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Poetical works by Lydgate, Gower, Hoccleve and Walton

Reference code
Poetical works by Lydgate, Gower, Hoccleve and Walton
15th century
Level of description
Extent and format
Vellum; ff. ii + 297.
Large quarto.
Leather binding, brown, restored and rebacked; 16th century tooled covers by a London binder inset, bearing Oldham's rolls HE.b. 5 and TC.a. 7. Modern dark green slipcase.
Bookplate (fol. i) of the Rev. Charles Lyttelton, PSA, who thought the MS came from Halesowen abbey (note, fol. ii). Marginal annotations throughout include early corrections or imitations of the text, and notes and drafts, 16th-17th century, some of which can be associated with the Lyttelton family, e.g. fol. 103, quotation (from Sir Edward Dyer), 'My mynde to me a kingdome is', written by Elizabeth Cromwell, followed by 'soe is myne if that I might obtaine it', written by Bridget Littelton (sic). A draft message at the top of fol. 2v, 'I praye go to the screvener in feter lane and desier him to Come to the flete [Fleet prison] and bringe the leter of atturneye ... I praye do not fayle for my mr [master] trusteth to you ...' may be relevant to the family (cf. MSS/0215). Other names include:- Edmund Hardy, fol. 101v; Katherin Vine, fol. 123; Bromley (maiden name of Meriel Lyttelton, wife of John Lyttelton, who died in prison, 1601), fol. 180; Francis Felton, fol. 266. Beginning of a charter, fol. 129, relating to Thomas Caton of ?Bennsted.
Scope and content
Contents (see Ker, MMBL, (1969), 306):-

(1) John Lydgate, Life of Our Lady. Begins imperfectly at Book II, 222, and ends with the formula 'Pees maketh plente' (as Bodl. Lib., MS Rawlinson poet. 140). See J. A. Lauritis, A Critical Edition of John Lydgate's Life of Our Lady (Duquesne Studies. Philological Series no. 2, 1961), 27 note, 45-6. fols. 1-30;-

(2) John Gower, Confessio Amantis. See the edition by G. C. Macaulay, EETS, extra ser., 81 (1900), cxliii-iv, for this MS. fols. 30v-249v;-

(3) Thomas Hoccleve, Regiment of Princes. The edition by F. J. Furnivall, EETS, extra ser. 72 (1897) is based on BL Harl. MS 4866. fols. 250-83;-

(4) John Walton's metrical translation of Boethius, De Consolatione Philosophiae. Ends imperfectly in stanza 10 of book 2.

See the edition by M. Science, EETS, 170 (1927), where nineteen MSS are listed (not including the present), fols. 283v-97v. Partial bar borders with foliage, fols. 8v, 1 11v, 20, 27, 30v, 61, 84v, 103, 127v, 176v, 192v, 229, 291; full borders, fols. 38, 250, 283v, 285; many three-line initials in raised gold, on pink and blue grounds, with white tracery, throughout; a few more elaborate four- and five-line initials (e.g. fols. 30v, 285) on gold grounds.
Previous reference number(s)
Middle English.