You are in Introduction. Click here to skip the navigation.
British Library
Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search  Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Contact us  Main
print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back

search tips  Search tips
 
 

 

 
 

Detailed record for Additional 47680

ff. 1-76v 
Author Pseudo-Aristotle
Title Secretum Secretorum, imperfect, translated by Philip of Tripoli
 
ff. 21v-24v, 32v-39v, 42v-52v, 61-76v 
Author Pseudo-Aristotle
Title Secreta Secretorum,
 
Origin England, S. E. (London)
Date between 1326 and 1327
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Artists According to Sandler Gothic Manuscripts (1986), the original phase of illumination was by 3 artists of Christ Church 92: Hand III (borders on ff. 1-5v), Hand IV (borders on ff. 6-18v, all miniatures on ff. 6-18 and 1 in the quire ff. 105v), and Hand V (miniature on ff. 18v, 19, 19v, 20, 20v, 25-26, and probably unfinished borders on ff. 20, 25v). Hand VII (ff. 28-31v, 53-60v) identified with the artist of the Stowe Breviary of 1322-1325 (Stowe 12).
Decoration 83 miniatures in colours and gold on almost every page, with full historiated or bar-borders including medallions and shields of arms (ff. 1-18v). Partial borders and unfinished borders (ff. 20, 25v). Foliate initials in colours and gold. Initials and paraphs in gold on blue and rose grounds.
Dimensions in mm 240 x 155 (165 x 100)
Official foliation ff. ii + 76 (+ 2 unfoliated modern paper flyleaf at the end; f. i is a paper paste-down leaf, f. ii is a modern paper flyleaf)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Black leather with gilt ornament; late 17th century, with the gilt ostrich stamp of the Coke family added to the front cover.
Provenance Walter of Milemete, King's clerk, commissioned by him for Prince Edward, the future Edward III, before his coronation in January, 1327: to be identified with the volume of 'Secreta secretorum' mentioned by Milimete in the introduction to his treatise, 'De nobilitatibus, sapientiis, et prudentiis regum', f. 12 (now Oxford, Christ Church 92) written in 1326-27 for presentation to Edward III.
Edward III (b. 1312, d. 1377), king of England and lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine, intended for him, but it is not certain if it was ever given to him: his arms as earl of Chester, England with a label azure (ff. 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 10v, 12, 134, 13v, 14v, 16, 16v, 17v -18v); royal arms of England of Edward II, his father (ff. 1-6, 8, 9, 10, 10v, 12, 13, 14v-18v, 32), the royal arms of France for Isabella of France (d. 1358), his mother (1v, 3v, 6v, 8v, 11v, 14), and England dimidiating France Ancient, for Edward and Isabella (ff. 1v, 3v, 6v, 8v, 9v, 11v, 14, 32); other arms including England with a label argent for Thomas of Brotherton (b. 1300, d. 1338), 1st Earl of Norfolk and earl Marshall of England, his uncle (ff. 2v, 7v, 11, 13v); England in a border argent for Edmund of Woodstock (b. 1301, d. 1330), 1st earl of Kent, his uncle (ff. 2v, 4v, 7b, 11, 13v); England with a label of France for Thomas 2nd Earl of Lancaster, 2nd Earl of Leicester, and earl of Lincoln (b. c.1278, beheaded in 1322), cousin of Edward II (ff. 7, 12v), and England with a baston azure for Henry of Lancaster (b. c.1280, d. 1345), brother of Thomas, 3rd Earl of Lancaster and 3rd Earl of Leicester (ff. 7, 12v, 17).
Sir Edward Coke (b. 1552, d. 1634), lawyer, legal writer, and politician: included in the catalogue of his library of 1634, no. 286 (see W. O. Hassall, A Catalogue of the Library of Sir Edward Coke, Yale Law Library Publications, 12 (Yale, 1950)).
Carey Coke, (b. 1680, d. 1707), daughter of Sir John Newton, 3rd baronet, of Barr's Court, Gloucestershire, wife of Edward Coke (b. 1676/8, d. 1707), and mother of Thomas Coke, Earl of Leicester (b. 1697, d. 1759), politician, architect, and art collector: her ownership inscription with a date of 1701 pasted on the inner cover and a gilt ostrich stamp of the Coke family added to the upper cover.
Thomas William Coke (b. 1754, d. 1842), 1st Earl of Leicester of Holkham, politician and agriculturist: inscribed with his name and a date 1837 (f. ii verso).
The Holkham Hall Library: included in the collection, ms. 458.
Thomas William Coke, 4th Earl of Leicester of Holkham (b. 1880, d. 1949); acquired by the British Museum in 1952 with 11 other manuscripts from the Holkham Hall library with the assistance of the National Art Collections Fund.
Notes Full digital coverage available for this manuscript: see Digitised Manuscripts at http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts.
This manuscript was commissioned by its patron, Walter of Milemete, as a companion volume to his original treatise De nobilitatibus, sapientiis, et prudentiis regum, Oxford, Christ Church, MS 92, intended as instructional aid to Edward III. Both were written by the same scribe, share a similar decorative format, and three of the same artists, and both were left unfinished.
Catchwords.
Select bibliography L. Dorez, Les manuscrits à peintures de la bibliothèque de Lord Leicester (Paris, 1908), pp. 4-13, pl. XXIX.

