34.5 x 22.5 cm.
Most fifteenth-century signatures survive through fol. 196r (i.e.,
the work of the first scribe), beginning with “a iij” on fol. 3r. In the second scribe’s section, signatures
(“l”?) survive on fols. 281r-285r.
Seventeenth-century replacements are signified by “±”; these are not
to be construed as cancels. The foliation includes the seventeenth-century replacement
8 (±1) fols. 1-8
[2-11]8 fols. 9-88
8 (±5) fols. 89-96
[13-15]8 fols. 97-120
8 (±5) fols. 121-128
[17-25]8 fols. 129-200
8 (±6) fols. 201-208
8 (–1) fols. 210-216
[28-36]8 fols. 217-288
6? (–5: no stub) fols. 289-292, 294 (Fol. 294 is ruled
and margined but blank. Presumably the missing leaf was also. The binding is too
tight to detect sewing).
Single columns, margined in brown ink, 39 lines per page, double ruled top, bottom, and
sides the length and width of the page. The written space is approximately 21 x 11.7-12.2
cm. A line for running heads is ruled ca. four lines above the double-ruled top margin. A
space for glosses is ruled toward the fore-edge. Catchwords are placed on the final verso
of each gathering. With the advent of the second scribe, the catchwords are placed in
rubricated scrolls, and lines in the text frame (40 per page), as well as margins, are
ruled in brown ink; the written space is 21.5 x 12-12.5 cm in this section. Pricking for
the double and single margin lines is visible at the bottom, less often at top and
Two similar anglicana hands. The first writes fols. 2r-196r, the second from the top of fol. 196v
to the end. The minims employ a semiquadrata system of serifs, with
“lozenges” and the head and curls at the feet. The double-diamond g finishes at the line (at the bottom of the page, where there is a ruled line), with
the minims and lobes of most letters, at their lowest point, well above the ruled line. Most
descenders finish below the line. The body height is approximately 2 mm early on, increasing to
approximately 3 mm. The hand employs double-lobed a, looped d, 8-shaped final s with long s medially and
initially, alternating with sigma s in initial position. Majuscule N is formed with two Z-shaped broken strokes. The ascenders of l, long s, I, and f have knobby
protrusions on the sides. This scribe also collaborates with the second scribe in Takamiya MS 54 of the South English
Legendary, in which he copies the first two quires (e.g., fol. 16v).
The scribe whose work begins on fol. 196v
is the Petworth Scribe
. This scribe writes in Lc with a body
height of approximately 2.5-3 mm.
Decorated initials of 4-8 lines and ¾ bar borders with vines mark tale beginnings. These
initials are blue and rose, with white highlights, on gold fields, with orange and blue foliage
and strawberries, blue and gold bars with highlights, sprays with blue, green, and
rose-coloured buds and flutes, gold dots and trefoils. Prologues and some internal textual
divisions are marked by 2-line gold initials on purple fields with blue fills (alternating with
blue fields with purple fills), white highlights, green sprays with gold dots and trefoils.
Intermediate divisions are marked by 1-line blue initials with red penwork (very few of these).
Running heads are divided into two parts (excepting fols. 161-176–Qq [20-21]–where
they are in one part with a single ¶) with alternating gold paraphs with violet penwork
and blue paraphs with red penwork marking both parts (the paraphs are omitted, however, on
fols. 192v-196r, and the unrubricated running heads
there are by a different hand). The limner occasionally misses the rubricated hash marks left
as markers for paraphs. The same system of paraphs marks lesser internal textual divisions,
incipits, and explicits. Running heads and incipits/explicits are rubricated. Glosses in KnT and MLT are rubricated (with an alternating
system of paraphs); beginning with MerT (fol. 99v),
however, the glosses are in the text ink and underscored in rubric, preceded by blue paraphs
with red penwork.
The explicit for CYT and incipit for PhT are in
the text ink and underscored in red as are those for Ph-PdPro (fols.
187v-188r). In fols. 192v-196r (the end of scribe 1’s stint), the running heads are
added in a lighter brown ink. In Thop, the tail-rhymes are marked with
red ink, traced over brown ink.
Below the catchword on fol. 104v is an accounting of the illumination for
the preceding thirteen quires: “| [i.e., a vertical stroke] hole venett & vij d[emi]
p[ar]affys vjCxl | champs xliij.” Following this the initials and
sprays are less cleanly executed.
Eighteenth-century reddish-brown russia,note
gilt pattern on the
borders, rebacked in 1978 by the Birmingham U. L. bindery (Benedikz
), with covers and spine laid down, sewn on six thongs. On spine:
“CHAUCER’S CANTERBURY | TALES | M. S. ECCLES. | CATHED. | LICHFELD.” Marbled
pastedowns. Two unmarked 4° paper flies at the front and back, one original parchment fly at
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.
Dyer, Sir Edward. The Writings in Verse and Prose of Sir Edward Dyer, knt.
(1540(?)-1607). Ed. Rev. Alexander B. Grosart. Miscellanies of The Fuller Worthies’ Library.
[London], 1872. “The Fair Amarillis.” 42-9
Hammond, Eleanor P. Chaucer: A Bibliographical Manual. 1908; rpt. New
York: Peter Smith, 1933. 198.
Kirby-Miller, Wilma Anderson. “Scribal Dialects in the C and D Manuscripts of the
Canterbury Tales.” Diss. University of Chicago, 1938. 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; 1:569-71. [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. 301-10.
Owen, Charles A., Jr. The Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales.
Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1991. 41-2.
Seymour, Michael C. A Catalogue of Chaucer Manuscripts. Volume II, The
Canterbury Tales. Aldershot and Brookfield: Scolar Press, 1997. 86-90.