Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library


HM 47619

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OLD TENURES; NATURA BREVIUM
England, s. XVmed
1. ff. ii verso-iii: Notes, s. XV, on the number of vills, etc. in England; mnemonic verses on the return days in Michaelmas, Hilary, Easter and Trinity terms; a couplet in a more formal hand, “Dat crux lucia mereres [?] karismata dies/ Ne sis in angaria quarta sequens feria”; ownership notes (see below); notes in prose on the beginnings and endings of the terms; a note defining measurements of land, “In libro de domsday sub titulo terre Regis in comitatu Surr. inter al. continetur sic, xxiiii acres terre faciunt unam virgatam…” (printed in English by HMC; see below); ff. iii verso-v verso, blank. 2. ff. 1-6v: Calendar in red and black, including the feasts of David (1 March), Chad (2 March), “Resurrectio domini” (27 March, in red), Richard of Chichester (3 April, in red), Dunstan (19 May, in red), Translation of Richard of Chichester (16 June, in red), Anne (26 July, in red). 3. ff. 7-13v: //ou tenementz sount donez a un homme a un certeyn terme…astringitur ratione debeti vel contractus absolucio perpetua et cetera.
Old Tenures, beginning defectively in the section on mortgages, with 18 sections, continuing beyond the 1521 Pynson edition with Service de frank ferme and Auncienne demesne; at the end, a number of short definitions, Sute service through Obligatio (f. 13r-v).
4. ff. 14-69v: Dicitur q’il ad breve de droit patent et brief de droit clos…et s’il ne demande deinz l’an donques le proscheyn//
Natura brevium, ending defectively in the writ Quale ius.
5. ff. 70-117v: Subject index to statutes, Accusacions to Wurstede, with no later additions in the spaces reserved for that purpose. 6. back flyleaf iii: Ownership note (see below); a proverb, “Multa volumus, pauca scimus et minora possumus”; a biblical passage (Luke 14, 26); a citation attributed to Augustine on living a good life to avoid a bad death.
Parchment, ff. i (modern paper) + iv (contemporary parchment) + 117 + iii (contemporary parchment) + i (modern paper); 214 × 160 (156 × 112 in the calendar; 156 × 95 for text in arts. 3 and 4, but 112 wide with ruling for nota bene marks; 160 × 125 in art. 5) mm. 16 28(-1; through f. 13) 3-158. 34 long lines, ruled in lead with top and bottom 2 lines full across; additional set of narrow double rules in the outer margin of arts. 3 and 4 for nota bene marks; additional vertical rule 2/3 across page for column of statutes cited in art. 5. Calendar ruled in ink; slash prick marks visible in this section. Calendar written in a textura script; the rest of the manuscript in a legal anglicana script by the same scribe who copied a statute book in Auckland Public Library, Med. MS S15711 (plate of f. 131v of that manuscript in D. M. Taylor, The Oldest Manuscripts in New Zealand, Wellington, 1955, pl. 28). For related scribes in other legal manuscripts, see K. L. Scott, “A late fifteenth-century group of Nova Statuta manuscripts,” in Manuscripts at Oxford: an exhibition in memory of Richard William Hunt (1908-1979), ed. A. C. de la Mare and B. C. Barker-Benfield (Oxford 1980) 102-05, and K. L. Scott, The Mirroure of the Worlde, MS Bodley 283 (England, c. 1470-1480): The Physical Composition, Decoration and Illustration (Oxford, Roxburghe Club, 1980) 45-50, 66-68, to which add EL 9 H 10, ff. 1-49. Opening initials, ff. 1, 14 and 70 in 3- and 2-line gold on white-patterned blue and maroon grounds with black ink sprays terminating in green and gold leaves or in pink and blue leaves; 3-line blue initials with red flourishing; in the calendar, 2-line initials alternating in blue with red flourishing and in gold with blue; alternating red and blue paragraph marks. Calligraphic initial with 2 sketched faces, signed “w.w.,” on the Byrley ownership note, f. ii verso (see below). On the back flyleaves, rough sketches in crayon of a stag (?), a dog’s head, an interlace design and a bird’s head. Bound, s. XX, in vellum from a document as recovering over earlier pasteboards; earlier spine label laid down; previous binding in red-brown calf, English, ca. 1780. Written in England during the middle years of the fifteenth century; the latest date in the text is 23 Henry VI, i.e. 1444-45 (on, e.g., ff. 74v, 84v, 86); the calendar does not include Osmund, canonized in 1456. The manuscript may have been copied in London by or for a stationer associated with the Inns of Court, as suggested by the existence of other legal manuscripts in related hands; the presence of Dunstan in the calendar may point to a connection with Clifford’s Inn. On f. ii verso, twice, the name of Thomas Byrley; on the third back flyleaf, “Ihesu mercy/ of Byrley constat/ Lady helpe/ <?>” and “Ihesu haue mercy on me so al men.” A Thomas Byrley was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn in 1501; see Records of the Honorable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, Admissions (1896) 1:29 and The Black Books (1897) 1:122. The same man apparently owned a statute book now in Lincoln’s Inn, Hale 176 (Misc. 12) with the inscription, “Thome Byrley constat liber.” Note, s. XVI, on f. ii verso, “Thomas Hever [or Henery?] Arthur Towers Francis Arm [?] J. Anthony Francis Anderson <?>.” Belonged to Philip Carteret Webb (1700-70); his sale, 25 February 1771, lot 2814 to John Lowes of Ridley Hall, Northumberland; Lowes’ book plate on the front pastedown and, on f. ii, his acquisition note and collation of the text of the Old Tenures against the 1521 Pynson edition. By 1877 owned by Sir Henry Ingilby, Bart., of Ripley Castle, Yorkshire; in the sale of Lt.-Col. Sir William Henry Ingilby (1874-1950), Sotheby’s, 21 October 1920, lot 171. Sold by Leighton, Cat. II, 2 (1921) n. 671 to Coella Lindsay Ricketts of Chicago (d. during or before 1941). Acquired by the Huntington Library from Sotheby’s, 24 June 1980, lot 60 with a plate of ff. 69v-70.
Secundo folio: [f. 7] ou tenementz
Bibliography: HMC, 6th Report, Appendix (1877) 357. De Ricci, 649. J. H. Baker, “Migrations of Manuscripts,” Journal of Legal History 1 (1980) 305.
Notes
1 We thank Mr. Jeremy Griffiths 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)
HMC
Historical Manuscripts Commission

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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