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Manuscript Description
London, College of Arms MS Arundel XLV (45)
Title:Confessio Amantis
Contents:Confessio Amantis (A version) ff1-167v
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; Gowerian/SW Mids
Material:Flyleaves at front and ff1 and 8 parchment, rest paper
No of Folios:1 marbled + 1 paper + 2 parchment flyleaves now attached to paper so that recto of first and verso of second are hidden + text block 1-167 (with two leaves numbered 107) + 1 paper + 1 marbled
Pagination:Ink in usual place, arabic numbers of early date, possibly 16th century; note that '4' is written mirror image backwards but the 16th century upright form, and 7 is upright modern form too.
Signatures:Signatures survive throughout volume but begin again and vary in form: first set centred in lower margin in the ruled space between columns, beginning 'a' since f9 is 'b1' (letter plus arabic using medieval form of 4), ends with 'k4' on f74 so runs to f78; next set begins with a quire of cross plus arabic, then with 'a1' on f87, the signatures being in lower outer corner rectos instead of centred. NB Book 4 ends on f78v and Book 5 begins f79r so change of signature sets between these two books, two halves of the text This second set runs to a 6-leaf quire, ff 125-130, f1 to f3, at end of Book 6, with half a column blank on f130rb and all f130v blank before Book 7 begins f131; so also another set of signatures in lower outer corners, this time letters plus romans, beginning with 'a' to 'e ij' on f164.
Catchwords:By scribe, several words and up to whole line, centred below second column, verso, starting a bit to right of frame mark and about 1/3 down the margin, rubric when the next line is rubric.
Page Size:290 x 205
Frame:4 x vertical, 4 x horizontal enclosing top and bottom lines, ruled within columns; fine lines of grey-brown colour; pricking survives on all sides of most leaves
Writing Space:212 x 138, 2 cols 64 + 105 + 64
Incipits and Explicits:Latin portions written rubric, also Explicits and Incipits, enlarged and bolder than rest of text.
Marginal Headings:Names of Amans and Confessor are written into space left between lines rather than in margins.
Running Titles:Running titles in rubric.
Title by Scribe:No title and missing end so no explicit or colophon.
Flourished Initials:On f1ra, 7-line blue initial with red penwork flourishing forming foliage pattern inside letter; similar 3-line blue initial on f25v with slightly simpler flourishing; a blue letter of this sort, 3-5 lines high, for beginning of each book.
Other Names (not owners):On front flyleaves, i verso and ii recto, many scribbles with names of early owners in 15-16th cc. scripts, all written upside-down to the current orientation of the book: 'Thys boke be longyth on to thomas goodenston gerdeler of london' (4 times on fol. i verso and once on ii recto, 15th c.) with his merchant's mark in a shield; and on ii recto, 'This boke be longytt vn to Master Jhon Barthyllmewe Gerdyllarr and Marchantt of london' (16th c?) and beginning of a letter of introduction by 'Thomas Widdilton Merchantt'. Black's Catalogue, p. 71, also notes 'From several memoranda on the margins, it appears to have belonged to Michael and Thomas Man, of York, in the reign of Q. Mary.'
Miscellaneous Info:Catalogue notes that Berthelet's edition of 1532 and 1554 have text very close to this one (p. 70), but that may just be noting the A version.
Further Information:W. H. Black, Catalogue of the Arundel Manuscripts in the Library of the College of Arms (unpublished, 1829), now available on Google Books, pp 70-71.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP