manuscripts containing Li Rei de Engletere

“I ought to blog more often,” every person with a blog thinks sometimes. Here we go.

Below is a skeleton of Appendix B from my doctoral dissertation, “Textual Portability and Its Uses in England, ca. 1250–1330,” UC Berkeley, 2006. I hold copyright on my dissertation (I paid UMI/ProQuest for this small privilege), and accordingly, if you use the material herein, you must credit me.

Appendix B in its full form offers a preliminary handlist of manuscripts containing Li Rei de Engletere (sometimes called Li Livere de reis de Brittanie), a text-cluster my dissertation analyzes extensively. For the manuscripts whose texts I have examined (more than half the forty-plus total), in the appendix’s dissertation version I describe Li Rei‘s extent and features, provide information about its textual relationship with other manuscripts, and comment upon its contextual situation. The folio or page ranges given in the numbered headings mark Li Rei‘s extent in that manuscript. In this blog version, my prose commentary has been omitted because I am not yet ready to publish it, even in preliminary blog form.

Most attributions of medieval provenance herein derive directly or indirectly from Medieval Libraries of Great Britain (2d ed. plus suppl.); no consistent attempt has been made (yet) to locate the earliest attribution. Wherever dates are assigned, their source is cited, and they should be considered applicable only to Li Rei unless otherwise noted. The “Cited by” line denotes manuscript descriptions and does not offer an exhaustive list of secondary citations. All uncited identifications are my own.

Sources include Ruth J. Dean, Anglo-Norman Literature: A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (1999), nos. 6 and 13, and Olivier de Laborderie’s published articles, as well as my own research. My project’s collection of references began prior to the publication of Dean’s generally invaluable book; some of its manuscripts were located independently, therefore. Where I have examined texts that Dean includes (in person or via microfilm, scan, printed facsimile, or prose description), I find that her criteria and mine differ somewhat. Texts have been included here only after my verification.

The dissertation appendix’s headnote ends, “For full references of catalogs, editions, and studies cited here, see Select Bibliography.” Though many of the short references below are self-evident, I will convert the bibliography another day, as well as redact my thoughts on Li Rei‘s four versions…. Two relevant things that don’t occur below but are cited in that bibliography: Christian Foltys’s published dissertation (Kritische Ausgabe der anglonormannischen Chroniken: Brutus, Li Rei de Engleterre, Le Livere de Reis de Engleterre (1962)) and Judith Collard’s work. The bibliography also specifies which manuscripts I’ve seen entire, whether in person or via microfilm.

In converting the appendix for this blog post, I’ve dropped the prose commentary for each manuscript, as mentioned, but left other content stet. Footnotes for included content have been converted to bracketed notes, and URL references have become hyperlinks. I have added a link each in brackets for two manuscripts, Bodmer 67 and Laud Misc. 636—not available as of 2005–6, when this appendix was finalized—because it’d be silly not to do so, but I haven’t linked the descriptions for British Library MSS cited as “molcat” because the molcat database has been discontinued and folded into another BL catalogue. Editing one’s own work with a textual critic’s eye is so very subjective.

One manuscript ought to be added: the Chaworth Roll, described in Alixe Bovey et al. (2005), a copy of which reached me only after I’d filed the dissertation. It’s cited in the bibliography, however!


A. MSS Containing Li Rei

1. Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 50, f. 90rb-v; St. Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury

Date: s. xiii4/4 (Dean no. 13, Wilkins)

Cited by James 1912, Trethewey 1939, Flower 1943, Hunt 1981, Wilkins 1993. Not in Greenway’s Appendix 4, which lists some other fragments of Henry of Huntingdon’s Historia Anglorum.

2. Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 53, ff. 179v-184v; Peterborough Abbey

Date: s. xiv1 (Dean no. 13); codex 1304-21 (Robinson Camb. no. 127)

Cited by James 1912, James 1921, Wilkins 1993.

3. Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 469, ff. 178r-181r

Date: s. xiiiex (Dean no. 13)

Cited by James 1912.

4. Cambridge, Emmanuel College, MS 232 (3.2.26), dorse

Date: s. xiii4/4 (Dean no. 6)

Cited by James 1904, Robinson 1988.

