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Manuscript Description
London, British Library MS Additional 35286
MS Appellation:Ad3 (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:Chaucerian/W Mids.
No of Folios:Marbled flyleaf + 2 paper flyleaves + 1-288 vellum folios + 1 vellum + 1 paper + 1 marbled flyleaf
Pagination:Modern pencil top right corner.
Quiring:8's, but with loss of may leaves and two whole quires.
Signatures:The present quire signatures are not original and were added after the loss of the two quires. The quires are now lettered a-z and aa-jj on the first leaf of every quire.
Catchwords:Catchwords exist where ends of quires are extant; bottom margin towards the right of the text box.
Page Size:310 x 220
Frame:Square; 2 x vertical, 2 x horizontal; brown crayon
Writing Space:225 x 115
Incipits and Explicits:In red ink by the scribe between prologues and tales; preceded by blue paraphs with red flourishing.
Marginal Headings:Glosses in both ink of the text and also in red ink; all preceded by flourished paraphs again alternating in colour.
Running Titles:On almost every folio recto and verso; name of pilgrim with definite article preceding.
Title by Scribe:First folios missing.
Illuminated Initials:Gold champe initials x 3 on quartered blue and red ground begin tales; not all present.
Paragraph Marks:Alternating red with blue flourishing and blue with red flourishing. They precede running titles, incipits and explicits, stanzas and glosses.
Flourished Initials:Blue initials with red flourishing begin prologues and some tales; verse tales begin with blue and red lombard initials also with flourishing in opposite colour.
Other Names (not owners):The names 'Agarde and Rudgley occur in several places as well as a possible 'Anne vernun'. Manly and Rickert suggest a family of Agardes who lived on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border where the families named were related by marriage. There are several other names on various folios throughout the manuscript.
Miscellaneous Info:In the 19th century Ad3 was owned by Benjamin Heywood Bright at whose sale in 1844 it went to Rodd. It appears in the catalogue of the Earl of Ashburnham in 1853. In 1897 it was bought by H. Yates Thompson and went from him to the British Museum.
Further Information:Manly and Rickert vol. I, 41-47; Seymour vol. II, 100-103.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP