London, British Library, Stowe 949

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

Repository: British Library
Idno:Stowe 949
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Date and Language
Date:s. xivex
Language: English
Dialect:Scribal Dialect: Gloucestershire. Linguistic Atlas Grid Reference: 415 225, LP 6950 (McIntosh, Samuels and Benskin 1986, p. 196). Pickering places Scribe 1 north and Scribe 2 west of N.E. Gloucestershire 'within the West Midland dialectal region' (1975, p. 49).
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A late fourteenth-century copy of the South English Legendary.

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Physical Description
Support: Parchment. Poor quality - thick, uneven, frequently discoloured and patched, irregular sizes.
Extent:250 x 180 mm
Collation: One leaf (f. 1), 18 (ff. 3r-6v, 9r-12v), 2-38 (ff. 13r-28v), 4-66 (ff. 29r-46v), 7-98 (ff. 47r-70v), 106 (ff. 71r-76v), 118 (ff. 77r-84v), 128 (ff. 85r-88v, 90r-93v), 13-208 (ff. 94r-157v), one leaf (f. 158). Regular catchwords.
Layout:Pricked and ruled. Writing space of c. 200 x 130 mm. Single columns with 36-42 lines. Frame and lines ruled in drypoint.
Writing: Scribe 1: ff. 1r-20r, insertion on f. 89, writing in an Anglicana hand. Pickering describes this hand as 'of the ordinary Anglicana type, much less formal and tidy' (1975 p. 49). Scribe 2: f. 20r - Anglicana with some Secretary influences. Scribe 3: ff. 20v-157v - Fourteenth-century Anglicana Formata (see Pickering 1975, p. 50, facsimile of f. 98r). Pickering describes the hand as 'a developed 14th-century book is upright and clear, though not always neat and regular' (1975 p. 49). However, Görlach (1974, p. 99) states that the manuscript was written by one scribe, apart from some lines on f. 20r, who wrote in an 'unpractised Anglicana hand'.
Decoration: Large blue initial with red penwork extending along the left margin and top of the leaf on f. 3r, St. Michael. Initial letter of each line tinted red until f. 6r. F. 13r marginal rubrics. F. 20v red couplet brackets and first letter of each line tinted red and again on ff. 142v-5r. Spaces left for large initials. Nota bene occasionally drawn in margins, e.g. ff. 92v, 98v, 99v.
Binding: Probably medieval. Thick, rough oak boards, soft bevelled edge c. 20 mm. Thickness of c. 15 mm. Wormholes. Cover missing but 'modern' leather back. Size: 265 x 180 mm. Unable to ascertain sewing, possibly original thongs, unable to see. Four raised bands across spine.
Foliation:ff. 158. Really ii (foliated modern flyleaves) + 156 + i (contemporary flyleaf).
Additions:A contemporary table of contents in Latin has been added on f. 1v and copied on the 'modern leaf', f. 2, probably by John Brand, the manuscript's first recorded owner. On the blank f. 8r is some moralizing doggerel written in the sixteenth century. This is transcribed and commented on by Stiehler (1884, p. 406) along with other marginalia. On f. 157v is an inscription relating the manuscript's history, 'hytt was founde apon a donghyll' so that the 'detestable' beliefs and practices of pre-Reformation England could be seen for what they were.
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Provenance:The inside front cover carries the bookplate of (1744-1806), educated at Lincoln College Oxford, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1777, Secretary of the Society from 1784 until his death. Written above the 'modern' table of contents on f. 2r, is written, 'From the Revd. Mr. Brand 1796. This M.S. is in old English Verse, which I suppose was composed about the Reign of King Rich. 2d', the inscription is signed by (1735-1803), Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1763, and Royal Society in 1766, Keeper of the the Records in the Tower in 1783. Upon the death of Thomas Astle the manuscript, along with his collection, passed on to the 's library at Stowe. In 1849 the majority of the Stowe collection, including this manuscript, came into the possession of .
Acquisition:Bought from Lord Ashburnham in 1883.
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Record History
Catalogued and encoded: Rebecca Farnham, University of Birmingham, March 2004.
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