BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 494 England, s. XV^^1/4
Brut Chronicle (in Eng.), etc.
1. f. 1r-v A bifolium of what was evidently intended to be an obituary
calendar of a Dominican convent (probably in Suffolk or Chelmsford as has
been suggested by J. Baker) but the work was abandoned after the entry for
January 13. The following entries are visible under ultra-violet light:
Jan. 2 Obitus Margerie de Benestede; Jan. 4 Obiit Domina Mabella [?] de
Burnauyle qui [sic] iacet ante gradus presbeteri; Jan. 5 Obiit Frater
Willelmus de Crauene; Jan. 6 Obiit Frater Reymundus De pennafforti Magister
ordinis Tercius [Raymund of Penafort, O. P., d. 6 Jan. 1275]; Jan. 7
Obierunt Willelmus ffilius Roberti de Rokyswelle Et dominus Iohannes Bacon
rector; Jan. 8 Obiit Alexander Tylere Et Idyu[a] vxor eius; Jan. 10 Obierunt
Frater Alanus de Bagburham. Et Isabella de badewe; Jan. 13 Obiit Domina
Iohanna de Barw specialis Benefactrix huius domus Et Dominus Iohannes
Heuenyngham Miles. f. 2r-v blank, except for numerous inscriptions
discussed under Provenance
2. ff. 3r-103r Here may a man hure hou Engelonde was forst callede Albyon
and after wham hit hadde that name. In the noble lande of Syrrie ther was a
noble king a stronge man and a migty of body and of gret name...in that bataile
and euery man toke al that he migte withoute eny chalange. ff. 103v-104v
blank, except for pen trials and inscriptions
Brut Chronicle to 1333, the earliest stage of the Middle English text;
F. W. D. Brie, ed., EETS 131 (1906; reprinted 1960) pp. 1-286. The text of MS
494 is defective; three leaves missing between ff. 24 and 25 (...and for wrath
lete felle adoun the Castel to the grounde//called Anbrian and nou hit ys
callede Ambresberye...; Brie, pp. 53-60); four leaves between ff. 26 and 27
(...and Otta anon bisegede the toun and gaf vnto the toun a stronge//and his
lande shal be than replete...; Brie, pp. 65-70); three leaves between ff. 51
and 52 (...and exilede him out of the lande and erchebisshoppe//haue made
there a castell but the Erl of Gloucestre...; Brie, pp. 138-46). Beinecke MS
494 is listed in L. M. Matheson, "The Middle English Prose Brut: A Location
List of the Manuscripts and Early Printed Editions," Analytical and
Enumerative Bibliography 3 (1976) p. 259.
Parchment, ff. ii (contemporary parchment, foliated 1-2) + 102 (modern
foliation 3-104 in lower right corner), 282 x 196 (198 x 128) mm. 2 columns,
37 lines. Ruled in crayon, with double upper horizontal bounding lines and
single vertical bounding lines, full across and full length. Prickings
in all margins except inner.
I-II^^8, III^^8 (-6 through 8, after f. 24), IV^^8 (-3 through 6, after f. 26),
V-VI^^8, VII^^8 (-8, after f. 51), VIII^^8 (-1, 2, before f. 52), IX-XIV^^8
(f. 104=stub only). Catchwords under inner column in lower margin, verso,
often accompanied by paragraph mark, rectangular enclosures, etc., in red or
blue; quire and leaf signatures (e. g., g j, g ij, g iij, etc.) in black
or red, in right lower margin, recto.
Written by at least two scribes in neat Anglicana formata.
Plain initials, 9- to 2-line, in blue, throughout text. Headings and
chapter numbers in red, with blue spiral line-fillers. Paragraph marks for
headings in blue, for text in blue or red. Remains of guide-letters for
Parchment is stained and worn; some portions of text illegible.
Binding: s. xv. Original wound, caught up sewing on four tawed, slit
straps. Boards made of bifolios of vellum with a piece of leather wrapped
around them, but not covering the spine. Sewing breaking.
