Item Details

Call Number: MS Hunter 72 (T.3.10)
Title: Polychronicon
Date of Creation: Between 1299 and 1499
Level of Description: Item
Part of MS Hunter 1-658
Content: Ranvlphi Higden, Monachi Cestrensis, Polychronicon.
Ralph Higden, Monk of Chester's Polychronicon:
Begins - after an alphabetical index, in double cols. of 35 lines, occupying the first (unsigned) quire from 1, 1 [f. 1] recto col. a, line 1: A [rubricated initial] braham libro 2 capitulo 10 | ... to 1, 10 [f. 10] recto col. a, line 4: Z [rubricated initial] z Orobabel 3. 10 - (2, 1 [f. 11] recto lines 1, 2): Incipit Prologus primus in historiam... [a small strip (1 1/8 x 1) cut out] | P [large rubricated initial] Ost preclaros artium scriptores quibus circa
Ends (38, 9 [f. 291 (f. 293)] recto line 30): tinuacionem diu postea habuerunt. ...
Remarks: On iii, 1 verso (top) in an early XV. Cent. hand are four lines of notes and references below which, in Dr. Wm. Hunter's hand: The original Polycronicon of Ranulph Monk of | Chester: which was translated into English | by Trivisa for Lord Barkley: and that | Translation was corrected modernized | and printed by Caxton with a book viz | 8th or ultimus of his own composition. | This may be supposed to be a Specimen of writing about the year 1360.
The recto of iii, 2. contains 32 lines of a Latin index of proper names with rubricated initials, ?by the same hand as in the notes on iii, 1. Under this, in a late XVI. Cent. hand: A policronicon geven by S. Batman [which continues after a little space]: I praye you ether geve or lende me | your Esopes fables: withe pictures in englishe, | and I will bestowe one you somm other booke.
The same name occurs on the last folio in a later hand: Polycronicon S. Batman.
(Stephen Batman, D.D., died 1584, chaplain to Lord Hunsdon, having previously been chaplain to Archbishop Parker. See Dict. Nat. Biog. iii. p. 414.)
On iii, 2 verso, in a small early XV. Cent. hand, are 52 lines of a series of historical notes beginning with the baptism of Lucius, first Christian King of Britain, and ending with the fourth introduction of Christianity into England under King Ethelbert by Augustine in 395 A.D.
On iii, 3 recto in same Cent. hand, but later, are 48 lines of chronological notes of the ages of the world, and selected events which are continued overleaf for 51 lines, and end with a reference to York (Eboracum) "Que post Londonium tenet adhoc inter ciuita | tes regni secundum locum et cetera."
Then follow three more lines in a late XV. Cent. hand giving the dates of the Exodus, Julius Caesar's invasion of Britain, and "the first foundation of Dover Castle by the same Julius."
On 1, 10 recto, in a XVI. Cent. hand, is the following letter to accompany the book: Mr. Recorder I haue sent youe by this bearer my Kynsman | Jeffray gatt this old monument or cronacle of England am | am to crave your ffrendshippe towarde him if it might be | possible to get him in Lawe office about the Shreves as a yoman Sergiant or otherwise as to your worshipe | shalbe thought fit he hath bin Auteent [?for Adjutant] in hollond and one | that hath done good Service bothe in Scotland and Ireland | Thus in hast I take my leve from thanchurch [?for Dymchurch] | Yours in Christ John Denton.
Was this "Jeffray" John Jefferay of Chiddingley Manor, Sussex, who died 1578 Chief Baron of Exchequer Bench, and who was appointed Queen's Sergeant, 15 Oct., 1572?
Marginal additions occur as follows: Bk. I., ch. 51; Bk. III., ch. 40 and ch. 44; Bk. IV., ch. 17; Bk. V., ch. 14; Bk. VI., ch. 23; Bk., VII. ch. 17 (on a slip), ch. 20 (on a slip), ch. 26 (on a slip), ch. 32, ch. 37, and in the Appendix to Bk. VII. under the following years: 1348, 1349, 1358, 1359, 1364, 1366, 1370, and the last two pages. The additions in Bk. VII. to ch. 38 are all in the same XV. Cent. hand. The last five lines are in a different hand: Circa xv annos ante mortem suam neglexit mili | ciam... ante mortem suam vt dicebatur non plus viguit in discrecione quam vnus puer viij annorum.
These five lines = lines 3-12, p. 393, vol. viii. of the Rolls Edition.
The end of the MS. text (38, 9 [f. 291 (293)] recto line 30) corresponds to the English version in the Rolls Edition, vol. viii. p. 446, last words of Capitulum quinquagesimum.
The five lines, above named, occupy the place of the erased rubric, and are followed by: explicit liber septimus [in the remains of a rubricated flourish] policronicon [the last word in a much later hand]. The note of 37, 7 recto line 7 (under Bk. VII., ch. 44 = 1342, Edward III.'s 16th year) occurs at the same date in MS. Harl. 226, and in the Cambridge University MS. (Ii. 2. 24, f. 153) at this place is a XV. Cent. marginal note: alius liber scriptus habet in margine "Hucusque Randulphus."
The lower margin of 37, 7. is nearly all torn away, but the text is intact; 37, 8. also torn, has been trimmed with scissors.
On 33, 1 recto, top margin, are two monograms: 'cOy and H R.'
Other copies of the Polychronicon are press-marked U.2.14; V.1.4.
[Formerly Q.2.23].
Repaired with new morocco back, December 1937
Physical Description: Bound volume.
Paper, 11 3/4 x 8 3/4, ff. 291, originally ff. 294, written in various hands, in single cols. of 23-40 lines, each 8-9 x 6-6, not ruled, but margined with ink, catchwords and signatures, no foliation, but contemporary capitulation, running titles (numbers), on rectos only, rubricated initials and paragraph marks, initials touched with vermilion, marginalia, fol. sec. Baleare Insule. Cents. XIV. and XV.
Binding: Millboards, covered brown (faded crimson), grained Russia, gilt-tooled sides, edges, and panelled back, title (gilt) on green morocco shields: R. HIGDEN | POLYCRONICON | LATINE | M.S. Cent. 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. 76.]
Access: Normal conditions
Language: Latin
Material Type: Chronicle
Bibliography: 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 76-79.
Accession Number: 2482
See details of how this material was acquired
Repository Code: GB 0247

Names associated with this item:

author: Ranulf Higden fl.1299-1360
Benedictine monk, St Werburgh's Abbey, Chester.
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