Advanced Search   *   Manuscripts   *   Scribes   *   Authors   *   Letters
Home   *   About the Project   *   Bibliography
Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council
Find What? Search by
Manuscript Description
USA, New York, NY, Pierpont Morgan Library & Museum MS M 690
Title:Confessio Amantis
Contents:Gower, Confessio Amantis, version A, ff2-204v (missing 136 lines at beginning of Prologue (1 leaf); ends imperfectly near end of Book VIII).
Language:English and Latin
Date Range:1390-1415
Scribal Hands:
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

Dialect:County; Gowerian/SW Midlands (?mid Worcs)
No of Folios:2 heavy paper flyleaves + 1 original parchment flyleaf numbered 1+ 2-204 text of Confessio + 2 heavy paper flyleaves numbered 205 and 206
Pagination:Modern pencil arabic in usual place, ff1-206 counting parchment flyleaf at front and 2 paper flyleaves at back.
Catchwords:By individual scribes, usual place centred under second column of eighth leaf verso, sometimes in a box with loops at each corner (f160v) or in a simple shaded box not very rectangular (ff176v, 72v).
Page Size:370 x 260
Frame:4 x vertical, 3 x horizontal enclosing top line and under bottom line, probably ruled but lines too faint'very fine grey lines now virtually invisible (but see some frame lines bottom 100v); no pricking survives, probably cropped.
Writing Space:242 x 174, 2 columns with a gap between but lines too faint to measure.
Marginal Headings:Latin text incorporated into columns and written in rubric by scribe.
Borders:6 floriated borders in blue, gold and red as on f6v. Bar border in gold, blue, red, with leaves at intervals down bar and at ends, branching into sprays across top and bottom margins in same colour, typical 14th century border design.
Illuminated Initials:2-line blue initial with red in centre, both with white highlighting, on gold ground. In the quire by Scribe B are 2-line initials in gold on pink and blue grounds with white highlighting also with green wash (ie after 1413).
Miniatures:Dream of Nebuchadnezzar f4v.
Flourished Initials:1- 3-line alternating blue with red flourishing or gold with marine blue flourishing.
Other Names (not owners):Owned c. 1500 by Francis Tomsone of Westminster (signature, f1); c. 1550 by William Meatcalfe (signature f94); found 1861 Ravensworth Castle by Henry Tomas, 1st Earl of Ravensworth (1797-1878); obtained [by Morgan] 1923 from Maggs Bros.
Miscellaneous Info:Re dating; 1390-1400 says PML catalogue (perhaps only the portions by Scribe A).
Further Information:Di Ricci, Census, vol. 2, p. 1482. On f1 (parchment flyleaf), two crude drawings of a head, intended(?) as the head of Gower, facing slightly to right on recto and in profile facing right on verso, labelled as Gower in contemporary hand, 'John Gower wrott this bocke / Poeett Lawrrette' on recto above portrait, 'Joh[ann]es Gower / Poete laureat' on verso and to right of portrait; same hand writes 'Joh[ann]es Gower Poete laureat' in lower margin of f2r.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP