Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library
HILTON, SCALE OF PERFECTION1. f. iii verso, a traced pen and ink drawing, s. XIX, of a woodcut depicting a scholar at his desk, identical to E. Hodnett, English Woodcuts 1480-1535 (Oxford 1973) n. 925 fig. 81; f. iv, an elaborate calligraphic title page, s. XIX, “Scala perfeccionis Englyshed…”; ff. v-viii, an essay entitled, “Some Account of the Ladder of Perfection” signed by George Offor. 2. ff. 1-78v: [Chapter list:] Here begynnyþ of þe book þat is kalled scala perfectionis. Capitulum primum, þat þe innere hauyng of a man sculde be lyke to þe uttere…[f. 4, Text:] Here begynnyþ þe firste partye of þe boke þat is clepyde scala perfectionis, that is as muche for to say in englysche as þe ladder of perfectioun. Capitulum I, Gostly broþer in Ihesu crist I praye þe þat in þe kallyng whiche our lord hath callyd þe to his seruyse…but to þe or to another wyche hase stat of lyfe contemplatyf þe grace of oure lorde ihesu cryst be with þe Amen. Explicit liber de vita activa et contemplativa qui vocatur scala perfectionis quod I. pery.
England, s. XVin and s. XVmed
E. Underhill, ed., The Scale of Perfection of Walter Hilton (London 1923) Book 1 only, in 93 chapters (here numbered to 94), preceded by a chapter list, complete, counting up to 86. Very few of the expanded passages occur, and the passage on the Holy Name is omitted. For lists of manuscripts, see H. L. Gardner, “The Text of the Scale of Perfection,” Medium Aevum 5 (1936) 11-30; S. S. Hussey, “The Text of the Scale of Perfection: Book II,” Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 65 (1967) 75-92; T. Takamiya, “Luttrell Wynne MS of Walter Hilton,” Reports of the Keio Institute 7 (1975) 171-91. Parchment, ff. ii (modern parchment) + vi (modern paper, with watermark bearing the date 1824) + 78 + ii (modern parchment); 191 × 130 mm. Part 1, ff. 1-12v; ruled space, 134 × 85 mm. in one quire of 12 leaves, signed on f. 6 “h vi” and on f. 12v “x.” 30-31 long lines in the chapter list and 32-36 long lines in the text, ruled in lead; written in an anglicana script with the biblical citations in a bastard anglicana; spaces evidently reserved for 4- and 3-line initials which were later filled in by the same flourisher as in Part 2, in blue with red penwork; the opening initial, f. 4, 6-line, in parted red and blue infilled with void leaf designs and flourished in red; paragraph marks alternating red and blue. Part 2, ff. 13-78; ruled space, 147 × 85 mm.; collation counting ff. 1-12 as quire 1: 2-48 58(-1, no loss of text) 6-98 103(all singletons). Catchwords in brown ink scrolls; quires and leaves signed in letters, a-i, and in roman numerals; quires numbered on the last verso, x-xvii (omitting quire 8). Written in an anglicana script with some secretary forms; the biblical citations and chapter headings in a textura script. 2-line blue initials with red flourishing, by the same person who also did the penwork in Part 1; paragraph marks usually in red only (a few in blue). Numerous corrections and insertions in more than one hand (one probably Pery’s). Bound, s. XIX, by Charles Herig, his stamp on f. i verso, in English brown morocco, gold tooled; gilt edges. HM 112 consists of 2 parts, the first being ff. 1-12v (the chapter list and chapters 1 through most of 16), written in the beginning of the fifteenth century; the second part, ff. 13-78v, copied towards the middle of the century: the matching page dimensions suggest that the second was an intentional completion of the earlier, supposedly unfinished portion. HM 112 itself was the second part of a larger manuscript of which the first is now London, Brit. Lib. Add. 10052, the Speculum religiosorum by Walter, canon of Holy Trinity in London, while the third is now Brit. Lib. Add. 10053, containing, among other texts, Edmund Rich’s Speculum ecclesie in English and Hilton’s Eight Chapters. The quires in all 3 manuscripts are signed in roman numerals in the lower right corner of the last leaf verso: in Add. 10052, i-ix; in HM 112, x-xvii (but with the penultimate full quire, i.e. now quire 8, skipped; the last 3 leaves, all singletons, have no roman numeral); in Add. 10053, xviii (on the first leaf, a singleton, presumably the end of the last quire in HM 112), then xix-xxix followed by 4 more quires (the first 2 labelled a and b); it would thus appear that the roman numerals represent an effort to unite separate materials. Add. 10053, ff. 1-83 and, possibly with some variations, ff. 85-98, are by the same hand as the second part of HM 112. The name of John Pery is associated with both: in HM 112, on f. 78v, the explicit reads “…quod I. Pery” (perhaps in a different hand from the rest of the explicit); in Add. 10053, on f. 29 “quod I. Pery” and on f. 83 “Orate pro anima domini Iohannis Pery canonici ecclesie sancte trinitatis london. infra algate qui hunc librum fieri fecit cuius anime propicietur deus Amen.” The 3 manuscripts, Add. 10052, HM 112 and Add. 10053 were still a single volume when seen and noted by Bernard, vol. 2, n. 6593 in the collection of Charles Theyer (b. 1651), who had inherited from his grandfather, the antiquary John Theyer (1597-1673) a collection of manuscripts originating in the library of Llanthony priory bequeathed to John Theyer by his uncle Richard Hart, last prior of that house (catalogue, s. XIV, in London, Brit. Lib., Harley 460). After Charles Theyer’s unsuccessful efforts to offer the books to Oxford University, they passed to the London bookseller Robert Scott. A catalogue compiled in 1678 ( London, Brit. Lib., Royal Appendix 70) does not list Add. 10052-HM 112-Add. 10053; this collection was purchased by Charles II and passed with the Royal Library to the British Museum. The manuscript which is now Add. 10052, HM 112 and Add. 10053 may have been split up and bound separately by 1807, date of Richard Heber’s purchase of Add. 10053 (since he purchased Add. 10052 only in 1819). HM 112 may have received its present binding while in the possession of George Offor (1787-1864), since the date of 1824 is on the paper flyleaves that contain an account of the text signed by Offor. It survived the fire at Sotheby’s, 28 June 1865, although it is not one of the manuscripts listed for the first day’s sale: 27 June 1865, lot 2666; the only signs of damage to HM 112 are dark stains on the edges of the front and back flyleaves, corresponding to the shape of the turn-ins. Belonged to Sir Thomas Brooke (1830-1908); see A Catalogue of the Manuscripts and Printed Books Collected by Thomas Brooke F.S.A. (London 1891) 1:253. A number of other manuscripts which belonged to him were bequeathed by his brother, Canon C. E. Brooke to Keble College in 1911; see M. B. Parkes, The Medieval Manuscripts of Keble College Oxford (London 1979) mss 27-65 and roll 1. Sir John Brooke sale, Sotheby’s, 30 May 1921, lot 776; Maggs Cat. 416 (1921) n. 171; a pencilled note on f. i verso “Page 31 Cat. vol I MSS.” Acquired by Henry E. Huntington in 1924.
Secundo folio: [f. 2, Chapter list] hem þat; [f. 5, Text] to komeBibliography: De Ricci, 51.
C. W. Dutschke with the assistance of R. H. Rouse et al., Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library (San Marino, 1989). Copyright 1989.
Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California.
Electronic version encoded by Sharon K, Goetz, 2003.
All rights to the cataloguing and images in Digital Scriptorium reside with the contributing institutions.