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Manuscript Description
England, Alnwick, Northumberland, Alnwick Castle, (Duke of Northumberland), MS 460 scientific texts including Chaucer's 'Astrolabe'.
Title:Compilation called 'the Bibill of Geomancy' (H.M.C. Appendix to 3rd Report, 1872, p. 112b)
Author:Includes Chaucer text
Contents:Miscellany of medical and astrological texts, of which main text is 'The aggretory othere the compilatory of Geomancye had out of Astronomye as ferre as possible is', at beginning of Part 2 (ff. 86-174); Chaucer's Astrolabe is ff182-190. Description extracted from Seymour; MS not examined in person.
Datable:16th c. According to Seymour, Part 2 including Astrolabe is written in 'a very clear and stylized secretary, without abbreviations and in standard literary English of mid-sixteenth century or slightly earlier'
Date Range:1530-1560
Scribal Hands:
1 for Astrolabe
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

Material:Paper, with 3 folios parchment (one of them f181 with volvelle on verso).
No of Folios:190 folios
Pagination:Part 1 only, 16th-century foliation in upper corner recto in roman numbers, XVIII to LXXII; modern foliation throughout volume.
Signatures:No signatures survive.
Page Size:425 x 265 mm
Writing Space:290 x 195 mm
Marginal Headings:In Astrolabe in enlarged display script but same ink as text. No coloured inks, though red underlining and headings in other parts of the MS.
Table of Contents:'Bibill of Geomancy', from H.M.C. Appendix to 3rd Report, 1872, p. 112b.
Borders:folio 1 border that Seymour describes as 'demi-vinet
in Astrolabe folio 183 has guide letter not filled in.
Other Names (not owners):(Extracted from Seymour): front pastedown bookplate of Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland, d. 1632. first flyleaf at front has later (c. 1850) inscription stating that book belonged to the Earl of Essex and was confiscated at his execution in 1601. Henry Percy was married (in 1595) to Dorothy Devereux, sister of this Earl of Essex (Robert), so might have come through her. MS taken or sold at some time after, in other hands in 1826-33. First flyleaf 'R. C. Smith purchased in 1826 of H. Wright
'A.D. Paddon 1833' on first flyleaf and f. 182v; fol 1, 'Raphael 1827'. Back at Northumberland by 1872 when recorded by Hist. MSS Commission. First flyleaf, 'Ellyn Toso booke' (16th c).
Further Information:From H.M.C. Appendix to 3rd Report, 1872, p. 112b; M C Seymour, Catalogue of Chaucer Manuscripts: Vol. 1: Works before the Canterbury Tales (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1995), pp. 126-7
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP