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Detailed record for Additional 59495

Author Gower
Title Ballads and poems, including the Cinkante balades (the 'Trentham Manuscript')
Origin England
Date 1st quarter of the 15th century
Language English, French (Anglo-Norman) and Latin
Script Gothic cursive
Decoration 1 initial with foliate decoration and pen-flourishing in colours on a gold ground (f. 5). Small initials in gold with pen-flourishing in brown or purple and in blue with penwork decoration in red. Rubrics in red.
Dimensions in mm 230 x 150 (180 x 85)
Official foliation ff. vi + 41 (ff. 1-4 and 40-41 are parchment flyleaves)
Collation i4(ff. 1-4), ii1(f. 5), iii6(ff. 6-11), iv-v8 (ff. 12-27), vi8-1(ff. 28-34), vii1(f. 35), viii4 (f. 36-39), ix2 (ff. 40-41).
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Bagguley & Co., Newcastle-under-Lyme: 1818. Red morocco with gilt tooling and the crest of Earl Gower.
Provenance ?Henry IV, perhaps presented by Gower to him, a note in the hand of Baron Fairfax (17th century owner, see below): 'Sr John Gower's learned poems, the same booke by himself presented to kinge Edward the fourth att his Coronation, with 'Edward' corrected to 'Henry'.
?Henry VII, the name 'Rychemond' in a 16th-century hand, with note, 'Liber Hen: Septimi tunc Comitis Richmond manu propria script', falsely identifying it as the signature of Henry VII when Earl of Richmond (f. 2v).
William Sanders: inscribed 'Will Sanders un just (?)' in a 16th-century legal hand and the outline of an armorial shield bearing a chevron (possibly part of the arms of Sander of Charlwood, Surrey) and a large figure '29' (f. 41).
Charles Gedde of St Andrews: his autograph ownership inscription, dated 25 June 1656 (f. 39v, folded), anagrams and verses on his name, dated 12 Feb. 1651, describing himself as being 70 years old (f. 40).
Thomas, 3rd Baron Fairfax (b. 1612, d. 1671), General of Cromwell's army, presented by Charles Gedde to him: his signature (ff. 1 and 5) and the inscription, 'Libenter tunc daba[m] Id testor Carolus Gedde[s] Ipsis bis septenis Kalend[is] mensis Octobri[s] [i.e. 18 Sept.] 1656' (f. 5).
Sir Thomas Gower (b. c. 1605, d.1672), 2nd Baronet of Sittenham, presented by Fairfax in 1656 (the same year) to 'my honorable frend & kinsman' (f. 1).
Granville Leveson-Gower, (b. 1721, d. 1803), 2nd Earl Gower; 1st Marquess of Stafford: an 18th-century armorial bookplate of 'Gower Earl Gower' on the inside front cover with pressmarks 'N2.', '3.', both with a line through them, and 'DC', in pencil (f. i); the numbers, '3-4' in ink (f. iii); a transcript of the present manuscript (now Additional MS 59496) was made for him by Henry Strachey in 1764.
Elizabeth, Countess of Sutherland (b. 1921), by descent through the Barons and Earls Gower and Marquesses of Stafford: her sale, Christie's, London, 2 July 1975, lot 242, bought by the British Library.
Notes The contents are:
ff. 5-10: In Praise of Peace, an English poem addressed to Henry IV, described in the colophon (f. 10v) as 'Carmen de pacis commendatione' and incipit, 'O worthi noble kyng henry the ferthe', preceded by an introductory stanza in rhymed Latin verse, all composed circa 1399-1400
ff. 10v-11: a related poem in twenty-eight Latin elegiac couplets incipit, 'Rex celi deus et dominus qui tempora solus', adapted from the original version of Gower's Vox Clamantis.
ff. 11v-33 Cinkante balades, a series of fifty numbered love songs in French, preceded by two dedicatory pieces, in French and in rhyming Latin verse, addressed to Henry IV. The first balade is imperfect, owing to mutilation of f. 12:
ff. 33v: a poem in Latin elegiacs incipit, 'Ecce patet tensus ceci Cupidinis arcus'. Probably imperfect at the end owing to the loss of the leaf that originally followed;
ff. 34-39v: Traite 'pour essampler les amantz marietz', a series of eighteen balades in French on marriage, composed in 1397, concluding with a related poem in Latin, incipit, 'Quis sit vel qualis sacer ordo connubialis'. Imperfect, wanting all before l.2 of the second balade;
f. 39v: A lament on the author's blindness, in Latin elegiacs incipit, 'Henrici quarti primus Regni fuit annus' dated to c.1399-1400.
Select bibliography The Complete Works of John Gower, ed. by G. C. Macaulay, 4 vols (Oxford, Clarendon Press,1899-1902), I, pp. lxxix-lxxxiii.

The British Library Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts, New Series, 1971-1975 2 vols (London: The British Library, 1981), I, Descriptions, pp. 513-15.

Ruth Dean and Maureen Bolton, Anglo-Norman Literature, A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (London: Anglo-Norman Text Society, 1999), nos. 707, 708.

A Companion to Gower, ed. by Sian Echard (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2004), pp. 62-63, 76, 79, 130-31, 133, 137, 145, 149.

Barrington, Candace. 'John Gower’s Legal Advocacy and In Praise of Peace' in John Gower,Trilingual Poet: Language, Translation, and Tradition, ed. by Elisabeth Dutton, with John Hines and R. F. Yeager (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2010), pp. 112-25.

Arthur W. Bahr, 'Reading Codicological Form in John Gower’s Trentham Manuscript', in Studies in the Age of Chaucer, 33 (2011), 219-62.

Candace Barrington, 'The Trentham Manuscript as Broken Prosthesis: Wholeness and Disability in Lancastrian England' Accessus: Online Journal of Premodern Literature and New Media, 1 (2013), art. 4, at [] [accessed 30.01.14].

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f. 2v
Decorated initial

f. 5
Decorated initial
Text page

f. 12
Text page
Text page

f. 35
Text page
Text page

f. 36
Text page

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