Item Details

Call Number: MS Hunter 5 (S.1.5)
Title: De Illustrivm Virorvm et Foeminarvm Casibvs. Anglice
Images: [ MS Hunter 5 fol. 5r ]
Associated Websites: Images and caption from English Language manuscripts course material web page.
Images and caption from World of Chaucer web exhibition
Date of Creation: Between 1464 and 1480
Place of Creation: England
Level of Description: Item
Part of MS Hunter 1-658
Content: Ioannis Boccatii, De Illustrivm Virorvm et Foeminarvm Casibvs. Anglice.
John Lydgate's Translation of Boccacio's Fall of Princes: (Incomplete.)
Begins (1, 2 recto col a, line 1): As they had of Fortune, the maystry.
Ends (27, 7 recto col. a, lines 20-22): Who will increse . by vertu most astende | Here endeth the boke of John | Bochas . of the fall of princes [rubric].
1, 1. contained the first 24 stanzas.
1, 8. contained the last 15 stanzas of chi. ii. and the first 9 of ch. iii. (In Wayland's edition 1553 = from 6th stanza, col. a, leaf v, to 3rd stanza, col. a, leaf vi, inclusive.)
10, 6. contained the last 12 stanzas of Book II. and the first 11 of Book III.
14, 4. contained the last 12 stanzas of Book III. and the first 12 of Book IV.
Book V. begins with ch. viii. of Wayland's edition.
On the verso of the first fly-leaf: The Boke of John Bochas | of the fall of Princes. | By John Lydgate monk | of Bury. On 1, 7 verso a note in an early XVII. century hand, on the lower margin:- Turne forwards eight leaves - refers to the fact that the binder has misplaced the next quire. Other notes referring to the same circumstances are on 2, 1 recto; 2, 8 verso; and 3, 1 recto - all by the same hand - which has also paged the two quires 9-16 and 1-8 respectively.
On 26, 1 recto a number of lines referring to "Pope John" have been carefully obliterated or altered (in Wayland's edition beginning of ch. xiv. Bk. IX. fol. xxv) as shown below (obliteration being indicated by italics, and alteration by insertion in brackets).
In col. a, 4th stanza: And as a preest she had a brode tonsure
Hir(s) apparaile...
Beyng a woman...
In col. a, 5th stanza: Obliterated all but a few words.
In col. b, 1st stanza: Hir(s) name couthe...
To shewe hir(s) kunning... she began
... cam into Englande
... that she was a man
Came to Rome hir(s) story tell can.
In col. a, 2nd stanza: That the Pope which called was Leon
The seide woman by election
Istalled was...
... but that she was a man.
In col. a, 3rd stanza: She was named and called Pope Johan
... temptacioun
Quick with childe the houre cam on hir than
Was delyuered, at seynt John Lateran
In col. a, 3rd stanza: Of hir liuyng.
On 27, 7 recto col. a, in italic contemporary hand: Marie Lumner was borne on | Candlemasse Daye 1579 betwene | the howers of twelue and one of | the clock at nighte | Elizabeth Lumner was Borne | in the Isle of Gernesey vppon St. | Thomas ye Apostles daye 1582: betwene sixe and seauen of the | Clock at nighte. And these wer | the Daughters of Edmunde | Lumner of Mannington in the | Countie of Norfolk Esquier which he | hand by Jane the Daughter of Williame | Yeluerton of Rowgham in the sayd | Countie Esquier.
Under this is an older English hand:
As God hath lent them comely shapes
And nature well disposde their mynde
So ffortune graunte them (pretty Apes)
An happy state on earthe to fynde
Thus shall they lyue and prayse the daye
That fyrst of lyghte hath gyuen them saye.
(Same italic hand as above): Dos maxima fortuna.
On the same page opposite first note in a more clerkly hand: Elizabet Calthorpe the dauter | of Cristofer Calthorpe esquier | and Jane his wife dawghter | and one of the heires of Roger Rowkewoode esquier was Borne | at Cokthorpe on Cristmas | Daie being the xxvth Daie of | December betwyn the howers | of vij and viij at night A | Dni. Cristmas Daie being | on the wednesdaie Jamys Calthorpe Son to the said | Cristofer and Jane was borne | at Starston the xxxjth daie of | August being wednesdaie | A Dni.
[Formerly R.1.4; R.1.5].
Full page decorations on fols. 41r, 125v, 139r, 161r, 172r, 191r
Physical Description: Bound volume.
