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Manuscript Description
England, Petworth, Petworth House, The National Trust MS 7
MS Appellation:Pw
Title:Canterbury Tales
Contents:Canterbury Tales
Date Range:1400-1425
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:Petworth Scribe: S.W.Worcs/Gloucs (Smith 1997)
No of Folios:1 blank parchment leaf + 307 + 1 blank parchment leaf
Pagination:Modern pencil in upper outer corners recto.
Quiring:1-38(8), 39(3)
Signatures:Signatures survive for many quires though some partially cropped; letter followed by roman numerals a-z, then in red a-n again.
Catchwords:By the scribe to the right of the right margin of the frame, thus in the gutter; surrounded by boxes of various shapes, submarine, stylized scroll, some with cross hatching and touched with red.
Page Size:330 x 233
Frame:4 x vertical, two enclosing text column and two enclosing a narrower column in outer margin for glosses; 4 x horizontal enclosing top and bottom lines; ruled in brown ink after the first quire. In later quires an extra horizontal is ruled at the top of the folio for running titles.
Writing Space:211 x 122 (ff1-192); 211 x 135 (ff193-307)
Incipits and Explicits:In rubric in space left; final explicit on f307v
Marginal Headings:Some incipits in margins. Name glosses in prose tales underlined in red ink.
Running Titles:Red at top of both recto and verso except for ff1-8
Borders:Full bar frame border on f1 in gold, blue, rose with green, orange; for tales left bar border with sprays along top and bottom
Illuminated Initials:On f1 an 8-line parti-coloured rose and blue initial with white highlighting on gold ground with green, orange; initials to each tale similar but 3-line; for prologues and links, smaller 2 or 3-line gold initials on parti-coloured blue and rose ground with white.
Paragraph Marks:Rubric glosses in Man of Law, Wife of Bath, Parson's Tale, and Pardoner's Tale, preceded by gold paraphs with purple pen-work; running titles preceded by blue paraph with red pen-work on versos and gold paraphs with purple pen-work on rectos.
Flourished Initials:Stanzas begin with 1-line initials alternating blue with red penwork and gold with purple penwork.
Other Names (not owners):Arms of Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland, d. 1489, in a garter, added to f307v; Ker/Piper notes 'Descended via Lady Elizabeth Percy, wife of the last Percy earl (d. 1670), to her daughter, Lady Catherine Seymour, wife of Sir William Wyndham, and so to Lord Leconfield, who conveyed Petworth House to the National Trust in 1947.' (4.179).
Miscellaneous Info:Hand A ff1-8v and thereafter RT; Hand B ff9-307v the Petworth Scribe. Scribe's signature R.D.? ends f307v 'So [TH]at I may bene oon of hem at [TH] day of dome [TH]at shal be saued Qui cum patre et ss vi & r d etc.'
Further Information:Ker/Piper, MMBL, 4.179; Manly and Rickert I: 410-414. Seymour II: 217-222. J.J. Griffiths says in his description of the Tokyo, Waseda MS of Love's Mirrour, that the Register of the Skinners Company (Guildhall 31692) up to 22 Henry VI (1443-1444) is also by this scribe, ff 2-19 (1441) and sporadically thereafter to 1443-1444. See also Griffiths in Eng/MSS Studies 5 (1995), 214-219, [for illust. of f4 see Robinson, Dated and Datable London, Plate 116].
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP