Item Details

Call Number: MS Hunter 409 (V.3.7)
Title: The Romaunt of the Rose
Images: [ MS Hunter 409 fol. 58v ] [ MS Hunter 409 fol. 59r (detail) ]
Associated Websites: MS Hunter 409. Digitised version and transcript.
Images and caption from English Language manuscripts course material web page.
Images and caption from World of Chaucer web exhibition
Date of Creation: Between 1434 and 1445
Place of Creation: England
Level of Description: Item
Part of MS Hunter 1-658
Content: 15th century English manuscript of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Romaunt of the Rose, an allegorical poem on the art of love. The only extant manuscript copy of this work.

The following remarks are from these publications:
1) Young and Aitken (1908)
2) Treasures of Scottish libraries (Dublin, 1964)

1) Remarks from 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. 329:

Geoffrey Chaucer's Romaunt of the Rose. (Incomplete.)

Begins (1, 2 recto line 1): So mochel pris . and therto... [the last word: the cut off]. = Skeat, i. p. 95, line 45.

Ends (21, 1 recto [f. 150] line 18): I am licenced boldely | To Reden in Diuinite | And longe haue red [an erasure of two lines is followed after a space of an inch by Explicit] = Skeat, i. p. 259, lines 7692, 3.

Remarks: On iii, 1 recto in Thomas Martin of Palgrave's hand: This fair copy of Chaucers Romant of the Rose | is curtaild of the first Leaf, not unlikely for the sake | of Some fair Imbellishment which was Illuminated at | the Beginning of the Book. | It begins at the 45th Line, in Urrey's Edit. (pag. 215) so mokil prise etc.
Above this (in the same hand) in the left-hand top corner: c.
Underneath is pasted a cutting from a Sale Catalogue: CHAUCER'S ROMANT OF THE ROSE; a most beautiful | MSS on vellum exceedingly well preserv'd with the | Initials neatly illuminated with Flowers, and other | Devices in Gold and beautiful Colours, in 297 Pages.
On iv, 1 recto (originally verso): Tho: Martin . Ex Dono Domini Jacobi Sturgeon | de Bury sancti Edmundi in agro | Suffolciensi: Artis Chirurgicę | Periti | Nov: 9 | 1720.
On 1, 2 recto in an early XVI. Cent. hand: Thomas Griggs | possessor huius libri.
On f. 27 recto in a later XVI. Cent. hand is a 'missing word' puzzle: I had my And my | I lente my To my | I Asked my frynde [the last word in another contemporary hand] Of my sylver [the last word in the same contemporary hand] I loste my And my .
On f. 32 recto a XVII. Cent. hand has repeated lines 1697-1700 with slight verbal changes thus: As nature couthe it make faire | And yt haith Leaves well foure paire | That kynde haith sett throughe his knowing | Aboute the rede Roses sprynginge.
On f. 71 recto in a XVI. Cent. hand: Be It better by it worsse | ffather and mother | my dewly loyll consyderatioun | And I have | Jhames bynge | Jhon Rygeman.
On f. 115 verso line 13 is struck through with red ink, line 14 being identical.
On f. 122 recto in a XVI. Cent. hand: In In the yere of lorde god | Amne.
On f. 131 recto an illuminated initial has been cut out.
On f. 134 recto in a XVI. Cent. hand: This Indendture made the sekond | Daye of June In the iij and fourthe | Yeare of the Raygne of Kynge | ffelyppe and quene mari bye | the grace of god kynge of Ingland | flanco mapler (?).
On f. 139 recto in brown crayon, in an early XVI. Cent. hand: my lorde Mont Joy | my lady you (?) | In ink and later: Aduersus est ille qui neminem amet.
On f. 150 recto opposite line 16 in Th. Martin's hand: 7690 Urry p. 268.
On f. 150 verso in early and later XVI. Cent. hands: Wylliam Ball | flytewoddes Chamber | Wylliam Ball. Opposite this is engrossed in a contemporary hand: I take youre silf to Recorde | Explicit.
On f. 151 recto in XVI. Cent. hands: Robert bromfeld (?) | I alwaye serche and And can not fynde | Byware of lying ffor the | Byware of lyinge ffor the custome thereof Is | not good... | henrye beakyns . the man Is blyst. The last three words are quoted from Sternhold and Hopkin's version of Psalm i. 1.
On f. 151 verso in a late XVI. Cent. hand: Edmund (?) sexten (?). Under this name are four rudely drawn heads turned to the left; facing these a much better drawn woman's head and bust, a hand holding a torch behind her. Across her breast in XVI. Cent. writing: le plus maleurus; another hand has written (at the top): tout sera gaste; and a somewhat later (?) hand has below: Le Romant de la Rose. Below the heads are five lines of verse (in a XVI. Cent. hand), the first syllables of which are cut off: I all way serche and neuer fynd | My most desyre ys farst me fro | Unhappy chances dothe me so bynd | What was my welthe ys now my woe | Fortune unkynd is now my foe.
On v. 1 recto under some scribbled outlines of heads in a XVI. Cent. hand (late): Thys Boke ys a... | In a later hand: I dred that I dare doo | [Greek characters].

