A Digital Catalogue of the
Pre-1500 Manuscripts and Incunables of the
Canterbury Tales
Second Edition
Location:  SussexPetworth House National Trust MS 7
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Canterbury Tales (DIMEV 6414)
d (with VIIab in a different order; view in DIMEV): I Gam VIIab II Va IVb III IVa Vb VIII VI VIIcdef IX X
Progress of Copying: 
As in Cp, Fi, Mm, Ph³, Ry¹, Sl¹, Pw labels some tales as chapters:
54r RvPro ¶Cap̄ 3m
81r PrT ¶D[omi]ne d[omin]us n[oste]r Cap | þe P[ri]ores tale
89r MLT (II 274) ¶Cap̄ 4 (or 9?)
224v Thop ¶Cap̄. xixm
272v PsT ¶Cap̄ xxiiijm
On fol. 12r, the end of GenPro is followed by the Statius gloss (KnT) and then an explicit: “¶Iam q[ue] domos patrias scithice post asp[er]a gentis: P[re]lia laurig[er]o | &c. Thus endeþ þe prologue of þis Boke.” On fol. 51v, between I 3665-3667, is a cross in a box, touched with red; at the bottom of the page (the last line of the writing space), is another cross-and-box and line I 3666. On fol. 74v, the explicit and incipit are reversed: “Thus gy[n]neþ þe prologe of þe Shipman | here endeþ þe tale of þe Coke And.” On fol. 108r is the rubric “¶Explicit prima pars | ¶The Stag of an hert.” The first two lines of the second part of SqT (fol. 112v, V 671-672) have “va | cat” next to them in the margin in red.

Parchment, gilt-edged.
Page Size:  
32.5 x 22.5 cm.
[1-38]8 fols. 1-304
[39]4 (–4: presumably blank) fols. 305-307
Single column, 36-38 lines. The written space measures approximately 21.5 x 12.5 cm, with a double rule at the margin and top. A line for running heads is ruled ca. 1.5 cm above the double-ruled top margin; beginning with Q [10], a third line is ruled in the margin, 5 cm from the double margin rule, within which glosses are written. Beginning in Q [2] (where the main hand enters), the text block is ruled in brown ink. Rubricated running heads, incipits, explicits, and glosses are introduced by blue paraphs with red penwork and gold paraphs with purple penwork. The scribe experiments with marking couplets and the Thop tail-rhymes with red brackets on fols. 22r, 54r, 112v, and 228v. In the prose tales, proper nouns and citations of auctores are underscored in red. Catchwords, sometimes in red boxes, appear on the final verso of gatherings of eight. Foliated in pencil at the top right; signed in pencil at the bottom left. Some original signatures visible.
The first scribe (who copies only Q [1]) has a more rightward slant in comparison to the upright hand of the main scribe. The w graph usually consists of three loops, with the central, top loop sometimes unclosed, but the scribe also uses a “v+B” variety. The g is a two-compartment form; sigma s, used finally, is an 8-shaped graph; the e graph is open. The scribe’s a occurs both as a single-lobed, secretary graph, and a two-compartment form. The r graph is the short form. Although some features of this hand resemble the Lichfield Scribe there are sufficient differences in graph formation, duct, and spelling preferences to rule against an identification of the two.
The main scribe’s work has been identified in a number of other MSS. See the Petworth Scribe article. Body height is 2.5-3 mm. In some places, the ink is separating from the hair sides of the parchment.
On fol. 1r, an 8-line blue and rose initial W, highlighted with white, on a gold field, filled with orange and green foliage, marks the opening of the CT. This page also has a full bar border, with the same colors, ornamented with strawberries, foliage, and sprays with gold balls. Similar painted initials of 2-3 lines, with ¾ borders, mark prologues, links, and tales. Lesser textual divisions are signaled by 2-line gold initials on blue and purple fields highlighted with white. These initials have sprays with green leaves, gold balls, and trefoils. Smaller, single-line blue ink initials and paraphs, with red penwork, mark even lesser divisions. In places, such as the opening for KnT, there is evidence that the illumination was carried out after the rubrication, as some of the foliage from the border is painted over the rubricated running head and part of the gold that decorates the opening 3-line initial is applied over the rubricated incipit. Margaret Rickert identifies the artist with the first artist in Lc (Manly-Rickert 1:411, 1:571). Black-and-white photographs of many of these initials and borders are available at the Courtauld Institute.
Eighteenth-century(?) red velvet covering on older binding and (contemporary?) boards, sewn on six bands, with velvet fasteners and studs. Five bosses and four metal cornerpieces on front and back covers. One parchment fly leaf at the front and back.

s. XV2/4 (early)
See the Petworth Scribe article.
On fol. 307v are the arms of Henry Percy, fourth Earl of Northumberland, who also owned Selden MS Arch.B 10 and British Library MS Royal 18.D.ii. The arms are encircled by a blue garter with the motto of the Order of the Garter (“hony soit qui mal y pense”) in gold. Ker (following Manly and Rickert) suggests the MS “[d]escended via Lady Elizabeth Percy, wife of the last Percy earl (d. 1670), to her daughter, Lady Catherine Seymour, wife of Sir William Wyndham, and so to Lord Leconfield, who conveyed Petworth House to the National Trust in 1947” (Ker and Piper 1992, 4.179; Manly and Rickert 1.414).

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, Part II. 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 the Petworth Scribe in Schøyen MS 61]
Hammond, Eleanor P. Chaucer: A Bibliographical Manual. 1908; rpt. New York: Peter Smith, 1933.  179.
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.
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. 1:410-14.
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.
Mooney, Linne R., and Estelle Stubbs. Scribes in the City: London Guildhall Clerks and the Dissemination of Middle English Literature, 1375-1425. Woodbridge, Suffolk: York Medieval Press (Boydell & Brewer), 2013. 120-1.
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 (copied by the Petworth Scribe), fol. 124v as frontispiece]
Owen, Charles A., Jr. The Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1991. 28-32.
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. 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.