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Detailed record for Additional 46487

Title The Sherborne Cartulary, a collection of charters and other documents (ff. 1-37v); Passions, Gospels and liturgical texts (ff. 38r-86v)
Origin England, S. (Sherborne Abbey)
Date 2nd quarter of the 12th century
Language Latin and English
Script Gothic
Decoration Two large Evangelist miniatures in colours, one on a red ground (f. 43v), one with a frame in green (f. 52v). Decorated initials with interlace, including zoomorphic or floriate motifs (ff. 56r, 57v, 61v, 67v). Numerous initials with penwork decoration in red, blue and green.
Dimensions in mm 270 x 185 (200 x 115)
Official foliation ff. 88 (ff. i-ii are paper flyleaves + 2 unfoliated modern parchment flyleaves at the beginning and at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Pre-1600. A 12th-century binding of oak boards with leather thongs, a hole for a large clasp, small nails and holes. The outside upper binding has a central panel carved for a plaque or decoration, which is lacking. A small enamel plaque representing an angel has been added to the outside of the upper cover later in the 13th century (mounted upside down).
Provenance The Benedictine abbey of St Mary the Virgin, Sherborne, founded in 998: the contents of the cartulary are related to the abbey; collects include the feast of Ulsinus, bishop of Sherborne; the abbey added an account on the good works of William de Thorncumbe (ff. 87r-88r) in the late-12th century or early-13th century; excerpts from the roll of Eyre of Dorset (ff. 2-2v) in the late-13th century; and the development on the dedication to the chapel of St Thomas Becket (f. 38v) in the 14th century.
Added notes in Middle English in a late 15th or early 16th-century script (f. 1).
'William Wedall': his name added in a medieval) cipher with a key for transliterating his name into the Roman alphabet (f. 25v).
John Digby, 3rd Earl of Bristol (b. 1634; d. 1698), landowner and politician: lent to Thomas Hearne (d. 1735), antiquary, by Dr. Gardiner Warden of All Souls College, Oxford. Thomas Hearne wrote 'The book from whence I made these extracts about Shirburne abbey, I believe, belongs to my Lord Digby' (see Remarks and Collections of Thomas Hearne, ed. by C. E. Doble and D. W. Rannie, 3 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1885-1898), III, p. 419); Thomas Hearne provided a description of this manuscript and a reproduction of the binding in The itinerary of John Leland the Antiquary, 2nd edition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1735), pp. 50-59.
? William Digby, 5th Baron Digby of Geashill (d. 1752): see quotation above, early 18th century.
Thomas Lloyd, (fl. early 19th century) antiquarian: sold with the rest of his manuscripts, London, 10 May 1828, lot. 202.Thomas Thorpe (b. 1791, d. 1851), bookseller: his price code (f. ii recto).
Sir Thomas Phillipps, baronet (b. 1792, d. 1872), collector of books and manuscripts: purchased from Thorpe; his bookstamp, a lion with 'Sir T. P. Middle Hill'; followed his library press mark '3626' (f. ii recto).
Purchased by the British Museum with the aid of the Friends of the National Libraries and the National Art Collection: inscription, 13 December 1947 (f. [i] recto). A transliteration has been added in pencil, probably by Sir Frederic Madden (b. 1801, d. 1873), palaeographer and Keeper of Manuscripts at the British Museum; he also transliterated the Runic cipher in Add MS 21917.
Notes Full digital coverage available for this manuscript: see Digitised Manuscripts at
The cartulary contains copies of royal, papal and episcopal charters pertaining to Sherborne abbey. For detailed contents, see
Select bibliography Eric G. Millar, 'Fresh Materials for the Study of English Illumination', in Studies in Art and Literature for Belle da Costa Greene, ed. by Dorothy Miner (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1954), pp. 286-94 (p. 286)

T. S. R. Boase, English Art 1100-1216, Oxford History of English Art, 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957) pp. xviii, 90; pl. 56a.

André Grabar and Carl Nordenfalk Romanesque Painting from the Eleventh to the Thirteenth Century, trans. by Stuart Gilbert (Lausanne: SKIRA , 1958), pp. 145-46.

[Derek Howard Turner], Reproductions from Illuminated Manuscripts, Series 5 (London: British Museum, 1965), no. 5.

Eric G. Millar, ‘Fresh Materials for the Study of English Illumination’, in Studies in Art and Literature for Belle da Costa Greene, ed. by Dorothy Miner (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1954), pp. 286-94 (pl. 231).

C. M. Kauffmann, Romanesque Manuscripts 1066-1190 Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 3 (London: Harvey Miller, 1975), no. 60.

Andrew Watson. Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c.700-1600 in the Department of Manuscripts, The British Library, 2 vols (London, 1979), I, no.417.

English Romanesque Art 1066-1200, Hayward Gallery, London 5 April-8 July 1984 (London: Arts Council of Great Britain, 1984), no. 46.

Neil Ker, Medieval Libraries of Great Britain, 2nd edition, (London: The Royal Historical Society, 1964), p. 179.

M. O'Donovan, Charters of Sherborne, Anglo-Saxon Charters, 3 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), pp. xiv-xviii; 1-88.

Richard W. Pfaff, The Liturgy in Medieval England: A History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 176-79.

Richard Sharpe and James Willoughby, 'Medieval Libraries of Great Britain' (Oxford: The Bodleian Libraries, 2015) <> [accessed 26 April 2017].

'The Electronic Sawyer: Online catalogue of Anglo-Saxon Charters ed. by Susan Kelly, Rebecca Rushforth, and others (London: Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College, 2017), [accessed 26 April 2017].

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Binding with angel

Upper binding
Binding with angel
Decorated initial

f. 7v
Decorated initial

f. 43v

f. 52v
Decorated initials

f. 56
Decorated initials
Decorated initial

f. 61v
Decorated initial

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