Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library


HM 115

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LYDGATE, LIFE OF OUR LADY
England, s. XV2/4
ff. 1-112: [Chapter list:] These bene the notable matiers þat bene contynede in thys booke, The nativite of oure lady, Capitulo primo…[f. 2v, Prologue:] O thouȝtfull hert plunged in distresse/ With slombre of slouthe þis long wynterys nyȝt…[f. 3v, Text:] The Nativite of oure lady Capitulo primo, A Floure of vertu full longe kept in cloos…[f. 109v:] That the fortune made debonayre/ For to susteyne þe honour of her toun// [ends defectively; Book 6, vv. 327-462 replaced in an imitative anglicana hand on modern parchment, ff. 110-112:] And thourgh hire helpe and meditacion…To kepe and saue fro all aduersyte. Amen. [f. 112v, blank]
IMEV 2574. J. A. Lauritis et al., eds., A Critical Edition of John Lydgate’s Life of Our Lady. Duquesne Studies Philological Series 2 (Pittsburgh 1961), group b; see p. 42; this manuscript included in the collation; the text in HM 115 divided into 36 chapters (as is the chapter list), rather than the 82 of the Caxton edition or the 87 of the Lauritis edition.
Parchment, ff. ii (modern paper) + 112 + i (contemporary parchment) + iii (modern paper); 220 × 150 (140 × 88) mm. 1-912 and 4 leaves, all singletons, the first contemporary and the remaining 3 modern. Catchwords in scrolls; quire and leaf signatures in letters (a-h, on quire 8) and roman numerals. 24-28 long lines, frame rule in lead. Written in an anglicana formata script by the same scribe as Cambridge, St. John’s College, N. 16 and N. 17; Cambridge (Mass.), Harvard, Richardson 44 (for these 3, see below), and Oxford, Bod. Lib., Bodley 549 (SC 2298), ff. 77v-79. Opening initial, f. 2v, 3-line, and opening initial for Book 3, f. 52, 2-line, in white-highlighted pink on a gold ground, infilled with colored leaves; spray in the margin of self-shaded colored leaves and light brown feathering with scattered colored leaves, small green bud-leaves and gold motifs (barbs and double crosses). 2-line initials in gold on white-patterned pink/blue grounds with short sprays of feathering and gold motifs. Paragraph marks at each stanza alternating blue with red flourishing, or red with ink. Chapter numbers by the scribe in the upper right corner of some rectos; corrections in the margins by the scribe (e.g. ff. 12, 43, 63v) and perhaps in another contemporary hand (e.g. ff. 26, 31, 46); IHC monogram in the upper margin of f. 1 between 8-shaped flourishes. Tipped into the volume is a water color portrait of Lydgate, s. XVIII (?). Bound, s. XVIIIex, by Christian Kalthoeber with his ticket in straight grain blue morocco; gilt edges; endpapers watermarked “98.” Written in England in the second quarter of the fifteenth century. The Harvard manuscript (Life of St. Catherine), the 2 St. John’s manuscripts (Lives of John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, Jerome) and HM 115 may have been bound together in one volume: they share the same scribe and same dimensions, and were sold together as lot 3597 in the sale of William Fletewode of Missenden Abbey, auction by Paterson, 5 December 1774, to the bibliographer, William Herbert (1718-95). Notes in Herbert’s hand throughout the manuscript, collating it with the Caxton edition; his sale, by Arrowsmith and Bowley, 21 November 1798, lot 909. All 4 texts belonged to John Towneley (1731-1813) and may have been rebound at this time, all in blue morocco by Kalthoeber; his sale, by Evans, 8 June 1814, pt. I, where they were lots 879 (Life of Jerome), 880 (HM 115), 882 (Life of St. Catherine), 883 (Lives of John the Baptist and John the Evangelist). Belonged to William Bragge (1823-84); his sale, Sotheby’s, 7 June 1876, lot 287 to Ellis and White. In the collection of Robert Hoe: Cat. (1909) p. 126; his sale, Anderson, New York, pt. I, 1911, lot 2148 to G. D. Smith. Acquired by Henry E. Huntington before 1916.
Secundo folio: [f. 2, Chapter list:] of simple soules; [f. 3, Text:] whos briȝt beemes
Bibliography: De Ricci, 52.
Abbreviations
Hoe: Cat. (1909)
[C. Shipman], A Catalogue of Manuscripts Forming a Portion of the Library of Robert Hoe (New York 1909)
De Ricci
S. De Ricci, with the assistance of W. H. Wilson, Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada (New York 1935-37; index 1940)
IMEV
C. Brown and R. H. Robbins, Index of Middle English Verse (New York 1943) and Supplement by R. H. Robbins and J. L. Cutler (Lexington 1965)

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.
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