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Manuscript Description
Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Hatton Donat. 1
MS Appellation:Hatton (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 : 6670; County : Bucks
No of Folios:ii (paper flyleaves) + 257 + ii (paper flyleaves)
Pagination:Modern pencil foliation in top right corner.
Signatures:Some are visible. Lower case 'a-e' and 'k' are there as is 'l' which seems to have been a quire of six folios, two of which are now stubs. Upper case letters start at 'M' with the tops of 'N', 'O', 'P', 'Q' visible and 'R'-'V'. Thereafter it begins 'aa', 'bb' with nothing more visible to the end of the manuscript.
Catchwords:Regularly by the scribe in the ink of the text in the middle right of the lower margin. Surrounded by a 4-sided box in the same ink.
Page Size:262 x 187
Frame:4 x vertical with outside margin as text box for glosses. 3 x horizontal lines in top margin, two to enclose the running title and the third to define the top of the text box. Ruled within in brown crayon.
Writing Space:187 x 108
Incipits and Explicits:In red ink by the scribe at the end of every prologue and tale. Copied within the text space.
Marginal Headings:Names of authorities in red ink in margins of, for example the Tale of Melibeus, or 'Question' in the margins of the Wife of Bath's Prologue. Red glosses in the margins. Red bracketing in Tale of Thopas.
Running Titles:In red ink, by the scribe, on almost every folio recto and verso divided as 'The' on verso and the name of the pilgrim on the recto. Titles preceded by a blue paraph with red flourishing.
Title by Scribe:'Here beginneth the Prolog of the Tales of Caunterbury' in red ink above the border on f1.
Borders:Gold, blue, pink, green. 4-sided border on first folio. Bar borders with sprays extending over and below the text to form the three sides for either prologue or tale.
Illuminated Initials:8-line initial on first folio. 2 or 3-line gold initials for General Prologue with champe decoration. Thereafter 2, 3 or 4-line gold initials on ground of pink or blue or parti-coloured.
Paragraph Marks:Gold with blue flourishing and blue with red flourishing for paraphs that define stanzas as in eg Nun's Tale, Clerk's Tale.
Miscellaneous Info:The order of tales is very interesting. Did this scribe have access to Hengwrt or some early manuscript with strange ordering?
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP