London, British Library, Cotton Vespasian, B.xvi

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

Repository: British Library
Idno:Cotton Vespasian, B.xvi
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Date and Language
Date:s. xiv/xv
Language: English
Dialect:Scribal dialect: Warwickshire. Linguistic Atlas Grid Reference: 415 255, LP 4686 (McIntosh, Samuels and Benskin 1986, p. 244). Only Piers Plowman has been linguistically analysed.
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A late-fourteenth/early fifteenth-century (Russell 1997) manuscript containing the C-text of Piers Plowman. The manuscript is essentially a Piers manuscript, the text being written by one scribe in the late fourteenth century, with texts added during the mid-fifteenth century: ballads regarding the death of William de la Pole, and the visit by the King and Queen to St. Paul's, and a poem against Lollards.

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Physical Description
Support: Parchment
Extent:265 x 190 mm
Collation: ii + 16 (wants 4); 28, ff. 6r-13v, catchword; 38, ff. 14r-21v, catchword; 48, ff. 22r-29v, catchword; 58, ff. 30r-37v, catchword; 68, ff. 38r-45v, catchword; 78, ff. 46r-53v, catchword; 88, ff. 54r-61v, catchword; 98, ff. 62r-67v (wants 4, 5), catchword; 108, ff. 68r-74v (wants 8); 118, ff. 75r-82v, catchword; 128, ff. 83r-90v, catchword; 138 (wants 6, 7, 8), ff. 91r-95v.
Layout:Pricking, where visible, of small horizontal slits. Writing space of 230 x 135 mm. Single columns with 41 lines. Frame and lines ruled in drypoint.
Writing: Scribe 1: ff. 1-5r - cursive, a later hand than that of the Piers text. Mid-late fifteenth century Scribe 2: f. 5v - cursive, a later hand than that of the Piers text. Mid-late fifteenth century. Scribe 3: ff. 6r-95r - responsible for Piers Plowman. Bastard Anglicana (Russell 1997, p. 8). Doyle considers this hand to be 'bastard anglicana (in its minims) or feretextura (in loop-less ascenders) (1986, p. 43). Scribe 4: f. 95v - cursive.
Decoration: Item 1: three lines in black ink alternating with three lines in red ink throughout. Item 2: c. six-line capital I in initial position. Brackets in red. Red paraphs throughout. Item 7: c. ten-line blue initial I with red penwork flourishing and blue penwork extending along length of left margin, half way along bottom margin and whole of top margin. On the right hand of the top margin there is a penwork roundel with penwork for 1/4 of the length of the right margin forming a three/four sided border. Red and blue paraphs. Red end-line decoration pen squiggles. Red dots to mark halfway along line of verse. For each passus, four-line blue initials with red penwork extending along margin for a short way, ff. 8v, 14v, 20r, 23r now oxidised. Nota bene - hand f. 7r-v.
Binding: Not contemporary.
Foliation:ff. 1-95.
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Provenance:Inscription on f. 2r in an unpractised eighteenth-century script, 'Robert'.
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Record History
Catalogued and encoded: Rebecca Farnham, University of Birmingham, February 2004.
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