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Manuscript Description
Scotland, Glasgow, Glasgow University Library MS Hunter 7 (S.1.7)
Title:Confessio Amantis
Contents:Confessio Amantis (A version); incomplete at end (most of Book 8 is there, but some text missing as indicated by blank leaves and incomplete at end of f179); blank leaves toward beginning indicate missing text on ff7, 9, 28, 129, 143, and between ff175-6, 177.
Language:English and Latin
Date Range:1400-1425
Scribal Hands:
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

Dialect:County; Gowerian/colourless
No of Folios:2 newish paper flyleaves match pastedown + 2 parchment flyleaves at least as old as 16th century + textblock of 179 leaves + 1 newish paper flyleaf matches pastedown.
Pagination:Modern ink foliation in upper right corner, to right of top line of text within the frame lines that enclose top line of text, 1-179.
Signatures:No signatures survive, probably cropped.
Catchwords:By the scribe in same size and ink as text, running up to right margin line of second column, now 2/3 to 3/4 down lower margin though possibly nearer centre before cropping, with sleigh under, of which lower left corner is spiked downwards.
Page Size:413 x 280
Frame:4 x vertical enclosing two columns; 4 x horizontal enclosing top and bottom lines, ruled within columns, very fine pale brown lines; pricking survives at bottoms to mark verticals and occasionally at very top for same; none survives at outer edges for ruling. Rubric Latin passages are within columns, not in margins.
Writing Space:286 x 85 + 17 + 85 = 286 x 187
Marginal Headings:Rubric Latin passages and headings within the columns, and rubric indications of speaker, 'Confessor' or 'Amans' in margins beside beginning of speeches.
Title by Scribe:There may have been title on f1 which has been cropped so only lowest bits remain, or these may just be stains since recur less darkly on f2.
Borders:A full bar border in blue, rose and green; 3/4 borders at beginnings of subsequent books. On f49 at start of Book 3, a 4-line pink initial with white highlighting creating incised pattern on gold ground, foliage patterns in white, blue, green and pink and rose on ground and creating bar border down left side. Sprays of foliage along top and bottom.
Illuminated Initials:On f1 a 3-line blue initial with white highlighting on gold ground with blue and rose foliage inside initial.
Paragraph Marks:Alternating one-line paraphs introduce running titles which are written in red.
Flourished Initials:Smaller divisions marked by alternating 2-line blue initials with red penwork and gold initials with dark blue penwork. Still smaller one-line initials alternating blue with red penwork and gold with dark blue penwork.
Other Names (not owners): A 17th century hand supplies text on f4 (all of both sides, and this folio not original, the original was cut out). Another 17th century hand indicates pagination mistake on fol. ii, and this title on page iii (last parchment flyleaf at front): John Gower de Confessio Amantis Imprinted at London in Fletestrete by Thomas Berthlette the XII daie of Marche An MDLIIII Cum Privilegio / This Book, as I was told by the Gent. Who presented it to me, did originally belong to the Abby of Bury in Suffolk
on the outer margin f179v, 17th cent hand: 'Omnia sunt Vanitas preter amare deum Ded and no mo T B C'.
Miscellaneous Info:Attached to back pastedown are old spine plate with 'GOWER CONFESSIO AMANTIS' on it in gold, and piece of former marbled pastedown and note from 1966 binder D. C. & Son.
Further Information:Young & Aitken (1908), 10-11. Re dating, 1425-1450 according to on-line catalogue; Young & Aitken say early 15th century.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP