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Manuscript Description
Cambridge, St Catharine's College MS K.1.26 (7)
MS Appellation:M. R. James catalogue 7
Title:Confessio Amantis
Contents:Confessio Amantis, (A version) 'Quam cinxere', 'Quia unusquisque'
Language:English and Latin
Date Range:1440-1465
Scribal Hands:
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

Dialect:County; Central Norfolk, Western relicts
No of Folios:1 paper flyleaf matches pastedown + text block folios 189, then 1-188 + 1 paper flyleaf matches pastedown
Pagination:Mostly unpaginated/unfoliated; occasionally a modern pencil hand has written the folio number in upper corner recto, but no discernible pattern to it.
Signatures:Signatures are modern pencil as well, on first leaf of each quire in lower outer corner, just lower case letter.
Catchwords:By scribe half way down the wide lower margin and running up to right frame line, a few words.
Page Size:450 x 315
Frame:4 x vertical, 4 x horizontal enclosing top and bottom lines, ruled within columns, fine grey lines; pricking on outer edges survives many leaves'toward back of volume well into the leaf with more than half an inch between pricks and outer edge, also at extreme edge at bottom of some, none at tops.
Writing Space:316 x 189 (86 + 17 + 86)
Incipits and Explicits:NB last leaf with explicit is misbound first in the manuscript, unnumbered but since it should be last, call it f189: 'Explicit iste liber qui transeat obsecro libet vt sine linore bigeat lectoris in ore. Qui sedet in scannis celi det ut ista Johannis perpetuis annis fiet pagina grata britannis Derbie comiti recol[ ]t que in tu laude periti Vade liber purus sub eo requiesce futurus' (f. 189ra), followed by Quam cinxere and Quia unusquisque on f189ra and 189ra-b.
Marginal Headings:By scribe written in red as he went along since none run over, they fit space allowed for them.
Borders:On f1 full bar border in gold, blue and rose, sprays of these colours plus green, trefoils, gold balls, leaves, bosses at corner. Other books begin similarly but with border just on left side of column, sprays across top and bottom (eg end book 7, beginning book 8 on f171v.
Illuminated Initials:On f1 4-line blue initial with white incised pattern on illuminated gold ground, rose leaves inside with white patterns. Elsewhere, 2- and 3-line gold initials on blue and rose grounds with white patterning, sprays of black stems, green leaf-buds, gold balls with green leaves around them and gold trefoils.
Miniatures:Two miniatures on f4v (Nebuchadnezzar's dream, in space left for it in the text block) and f8v (amans receiving absolution drawn into lower margin so space not left for it; but by same artist as dream on f4v).
Paragraph Marks:In top margins every page paraph marks alternating blue with red penwork on versos and gold with brown penwork on rectos but no running titles were inserted after these.
Flourished Initials:Latin portions and headings written in red with one-line gold or blue initials to start them, with red or brown penwork around them.
Other Names (not owners):See James, p. 14: given by William Bohun of Beccles, 1740; on what is now the first leaf, verso but should be last leaf of the volume, 'This booke was given mee by my grandmother Lang the three and twentieth day of August 1642. / Baxter Bohun / Margt Bohun
and an inscription by Edmund Bohun, 1666.
Further Information:James catalogue of St Catharine's MSS, pp14-15. M. R. James, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, Cambridge: University Press, 1925.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP