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Manuscript Description
Lincoln, Lincoln Cathedral Library MS A.4.18 (110)
MS Appellation:Ln (Manly and Rickert)
Title:Canterbury Tales
Contents:Canterbury Tales
Date Range:1425-1450
Scribal Hands:
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

Dialect:LP : 6650; County : Bucks
No of Folios:i + 266
Pagination:A fairly modern foliation in pencil, perhaps put in to correct misplacement of some folios, was preceded by an earlier one in brownish ink. The two sets of folio numbers agree between f92 and f124. Thereafter, only the ink foliation is present.
Quiring:1(3 i-v missing), 2-7(8), 8(7 ii missing), 9(7 vii missing), 10(8), 11(7 viii missing), 12-32(8), 33(10), 34(8)
Signatures:There are at least two different methods of signing the folios. Both sets are in ink, one using roman numerals, the other arabic numbers. Manly and Rickert (I: 329) noted a possible third series of signatures in red crayon beginning on f241.
Catchwords:Regularly present on the last verso of the quire.
Page Size:295 x 195
Frame:Frame is ruled in ink, plummet and dry-point in different sections.
Writing Space:210 x 100
Incipits and Explicits:Intervention by at least two other scribes apart from the main hand provide a hotch-potch of incipits, explicits and comments. Some are added later in the margins, some wrongly assigned and then corrected, some are right.
Marginal Headings:Various marginal notes provide a series of instructions on the sequence of tales which indicate the availability of a number of exemplars with contradictory orderings.
Running Titles:Running titles appear on rectos only and are in the ink of the text but not in the hand of the main scribe.
Table of Contents:On fi, the paper flyleaf, is a table of contents added at a later date, probably seventeenth century.
Illuminated Initials:Gold capitals with blue penwork and blue capitals with red penwork of 2-6 lines in height begin prologues and tales.
Flourished Initials:Blue capitals with red penwork flourishing.
Other Names (not owners):Little of any note which could be helpful to indicate early provenance. Owned by Michael Honeywood (1597-1681), dean of Lincoln from 1660 until death in 1681, but probably acquired during his exile abroad in Utrecht during the Cromwellian period (he was a Royalist); Manly & Rickert call attention to f150 margin 'Amstelodam' (See Manly & Rickert 1.336); f247, RT 'The Parson' had added by a contemporary hand 'off Thorpe
on f86v, drypoint 'lowyck' or 'bewyck': if lowyck (Luffwick?) unusual family name or name of a manor near Drayton, Northants, in late 15th c. held by John Stafford, Earl of Wiltshire, younger son of Humphrey Duke of Buckingham, [several place names 'Thorpe' in Lincolnshire]. If 'bewyck', may be William Lord Hastings whose will dated 1481 mentions his manor of Bewyk; note relationship to 'ppegode' and 'ffayer' on f52r, and Lord Hastings' 1481 will names his brother-in-law Sir Thomas Ferrers and his executor Richard Pigotte (one of King's Serjeants-of-law) who may be indicated by these names (Manly & Rickert, 1.337). Note also that Lord Hastings was brother-in-law of Sir Thomas Neville (owned Sloane 1685), of Anne Duchess of Buckingham (may have owned Royal 18 C.II) and of William Earl of Arundel (collected MSS), (Manly & Rickert 1.337).
Miscellaneous Info:1 main hand for Canterbury Tales with intervention from several others. One hand adds running titles as well as corrections, another hand copies ff259-266 and at least two others add corrections. Only the main hand has been described.
Further Information:Manly and Rickert I: 329-338. Seymour II: 90-93.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP