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MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN WOMEN

Part 1: Manuscripts from the British Library, London

Detailed Listing

REEL 1

Sappho

Pap 739 Portion of an ode addressed to her brother Charaxus.
Papyrus fragment. 1f. 3rd century.

Christine de Pisan

i Add 15641 Le Livre des Troys Vertus [Raison, Droiture, et Justice] à l'enseignement des Dames;in three parts, with a general preface, and a table of chapters to each part, by Christine de Pisan.
Paper, c70ff , Octavo. 15th century.

ii Add 17446 Collection of French Poems of Christine de Pisan and others. Vellum; ff 41, Folio. 15th century

iii Add 20698 Die Los der Vrouwen; a Dutch version of the Cité des Dames of Christine de Pisan, written in 1475 at the desire of Jan de Baenst Riddere Heere van Sint Joris. Vellum; with coarsely executed miniatures of illuminated initials, some of which are unfinished, or the spaces for them left blank. Vellum, ff 333, Folio. 15th century.

REEL 2

Christine de Pisan

iv Add 31841 Le Livre des Trois Vertus; a sequel to Le Livre de la Cité des Dames; by Christine de Pisan. Imperfect, containing the greater part of the first, second and only the beginning of the third book. With a defaced miniature. Vellum, ff 71, Quarto. 15th century.

v Harleian 4410 A French manuscript on vellum containing the Corps de Policie of Christine de Pisan, who married Chastel, Historiographer to Charles V & VI of France. On a blank leaf prefixed is an account of the author and her various works, written in the seventeenth century, and founded on the authority of Labbe, Naudaes, etc. Vellum, ff 73

vi Harleian 4431 A beautiful and magnificent volume, containing a large part of the works of Christine de Pisan written on vellum, and most richly and amply illuminated. it contains 30 articles enumerated in the table prefixed, & marked throughout the book. The table of contents is thus prefaced:

Cy commence la table des dictiez en general, balades, rondiaulux, et autres particuleirs livres, qui font contenus en ce present volume.

(1) Prologue to the Queen (wife of Charles V) f 2
(2) An hundred ballads f 3
(3) "Une Lays" f 20
(4) Other ballads of different kinds f 23
(5) A collection of verses with Leonine rhymes; "Item,une assembée de plufieurs rimes auques toutes leonines en façon de lay, a qui voudroit apprendre a rimer leoniment. f 25
(6) Another lay. f 27
(7) Rondeaux. f 28b
(8) "Gieux a vendre." Toys to sell. f 34b
(9) Several other ballads f 37b
(10) "Une complainte amoureuse." f 48
(11) More ballads. f 49b
(12) The Epistle to the God of Love. f 53
(13) Another amourous complaint. f 59
(14) The contest of two lovers; "Le debat de deux amans." f 60b
(15) The Book of the Three Judgements. f 73b
(16) “Le Livre de Poissy.” f 83
(17) “Lepistre Othea”; The Epistle of Othea. f 97
(18) “Le Duc des vrays amans.” f 145
(19) “Le Chemin de lanc estudes”; the Path of Long Studies. f 180
(20) “Le Livre de la Pastoure”; the Book of the Shepperdess. Dated in the Prologue 1403. f 223
(21) Epistles against the Roman de la Rose; the dedication is signed with the author’s name, Christine de Pisan f 239
(22) An Epistle which Christine sent to Eustace Morel all in Equivocal Rhymes. f 257b
(23) A prayer on the life and passion of our saviour Christ. f 259
(24) Moral Proverbs. All in distichs. f 261b
(25) “Les enfeignemens que Christine de Pisan donne a son filz”; the instructions of Christine de Pisan given to her son; in quatrins. f 263b
(26) A prayer to Our Lady f 267
(27) “Les 15 joyes notre dame” f 269
(28) “Le Livre de Prudence, a L’enseignement de bien vivre.” f 270
(29) The City of Dames. f 292
(30) An hundred ballads of a Lady and her Lover. f 376

Vellum, ff 398

REEL 3

Christine de Pisan (continued)

vii Harleian 4605 A very curious and well preserved copy of the tract Des fais d’Armes, by Christine de Pisan. The tract is divided into four books, the beginning of each ornamented with an illumination. The first illumination contains a portrait of the author, similar exactly in dress to most of those in Harl 4431. Her name appears in the rubric prefixed to the prologue “Cy commence Le Livre des Fays d’Armes et de Chevalerie.” This copy is beautifully written on vellum, and is dated at London in 1434 Vellum; ff 115. 15th century.

viii Royal 14 E II Chemin de Vaillance, and other works in French verse and prose, including Le Traitte Othea. ff 354

REEL 4

Christine de Pisan

ix Royal 15 E vi Poems and romances etc in French: a present to Margaret of Anjou, Queen of Henry VI, probably on her marriage in 1445, from John Talbot 1st Earl of Shrewsbury. Includes: dedicatory verses a genealogical table, three Chansons de Geste, Le Livre de Regn[ault] de Montaubain, the prose romance Pontus and Sidoine, Le Livre de Guy de Warrewik, Le Livre de Larbre de Batailes by Honnore Lone, Le Cronicles de Normandie, Le Breviaire des Nobles [by Alain Chartier, and Le Livre des Fais Darmes et de Chevalerie, [by Christine de Pisan] printed by A Vérard Paris, 1448,without the name of the author, as Lart de chevalerie selon Vegece, and wrongly ascribed in bibliographies to Jean de Meun. Translated into English and printed by Caxton, 1489. In four parts, each with a table of rubrics prefixed. ff 440

REEL 5

Christine de Pisan

xii Royal 17 E iv Ovid’s Metamorphoses moralized, with other works in French, viz:

(1) Ovide Methamorphose f.1
(2) Epistle of Othea to Hector [by Christine de Pisan] with commentary and allegory. The verse part is written as prose. f.272
(3) Sensuit Lepistre que Bernard envoya au Prince Raymond. f.317
(4) Sensuit le Breviaire des Nobles [Alain Chartier]. f.319
(5) Sensuit Complainte des ix Maleureux et des Noef Maleuruses. f.323

ff 325

xiii Royal 18 B xxii The Boke of Noblesse compiled to the most hygh and mighty prince Kyng Edward the iiiith... Includes considerable passages translated from Christine de Pisan’s Faits d’Armes at de Chevalerie. Paper, ff 46

xiv Royal 19 A xix Le Livre de la Cité des Dames; by Christine de Pisan. Not printed in full, but extracts and an analysis are given by Madlle de Keralio, Coll. des meilleurs Ouvrages composés par des femmes 1787... Each of the three parts is proceeded by table of contents, not always, owing to the scribe’s carelessness, in agreement with the headings of the chapters The text agrees in the main with Harl 4431, with some variations of order, eg pt i,ch.xxi of Harl 4431, is here ch. xxv. Vellum, ff 172, 113”x8”. Third quarter 15th century.

REEL 6

Christine de Pisan (continued)

xv Royal 19 B xviii Le Livre dez Faiz Darmes at de Chevallerie, by Christine de Pisan. The passages relating to the alleged English treachery is retained. table of contents to each part. Incomplete at end, breaking off (f.99 recto) in Chapter 16 of part iv (the last chapter but one) with the words “mais les fourches”. Vellum, ff 99, 123”x9”. Mid 15th century.

Marie de France

i Cotton Cal A ii Codex Chartaceus, in 4to folior 196; A collection of old English poems or Lays under the following titles; some prose tracts intermixed:


(1) Sussan or the Story of Susannah and the Two Elders.
(2) Eglamor of Artas.
(3) Four medical recipes for the Cholic and gravel.
(4) Moral Advice and Council.
(5) The Chorle and the Bird; by Ludgate.
(6) Octavian Emperator.
(7) Launfal Miles; translated by Thomas Chestre from the French song by Marie De France.
(8) Lybeaus Disconus.
(9) O mors quam amora est memoria tua.
(10) A Paraphrastical poem on the Ten Commandments.
(11) The Nightingale; translated from the Lay de Laustic by Marie de France.
(12)-(38) Various other works.
ff 210

