Ref NoMS 91
Alt Ref NoA. 5. 2
TitleThe 'Thornton' Romances
Description1. The Prose Life of Alexander: Ff.1-49. '(Beg. impf.) downe in to þe dyke ... þe twelfed es called Egipt. Explicit vita Alexandry magni coquestoris. Here endeꝫ þᵉ lyf of gret Allexander conquerour of all þᵉ worlde'. J.S.Westlake, EETS, o.s., 143 (1913). In the inner margin of f.1 is pencilled "March 26 1793' by Joseph Ritson (G. Keiser in Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 77 [1983], 174-175). On f.49v pen-trials, including 'Isto die natus fuit Robertus Thornton in Ridayll anno Domini m. cccc. liij' and 'Wylliam thornton ar[miger] this Boke'.
2. Prognostications of weather. F.50rv. F.51 blank but for a few pen-trials.
3. 'Lamentacio Peccatoris' (Prol. to Adulterous Falmouth Squire). FF.51v-52. "All crysten men yᵗ wawke me bye ... All crystyn men bewar by me. Explicit lamentacio.' IMEV 172; F.J.Furnivall, EETS, o.s., 15 (1866; new ed. 1903), 123-126 (from other MSS). F.52v filled with rather crude pen-and-ink sketches of knights and a charger. One of the knights has on his breastplate a heraldic charge of 3 leopards' faces, another bears 3 ducal coronets on his shield.
4. Morte Arthure. Ff.53-98v. 'He begynnes Morte Arthure. Nowe grett glorious Godd thurgh grace of hym schew ... In to Bretayne the brode as ꝫᵉ bruytte tellys etc. explicit. Here endes Morte Arthure writen by Robert of Thorntone.' IMEV 2322; M. Hamel (New York, 1985).
5. Octovyane. Ff.98v-109. 'Here bygynnes the Romance off Octovyane. Mekyll and littill olde and ꝫynge ... Thon gyffe us alle thi dere blyssinge / Amen Amen per charyte Amen.' IMEV 1918; G.Sarrazin (Heilbronn, 1885); new ed. F. McSparran, EETS, o.s., 298 (1986).
6. Sir Ysambrace. Ff.109-114v. 'Here begynnes the Romance off sir ysambrace. Ihesu Christ lorde of heven kynge ... Nowe and ever mare Amen Amen. Explicit sir Ysambrace.' IMEV 1184; J. Zupitza and G. Schleich (Berlin, 1901). At the foot of f.114v is 'Vt dicunt multi cito transit lancea stulti'.
7. The Earl of Toulouse. Ff.114v-122. "Here bygynnes þᵉ Romance off Dyoclicyane þᵉ emperour and þᵉ erle Berade of Tholous and of þᵉ Emprice Beaulilione. Ihesu Criste God and lorde in trynite... (ends impf.) Bothe þaire flesche and þaire bones'. IMEV 1681; G. Lüdtke (Berlin, 1881, with app. by H. Ostheeren, 1970).
8. Vita Sancti Christofori. Ff.122v-129v. 'Vita sancti Xpistofori. [H]e bygynnes þᵉ lyffe or þᵉ Story of synte Xpistofre to þᵉ heryng or þᵉ [ ... ]yng of þᵉ whilke storye langes [ ... ]te mede and it be done wᵗ deuocione. Lordynges if it be ꝫowre will … God bryng us thedir whene his will es amen. Explicit uita sancti Xpistofori.' IMEV 1990; C. Horstmann, Altenglische Legenden, n. f. (Heilbronn, uictoriam contra omnes inimicos meos ... et ab omnibus periculis libera me et protege me Domine Ihesus Christe rex piissime qui ... '. Ff.176v-177. Ibid., pp.376-377.
20. 'A Preyere off the fyve Ioyes of owre Lady in Inglys and of the fyve sorowes'. Ff.177v-178. '[L]ady for thy ioyes fyve wysse me the ways of rightwys lyffe amen...fore qwyke and dede amen Pater noster Aue Maria amen.' Ibid. pp.377-379.
21. 'Psalmus Voce mea ad Dominum clamaui. Say þis psalme ... With this colect folowande yᵗ es full merytorye. [Domi]ne Ihesu Christe Quicunque uulnera sanctissimi corporis tui adoro ... '. F.178. Ibid., p.379.
22. 'Here Bygynnys fyve prayers to the fyve wondys of oure lorde Ihesu Cryste. F.178rv. "[A]doro te crucem in honore crucis in qua pependit Dominus noster... '. Ibid., pp.379-380.
23. The Previte off the Passioune (transl. of part of Ps-Bonaventure, Meditationes Vitae Christi). Ff.179-189. 'Who so desyres to fynd comforthe and gostely gladnes ... wᵗ his precious blode boghte us Ihesus Christus amen amen amen pur charite. Explicit Bonauenture de misteriis passionis Ihesu Christi. Of all thynge it is the best / Ihesu in herte fast to fest/ And lufe hym ower all thynge.' Ibid., pp. 198-218. The verse is IMEV 2616.
24. ' 'Tractatus Willelmi Nassyngton ... '. Ff.189-191v. 'Incipit tractatus Willelmi Nassyngton quondam aduocati ciuitatis Eboracensis de Trinitate et unitate cum declaracione operum Dei et de passione Domini nostri Ihesu Christi etc. A lord God of myght maste ... be led to þᵉ blyse yᵗ sall last ay amen.' G.G.Perry, Religious Pieces, EETS, o.s., 26 (1867; new ed. 1914), pp.60-72; Horstmann, Richard Rolle of Hampole II (1896), pp.334-339.
25. Four poems. Ff.191v-192. 'Lorde Gode Ihesu Cryste Godd almyghty ... Yᵗ I may wonne wᵗ þᵉ in blisse endlesse amen; Almyghty God in trinite ... Be til þi name withowttyne endyng amen; Lorde God alweldande … Graunte us Lorde yᵗ swa bee / amen amen pur charite; Ihesu that diede one the rude for þᵉ lufe of me ... That for my lufe walde be slayne. / Amen …pur charite.' IMEV 1954, 246, 1950.5, 1757; Ibid., I, [pp.363-364)
26. 'Of the vertys of the haly name of Ihesu'. Ff.192-193v. 'Ricardus hermita super uersiculo Oleum effusum nomen tuum in Canticis etc. That es on inglysce Oyle owt ꝫettede ... in mynde or es nennenyd in mouthe etc. Explicit.' Ibid., pp. 186-191; G.G.Perry, English Prose Treatises of Richard Rolle de Hampole, EETS, o.s., 20 (1866; rev. ed. 1921), pp.1-5; Steg. 7308.
27. 'Narracio. A tale þat Richerde hermet'. F.193v. 'When I hade takene my syngulere purpos … lorde have mercy one all thyne amen amen pur charite amen.' Horstmann, I, p.192; Perry, Prose Treatises, pp.5-6.
28. 'A prayere þ at þᵉ same Richerd hermet made yᵗ es beried at Hampulle'. F.193v. 'Deus noster refugium O creator noster et uirtus nostra ... '. Horstmann, I, p.291 n.
29. 'Ympnus quem composuit Sanctus Ambrosyus et est ualde bonus'. Ff.193v-194. 'Ihesu nostra redempcio amor et desiderium … Cheval. 9582.
30. 'De inperfecta contricione'. F.194. 'Rycharde hermyte reherces a dredfull tale of unperfitte contrecyone ... and he wᵗ gret ioye thanked God.' Horstmann, 1, pp.192-193; Perry, English Prose Treatises, pp.6-7.
31. Richard Rolle, The Bee and the Stork F.194rv. 'Richardi hermite de natura apis. Moralia The bee has thre kyndis ... affeccyons and othire uanytes Explicit.' H.E.Allen, English Writings of Richard Rolle, Hermit of Hampole (London, 1931), pp.54- 56.
