Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library


HM 143

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PIERS PLOWMAN
England, s. XIVex
1. ff. ii-iii verso: [Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde] //So whan thys Calkas knewe by kalkulynge/ And eke by onswere of this Appollo…And under efte gan hem whielen bothe/ After hire cours ay whil that they were wrothe//…// And to the god of loue thus sayde he/ With pitous vois o lord now youres is…Of other sekenesse lest men of hym wende/ That the hoote fir of loue hym brende//
IMEV 3327; R. K. Root, ed., The Book of Troilus and Criseyde by Geoffrey Chaucer (Princeton 1926) 1:71-140 and 1:421-490; M. B. Parkes and R. Beadle, Geoffrey Chaucer, Poetical Works: a facsimile of Cambridge University Library MS Gg.4.27 (Cambridge 1980-81) 3:65 note 94 referring to HM 143.
2. ff. 1-106v: [Piers Plowman] In a somer sesoun whan softe was þe sonne/ y shope me into shroudes as y a shep were…And seende me hap and hele til y haue Peres plouhman/ And sethe he gradde aftur grace tyl y gan awake. [ff. 107-108v, blank]
IMEV 1459; C text, i group; ff. 60 and 61 reversed in binding. 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; Piers Plowman: The Huntington Library MX (HM 143) reproduced in Photostat with Introduction by R. W. Chambers and Technical Examination by R. B. Haselden and H. C. Schulz (Huntington Library 1936); D. Pearsall, ed., Piers Plowman by William Langland: An Edition of the C-text (London 1978) from this manuscript with variant readings from others.
Parchment (trimmed), ff. i (early modern paper, not foliated) + iii (contemporary parchment of which the first was a pastedown) + 108 + i (early modern paper); 253 × 189 (196-199 × 141) mm. 1-138 148(4 was pastedown); in quire 8 the inner bifolium has been reversed, transposing ff. 60 and 61. Catchwords, that on f. 64v underlined in red. Quire signatures in center of first leaf recto in lead, in red ink, or in both; leaf signatures in arabic numerals, in letters or in vertical or horizontal slashes. Many of the signatures are no longer visible in the manuscript, but may be seen in the 1936 photostat. 36 lines of verse, ruled in lead with double bounding lines; slash pricking visible in outer margins. Written in anglicana formata. Opening initial, f. 1, 9-line, in stipled gold infilled with white-highlighted blue and pink vines and leaves on a gold ground; C-shape bar and foliage border. Competent 5-, 4- and 3-line blue initials with red flourishing; occasionally faces have been drawn into the loops of the flourishes (e.g. ff. 10v, 17v, 23, 87v) or within the letter (e.g. f. 10v). On f. 26, free-standing in the margin, a profile head of a bearded man, in the ink of the text. Alternating red and blue paragraph marks; rubrics, lemmata and Latin quotations underlined in red or brown. Running headlines (in the hand of the corrector?) irregularly in red or brown ink, or in the 2 juxtaposed across the opening. Corrector’s marks usually in the lower outer margin as “cor.,” but on f. 27 as “leg.” Frequent erasures throughout the text, particularly of the names “peres” and “plouhman,” possibly with the intention of rewriting them in red ink. Bound, s. XVIII, in tan calf by Thomas Elliott, blind tooled in a panel pattern with a carnation at each corner of the panel. See H. Nixon, “Harleian Bindings,” Studies in the Book Trade in Honour of Graham Pollard. Oxford Bibliographical Society Publications n.s. 18 (1975), 153-94, and especially plate 15, no. 8; for variant forms of the carnation tool, see J. B. Oldham, Shrewsbury School Library Bindings (Oxford 1943) 115 n. 2. The same binding is on HM 150 and Lawrence, University of Kansas, Spencer Library, MS B.61, a mid-fifteenth century register of writs. Stains from the turn-ins of a previous binding are visible on ff. i and 108; rust holes from 2 former clasps extend through the front flyleaves and several text leaves. Folios ii-iii verso (leaves 2 and 7 of a gathering of 8 leaves of a lost manuscript) with 20 stanzas of Chaucer’s Troilus, England, s. XVin, 253 × 189 (210 × 70-85) mm. 5 7-line stanzas per page, with a blank line between stanzas. Ruled in lead. Written in an anglicana formata script with secretary features. Exaggerated ascenders on the top line, and pen flourishes on the descenders of the bottom line. Written at the end of the fourteenth century in England, and localizable by its dialect to southwestern Worcestershire (Malvern Wells or Upton area).1 A fifteenth-century owner recopied the first 4 lines of the poem on f. 108; another wrote on f. 107v: “Ihesu ihesu ihesu for thyn holy name to be me ihesus.” “Dan John redbery,” s. XV/XVI, signed his name on f. 108; another early owner, s. XVI or XVII, John Russell signs his name with a monogram flourish on f. i verso and f. 107v. Belonged to the Sotheby family by the late seventeenth century; signature of James Sotheby (d. 1720) on f. ii and on f. 1; on f. ii the numbers “Y666” (or D666?) and “80.” Armorial bookplate of C. W. H. Sotheby on the front pastedown; Col. H. G. Sotheby sale, Sotheby’s, 24 July 1924, lot 129 with plate of f. 1 to A. S. W. Rosenbach. Acquired by Henry E. Huntington in 1924.
Secundo folio: And raughte
Bibliography: De Ricci, 58.
Notes
1 We are grateful to Mr. M. L. Samuels for this information.

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)
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)

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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