Marie de France (continued)

ii Cotton Vesp B xiv Codex membran. in 4to longiori, constans foliis 113


(1) Le lay de Launval Chevalier de Arthur roy de Bretagne, ens vers par Marie. (See an old English translation, Cotton Calig. A II) f 1
(2) Histoire abregée du royaume d’Angleterre, depuis Egbert jusqu à Richard I f 8b
(3) Versus Latini rhythmici; de excidio Trojae. f 18
(4) Les fables d’Esope en vers. f 19
(5) Vita et passio S. Thomae martyris Archiep Cantuar. f 33
(6) La Vie de St Thomas archeveque de Canterberry, en vers: par P Langtoft. f 95b
(7) Nomina archiepiscoporum Cantuariensium et Eboracenisium, et Episcopor Dunelmensium. f 113
ff 115

iii Harleian 978 Codex membranaceus. in 4to ex diversis Tractatibus simul compactis, constans; quorum Argumenta ordine sequuntur, sc. 126 items, including:


“...in very old French verse, some fabulous stories of love and strange adventures, made (as it seems by the conclusions of several of them) by the Poets of Bretaigne in France, who used to call this kind of poems Lais (which is a word yet common among our modern English poets) and they were sung to the harp, as appears by the conclusion of the tale of Guygemar.”

The tales follow the Prologue to the collection in the following order:


(108) Guigemar f 139b
(109) Equitain f 146
(110) Fresne f 148b
(111) Bisclaveret f 152b
(112) Lanval f 154b
(113) Deus Amans f 159b
(114) Ywenet f 161
(115) Laustic f 165
(116) Milun f 166
(117) Chaitivel f 170
(118) Cheverefoil f 171b
(119) Eluduc f 172b
ff 162

REEL 7

Julian of Norwich

i Sloane/Add 2499 Sixteen revelations of Divine Love, shewn to a devout servant of Our God, called Mother Juliana, an anchorite of Norwich, on the 8th May in the year 1373; published by Hugh Paulin de Cressey. Paper, ff 57, 17th century.


ii Sloane/Add 3705 Sixteen “Revelations of the unutterable love of God in Jesus Christ,” feigned to have been made “to a simple creature that could [read] no letter, in the year of our Lord 1373, the 8th day of May.” Paper, ff 141, 17th century, Quarto.

iii Add 37790 12 English translations of theological works, including:


“Here es a vision schewed be the goodness of god to a devoute woman and hir name es Julyan that is recluse atte Norwyche and ¥ittsys on lyfe anno domini millesimo ccccxiiiº. The text is shortened, but is much older and better than that printed by Hugh Paulin ( or Serenus) Cressy, Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love, 1670.”
ff 240

REEL 8

Bridget of Sweden

i Cotton Julius F ii The Revelations of S Bridget, books i-vii. Codex Chartaceus, in folio min. constans foliis 254 sec xv. The Visions and revelations of S Brigid (died 1272). At the end are three chapters on the quality, person, and vertues of holy Brigid; (f 248), and on the last leaf, a short account of her life, and a Latin prayer to her. An edition of these visions was printed at Nuremberg, 1517. Vellum; ff 255, 12”x8½”, 15th century.

Jane Lumley

i Add 35324 (Rothschild bequest) Vol XV. Drawings, mostly in Indian ink of funeral processions:

(1) Funeral procession of a Knight of the Garter and a Duchess.
(2) Anne of Cleves.
(3) Sir Christopher Hatton.
(4) Mary Queen of Scots.
(5) Lady Lumley; with epitaphs. English and Latin prayers used by her. The Latin epitaph dates her death 28 July, 1578.
(6) Henry Ratcliffe, Earl of Sussex.
(7) Queen Elizabeth.
Early 17th century, 39 oblong folios 2x3 ft (dimensions of drawings, as now divided, 9¼x29 inches.)

ii Royal 14 B iii Roll of moral maxims made for Joan, Lady Lumley, daughter of Henry FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel. Vellum roll 5’4½”x9”, 16th century. Illuminated initials and coloured flourishes


REEL 8

Jane Lumley (continued)

iii Royal 12 E ii ‘Tabellae Cardinales.’ Tables of the asension of about 130 fixed stars...by Richard Forster. Dedicated to [Jane], Lady Lumley, as a new year’s gift 1569. Paper; ff 28, 5¾”x3½” Octavo.

iv Royal 15 A ix Translations by Joan, Lady Lumley (cf 15 A 1-11) Holograph.


