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Manuscript Description
England, Longleat House, Marquess of Bath MS 29, part 2
MS Appellation:Ll 2 (Manly and Rickert)
Title:Miscellany of religious verse and prose including part of the Parson's Tale contained in four booklets.
Contents:Religious verse and prose (see Manly and Rickert I: 343-344 for full list). Parson's Tale (Prima pars penitencie') begins in the second booklet on f81r and continues to f128v and is copied by the first scribe. Only this hand is analysed.
Date Range:1420-1430
Scribal Hands:
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

Dialect:Hiberno English
No of Folios:1-169
Quiring:For part 2: 1-4(8), 5(9), 6-13(8), 14(7 vii missing)
Signatures:None visible. Manly and Rickert report a few which are 'late and incorrect'.
Catchwords:In Parson's Tale on ff83v, 91v, 99v, 107v, 115v, 123v.
Page Size:Now 210 x 155 but cropped to such an extent that some top lines are almost gone.
Frame:Evidence of faint ruling on some folios.
Writing Space:165 x 105
Incipits and Explicits:On f81r is 'Prima pars penitencie' which introduces the Tale. Explicits to separate parts of Tale, for example f127r 'Explicit secunda pars penitencie et sequitur iii pars eiusdem'.
Marginal Headings:Glosses preceded by paraphs in red and blue ink.
Running Titles:Titles in red and occasionally blue are preceded by paraphs.
Table of Contents:On f2r of the whole volume is a list of contents and below it, 'Constat Iohni Thynne'. Thynne died in 1580.
Paragraph Marks:Paraphs in blue and red precede running titles, glosses and sentence divisions in the text.
Flourished Initials:On f81r a 6-line blue initial 'O' with red flourishing to begin the Parson's Tale. 2-line initials in red with blue/mauve flourishing and blue with red flourishing define textual divisions. Major textual parts are introduced by large (5-10 line) initials.
Other Names (not owners):On the inside cover is a motto 'J'ay bonne Cause' on the bookplate of 'The Right Hon(ble) Thomas Lord Viscount Weymouth Baron Thynne of Warminster 1704'. From him the manuscript has descended to the present Marquess of Bath'.
Miscellaneous Info:Manly and Rickert also suggest possible progress to Thynne ownership via the two marriages of Elizabeth, daughter of a John Goldwell (d. 1465) with first Sir William Nottingham and second Richard Pole. Nottingham became a Chief Baron of the Exchequer in 1479, and Pole (d. 1517) was a mercer. These associations are interesting given the fact that the textual affiliations of this Longleat copy of the Parson's Tale are close to the Ellesmere manuscript copied by Adam Pinkhurst. Pinkhurst worked in some capacity for the Mercers. The Hengwrt Chaucer was also copied by Pinkhurst, and may have been owned at some stage by Sir Thomas Ursewyk a Recorder of London working at the Guildhall from 1453-1471. At the Guildhall Ursewyk would have had contact with the Mercers Company. In 1471 he was made Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and at his death in 1479 he was followed in that position by Sir William Nottingham. (Information from Manly and Rickert).
Further Information:Manly and Rickert I: 343-348. Seymour I: 145-146. The same scribe also copied Oxford, Bodleian Library MS. e Musaeo 232 which contains Rolle's 'Meditations on the Passion' (Seymour I: 146).
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP