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SOMME LE ROI, ETC.

MRJ number: 
256
College classmark: 
S.30

Vellum, 11 x 7.25, ff. 135 + 3, double columns of 22 lines, single lines 30 to page, and double columns of 30 lines.  Early 14th cent., in two fine hands, the first very large and black.

Donor, T. Baker, who writes:

Librum hunc mihi testamento suo legavit Thomas Leech S. T. B. hujus Collegii socius, reliquis Collegis suis Doctrinâ par, pietate omnibus superior.  Quantus et qualis Vir !

Requiescat in pace !

Sic mihi contingat vivere sicque mori.

-nec te tua plurima, Pantheu,

labentem pietas nec Apollinis Infula texit.

On flyleaf:

Thomas Pyerpount (xv-xvi)

T. L(eech) ex dono Charissimi Patris I. L.

Collation :  3 flyleaves, 18 – 168 (8 canc.) 178.

The book most likely belonged to Peterborough.  A flyleaf at the beginning is part of a roll giving lists of names and payments under headings of place-names, three of which remain, namely: ...on Wateruyle, Fletton, Alwolton.

 

Contents:

         1.    La Somme le Roi (no title)   .               .               .               .               .         p.   1

Ceus sount les diis comaundemenz qe nostre seygnur com-

    aunda a toutz les soens bien garder.

Le primer comaundement qe dieu fist e comanda est cestuy.

    Tu naueras pas diuers deus.

Articles de la foy, p. 12.  Sins, p. 18.  Male chose est de-

    mentir, etc., 113.

A ennuis moert qi nadpris a morir, 127.  Biens temporeus, 139.

Paternoster, 143.

Ends unfinished, p. 233:

E nous qi sumes crestiens e auoms e sauoms les com-

    mandemens dieu e auoms la grace du saint esperit si nous

    ueoms qe [added: nous soit a deuant et ne regardons a cela].

         2.    In another hand:

(H)ere begynny{th} placebo on englich’. antyne          .               .               233

(I) schal quemen our lord in {th}e lond of {th}e liuande.

Ps.  Dilexi.  (I)ch loued oure lord for {th}at oure lord schal

    heren, etc.

Ends p. 252: Resten huy in pes amen.

Pater noster, In manus tuas, vii dedly sennes, ten comaunde-

    mens, vii werkes of merci, in English            .               .               .               252

         3.    In double columns;

The counsels of Alquinus to Guido (“of Warewik”) in English

    verse  .               .               .               .               .               .               .               254

                                (L)estnet alle to my spelle

                                Hel{th}e of soule i wil {y}ou telle

                                {th}t i wil saie nis no fable

                                bote it is swi{th}e profitab(l)e.

Ends p. 269:           and for his sennes he was sori

                                and wan he deyde {th}t gode gy.

                                Is soule wente to paradis

                                {th}er ioye and blis euere is

                                and god leue so mote we

                                Sey alle amen par charite.

Heyl be {th}u marie milde quene of heuene (4 lines)      .               .               269

Aue maria-tecum.

    Heil seinte marie quene cortas and hende

    ffor {th}e ioye {th}t {th}u haddest wan crist {th}e aungel sende

    and seide {th}t {th}e holi gost scholde in {th}i bodi wende

    {th}u bring me out of sinne and schuld me fram {th}e fende.

In all there are 13 of these stanzas, each prefaced by an Ave.

The last ends:

    In non of {th}e sinnes seuene {th}orw no fendes wille

    Nou bring my saule to heuene {th}erin a place to fille.

Aue, etc.

Two prayers in Latin: Aue gaude maria           .               .               .               270

                                    Deus omnip. deus messias. deus sother.

 

The first part of the book is illustrated with historiated initials of very fine execution on gold grounds, and with some partial borders in which the English (?) daisy bud is a prominent feature.

 

p. 1.  Initial.  Christ seated with orb, in which is a tall cross; surrounded by the Evangelistic emblems.

In lower margin: Moses, horned, receives the tables of the law from Christ in a cloud.  Fine border.

p. 12.  Articles of Faith.  A group of six apostles (Peter and John distinguishable): very finely drawn.

p. 18.  John seated at desk, an eagle’s head in cloud on R. holds a scroll iohanne which rests on the desk.

