27.4 X 19.4 cm. Trimmed all around, as evidenced by the cropping of the border on fol.
The Rylands fragment consists of a single bifolium.
Ruled and margined in red ink, single column, 48 lines. The written space is 21.5 x 13.5 cm.
Rubricated incipits and explicits. Catchwords on surviving final versos.
Identified by Mosser and Mooney
as the Beryn
. Primarily an anglicana
with some secretary features. Double-compartment a
, circular e
, long r
with z-shaped r
following round letter forms. The g
graph is tailed, with an
angular lobe. Body height approximately 2-3 mm. The display script is a flourished, hybrid anglicana, rubricated.
Tale openings are decorated with ¾ borders, consisting of a gold bar “shadowed”
in blue with white highlights on the upper half, and a brownish-red with brown highlights on
the lower half. Green trefoils with gold balls, sprays, and blooms of varying shapes. 6-line
initials marking tale openings are blue and green, with white highlights, on a gold field.
The Rylands fragment has a yellow tinted, brown ink miniature of the Miller (the Rosenbach
] have miniatures by the same
artist and in the same style of the Cook and the Man of Law). The portrait occurs within the
text frame, and is itself framed by rectangular bar borders of gold, which are in turn bordered
on the inner side by russet (see Scott 1996
, 2:141, 145, 267; Manly-Rickert
Marbled pasteboard with morocco spine; “CHAUCER MS” in gilt on the spine and
“JR” monogram in gilt on the front cover. On the inside cover, on a paper
pastedown, is the “THE JOHN RYLANDS LIBRARY
1894” bookplate and an oval “E | BIBLIOTECA| SPENCERIANA
.” bookplate. At the top: “English MSS. | 227 | 63”,
and at the top right corner: “23125” (a Spenser MS number [Manly-Rickert
1:398]?). Four unmarked 4° fly leaves at the front
and back. Bound by Fazakerley
, p. 401).
Anderson, David, ed. Sixty Bokes Olde and Newe. Knoxville: New
Chaucer Society, n.d. 3-5. [color facsimile of the Man of Law’s portrait and black and white
facsimile of the Cook’s portrait]
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. 1:369-98; 590-3.
McCormick, Sir William and Janet E. Heseltine. The Manuscripts of
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: A Critical Description of Their Contents. Oxford: Clarendon, 1933. 547.
Mosser, Daniel W. and Linne R. Mooney. “More Manuscripts by the Beryn Scribe and His Cohort.” Chaucer
Review 49 (2014): 39-76.
Owen, Charles A., Jr. The Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales.
Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1991. 58.
Scott, Kathleen L. Later Gothic Manuscripts 1390-1490. 2 vols. Volume
Six of A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles. Ed. J. J. G. Alexander.
London: Harvey Miller Publishers, 1996. 2:141, 145, 267.
Seymour, Michael C. A Catalogue of Chaucer Manuscripts. Volume II, The
Canterbury Tales. Aldershot and Brookfield: Scolar Press, 1997. 251-3.
Vine, Guthrie. “The Miller’s Tale.” John Rylands Library
Bulletin. 17 (1933): 333-47. [facsimiles of all four folios of Rylands MS 63]