Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library


HM 26068

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ESTHER INGLIS, DISCOURS DE LA FOY
Scotland Edinburgh, 1591
ff. 1-51: Discours de la Foy. Escrit a Lislebourg par Esther Langlois, Françoise M D XCI [f. 2, Dedicatory epistle to Queen Elizabeth:] A treshaute et puissante Princesse Elizabeth Roine d’Angleterre et cetera, Madame, combien que ie soye peu exercée…De votre Majestie La treshumble, tresobeissante et tresaffectionnée servante a Jamais, Esther Langlois, Fille Françoise. [f. 9, Poem to Queen Elizabeth by Esther Inglis:] Princesse de valeur dont les nobles A yeux…; [f. 10, Poem to Queen Elizabeth by Nicholas Inglis, father of Esther:] Foelix ante alias regio foelicior ipsa…; [f. 11, Title:] Sommaire Discours de la Foy Contenant Quarante Stances, [f. 12, Text:] Cependant ô Chrestiens, que Satan travaille/ Et que son lieutenant nous dresse une bataille…Ne nous pourront jamais distraire d’avec toy. Fin. [f. 50:] Hexasticha hoc in libello varie descripta, Multiplici rogitas cur iam vestimur amictu…Texuit has calamo Galla puella suo. N[icolaus] A[nglus] D[ictae] P[uellae] P[ater]. [f. 50v:] Advertissement, Madame, apres avoir tirè le pourtraict de la Religion Chrestienne…de pouvoir a Jamais vous faire treshumble service. [f. 51:] Huius ipsius Libelli Prosopopoeia, Filia me scripsit mandante vtroque Parente/ Exilii calamo taedia discutiens.
Discours de la Foy in 40 6-line stanzas, dedicated to Queen Elizabeth; possibly not complete as the advertissement (f. 50v) mentions “certain nombre de vers, les uns en Anglois, les autres en françois,” and there are now none in English. Copied (but possibly not written?) by the calligrapher Esther Inglis in Edinburgh, 1591. See D. Laing, “Notes Relating to Mrs. Esther (Langlois or) Inglis, the celebrated Calligraphist,” Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 6 (1868) 284-309, and D. J. Jackson, Esther Inglis: Calligrapher, 1571-1624 (New York: privately printed at The Spiral Press, 1937), listing 41 manuscripts. HM 26068 unrecorded; only one other known manuscript, London, Brit. Lib., Sloane MS 987, bears an earlier date (1586).
Paper (Grapes, Heawood 2153, Antwerp 1598, and a Crown atop an unidentifiable device, hidden in the gutter on f. i only), ff. ii (contemporary paper) + 52 (f. 52 pasted to f. 51) + i (contemporary paper); 100 × 151 (70 × 119) mm. Collation beginning with f. ii: 12 24 34(replacement leaf attached to stub of original 3rd leaf) 42 5-124 136 142(+ a leaf pasted to 2nd leaf). Catchwords in the inside lower margin on the verso of each leaf in the dedicatory epistle; versos blank and no catchwords thereafter. 10 long lines in dedicatory epistle; 13-14 lines of verse in the poems of Queen Elizabeth; usually 6 lines of verse throughout the text. Frame ruled in black ink, double bounding lines, with additional double rule above top of frame to enclose space for running titles on recto of each leaf. Each of the 40 stanzas written in a different script or different sized script by Esther Inglis. 2-line initials in black, most with flourishing, begin stanzas. Bound in contemporary parchment with gilt decorations; holes in both covers for 2 fore edge ties; gilt edges. Written in 1591 in Edinburgh by Esther Inglis for Queen Elizabeth. Belonged to Sir Richard Ellys (1688?-1742), whose library was described in the transactions of the Gentlemen’s Society at Spalding, 24 June 1742 (unpublished). Given by his niece, Mrs. Lloyd of Wympole Street, to Sir Richard’s chaplain, Andrew Gifford, who noted the circumstances on f. ii verso; his armorial bookplate on the front pastedown with a pressmark added in ink, “B.d.1.” Bequeathed by Gifford with the remainder of his library to the Bristol Baptist College in 1784; their later bookplate and 2 pressmarks, “Z.e.39” and “Z.h.10,” on the front pastedown. See Ker, MMBL 2:186-201 for the manuscripts retained by the Baptist College; this one sold, Sotheby’s, 11 December 1961, lot 176 with plate of f. 2 to the Huntington Library.
Abbreviations
Heawood
E. Heawood, Watermarks mainly of the 17th and 18th Centuries. Monumenta chartae papyraceae historiam illustrantia 1 (Hilversum 1950)
Ker, MMBL
N. R. Ker, Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries (Oxford 1969- )

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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