Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library
CHESTER MYSTERY CYCLE1. ff. I-XII [s. XIX]: The Readinge of The Banes, 1600. The Banes which are Reade Beefore The Begininge of the Playes of Chester 1600. 4 June 1600, Reuerende Lordes and ladyes all/ That at this tyme here Assembled bee…maye Contynually laude god & prayse that Kinge of glorye. Amen. Finis deo gracias per me georgium Bellin, 1600. [f. V:] The Tanners playe 1600. Pagina prima de celi angeloram et infirne speciun creacion [the previous 4 words, omitting “et,” marked “sic” by the nineteenth century copyist] pagina, Deus. Ego sum alpha et oo primus et novissimus. It is my will it shoulde be soe…my first day heare have I wroughte/ I geve yt here my blessinge. Finis Deo gracias. [f. XII verso, blank] 2. ff. 6-15v: The Drapers Playe. Incipit pagina secunda qualiter deus docuit mundum, Deus. Ego sum alpha et omega i, primus et novissimus. I god moste of maiestye/ in whom begininge none may bee…And now I flee all yee may see/ I grant you all the same gifte. Finis. 3. ff. 16-20v: The Waterleaders and drawers of dee, the thirde pageante of Noyes fludd and firste in some high place or in the clowdes if it may bee god speaketh vnto Noe standinge without the arke with all his familye, God. I God that all this world hath wrought/ heaven and yearth and all of nought…for vengeance shall noe more appeare/ and nowe farewell my darlinge dere. Finis. 4. ff. 21-27: The Barbers Playe. Incipit quarta pagina, qualiter reversus est a cede quatuor Regum Occurrit Rex Salim et cetera. Equitando et lothe et dicat Abraham, Preco dicat. All peace lordinges that bine presente/ and herken mee with good intente…farewell my lordings I goe my waye/ I may noe lenger abyde. Finis. 5. ff. 27v-32: The Cappers Playe. Incipit pagina quinta de Moyses & de lege sibi data, Deus ad Moysen. Moyses my servant leeffe and dere/ and all my people that bine here…the byrth of Christe feare and honest/ here shall yee see and fare yee well. Finis. [f. 32v, blank] 6. ff. 33-41: The Wrightes Playe. Pagina sexta de salutatione et nativitate salvatoris Iesu Christi, Gabriell. Heyle be thow Marye mother free/ full of grace god is with thee…that vnbeleeffe is a fowle sinne/ as you have seene within this playe. Finis paginę sextę. 7. ff. 41v-49v: The Paynters Playe. Incipit pagina septima de pastoribus, Primus Pastor. On wouldes have I walked wylde/ vnder buskes my bowre to bylde…for here now we make an ende/ fare well for wee from you goe nowe. Finis septimę paginę. 8. ff. 50-55: The Vintners Playe. Incipit pagina Octava trium Regum orientalium, Primus Rex. Mightye god in maiestye/ thatt rules the people of Iudee…for I must ordeyne curiouslye/ agaynst these kynges comminge. Finis. 9. ff. 55v-58v: The Merrcers Playe. Pagina nona de oblatione trium Regum, Primus rex. Myghtie god and moste of mayne/ to honour thee wee may bee fayne…kynges to give me your hand/ farewell and have good daye. Finis paginae nonae. 10. ff. 59-65: The Gouldsmythes playe. Pagina Decima de occisione Innocensium ex Heredis [sic] tirannica persuasione, Herodes. Princes prelates of price/ barronnes in blamner and byse…a worde was sayd in prophecye/ a thousands yeares agoo. Ex Egipto vocavi filium meum ut salvum faciet populum meum. Finis paginae Decimae. 11. ff. 65v-69v: The Blacksmythes Playe. Pagina undecima de purificatione beatae virginis, Symeon. Mightie god have mynd on me/ that most art in maiestee…that you may in his blisse so bright/ evermore with him to leene. Finis paginae undecimae. 12. ff. 70-73v: The Bowchers Playe. Incipit pagina duodecima qualiter Ihesus ductus est in desertum a spiritu. Incipiat Diabolus, Diabolus. Nowe by my soverayntie I sweare/ and principallitye that I beare…thus helpe that woman in good faye/ our sweete lord Iesu. Finis paginae duodecimae. 13. ff. 74-80v: The Glouers Playe. Pagina decima tertia de Chelidonio et de Resurrectione Lazari, Iesu. Ego sum lux mundi qui sequitur me non ambulat in tenebris sed habebit lumen vitę. Brethren I am filius dei the light of this world/ hee that followeth me walketh not in dearknes…my blessinge I give you here/ to Ierusalem I take the waye. Finis paginae decimę tertiae. 14. ff. 81-86v: The Corvisors Playe. Pagina decima quarta de Iesu intrante domum Simonis leprosi et de aliis rebus, Iesus. Brethren goe we to Bethenye/ to Lazarre Martha and Marye…where he shapes his dwellinge/ and come and tell you in hye. Finis paginae decimae quartae. 15. ff. 87-92: The Bakers Playe. Pagina decima quinta de cęna domini et de eius proditione, Iesus. Brethren all to me right deare/ come hither to me and ye shall here…both thy hand that thou hase/ shalbe bounden hard. Finis paginae decimae quintae. 16. ff. 92v-104: The Fletchers Bowiers Cowpers and Stringers Playe. Incipit pagina decima sexta de passione Christi et primo venient Iudei adducentes Iesum ad Annam et Caypham et primo incipiet, primus Iudeus. Syr byshopps here we have brought/ a wretch that mych woe hase wrought…yf ever I did him before knowe/ or keepe him companye. Finis paginae decimae sextę. This storye is finished in the leaves followinge. [f. 98v:] The Irenmongers Playe. Incipit pagina de crucifixione Christi et de his qui fuerunt in eundo versus locum Calvarię et incipit Cayphas, Cayphas. Nowe of this segger we binne seker/ agaynst vs boote he not to beker…that hee maye have on me mercye/ in heaven where hee ys kinge. Finis paginae decimae sextae. 17. ff. 105-108v: The Cookes Playe. Hic Incipit pagina decima septima de decensu ad inferna et de his qui ibidem fiebant secundum Evangelium Nicodemi et primo fiat lux in inferno materialis aliqua subtilitate machinata et postea dicat Adam, Adam. O lord and soveraigne saviour/ oure comfort and our counselour…with many false othes to sell thy ale/ Nowe thou shall have a feaste. Finis huius paginae. 18. ff. 109-114v: The Skynners Playe. Pagina decima octava de Resurrectione Iesu Christi, Pilatus. Per vous Sire Cayphas/ et vous e vous Syr Annas…to see my lord that here laye/ once at my likynge. Finis. 19. ff. 115-118v: The Sadlers Playe. Pagina decima nona de Christo duobus discipulis ad Castellum Emaus euntibus apparente et aliis discipulis, Lucas. Alas nowe wayle ys went awaye/ my owne my mayster ever I maye…for there is noe night but ever daye/ for all you thyder shall goe. Finis. 20. ff. 119-121v: The Taylors Playe. Incipit pagina vicesima de assentione domini et primo dicat Iesus pax vobis, Ego sum, nolite timere, Iesus. My brethren that sytten in companye/ with peace I greate you hartfullye…Iesu that from vs nowe ys went/ save all this companye. Amen. Finis. 21. ff. 122-127v: The Fishemongers Playe. Incipit pagina vicesima prima de electione Matthei et de emissione Spiritus sancti, qualiter apostoli fecerunt Simbolum apostolicum videlicet Credo in deum patrem et cetera. Et primo inter apostolos Incipiat, Petrus ad Condiscipulos. My deare brethren everychone/ you knowe well both all and one…Fellowe goe we therfore and espye/ howe goes this wondrous case. Finis. 22. ff. 128-132: The Clotheworkers Playe. Facta est super me manus domini et eduxit me spiritus domini et demisit me in medio campi, qui erat plenus ossibus et circumdixit me per ea in giro. Hęc in libro Ezechielis 37o, Herken all that loven heale/ I am the prophett Ezechiell…of Antechristes signes you shall assaye/ hee comes soone you shall see. Amen. Finis. 23. ff. 132v-141v: The Diars Playe. Pagina vicessima tertia de adventu Antechristi, Antechriste. De celso throno poli pollens clarior sole/ Age vos monstrare descen [sic] vos Iudicare…but to heaven where himselfe ys/ nowe shall you goe with mee. Tunc abducens eos ad celos cantabit angelus Gaudete iusti in domino et cetera. Finis paginae vicesimae tertiae. 24. ff. 142-150v: The Webstars Playe. Pagina vicessima quarta et omnium postrema de Iudicio extremo, Deus. Ego sum alpha et omega i, primus et novissimus. I god greatest of degree/ in whom begyninge non may bee…therfore excuse you withowten were/ I may not well I wysse. Deo gratias. [in a slightly different script:] This ys the laste of all the xxiiiitie pageantes and playes, played by the xxiiites craftesmen of the Cyttie of Chester wrytten in the yeare of our lord god 1591 and in the xxxiiiith yeare of the reigne of our sovereigne Ladye queene Elizabeth, whom god preserve for ever Amen. Finis. [added below again in a different script:] By me Edward Gregorie scholler at Bunburye the yeare of our lord god 1591.
