Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library
EL 26 C 9 “Ellesmere Chaucer”
CHAUCER, CANTERBURY TALES1. ff. ii verso-iv: [Rotheley, A Ballad on the House of Vere; added, s. XVmed/ex] Halfe in a dede sclepe not fully revyued/ Rudely my sylfe as I lay alone…Thy makere standyng in dyssete and greuaunce/ Which cawsed hym the so symply to avaunce, et cetera. [“per Rotheley” in the hand of the scribe in the outer margin of f. iv, before the envoy]
England, s. XVin
IMEV 1087. E. F. Piper, “The Royal Boar and the Ellesmere Chaucer,” Philological Quarterly 5 (1926) 330-40. 2. f. iv verso: [6 verses; added, s. XVI] From Ioue aboue a spendyng breath/ ys Lent to vs to Leade oure Lyfe…My ynward mane to heauenly thyngs wold trade me/ And styll thys fleash doth euermore dysswade me. [signed:] R. North. 3. f. iv verso: [6 verses; added, s. XVI] Retaine, refuse, no frend, no foe/ Condeme, alowe, no chance, no choise…So helpe so hate, mistrvst your frend/ as blisfull daies your Life may end. [signed:] R. N. 4. ff. 1-9v: [General Prologue] Whan that Aprill with hise shoures soote/ The droghte of March hath perced to the roote…And he bigan with right a myrie cheere/ His tale anon and seyde in this manere. 5. ff. 10-33v: [Knight’s Tale] Iamque domos patrias Scithice post aspera gentis presia laurigero et cetera. Heere bigynneth the knyghtes tale, Whilom as olde stories tellen vs/ Ther was a duc þat highte Theseus…Thus endeth Palamon and Emelye/ And god saue al this faire compaignye Amen. Heere is ended the knyghtes tale. 6. ff. 33v-41v: [Prologue and Miller’s Tale] Heere folwen the wordes bitwene the hoost and the Millere, Whan that the knyght hath thus his tale ytoold/ In al the route ne was ther yong ne oold…[f. 34v:] Auyseth yow putteth me out of blame/ And eek men shal nat maken ernest of game. Heere bigynneth the Millere his tale, Whilom ther was dwellynge at Oxenford/ A riche gnof that gestes heeld to bord…And Nicholas is scalded in the towte/ This tale is doon and god saue al the rowte. Heere endeth the Millere his tale. 7. ff. 41v-46v: [Prologue and Reeve’s Tale] The Prologe of the Reues tale, Whan folk had laughen at this nyce cas/ Of Absolon and hende Nicholas…[f. 42:] He kan wel in myn eye seen a stalke/ But in his owene he kan nat seen a balke. Heere bigynneth the Reues tale, At Trumpyngtoun nat fer fro Cantebrigge/ Ther gooth a brook and ouer that a brigge…Saue al this compaignye grete and smale/ Thus haue I quyt the Millere in my tale. Heere is ended the Reues tale. 8. ff. 46v-47v: [Prologue and Cook’s Tale] The prologe of the Cokes tale, The Cook of londoun whil that the Reue spak/ For ioye him thoughte he clawed him on the bak…[f. 47:] And ther withal he lough and made cheere/ And seyde his tale as ye shul after heere. Heere bigynneth the Cookes tale, Aprentys whilom dwelled in oure Citee/ And of a craft of vitailliers was hee…And hadde a wyf that heeld for contenance/ A shoppe and swyued for hir sustenance. [f. 48r-v, ruled but blank] 9. ff. 49-63: [Head-Link, Prologue, and Man of Law’s Tale] The Wordes of the Hoost to the compaignye, Ovre hoost saugh wel that the brighte sonne/ The ark of his artificial day hath ronne…[f. 50:] And with that word he with a sobre cheere/ Bigan his tale as ye shal after heere. The prologe of the mannes tale of lawe, O hateful harm condicion of pouerte/ With thurst with coold with hunger so confoundid…[f. 50v:] Nere that a Marchant goon is many a yeere/ Me taughte a tale which that ye shal heere. Heere bigynneth the man of lawe his tale, In Surrye whilom dwelte a compaignye/ Of chapmen riche and therto sadde and trewe…Ioye after wo gouerne vs in his grace/ And kepe vs alle that been in this place Amen. Heere endeth the tale of the man of lawe. 10. ff. 63-76: [Prologue and Wife of Bath’s Tale] The Prologe of the wyues tale of Bathe, Experience though noon Auctoritee/ Were in this world were right ynogh to me…[f. 72:] If I haue licence of this worthy frere/ Yis dame quod he tel forth and I wol heere. Heere endeth the Wyf of Bathe hir Prologe And bigynneth hir tale, In tholde dayes of Kyng Arthour/ Of which that Britons speken greet honour…And olde and angry nygardes of dispence/ God sende hem soone verray pestilence. Heere endeth the Wyues tale of Bathe. 