M. R. James, Walter of Milemete's Treatise De Nobilitatibus Sapientibus et Prudenciis Regum (Oxford: Roxburghe Club, 1913), pp. xxxviii-lxiii, pls. 159-186.

T. C. Skeat, 'Manuscripts and Printed Books from Holkham Hall Library', British Museum Quarterly, 17 (1952) 23-32 (p. 26, pl. X).

Lucy Freeman Sandler, The Peterborough Psalter in Brussels and other Fenland Manuscripts (Harvey Miller, 1974), pp. 132, 135, 143.

J. J. G. Alexander, 'English Early Fourteenth -Century Illumination: Recent Acquisitions', Bodleian Library Record, 9 (1974) 72-80 (p. 74, n. 3).

Andrew G. Watson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c.700-1600 in the Department of Manuscripts, The British Library (London, 1979), I, no. 419.

J. J. G. Alexander, 'Painting and Manuscript Illumination for Royal Patrons in the Later Middle Ages', in English Court Culture in the Later Middle Ages, ed. by V. J. Scattergood and J. W. Sherborne (London: Duckworth, 1983), 141-62 (pp. 141-42, pl. 1).

Lucy Freeman Sandler, Gothic Manuscripts 1285-1385 (Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles 5), (London: Harvey Miller, 1986), no. 85.

François Avril and Patricia Danz Stirnemann, Manuscrits enluminés d’origine insulaire VIIe-XXe siècle (Paris: Bibliothèque nationale, 1987), p. 147.

Susan H. Cavanaugh, 'Royal Books: King John to Richard II', The Library, 6th series, 10 (1988) 304-16 (p. 311 n. 38).

M. A. Michael, 'Destruction, Reconstruction and Invention: The Hungerford Hours and English manuscript Illumination of the Early Fourteenth Century', English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700, 2 (1990), 33-108 (p. 90).

Tine Melis, ‘An Alexander Manuscript for a Powerful Patron (Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Bodl. 264)’?’, in ’Als Ich Can’: Liber Amicorum in Memory of Professor Dr. Maurits Smeyers, ed. by Bert Cardon and others, 2 vols (Paris: Uitgeverij Peeters, 2002), pp. 961-81 (p. 973 n. 50).

Cary J. Nederman, Political Thought in Early Fourteenth-Century England: Treatises by Walter of Milemete, William of Pagula, and William Ockham (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Stusies, 2002), p. 19.

Steven J. Williams, The Secret of Secrets: The Scholarly Career of a Pseudo-Aristotelian Text in the Latin Middle Ages (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003), p. 394 (with additional bibiliography).

The Cambridge Illuminations: Ten Centuries of Book Production in the Medieval West, ed. by Paul Binski and Stella Panayotova (London: Harvey Miller, 2005), p. 192.

Libby Karlinger Escobedo, 'To the Illustrious Lord Edward: A Re-evaluation of Audience and Patronage in the Milemete Treatise and the Companion Secretum Secretorum', Manuscripta, 50 (2006), 1-19.

Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination (London: British Library, 2011), no. 63 [exhibition catalogue].

The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English literature, ed. by Rita Copeland. 5 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012- ), I, 800-1558 (2016), p. 319, n. 78.
Last revised: 09 May 2011


Images

ff. 1-76v
Pseudo-Aristotle Secretum Secretorum, imperfect, translated by Philip of Tripoli
* * *
 
Guy of  Valencia and Philip of Tripoli

f. 6
Guy of Valencia and Philip of Tripoli
Aristotle teaching

f. 8
Aristotle teaching
Arms of France and of Isabella of France

f. 9v
Arms of France and of Isabella of France
 
Alexander sending the letter to  Aristotle

f. 10
Alexander sending the letter to Aristotle
Aristotle receiving the letter

f. 10
Aristotle receiving the letter
Arms of England

f. 10
Arms of England
 
Alexander receiving the book

f. 10v
Alexander receiving the book
Arms of Thomas Brotherton and Edmund of Woodstock

f. 11
Arms of Thomas Brotherton and Edmund of Woodstock
Alexander and three knights

f. 14v
Alexander and three knights
 
Christ in Majesty with king and queen

f. 16v
Christ in Majesty with king and queen
Alexander and Aristotle

f. 20v
Alexander and Aristotle
Alexander, Aristotle and scholars

f. 25
Alexander, Aristotle and scholars
 
Alexander and Aristotle

f. 28
Alexander and Aristotle
Alexander; women and babies

f. 31v
Alexander; women and babies
Alexander

f. 43
Alexander
 
Soldiers  with a catapault

f. 43v
Soldiers with a catapault
Knights

f. 44
Knights
Knights with a cannon

f. 44v
Knights with a cannon
 
Alexander and Aristotle

f. 53
Alexander and Aristotle
Alexander on horseback

f. 60v
Alexander on horseback

ff. 21v-24v, 32v-39v, 42v-52v, 61-76v
Pseudo-Aristotle Secreta Secretorum,
* * *
 
Alexander and Aristotle

f. 23
Alexander and Aristotle
King appointing a regent

f. 34
King appointing a regent
Alexander and Aristotle

f. 37
Alexander and Aristotle
 
Alexander and circles of heaven

f. 51v
Alexander and circles of heaven
Alexander washing his hands

f. 63v
Alexander washing his hands
Text page

f. 68v
Text page
 
Alexander and Aristotle

f. 72v
Alexander and Aristotle

print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back
top Back