Written in England in the first quarter of the 15th century. The early
provenance of the codex is complex and cannot be arranged with certainty in
chronological order; its association, s. xv, with a Dominican convent in
Suffolk or Chelmsford is suggested by the obituary calendar on the front
flyleaves. Numerous signatures and ownership inscriptions of William and
Robert Naseby, s. xv^^2, including: [1.] on f. 1v: "This Book Coste me
William Nasby skyner of London th^^e xii day of Aprill In th^^e gere of th^^e
Reigne of our souereigne lorde kyng Edwarde th^^e iiij^^te after th^^e conquest
th^^e iij^^de yer Summa [?] Cl s^^1 O^^d." The name "Nasby skyner" is written
over an erasure, and clearly is in the same hand as the signature "Wyllyam
Nasby" on f. 2r; [2.] on f. 102v: "Thys ys mastre naysbe boke/ he that stellht
yt shall be hangged/ vppon a hoke as hy as I may loke/ by me Robard naysbe.";
[3.] on f. 104v: "Robard Naysbe/ a good man and/ a trwe." P. Christianson has
suggested that William and Robert Naseby may be related to Master John Naseby,
a notary and stationer in London in the second half of the 15th century.
Belonged, s. xvi, to William Swan (inscription on f. 19r: "William Swanne
longeth ffor a black cote [?]") and to Leon Swan who has written the same
sentence on f. 57r but has substituted his own name. Signature, s. xvi, of
John Barker or Barton on f. 40r. Note on f. 2r: Memorandum that I have
borrowed of M^^r Lynch the Dyall of princes tyll Martynmas next this xviij^^th
of September 1603 by me Thomas Kendall." Owned by Simon Segar (fl. 1656-1712;
DNB, v. 18, p. 1136) of Gray's Inn; his long inscription f. 2r: "This book
was in the 3^^rd year of Edw. the 4^^ths time William Nasby's but is now
owned 1696 by Simon Segar son of Simon the son of Thomas the son of S^^r William
Segar Kn^^t Garter principall King at arms (liveing [?]mp Elizabeth Reg. and
King James the first) the son of Francis the son of Nicholas [one word crossed
out] by the daughter of.....[sic] Crasanthorpe the son of another Nicholas
the son of Gerrard etc." Prayer, s. xvii, repeated on ff. 2r, 2v, 42r: "Pray
for y^^e Soull of Thomas Bisschup which decessid y^^e 7^^th day of September in
y^^e yeere of our Lord M^^o 5^^c and iiij on whose SOULLYS IHU have mercy. Amen."
Although the inscription "Henry Jones 1716" appears on f. 104r, the manuscript
was presumably in the possession of the Frewen family in the early 18th century;
on f. 2v is the engraved armorial bookplate dated "1711" of Thomas Frewen of
Lincoln's Inn (1687-1738). The volume remained in the family until the
beginning of the twentieth century when it was owned by Moreton Frewen
(1853-1924), economist and the eccentric uncle by marriage to Sir Winston
Churchill (for a genealogy of the Frewen family see H. M. Warne, A Catalogue
of the Frewen Archives, East Sussex Record Office, no. 5, 1972). M. Frewen's
inscriptions on f. 47r: "Moreton Frewen/ Washington USA/ May 1903" and f. 18r:
"Moreton Frewen/ Gov. House/ Jan 1 1905. Ottawa." Moreton Frewen appears to
have used the manuscript as an autograph album on his various travels.
Autographs, in chronological order, f. 2v: "Dudley Ld. Lt. Ireland, Inver 1903"
(William Humble Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley, 1867-1932, who was Lord Lieutenant
of Ireland, 1902-06); f. 2v: "Grey Governor General Canada Ottawa. Jan 1 1905"
(Albert Henry George Grey, 4th Earl Grey, 1851-1917, who was Governor-General
of Canada in 1904-11); f. 36r: (written in lower margin, upside down) "W.
Bourke Cockran [Member Congress added in hand of Moreton Frewen] Washington
D. C. Jan 10th 1905" (1854-1923; member of the House of Representatives in
1887-95, 1905-09, 1921-23); f. 2v: "Examined by me with great interest at the
White House, Washington, U. S. A., Jan 16^^th 1905 Theodore Roosevelt"
(1858-1919; 26th President of the United States); f. 41v (written in lower
margin, upside down): "Wayne MacVeagh Washington D. C. January 19 1905"
(1833-1917; Pennsylvania lawyer and reformer of the Civil Service); f. 102v:
"Yours Truly W. J. Bryan January 21 1905" (William Jennings Bryan, 1860-1925;
unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the President of the United States in
1896, 1900, 1908). Purchased from H. P. Kraus in 1970 as the gift of Edwin J.
secundo folio: fader
Barbara A. Shailor