Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library
WILLIAM BOWYER, HEROICA EULOGIAff. 1-140v: Heroica Eulogia Guilielmi Bowyeri Regiae maiestatis archivorum infra Turrem Londinensem Custodis. Ad Illustrissimum Robertum Comitem Leigrescestrensem, Venit veritas interdum in lucem non quaesita, 1567. [f. 1v, List of contents:] The epistle to my Lord the earle of Leicester, fo. 1…[f. 3, Dedication:] Honoratissimo viro Domino Robarto [sic] Dudleio, nobilissimi ordinis Garterii equiti, Baroni de Denbighe, Leicestriae Comiti…Si eo conatus meos intenderem, Illustrissime Comes, cuius ego dignitati non minus faveo quam liberalitati debeo…ut diu foeliciter vivas, illiusque ecclesiae pro columina suffulcias patriae tuae, reipublicae communi diligenter, fideliter, fortiter inservias. Londini mense Novembris 1567. Honori Tuo Deditissimus Guilielmus Bowyerus. [ff. 4-5v, ruled, but blank; f. 6, Text:] Filia regis eram, cuius dum permeat omnem/ Fama frequens mundum, caelique repagula pulsat…et prout iidem Abbas et Conventus et predecessores sui libertatibus pred. huiusque rationabiliter usi sunt et gavisi In cuius et cetera. Teste Rege apud Westm. vicesimo octavo die Aprilis. Pro quadraginta solidis solute in hanaperio. [f. 141, map; ff. 141v-150v, ruled, but blank]
Copies of grants relating to the earls of Leicester, collected by William Bowyer, keeper of the royal archives at the Tower of London and presented by him to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester (1532?-88). Interspersed among the deeds are eulogies in verse of previous earls of Leicester and of others, and of the kings who granted the various charters; at the end, satiric anticlerical verses. Parchment, ff. iii (modern parchment) + i (contemporary parchment) + 150 + iii (modern parchment); 326 × 236 (263-272 × 154-157) mm. Binding too tight to collate, but leaves with miniatures appear to be singletons. 33-47 long lines, frame ruled in reddish-brown ink; horizontal ruling in lead for the verses only; round prick marks occasionally along vertical bounding lines on these leaves. Documents in a secretary script. Verses in different calligraphic scripts based on italic or roman fonts for each of the first 12 poems (including a broken italic on f. 18, a mirror italic on f. 19, a trembling italic on f. 21), thereafter in a standardized italic or roman with some variation in size. The calligraphic passages, but probably not those in secretary hand, attributed to John de Beauchesne by B. Wolpe, “John de Beauchesne & the First English Writing-Books,” Journal of the Society for Italic Handwriting no. 82 (1975) 9-17 with reproduction of f. 136 on pl. 1; this article reprinted with minor variations and without the plate of HM 160 in A. S. Osley, Scribes and Sources: Handbook of the Chancery Hand in the Sixteenth Century (London and Boston 1980) 227-40. See also H. C. Schulz, “The Teaching of Handwriting in Tudor and Stuart Times,” HLQ 6 (1942-43) 381-425, esp. pp. 418-19 and, by the same author, “Curator’s Choice,” Manuscripts 13, 2 (Spring 1961) 18-33 with a reproduction of the calligraphy of f. 18. Most of the calligraphic scripts in HM 160 correspond to those in the writing manual produced by John de Beauchesne and John Baildon, A Booke containing divers sortes of Hands (London: Thomas Vautrouillier, 1570). Fourteen emblematic miniatures of kings of England or of Catholic clergy preceding verse sections: f. 23, 145 × 155 mm., Henry IV in armor receiving a crown from a hand issuing from a cloud; f. 29, full page miniature set perpendicular to the text, 170 × 270 mm., Edward I seated in a triumphal car with a Scotsman and a Welshman in submission at his feet, the pope falling out backwards and with other allegorical figures accompanying the procession; f. 36, 160 × 153 mm., Henry V riding a richly caparisoned horse; f. 44, 130 × 152 mm., Edward II beside a stream as the allegorical figure of Fortunae Volubilitas wades towards him; f. 76, 140 × 156 mm., Edward III in armor standing on the lion and the unicorn and holding a globe and a ship labelled “Michi terra mareque”; f. 93, 135 × 150 mm., Henry III in armor, with one foot on flames, the other on water, as 3 naked women holding apples stand to one side; f. 99, 192 × 155 mm., Richard II holding a broken sword and surrounded by clerical opponents, Thomas Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, Henry Bowet, bishop of Bath and Wells, and the priest Thomas Haxey; f. 103, 142 × 155 mm., entitled “De monacho libidinoso,” a woman boxing a monk’s ear (followed by a grant relating to the monastery of Meaux in Yorkshire); f. 109, 131 × 159 mm., entitled “Henricus VI,” a seated figure, wearing a black beret and the collar of the order of St. George and holding red thistles (?), supporting with the other hand a crown, which is held up on the other side by a standing figure in armor, wearing a crown and holding red and white roses; f. 111, 150 × 157 mm., entitled “De episcopo securo,” a richly dressed bishop disregarding the warning of the transience of earthly glory from a kneeling man (followed by a grant relating to Southwell Minster and elsewhere); f. 119, 155 × 156 mm., Edward IV receiving a crown from an angel; f. 127, 155 × 156 mm., entitled “De abbate ingluvioso,” a monk seated in church, before him a choir book and beside him a roast pig on a salver (followed by grants relating to St. Mary’s, Kenilworth); f. 130, 143 × 155 mm., entitled “De fratre hypochritico [sic],” a monk, having laid aside his habit, prepares to leave dressed as an elegant young gallant, while another monk stands by, holding a leper’s clapper (followed by grants relating to the hospital of Burton Lazars in Leicestershire); f. 136, 145 × 155 mm., entitled “De monacho avaro,” a monk with a girdle book at his belt, covetously measuring a plot of land with a farmer (followed by grants relating to the abbey of Halesowen in Worcestershire). Twenty-two other verse sections preceded by coats of arms, approx. 155 × 150 mm., of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester; Simon de Montfort; Edmund, Earl of Leicester; Thomas, Earl of Leicester; Henry, Earl of Leicester; John, Earl of Leicester; Henry IV; Edmund, Earl of Arundel; Roger Mortimer; Richard, Earl of Arundel; Roger, Earl of March; William Stanley; Henry Lacy, Earl of Lincoln; Hugh le Despenser, Earl of Winchester; William de Montacute (followed twice by his crest alone); Edmund, Earl of March; Ralph Neville. On f. 141, a full page map in green and blue of the British Isles, with cities and mountains marked in gold and Robert Dudley’s arms emblazoned in the upper right corner. Opening initial, f. 6, 3-line, in painted gold surrounded by vines, flowers and strawberries on a natural ground and enclosed within a gold frame. Versals for the first 8 poems in a variety of colors: gold, silver, red, or with gold dots on blue, green, purple; thereafter in ink of text. First rubrics in colors, thereafter in ink of text. Contemporary foliation in arabic numerals, with errors; modern pencil foliation used in description. Written in England in 1567, with calligraphic passages copied by John de Beauchesne, as the presentation copy from William Bowyer to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Sale of Thomas Jett, London, 11 May 1731, n. 19. Was in the Tixall Library of Sir F. A. T. Clifford Constable of Aston Hall; his sale, Sotheby’s, 6 November 1899, lot 90 to B. F. Stevens. Belonged to Robert Hoe: Cat. (1909) pp. 10-11; his sale, Anderson, New York, 1911, pt. I, n. 2124 to G. D. Smith. Smith Catalogue 1 (1911) n. 66 to Henry E. Huntington in 1912. Bibliography: De Ricci, 60.
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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