11. ff. 76v-80v: [Prologue and Friar’s Tale] The prologe of the freres tale, This worthy lymytour this noble frere/ He made alwey a maner louryng chiere…[f. 76v:] And after this he seyde vnto the frere/ Tel forth youre tale leeue maister deere. Heere bigynneth the Freres tale, Whilom ther was dwellynge in my contree/ An erchedekene a man of heigh degree…And prayeth þat thise Somonours hem repente/ Of hir mysdedes er þat the feend hem hente. Heere endeth the Freres tale. 12. ff. 80v-87: [Prologue and Summoner’s Tale] The prologe of the Somonours tale, This Somonour in his styropes hye stood/ Vpon this frere his herte was so wood…[f. 81:] God saue yow alle saue this cursed frere/ My prologe wol I ende in this manere. Heere bigynneth the Somonour his tale, Lordynges ther is in yorkshire as I gesse/ A mersshcontree called holdernesse…And Iankyn hath ywonne a newe gowne/ My tale is doon we been almoost at towne. Heere endeth the Somonours tale. 13. ff. 87v-102: [Prologue and Clerk’s Tale] Heere folweth the Prologe of the clerkes tale of Oxenford, Sire clerk of Oxenford oure Hoost sayde/ Ye ryde as coy and stille as dooth a mayde…[f. 88:] Saue that he wole conuoyen his mateere/ But this his tale which that ye may heere. Heere bigynneth the tale of the Clerk of Oxenford, Ther is at the west syde of ytaille/ Doun at the roote of Vesulus the colde…[f. 101v:] And lat vs stynte of ernestful matere/ Herkneth my song that seith in this manere. Lenuoy de Chaucer, Grisilde is deed and eek hire pacience/ And bothe atones buryed in ytaille…Be ay of chiere as light as leef on lynde/ And lat hym care & wepe and wrynge & waille. Bihoold the murye wordes of the Hoost, This worthy clerk whan ended was his tale/ Oure hoost seyde and swoor by goddes bones…As to my purpos wiste ye my wille/ But thyng þat wol nat be lat it be stille. Heere endeth the tale of the Clerk of Oxenford. 14. ff. 102v-115: [Prologue and Merchant’s Tale] The prologe of the Marchantes tale, Wepyng and waylyng care and oother sorwe/ I knowe ynogh on euen and amorwe…[f. 102v:] Gladly quod he but of myn owene soore/ For soory herte I telle may namoore. Heere bigynneth the Marchantes tale, Whilom ther was dwellynge in Lumbardye/ A worthy knyght þat born was of Pavye…Thus endeth heere my tale of Ianuarie/ God blesse vs and his mooder seinte Marie. Heere is ended the Marchantes tale of Ianuarie. 15. ff. 115-122v: [Prologue and Squire’s Tale] The Prologe of the Squieres tale, Ey goddes mercy seyde oure hoost tho/ Now swich a wyf I pray god kepe me fro…[f. 115v:] Haue me excused if I speke amys/ My wyl is good and lo my tale is this. Heere bigynneth the Squieres tale, At Sarray in the land of Tartarye/ Ther dwelte a kyng that werreyed Russye…Incipit pars tercia, Appollo whirleth vp his Chaar so hye/ Til that the god Mercurius hous the slye. [rest of f. 122v left blank] 16. ff. 123-133: [Squire-Franklin Link, Prologue and Franklin’s Tale] Heere folwen the wordes of the Frankeleyn to the Squier and the wordes of the hoost to the Frankeleyn, In feith Squier thow hast thee wel yquit/ And gentilly I preise wel thy wit…[f. 123:] I prey to god that it may plesen yow/ Thanne woot I wel that it is good ynow. Explicit. [f. 123v:] The Prologe of the Frankeleyns tale, Thise olde gentil Britouns in hir dayes/ Of diuerse auentures maden layes…[f. 123v:] My spirit feeleth noght of swich mateere/ But if yow list my tale shul ye heere. Heere bigynneth the Frankeleyns tale, In Armorik that called is Britayne/ Ther was a knyght þat loued & dide his payne…Now telleth me er that ye ferther wende/ I kan namoore my tale is at an ende. Heere is ended the Frankeleyns tale. 17. ff. 133-136: [Physician’s Tale] Heere folweth the Phisiciens tale, Ther was as telleth Titus Liuius/ A knyght that was called Virginius…Therfore I rede yow this conseil take/ Forsaketh synne er synne yow forsake. Heere endeth the Phisiciens tale. 18. ff. 136-143: [Physician-Pardoner Link, Prologue and Pardoner’s Tale] The wordes of the Hoost to the Phisicien and the Pardoner, Ovre hoost gan to swere as he were wood/ Harrow quod he by nayles and by blood…[f. 136v:] I graunte ywis quod he but I moot thynke/ Vpon som honeste thyng whil þat I drynke. Heere folweth the Prologe of the Pardoners tale. Radix malorum est Cupiditas ad Thimotheum 6o, Lordynges quod he in chirches whan I preche/ I peyne me to han an hauteyn speche…[f. 138:] Which I am wont to preche for to wynne/ Now hoold youre pees my tale I wol bigynne. Heere bigynneth the Pardoners tale, In Flaundres whilom was a compaignye/ Of yonge folk that haunteden folye…And as we diden lat vs laughe and pleye/ Anon they kiste and ryden forth hir weye. Heere is ended the Pardoners tale. 19. ff. 143v-148: [Shipman’s Tale] Heere bigynneth the Shipmannes tale, A Marchant whilom dwelled at seint denys/ That riche was for which men helde hym wys…Thus endeth my tale and god vs sende/ Taillynge ynough vnto oure lyues ende Amen. Heere endeth the Shipmannes tale. 20. ff. 148-151: [Shipman-Prioress Link, Prologue and Prioress’s Tale] Bihoold the murie wordes of the Hoost to the Shipman and to the lady Prioresse, Wel seyd by corpus dominus quod oure hoost/ Now longe moote thou saille by the cost…[f. 148:] Now wol ye vouche sauf my lady deere/ Gladly quod she and seyde as ye shal heere. Explicit. The prologe of the Prioresses tale. Domine dominus noster, O lord oure lord thy name how merueillous/ Is in this large world ysprad quod she…[f. 148v:] Right so fare I and therfore I yow preye/ Gydeth my song þat I shal of yow seye. Explicit. Heere bigynneth the Prioresses tale, Ther was in Asye in a greet Citee/ Amonges cristene folk a Iewerye…On vs his grete mercy multiplie/ For reuerence of his mooder Marie Amen. Heere is ended the Prioresses tale. 21. ff. 151-153: [Prioress-Thopas Link, and Thopas] Bihoold the murye wordes of the Hoost to Chaucer, Whan seyd was al this miracle euery man/ As sobre was that wonder was to se…[f. 151v:] Ye that is good quod he [“id est hoost” inserted above “he”] now shul ye heere/ Som deyntee thyng me thynketh by his cheere. Explicit. Heere bigynneth Chaucers tale of Thopas, Listeth lordes in good entent/ And I wol telle verrayment…So worly vnderwede/ Til on a day… 22. ff. 153-167v: [Thopas-Melibeus Link, and Melibeus] Heere the Hoost stynteth Chaucer of his tale of Thopas, Namoore of this for goddes dignitee/ Quod oure hoost for thou makest me…[f. 153v:] And therfore herkneth what þat I shal seye/ And lat me tellen al my tale I preye. Explicit. Heere bigynneth Chaucers tale of Melibee, A yong man called Melibeus myghty and riche bigat vpon his wyf that called was Prudence a doghter which that called was Sophie…he is so free and so merciable that he wole foryeuen vs oure giltes and bryngen vs to his blisse that neuere hath ende. Amen. Heere is ended Chaucers tale of Melibee and of Dame Prudence. 23. ff. 168-178: [Melibeus-Monk Link, and Monk’s Tale] The murye wordes of the Hoost to the Monk, Whan ended was my tale of Melibee/ And of Prudence and hire benignytee…[f. 169:] As it now comth vnto my remembraunce/ Haue me excused of myn ignoraunce. Explicit. Heere bigynneth the Monkes tale de casibus virorum Illustrium, I wol biwaille in manere of Tragedie/ The harm of hem that stoode in heigh degree…That highte Dant for he kan al deuyse/ Fro point to point nat o word wol he faille. Explicit Tragedia. 24. ff. 178-185v: [Prologue and Nun’s Priest’s Tale] Heere stynteth the knyght the Monk of his tale. The Prologe of the Nonnes preestes tale, Hoo quod the knyght good sire namoore this/ That ye han seyd is right ynough ywis…[f. 178v:] And thus he seyde vnto vs euerichon/ This sweete preest this goodly man sir Iohn. Explicit. [f. 179:] Heere bigynneth the Nonnes Preestes tale of the Cok and Hen Chauntecleer and Pertelote, A poure wydwe somdeel stape in age/ Was whilom dwellyng in a narwe cotage…As seith my lord so make vs alle goode men/ And brynge vs to his heighe blisse Amen. Heere is ended the Nonnes preestes tale. 25. ff. 185v-192: [Prologue and Second Nun’s Tale] The prologe of the Seconde Nonnes tale, The Ministre and the Norice vnto vices/ Which that men clepe in Englissh ydelnesse…[f. 187:] And brennynge euere in charite ful brighte/ Now haue I yow declared what she highte. Explicit. Heere bigynneth the Seconde Nonnes tale of the luf of Seinte Cecile, This mayden bright Cecilie as hir lif seith/ Was comen of Romayns and of noble kynde…In which into this day in noble wyse/ Men doon to Crist and to his seinte seruyse. Heere is ended the Seconde Nonnes tale. 