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Manuscript Description
USA, New York, NY, Pierpont Morgan Library & Museum MS M 875
Title:De Proprietatibus Rerum
Contents:De Proprietatibus Rerum
Date Range:1425-1450
Scribal Hands:
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

Dialect:PML catalogue says: 1400-1410, catalogue at Morgan notes 'probably Lord Thomas Berkeley's copy' but inscription at end is added in 16th c and this scribe worked in 1430s-40s.
No of Folios:338
Pagination:Modern pencil upper outer corner recto, 1-238.
Signatures:Signatures by scribe, first four leaves in lower outer corner recto, but backwards to usual order, with arabic number first and letter second (as other Cornhill MSS): see eg '3 y' on f167, '3 &' on f183, '4 &' on f184.
Catchwords:None; may have been cropped.
Page Size:435 x 306
Frame:4 x vertical; 4 x horizontal enclosing top and bottom lines, no ruling for running titles; only pricking to survive is at bottom for vertical lines of frame, on very edge of leaf (so severely cropped).
Writing Space:307 x 217 in two columns 98 + 17 + 101
Incipits and Explicits:On f238va: 'Explicit liber qui vocatur Bartholomeus de proprietatibus rerum / Deo Gracias' with black ink writing not by scribe but fairly contemporary, between the lines for 'rerum' and 'deo gracias' of 'R B Sarr Eps', Richard Beauchamp, bishop of Salisbury, as also on f6'see below names in MS.
Marginal Headings:By scribe in spaces left for them, and written as he went along.
Running Titles:Red running titles by scribe preceded by blue paraph with red flourishing, 'Liber' above column a and number like 'quintus' above column b, both recto and verso leaves.
Table of Contents:Table of contents by scribe on ff1-6ra (below which 'R B Sarr' by same hand as on f238va).
Borders:Bar border red, green, blue and acanthus leaves with white highlighting, fine sprays across top and bottom margin; further borders for beginnings of each book, and marginal ornament in pink and green acanthus leaves with sprays of foliage.
Illuminated Initials:On f1 a 6-line pink and green initial on gold ground with leaves inside of red, green, blue; 3-line gold illuminated initials on blue and red grounds with white highlighting.
Paragraph Marks:Each sentence preceded by alternating blue or red paraphs with red or brown-gold flourishing.
Other Names (not owners):Owned by Richard de Beauchamp, bishop of Salisbury (1430-1481; his initials and title found on ff6 and 338v); Tollemache family (who called it 'the Trevisa manuscript') (probably entered through Lionel Tollemache (d.1669), husband of Elizabeth, Countess of Dysart (armorial stamp gilt tooled on covers - argent a fret sable, crest: a horse's head erased gu. between two wings expanded or pellete?e; examined at Helmingham Hall, Suffolk, a seat of the Dysart-Tollemache family, by Arthur J. Horwood in 1869 and by Archdeacon R.H. Groome (1810-1889); purchased by Mr. Edwin J. Beinecke through A. Robinson as a gift to the Library in 1955. (quoted from on-line Corsair Catalogue, URL:,2&Search%5FArg=trevisa&Search%5FCode=GKEY%5E&CNT=20&PID=B7XSssHndmPghaHmM-v9Ql2WFJ&SEQ=20100830111656&SID=4 accessed 30 August 2010.
Miscellaneous Info:One hand throughout, namely 'Cornhill' or Antiquaries 134 scribe, who also wrote Society of Antiquaries 134 (Confessio Amantis), BL Harley 1758 (Canterbury Tales) and Belvoir Castle 1 (Fall of Princes). Note, fly-leaf at end, f339, has scribbled copy of the dedication of Thomas V., 10th Lord of Berkeley, in 1398, in hand of 16th c.: '1318/241 Endles grase blisse and thanks giue / to our Lordd godd all weldy per [thel?] / translatione that ended / At Barkelet the 6t day of february / Anno Domini 139 1398 the yere of / K Richard the 2d after the conquest / of the 22 / The yeer of my Lordes age Sr Thomas / Lorde of Berkeley that Mad mee make / this seuen and fourty' (NOTE copied with errors by a 16th century hand, not original to the MS, and thus NOT probably Thomas Berkeley's own copy as suggested by PML catalogue (see below).
Further Information:Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, First Report (London, 1870), Appendix, pp. 60-61.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP