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 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
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Detailed record for Royal 17 D III

Author William Forrest
Title The pleasaunt poesye of princelie practise, imperfect
Origin England, S (Bledlow or Oxford)
Date 1548
Language English
Script Gothic cursive
Scribe William Forrest
Artists William Forrest
Decoration 1 full-page ink drawing of Edward VI receiving the book from the author (f. 7v). 1 initial in colours and gold of a crowned Tudor rose, at the beginning of the poem (f. 8). Initials in gold on rose or blue grounds, or space left for the initials (ff. 51-78).
Dimensions in mm 250 x 185 (180 x 120)
Official foliation ff. 79 (+ 3 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and 4 at the end and 4 unfoliated parchment flyleaves at the beginning and 2 at the end; ff. 1 and 79 are medieval parchment flyleaves)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Added leaves of a lectionary from lives of saints of English origin containing readings of John and Paul (26 June) and Margaret (20 July), 1st half of the 13th century (ff. 1, 79)
William Forrest (fl. 1530-1576), poet: his autograph manuscript of the poem written in 1548 (f. 8) for presentation to Edward Seymour (b. c.1500, d. 1552), duke of Somerset [known as Protector Somerset], and through him to Edward VI, but it is not known if the manuscript was ever presented to the king.
Edward VI (b. 1537, d. 1553), king of England and Ireland, perhaps presented to him: his portrait (f. 7) and a badge of a crowned Tudor rose (f. 8).
Presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757 as part of the Old Royal Library.
Notes Sir William Forrest's 'The pleasaunt poesye of princelie practise' is an English verse adaptation of the pseudo-Aristotelian 'Secretum Secretorum' and Giles of Rome's 'De Regimine Principum', written following the fashion of the commonwealthsmen, the social commentators and reformers, active around the duke of Somerset.
The text is unfinished; the table of contents (ff. 2-7) contains 37 chapters, but the manuscript includes only 24.
Quire signatures on the first folio of each quire.
Select bibliography George F. Warner and Julius P. Gilson, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Old Royal and King’s Collections, 4 vols (London: British Museum, 1921), II, pp. 250-51.

Secretum Secretorum: Nine English Versions, ed. by M. A. Manzalaoui, 2 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977), pp. xlii-xliii, 390-534, fig. IX [edition of the manuscript].

Hilary M. Carey, Courting Disaster: Astrology at the English Court and University in the Later Middle Ages (New York: Macmillan, 1992), pp. 34, 173.

* * *
Illuminated initial

f. 1
Illuminated initial
Edward VI receiving the book

f. 7v
Edward VI receiving the book
Illuminated initial

f. 8
Illuminated initial

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