26. ff. 192-202: [Prologue and Canon’s Yeoman’s Tale] The prologe of the Chanouns yemannes tale, Whan toold was al the lyf of seinte Cecile/ Er we hadde riden fully fyue Mile…[f. 194:] Syn that my lord is goon I wol nat spare/ Swich thyng as that I knowe I wol declare. Heere endeþ þe prologe of the Chanouns yemannes tale. Heere bigynneth the Chanouns yeman his tale, With this Chanoun I dwelt haue seuen yeer/ And of his science am I neuer the neer…And there a poynt for ended is my tale/ God sende euery trewe man boote of his bale Amen. Heere is ended the Chanouns yemannes tale. 27. ff. 202-205v: [Prologue and Manciple’s Tale] Heere folweth the Prologe of the Maunciples tale, Woot ye nat where ther stant a litel toun/ Which þat ycleped is Bobbe up and doun…[f. 203:] Telle on thy tale Manciple I thee preye/ Wel sire quod he now herkneth what I seye. Heere bigynneth the Maunciples tale of the Crowe, Whan phebus dwelled heere in this world adoun/ As olde bookes maken mencioun…Where so thou come amonges hye or lowe/ Kepe wel thy tonge and thenk vpon the Crowe. Heere is ended the Maunciples tale of the Crowe. 28. ff. 206-232v: [Prologue and Parson’s Tale] Heere folweth the Prologe of the Persouns tale, By that the Maunciple hadde his tale al ended/ The sonne fro the south lyne was descended…[f. 206v:] Beth fructuous and that in litel space/ And to do wel god sende yow his grace. Explicit prohemium. Heere bigynneth the Persouns tale. Ier. 6o. State super vias et videte et interrogate de viis antiquis que sit via bona et ambulate in ea et invenietis refrigerium animabus vestris et cetera, Oure sweete lord god of heuene that no man wole perisse but wole that we comen alle to the knoweleche of hym and the blisful lif that is perdurable…the plentee of Ioye by hunger and thurst and the reste by trauaille and the lyf by mortificacioun of synne. Heere taketh the makere of this book his leue, Now preye I to hem alle that herkne this litel tretys or rede…that boghte vs with the precious blood of his herte so þat I may been oon of hem at the day of doome that shulle be saued. Qui cum patre et cetera. Heere is ended the book of the tales of Caunterbury compiled by Geffrey Chaucer of whos soule Ihesu crist haue mercy Amen.
IMEV 4019. F. J. Furnivall, ed., The Ellesmere MS of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Chaucer Society 2, 8, 16, 26, 32, 38, 50 and 70 (London 1868-79) from this manuscript. For the text, see also W. McCormick, The Manuscripts of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (Oxford 1933) 147-53 (shelfmark erroneously given as EL 26 C 12), J. M. Manly and E. Rickert, The Text of the Canterbury Tales (Chicago 1940) 1:149-52 and 2:479-80, and P. G. Ruggiers, ed., with introductions by D. C. Baker, A. I. Doyle and M. B. Parkes, The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer, A Facsimile and Transcription of the Hengwrt Manuscript, with Variants from the Ellesmere Manuscript (University of Oklahoma Press 1979). Reproduced by collotype in The Ellesmere Chaucer Reproduced in Facsimile with introduction by A. Egerton (Manchester, University Press 1911) 2 volumes. Considerable apparatus in especially ruled columns in the outer margin consisting of Latin quotations (some unique) and finding notes for subtopics in the text. 29. back flyleaf, f. v [6 verses; added, s. XVI] thes worldly ioies, that faier in sight apeares/ arr Lvring baits whereto oure minds we cast…My inward mane, to hevenly things wold trade me/ But aye this flesh, doth still and still disswade me. [signed:] R.N. 30. back flyleaf, f. v [6 verses; added, s. XVI] In triflieng tales, by poets told/ whoe spends their time, and beats their braine…Svtch folke build vpp, their howses in the sand/ and leves godds trewth, by which we owght to stand. [signed:] R.N. 31. back flyleaf, f. vii verso: [Table of contents to the Canterbury Tales; added, s. XVmed] The knyght, Of Arcite and Palamoun; The Myller, Of Alison & Absolon & hende Nicholas…The Person, Of the iii parties of penitence et cetera. 32. back flyleaf, f. viii: [Chaucer, “Truth”; added, s. XVin] Fle fro the prees and dwell with sothfastnesse/ Suffise vnto thi good though it be smal…Hold the hye wey and lat thi gost the lede/ And trouthe shal deliuere it is no drede.