Vellum, 17 x 12, ff. 212 (originally ff. 216) not counting the vellum fly-leaves, margined and ruled in red like the rest of the book, double cols. of 42 lines (i.e. six stanzas of seven lines), each 12 x 3 3/4, rubrics, no signatures or catchwords, pages cropped, especially tops and sides, richly gilt and illuminated initials, floreated pages beginning each Book (except III. and IV., where probably cut out for the sake of the choice decorations), fol. sec. As they had. Cent. XV.
Binding: Original millboards, covered black calf rough, blind-tooled, recently re-backed, title (gilt) on black morocco shield (modern): JOHN BOCHAS | FALL OF PRINCES | LYDGATE. Cent. XV.
[For detailed collation see: John Young and P. Henderson Aitken, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of The Hunterian Museum in The University of Glasgow. (Glasgow, 1908), p. 7.]
Access: Normal conditions
Language: English
Material Type: Treatise
Archival History: Possibly purchased by William Hunter at the following book sale, 14.1.1765, lot 743. A partially annotated sale catalogue 'A catalogue of the library of the Right Honourable the Earl of Macclesfield, President of the Royal Society, lately deceased', held at the British Library (S.C.S. 5 (70)), describes the work as 'Bochas of the Fall of Princes, a Manuscript on Vellum, very fair.' Hunter is recorded as paying £5-15-0.
The manuscript could also possibly be identified as Lot 285 in the sale of the library of Ebenezer Mussell in London, 30 May 1766, where the manuscript for sale is described as "Bocchas de Casu Principum, or Bocchas on the Fall of Princes, in Eng. Verse, finely wrote, illum. and preserved"; William Hunter is recorded as purchasing lot 285 for £1.10.0 according to the digitized copy of the Mussell sale catalogue (annotated with prices and buyers' names) at the Houghton Library, Harvard University. Margaret Connolly (in 'The 'curious and valuable' library of Ebenezer Mussell' Book Collector, Vol 62, no 1, Spring 2013) ascribes MS Hunter 5 to Mussell (see appendix, no. 5); provenance given as tentative by N. R. Ker in 'William Hunter as a collector of medieval manuscripts' ([Glasgow]: University of Glasgow Press, [1983]), p. 14.
Bibliography: A description of this MS. and its relationship to other Lydgate MSS. occurs in: Lydgate's Fall of Princes, edited by Henry Bergen, Part IV (EETS, 1927), pp. 79-81; Julie Gardham, The world of Chaucer: medieval books and manuscripts (Glasgow, 2004), p. 22; Nigel Thorp, The glory of the page (London, 1987), no. 41; John Young & P.H. Aitken, A catalogue of the manuscripts in the Library of the Hunterian Museum in the University of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1908), pp 7-8.
Exhibitions: This manuscript has been exhibited on the following occasions: 'The Glory of the Page', Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 1987-Jan. 1988, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Feb.-Apr. 1988, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Jun.-Aug. 1988, Burrell Collection, Glasgow, Nov. 1988-Jan. 1989; 'The World of Chaucer', Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, May-Aug. 2004.
Accession Number: 2482
See details of how this material was acquired
Repository Code: GB 0247

Names associated with this item:

author: Giovanni Boccaccio 1313-1375
Joannes Boccatius, John Bochas.
exhibition: Glory of the Page 1987-1989
Exhibition of medieval manuscripts from Glasgow University Library: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 1987-Jan. 1988, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Feb.-Apr. …
exhibition: World of Chaucer
Exhibition: The World of Chaucer: Medieval Books and Manuscripts from Glasgow University Library, held at the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, 15 May-28 August 2004.
provenance: George Parker 2nd Earl of Macclesfield c 1697-1764
Astronomer and politician. President of the Royal Society, 1752-1764.
translator: John Lydgate 1370?-1451?
Monk of Bury.
WebPAC PRO © Innovative Interfaces, Inc.