32. 'De uita cuiusdam puelle incluse propter amorem Christi.' Ff.194v-195. 'Alswa Heraclides þᵉ clerke telles yat a maydene for suke hir cete ... a woman lyfede, Richard herymyte reherces yis tale in ensampill.' Horstmann, I, p.194; Perry, Prose Treatises, p.9.
33. 'Richardus herymyta'. F.195. 'Meliora sunt ubera tua uino; dulciora et meliora sunt diuina eloquia ... ab hac luce Deus dignetur me uocare etc.' Horstmann, I, pp.194-195 n.
34. 'Item inferius idem Richardus'. F.195. 'O quam delectabile gaudium et delicatum solacium ... in eternum habere non confido etc.' Ibid.
35. 'A notabill Tretys off the ten Comandementys Drawen by Richerde the hermyte off Hampull.' Ff.195v-196. 'The fyrste comandement es ... his body or any gudez of þᵉ worlde etc. Explicit.' Ibid. , pp.195-196; Perry, Prose Treatises, pp.10-12.
36. 'Item idem de septem donis Spiritus Sancti. Also of the gyftes of the Haly Gaste'. F.196rv. 'Ye seuene gyftes of þᵉ haly Gaste ... and flese it als uenyme Explicit.' Horstmann, I, pp.196-197; Perry, Prose Treatises, p.13.
37. Richard Rolle, Desyre and Delit. F.196v. Item Idem de dilectacione in Deo. Also of þ same delyte and ꝫernyng of Gode. Gemyng and delite of Ihesu Criste ... gruchynge or heuynese of thoghtes etc. Explicit. Explicit carmen qui scripsit sit benedictus amen.' Allen, Richard Rolle, pp.57-58.
38. "Speculum Sancti Edmundi Cantuariensis Archiepiscopi in Anglicis. Here begynnys the myrrour of Seynt Edmonde þᵉ Ersebechope of Canterberye'. Ff.197-209v. 'Videte uocacionem uestram. This wordes sayse saynte Paule in his pistyll ... and his preciouse passione amen. Expliculum [sic] speculum sancti Edmundi Cantuarie archiepiscopi. Dulce nomen Dominum nostrum Ihesu Christi sit benedictum in s. s. amen.' Horstmann, I, pp.219-240; Perry, Religious Pieces, pp. 15-48.
39. 'Tractatus de dominica oracione'. Ff.209v-211. 'Pater noster ... In all the wordes yat er stabilled and set to say ... and hele of oure saules yat es thi selfene Que nobis prestare ... Explicit. Benedicta sit sancta Trinitas amen.' Horstmann, I, pp.261- 264.
40. Hymn to Jesus. F.211rv. "Ihesu Criste sante Marye sonne ... and wonne ay wᵗ the stylle amen. Explicit tractatus. Explicit amen Thornton amen.' IMEV 1692; Horstmann, I, pp.364-365; Perry, Religious Pieces, pp.73-75.
41. Hymn to the Trinity, the Virgin and Jesus. Ff.211v-212. 'Fadir and sone and haly gaste ... Fadir and sonne and þᵉ haly Gaste amen. Explicit.' IMEV 775; Perry, Religious Pieces, pp.76-79; Horstmann, I, pp.365- 366.
42. A Prayer. F.212. 'Ihesu Criste Goddes sune of heuen ... þou schewede to mankynde amen. Explicit.' IMEV 1674; Horstmann, I, p.367.
43. 'A Meditacione of the fyve woundes of oure Lorde Ihesu Criste wᵗ a prayere in þᵉ Same'. F.212rv. 'Adoro te piissime Ihesu ... Psalmum dicat nomini tuo Domine. Oremus. Deus qui unigeniti Filii tui … Ibid., pp.381-382.
44. 'A medytacion of the Crosse of Criste wᵗ a prayere'. Ff.212v-213. 'O crux frutex saluificus uino fonte rigatus … Psalmum dicat nomini tuo. Oremus. Deus sanctam crucem ascendisti ... Ihesus pie flos maris peccator miserere amen. Ihesus Maria Iohannes. Nomina digna coli Ihesu coque Maria Iohannes. R. Thorntone dictus qui scripsit sit benedictus amen.' Ibid., pp.382-383. The 'Meditacione' is the common extract from Bonaventure, Arbor Vitae Christi (Opera, XII, p.67).
45. Poem: 'When Adam dalfe'. F.213rv. "When Adam, dalfe and Eue spane ... A nyghte undir yi schete. Sit nomen Domini benedictum ex hoc nunc et usque in seculum amen.' IMEV 3921; K. and C. Sisam (ed.), The Oxford Book of Medieval Verse (Oxford, 1970), pp.404-408.
46. A short devotional poem. F.213v. 'Ihesu Criste have mercy one me ... Till heuen to wonne ay wᵗ þᵉ styll amen.' IMEV 1674; Horstmann, I, p.368.
47. 'A sermon that dan Iohn Gaytryge made … Ff.213v-218v. 'Als a grete doctour schowes in his buke ... To þᵉ whilke blysse he brynge us oure lorde Gode almyghty amen ... '. Perry, Religious Pieces, pp.1-14; N.F.Blake, Middle English Religious Prose (London, 1972), pp.73-87.
48. Poem: 'Ihesu thi swetnes'. F.219rv. 'Ihesu thi swetnes wha moghte it se ... Wᵗ þᵉ to wonne wᵗ owttene ende Amen. Explicit.' IMEV 1781; Horstmann, I, pp.368-370; Perry, Religious Pieces, pp.84-87.
49. Of Angels' Song. Ff.219v-221v. 'Dere frende wit þᵉ wele yat þᵉ ende and þᵉ soueraynte ... and noghte in felynge. Explicit etc.' Horstmann, I, pp.175-182; Perry, Prose Treatises, pp.15-20.
50. Richard Rolle, þi Ioy be ilke a dele. F. 222w. ' þi ioy be ilke a dele to serue thi Godd to paye … (ends impf.) And come to Criste thi frende'. IMEV 3730; Horstmann, I , pp.370-372; cf. Allen, English Writings, pp.49-50, 52-53, as two pieces, the second beg. 'All vanitese forsake, if þou his lufe will fele'.
51. Walter Hilton, Epistle on Mixed Life. Ff.223-229. "(Beg impf.) mene yat ware in prelacye ... and oppresside of hym selfe etc. explicit.' Horstmann, I, pp.270-292; Perry, Prose Treatises, p.27 line 29 - p.43.
52. An Epistle of Salvation. Ff.229v-230v. 'Wit thou wele dere frende þat þof þou had neuer done syne ... Goddis sone of heuene amen.' Ibid., pp.44-47; Horstmann, I, pp.293-295.
53. 'Of Sayne John þe euangelist'. Ff.231-233v. 'Of all mankynde yat he made yat maste es of myghte ... yat euer more sall laste amen. Explicit.' IMEV 2608; Horstmann, Altenglische Legenden, pp.467-471; Perry, Religious Pieces, pp.88-95. 54. On Prayer. Ff.233v-236v. 'Prayng es a gracyous gyfte ... bot lytill owtwarde myrthe.' Horstmann, I, pp.295-300.
55. þe Holy Boke Gratia Dei. Ff.237-250v. '(Beg. impf.) mercy habydes ende sythen for all yat myst has ... (f.240) þare þou lyttill seruede etc. amen. De gracia Dei. Off Goddis grace stirrand and helpand . . . (f.242) to do þᵉ gude and leue his synn. Whate grace dose whenn he vesettis mannes saule. Grace when he firste commes to vesete... (f. 247v) þat haue duelles amanges menn. Off threth þᵉ wylke hele etc.' Ibid., pp.295-321 and Sr M.L. Arntz (Salzburg, 1981). Here treated as several separate treatises. Ff.240-20v have the introduction, part I and the beginning of part II, ff.237-240 a fragmentary portion of part II. See G.R. Keiser, ‘þe Holy Boke Gratia Dei', Viator, 12 (1981), 289-317.
56. 'Quedam reuelacio. A Reuelacyone schewed to ane holy womane now ane late tyme.' Ff.250v-258. 'Alle manere of tyng yat es bygune ... bot God bryng us to his kyngdome amen.' Horstmann, I, pp.383-392
57. Miserere and Veni Creator. F.258rv.
58. Abridged Psalter with Office. Ff.258v-270v. "Here Bygynnys Sayne Jerome Spaltyre. Beatus uero leronimus in hoc modo disposuit hoc spalterium ... hoc spalterium dicat assidue et sic incipit Adesto unus omnipotens Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus amen. Verba mea ... '. The penitential Psalms, followed by prayers: 'Dona michi queso Deus meus ut pro hec sacro sancta uerba Psalterii celesti melle ... ; Adoro te Pater, adoro te Fili, adoro te Sancte Spiritus ... ; Adoramus te Christe et benedicimus tibi ... ; Aue Maria ... ; Magnificat … and cues for other devotions. Ff.264-265 litany, including (apostle) Martial, (martyr) Edmund, (confessors) Dunstan, Vedast, Cuthbert, Sampson, Bede, Maur, Brice, (virgins) Barbara, Brigid. Among the prayers is one 'Familiam huius sacri cenobii quesumus Domine intercedente beata et gloriosa semperque uirginis Maria et beato Edmundo martire tuo necnon et sancto Petro apostolo et Sancto Paulo martire tuo et Sancto Benedicto confessore tuo cum omnibus sanctis perpetuo guberna moderamine ... '. Ff.266-270v thirteen prayers: "Domine Ihesu Christe qui in hunc mundum propter nos peccatores de summi Patris aduenisti ... ; Te adoro Deum Patrem et Filium et Spiritum Sanctum ... ; Domine Ihesu Deus Pater omnipotens qui consubstancialem ... ; Domine Ihesu Christe fili Dei uiui qui es uerus ... ; Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus et Sancta Trinitas adiuro te ... ; Domine Deus omnipotens Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus omnipotens O Deus pie et exaudibilis ... ; Confiteor tibi Domine omnia peccata mea ... ; Dominator Domine Deus omnipotens qui es Trinitas una cum Patre in Filio . . . ; Miserator et miserecors paciens et multa ... ; Sancta et perpetua uirgo Maria domina aduocatrix ... ; Ecce ad te confugis uirgo nostra saluacio . . . ; Oremus. Pietate tua quesumus ' Domine nostrorum solue uincula ... ; Oratio ualde deuote et magni meritis. Liberator et miserecors Deus magne et terribilis … O uos omnes sancti et electi Dei ... ; Domine Ihesu Christe qui es uerus Deus ... ; Domine Ihesu Christe fili Dei Patris omnipotentis qui uoluisti pro redempcione mundi ... '. Ibid., pp.392-408.
59. The Abbey of the Holy Ghost. Ff.271-276. 'Religio Sancti Spiritus. Religio munda. Off the abbaye of Saynte Spirite ... blyssede mot he be wᵗ owttene ende amen. Explicit relegio Sancti Spiritus amen.' Ibid., pp.321-337; Perry, Religious Pieces, pp.49-59; cf. Blake, Middle English Religious Prose, pp.88-102.
60. Prick of Conscience (extract). Ff.276v-277. 'The begynnyng es of thre ... Full of cayteste and of care.' Horstmann, I, pp.372-373.
61. Oracio de VII Gaudia. F.277v. 'Ista oracio que sequitur est de vij gaudia beate Marie uirginis per sanctum Thomam et martirem Cantuariensem archiepiscopum edita. [G]aude flore uirginali ... Sessione proxima (Cheval. 6809)', followed by versicle and prayer 'Domine Ihesu Christe Fili Dei uiui qui beatissimam genitricem tuam Mariam ... '. Horstmann, I, pp.408-409.
62. 'Anoþer salutacioun till oure Lady of hir fyve ioyes'. Ff.277v-278. '[G]aude uirgo mater Christi ... In perhenni gaudio amene (cf. Cheval. 7017)', followed by versicle and prayer '[D]eus qui beatam uirginem Mariam in conceptu et partu ... '. Ibid., p.409.
63. Prayers and anthems. Ff.278-279. 'Ane antyme to þᵉ fadir of heuen wᵗ a collet. [B]enedictio et claritas et sapiencia ... [D]eus in te sperantium fortitudo adesto ... ; A noþer antyme of þᵉ passyoune of Criste Ihesu. [T]uam crucem ad oramus Domine ... [P]erpetua quesumus Domine pace custodi ... ; A colecte of grete perdone un to Crist Ihesu. [D]omine Ihesu Christe fili Dei uiui qui pendens in cruce ... ; [C]rucem coronam spiniam perpetuum speramus. Adoramus te Christe et benedicimus tibi ... Quesumus O Pater Deus ut qui redempcionis nostre temporaliter ueneremur …; A preyere to þᵉ wounde in Crystis syde Ihesus Marie filius sit mihi clemens et propitius. Salue plaga lateris noster redemptoris ... Et post introibimus in conspectu Dei' , with antiphon; 'Dominus Ihesu Christe saluator mundi qui uoluisti pro salute nostra ... a mala fama atque ab omni periculo corporis et anime per Christum Dominum nostrum amen.' Ibid., pp.409-411.
64. Earth to Earth. F.279rv. "Memento homo quod cinis es et in cinerem reuerteris. Limus. Erthe owte of erthe es wondirly wroghte ... Thane shalle erthe of erthe hafe a foulle stynke. Mors soluit omnia.' 'B Version', IMEV 704; H.M.R. Murray, EETS, o.s., 141 (1911), p.6.
65. Liber de diversis medicinis. Ff.280-321v. 'Hic incipit liber de diuersis medicine et primo pro capite. For werke and vanytee in þᵉ hede. Take veruayne or filles of wormod ... [ends mutil.]'. M.S.Ogden, EETS, o.s., 207 (1938).
AuthorThornton, Robert
Rolle, Richard
Hilton, Walter
Physical DescriptionBinding: By S.R.Cockerell in 1975, bare oak boards backed with alum-tawed pig-skin, replacing one made for Sir Frederick Madden between 1832 and 1839, which in turn replaced a dilapidated one of 'thick oaken boards, covered with white leather, and fastened with a clasp' (F.Madden, Syr Gawayne, Bannatyne Club, 1839, p.1), probably 15th-cent. On the spine: 'THE THORNTON ROMANCES' (gilt) / 'MS. 91' (blind). Six paper leaves at the front, three at the back. To the innermost front leaf is tipped a valuation by Sir Frederic Kenyon, dated June 1914. The 19th-cent. flyleaves, including a table of contents and tipped-in letter from J.O. Halliwell to Rev. G.D. Whiteham, dated 13 Feb. 1845, kept separately.
Construction: 322 paper leaves, apparently untrimmed, of an original minimum of 340, numbered in the 19th cent. 1-133, 133A, 134-321. Damaged with loss of text are ff.50, 144-153, 159, 171. Fragments are ff.108, 122, 133A, 315-321. 290 x 210 mm. Written space: ff.1-49 210 x 130; f.53-102v, 179-279v 225 x 125; ff.103-152v (and prob. the fragmentary f.153rv) 225 x 170, 154-160v 220 x 125, 161-176 220 x 140; ff.176v-178v 240 x 170 mm.
Collation: see also Collation field. Frame-ruled, mostly in ink of text, but sometimes blind, and ff.199- 219v, 223-236v in red. Long lines ff.1-98v, 154-161, 176v-218v, 219v-264, 265-276, 278-314v; 2 cols ff.98v-153v, 161-176, 219, 264v, 277v. F.264 partly in 3 cols. Written in c.36-39 lines. Some quire-signatures of the usual late medieval form, often lost with the bottom outer corners of leaves; sufficient remain to show that the quires are in their original order and that none are missing from before quire 20. Catchwords, recto and verso, to quires and to leaves within quires. At the foot of f.163v the scribe has written 'Here is ix qwayers', a further indication that the present quire 1 was always in that position. The watermarks are described and discussed by S. Horrall in Notes and Queries, 27 (1980), 385-386, revised by J. Thompson (1987; see Notes field), pp.71-73.
Hands: All by one scribe, Robert Thornton, in a variable anglicana formata, sometimes rough but generally clear: f.93v, on a scroll extending from an initial into the margin, 'Robert Thornton'. F.98v "Here endes Morte Arthure writen by Robert of Thorntone' and 'R. Thornton dictus qui scripsit sit benedictus. Amen', repeated f.213. F.176 'quod Robertus Thorntone'. F.211v 'Explicit Tractatus. Explicit Amen. Thorntone Amen'. F.278v, at the head, 'Thorntone misereatur mei Dei [sic]'. All of these are in the scribe's hand. He also wrote BL Add. 31042.
Decoration: In art.1 unfilled spaces for miniatures, in one case with instructions in the inner margin: f.26 'Regina [reg]alibus cum [du]abus astantibus'; (1) Initials outlined in black ink, with sprays and foliage tinted in pink, blue and green; (2) Red initials flourished usually in violet, sometimes in black or ink of text; (3) Plain red initials; red headings, touching and paraphs.


RepositoryLincoln Cathedral Library
Collation1²⁴(lacks 1-4, 23), 2²⁴(lacks 1), 3¹⁸(11-18 canc.), 4¹⁶, 5¹⁸, 6¹⁶, 7²²(lacks 1, 22), 8²²(12 a stub), 9²²(lacks 5, 18), 10¹⁶(lacks 16), 11²⁰, 12²⁴, 13¹⁸(lacks 1, 16-18), 14¹⁸(lacks 1), 19³⁰, 20³⁶(lacks 36), plus fragments of 7 leaves. Frame-ruled, mostly in ink of text, but sometimes blind, and ff.199- 219v, 223-236v in red. Long lines ff.1-98v, 154-161, 176v-218v, 219v-264, 265-276, 278-314v; 2 cols ff.98v-153v, 161-176, 219, 264v, 277v. F.264 partly in 3 cols. Written in c.36-39 lines. Some quire-signatures of the usual late medieval form, often lost with the bottom outer corners of leaves; sufficient remain to show that the quires are in their original order and that none are missing from before quire 20. Catchwords, recto and verso, to quires and to leaves within quires. At the foot of f.163v the scribe has written 'Here is ix qwayers', a further indication that the present quire 1 was always in that position. The watermarks are described and discussed by S. Horrall in Notes and Queries, 27 (1980), 385-386, revised by J. Thompson (1987; see Notes field), pp.71-73.
NotesSec. fol. quod he. History: Written by and for Robert Thornton of East Newton, Yorks. (N. Riding), d. 1456 x 1465, and in the possession of his family for several generations: the name of his son William appears on f.49v, and the names of other family members appear on ff.194, 265 and 266. Thomas Tanner saw the MS at Lincoln in 1700, recording its shelf-mark as B (BL MS Add. 6261, f.145rv). It is thus to be identified with Wren Cat. B. 23 ('Collection of severall Tractates, Poetry, Charms, etc.'; 1696 Cat. 'Poems, Charms, Receits -O. Engl. verse'), and will have been obtained by Honywood, rather than by his successor, Daniel Brevint, dean 1682-95 (as Facs. Ed., p.xvi).
Bibliography: Full bibliographies are provided in the facsimile edition of D.S.Brewer and A.E.B.Owen, The Thornton Manuscript (London, rev. ed., 1977), and J.J.Thompson, Robert Thornton and the London Thornton Manuscript (Woodbridge, 1987). In addition: G.R.Keiser, 'The Nineteenth-Century Discovery of the Thornton Manuscript (Lincoln Cathedral Library MS. 91)', Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 77 (1983), 167-190, and J.J. Thompson, 'The Compiler in Action: Robert Thornton and the "Thornton Romances" in Lincoln Cathedral MS 91', in D. Pearsall (ed.), Manuscripts and Readers in Fifteenth-Century England (Woodbridge, 1983), pp.113-124.
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