IMEV 716. R. M. Lumiansky and D. Mills, eds., The Chester Mystery Cycle. EETS ss 3 (London 1974), using this manuscript as the base text, collated against the 5 other manuscripts; HM 2 described in the introduction, pp. xii-xiv and in the notes, pp. 533-47. See also The Chester Mystery Cycle: a reduced facsimile of Huntington Library MS 2 with an introduction by R. M. Lumiansky and D. Mills (San Marino and the University of Leeds 1980). Other complete editions of the Chester cycle, including the Banns, by T. Wright for the Shakespeare Society (1843-47) and by H. Deimling and Dr. Matthews for EETS es 62, 115 (1892, 1916); for a list of the partial editions, see Lumiansky and Mills, EETS ss 3, pp. xli-xlii. This manuscript lacking the first 5 leaves (as shown by contemporary foliation); the missing text (the Banns and Play 1) supplied on ff. I-XII from London, Brit. Lib., Harley 2013 in the nineteenth century. Paper (Pot with initials “PDB” similar to Briquet 12793, Bayonne 1583 and to Heawood 3576; another, with initials “PGG,” similar to Heawood 3578, and other variations; ff. I-XII, with watermark dated 1829), ff. iii (modern paper) + XII (modern paper) + 145 (foliated 6-150) + ii (modern paper); 293 × 196 (244-254 × 113) mm. I12(modern) 112(-1 through 5) 214 3-1212 134. 38-52 lines; vertical rules usually in lead along the inner margin and in dry point along the outer. Written by one person in a secretary script, showing occasional variation; headings and explicits in italic or semi-italic scripts; f. 131v line 4 added in a different hand. Contemporary foliation, 6-150, in arabic numerals. Bound, ca. 1832, in English light brown calf, gold tooled; marbled endpapers; edges tinted green; rebacked, with original green morocco labels laid down, the upper with the volume number “10” of the Devonshire plays, folio series, and the lower label with the Devonshire crest. A series of former stabbing holes shows an irregular pattern of overcast stitching, out as far as 12 mm. from the gutter, and done in a careless manner, running through all 13 quires in one operation. Written in England, the earliest known complete manuscript of this text, in 1591 according to the explicit on f. 150v. Art. 1, with the date “4 June 1600” on f. I and the name “Georgium Bellin” on f. IV verso, was copied from Harley 2013 in the nineteenth century. Below the explicit on f. 150v, in a more formal script, possibly by a different person, but difficult to see clearly due to discoloration from a reagent, another note with the same date of 1591 and the name of the copyist (?), “By me Edward Gregorie scholler at Bunburye the yeare of our lord god 1591.” But see also Lumiansky and Mills, xi, xvi n. 18. Also on f. 150v, ca. 1600, the name “Richarde Gregorie” twice; on f. 41, s. XVII, “John Egerton esq.,” probably not one of the first three Earls of Bridgewater, all of whom bore that name, but rather another member of the Egerton family, who possessed properties in Cheshire. J. Payne Collier in the 1831 edition of his History of English Dramatic Poetry, 2:227 states that the manuscript had been “only very recently” discovered and that it had come into the possession of J. B. Nichols, esq., F.S.A. (presumably John Bowyer Nichols, 1779-1863, of The Gentleman’s Magazine) from an unnamed gentleman of Cheshire; Nichols’ name is omitted in the 1879 edition. It was first suggested by W. W. Greg, “Bibliographical and Textual Problems of the English Miracle Cycles,” The Library 5 (1914) 170 that the modern transcription from Harley 2013 on ff. I-XII (paper watermarked 1829) was supplied by J. Payne Collier, presumably meaning that Collier obtained the transcription or had it done, rather than copying it himself, as the script does not resemble other examples of Collier’s handwriting in the Huntington Library. By 1836, when Collier printed the Antichrist pageant (art. 23) in his Five Miracle Plays, the manuscript had passed into the collection of the Duke of Devonshire; it was temporarily mislaid and not available to H. Deimling for his 1892 edition. Listed in the typescript “Alphabetical Handlist of the Titles of the Kemble-Devonshire Collection of English Plays,” compiled 1906-07, vol. 1, p.92. Acquired by Henry E. Huntington in January 1914 through Sotheby’s and G. D. Smith. Bibliography: De Ricci, 37-38. Aspects of Medieval England, n. 29 open at f. 24.
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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