IMEV 809. H. J. Todd, Illustrations of the Lives and Writings of Gower and Chaucer (London 1810) 131-32 from this manuscript; the Envoy not copied here. Parchment, ff. ii (modern parchment) + iv (contemporary parchment) + 232 + iv (contemporary parchment) + ii (modern parchment); 394 × 284 (310-315 × 165-167) mm. 1-298. Catchwords trimmed, the only visible remainder at the end of quire 23, on f. 184v. 48 lines of verse or prose (although occasionally laid out in stanza form, thus with only 42 lines of text, e.g. ff. 50-62v, the Man of Law’s tale). Ruled in reddish-brown ink: double bounding rules the full length and width of the page, enclosing the text space; a double rule across the upper margin for running headlines; a single vertical rule in the outer margin to frame gloss space (occasionally double, in which case the row of pricking holes occurs between the 2 rules; a single rule apparently in dry point in quire 29, ff. 225-232). Round prick marks in the 3 outer margins, sometimes cropped, with a double set designating the second line from the bottom (a triple set for the same purpose in quire 14, ff. 105-112). Contemporary flyleaves ruled in the same manner as the rest of the volume. Written in an anglicana formata script by the scribe who also copied the Hengwrt Chaucer, Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, Peniarth MS 392, and portions of Cambridge, Trinity College, MS R.3.2 (581). The hand is described as that of Scribe B of the Cambridge manuscript by A. I. Doyle and M. B. Parkes, “The Production of Copies of the Canterbury Tales and the Confessio Amantis in the Early Fifteenth Century,” in Medieval Scribes, Manuscripts & Libraries: Essays presented to N. R. Ker, ed. M. B. Parkes and A. G. Watson (London 1978) 163-210, with plates of EL 26 C 9, ff. 182v (detail; full size) and 104 (full page; reduced). Twenty-three miniatures (one of each of the pilgrims) which, along with the expected symbolism (e.g., the Clerk with books, the Physician with a urine bottle), exhibit a remarkable degree of fidelity to the text; even the horses to some extent suit their riders (see Piper, “Miniatures,” cited below); the miniature of Chaucer considered a likeness of the poet himself (see M. H. Spielmann, The Portraits of Geoffrey Chaucer. Chaucer Society ser. 2, n. 31, London 1900, pp. 15-16). The miniatures are placed outside of the written space, without a frame, at the beginning of each pilgrim’s tale: for illuminations on the recto, to the right of the text in the gloss space or in the ruled text space; for illuminations on the verso, usually to the left of the text in a niche in the decoration. They vary in size (the largest, ca. 100 × 80 mm.; the smallest, ca. 45 × 45 mm.) according to the artist. Three artists were responsible: the first for the first 16 pilgrims and the last pilgrim (small figures; Manly and Rickert, 1:590-605, esp. p. 596, tentatively divide this work between 2 people); the second and most competent artist for the Chaucer portrait; the third artist for the illustrations of the Monk, the Nun’s Priest, the Second Nun, the Canon’s Yeoman and the Manciple (larger scale figures, standing on a patch of green grass). Miniatures apparently done before the border decoration was painted: on f. 148v (the Prioress) and f. 153v (Chaucer), the invasion of the miniature into the ruled text space forced the bar border and initial to the right of their normal position; on f. 206v, however, the erasure of a daisy bud spray to allow room for the miniature of the Parson points to execution of the border before the miniature. On ff. 115v, 123v, 143v (the Squire, the Franklin and the Shipman), the horses crudely outlined with a stylus, probably at a later date (contrary to the opinion offered by Schulz, The Ellesmere Manuscript, p. 4; see below); on f. 10 (the Knight) and f. 133 (the Physician), sixteenth century rough ink sketches of the figures. Eight miniatures or their adjacent borders damaged to varying degree by smudging: the Knight, the Miller, the Man of Law, the Clerk, the Merchant, the Shipman, the Monk and the Nun’s Priest (ff. 10, 34v, 50v, 88, 102v, 143v, 169, 179). The damage presumably had already occurred by 1810, when Todd, Illustrations, p. 239 commented of the Monk that his “face [was] a little injured.” For reproductions see: F. J. Furnivall, ed., A Six-Text Print of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in Parallel Columns. Chaucer Society ser. 1 n. 15 (London ) and n. 25 () with colored woodcuts by W. H. Hooper of the pilgrims (without text, decoration or page layout); foliation advanced by 4 over the present system; see Spielmann, Portraits, p. 16 quoting Mr. Hooper on the conditions of work and that he had been asked to “make the drawing good in such places as time and handling had damaged the work.” The same woodcuts, uncolored, in F. J. Furnivall, ed., The Ellesmere Manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Chaucer Society ser. 1 n. 16 (London 1871) and n. 26 (London 1872), and in F. J. Furnivall, ed., The Cambridge MS Dd.4.24 of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Chaucer Society ser. 1, n. 96 (London 1902). The Ellesmere Chaucer Reproduced in Facsimile with introduction by A. Egerton (Manchester, University Press 1911) 2 volumes, reproducing by collotype, generally uncolored, but in color for the 71 leaves with borders; the