Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library
TOWNELEY CYCLE1. ff. 1-2v: In dei nomine Amen Assit principio Sancta Maria meo Wakefeld, Ego sum alpha et o/ I am the first the last also/ Oone god in mageste/ Meruelus of myght most/ Fader & Son & holy goost/ On god in trinyte…The ix ordre to fulfill/ that after vs left sich is his will/ And now ar thay in paradise/ bot thens thay shall if we be wise// 2. ff. 3-7: Mactacio abel Secunda pagina, Garcio. All hayll all hayll both blithe and glad/ For here com I a mery lad…For now and euer more/ I will go me to hyde. Explicit Mactacio Abell Sequitur Noe. 3. ff. 7v-12v: Processus Noe cum filiis Wakefeld, Noe. Myghtfull god veray/ Maker of all that is/ Thre persons withoutten nay/ oone god in endles blis…With his santys in sight/ And his angels bright/ May com to his light/ Amen for charite. Explicit processus Noe sequitur Abraham. 4. ff. 13-15v: Sequitur Abraham, Abraham. Adonay thou god veray/ Thou here vs when we to the call…Is all forgeyn. Abraham. yei son certan/ Isaac. For ferd sir was I nerehand mad// 5. f. 16r-v: [Isaac] //Com nere son and kys me/ that I may feyle the smell of the…Rebecca. And gif the grace good man to be/ And send me glad tythyngs to the. Explicit Isaac. 6. ff. 16v-17v: Sequitur iacob, Iacob. Help me lord adonay/ And hald me in the right way/ To mesopotameam/ For I cam neuer or now where I am…Thou art my lord thrugh destyny/ go we togeder both thou and I/ To my fader and his wife/ that lofys the brother as thare lyfe. Explicit Iacob. 7. ff. 17v-19v: Processus prophetarum, Moyses. Prophetam excitabit deus de fratribus vestris/ Omnis anima que non audierit prophetam illum exterminabitur…To saue all that are forlorne/ Euermore withoutten end. [ends unfinished by scribe; f. 20r-v, blank, except for one line on f. 20, added in a later hand and now erased, recopying the first line of f. 19v, “All that shall stand him before”] 8. ff. 21-25v: Incipit Pharao, Pharao. Peas of payn that no man pas/ bot kepe the course that I commaunde…honowred be he in trynyte/ to hym be honowre and vertew. Amen. Explicit pharao. 9. ff. 25v-28: Incipit Cesar Augustus, Imperator. Be styll beshers I commawnd yow/ That no man speke a word here now…he bryng thi Iornay well to eynd/ And wysh the that all wate. Explicit Cesar Augustus. 10. ff. 28-31v: Incipit Annunciacio, Deus. Sythen I haue mayde all thyng of noght/ And Adam with my handys hath wroght…My wyfe and hir swete yong wight/ To kepe to my lyfys ende. Explicit Annunciacio beate Marie. 11. ff. 31v-32v: Incipit Salutacio Elezabeth, Maria. My lord of heuen that syttys he/ And all thyng seys with ee…That lord that the with grace infude/ he saue all in this place. Explicit Salutacio Elezabeth. 12. ff. 32v-38: Incipit pagina pastorum, Primus pastor. Lord what thay ar weyll/ that hens ar past/ For thay noght feyll/ theym to downe cast…To Ioy all sam/ With myrth and gam/ To the lawde of this lam/ Syng we in syght. Explicit una pagina pastorum. 13. ff. 38-46v: Incipit Alia eorundem, Primus pastor. Lord what these weders ar cold/ and I am yll happyd/ I am nerehande dold/ so long haue I nappyd…iiius pastor. To syng ar we bun/ let take on loft. Explicit pagina Pastorum. 14. ff. 46v-53: Incipit oblacio Magorum, Herodes. Peasse I byd both far and nere/ I warne you leyf youre sawes sere…And he that is withoutten end/ And ay shalbe/ Saue vs from fowndyng of the feynd/ For his pauste. Explicit oblacio trium Magorum. 15. ff. 53-55: Incipit fugacio Iosep et marie in egiptum, Angelus. Awake Ioseph and take intent/ Thou ryse and slepe nomare…Thou fyndys no fawte me in/ I say/ God blys you more and myn/ And haue now all good day. Explicit fugacio Iosep et marie in egiptum. 16. ff. 55-60: Incipit magnus Herodes, Nuncius. Moste myghty mahowne/ meng you with myrth/ Both of burgh and of towne/ by fellys and by fyrth…Syrs this is my counsell/ Bese not to cruell/ Bot adew to the deuyll/ I can nomore franch. Explicit magnus Herodes. 17. ff. 60v-61v: Incipit Purificacio marie, Symeon. Mightfull god thou vs glad/ That heuen and erthe and all has mayde…Now has thou that thou wold/ Secundus angelus. Thou has desyryd it most of all// 18. ff. 62-64v: [Pagina doctorum] //That a madyn a barn shuld bere/ And his name thus can thay tell/ Fro the tyme that he born were/ he shalbe callyd emanuell…Maria. Full well is me this tyde/ Now may we make good chere/ Ioseph. No longer wyll we byde/ Fare well all folk in fere. Explicit Pagina Doctorum. 19. ff. 64v-67: Incipit Iohannes baptista, Iohannes. God that mayde both more and les/ Heuen and erth at his awne wyll…Thynk how in baptym ye ar sworne/ To be godys seruandys withoutten nay/ let neuer his luf from you be lorne/ God bryng you to his blys for ay. Amen. Explicit Iohannes Baptista. 20. ff. 67-73: Incipit conspiracio [et] c[etera], Pilatus. Peas carles I commaunde/ vnconand I call you/ I say stynt and stande/ or foull myght befall you…Till thou com to sir cayphas/ Saue the shall no man. Explicit capcio Ihesu. 21. ff. 73v-78v: Incipit Coliphizacio, Primus tortor. Do Io furth Io/ and trott on a pase/ To anna will we go/ and sir cayphas…And persew on his dede/ Fare well we gang men. Explicit Coliphizacio. 22. ff. 78v-84: Incipit Flagellacio, Pilatus. Peasse at my bydyng ye wyghtes in wold/ Looke none be so hardy to speke a word bot I…iius tortor. Put on thou/ iiius tortor. I com fast after you/ And folowse on the chace. Explicit Flagellacio. 23. ff. 84-91v: Sequitur processus crucis, Pilatus. Peasse I byd evereich wight/ Stand as styll as stone in wall…That lord that thus wold dee/ And rose on pasche morne. Explicit crucifixio Christi. 24. ff. 92-97: Incipit processus talentorum, Pilatus. Cernite qui statis/ quod mire sim probitatis/ Hec cognoscatis/ vos cedam ni taceatis…he kepe you lordynges and all youres/ And hauys all gud day. Explicit processus talentorum. 25. ff. 97v-101: Incipit extraccio animarum et cetera, Ihesus. My fader me from blys has send/ Till erth for mankynde sake…ysaias. Therfor now let vs syng/ to loue oure lord ihesus/ Vnto his blys he will vs bryng/ Te deum laudamus. Explicit extraccio animarum ab inferno. 26. ff. 101-107v: Resurreccio domini, Pilatus. Peasse I warne you woldys in wytt/ And standys on syde or els go sytt…I wote that thay will mowrne no mare/ Commyn is thare blys/ That worthi childe that mary bare/ he amende youre mys. Explicit resurreccio domini. 27. ff. 107v-111v: Peregrini, Cleophas. Almyghty god ihesu ihesu/ That borne was of a madyn fre…I hope we shall be cachid fro care/ Full sone I wys/ That blyssid childe that marie bare/ Grauntt you his blys. Expliciunt peregrini. 28. ff. 111v-117: Thomas Indie [inserted in a different hand below the original title, Resurreccio domini, which has been cancelled], Maria Magd[alene]. Hayll brether and god be here/ I bryng to amende youre chere…All that it trowes and not se/ and dos after my lare/ Euer blissid mot thay be/ and heuen be theym yare. Explicit Thomas Indie. 29. ff. 117-121v: Ascencio domini et cetera, Thomas. Brethere all that now here bene/ Forgett my lorde yit may I noght…Say to the cyte as I can here neuen/ tell the warkys of my son warly and wyse/ Byd theym be stedfast & lysten your steuen/ or els be thay dampned as men full of vyce// 30. ff. 122-128v: [Iudicium] //Full darfe has bene oure dede/ for thi commen is oure care/ This day to take oure mede/ for nothyng may we spare…Make we all myrth and louyng/ With te deum laudamus. Explicit Iudicium. 31. ff. 129-131: Incipit lazarus, Ihesus. Commes now brethere and go with me/ we will pas furth intill Iude…Vmthynke you in this case/ And pray hym full of myght/ he kepe you in this place/ And haue you in his sight. Amen. [in a different hand:] Explicit lazarus. [in a different hand:] finis. 32. ff. 131v-132: [added in a later hand:] Suspencio Iude, Alas alas & walaway/ waryd & cursyd I have beyn ay…The qweyn hir selff with child can goo/ A son sche bayr/ A fayrer child from tope to too/ Man neuer se ayre. [in a later hand:] finis huius. [f. 132v, presumably blank, now covered by glued-down modern paper]
