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Manuscript Description
London, British Library MS Stowe 950
Title:Confessio Amantis
Contents:Confessio Amantis, incomplete ff 2-176v
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; Herefords
No of Folios:Front pastedown + paper stub + 1 + 2-176 parchment leaves + back pastedown
Pagination:Modern pencil in upper outer corners recto; signatures survive in most quires, beginning 'b j' on folio 3, so first surviving folio of CA is the last leaf of first quire and thus 7 leaves missing before that (unless first quire was + instead of a).
Signatures:Signatures are letter plus roman numerals j through iiij, to x, y, z, then cross , + j on f170, + iiij on f173.
Catchwords:By the scribe, lower half of bottom margin running up to right frame line, several words, underlined or with sleigh under them in same colour ink as text; sometimes more elaborate, with shaded scroll around, as on f2v.
Page Size:365 x 252
Frame:4 x vertical for the two columns, 4 x horizontal enclosing top and bottom lines, ruled within columns, fine grey lines. No ruling for glosses. Pricking visible on outer edges of many leaves.
Writing Space:253 x 185 in 2 columns c. 84 each
Incipits and Explicits:Rubric headings, for example 'Explicit Liber Septimus / Incipit liber Octauus' on f161v by scribe in same red as rubric for Latin, but slightly larger, bolder and in a more formal script than text.
Marginal Headings:Rubric headings of which first letter is blue. At the beginning is 'Hic tractat super illa specie cupida que''.
Table of Contents:Much later added slips of paper (see Comments).
Flourished Initials:On f1 is a 6-line blue initial with red penwork forming box around and short tendrils from corners; subsequently plain blue initials 2-4 lines high with no penwork around. Latin passages begin with one-line blue initial and Latin written all in red, in column for text, ending with enlarged comma as Scribe D uses.
Other Names (not owners):On f1 top margin 'Gualterus Harting' possibly 16-17th c?; ff61v-62 16th cc. notes and signature of William Burye, dated 1575.
Miscellaneous Info:One hand but variable and could be two scribes. The contents are as follows: front pastedown has 14th c. ??university hand?? writing Latin text + paper stub to which attached paper slip with modern (18-19th c) hand noting author and title, information on Chaucer's life, foliated as 1 + 2-176 parchment leaves bearing the text, incomplete at beginning and end + back pastedown with same text hand on it, further note on paper pasted to this, of same period as note at front and telling brief life of Gower, taken from preface to Chaucer's works printed at London by Adam Islip 1598 under the title Education.
Further Information:Stowe catalogue; catalogues of Confessio MSS by Pearsall et al.; Macaulay. Incomplete text of Confessio, beginning on f1: 'Ne hyde it nought for yif thou feynest I can do the no medicyne Ma dame I am a man of thyne That in thy Courte haue longe serued' Ends f176v 'I sih with many an other moo Which hadden bee fortuned sore'
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP