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Detailed record for Harley 4390

Author Peter of Peckham
Title Lumiere as lais
Origin England
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 14th century
Language French
Script Gothic
Decoration 7 large puzzle initials in red and blue with pen-flourishing in the other colour including leaves extending into the margin (ff. 1, 7v, 18, 26, 51, 68v, 82), including a dog (f. 18), a face (f. 26), a dragon (f. 68v). Coloured initials in alternating red or blue. Paraphs in red or blue.
Dimensions in mm 290 x 185 (230 x 140), in 2 columns
Official foliation ff. 82 (+ 4 unfoliated paper and 2 parchment flyleaves at the beginning + 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Robert Burscough (b. 1650/51, d. 1709), prebendary of Exeter in 1701, archdeacon of Barnstaple in 1703, rector of Cheriton Bishop in 1705; sold by his widow on 17 May 1715 to Robert Harley, along with other manuscripts (see Wright 1972; Diary 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, inscribed as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley ‘17 May 1715’ (f. [vi]).
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.
Notes The text is a long theological compilation in verse in Anglo-Norman.
f. [i] is a former pastedown.
Part of f. 82 has been excised.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 4390.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), I: 1715-1723, p. 11 n. 6.

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. 87-88.


Images
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Puzzle initial

f. 18
Puzzle initial

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