5. Cambridge, Trinity College, MS R.4.26, ff. 159v-63r or pp. 318-25 (crossed-out pagination used by Coote)

Date: s. xivin (Dean no. 13); ca. 1400 (Hudson)

Cited by James 1900, Coote 2000.

6. Cambridge, Trinity College, MS R.7.23, pp. 15-30

Date: s. xivin (Dean no. 13)

Cited by James 1900, Coote 2000.

7. Cambridge, Trinity College, MS R.14.7, f. 163r-v; Norwich Cathedral Priory

Date: s. xiii4/4 (Dean no. 13)

Cited by James 1900, Trethewey 1958.

8. Cambridge, University Library, MS Ee.i.1, ff. 9v-12r; Luffield Priory (Norhants.)

Date: s. xiii/xiv (Dean no. 13); codex 1280-89 (Robinson Camb. no. 20)

Cited by Hardwick 1856-67, Oschinsky 1971, Tyson 1975.

9. Cambridge (Mass.), Harvard Law School, MS 1, ff. [xii]va-[xiii]rb; Worcester?

Date: s. xiii4/4; codex 1296-97 (Ricci p. 1022)
[Dean offers “xiii1/4,” which I consider too early to be tenable. I am grateful to Joseph J. Duggan for discussing palaeographical features of this manuscript with me (8 April 2003).]

Cited by Ricci 1935.

10. Cambridge (Mass.), Harvard Law School, MS 59, ff. 5r-10r

Date: s. xiv1/4 (Dean no. 13)

Cited by Ricci 1935.

11. Cambridge (Mass.), Harvard University, Houghton Library, MS Typ 11, face (roll)

Date: s. xiii4/4 (Dean no. 6)

Cited by Ricci 1940.

12. Cologny-Genève, Bibliothèque Bodmeriana, MS 67, ff. 81va-82vb

Date: s. xiii2 (Dean no. 13)

Cited by Vielliard 1975. [See now Fondation Martin Bodmer site.]

13. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, MS 75 A 2/2, face (roll)

Date: s. xiii4/4 (Dean no. 6)

Cited by Kooper and Kruijshoop 1989.

14. Kew, National Archives (Public Record Office), MS Exchequer 164/24, ff. 37r-41r; Malmesbury

Date: s. xiii/xiv (Dean no. 13)

Cited by Brewer and Martin 1879-80.

15. London, British Library, MS Additional 8101, face (roll)

Date: s. xvmed (?) (Dean, no. 6)

Cited by BL Manuscripts On-Line (molcat).

16. London, British Library, MS Additional 21368, face (roll)

Date: s. xiv1 (Dean, no. 6)

Cited by Wright 1872, BL Manuscripts On-Line (molcat).

17. London, British Library, MS Cotton Caligula A.iii, 147r-148vb

Date: s. xiiimed (Dean no. 13)

Cited by BL Manuscripts On-Line (molcat).

18. London, British Library, MS Cotton Caligula A.ix, ff. 229va-232va; Worcester

Date: s. xiii2 (Dean no. 13)

Cited by Wright 1960, Ker 1963.

19. London, British Library, MS Cotton Galba E.iii, ff. 44ra-52ra; Christ Church, Canterbury

Date: s. xiii3/3 (Dean no. 13); ff. 1-81 mid-1270s (Flower p. 43)

Cited by Flower 1943, Watson 1979, BL Manuscripts On-Line (molcat).

20. London, British Library, MS Cotton Nero D.ii, ff. 242va-243va; Rochester

Date: s. xiv1/4
[Dean does not include Nero D.ii in her hand-list. I am grateful to Joseph J. Duggan for discussing palaeographical features of this manuscript with me (8 April 2003).]

Cited by Ellis 1859, Dumville 1975, Watson 1979, BL Manuscripts On-Line (molcat).

21. London, British Library, MS Cotton Vespasian B.xiv, ff. 8v-18r

Date: s. xiiiex (Dean no. 13)

Cited by BL Manuscripts On-Line (molcat).