(1) Isocrates, orations as follows, in Latin
a) Ad Demonicum. Incomplete. f 2
b) Ad Nicoclem, dedicated as new year’s gift to father f 4
c) Nicocles f 12
d) Evagoras f 23
e) De pace f 40


(2) Euripides, Iphigenia at Aulis, in English, with The Argument prefixed. The Choric parts are omitted. Also includes extract in Joan Lumley’s hand from the Pandectae Medicinae of Matthaeus Silvaticus. f101 b
Paper, ff 102, 7½”x5½”, Small quarto.

v Royal 17 A xxii Metrical version of the seven penitential Psalms in English terza rima, each with a prologue in stanzas of 8 lines [by Sir Thomas Wyatt] printed as Certayne Psalmes, &c, 1549.
Vellum, ff 37, 6”x4½”, 16th century. On f1 is the name Marie Brograve.

REEL 9

Margaret Hoby

i Egerton 2614 The Diary of Lady Margaret Hoby, daughter of Arthur Dakyns, of Hackness, and wife of Sir Thomas Posthumous Hoby; 9 August 1599 - 21 July, 1605. Mutilated at beginning and end. Paper, ff 118, Small quarto.

Margery Kempe

i Add 61823 The Book of Margery Kempe: autobiography; Middle English. Paper, with vellum flyleaves, ff vii+124, 207mmx142mm, c.1440.

Rose Throckmorton

i Add 43827 A & B Narrative of Mrs Throckmorton, formerly wife of Anthony Hickman, of her own and the latter’s sufferings as Protestants during queen Mary’s reign, written by her in her own hand in her 85th year, circa 1610. Autograph copy; bound together with, Certaine old stories recorded by an aged gentlewoman a [ ] before her death to be perused by her children and posterity. written by her wth her own hand in the 85th yeare of her age and bout the yeare of our lord 1610 Paper; ff 24, 28; 6¼”x10”, early 17th century.

ii Add 45027 Certaine old stories recorded by an aged gentlewoman to be perused by her children and posterity. Anno Domini 1610 ff 15, Folio

REEL 10

Queen Mary Psalter

i Royal 2 B vii Psalter in Latin, with the Canticles, Litany etc executed in England, and profusely illustrated:


(1) Series of 223 tinted drawings, mostly two on a page, illustrating Old Testament history from the fall of Lucifer and the Creation, to the death of Solomon, with explanations in French.
(2) Tree of Jesse.
(3) Miniature in four compartments, St Anne and her three husbands; the three Marys; the Virgin and Child; James the Less and James the Greater; and Christ Enthroned.
(4) Two miniatures in six compartments containing a prophet and an apostle.
(5) Calendar, each month occupying two pages with a miniature at the top of each.
(6) Psalter, illustrated with miniatures of the life of Christ.
(7) Canticles with scenes from the passion etc.
(8) Litany,with miniatures of saints.
(9) From f 85 onwards lower margins contain a series of exquisite little tinted drawings in the style of the Biblical scenes.
Vellum, ff 319,11”x 7”, early 14th century.

Katherine Aston

i Add 36452 The Aston Papers Volume IX, Private correspondence of the Aston Family, 1613-1703.
ff 225

REEL 11

Katherine Austen

i Add 4454 Katherine Austen Collectanea. Essays, meditations, memoranda, etc, in prose and verse by Katherine Austen, ‘Book M’; 1664-1668. Paper, ff 114, Small quarto, 1664-1668.

Jane Barker

i Add 21621 A collection of poems, referring to the times; since the King’s [James II] accession to the Crown, by Jane Barker, authoress of the first part of Political Recreations and dedicated to HRH [James Francis Edward] Prince of Wales, the Pretender. With the signature of the authoress at the end of the dedication. On folio 1 is a plate of the arms of Armand Louis du Plessis-Richelieu, Duc d’Aigullon.
Paper, ff 55, Quarto.

Devonshire Mss

i Add 17492 Poems of Sir Thomas Wyatt, with a few of Lord Surrey, Anthony lee, Richard Hatfield, and EK [Edmund Knyvet?], and with others in autograph by Thomas Lord Howard (written in the Tower), his wife Lady Margaret [afterwards Countess of Lennox], her son “Harry Stuart” [Lord Darnley] and Mary Shelton [the mistress of Sir John Clere?].


