BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Beinecke MS 171 England, s. XV
The Treatise of Fishing with an Angle
pp. 1-20 Saloman in hys paraboles seith that a glad spirit
maket a flowryng age that ys to sey a feyr age...In octobre take the
same for they be especiall baytes for the trowyt all tymys//
For a modern critical text, facsimile of the Beinecke manuscript,
and discussion of the attribution of the treatise to Dame Juliana
Berners, see J. McDonald, The Origins of Angling (New York, 1963); see
also W. L. Braekman, "The Treatise of Angling" in the Boke of St.
Albans (1496) in Scripta 1 (Brussels, 1980). A comparison of Beinecke
MS 171 with the 1496 edition of Wynkyn de Worde (The Book of St.
Albans) indicates that the manuscript is missing three leaves between
pages 10 and 11 and seven leaves at the end.
Paper (watermarks: unidentified hand), ff. 10 (paper) + 10
(paginated 1-20, with modern paper interleaved) + 2 (paper), 190 x 145
(ca. 172 x 125) mm. No lines or prickings visible.
Collation impossible; each leaf is glued to a modern stub.
Written by a single scribe in a bold English secretary script.
Simple flourishes and initial strokes, in red.
Stains throughout, some obscuring text. Severe trimming has
resulted in loss of marginalia.
Binding: s. xix. Brick-red calf, gold-tooled by C. Lewis in 1823.
Written in England during the 15th century; early provenance
unknown. Belonged to William Herbert (1718-95). Passed to the Rev. John
Brand (1744-1866); his sale (London, 6 May 1807, no. 72). Presented in
1821 by George Isted to John Haslewood (bookplate) who arranged the
codex in its present format with three illuminations (coat of arms,
title page, painting of a fisherman adapted from a woodcut in the 1496
edition) followed by his preface, and his transcription of the text
interleaved with the original folios. The whole was rebound at
Haslewood's request in 1823. Haslewood sale (London, 16 Dec. 1833, no.
462) to Edward Jesse (1780-1868); his sale (Nov. 1868) to Alfred
Denison (bookplate) for forty-five shillings. Correspondence between
Thomas Satchell and Denison, now in library files, indicates that the
manuscript was examined by W. W. Skeat who believed it to have been
written in "1450 or even earlier". Denison sale (London, 17 July 1933,
no. 63) to Rosenbach. Purchased by David Wagstaff (bookplate) and given
to Yale in 1946 by Mrs. David Wagstaff.
secundo folio: w^t thornes
Bibliography: De Ricci, v. 2, p. 1905, no. 18; Faye and Bond, p. 36,
E. F. Jacob, "The Book of St. Albans," Bulletin of the John
Rylands Library 28 (1944) pp. 115-17.
Barbara A. Shailor