London, British Library, Additional 36983

| Shelfmark | Date and Language | Contents |
| Physical Description | History | Record History | Bibliography |

Repository: British Library
Idno:Additional 36983
AltName:Bedford MS
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Date and Language
Date:s. xv1
Language: English
Dialect:Scribe 1 (ff. 1-118) - Scribal dialect: Bedfordshire (McIntosh, Samuels and Benskin 1986, vol. 1, p. 102). Scribe 5 (ff. 264r-279v) - Scribal Dialect: Warwickshire. Linguistic Atlas Grid Reference: 417 264, LP 4689 (McIntosh, Samuels and Benskin 1986, vol. 4, p. 244).
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A mid fifteenth-century manuscript containing devotional texts such as Cursor Mundi, the Prick of Conscience, the Abbey of the Holy Ghost and the Three Kings of Cologne. The mid fifteenth-century date of 1442 is indicated by the explicit of item 5, 'Thus endythe şe lyffe of iij kyngys of coleyne primo die ianuare anno domini ml.ccccxlijo' on f. 215v). Only items 12, 13, and 14 have a scribal dialect located to the West Midlands (Warwickshire): (Ypotis, ff. 264r-268r; Speculum Guidonis de Warwick, ff. 268r-279v; and Disputacio inter deum et hominem, ff. 275r-279v). Scribe 1 (ff. 1-118) has been located to Bedfordshire (McIntosh, Samuels and Benskin 1986, vol. 1, p. 102).

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Physical Description
Support: Paper
Extent:275 x 210 mm
Collation: Collation not possible. Catchwords: ff. 16v; 32v; 48v; 64v; 80v; 96v; 112v; 128v; 144v; 160v.
Layout:Pricking: none. Ff. 1r-174v: double columns with each column 240 x 90 mm ruled for 28 lines. Other folios: writing space: c. 215 x 155 mm prose; 225 x 120 mm verse. Single columns with 31 lines. Frames ruled in ?crayon (now very faint).
Writing: Scribe 1 writing in an Anglicana hand on ff. 1r-2v, 216r-229v, 264r-305v. Characteristics: v-shaped r; long s in initial and medial positions; reversed circular e; double compartment a with a larger top loop reaching beyond minim height; long descender on h curling to the right; writing slopes to the right. Body height: 2-3 mm. Scribe 2 writing in a Bastard Anglicana hand on ff. 3r-178v, 305v. Characteristics: more angular than Scribe 1; z-shaped r in medial position; ş; B-shaped s in final position; hooked ascender of b, l, and h; single lobed g with bar through lobe. Body height: 4 mm. Scribe 3 writing in a Secretary hand on ff. 179r-215v. Characteristics: double compartment a; looped ascender on h; double compartment g with diamond-shaped top compartment; long s in medial position; y with descender hooked to the right; ş; v-shaped r in medial position. Body height: 2 mm. Scribe 4 writing in a Bastard Anglicana hand on ff. 230r-261v. Characteristics: more angular hand; single compartment a with pointed head; r with detached top stroke formed from a diamond shape; B-shaped s in final position; diamond-shaped lobes; reversed, circular e; ?; small, squat ş; topline ascenders with otiose hairlines and bottom line descenders extending into patterns. Body height: 3 mm. Scribe 5 writing in a Bastard Anglicana hand on ff. 262r-263v. Guddat-Figge notes the similarities between scribes 4 and 5 (Guddat-Figge 1976, p. 166). Characteristics: v-shape/long r in medial position; sigma s in final position; double compartment g; hooked ascender on h; z-shaped r in final position; B-shaped s in final position. Body height: 2 mm.
Decoration: Item 1: rudimentary initials in red, three/four-line, some patterned cf. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Digby 86. First letter of each line highlighted with red. Red paraphs. Item 5: underlining of names in red, red paraphs, some initials highlighted red, red and black line filler; two/three-line red or blue initials. Item 7: two-line red initials. Item 12: four-line initial A begins text. Outlined in red with red decoration and outline face drawn on right leg of A. Top line ascenders elaborate extension that look like leaves. Item 13: two-line red initials. Item 17: initials in red.
Binding: British Library binding.
Foliation:ff. ii + 305
Additions:On f. 1 are scribbled accounts relating to sheep, fifteenth century. On the flyleaves are notes by Furnivall (7 October 1886), C. Horstmann and others on the contents of the MS.
Condition:A leaf is lost after f. 8 and f. 143 is torn.
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Acquisition:Acquisition: Book-stamp of the 'Bedfordshire Central Library, instituted July 1830', f. 1r, afterwards the Bedford Library Institute (sale-catalogue, Sotheby's 18 June 1904 Lot 456).
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Record History
Catalogued and encoded: Rebecca Farnham, University of Birmingham, March 2004.
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