BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 324 England, s. XV^^2/4
Nicholas Love, Mirrour of the Blessed Lyf of Jesu Christ
1. ff. v recto - vi verso At the bigynnynge the proheme of the boke
that is cleped the mirrour of the blessed lyf of Ihesu crist. Prima pars pro
die lune. A deuoute meditacioun of the grete conseile in heuen for the
restoryng of man [erasure] his saluacion. Capitulum primum. Of the manere
lyuynge of the blessed virgine marie. Capitulum secundum...Sacramentum
corporis christi. Of that excellent and worthiest sacrament of cristes
blessed body. Capitulum lxiiij^^tum. [note to the reader, in Latin:]
Attende lector huius libri prout sequitur in anglice...lucide
Table of contents for The Mirrour of the Blessed Lyf of Jesu Crist,
tr. Nicholas Love; L. F. Powell, ed., Roxburghe Club 151 (Oxford, 1908) pp.
2. ff. 1r-126v //this entente th^^t is to say as deuoute ymaginaciouns and
lyknesses strirynge symple soules to the loue of god and desyre of heuenly thyn
[added above: gys]. ffor as seint gregory seith...though my kyndely resoun
ageyn seye it. Blessed be the name of oure lord Ihesu and his moder
Marie. now and euere withouten ende Amen. Explicit Speculum Vite
Powell, op. cit., pp. 9-308; MS 324 (referred to as the Sherard
manuscript, in Lord Aldenham's collection) was one of three collated by
Powell. Missing folios as noted in collation, with loss of text corresponding
to Powell, pp. 7-9, 11-20, 214-17, 236-38 and 299-302; omission of pp. 308-24
in Powell was apparently deliberate. The text in MS 324 concludes
(ff. 124r-126v) with a section entitled De sacramento corporis christi.
See E. Salter, Nicholas Love's "Myrrour
of the Blessed Lyf of Jesu Christ", Analecta Cartusiana 10 (Salzburg, 1974)
p. 6, no. 28, and, for a revised list of the manuscripts, E. Salter, "The
Manuscripts of Nicholas Love's Mirrour of the Blessed Lyf of Jesu Christ
and Related Texts," in A. S. G. Edwards and D. Pearsall, eds., Middle English
Prose: Essays on Bibliographical Problems (New York 1981) pp. 115-27;
Beinecke MS 324 is listed on p. 124.
3. f. 126v Memorans quod circa annum domini Millesimum CCCC^^m decimum
originalis copia huius libri scilicet Speculi vite christi in anglice
presentabatur Londoun per compilatorem eiusdem Reuerendissimo in christo patri
et domino domino Thome Arundell Cantuarensi Archiepiscopo...decreuit
et mandauit ad fidelium edificationem. et hereticorum confutacionem
Memorandum stating that the original copy of the translation was given to
Thomas Arundell, Abp. of Canterbury, for his approval, in 1410; according to
Powell (p. xi) this note appears in many copies of the text.
Parchment, ff. iii (parchment) + i (foliated iv, original flyleaf) +
128 (foliated v-vi, 1-126) + iii (parchment), 302 x 205 (186 x 123) mm. Written
in 33 long lines; ruled in brown crayon. Double vertical bounding lines on
outer side of written space, single vertical bounding lines on side near gutter
and near outer edge of folio, all full length. Double horizontal bounding
lines (and sometimes two through written space, ca. 63 mm. apart), all
full width. Prickings near outer and lower edges.
I^^2 (ff. v-vi), II^^8 (-1, 3, 4, 5, 6), III-XII^^8, XIII^^8 (-6, after f. 88),
XIV^^8 (-8 after f. 97), XV-XVII^^8, XVIII^^8 (-3 after f. 123, and -7, 8
after f. 126, blank?). Loss of text in each case where folios are missing,
except in the last quire, leaves 7 and 8. Catchwords on verso, crossing inner
bounding line. Quire and leaf signatures (e.g., hj, hij, hiij, etc.) in
lower right corner, recto. Modern parchment leaves (not foliated) have
been bound in where originals lost.
Written by one hand in bastard Anglicana similiar to Parkes,
Cursive Book Hands, pls. 7, ii and 8, i.
Initials at beginning of each day, 4-line, on ff. 22r, 34r, 53r, 106r,
gold against pink and blue grounds, with white filigree, partial borders of
acanthus leaves and daisy buds in purple, pink, orange and blue, black
with green leaves and gold dots. (Similar initials or more important decoration
probably occurred on the folios missing at the beginning of Prohemium, Monday,
Friday and Chapter 64.) 3- and 2-lines initials gold against pink and blue,
with white filigree, short border of hair-spray with green leaves and gold
dots. 1-line initials and paragraph marks gold with blue penwork or blue
with red used in text and in running titles and notations in outer margin.
Line-fillers in blue and gold; rubrics throughout.
Outer margin of f. 37 cut off.
Binding: s. xix-xx. Olive green goatskin, blind-tooled, with
gold-tooled label. Two clasp-and-catch fastenings. Bound by Zaehnsdorf
(London, ca. 1842-1930). Original flyleaf (f. iv) is a bifolium, inserted
sideways, from a manuscript written in England, s. xiv, in Anglicana formata.
Each page measures 190 x 150 (146 x 112) mm.; 30 long lines with 4 mm. between
Ruled in ink, single vertical and upper horizontal bounding lines full length
and width; prickings along upper and outer edges. On the recto and verso at
of a prose text printed in English Prose Treatises of Richard Rolle, EETS
20 (1866) pp. 39-41. On the recto and verso at bottom, Rolle's Commandment
of Love, H. E. Allen, ed., English Writings of Richard Rolle (St. Clair
Shores, Mich.: Scholarly Press, 1979) pp. 76-78, lines 117-83.
Written in England (London?) ca. 1430-50 (we thank K. L. Scott for this
attribution); early modern provenance unknown. According to Henry Hucks Gibbs,
Lord Aldenham (1819-1907), tradition said that the manuscript belonged to
Nicholas Ferrar of Little Gidding (1592-1637; DNB, v. 6, pp. 1241-44), and
descended through his kinswoman Martha (daughter of Edward Ferrar and wife of
Castell Sherard) to her son Castell Sherard (married Jane Caryer); the
manuscript passed to Miss Sherard of Abbots Langley, then to her nephew Henry
Wilson, from whom Lord Aldenham acquired it. See A Catalogue of Some
Printed Books and Manuscripts...Collected by Henry Hucks Gibbs (London,
1888) Addenda, p. 200; his bookplate, with notation "Bonaventure. L. 13. 9
Aldenham's sale (Sotheby's, 22 March 1937, no. 45) to George Smith, Esq.; his
sale (Sotheby's, 2 Feb. 1960, no. 309). Purchased from C. A. Stonehill in 1965
by Edwin J. and Frederick W. Beinecke for the Beinecke Library.
Barbara A. Shailor