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Manuscript Description
USA, Austin, Texas, University of Texas at Austin, The Harry Ransom Center, pre-100 MS 143 (Cardigan)
MS Appellation:Cn
Title:Canterbury Tales, Siege of Thebes, Churl and Bird
Author:Chaucer and Lydgate
Contents:Canterbury Tales, Siege of Thebes, Churl and Bird
Date Range:After 1449
Scribal Hands:
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

Dialect:Standardised/S.E. Suffolk/N.Essex
No of Folios:i (paper flyleaf) + 308
Pagination:Modern foliation.
Quiring:1(9 i-iii missing), 2(9 ii, iv and ix missing), 3(10 i and ii missing), 4-6(12), 7(11 i missing), 8-9(12), 10(11 xii missing0, 11-15(12), 16-18(8), 19(10), 20-24(8), 25(11 vii missing), 26-29(12), 30(4)
Catchwords:Hand 1, who copies the quires of 12 folios includes a catchword on each verso of the last half of the quires: thus in quires 1-15 and 25-30. In quires 16-24, mainly in 8's, Hand 2 copies a catchword onto the final verso of each quire.
Page Size:300 x 213
Frame:Ruled in plummet and also in ink.
Writing Space:220 x 150
Incipits and Explicits:Regularly throughout in the ink of the text often in the display script of the scribe.
Marginal Headings:A few marginal glosses in the Tales of the Man of Law, Clerk and Merchant.
Running Titles:Name of pilgrim narrator on both recto and verso up to the end of the stint of Hand 1 on f175r.
Flourished Initials:Some basic flourishing in the text ink for some upper case letters and some strapwork on letters in running titles.
Other Names (not owners):Names on the manuscript suggest sixteenth century ownership in Kent and the Mantell family ('Thomas Mantell' on f237r and 'Henry Mantell' on f192v) may have been the owners there. Later in the sixteenth century it was probably owned by the Brudenell family in Northamptonshire. Thereafter the manuscript has a chequered history, ending at the Library of the University of Texas in 1959.
Further Information:Manly and Rickert I: 71-78. Seymour II: 39-43. Mosser, Daniel W. 'The Two Scribes of the Cardigan Manuscript and the 'Evidence' of Scribal Supervision and Shop Production.' Studies in Bibliography 39 (1986): 112-25. Mosser, Daniel W. ''The Chronicles of Saints and Kings of England': Two Occurrences of the Middle English Prose Brut's 'Peculiar Version' in MSS of the Canterbury Tales.' The Journal of the Early Book Society 5 (2002): 145-9.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP