f. 42
Decorated running title

Part  4   ff. 56r-v
Jerome Fragment from Jerome's 'Commentariorum in Isaiam prophetam libri duodeviginti', Book 3, on parchment
* * *
 
Puzzle initial

f. 56
Puzzle initial

Part  5   ff. 57r-v
Fragment from a Decretum Gratiani, Book 2, causa 33, on parchment
* * *
 
Puzzle initial

f. 57
Puzzle initial

Part  6   ff. 59r-v
Fragment from a Missal, on parchment, which was possibly a gift of bishop Leofric according to unpublished notes of Michael Gullick
* * *
 
Coloured initials

f. 59
Coloured initials

Part  7   ff. 62r-v
Fragment from a text with extracts from Luke and Matthew, possibly a Lectionary, on parchment
* * *
 
Coloured initials

f. 62
Coloured initials

Part  8   ff. 63r-v
Fragment from a Life of St Gertrud (?), on parchment
* * *
 
Interlace initial

f. 63
Interlace initial

Part  9   f. 65
Fragment from a Psalter (?), Psalm 103, on parchment
* * *
 
Coloured initials

f. 65
Coloured initials

Part  10   ff. 69r-v
Fragment from a Psalter, Psalms 43 and 44, on parchment
* * *
 
Coloured initials

f. 69
Coloured initials

Part  11   f. 79
Fragment from a Missal, with musical notation (Chants for the Masses of St Mary Magdalene and St Apollinaire), on parchment
* * *
 
Coloured initial

f. 79
Coloured initial

Part  12   ff. 84r-v
Fragment from an astronomical text (?), on parchment
* * *
 
Coloured initial

f. 84
Coloured initial

Part  13   bifolium foliated 85
Fragment of Psalm 118, on parchment
* * *
 
Coloured initials

bifolium foliated 85
Coloured initials

Part  14   ff. 94r-v
Gregory IX Fragment of Gregory's Decretals , Book 4, on parchment
* * *
 
Decorated border, title and initials

f. 94
Decorated border, title and initials

Part  15   ff. 98r-v
Fragment from a Canon law commentary (?), on parchment
* * *
 
Coloured initials

f. 98
Coloured initials

Part  16   f. 100
Gregory IX Fragment from Gregory's Decretals , Book 3, titulus 13, on parchment
* * *
 
Coloured initials

f. 100
Coloured initials

Part  17   f. 101
Fragment from a Breviary, on parchment
* * *
 
Coloured initials

f. 101
Coloured initials

Part  18   f. 102
Richard Rolle of Hampole Fragment from Rolle's 'Incendium amoris', Book 1, chapters 7-8, on parchment
* * *
 
Coloured initial

f. 102
Coloured initial

Part  19   f. 105
Fragment of prayers, on parchment
* * *
 
Decorated line-fillers

f. 105
Decorated line-fillers

Part  20   f. 107
Fragment from a Book of Hours (?), on parchment
* * *
 
Coloured initials

f. 107
Coloured initials

Part  21   f. 110
Fragment from Psalter on parchment
* * *
 
Coloured initial

f. 110
Coloured initial

Part  22   f. 114
Fragment of a Missal, on parchment
* * *
 
'Champ' initial

f. 114
'Champ' initial

Part  23   f. 138
Fragment from a theological text (?), on parchment
* * *
 
Coloured initial

f. 138
Coloured initial

Part  24   ff. 142r-v
Fragment from a Bible, Exodus, chapter 4, on parchment
* * *
 
Coloured initials

f. 142
Coloured initials

Part  25   ff. 143, 145
Fragment from a portable Bible (?), on parchment
* * *
 
Coloured initials

f. 145
Coloured initials

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