The displacement of lines in quires 19 and 20 is due to the original having had the leaves of its penultimate quire disarranged in the binding. The sequence at present is the following:

19, 2 [f. 139] recto line 17 = Skeat, i. p. 247, line 6965.
19, 3 [f. 140] recto line 16 = Skeat, i. p. 248, line 7012.
19, 3 [f. 140] recto line 17 = Skeat, i. p. 249, line 7110.
19, 3 [f. 140] recto line 18 (blank) (7109).
19, 4 [f. 141] recto line 18 = Skeat, i. p. 250, line 7158.
19, 4 [f. 141] recto line 19 = Skeat, i. p. 248, line 7013.
19, 6 [f. 143] recto line 16 = Skeat, i. p. 249, line 7108.
19, 6 [f. 143] recto line 17 = Skeat, i. p. 251, line 7209.
19, 8 [f. 145] recto line 16 = Skeat, i. p. 253, line 7304.
19, 8 [f. 145] recto line 17 = Skeat, i. p. 250, line 7159.
20, 1 [f. 146] recto line 16 = Skeat, i. p. 251, line 7208.
20, 1 [f. 146] recto line 17 = Skeat, i. p. 253, line 7305.

[Two diagrams illustrating the effects of the disarrangement (see Skeat, i. pp. 11-13): Original order of quire. [Unkeyable graph]. Displaced order of quire. [Unkeyable graph].
For Thomas Martin of Palgrave (1697-1771), see Dict. Nat. Biog. xxxvi. 297 and S.1.3.
Dr. Anthony Askew (1722-1774), to whom the inscription on iv, 1. is ascribed by Dr. Skeat, was born two years after its date. See Dict. Nat. Biog. ii. 192.
Lord Mountjoy (f. 139 recto) is possibly Charles Blount, fifth Baron Mountjoy, who died 1545, or his father William Blount, fourth Baron Mountjoy, who died 1534. See Dict. Nat. Biog. v. 239 and 259.
On f. 17 recto in pencil, in an early XVIII. Cent. hand: In Guild Hall.

2) Remarks from Treasures of Scottish libraries (Dublin, 1964):

Geoffrey Chaucer. The Romaunt of the Rose. Glasgow University, Hunterian Library, MS. 409. (V.3.7) Parchment. 151 ff., 270 x 200 mm. England, s. xv1. The only known manuscript, before the printed edition of W. Thynne in 1532, of a translation into English of the 13th-century poem by Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun. Since Kaluza's work in 1893 there has been considerable agreement that the first of the three sections into which the text falls (lines 1-1705) can be accepted as the work of Chaucer, probably between 1360 and 1368. The original work was for more than two centuries the most important and admired single poem in English or French, and influenced Chaucer more than any other poem he read. The text is written in English vernacular script. The decoration consists of initials in gold decorated with feathery sprays. The manuscript formerly belonged to the antiquary, Thomas Martin of Palgrave (1697-1771). References. Young & Aitken, pp. 329-31. M. Kaluza, Chaucer und der Rosenroman, Berlin, 1893. Cambridge bibliography of English literature, Cambridge, 1940-, i, pp. 227-8. (Dublin catalogue, 1964.)
Physical Description: Bound volume.
Remarks from Young and Aitken (1908):
Vellum, 10 3/4 x 7 7/8, ff. 151, originally ff. 262, well written in single cols. of 24 lines, each 5 3/4 x 3, lined and margined with red ink, signatures (mostly cropped), catchwords, foliation (modern) in pencil, ff. 1-151, floreated page (f. 57 verso), small gilt illuminated initials with elaborate floral gestures, marginalia, supttered stains (ff. 72 verso, 73 recto and f. 74 verso and f. 75 recto), much cropped, corners of first quire mutilated, involving text on 1, 2. and 3., rubrics (in French), ff. 90 recto-102 verso only, omitted lines supplied in a XVI. Cent. hand (ff. 111 recto, 133 verso, 135 verso, 142 verso, but not in 125 verso or 140 recto), running title "ffalsemblant", underlined with red and with gilt paragraph marks (versos only), from f. 115 verso to f. 150 recto, fol. sec. So mochel pris. Early Cent. XV.
Binding: Millboards (replacing original beech boards), covered brown grained Russia (probably faded from crimson), gilt-tooled edges, sides (lines) and panelled back, title (gilt) on green morocco shield: CHAUCERS | ROMANT OF | E Y ROSE; MS. Early 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. 329.]
Access: Temporarily unavailable for consultation: at exhibition until July 2019.
Language: English
Material Type: Document
Notes: Digital online version should be used. Permission to view the original manuscript must be requested, in advance, from the Keeper of Special Collections.

Former pressmarks listed in Young and Aitken (1908): S.5.11; S.5.70.

'Treasures of Scottish Libraries', National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1961; 'Treasures from Scottish libraries', Trinity College Library, Dublin, 1964; 'William Hunter, Book Collector', Glasgow University Library, Apr.-Sep. 1983; '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 Magic of the Middle Ages, Part 2: Secular Manuscripts', Glasgow University Library, Sep.-Dec. 1995; 'Manuscripts from Two Millennia', Glasgow University Library, 20 May 1996; 'The World of Chaucer', Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, May-Aug. 2004.
Bibliography: Jack Baldwin, William Hunter, 1718-1783, book collector: catalogue of an exhibition (Glasgow, 1983), no. 2; L.D. Benson (ed.), The Riverside Chaucer, 3rd ed. (Boston, Mass., 1987; Oxford, 1988), pp 685-767, 1198-1210; James E. Blodgett, 'Some printer's copy for William Thynne's 1532 edition of Chaucer', The Library, Sixth Series, I (1979), pp. 97-113; Ange Brusendorff, The Chaucer tradition (London, 1925), chap. v: 'The romance of the rose' (p. 295); Charles Dahlberg (ed.), The romaunt of the rose (Norman, 1999), pp. 46-57 and frontispiece (reproduction of fol. 18v); Julie Gardham, The world of Chaucer: medieval books and manuscripts (Glasgow, 2004), p. 10; Max Kaluza (ed.), The Romaunt of the Rose from the unique Glasgow MS (London: Chaucer Society, 1891); National Library of Scotland, Treasures of Scottish libraries: catalogue (Edinburgh, 1961), iv, 3; Ronald Sutherland, 'The Romaunt of the Rose' and 'Le Roman de la Rose: a parallel-text edition' (Oxford, 1967) and review of this edition by A.C. Baugh, English Studies, 1971, pp 450-453; Nigel Thorp, The glory of the page (London, 1987), no. 36; Treasures from Scottish libraries: catalogue of an exhibition held in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin (Edinburgh, 1964), no. 25; 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 329-331; Denis Reveney and Graham D Caie (Eds), Medieval Texts in Context, (Routledge, 2008), pxii frontispiece (fol 57v) and p15 Plate 2 (fol 145r).
Accession Number: 2482
See details of how this material was acquired
Repository Code: GB 0247

Names associated with this item:

author: Geoffrey Chaucer 1340-1400
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: Magic of the Middle Ages 1994-1995
Exhibition: The Magic of the Middle Ages: Manuscript Treasures of Glasgow University Library. Part 1: Sacred Manuscripts, Glasgow University Library, 21 April-30 …
exhibition: Manuscripts from Two Millennia 1996
Exhibition mounted to coincide with the visit of the Manuscript Society, Glasgow University Library, 20 May 1996.
exhibition: Treasures from Scottish Libraries 1964
Exhibition, Trinity College Library, Dublin, 1964.
exhibition: Treasures of Scottish Libraries 1961
Exhibition, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1961.
exhibition: William Hunter, Book Collector 1983
Exhibition, Glasgow University Library, 14 april-30 September 1983.
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: Thomas Griggs fl.c.1520
provenance: Thomas Martin 1697-1771
Of Palgrave. Antiquary.
provenance: James Sturgeon fl.1720
Surgeon, Bury St Edmunds.
subject: Anthony Askew 1722-1774
subject: William Ball fl 1500-1599
subject: Charles Blount 5th Baron Mountjoy d. 1545
[See D.N.B.]
subject: Robert Bromfeld fl 1500-1599
subject: James Bynge fl 1500-1599
subject: John Rygeman fl 1500-1599
subject: Edmund Sexten fl 1500-1599
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