England, s. XV/XVI
IMEV 715. G. England and A. W. Pollard, eds., The Towneley Plays. EETS es 71 (London 1897) from this unique manuscript. For other editions see M. Stevens, “The Manuscript of the Towneley Plays: Its History and Editions,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 67 (1973) 231-44. See also The Towneley Cycle: a facsimile of Huntington MS HM 1, with an introduction by A. C. Cawley and M. Stevens (San Marino and the University of Leeds 1976). Twenty-eight leaves missing with loss of text: the bans (?), portions of plays 1, 4, 5, 17, 18, 29, 30, and 3 or 4 plays on the Virgin Mary (?); play 7 left unfinished; plays 7, 8, 31 and 32 copied out of sequence. Parchment, ff. ii (modern paper) + 132 + ii (modern paper); 305 × 210 (232-251 × 151-157) mm. A first quire now missing, as shown by signatures. 18(-3 through 6 after f. 2) 28 38(-4, 5 after f. 15) 4-88 98(-4, 5 after f. 61) 10-168 178(-2 through 8 after f. 121) 188(-1 through 5) 198. Quire and leaf signatures in letters, [b]-v, and roman numerals; those in quires 10 (l) and 17 (s) in red ink and different from the others; every third quire also signed with red crayon in arabic numerals in the center lower margin of the first leaf recto: “2” for quire 4 (f. 19), “3” for quire 7 (f. 43), “4,” barely visible, for quire 10 (f. 65), “5,” in a later hand, for quire 13 (f. 89), “6,” in a later hand, for quire 16 (f. 113). 28-43 lines of verse, 2 columns of 34 lines on f. 28v; ruling in lead occasionally visible. Written in an anglicana script; the first 2 lines of plays 12, 23-29 in a more formal script; headings and colophons in a bastard textura script; the last play, ff. 131v-132, added in a sixteenth century hand. On ff. 1 and 3, 5-line void white initials on dark grounds, infilled with vines and leaves, the frame enclosed by a narrow red line; these initials very similar to those used in certain books printed ca. 1480-1540; see Cawley and Stevens, The Towneley Cycle: a facsimile, pp. xv-xvi. Thereafter, plays introduced by calligraphic initials with strapwork and scrolling generally becoming larger and more elaborate towards the end of the book, ca. 32-110 × 50-100 mm. On f. 80, a calligraphic initial “D” unrelated to the text on that page, apparently due to scribal error in beginning play 21 on the first recto of a new quire without having completed play 20; recognizing the mistake, the scribe refolded the outer bifolium, finished play 20 on the new first recto (f. 73), then began play 21 on f. 73v, leaving the mistaken “D” on what became the last leaf of the quire; for this explanation, which assumes that the calligraphic initials were done before the text was copied, see L. Wann, “A New Examination of the Manuscript of the Towneley Plays,” PMLA 43 (1928) 137-52 with plates of ff. 73v, 90, and Cawley and Stevens, The Towneley Cycle: a facsimile, p. ix. Headings in red ink; colophons in the ink of the text for plays 2-3, 5-6, 8 (plays 1 and 4 end defectively; play 7 ends unfinished); colophons in red ink for plays 9-28, 30 (play 29 ends defectively; plays 30-32 with colophon added later; play 32 itself a later addition). Names of speakers in the ink of the text in the right margin; rhyme brackets in the ink of the text; stage directions in the ink of the text or in red; speakers’ parts separated by single horizontal lines in red ink. Corrections by the scribe in the ink of the text and in red; disorder in the copying of the text on ff. 5-6 rectified by a rubricated marginal note and by tie marks to the correct order: ff. 5, 6, 5v, 6v. Some later corrections, including