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 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
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Detailed record for Royal 6 E II

Title Theological texts
Origin England, S. (Gloucester?)
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Large initials with foliate decoration in colours and gold (ff. 2, 3, 35), some with zoomorphic decoration (e.g., ff. 25v, 27), but mostly unfinished and left in different stages of execution (ff. 5-55v, 109), at the beginning of books and chapters. 1 space left for an initial (f. 41v) and numerous initials in red, brown or green, some with penwork decoration in green, blue, red and/or brown, completed by a different but contemporary hand. Initials in red, green, or blue (ff. 109-174v)
Dimensions in mm 425 x 305 (320 x 205), in two columns
Official foliation ff. 176 (+ 3 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and 6 at the end; f. 1 is a medieval parchment flyleaf)
Form Parchment codex.
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1971.
Provenance Added table of contents, 12th century (f. 1).
Thomas Cranmer (b. 1489, d. 1556), archbishop of Canterbury, inscribed with his name (f. 2).
John Lumley, 1st baron Lumley (b. c. 1533, d. 1609), collector and conspirator: inscribed with his name (f. 2 ); listed in the 1609 catalogue of his collection, no. 5 (see The Lumley Library, 1956); passed to Henry, prince of Wales.
Henry Frederick, prince of Wales (b. 1594, d. 1612), eldest child of James I: his collection became part of the Royal Library: in the 1698 catalogue of the library of St James's Palace (see Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum Angliae et Hiberniae (Oxford: Sheldonian, '1697'), no. 7855).
Presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757 as part of the Old Royal Library.
Notes Includes Ambrose, Commentary on Luke (ff. 2-105v), Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermones, attributed here to Anselm of Canterbury, imperfect (ff. 105-108), Honorius Augustodunensis, Gemme animae sive De divinis officiis (ff. 109-173v) and Tractatus de observationibus Romanae aecclesiae (ff. 173v-174v), a sermon on Exodus (ff. 174v-176v), with added verses of Hildebert of Le Mans by a different but contemporary hand (f. 176v).
Written by several hands.
Catchwords and quire signatures. Instructions for rubric, guide letters for initials, and colour instructions (see ff. 169-171v).
Select bibliography B. Quaritch, 'Thomas Cranmer Archbishop of Canterbury, 1489-1556', in Contributions towards a Dictionary of English Book-Collectors (London: Quaritch, 1892), p. 78

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), I, pp. 150-51.

The Lumley Library: The Catalogue of 1609, ed. by Sears Jayne and Francis R. Johnson (London: British Museum, 1956), p. 41.

David G. Selwyn, The Library of Thomas Cranmer (Oxford: The Oxford Bibliographical Society, 1996), pp. 160, 259.

Christopher de Hamel, The British Library Guide to Manuscript Illumination: History and Techniques (London: British Library, 2001), pp. 72, 75, pls 68-69.
Last revised: 21 September 2009

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Decorated initial

f. 171
Decorated initial

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