In original stamped leather covers, bearing the initials MF and SE. The names of lady Margaret Howard and Mary Shelton are inscribed by their own hands on the flyleaf. Paper, ff 96, Small quarto. Earlier half of the 16th century.

Lettice Cary

i Add 45388 John Duncon; Account of the Life and Death of Lettice Carry, wife of Lucius Carry, 2nd Viscount Falkland, written in the form of letter from Duncon, Lady Falkland’s domestic Chaplain, to her mother Lady Morrison, wife of Sir Richard Morrison, of Tooley Park, Leicestershire, (?)1647-1648. The present text differs from all the printed editions, but as some of the corrections, cancellations, and additions appear in the printed text, it is possibly a revised autograph draft. The work was first printed in The Returnes of Spiritual Comfort and Grief in a Devout Soul, 1648, pp 143-202.
Paper, ff 19, Quarto. 17th century.

Grace Cary

i Egerton 1044 England’s Forewarninge, or a relation of true, strange and wonderful visions and prophetical revelations concerning these tragicall times, shewed foure or five yeeres since to Mrs Grace Cary, of Bristoll, etc, dated June, 1644. Autograph. The presentation copy to Sir Benjamin Reager, Knt. A later hand has filled the greater part of the volume with medicinal and culinary recipes.
c50ff. Small quarto.

Elizabeth Jocelyn

i Add 4378 The Mother’s Legacie to her Unborne Childe, by Elizabeth Jocelyn (died 1622), with The Approbation of Dr Thomas Goad and Dedicatory Letter to her husband Tourell Jocelin. Autograph; First printed in 1624 with Approbation and Letter. Paper, ff 51, Duodecimo, c.1622.


REEL 12

Mary Clarcke

i Harleian 1860 A paper book in small folio wherein are fairly written divers of the Translations made by Mrs Mary Clarcke from Eusebius; and by her dedicated to the then Lady Mary, afterwards Queen Mary, in the following order:


(1) A Pystle to the Lady Maryes Grace f 1
(2) Contenta Proemij, necnon sigulorum Capitum Libri Primi Ecclesiasticae Historiae Eusebij Pamphili. f 9
(3) Eustebij Pamphili Episcopi Caeariae Palestinae Ecclesiasticae Historiae Liber Primus; Maria CLARCKE Interprete f 10
Then follows her English translations from the Greek:
(4) The Contenys of the Fyrste Booke. f 59
(5) The Fyrste Booke of the Ecclesyastycall Hystorye of Eusebius Pamphyly Byshoppe of Caesare in Palestyne. f 61
(6) The Contenys of the Seconde Booke. f 114
(7) The Seconde Booke, &c. f 116
(8) The Contenys of the Thyrde Booke. f 170
(9) The Thyrde Booke, &c. f 172
(10) The Contenys of the Fourthe Booke. f 243b
(11) The Fourthe Booke, &c. f 246b
(12) The Contenys of the Vth Booke. f 306
(13) The Vth Booke, &c. f 308
Paper; ff 379, Small folio. 16th century

REEL 13

Katherine Parr

i Add 24965 Letterbook of Thomas Dacre, 2nd Lord Dacre of Gillesland, Warden of the Marches towards Scotland; preceded by original letters, warrants etc, addressed to him; 2nd June, 1523-24 September, 1524.


The original letters are in order of date, but in the letterbook which begins at f 144, chronological sequence is not strictly adhered to. Contents include:


Mary Queen of Scots (including 4 holograph),Thomas Wolsey, Cardial of York, Maud Parr (widow of Thomas Parre) and Henry VIII. Paper, ff 305, Folio. 1523, 1524.

REEL 14

Margaret Roper/More

i Royal 17 D xiv Transcripts of works and letters, &c, of Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor (executed 1535), mostly written by him when a prisoner in the Tower (April 1534-July 1535). In English, with a few exceptions. Printed, with a few exceptions in The Workes of Sir T More 1557, for which edition these transcripts were probably made. They are in a clerk’s hand, but revised by another. Includes two letters by Margaret Roper to her father. Paper; ff i+455, folio 11”x7¾”. c1550-1557.

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