22. London, British Library, MS Cotton Vespasian E.iv, ff. 107v-112r; Reading Abbey

Date: s. xiiiex (Dean no. 13)

Cited by Liebermann 1879, Ker 1964, Watson 1979.

23. London, British Library, MS Harley 1348, ff. 9r-18v

Date: s. xivmed (Dean no. 6)

24. London, British Library, MS Royal 13 A.xviii, ff. 150r-156v

Date: s. xiv1 (Dean no. 6)

Cited by Hunt 1985, Greenway 1996.

25. London, British Library, MS Royal 14 B.v, face (roll)

Date: s. xiii4/4 (Dean no. 6)

Cited by Warner and Gilson 1921.

26. London, British Library, MS Royal 14 B.vi, face (roll)

Date: s. xiv1-med (Dean no. 6)

Cited by Warner and Gilson 1921.

27. London, British Library, MS Royal 20 C.vi, ff. 186vb-187vb

Date: s. xiii4/4 (Dean no. 13)

Cited by Warner and Gilson 1921.

28. London, College of Arms, MS 3/23B, face (roll)

Date: after 1307
[Ruth Dean’s hand-list does not include this roll and the two following at the College of Arms, though she does record a fourth that I have not yet seen; I was able to visit the College for three and a half days in January 2005. The College’s rolls did not have formal descriptions at that time.]

Cited by Laborderie et al. 2000.

29. London, College of Arms, MS 12/45A (roll)

Date: s. xiii4/4 ?

30. London, College of Arms, MS 20/5 (roll)

Date: s. xiv

31. London, College of Arms, MS 20/26, face (roll)

Date: s. xiv1 (Dean no. 6)

32. Oxford, All Souls College, MS 39, ff. 79r-86r

Date: s. xivin (Dean no. 13, Watson All Souls p. 76)

Cited by Watson 1997.

33. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Additional E. 14, face (roll)

Date: s. xiii4/4 (Dean no. 6); “soon after 1272” (Watson)

Cited by Watson 1984.

34. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Ashmole Rolls 38, face (roll)

Date: ca. 1307 (Watson)

Cited by Watson 1984.

35. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 233, f. 105rb-vb

Date: s. xiiiex (Dean no. 13)

Cited by Crick 1989 (no. 135).

36. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Broxbourne 112.3, face (roll)

Date: after 1272

Cited by Bodleian Web site.

37. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Douce 115, ff. 67r-70v

Date: s. xiii4/4 (Dean no. 13); codex s. xiv1 / ?1313-27 (Crick)

Cited by Crick 1989 (no. 140), Coote 2000.

38. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Fr. d. 1, face (roll)

Date: ca. 1321-27 (Watson)

Cited by Watson 1984.

39. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 636, ff. 86v-90v; Peterborough Abbey

Date: s. xiii4/4 (Dean no. 13)

Cited by Whitelock and Clark 1954. [See now Da Rold’s description.]

40. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Selden supra 74, ff. 122va-125vb

Date: s. xiv1/4 (Dean no. 13)

Cited by Oschinsky 1971.

41. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Tanner 195, ff. 129r-138r

Date: s. xiv1/4 (Dean no. 13)

Cited by Hackman 1860, Crick 1989 (no. 158).

42. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Top. Devon d.5, ff. 104v-110r; Newenham Abbey

Date: s. xivmed-2 (Dean no. 13); codex ca. 1347
[The codex (olim Phillipps MS 25088) was acquired too late for inclusion in Summary Catalogue.]

Cited by Davidson 1843; accessions list in Bodleian Library Record 2, (Feb. 1948), p. 260; “Checklist . . . since 1916: MSS. Top.”

43. Oslo and London, Schøyen Collection MS 250 (roll)

Date: s. xiv1 ?

Cited by Laborderie 1997.

B. Rejected MSS

Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Ashmole 789, f. 266r; Hereford

Date: s. xvmed (Dean no. 13)

Cited by Black 1845.

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  • […] There is a useful blogpost by Sharon Goetz where she lists manuscripts of the Livere de Reis de Brittanie and related texts which she and others have identified, and discusses these in some detail, here. […]

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