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Manuscript Description
London, Society of Antiquaries MS 134
Title:Confessio Amantis, Regiment of Princes
Author:Gower, Hoccleve, Lydgate and Walton
Contents:Lydgate's Life of Our Lady, begins imperfectly Book II, line 222 (ff1-30); 'Pees maketh plente' as colophon to the Lydgate; Gower, Confessio Amantis (A version-ff30v-249v); Hoccleve, Regiment of Princes (ff250-83); John Walton, trans. Boethius, De Consolatione Philosophiae, ending imperfectly Book 2, stanza 10 (ff283v-97v).
Language:English and Latin
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:County; Gowerian/colourless
No of Folios:4 newer paper flyleaves + 297 + 3 newer paper
Pagination:Older ink foliation in upper outer corners began numbering again with each book; newer pencil in upper outer corners, below older form, numbers consecutively through volume.
Signatures:Few signatures survive, but where they do, e.g. f41, they are arabic number followed by letter in lower right, the numbers counting four first leaves of quires, and letters counting quires; e.g. on f41 '3 g'. on f73, '3 l' [lower case 'L'] f128 '2 s'
Page Size:386 x 280
Frame:4 x vertical enclosing two columns, 2 x horizontal top and bottom, ruled within; very fine grey-brown lines; pricking survives at very edges of a few folios.
Writing Space:287 x 204
Marginal Headings:In rubric by the scribe.
Borders:Bar border in blue, gold and rose, foliage patterns, sprays along top and bottom margins, green leaves.
Illuminated Initials:5-line blue and rose on gold ground. 3-line gold on parti-coloured blue and rose ground.
Paragraph Marks:Rubric glosses in margins are preceded by blue paraphs and red penwork.
Flourished Initials:1-line alternating blue with red flourishing and red with dark blue.
Other Names (not owners):Bookplate of Charles Lyttleton, 1769, who gave to Society of Antiquaries is inside the front cover. A note accompanying MS says 'appears to have belonged to Halesowen Abbey, Worcs.' (so Lyttelton thought, see fol. ii). A note added top f2v: I praye go to the screvener in feter lane and desier him to Come to the flete and bringe the leter of atturneye...I praye do not fayle for my m[aste]r trusteth to you' Willetts comments, [this] 'may be relevant to the family (cf. MS 215). On f103 My mynde to me a kingdome is' written by Elizabeth Cromwell [quoting from Sir Edward Dyer], then 'soe is myne if that I might obtaine it' written by Bridget Littleton. Other names: Edmund Hardy (f101v); Kathrin Vine (f123); Bromley (maiden name of Muriel Lyttleton, wife of John Lyttleton, who died in prison, 1601) (f180); Francis Felton (f266). Beginning of a charter on f129, relating to Thomas Caton of ?Bennsted. These names from new catalogue: Pamela J. Willetts, Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Society of Antiquaries of London, Cambridge: D. S. Brewer for the Society of Antiquaries, 2000. pp. 60-61. Mooney and Mosser, Journal of the Early Book Society 12 (2009), 161-172, argued that this scribe was based in London, not SW Midlands.
Miscellaneous Info:On this MS of Gower's Confessio Amantis Macaulay writes: Confessio Amantis 'with 'Explicit' (six lines), 'Quam cinxere,' and 'Quia vnusquisque,' (p. cxliii) ''space left for minature of Nebuchadnezzar's Dream on f. 34vo. One leaf lost between ff. 134 and 135, containing v. 1159-1318.' (p. cxliv) 'The text is of the intermediate type, passing over in a part of the fifth book with H1 etc. to the revised group, but not giving the revised readings much support on other occasions. It forms however a distinct sub-group with GOAd2, these manuscripts having readings apparently peculiar to themselves in several passages, e.g. v. 3688 and after v. 6848. 'The spelling is not very good, and in particular final e is thrown in very freely without justification; there are also many 'is, -ir terminations' and terminations' and ȝ usually for gh' The text however is a fair one, and the use of it by Halliwell in his Dictionary preserved him from some of the errors of the printed editions. The scribe was apt to drop lines occasionally and insert them at the bottom of the column, and some, as iii.2343, are dropped without being supplied.' (p. cxliv).
Further Information:New catalogue, or Ker. Also J. A. Lauritis, A Critical Edition of John Lydgate's Life of Our Lady (Duquesne Studies, Philological Series no. 2, 1961), 27 note, 45-46. G. C. Macaulay, ed., John Gower, Confessio Amantis, EETS e.s. 81 (1900), cxliii-iv. F. J. Furnivall, ed., Thomas Hoccleve, De Regimine Principum EETS, e.s. 72 (1897), editing Harl 4866. M. Science, ed. John Walton, De Comsolatione Philosophiae, EETS, o.s. 170 (1927), doesn't even list this MS among the 19 copies.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP