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Durham University

Special Collections

DUL MS Cosin V.II.15 Boethius, trans. J. Walton, De consolatione philosophiae s. xv2

These incomplete draft descriptions of medieval manuscripts in Durham University Library are copyright, and may not be quoted without the permission of the University of Durham Library.

Owing to inconsistencies with the source software, accented characters appear in varying compound forms. This has not yet been rationalized.

28/1/94 AJP after AID check of AJP revision of AID

[1] + 2 (coarse flyleaves, the second a third only of full width) + 111 + 1 (coarse flyleaf) + [1]; foliated 1, 1*-113. Paper (most chainlines horizontal, i.e. quarto of large sheets (c. 580 x 400 mm.), with 'Huchet' watermark (in a form not found in Briquet) in mid-gutter, or, ff. 26+35, 28+33, 30+31, 77+80, 78+79, 87+94, 89+92, 90+91, 98+111, thinner paper of folio format, with variants of a 'Char a deux roues' (cf. B3547, dated 1467), or pomme de pin (cf. B.12436, c. 1454-78) watermarks, c. 285 x 195 mm., trimmed on all edges; quire-centres strengthened with paper strips, s. xix (?).

Collation: 112 wants 1 before f. 2, 2-812, 916. Catchwords on quires 1-4, cropped; also on several leaves in the second half of quires 5-9. Quires 1-9 signed a-j, with roman numerals.

No evidence of pricking remaining. Written space c. 205 x 125 mm.; framed in soft brown; c. 34-35 unruled long lines + spaces between stanzas; top and bottom lines commonly written on or outside frame-line; stanzas run over from one page to the next.

Written in secretary, anglicana g, somewhat unevenly, by one hand, with top-line ascenders elaborated.

Decoration: text-capitals lined with red, ff. 2-18/6, and then to f. 20, first of stanza only. Tittle to each stanza, in margin, in red. Brace to rhyme-ties, f. 2 only, in red; subsequently brace, or more commonly rounded bracket in 3- form, to each stanza, in red. Initials: 2-, 3- or 4-line, in red.

No running titles.


ff. 2-112v Soo that in shenshippe and confusion | ... ... Whiche alle thynge doothe beholde plenerly. Explicit.

Boethius, trans. (1410) John Walton, De consolatione philosophiae, beginning imperfectly at Prefacio translatoris stanza 9 (ult.); IMEV, no. 1597+; ed. M. Science, EETS 170 (1927), reporting, pp.xv-xvi, xxxvii-ix, that this copy of book I is very closely related to Oxford Bodleian Lib. MS E Mus. 53 but not subsequent books. This copy has several serious dislocations of blocks of stanzas between books II and III, probably derived from misbinding or loose sheets in an antecedent.

The added title, 'Boetius his 5 Bookes of Philosophicall Comfort. Translated into English by John Lydgate', f. iv, s.xvii, was probably taken from an independent translation by I.T. published 1609.


Early side-notes in red, ff. 9v-10. Side-notes, perhaps by William Browne and another, see below.


Written in England.

Secundo folio missing.

Part of a medieval merchant's mark, by a similar pen and ink to those of the text, f. 82 outer margin, which has been mostly torn away with the beginnings of other inscriptions or pen-trials, s. xvi. '[...] secundum Harry Morley', f. 112v, s. xvi in., above a Latin couplet in the same ink; this may perhaps be Henry Parker lord Morley (1476-1556), a translator as well as a courtier, see DNB xliii, 238-9. 'This is Edmund Mariet booke and h', f. 103v upside-down in lower margin, by a childish hand, s. xvi med/ex.; the same name on f. 98v in the same position and ink; 'Edmund' repeated on ff. 56, 91v. 'Richardson R Rychardson', 'Rychard Buckley', f. 112v, both s. xvi/xvii, with other s. xvi med.-ex. pen-trials. 'Pleasure peryshethe lightelye but honnor is immortall. Quothe J. Thornehull', 'T.Perkyns', f. 113, s.xvi/xvii, among other pen-trials.

'Willelmus Browne 1612', f. 2; English side-notes on ff. 5v, 6, 7v and one in Greek on f. 10v are apparently by his hand; English side-notes on ff. 60v and 67v-8r in a small legal anglicana, s. xvi/xvii, may also be his, since the same hand occurs in B.L. MS Harley 4196 ? which also belonged to him, though it may be a previous owner's. CHECK THIS

'Geo: Davenport 1664.', f. 1v.

Binding: standard, s. xix med.