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Detailed record for Harley 7333

Author Geoffrey Chaucer
Title The Canterbury Tales (imperfect), and other works, including the Prose Brut Chronicle of England ('peculiar version' to 1419) (ff. 1-24v), extracts from Gower's Confessio Amantis, and Lydgate's Life of Edmund and Fremund (ff. 136-146v)
Origin England, Central (Leicester)
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 15th century
Language English
Script Gothic cursive
Scribe John Shirley
Decoration 5 marginal sketches in brown ink of a stock in a tun, a rebus for the name 'Stoughton', some with fish (ff. 32v, 45v, 189, 190, 192). Initials in blue with red pen-flourishing, some large, some small. Calligraphic initials in brown ink. Paraphs in red or blue. Running headers in red. Rubrics in red. Capitals marked in red.
Dimensions in mm 455 x 330 (330 x 230) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 211 (+ 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Written by or associated with John Shirley, amateur scribe (d. 1456): see Christianson 1990.
Written at, or owned by the abbey of St Mary de Pratis, Leicester (see Matheson 1998 and Shonk 1988).
William Stoughton, 15th-century cellarer of the abbey of St Mary de Pratis, Leicester: inscribed, 'Stoughton' (f. 41); drawings of a stock in a tun (ff. 32v, 45v, 189, 190, 192) (see Shonk 1988).
John Somers (b. 1651, d. 1716), baron Somers, lawyer and politician: pressmark 'H. 10' (f. 2).
Inscribed, c. 1500: 'Doctor Peni writ this book' (f. 150).
Inscribed, 'quod Ipingham' (f. 122).
Sir Joseph Jekyll (bap. 1662, d. 1738), lawyer and politician, brother-in-law of Somers (see Wright 1972).
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: inscribed by Edward Harley, 'Oxford BH, Dec 1738' (f. 2).
Notes Horizontal catchwords.
Parchment of fine quality.
ff. 118 verso and 119 are blank leaves with bounding lines; there is a parchment stub between them.
2 parchment stubs after f. 123.
1 parchment stub after f. 203.
Effaced signature (f. 192).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 7333.

Thomas Wright, Specimens of Old Chrismas Carols, Selected from Manuscripts and Printed Books (London: Percy Society, 1841), p. 28.

Thomas Wright and James Orchard Halliwell, Reliquiae Antiquae: Scraps from Ancient Manuscripts, illustrating chiefly early English literature and the English language, 2 vols (London: William Pickering, 1841-43), 1841, I, p. 234.

Thomas Wright, Political Poems and Songs relating to English History, composed during the period from the accession of Edward III to that of Richard III, 2 vols (London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, 1859-61), II, p. 131.

Hermann Oesterley, Gesta Romanorum (Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchandlung, 1872), pp. 237-39.

Julius Zupitza, Specimens of All the Accessible Unprinted Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales, 9 parts (London: Chaucer Society, 1890-1902), pt. III.

Henry Noble McCracken, The Lydgate Canon. Appendix to the Philological Society's Transactions 1907-1909 (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & co. for the Philological Society, 1908), pp. iii-xlvi (pp. xii, xv, xx, xxii).

J. A. Herbert, Catalogue of Romances in the British Museum, 3 vols (London, 1910), III, pp. 252-55.

The Text of the Canterbury Tales Studied on the Basis of All Known Manuscripts, ed. by John M. Manly and Edith Rickert, 8 vols (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1940), I, pp. 207-18.

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. 204, 308.

M. C. Seymour, 'The Engllish Manuscripts of Mandeville's Travels', Edinburgh Bibliographical Society Transactions, 4 (1974), 253-97 (p. 271).

V. J. Scattergood, ‘Literary Culture at the Court of Richard II, in English Court Culture in the Later Middle Ages, ed. by V. J. Scattergood and J. W. Sherborne (London: Duckworth, 1983), pp. 29-43 (p. 37).

Geoffrey Chaucer, Complete Works, ed by Walter William Skeat, 6 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984), I, pp. 58, 335; IV, p. ix.

Julia Boffey, 'French Lyrics and English Manuscripts: The Transmission of some poems in Trinity College, Cambridge MS. R.3.20, and British Library MS. Harley 7333', Text: Transactions of the Society for Textual Scholarship, 4 (1988), pp. 135-46.

Timothy A. Shonk, 'B.L. Harley MS 7333: The 'Publication' of Chaucer in the Rural Areas' in Essays in Medieval Studies: Proceedings of the Illinois Medieval Association, 15 (1988), pp. 81-91.

C. Paul Christianson, A Director of London Stationers and Book Artisans 1300-1500 (New York: Bibliographical Society of America, 1990), pp. 159-60.

Lister M. Matheson, The Prose Brut: The Development of a Middle English Chronicle, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 180 (Tempe, Arizona: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1998), pp. xxv, 13, 15, 74, 215, 226, 228, 268-71, no. 155.

Barbara Kline, 'Scribal agendas and the text of Chaucer's tales in British Library MS Harley 7333', in Rewriting Chaucer: Culture, Authority, and the Idea of the Authentic Text, 1400-1602, ed. by Thomas A. Prendergast and Barbara Kline (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1999), pp. viii, 116-44, 301.

A. E. B. Coldiron, 'Translation, Canons, and Cultural Capital: Manuscripts and Reception of Charles d'Orléans's English Poetry', in Charles d'Orléans in England (1415-1440), ed. by Mary-Jo Arn (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2000), pp. 183-214 (pp. 190-91).

Nicholas Perkins, Hoccleve’s Regiment of Princes: Counsel and Constraint (Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer, 2001), pp. 153, 157 n. 27, 161 n. 46, 162 n. 50, 173, 183.

The Beauchamp Pageant, ed. by and intro. by Alexandra Sinclair (Donington: Richard III and Yorkish History Trust, 2003), p. 15 n. 62.

Derek Pearsall, ‘The Manuscripts and Illustrations of Gower’s Works’, in A Companion to Gower, ed. by Sian Echard (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2004), pp. 73-97 (p. 77).

The Life of St Edmund, King & Martyr : John Lydgate’s Illustrated Verse Life Presented to Henry VI : a facsimile of British Library MS Harley 2278, introduction by A. S. G. Edwards (London: British Library, 2004), pp. 5, 16.

Jean-Pascal Pouzet, 'Quelques aspects de l'influence des Chanoines Augustins sul la Production et la Transmission Litteraire vernacularie en Angleterre (XIII-Xve siecles)' Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (January-March 2014), 169-213 (pp. 178, 211, 213

John Gower,Trilingual Poet: Language, Translation, and Tradition, ed. by Elisabeth Dutton, with John Hines and R. F. Yeager. (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2010), p. 17

* * *
Decorated initial

f. 37
Decorated initial
Rebus for the name 'Stoughton'

ff. 45v-46
Rebus for the name 'Stoughton'
Decorated intial

f. 57v
Decorated intial
Decorated initials

f. 112
Decorated initials
Text page

f. 210v
Text page

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