You are in Introduction. Click here to skip the navigation.
British Library
Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search  Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Contact us  Main
print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back

search tips  Search tips



Detailed record for Harley 628

Title Psalter, with glosses
Origin England, or France, N.
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Large initials with interlace, foliate zoomorphic decoration and clasps in gold, silver and colours at the beginning of Psalms 1, 51, and 101, the first overpainted (ff. 1v, 87, 160v). Initials with foliate decoration in colours. Incipit in display capitals in colours (ff. 1, 87). Plain initials in red, green, ochre or blue. Rubrics in red. Added title in display capitals in colours and initial overpainted in gold and colours, 17th century (f. 1v).
Dimensions in mm 280 x 195 (175 x 150) in three columns
Official foliation ff. 242 (f. 242 is an original flyleaf now bound up-side-down; + one original flyleaf at the beginning)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Brown leather Sir Simonds d'Ewes binding (without arms), one clasp remaining; the spine compartments decorated with D'Ewes trefoil.
Provenance William Crashawe (bap. 1572, d. 1625/6), Church of England clergyman, religious controversialist and poet: his table of contents (f. 242, upside-down; see Watson 1966.
Sir Simonds d'Ewes (b.1602, d. 1650), 1st baronet, diarist, antiquary, and friend of Sir Robert Cotton: possibly acquired from Crashaw in 1626 together with Harley 105 and 207; title-page added and initial overpainted for him (ff. 1r-v; see Watson 1966; 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 Add. 70478 (formerly Loan 29/254 packet 2); 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.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), I (1808), no. 628.

P. J. Wallis, 'The Library of William Crashawe', Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, 2 (1958), 213-28 (p. 227).

Andrew G. Watson, The Library of Sir Simonds D'Ewes (London: British Museum, 1966), no. E68.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril E. Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), I: 1715-1723, p. xviii n. 3.

Cyril E. Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 119, 131, 384.

* * *
Overpainted initial

f. 1v
Overpainted initial
Zoomorphic initial

f. 87
Zoomorphic initial
Zoomorphic initial

f. 160v
Zoomorphic initial

print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back
top Back