Lower margin: A dark spotted beast with seven heads and ten horns with crowns.

On p. 99 is a marginal pencil sketch of a grotesque head and legs.

p. 113.  A nimbed Apostle addresses a seated and standing group of five on R.

p. 117.  Augustine (?), nimbed, in dark blue habit and skull cap, sits on green seat with desk attached and addresses four people sitting and standing on R.

Gardez vous bien de tencer.  Cest el diable enco(m)brer.

p. 127.  Death.  A corpse with red and green cloak pierces with a spear a king seated on R.: somewhat rubbed.

p. 139.  Wheel of Fortune.  She stands behind the wheel with her hands on the spokes: four figures are on the tyre as usual; the one at top crowned, the one at bottom almost nude.  Inside the wheel the ground is gold: outside it is blue and red patterned.  A brown-red frame has the usual verse in white capitals:

                            RENGNABO · RENGNO · RENGNAUI · SUM SINE RENGNO.

p. 143.  (Pater noster).  A doctor in blue habit over red, and skull cap, sits holding birch rod and addressing five seated boys: a sixth stands holding a tablet inscribed +a. b. c. etc.

p. 145.  Christ seated on a chair at the top of steps, with book, addresses a group of Apostles (not all are nimbed) on R.

p. 164.  Paul with sword addresses seated men on R.

 

The drawing of these pictures is extremely delicate.

The ordinary initials are mostly in blue, with fine filling-in in red pen-work.

Supplementary information 

Negative microfilm in St John's College Library.

J. Courcelle and P. Courcelle, 'Scènes anciennes de l'iconographie Angustinienne', Revue des Études Augustiniennes 10:1 (1964).  Copy in St John's College Library.

E. G. Millar, English Illuminated Manuscripts from the XIVth to the XVth Centuries (Paris, 1928), p. 16.  It is first attributed to Master of Queen Mary's Psalter (British Library Royal 2.B.vii).  Millar reproduces p. 117 (pl. 40a) and p. 143 (pl. 40b).

L. Dennison, 'An Illuminator of the Queen Mary Psalter Group: The Ancient and Master', Antiquaries Journal 66:2 (1986), 287-314.

L. F. Sandler, Gothic Manuscripts 1285 - 1385 (Oxford, 1986).

For a 14th century translation of part 1 see W. Nelson Francis (ed.), The Book of Vices and Virtues (London, 1942), cf. B.9. no. 6.

For part 1 see Leo Carruthers, La Somme le Roi de Lorens d'Orléans et ses Traductions Anglaises (Paris, 1980).

The Pater Noster and In manus tuas in part 2 (f.126v) are printed in William Maskell, Monumenta Ritualia Ecclesiae Anglicanae Vol. II (London, 1846), p. 239 and p. 283.

Another version of part 3 has been printed in G. L. Morrill, Speculum Guidonis de Warwyk (London, 1898).  The editor was appararently unaware of this MS.

For part 3, p. 254, the 'Speculum Guy de Warwick'.  This version has never been printed, but is mentioned in Carleton Brown and Rossell Hope Robbins, Index of Middle English Verse (New York, 1943), item 1101.  See also C. Horstmann (ed.), Yorkshire Writers Vol. 2 (London, 1895-6), pp. 24-36.  Copy in St John's College Library.

Part 3, p. 269, 'An orison of the Five Joys of Mary', is printed by C. Brown, Religious Lyrics of the Fourteenth Century (Oxford, 1924), pp. 29-31.

Exhibited (p. 143) at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, from 26 July to 11 December 2005. See the exhibition catalogue: P. Binski and S. Panayotova (eds.), The Cambridge Illuminations: Ten Centuries of Book Production in the Medieval West (London: Harvey Miller, 2005) no. 117.

Stella Panayotova (ed.), The Cambridge Illuminations: the Conference Papers (London: Harvey Miller, 2007) pp. 97-101, 102 figs. 1-2, 103 figs. 3-4.

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