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Detailed record for Royal 14 C IX

Author Ranulf Higden
Title Polychronicon
Origin England, E. (Ramsey?)
Date Last quarter of the 14th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration 1 historiated initial of a king in gold and colours with a full bar border (f. 9). 2 maps in colours (ff. 1v-2, 2v). Initials in blue with red pen-flourishing. Paraphs in red and blue.
Dimensions in mm 360 x 245 (260 x 180)
Official foliation ff. 134 (1 unfoliated parchment leaf and 2 unfoliated modern paper leaves at the beginning and at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Partially erased colophon added in different hand: 'Hic finitur ceserensis opus domini(?) quod policronicon dicuntur [2 lines erased] (f. 134).
John Wardeboys, abbot of the Benedictine Abbey, Ramsey (1473 -1489): his ownership inscription, 'Liber Io. Wardeboys bachilaurei theologic et abbatis' (f. 1); and a copy of his epitaph (printed by Casley), 15th century (f. 8v).
The Old Royal Library (the English Royal Library): Westminster inventory number 'no. 1277' (f.), included in the Upper Library at Westminster after 1542; included in the catalogue of 1666, Royal Appendix 71, f. 7v or 8.
Presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757 as part of the Old Royal Library.
Notes Full digital coverage available for this manuscript: see Digitised Manuscripts at http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts.
Ranulph Higden (b. c. 1299, d. 1364), was a monk of the Benedictine abbey of St. Werburg, Chester. His 'Polychronicon' is a universal history, based on earlier writers, but extended to his own time.
The present manuscript ends in 1342 and contains a continuation probably composed in St Albans (see Taylor 1961).
Its oval mappa mundi is thought to be the closest to Higden's original (see History of Cartography, 1987).
Select bibliography Catalogue of Manuscript Maps, Charts and Plans, and of the Topographical Drawings in the British Museum, 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1844-1861), I, pp. 14-15.

Youssouff Kamal, Monumenta Cartographica Africae et Egyptae (Cairo, (1926-1951), vol. 4.2., p. 1265

John Taylor, 'The Development of The Polychronicon Continuation',
English Historical Review, 76 (1961), 20-36 (p. 34).

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. Ramsey

Marcel Destombes, Mappemondes A.D .1200-1500: Catalogue prepare par la Commission des Cartes Anciennes de l'Union Giographique Internationale (Amsterdam: N. Israel, 1964), p. 154.

John Taylor, The Universal Chronicle of Ranulf Higden, (Oxford: Clarendon, 1966), pp. 67, 99, 155.

History of Cartography, 6 vols (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987- ), I, Cartography in Prehistoric, Ancient, and Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean, ed. by J. B. Harley and Daviod Woodward, figs 18.25, 18.67.

Nigel Morgan, Early Gothic Manuscripts, 2 vols, A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 4 (London Harvey Miller, 1982-1988), II: 1250-1285, pp. 84, 196.

Peter Barber, 'The Evesham World Map: A Late Medieval English View of God and the World', Imago Mundi, 47 (1995), pp. 13-33 (pp. 17, 30, figs 2-3).

P. D. A. Harvey, Mappa Mundi: The Hereford World Map (London: British Library, 1996), pl. on p. 21.

The Libraries of King Henry VIII, ed. by J. P. Carley, Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, 7 (London: The British Library, 2000), H2.1272.

Kathleen L. Scott, Tradition and Innovation in Later Medieval English Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2007), p. 166, n. 266.

St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury, ed. by B. C. Barker-Benfield, Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, 13, 3 vols (London: British Library, 2008), p. lxiv.

Mapping our World: Terra Incognita to Australia (Canberra: National Library of Australia, 2013), pp. 32-33 [exhibition catalogue].


Images
* * *
 
Map of the world

ff. 1v-2
Map of the world
Map of the World

ff. 1v- 2
Map of the World
Map of the world

ff. 1v-2
Map of the world
 
Map of the Mediterranean

f. 2v
Map of the Mediterranean
King

f. 9
King
King

f. 9
King
 

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