smudging, particularly bad for the Miller, the Man of Law, the Monk and the Nun’s Priest, has been touched up; the pilgrims in a few cases printed separately on the margins, slightly altering their position with respect to the borders or the text; the proportions of the margins have been altered (widening the inner margin and reducing the outer); a certain amount of the later marginalia was blocked out; see notice in the Athenaeum, 19 August 1911, pp. 210-11. E. F. Piper, “The Miniatures of the Ellesmere Chaucer,” Philological Quarterly 3 (1924) 241-56, reproducing the pilgrims from the facsimile edition, in black and white, in no particular order. R. S. Loomis, A Mirror of Chaucer’s World (Princeton 1965) figs. 1, 80-101 from the facsimile edition, in black and white, in order of the pilgrims’ appearance in the general prologue. H. C. Schulz, The Ellesmere Manuscript of Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’ (San Marino, Huntington Library 1966), with the pilgrims reproduced on a fold-out (also available separately) in color and in actual size but isolated from their placement on the page; smudging touched up. T. Stemmler, The Ellesmere Miniatures of the Canterbury Pilgrims. Poetria Mediaevalis 2 (Mannheim, 2nd ed., 1977), reproducing the pilgrims in order of their appearance in the general prologue, in color photographs, no scale of size (most photographs enlarged; that of the Monk reduced), poor color in the copy seen by us (for blues and greys, in particular); some of adjacent text or border visible. Pilgrims also reproduced in J. Thorpe, A Noble Heritage: The Ellesmere Manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (San Marino 1974) and J. Thorpe, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: The Ellesmere Manuscript (San Marino 1978); both pamphlets with the same text; plates slightly rearranged in the latter. The miniatures are: On f. 10, the Knight, ca. 95 × 60 mm., in the gloss space, by the first artist; on the horse are 2 letters, possibly sixteenth century, a “y” (?) and a “m” (?); below the miniature, a crude sixteenth century ink sketch of the Knight; somewhat damaged. On f. 34v, the Miller, ca. 80 × 60 mm., in the text and gloss space (the only miniature so positioned on a verso), by the first artist; sixteenth century note beside the miniature, “Robin with the Bagpype”; damaged. On f. 42, the Reeve, ca. 65 × 55 mm., within the text space, by the first artist. On f. 47, the Cook, ca. 65 × 50 mm., within the text space, by the first artist. On f. 50v, the Man of Law, ca. 65 × 55 mm., in a niche in the border decoration, by the first artist; damaged. On f. 72, the Wife of Bath, ca. 73 × 55 mm., within the text space, by the first artist. On f. 76v, the Friar, ca. 45 × 45 mm., in a niche in the border decoration, by the first artist. On f. 81, the Summoner, ca. 50 × 45 mm., within the text space, by the first artist. On f. 88, the Clerk, ca. 73 × 65 mm., within the text space, by the first artist; somewhat damaged. On f. 102v, the Merchant, ca. 55 × 53 mm., in a niche in the border decoration, by the first artist; damaged. On f. 115v, the Squire, ca. 75 × 50 mm., in a niche in the border decoration, by the first artist; the horse outlined with a stylus. On f. 123v, the Franklin, ca. 63 × 55 mm., in a niche in the border decoration, by the first artist; the horse outlined with a stylus. On f. 133, the Physician, ca. 73 × 50 mm., within the text space, by the first artist; beside the figure, an erased word, probably fifteenth century, beginning with “m” (but not “medicus”); above the figure, a crude sixteenth century ink sketch of the Physician. On f. 138, the Pardoner, ca. 65 × 50 mm., within the text space, by the first artist; a pentimento of the horse’s right foreleg remains visible. On f. 143v, the Shipman, ca. 63 × 50 mm., in a niche in the border decoration, by the first artist; the horse outlined with a stylus; adjacent initial damaged. On f. 148v, the Prioress, ca. 55 × 55 mm., in a niche in the border decoration, by the first artist; opening initial of her tale displaced to the right of the vertical bar of the border decoration. On f. 153v, Chaucer, his horse standing on a grassy plot, ca. 102 × 73 mm., in a niche in the border decoration, by the second and most competent artist who painted only this miniature, with some discrepancy in proportion between the large bust of Chaucer and the smaller size of his legs and his horse; opening initial of his tale painted to the right of the preparatory pen outline; ink of the text in this opening and colors in the initial and border foliage considerably faded (amount of fading on miniature not verifiable). On f. 169, the Monk, his horse standing on a grassy plot and his dogs running free, ca. 78 × 50 mm. for the Monk, and ca. 120 × 100 mm. for the space occupied by all 3 figures, mostly within the text space, but one dog in the gloss space, by the third artist; damaged. On f. 179, the Nun’s Priest, his horse standing on a grassy plot, ca. 70 × 55 mm., within the text space, by the third artist; sixteenth century note beside the miniature, “Robert Nytipole”; damaged. On f. 187, the Second Nun, her horse standing on a grassy plot, ca. 80 × 68 mm., within the gloss space, by the third artist; illegible note to the right of the figure’s head in the outer margin, possibly fifteenth century. On f. 194, the Canon’s Yeoman, his horse standing