THE PETWORTH SCRIBE
In addition to Petworth House National Trust MS 7, the Petworth Scribe also copies fols. 196-294 in Lc
Though there are disagreements among paleographers, the
following MSS have also come to be identified with Petworth Scribe:
1. Edinburgh National Library Adv.18.1.7 (Nicholas
Love’s Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ)
2. Waseda MS, NE 3691 (Nicholas Love’s Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ)
3. Takamiya MS 45 (a single leaf of the Gilte Legend, after 1438)
4. Pembroke College, Cambridge MS 307 of Gower
’s Confessio Amantis
5. Takamiya MS 54 (South English
6. British Library MS Arundel 119 (Lydgate
’s Siege of Thebes
7. Schøyen Collection, MS 615 (Walton’s translation of
Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy
; see Griffiths 1995
8. London, Worshipful Company of Skinners, deposit, Guildhall Library
MS 31692, ff. 2-22, from 21 Richard II-22 Henry VI (1443)=Register of Skinners/Book
of the Fraternity of the Assumption of Our Lady (see Parkes
p. 51, n. 13 (citing Jeremy Griffiths); Sargent
1997, p. 190
(citing Jeremy Griffiths); Scott
1996, no. 130; Robinson
2003, pp. 67-8, pl. 116).
Doyle expresses reservations about no. 4 (1997
) and Horobin suggests
that spelling evidence points to Arundel 119 as being the work of a
separate scribe (2003, p. 127
In October 2002, Linne Mooney and I examined Takamiya MS 54 together
and determined that the scribe who copies the first two quires is in fact the same hand as the main
scribe of Lc
(henceforth the “Lichfield Scribe”), and the
Petworth Scribe is responsible for the rest of the MS. Thus these two scribes collaborate on at
least two MSS.
The Petworth Scribe’s hand orients the base of its letter forms above the ruled line, with
finishing at the line. This g
is a much more
angular form than that of the first scribe in Lichfield Cathedral MS
]). The minims of n
, short r
, and i
are often broken, forming a reverse
s-shape. Letter forms include a tailed form of g
, reverse, circular e
and a pointed open form of e
, double-compartment a
. The scribe also has a single-compartment a
features a slanted, hairline headstroke. The w
form is distinctly different from
that of the first scribe in Lc
: it has an angular lefthand lobe, a
distinctive top loop, and a B-shaped element on the right. The hand has a slightly leftward slant
and is more generously spaced than the first scribe in Lc
British Library MS Arundel 119, Pembroke MS
307 and Schøyen MS 615 lack the characteristic w
graph found in the scribe’s work in Pw
, Takamiya MS
54, and Waseda MS, NE 3691, and this may point to these
MSS being copied at a different point in the scribe’s career (a time when he was not
collaborating with the Lichfield Scribe?). As Doyle concluded in 1997: “More painstaking
comparisons are needed. Whether by one hand or more, the variety of texts copied, with superior
decoration and eminent early owners, tends to confirm commercial and metropolitan circumstances of
production” (p. 173
detects “a layer of Type III and Type IV
spellings…alongside a layer of West Midlands forms…. The presence of a number of West
Midlands forms in Pw allows us to localise the language of the scribe to the borders of South-West Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.
Diagnostic forms in Pw are ‘ hur(e)’ HER, ‘ ham’ THEM, ‘ mony’,
‘ furst’, ‘ sclayn’, ‘ sclyke’ etc.” (2003, p. 157).
Smith’s localization accords with this, and he adds an additional diagnostic form, woche
for WHICH (1985
, p. 225).
In the Petworth scribe’s work in both Lc
a number of northern forms occur. In Pw
notes examples of OE [a:] in fraward
(III 490, VIII 136, X 197, X 204), etc. The verb form sal
for SHALL (VI 63) and the -es
3rd person sg., pres. tense
inflection also occur. In RvT, the students’ northern dialect is enhanced to include quistel
WHISTLE (I 4102), and elsewhere the spellings qwistelinge
WHISTLING (I 2337) and qwhele
WHEEL (I 925) are attested.
Instances of ar
occur in warke
THERE (I 547), ware
WERE (I 4152, VIII 933) (1938, p.
