Item Details

Call Number: MS Hunter 7 (S.1.7)
Title: Confessio Amantis
Images: [ MS Hunter 7 fol. 7r ]
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 1424 and 1450
Place of Creation: England
Level of Description: Item
Part of MS Hunter 1-658
Content: John Gower, Confessio Amantis. Middle English & Latin. England, c.1425/1450. Incomplete.
Begins (1, 1 recto col. a, line 1): T [illuminated initial] Orpor hebes sensus scola parua labor | nimiusque . Causant quo minimus | ipse minora canam . Qua tamen Engisti lingua | canit insula bruti . Anglica carmente metra | iuuante loquar . Ossibus ergo carens quae conterit ossa loquelis . Absit et interpres | stet procul oro malus. Prologus [rubric] | O [illuminated initial continued into floreated border round page, much damaged by wear and damp] ff hem that writen vs tofore | The bookes dwelle and we therfore | Ben taught of that was write tho | ffor thi good is that we also | In oure tyme among vs heere | So write of newe som matiere.
Ends (24, 2 verso col. b, line 46 = viii. 782): As though that it an Aungel were. [From viii. 783 to the end is lost = about ff. 16.]
On iii, 1 recto in XVII. century hand (?paginator's): "The Pages 94 and 106 are numbered twice by mistake."
On iii, 2 recto in the same hand: John Gower | De Confessione Amantis. Imprinted at London in Flete strete | by Thomas Berthelette the | xii daie of Marche. An: MDLIIII. | Cum Privilegio | This Book as I was told by the Gent: who presented it to me did originally belong to the Abby of Bury in Suffolk. Prof. G.C. Macaulay (Clarendon Press Edition of John Gower's Complete Works, Oxford, 1901), remarks on this: "If so, the Confessio Amantis was probably read in this copy by Lydgate."
The upper margins and corners much gnawed by rats, especially in quires 2, 3, 4, and the last fol. The inserted folios 7 and 9 are more gnawed than those which precede and follow them. On fol. 43, recto, is an elaborate pencilled monogram enclosed in a heart. On the top margin of the same page a name (partly set off on the preceding verso) has been erased. Another name erased on the verso of fol. 8 (bottom margin).
On fol. 115 (117) margin of recto and partly cropped off: Silogismus PoŠta dixit... PoŠtŠ dictis est adhi... ergo nexus est... Si I scribatur et no seq... et pyn addatur qui... sic nominatur.
On 24, 2 verso, outer margin, in XVII. cent. hand: Omnia sunt Vanitas | preter amare deum | Ded and no mo, | T.B.C.
Quotations from Prof. Macaulay are marked by inverted commas. See his notice of this MS., which he marks (G) in vol. ii. of his edition of Gower (pp. cxliv, cxlv), where he remarks, "The Glasgow MS. is specially related to X (Society of Antiquaries, 134), and belongs more generally to the group H1X, etc. [H1 = Harleian 3490, Brit. Museum], which passes over to the revised class almost completely in a considerable part of the fifth book. The text, however, is on the whole much better than that of X, being both individually more correct and more frequently found on the side of the corrected readings... In at least one place, vii. 1574, it stands alone on the first recension, while in others it is accompanied only by J (St. John's Coll. Camb. B. 12). On the other hand, in some passages, G has an earlier reading, and X the later, while there is also a whole series of passages where G sometimes in company with X seems to show especial connexion of some kind with B (BT), [B = Bodley 294, Bodleian Library (Bern. Cat. 2449). T = Trin. Coll. Camb. R. iii. 2, (Bern. Cat. i. 3. 335).] The book is carefully written and corrected in the same hand. The spelling is pretty good, and in particular it is a contrast to X in the matter of final e. This is seldom wrongly inserted, and when it is omitted it is usually in places where the metre is not affected by it. Punctuation often in the course of the line, but not at the end."
[Formerly R.2.6; R.2.15].
Physical Description: Bound volume.
Vellum, 16Ż x 11 1/8, ff. 181, of which ff. 7 are binders' replacements, well and regularly written in double cols. of 46 lines, each 11 1/8 x 3 3/8, floreated pages beginning of each book, so far as these remain, catchwords (mostly cropped off), no signatures (probably cropped off), foliation, contemporary, in pencil to fol. 70 (a XVII. century hand has re-numbered these in ink and continued foliation to the end, numbering f. 94 and f. 106 twice by mistake, so that f. 181 is numbered 179), rubrics, Latin summaries in text (red), rubricated running titles, paragraph marks gilt and blue with red ornament, richly gilt and illuminated initials and borders, fol. sec. With al his herte. Early Cent. XV.
Binding: Millboards, covered with brown, mottled calf, gilt-tooled, lines on sides, pattern on edges, panelled back, title (gilt) on black morocco shield (modern): GOWER | CONFESSIO | AMANTIS. Cent. XVII.-XVIII.
[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. 10.]
Access: Normal conditions
Language: English
Material Type: Treatise
Notes: 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.
Bibliography: Julie Gardham, The world of Chaucer: medieval books and manuscripts (Glasgow, 2004), p. 19; Rodney M. Thomson, 'The library of Bury St. Edmunds Abbey in the eleventh and twelfth centuries', Speculum, 47 (1972), pp. 617-645 (see p. 618, note 3: but this reference is of no value for the library of the eleventh and twelfth centuries); Nigel Thorp, The glory of the page (London, 1987), no. 35; 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 10-11.
Accession Number: 2482
See details of how this material was acquired
Repository Code: GB 0247

Names associated with this item:

author: John Gower c.1325-1408
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: Abbey of Bury St Edmunds
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