on a grassy plot, ca. 100 × 80 mm., within the gloss space, by the third artist; “Amen” in a sixteenth century hand in the upper margin, presumably the “yemen” to which Piper, “Miniatures,” p. 241, n. 2 refers and the “directions for the drawing…of the Canon’s Yeoman” said in the Athenaeum, p. 211, to have been omitted in the facsimile (as indeed “Amen” is). On f. 203, the Manciple, his horse standing on a grassy plot, ca. 95 × 63 mm., within the gloss space, by the third artist. On f. 206v, the Parson, ca. 48 × 45 mm., in a niche in the border decoration, by the first artist. Decoration in a conservative style (see Manly and Rickert, 1:565-67); 6- to 4-line white-highlighted initials in blue, pink and dull red (little or no green) on a gold ground, infilled with leaf designs, with ¾ bar and foliage border in the same colors, including daisy buds, interlace and an occasional grotesque (ff. 1, 87v); 4- to 2-line gold initials on whitepatterned particolored blue and pink grounds (no sprays); paragraph marks alternating in blue with red flourishing or in gold with grey-blue flourishing up to f. 48 (through quire 6), thereafter in gold with purple. Running headlines (from f. 10 on) and marginal notes set off by paragraph marks. Considerable sixteenth century marginalia on the 4 front and 4 back flyleaves (ruled as text pages) and throughout the volume; for ownership notes, see below. Horizontal creases approx. 110-120 mm. from the bottom on most leaves probably result from sagging of the weight of the book or from improper care; they do not seem to precede the writing of the text or the painting of the miniatures as suggested by Schulz, The Ellesmere Manuscript, p. 23. Large stain across the opening of ff. 165v-166. Three sets of modern pencil foliation; the most recent (one of the two in the upper right corner of the recto) followed in this description. Bound probably in 1911 by Riviere and Son in dark green morocco, with the Egerton arms stamped in gold on the front cover; vellum doublures; gilt edges. Manly and Rickert, 1:149, have repeated A. Egerton’s statement in the introduction to the facsimile, that the manuscript was brought from Ashridge to London in 1802 for rebinding. This date, however, must refer to the previous binding, since the designation “Riviere and Son” came into use only in 1881, and since the style of the binding places it in the early twentieth century. The manuscript was removed from its previous binding in or before 1911, to permit photography page by page in flat condition for the facsimile; the rebinding after photography was evidently the occasion for the work of Riviere and Son. Gilt but uneven edges demonstrate that the book was trimmed prior to 1911; stains on the recto of the first contemporary front flyleaf and on the verso of the last contemporary flyleaf (former pastedowns) from leather turn-ins of a previous binding. Written in England, ca. 1410; Cambridge, Trinity College, MS R.3.2 (581), copied in part by the same scribe, has been localized to London or Westminster, between 1408-26 (see Doyle and Parkes, “The Production of Copies…,”p. 185). The poem on ff. ii verso-iv (art. 1) appears to have been written to honor the de Vere family, earls of Oxford; its inclusion in this manuscript may suggest an early association with John de Vere (1408-61/62), 12th Earl of Oxford, who after his father’s death in 1417 became ward of the Duke of Exeter and in 1426 of the Duke of Bedford; both men were kinsmen of Chaucer’s son, Thomas. One of the executors of the will of John de Vere (1442-1512/13), 13th Earl of Oxford, was Sir Robert Drury of Hawsted in Suffolk, 17 miles northeast of Castle Hedingham, the family seat of the de Veres. On f. i verso, s. XVI2/4, “Robertus drury miles [space], William drury miles, Robertus drury miles, domina Jarmin, domina Jarningam, dommina Alington,” referring to Sir Robert Drury (mentioned above as executor; speaker of the House of Commons in 1495 and a member of Henry VIII’s Council), to his sons William and Robert, and to his 3 daughters: Anna, married first to George Waldegrave, and after his death in 1528 to Sir Thomas Jermyn; Bridget, married to Sir John Jernyngham (Jernegan, of Somerleyton); Ursula (d. 1521), married to Sir Giles Alington. Among the legatees of the 13th Earl of Oxford’s will were the elder Robert Drury’s sons-in-law, George Waldegrave and Sir Giles Alington. On f. ii, the names “Domina Jernegan” and “Domina Jernegan, Domina Alington” are repeated; on f. i verso, “Edwarde Waldegrave” (uncle, d. 1500, or son, b. 1514, of George Waldegrave). On ff. i verso and iv verso, s. XV or XVIin, several times, the name and once the phrase, “Margery seynt John ys a shrew” (George Waldegrave had a niece, d. 1536, and a great-niece, d. 1562, by that name). On f. i verso, s. XVI, “Thomas Calthorpp of” (a Thomas Calthorpe, d. 1559, was great-nephew of the elder Sir Robert Drury’s first wife, Anna, daughter of Sir William Calthorpe of Norwich). On f. ii, the initials “HD” and on f. 147v, “Henricus Drury Miles” (possibly the son of William Drury). On f. 130, s. XVI,“…per me henricum Payne” followed by a paraph, possibly referring to the Henry Payne of Nowton, near Hawsted, a member of Lincoln’s Inn, d. 1568; his will shows that he had purchased lands from the Drurys; he had witnessed Sir William Drury’s will in 1557 and had had a legacy from him; in his own will, he bequeathed to Sir Giles Alington, grandson of Ursula Drury and her husband Giles Alington, “the beste geldyng he will choise of eny that I haue And also my Chaucer written in vellum and illumyned with golde.” On f. ii, s. XVI, “per me Thomam Badbeye,” brother-in-law of Sir Ambrose Jermyn (son of the Sir Thomas Jermyn who had married Anna Drury). On ff. 64 and v recto and verso (= first back flyleaf), the name of John Hedgeman; on f. 175, the name occurs in a longer inscription, much faded, but which may read “John Hedgeman of Hawkedoun in the Countie of Suff. <?