London, British Library, Harley 2253

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

Repository: British Library
Idno:Harley 2253
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Date and Language
Date:s. xiv1
Language: English
Dialect:Scribal dialect: Ludlow, Herefordshire. Linguistic Atlas Grid Reference: 349 258, LP 9260 (McIntosh, Samuels and Benskin 1986, p. 199).
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An early fourteenth-century (c. 1330-1340) manuscript containing a majority of French texts, some Latin texts and a good number of English texts, including religious texts such as The Harrowing of Hell and the Debate between the Body and the Soul as well as secular lyrics such as The fair maid of Ribblesdale and The Death of Edward I.

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Physical Description
Support: Parchment. Binding leaves are cut from a roll (f. i, 142). F. i recto, f. 142 verso - fragment of the accounts of a household at Ardmulghan, co. Meath, early fourteenth century (Ker 1965, p. ix, and n. 2). F. i verso, f. 142 recto - fragmentary extracts from the ordinal of Hereford Cathedral (see Ker 1965, p. ix).
Extent:295 x 190 mm.
Collation: 112, 210, 312, 412 + 2, 54, ff. 49r-52v; 610, ff. 53r-62v; 78, ff. 63r-69v; 88, ff. 70r-77v; 912, ff. 78r-89v; 1010, ff. 90r-99v; 116, ff. 100r-105v; 128, ff. 106r-113v; 138, ff. 114r-121v; 1412, ff. 122r-133v; 15, seven singletons, ff. 134r-140v (See Ker 1965, p. xvi).
Layout:Pricking visible on ff. 1-49 and 53-54 only. Writing space: ff. 1-48 c. 215 x 130 mm, varies for the remainder of the leaves. Single, double, and triple columns with 47-51 lines (Scribe 1); 36-33 lines (Scribe 2); 60 lines (Scribe 3). Columns and margins usually marked (See Ker 1965, p. xvii).
Writing: Scribe 1 - Textura, ff. 1-49. Scribe 2 - Anglicana, sometimes Anglicana Formata, ff. i, 49-52r, 53r-142v. Scribe 3 - small Anglicana Formata, ff. 52v.
Decoration: In red: paraphs, two-line red initials, letters frequently tinted, extended ascenders on top line. One five-line initial, blue and red, f. 1r. Spaces for five-line initials: ff. 23r, 33v, 39v, 43v, 47v. Spaces for two-line initials: ff. 26v-33r.
Binding: Rebound in 1963.
Foliation:ff. i + 140 + ii. 1 Flyleaf at beginning and 2 at end (last 2 foliated 141, 142). Modern pencil foliation. Leaf after f. 67 missed and now numbered 67+.
Condition:Good. Some holes which the scribe has avoided.
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Provenance:No owner known before John Batteley, archdeacon of Canterbury (d. 1708). The manuscript passed on to his nephew, .
Acquisition:Acquired from John Batteley for the Harleian Library in 1723.
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Record History
Catalogued and encoded: Rebecca Farnham, University of Birmingham, August 2003. Manuscript on exhibition. Described with reference to facsimile (Ker 1965).
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Related Manuscripts and other documents Scribal Scribe 2 was also the main scribe of London, British Library, MS Royal 12 C. XII, and London, British Library, MS Harley 273, and also copied legal documents in the Ludlow area; for discussion of scribe and provenance see Revard 2000.
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