Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library


HM 137

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PIERS PLOWMAN
England, s. XIV/XV
ff. 1-89v: [Piers Plowman] Hic incipit Visio Willelmi de petro ploughman, In a somere seyson whan softe was þe sonne/ y shop into shrobbis as y shepherde were…And sende me hap and hele til ich haue peers ploughman/ And suthe he gradde after grace til ich gan awake. Hic explicit passus secundus de dobest. Explicit peeres plouheman scriptum per Thomam Dankastre.
IMEV 1459; C text, p group; see R. W. Chambers, “The Manuscripts of Piers Plowman in the Huntington Library and their Value for Fixing the Text of the Poem,” HLB 8 (1935) 1-25; J. A. W. Bennett, “A New Collation of a Piers Plowman Manuscript (HM 137),” Medium Aevum 17 (1948) 21-31; T. D. Whitaker, ed., Visio Willi de Petro Plouhman (London 1813) from this manuscript; W. W. Skeat, ed., The Vision of William Concerning Piers the Plowman by William Langland. EETS os 54 (London 1873) with this manuscript as the base text, described on pp. xix-xxiv; D. Pearsall, ed., Piers Plowman by William Langland: An Edition of the C-Text (London 1978) using HM 143 as the base manuscript.
Parchment, ff. i (early modern paper) + 89 + ii (early modern paper); 286 × 185 (210 × 132) mm. 1-108 118(+9). Catchwords, some in brown ink frames; quire and leaf signatures visible in first quire only, as letter and roman numeral. 43 lines of verse ruled in ink, with top and bottom 2 lines (up to f. 32v), then top and bottom 3 lines full across. Pricking occassionally visible in outer margin. Written by Thomas Dankastre, in an anglicana formata script, with lemmata and Latin passages in a textura script in red ink, and with omissions supplied in the scribe’s and another hand (ff. 13, 48v, 65). Three-line initials in blue with red flourishing; spaces reserved for the initials from the eighth quire on. 1-line blue initials with red flourishing begin some of the Latin quotations and the rubrics up to f. 17. Elongated ascenders in the top line daubed with red through the fifth quire. The first letter of each line daubed with red through f. 36, and intermittently between ff. 37v and 44. Greek cross in red, f. 75. Marginalia in several later hands on f. 89v: s. XV, “Omnibus est notum quod multum diligo potum Secundum y W”; s. XV, “Finito libro reddatur gloria cristo Amen”; s. XVIin, “Johannes Meade me possedet pretii iii s iii d.” In the upper margin of f. 1, a sixteenth or seventeenth century hand has written: “Homo sine pecunia est quasi corpus sine anima/ A man without money is as a bodie without shoull.” Bound, s. XVIII, in English tan calf. Written in England at the turn of the fourteenth century by Thomas Dankastre. “John Meade” (see above) owned the book in the early sixteenth century. By the middle of the eighteenth century, it belonged to Sir Robert Smyth, Baronet, of Isfield, Sussex whose armorial bookplate is on the front pastedown (Rietstap, vol. 5, pl. 319); his sale, Sotheby’s, 10 April 1809, lot 893 to Richard Heber (1773-1833). Heber’s price annotations are written on Smyth’s bookplate; notes regarding the authorship of Piers Plowman on f. i may also be Heber’s. Heber sale, pt. XI by Evans, 10 February 1836, lot 973 to Payne for Sir Thomas Phillipps; Phillipps MS 8231. In modern pencil on the front pastedown, the Phillipps shelfmark, “a47.297.” Acquired privately by Henry E. Huntington through A. S. W. Rosenbach in 1923.
Secundo folio: þat han cure
Bibliography: De Ricci, 56.
Abbreviations
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)
EETS os
Early English Text Society original series
HLB
Huntington Library Bulletin (nn. 1-11, May 1931-April 1937; superseded by Huntington Library Quarterly)
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)
Rietstap
J. B. Rietstap, Armorial général (2nd ed. 1884-87; plates 1903-26 and Supplements 1926-51 by V. Rolland and H. Rolland)

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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