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Bod-Inc: H-121

Higden, Ranulphus



Analysis of Content

a2r Caxton, William: ‘Prohemye.’ Caxton, Prologues, 64-7.

a4r ‘The table'.

12r [Dialogue of the lord and the clerc.] Incipit: ‘[S]yth the tyme that the grete and high tour of Babilone was bylded . . .’

14r Johannes de Trevisa: [Letter addressed to] Thomas, Lord Berkeley, his patron. Incipit: ‘[W]elthe and worship to my worthy and worshipful lord sir Thomas lord of Barkley . . .’ See John Taylor, The ‘Universal Chronicle' of Ranulf Higden (Oxford, 1966), 134-6.

16r Higden, Ranulphus: Polycronicon. [First preface.] Ranulph Higden, Polychronicon, ed. Churchill Babington and Joseph Rawson Lumby, 9 vols, Rolls Ser., 41a–i (London, 1865-86), I 3-27. See also Ronald Waldron, ‘The Manuscripts of Trevisa's Translation of the Polychronicon: Towards a New Edition', Modern Language Quarterly, 51:3 (1990, 1992) 281-317.

18v Higden, Ranulphus: Polycronicon. [Second preface.] Higden, Polychronicon, I 27-9.

21r Higden, Ranulphus: Polycronicon. [Third preface.] Higden, Polychronicon, I 31-41.

23r Higden, Ranulphus: Polycronicon. Translated by Johannes de Trevisa. Higden, Polychronicon, I 41 to VIII 353. See Taylor 134-42.

501r Caxton, William: [Continuation for the years 1387 to 1460.] Higden, Polychronicon, VIII 522-87. See Taylor 134-42. On Caxton's edition of Johannes de Trevisa see Higden, Polychronicon, I pp. lxi–lxvii.

557r Caxton, William: [Epilogue.] Higden, Polychronicon, VIII 587.


Imprint: [Westminster]: William Caxton, [between 2 July and 8 Oct. 1482]. Folio.

Remarks: For the dating see BMC.


Collation: a b8 C4 1–288 [*2] 29–488 494 508 52–558.


ISTC: ih00267000

Hain: HC 8659;

Goff: Goff H‑267;


Proctor: Pr 9645;

Others: de Ricci, Caxton, 49; Duff 172; Oates 4080-1; Polain 1959; Rhodes 921; Sheppard 7384-5, 7385 bis; STC 13438.

LCN: 11618004, 14511724, 14511794


Copy number: H-121(1)

Wanting gatherings a–c and leaf 551; also leaves 11, 15, and the blank leaf 558.

Binding: Seventeenth-century calf; red-edged leaves. Formerly chained: staple-marks of a hasp at the head of the upper cover. ‘17' in black across the head of the fore-edge. Rebacked.

Size: 286 × 199 × 78 mm.

Size of leaf: 278 × 194 mm.

Two strips of parchment used for the binding are still visible: they consist of fragments from a liturgical manuscript written in an English hand of the first half of the fourteenth century, with an initial supplied in blue with red pen-work decoration extending into the margin; other initials are supplied in red or blue, ruling in ink. Marginal annotations in a sixteenth-century English hand.

Chapter numbers, names of persons, their ages, and years added in red in a contemporary English hand; probably added in the workshop; nearly identical notes in another hand in the other copy. Manuscript additions in a sixteenth-century English hand on 557v: ‘On thy gladde days have in mynd | The vnware woe that comth behinde | While fortune with [ ] happely to thy . . .' (c.1386 Man of Law's T. 427?); ‘Tempore felici, multi numerantur amici, | Cum fortuna perit, nullus amicus erit'; ‘Quisquis amat dictis absentum(!) rodere vitam | Hanc mensam vetitam nouerit esse sibi'; ‘Love lettyths lawe, lawe lettyths lyberty, lyberty would be lawless'; ‘Qui mihi discipulus puer es cupis atque doceri | Huc ades hec annimo(!) consere dicta tuo'; 5 distichs. Some bibliographical notes in different seventeenth-century hands on the front endleaf and on 12r. Some marginal notes in black, mainly extracting key words, in a sixteenth-century English hand.

Initials and paragraph marks are supplied in red.

Provenance: William Middelton (fifteenth/sixteeenth century); inscription on 78v: ‘Wyllm̄ Myddelton'. John Selden (1584-1654); see MS. Broxb. 84. 10, p. 19: ‘Caxton. History after Ranulph of Chester.' Lond. 1482. Presented in 1659.

Former Bodleian shelfmarks: C 1. 12 Art. Seld.; N 1. 17 Art. Seld.

SHELFMARK: S. Seld. d.7.

Copy number: H-121(2)

Wanting all before 152, 158, 181,8, 211, unsigned sheet after 288, gathering 29, 337,8, gatherings 34-36, 42-44, 451-6, 477, all after 487. 403 bound after 404. 466,7 mutilated. Previously this volume contained a leaf of The Description of Britain, according to William Blades, The Life and Typography of William Caxton, 2 vols (London, 1861-3), II p. 126. This leaf was later inserted into Douce 146.

Binding: Nineteenth-century(?) half russia, with sprinkled red-edged leaves.

Size: 270 × 206 × 34 mm.

Size of leaf: 261 × 195 mm.

Chapter numbers, names of persons, their ages, and years added in red in a contemporary English hand; probably added in the workshop; nearly identical notes in another hand in the other copy. On 143v and 144r bibliographical remarks in a sixteenth-century(?) English hand. On 185v a list of names in a contemporary English hand: ‘Thomas Thomas Edward Rychard Robdyn(?) R(?)ld'. A few marginal notes, extracting keywords, and pointing hands in different seventeenth-century English hands. On the front endleaf, a note on the collation by W. H. A., dated 17 Dec. 1884.

Initials, paragraph marks, and running chapter numbers are supplied in red.

Provenance: Eleanor Clifford, Countess of Cumberland (†1547). Winningeton, Margaret (sixteenth century); inscription on 411v: ‘Ellenor clyfford' and ‘Margaret Wynnyngetone'. Francis Douce (1757-1834); armorial book-plate. Bequeathed in 1834.

SHELFMARK: Douce 206.

Copy number: H-121(3)

Leaves a2-4, a6-8, and 551-7 only. The leaves of the last gathering, and possibly of the first, are differently set, although they follow the previous copies page by page and line by line. Leaves a4, a6, a8, and 557 are printed on paper containing a Latin text in a fourteenth/fifteenth-century English hand (fols 48, 37, 36, and 33); eight more leaves (fols 24-7 and 54-7) from the same manuscript follow (a medical text, referring to Simon Januensis); on paper, resembling Picard, Fabeltiere, III: Einhorn, no. 1129, which is found in paper used in Parma 1417-18. The other leaves are printed on paper watermarked with Heawood no. 659, no date but French, seventeenth century. The fragment is a fake or a part of one.

Provenance: John de Monins Johnson (1882-1953). Transferred to the Bodleian in 1968.

SHELFMARK: Johnson c. 371(1).

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