43). In both MSS, the scribe employs gg
[pp. 44, 52]). For the latter, LALME
(“Occurrence of -ngg
-,” 4:321) finds kingge(s)
, and Northamptonshire
, and many of the -ngg
- spellings are accommodated
in LPs from the Southwest and Central Midlands. As the two MSS witness different textual
traditions, it is unlikely that the Northernisms are exemplar-conditioned. Smith
examines the language of Pw
, together with Waseda MS, NE 3691 and Edinburgh National
Library Adv.18.1.7, and localizes all three to the Southwest Midlands (1997). It is
possible that the western forms in the Petworth Scribe’s manuscripts are
exemplar-conditioned: his two Canterbury Tales
belong to traditions with western exemplars. Further work on these questions is required.
Benedikz, B. S., compiler. A Catalogue of the Cathedral Library
Manuscripts. 3rd ed. Birmingham: University Library, 1986. 18-19 [MS Lich. 29]
De Hamel, Christopher. A History of Illuminated Manuscripts
. 2nd ed.
London: Phaidon Press Limited, 1994. pl. 135 [Color facsimile of fol. 41v
: opening of MilPro]
Doyle, A. I. “The Study of Nicholas Love’s Mirror,
Retrospect and Prospect.” In Shoichi Oguro, Richard Beadle, and Michael G. Sargent, eds. Nicholas Love at Waseda: Proceedings of the International Conference 20-22 July 1995. Woodbridge, Suffolk
and Rochester NY: D. S. Brewer, 1997. 163-74.
Furnivall, Frederick J., ed. The Petworth MS of Chaucer’s Canterbury
Tales. Chaucer Society, Series 1, nos. 6, 12, 19, 35, 42, 54, 68. London: Trübner, 1868-79.
Furnivall, Frederick J., ed. Autotype Specimens of the Chief Chaucer MSS,
. Chaucer Society, Series 1, no. 56. London: Trübner, 1876. [Facsimile of fol. 74v
Griffiths, Jeremy J. “Thomas Hyngham, Monk of Bury and the Macro Plays
Manuscript.” English Manuscript Studies 5 (1995): 214-19. [Facsimile of Schøyen Collection, MS 615]
Hammond, Eleanor P. Chaucer: A Bibliographical Manual. 1908; rpt. New
York: Peter Smith, 1933. 179; 198
Hanna, Ralph III, and A. S. G. Edwards. “Rotheley, the De Vere Circle, and the
Ellesmere Chaucer.” In Seth Lerer, ed.
Readings from the Margins: Textual Studies, Chaucer, and Medieval Literature. San Marino,
Calif.: Huntington Library, 1996. 11-35. See esp. pp. 16-19
Horobin, Simon. The Language of the Chaucer Tradition. Cambridge: D.
S. Brewer, 2003.
Ker, N. R., and A. J. Piper. Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries.
Vol. IV: Paisley-York. Oxford: Clarendon, 1992. 200
Kirby-Miller, Wilma Anderson. “Scribal Dialects in the C and D Manuscripts of the
Canterbury Tales.” Diss. University of Chicago, 1938. 42-4; 50-3
Manly, John M., and Edith Rickert, eds. The Text of the Canterbury Tales:
Studied on the Basis of All Known Manuscripts. 8 vols. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1940. 1:322-8; 1:410-14; 1:569-71 [facsimile between 570-1]
McCormick, Sir William and Janet E. Heseltine. The Manuscripts of
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: A Critical Description of Their Contents. Oxford: Clarendon, 1933. 387-96
Oguro, Shoichi, Richard Beadle, and Michael G. Sargent, eds. Nicholas Love
at Waseda: Proceedings of the International Conference 20-22 July 1995. Woodbridge, Suffolk and Rochester
NY: D. S. Brewer, 1997. [Color facsimile of Waseda MS, NE 3691, fol. 124v as
Owen, Charles A., Jr. The Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales.
Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1991. 28-32; 41-2
Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Sixth Report. Part I:
Report and Appendix. London, 1877. 287; 289
Samuels, M. L. “Scribes and Manuscript Traditions.” In Felicity Riddy, ed. Regionalism in Late Medieval Manuscripts and Texts. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1991. 1-7.
Seymour, Michael C. A Catalogue of Chaucer Manuscripts. Volume II, The
Canterbury Tales. Aldershot and Brookfield: Scolar Press, 1997. 86-90; 217-22
Smith, Jeremy J. “Dialect and Standardisation in the Waseda Manuscript of Nicholas
Love’s Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ.” In Shoichi Oguro, Richard
Beadle, and Michael G. Sargent, eds. Nicholas Love at Waseda: Proceedings of the International
Conference 20-22 July 1995. Woodbridge, Suffolk and Rochester NY: D. S. Brewer, 1997. 129-41.