> neyther squier nor knight But a knave”; Hawkedon is near the Drury seat at Hawsted and some 20 miles east of Castle Hedingham. The remaining sixteenth century ownership marks are without known connection to the de Vere or Drury families. On ff. ii verso, iii and vii verso (= third back flyleaf; erased), s. XV1, a motto, “de meuz en meuz” (de mieux en mieux?), perhaps that of the Paston family, although it seems unlikely that the book could have belonged to them at that date. On ff. ii, 229v, both times upside down, “Rycher Challes.” On ff. 48, 108, “…William Sayer.” On f. 48, “John Neue de oxenborowe in comt. norff. salutem percipe quod et cetera,” “Rog<?>se Smith [?],” and a note about Thomas, Duke of Norfolk (d. 1572). On f. 54, “Thome R<?>dell <?>nold Gregorye Nycholas Arnold.” On f. 169v, “Willem <?>te detho [?].” On f. vi (= second back flyleaf), “Thomas Newman yeve these with my hartie comendacions <?>.” On f. vi verso (= second back flyleaf), “…Edmond Bedingfelde esquier <?> at Wightoun <?>.” The sixteenth century notes in the same hand beside the figure of the Miller (f. 34v), “Robin with the Bagpype,” and the figure of the Nun’s Priest (f. 179), “Robert Nytipole” (nitty = full of nits; pole, variant spelling of poll = head) may be intended as teasing gibes at an owner or owner’s friend (but see Manly and Rickert, 1:155). On ff. iv verso and v (= first back flyleaf) are verses (arts. 2, 3, 29, 30) signed R.N. or R. North; on ff. ii and iv verso, the note, “1 Durum 5 Pati 68 R. North,” giving the date 1568 and the motto “Durum pati” of Roger North (1530/31-1600), 2nd Lord North. For further speculation on the identities of these individuals, see Manly and Rickert, 1:152-59. On f. ii, the pressmark “Q.3” in the hand of John Egerton (1579-1649), 1st Earl of Bridgewater, corrected by John Egerton (1622-86), 2nd Earl of Bridgewater to “Q.3/3.” The manuscript was housed at that time at Ashridge, in Hertfordshire, formerly the college of the “Boni Homines” whose lands and buildings had been acquired in 1604 by the first Earl’s father, Sir Thomas Egerton, Baron Ellesmere and Viscount Brackley (on Ashridge, see provenance of EL 7 H 8 and related bibliography). The Ashridge location was mistakenly understood as Ashridge origin by Todd, Illustrations, and mentioned by A. Egerton in her introduction to the facsimile. The Bridgewater library descended through the Egerton family to George Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Marquis of Stafford (afterward 1st Duke of Sutherland); from 1803 to 1833 the present manuscript was known as the “Stafford Chaucer.” His younger son, Francis Egerton, created Earl of Ellesmere in 1846, inherited the library. It was acquired by Henry E. Huntington in 1917 (see pp. 5-7).
Secundo folio: So hoote24 August 2003 Additional binding description written by Maria Fredericks: Removed from previous modern green goatskin binding in 1994, re-bound in 1995 in the Huntington Library's Conservation Department by guest conservator Anthony G. Cains (Trinity College, Dublin), with the assistance of Maria Fredericks, Rare Book Conservator at the Huntington. Sewn on seven double flax cords using original 15th-century stations. Boards of quarter-sawn English oak laced on and pegged, covered with alum-tawed calfskin. Lacing-in pattern derived from evidence found on original pastedowns. Pastedowns bound in but not adhered to boards. See also Anthony G. Cains, "The Bindings of the Ellesmere Chaucer," HLQ 58 (1996) 127-157. Note: The two modern parchment flyleaves that were part of the collation in 1989 are no longer bound in the codex, but are boxed with the old binding. New Bibliography: The Canterbury Tales: the new Ellesmere Chaucer facsimile (of Huntington Library MS EL 26 C 9) / by Geoffrey Chaucer ; edited by Daniel Woodward and Martin Stevens. (San Marino, Calif.: Huntington Library; Tokyo: Yushodo Co, 1995)
Bibliography: The English Novel, n. 2. De Ricci, 132-33. Aspects of Medieval England, n. 33. For selected bibliography on the text, see above p. 46; for selected bibliography on the illumination, see above pp. 47-48 and Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts (forthcoming). See also the following general Chaucer bibliographies: E. P. Hammond, Chaucer: a bibliographical manual (New York 1908). D. D. Griffith, Bibliography of Chaucer 1908-1953 (Seattle 1955). W. R. Crawford, Bibliography of Chaucer 1954-63 (Seattle 1967). L. Y. Baird, A Bibliography of Chaucer 1964-1973 (Boston 1977).
C. W. Dutschke with the assistance of R. H. Rouse et al., Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library (San Marino, 1989). Copyright 1989.
Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California.
Electronic version encoded by Sharon K, Goetz, 2003.
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