Item Details

Call Number: MS Hunter 12 (S.2.2)
Title: L'Epistre Responsive a Hector
Images: [ MS Hunter 12 fol. 1r ]
Date of Creation: Between 1499 and 1599
Level of Description: Item
Part of MS Hunter 1-658
Content: Maistre Jehan, L'Epistre Responsive a Hector.
Maître Jean's Riming Epistle dedicated to Louis Duc de Nevers.
1. Dedication:
Begins (1, 2 verso, middle of page, in red): Ce liuret plain de motz diuers. | Je presente sans plus enquerre. | A loys monseigneur de nevers | Hoir de cleuez. conte dauxerre [ends].
2. Author's Preface:
Begins (1, 3 recto line 1): A [illuminated capital] Pres que mars par paix fut suffocque | Que la rose eust ferme appuy estocque. | Dessoubz le lis, en despit de megere.
Ends (1, 3 verso lines 21-24): Le bon vouloir qua tant iour moys que lan | De te complaire ton seruant maistre iehan. Sans picquer | que ne me touche [last two lines in red].
3. The Epistle:
Begins (2, 1 recto line 1): O [illuminated initial] Preux hector, o hault cueur de lyon | Prince de Troye, lheriteur dilion.
Ends (3, 4 verso lines 25, 26): Escript a bloys par vng lundi matin. | Lan que dessus, la veille saint martin.
On 1, 1 verso, top, in late XVI. century hand: S notre dame prophesies, page 187. Lower in XVIII. century hand: Bought at an auction of | Mr. Le Neve's Books March 1730 | pr. l. | N. Hardinge.
Dr. Young notes: "Peter Le Neve, Norrey K. at arms 1662-1720, Nicholas Hardinge, poet."
On 1, 3 recto, lines 26-28 give a clue to the date, referring to the recent death of Louis XII. (1462-1515).
On 2, 1 recto, the whole page, with the exception of 8 lines of writing, is taken up with an elaborate miniature painting of a mounted knight in full armour charging 1, with drawn sword upraised, visor closed, charged shield on left arm, from a château on a hill, and overlooking a river and distant landscape. On his surtout and housings is a monogram in silver, CVE, on a gold trefoil twist. At bottom of page the same arms with swans supporters and QVANT IE VOVLDRE in gold on blue scroll.
Along the top border in similar characters, AVDANTES: SORS: QVE: VENVS: QVE: IVVANT (silver(?) on gold).
This poem, consisting of about 630 lines, of which 54 form the prologue, deals with events of the reign of Louis XII., who is supposed to address it to Hector his ancestor, and in it rather roughly handles Pope Julius II. Louis de Cleves, Comte d'Auxerre, died in 1545, and the arms on 2, 1 recto are his. M. Paul Meyer (Documents Manuscrits de l'Ancienne Littérature de la France, première partie, Paris, 1871, page 118) notes that Maître Jean is the author of three works in MS. in the Bibliothèque Nationale (fr. 1690), the last being a rondeau with the refrain Quant je vouldrai, apparently the motto of Louis of Cleves; the motto also of Sans piquer qui ne me touche is found in the first. He thinks none of these works have ever been printed.
The arms are as follows: quarterly 1, 4. party per pale dexter: (gules) four knotted strings(?) (or) arranged as a cross and saltire, star fashion, and surcharged with shield of pretence (argent) orled (sable); sinister: (or) a fess chequy (argent and gules). 2, 3. (azure) three fleurs-de-lis (or), orled compony (argent and gules).
[Formerly Q.4.5; Q.4.53].
Physical Description: Bound volume.
Vellum, 10¼ x 6 5/8, ff. 12 (originally ff. 13), single cols. of 30 lines, 7 1/8 x 3 7/8, no catchwords, no signatures, margined and ruled, with red small illuminated initials, one whole page illumination, no marginalia, clean, well preserved, fol. sec. Preux hector. Early Cent. XVI.
Binding: Pasteboards, quarter calf, marbled paper sides, originally quarter calf with brown satin sides, and tied with brown silk ribbons. Cent. XX.
[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. 16.]
Access: Normal conditions
Language: French
Material Type: Poem
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.
Bibliography: Alison Adams, 'Le Manuscrit Huntérien de L'Epistre du Roy de Jean Lemaire de Belges et le Manuscrit B.N. Fonds Français 1690', Bibliothèque d'humanisme et renaissance, 45 (1983), pp 511-518; Nigel Thorp, The glory of the page (London, 1987), no. 66; 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 16-17.
Accession Number: 2482
See details of how this material was acquired
Repository Code: GB 0247

Names associated with this item:

author: Jean Maître fl.1500
dedicatee: Louis de Cleves Comte d'Auxerre d. 1545
Duc de Nevers.
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. …
provenance: Nicholas Hardinge fl.1720
provenance: Peter Le Neve 1662-1720
Norrey King at Arms.
subject: Louis XII King of France 1462-1515
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