post-Reformation cancelling of passages on the 7 sacraments (f. 66) with the marginal note, “corrected & not playd,” and on transubstantiation (f. 104v). See M. Stevens, “The Missing Parts of the Towneley Cycle,” Speculum 45 (1970) 254-65 suggesting that the missing first quire may have contained the bans (lost accidentally) and that the 12 leaves missing after f. 121 may have contained Mary plays, removed from the manuscript intentionally at the Reformation. Guild names noted in sixteenth century hands near the opening of some plays: f. 1, “barker[s]”; f. 3, “Glover Pag[ent]”; f. 21, “Litsters pagonn” and “lyster play”; f. 107v, “fysher pagent”; f. 131v, “Lysters pag[ent].” Manuscript shows considerable signs of use; in some passages, the faded text copied over (e.g. ff. 37, 39, 60v). Bound, ca. 1815, by Charles Lewis according to the 27 June 1883 Sotheby catalogue entry, but without binder’s ticket or signature, in dark olive straight grain morocco, gold tooled, with the arms of Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid (1778-1859) on both covers; the arms later covered by leather patches, partially removed ca. 1928; gilt edges. Evidence suggests at least 2 previous bindings: one, s. XVI?, which had a center clasp on the front cover that left a rust stain and hole on the present ff. 1 and 2, showing that the presumed first quire had already been lost, but that the 4 leaves now missing after f. 2 were still in place, since there is virtually no rust mark on the present f. 3. A second binding, s. XVII?, may have been done for Christopher Towneley, since his pressmark appears twice on f. 1, as if the book had been returned to him from the binder with his first mark partially trimmed away, and he had thus been obliged to inscribe it a second time farther from the edge. Narrow stain along the fore edge on f. 1 also due to a previous binding. Written in England at the end of the fifteenth or at the beginning of the sixteenth century. The close similarity of the initials on ff. 1, 3 to those in books printed ca. 1480-1540 helps establish the date of transcription. Among the pentrials: s. XVI: f. 13, “Iohn”; f. 73, “Spigart [?]”; f. 90, “James blake bowrn by”; ff. 101, 107v, “Iohn”; s. XVII: f. 35v, “Samuel” and “S. humer<?>”; f. 73v, “Thomas Hargraues”; f. 90, “Thomas Hargraues of Burnleye”; f. 97v, “William <?>”; f. 121v, “P. Haw [?].” Belonged to Christopher Towneley (1604-74) whose pressmark occurs twice on f. 1, “13½:35” above “F:35.” In the sale of John Towneley (1731-1813) of Towneley Hall, Lancashire, by Evans, pt. I, 8 June 1814, lot 894 to John Louis Goldsmid (second cousin to Sir Isaac Lyon Goldsmid); his sale, Evans, 11 December 1815, lot 287 to John North; his sale, Evans, pt. III, 25 May 1819, lot 457 to Peregrine Edward Towneley (son of the aforementioned John Towneley; d. 1846), whose name appears in pencil on f. ii verso. Sale of Col. John Towneley (nephew of Peregrine Edward Towneley; d. 1878), Sotheby’s, 27 June 1883, lot 202 to Quaritch. Quaritch Cat. 355 (1884) n. 21885; Cat. 369 (1886) n. 35673; Cat. 124 (1892) n. 343; Cat. 138 (1893) n. 77; Cat. 176 (1898) n. 43; Cat. 193 (1899) n. 86. Sold in August 1900 to Sir Edward F. Coates (d. 1921); letter dated 16 August  from A. W. Pollard to Mr. E. Almack tipped into the volume, regretting that the British Museum had not been able to acquire the manuscript. Coates sale, Sotheby’s, 8 February 1922, lot 1 with plate of f. 111v to A. S. W. Rosenbach for Henry E. Huntington; letter dated 10 January 1922 from Rosenbach to Huntington tipped into the Library copy of the Sotheby catalogue. Bibliography: De Ricci, 37 (including many previous references). Aspects of Medieval England, n. 28 open at f. 15.
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.
All rights to the cataloguing and images in Digital Scriptorium reside with the contributing institutions.