BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
THE JAMES MARSHALL AND MARIE-LOUISE OSBORN
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Robert Mannyng, Handlyng Synne (Middle English poem). Northern
England, probably Durham; second quarter of the fifteenth century.
Paper, with watermarks used at Durham from 1435-1456 (Piccard 13.716,
Tiel 1447-49). 145 ff. 215 x 145 mm (writing space: 170 x 95 mm). 1
column, 28-30 lines.
I-XV (12). Lacks I (1-8,12); II (2); IV (3); V (11-12); VI (1-12);
X (11-12); XII (12); XV (6-12). Four quires are missing at the
beginning and at least one at the end. Catchwords at end of every
complete quire (14v, 26v, 37v, 59v, 71v, 83v, 105v, 128v, 140v). Quires
XII-XV have lower case roman numerals i-vi on verso of first six
Written in three scripts. Script one is Anglicana, with minor
influence from secretary (1r-31r). Script two is an early form of
secretary, with several of the more familiar Anglicana graphs, (long-r,
round-e, two-compartment a) (31v-47v). Script three is Anglicana (48-
145). Rubricated Latin titles on ff. 5v, 6r, 7r. Bound in original oak
boards, with leather or vellum spine missing. The middles of the quires
are bound with fragments of a Latin theological manuscript of the
Believed to have been originally owned by Sir William Bowes (1389-
1460) of Streatlam, Governor of Berwick. The inside binding has the
eighteenth century engraved bookplate of Sir William Blakiston-Bowes.
On f. 56r is the name Roger ?Willims. Purchased from Laurence Witten in
1957. Bequest of James M. Osborn in 1976.
Comment: This poem was begun by Mannyng in 1303 as a translation
of the Anglo-Norman poem "Le Manuel des Pechiez (Peches)," written
perhaps by William of Waddington. The text of the poem is incomplete,
beginning at line 2501 and ending at line 12363, with gaps at lines
2677-2734, 2797-2858, 4277-4338, 5433-6288, 8876-9002, 10509-10570.
There are many variants from the text printed by Furnivall (Roxburgh
Club; EETS 119, 123), including an "interpolation" of 126 lines between
lines 6546 and 6547 of Furnivall's text. These lines correspond to
lines 5377-5414 of the Anglo-Norman "Manuel." This manuscript is listed
in the Index of Middle English Verse as 778, no. 5 (Bowes Midland
Bond, W. H. and C. U. Faye. Supplement to the Census of Manuscripts, p.
97, no 5.
Robbins, R. H. and J. L. Cutler. Supplement to the Index of Middle
English Verse, no 778.
Schulz, Susan A. An Edition of Robert Mannyng of Brunne's "Handlyng
Synne", Dissertation, New York University, Resume in DAI, September
1973, vol. 34, no. 3.
To request this material for use in the Beinecke reading room, please go to Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog.