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Manuscript Description
Alnwick, Northumberland, Alnwick Castle, Collection of the Duke of Northumberland MS 455
MS Appellation:Northumberland, Nl (Manly and Rickert)
Title:Canterbury Tales
Contents:Canterbury Tales + unique Tale of Beryn
Date Range:1450-1475
Scribal Hands:
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

Dialect:LP : 6040; County : Essex
No of Folios:2 thick newish paper flyleaves + 287 parchment textblock + 2 newish paper flyleaves
Pagination:Modern pencil in lower margin of each folio to the left of the right-hand margin line.
Signatures:No medieval signatures survive, but modern ones have been added in pencil in the lower outer corner of every folio; upper case letter plus roman for i-iv and arabic for 5-8; begins with Aiij on f1, continues to Z8 on f173 then double upper case letters beginning AAi on f174.
Catchwords:By the scribe in the ink of the text on last leaf verso of quire; text runs up to right margin line in lower margin at extreme lower edge; many partially cropped; those not cropped have sleigh beneath with concave left side and concave right with loop back which crosses the lower bar of sleigh.
Page Size:308 x 198
Frame:Square of fine brown crayon or plummet; top line of text may be completely above the frame or the frame may be used as the boundary for the top of minims; bottom line of text is sometimes below the bottom line of the frame.
Writing Space:220 x 100-110
Marginal Headings:Rubric headings with rope-design line-fillers.
Paragraph Marks:No space between stanzas; red and blue alternating paraphs mark beginning of stanzas and also precede marginal glosses of authorities in Melibeus. Gloss may be red or black.
Flourished Initials:2-4-line blue lombard initials with red pen-work.
Other Names (not owners):f56 'John Hucchun' upside down and 'John pasmore' in 15th-16th century hands.'Thomas Hucchyns' on f71. These names in various spellings recur on many folios. Other names include 'Roberte' on f74; 'Nery Blade' on f102 in 16th-17th century hand; merchant's marks involving 'T' and 'H' on f103 and 'S' and 'R' on f105; 'George bobocome' on f107; 'John povle' on 115; on f119v 'Joffinbynell' and 'John Collyns
monograms of 'A' and 'AL' on f120; and of Thomas Hucchyns on ff120, 127, 129v, 134, 136v etc; 'William huchyns / John Huchyns / Rychard huchyns / Samuell huchyns' on f151v all by one hand; 'Wyllyam War[ ] / Roger de wo[ ] / John C[ir?]mond(?) / harry brygh[ ] / John dane' on f161v; notes on the process of a bill signed 'Per me george Webber' by a 16th century hand on f162; other names include Wyllian Warde, John holomore, Richard Court[ ], John Willis hu[ ], Chingseuff, Rycharde webber, Thomas Wylkley; 'Liber thome hucc[ ]' and several elaborate monograms and his scribal mark on f233; many more repetitions of the names on other folios.
Further Information:Manly and Rickert I: 387-395.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP