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Manuscript Description
England, London, British Library MS Harley 1900
MS Appellation:H (Waldron)
Title:Polychronicon; Trevisa's translation
Author:Trevisa's translation of Higden
Contents:Dialogus inter militem et clericum (ff1-5r) (translation of William of Ockham, IPMEP 330); Defensio Curatorum (ff6-21) (trans. Richard FitzRalph's sermon, IPMEP 151); The book of methodii [th]e bischop (ff21v-23v) Of the Begynnyng of the World and the Rewmes Bitwixe, a translation of Methodius, IPMEP 221); Trevisa's translation of Higden, Polychronicon; Index to Polychronicon 24-41v, text of Polychronicon 42-310.
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.

No of Folios:4 modern paper leaves of which first has black recto to match pastedown + 1 older paper flyleaf with note of Harley's ownership on recto + text block 310 parchment folios + 4 modern heavy paper leaves of which verso of last is black to match pastedown
Pagination:Modern pencil upper outer corners recto, 1-310.
Catchwords:Every page (except in index) has a one-word catchword, but at ends of quires they are larger and in usual place with fine ink box around them.
Page Size:355 x 240
Frame:2 x horizontal, 2 x vertical forming square that extends to edges, ruled within, very faint, fine grey lines.
Writing Space:272 x 172
Index:Index on ff24-41v, by same scribe as text, giving references to book and chapter numbers, not folios.
Marginal Headings:Heading top margin f47, 'De Orbis dimensione prester in Cosmographia' in same hand and ink as text, but in upper margin and with red box around; chapter numbers by scribe in lines ruled for text, not in margins, written in same ink as text and same font size, but underlined in red; also some marginal headings/glosses by scribe in margins, and numbers of sections in arabic in margins. Scribe has also written 'Anno' in upper outer margin of each page and below it as in two columns of the margin has written pope's name closer to outer edge and roman emperor's name closer to text, with years of their pontificat or reign in margin below where appropriate'sometimes none on a page.
Paragraph Marks:Throughout volume are many plain red paraphs, and headings are underlined in red; some initials also touched with red.
Flourished Initials:On f1 a 4-line blue initial cut out with red patterns forming the letter itself and very fine brown and red pattern inside the letter and to left of letter, no border; index on ff24-41v has alternating 3-line blue (with cut-outs filled with red) with red penwork or red with blue penwork to begin each new letter of alphabet; f42 at beginning of text a 2-line red initial with blue pen-work and thereafter 2- or 3-line initials alternating as in the index'rather crude, probably not London work; in prologue before index there are 2-line plain lombard red initials with no penwork.
Other Names (not owners):On f1* (last paper flyleaf at front) has 'Sent in by my Lord Harley 12 July 1714
on f41v where index ends with only 2/3 of a single column, blank spaces used for these notes: blank spaces to right of the column, 'This indenture made The eight day off No-uember The yer off our lord M cccc xlviii betwyxt Willa' goodman' and at bottom of page centred taking up the blank space below and to right of the column, 'This indenture made the eight day of nouembre the yere of oure lord M cccc xlviii betwyxt willa' goodman of chester citie gentilmann and [erased]'. The lower one of these in much darker ink than the text and later script, looking like late 15th century, and the one above and to right looking like 16th century script.
Further Information:Harley Catalogue; Ronald Waldron, John Trevisa's Translation of the Polychronicon of Ranulph Higden, Book VI, Middle English Texts 35(2004), pp. xxviii-xxix.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP