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Manuscript Description
London, British Library MS Harley 1758
MS Appellation:Ha2 (Manly and Rickert)
Title:Canterbury Tales
Contents:Canterbury Tales
Scribal Hands:
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

No of Folios:1 paper matches pastedown + 1 newish paper flyleaf + 1 parchment original flyleaf, now only a fragment pasted onto verso of newer parchment leaf numbered 1* + 231 folios + fragment of original flyleaf now attached to newer parchment stub numbered 232 + 3 newer paper leaves of which third matches pastedown.
Pagination:Modern pencil, upper outer corners recto.
Quiring:Mainly in 8's, but complicated by missing folios as well as added ones. See Manly and Rickert 1. 198, and Seymour II.116 for a full description.
Signatures:Arabic number followed by letter in lower right; numbers count four first leaves ; regular 8s up to quire 'p' (ff108-116) where there is an added folio after 5th leaf and additional signatures to 6p.
Catchwords:By scribe centred below ruled square, same ink as text; two slashes before and one after; sometimes uses full stop after catchword but before slash; sometimes uses exaggerated comma above line before and after; sometimes uses stylised scroll with pyramid steps from upper right corner and down from lower left corner.
Page Size:340 x 237
Frame:Square ruled within; very fine grey lines; top line of text within frame; pricking on some folios.
Writing Space:247 x 122 for prose; 251 x 85 for verse (variable).
Incipits and Explicits:Red by scribe in space left. On f231 in rubric and the hand of the scribe 'Here endeth the book of the tales of Cauntirburye, Compyled bi Geffraye Chaucers Of whos soule Ihu crist haue mercye Amen quod Cornhyll
Marginal Headings:Rubric and rubric glosses.
Running Titles:On rectos and versos throughout in the hand of the scribe; no ruling; 'The' preceded by red paraph then the name of pilgrim preceded by blue paraph.
Borders:Full bar border of gold and blue, rose, white on f1; left sided border with long sprays on top and bottom margins for beginnings of tales; sprays of black stems; green leaves; gold wheat heads; gold balls.
Illuminated Initials:8-line blue, rose, white highlighting on gold ground; foliage patterns inside letter in blue, rose, green, pink white.
Miniatures:Spaces left for miniatures as in Ellesmere; none achieved.
Paragraph Marks:Alternating blue with red pen-work and red with dark blue; also before the black running titles.
Other Names (not owners):On f110r at the bottom is the name 'Mawde'. On ff231v is 'Wylliam Grynfyl'. Manly and Rickert found the name 'Pembyrton' on f230v in dry-point and because of other names associated with the manuscript suggested that this might be a John Pemberton, prebendary of St Paul's in 1472.
Miscellaneous Info:The hand is that of Antiquaries 134 scribe. Manly and Rickert suggest Cornhyll as rubricator and possibly the second scribe, (Manly and Rickert 1. 203-204), Mooney believes he is the scribe and rubricator throughout. Scribal corrections may also be in his hand.
Further Information:Manly and Rickert 1. 198-206. Seymour II. 116-121; Mooney and Mosser, Journal of the Early Book Society 12 (2009), 161-172
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP