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Manuscript Description
London, British Library MS Harley 7334
MS Appellation:Ha4 (Manly and Rickert)
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.

Dialect:Scribe D; Chaucerian/S.W.Mids/Northern
No of Folios:3 heavy paper flyleaves (match pastedown) + 1 older paper flyleaf + 286 folio + 3 heavy paper flyleaves match pastedown
Pagination:Relatively modern pencil in upper outer corners recto.
Quiring:1-8(8), 9(6), 10-18(8), 19(6), 20-36(8), 37(2)
Signatures:Traces remain and seem contemporary but do not take into account the missing quire containing the Franklin's Tale.
Catchwords:By scribe in the ink of the text in a more informal hand; in lower margin usually within text box space; 2 catchwords in red ink; a fine gray underline for some catchwords occasionally repeated in red ink.
Page Size:358 x 238
Frame:2 x vertical, 4 x horizontal, enclosing top and bottom lines ruled within in brown ink; pricking visible on outer edge of f284 and pricking for verticals in lower margins of all folios.
Writing Space:225-122
Incipits and Explicits:Constant throughout in the hand of the scribe. In the ink of the text until f86v, thereafter with the opening of the Wife of Bath's Prologue, rubrics are in red ink.
Running Titles:Titles in red ink in some fragments and black ink in others. At least six different hands have supplied the running titles.
Borders:Full bar border on f1 in blue, rose, white, gold, no green; thereafter use of 3/4 borders.
Illuminated Initials:On f1 a 6-line blue and rose initial with white highlighting on gold ground; thereafter similar but smaller initials begin prologues and tales. Occasional use of 2-3-line gold champe initials on blue/rose ground with short sprays from corners.
Paragraph Marks:Alternating blue with red pen-work and gold with dark blue or purple pen-work. Used for textual divisions.
Flourished Initials:One or two-line blue lombard initials with red penwork define stanzaic divisions and some rubrics.
Other Names (not owners):'Oxford BH' in post-medieval hand on f1; also shelf-mark 'H.9 Dec 1738' in centre of top margin on f1; 'Tho. Leuenthorpe 1564' on f186; on f286v is '1556 Anne Grey wife to the lord Iohn Grey and dowghtour to Wylliam Barlee Esquire owith....E.W. followed by more notes signed by Leuenthorp and names of Simeon and Dorothie Brograve. Other Brograve names suggest possible ownership by this family until it was acquired by Harley in 1738.
Miscellaneous Info:Some yellow wash on initial letters of lines and some upper case letters (same as Oxford, Corpus Christi College 198).
Further Information:Harley Catalogue. Manly and Rickert I: 219-230. Seymour II: 125-129.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP