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Matthew Paris OSB, Chronica maiora I(Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
Matthaei Paris Chronica Maiora I
Codicology:Vellum, 260 x 195 mm(Content authored by Corpus Christi College) (14.2 x 9.6 in.), ff. 2 + 6 + 140 + 2 + 1, double columns of 56 lines. Cent. xiii.
Collation: a2 | A6(?) | I10 (+ 3 half-leaves after 7) II10 (+ 3 half-leaves after 8) III12 IV10-VI10 VII12 (2 canc.) VIII8 IX10 X8 XI10 (5 canc.) XII13 XIII14 (+ 2 leaves after 2, and 1 at the end) | B2 | 1 flyleaf.
Provenance:Written at St Albans, and presented to the convent by Matthew Paris.
MS 26 contains the first part of the Chronica Maiora S. Albani of Matthew Paris, from the Creation to the end of the year 1188.
Research:The full text of the Chronica Maiora contained in volumes 26, 16I and 16II was edited in the Rolls Series by Dr H. R. Luard. They are described by Sir F. Madden in the preface to Matthew Paris Historia Anglorum (Rolls pp. liv-lxi), and by Sir T. Duffus Hardy Catalogue of Materials III 117-119. Madden was of opinion that the two volumes were largely in the autograph of Matthew Paris: Hardy in the introduction to vol. III of his Catalogue contests this opinion with success, and shows that only small portions of the nature of corrections and supplements can be safely assigned to the hand of Paris himself. His discussion is accompanied by facsimiles of the various manuscripts which have been supposed to be in Paris's handwriting. The following are taken from our MSS.
pl. X, XI from MS 26. pl. XII-XVI from MS 16.
Research:In what follows I summarize the descriptions of Madden and Hardy, and add a survey of the illustrations, chiefly marginal, which occur in the two volumes. Many of these have been reproduced, notably in the illustrated editions of Green's Short History and of Social England ; but I do not know that any convenient list of them exists, though they are mentioned as they occur in the footnotes to Luard's edition. 1
Research:The Cotton MS. Nero D. v contains a copy of the text of both volumes made at St Albans later in the xiiith century.
Provenance:It belonged to Edward Aglionby of Balsall Temple, who lent it to Parker.
Additions:There are two flyleaves at the beginning from a Canon Law MS. (xiv: double columns, closely written).
It begins with an unidentified computation reaching to the year 231 A.D. and continues with the text of Roger of Wendover corrected and supplemented by M. Paris. The supplements are either on the margins or on inserted leaves: these inserted leaves are now 8r-10v, 16r-16v, 19r-19v, 127r-128v .
Writing:The remainder of the volume is in two hands. The first writes 1r-7r, 11r-15v, 17r-18v, 20r-59r, 97r-126v, 129r-141v. The second, a somewhat rounder hand, appears to extend from 59r to 76v.
Additions:Marginal additions are few at first, but become more numerous after the year 1100. At the end of the year 1188, in the lower margin, is this note by a hand of cent. xiv (which also appears in MS 16II, on f. 37v): “Anno dominice incarnationis MCLXXXIX est uera continuacio historie Mathei Parisiensis in alio uolumine eiusdem manus” . This refers to no. 16.
Foliation: ff. A-B + a-b + i-vi + 1-141+ vii-ix + C-D(Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
Language: Latin and Anglo-Norman.(Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
Matthew Paris OSB, Chronica maiora I (preliminary matter) (Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
The preliminary matter consists of
a. Itinerary from London to Jerusalem with a description in French, similar to one in the Royal MS. 14, C. vii but containing some interesting variations. It occupies seven pages. The portion from London to Dover is engraved by Gough Brit. Topogr. pl. VII, fig. 2. The text is printed by the Soci t de l'Orient Latin, Itin raires Fran ais, p. 125
b. A brief genealogical chronicle “Cronica sub conpendio abreuiata a fratre M. Parisiensi
Considerans prolixitatem Cronicorum Anglie
It runs from Alfred to Edward the Elder: then a leaf has been cut out. This took place at an early period, for a copy of it of cent. xiii late in Tiberius E. vi (f. 5) terminates in the same manner. At the end of the volume on p. 285 it is resumed and continued to Henry II
c. Circular Paschal table
d. Table of Concurrentes etc. from 1116 to 1620: a similar one is in Royal 14, C. vii
Diagram of the winds with verses. Sunt subsolano socii
Attributed to M. Paris in Nero D. I, f. 184v
e. Kalendar. See below
The following are my own notes on illustrations, etc.
The itinerary from London to the Holy Land, ff. ir-ivr, is illustrated with conventional cities, and with ships and figures of men every now and then
On f. ivv Genealogy: circular diagram with bust of Alfred in C.
On f. vr the circular Paschal table is made to revolve: head of metal pin in C. Spandrels of beautiful ornament
Another table or diagram formerly stuck to the lower part of the page is gone
On f. vv Table of Concurrentes. Diagram of winds etc. (French and English names).
On f. vir Kalendar, six months on page
3. Genouefe red
4. Oct. dedicac.
5. Dep. S. Aedwardi red. De S. Aedwardo comm.
7. Dep. S. Aedwardi reg. et c. hic fiet festum red
19. Dep. S. Wlstani red
27. Festum Reliquiarum in eccl. S. Albani blue
28. Osuualdi archiep.
2. Ceadde ep. C.
10. Inuencio S. Oswini Reg. M. red
25. Ermelandi
11. Guthlaci C. Added, Ob. Michael de mentemor. Abb. (1349, date in lower margin)
19. Aelphegi archiep. M. red
24. Inuencio S. Yuonis Ep.
30. Erkenuualdi Ep. red
7. Johannis Archiep.
7. Transl. S. Wlstani Ep. red
14. Basilii Archiep. red
17. Botulfi Abb. red
21. Leofredi Abb. (black). De S. Albano iii lect. red
22. Passio S. Albani Anglorum prothomartiris blue
23. Aetheldrede V.
25. Inuencio S. Amphibali sociorumque eius blue, with octave
2. Swithin red
2. Inuencio S. Albani blue and red, with octave
5. Oswaldi red
20. Oswini reg. m. red, with octave
4. Transl. S. Cuthberti red
17. Lamberti red
13. Transl. S. Ae(d)wardi Reg. C. green
17. Transl. S. Etheldride V.
17. Hugonis Ep. C. red
20. Aedmundi Reg. M. blue.
3. Birini
Matthew Paris OSB, Chronica maiora I (Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
Brutus worshipping Diana, who has deer's horns and winged feet
Lear and his three daughters: Cordeilla has scroll, tant as tant vauz tant te pris pere
Alexander sits holding globe: feet on lion and dragon
Cassibelanus? seated king
The Virgin reclining: child in manger: ox and ass: curtain on rod
The three kings on camels gallop to R.
Crucifixion with Virgin and St John: four nails
A man stones Stephen kneeling
A small figure of the Virgin
Merlin half-length only partly inked in: below two dragons and boar, in pencil
Machometus: below his feet a red pig sus: he holds two scrolls. Poligamus esto. Scriptum est enim Crescite et multiplicamini. Presentes delicias pro futuris non spernite
Bust: Offa in cowl, crown falls off showing tonsure: another of a woman in cowl and crown
Alban beheaded. Executioner catches his (own) falling eyes in L. hand
Offa directs two men, who dig up Alban's coffin
Alfred half-length in medallion with scroll, Primus in anglia regnam solus
Single combat on horseback between Aedmundus ferreum latus and Cnuto rex Dacie. Angli and Daci in two towers R. and L.
Mimekan nanus cuts off legs of Rodogan gigas (lightly inked in)
Shield and crown of Harold (az. lion rampant or)
The same reversed. Shield of William (gu. 3 leopards or)
William's shield and crown reversed. William II's shield and crown (the same)
Crosier (of Abbot Richard of St Albans)
Hand holding taper (opposite description of the Holy places: and account of William's court in Westminster Hall)
Shield and crown of William II reversed: bow and arrow below. Shield of Henry I
Crosier and cross reversed (death of Anselm)
Two Templars on one horse
Hospital founded by Matilda in London
Men fall out of ship (wreck of the White Ship)
Bust of Alexander of Scotland?
Shield and crown of Henry I reversed. Shield of Stephen
Bust of David of Scotland
Shield of Stephen reversed. Shield of Henry II
Baptism of the Soldan of Yconium by the patriarch of Antioch: in a tub. A cleric holds box of chrism
Shield of the young king Henry, party per pale gu. and sable to denote death. The crown above, not upright
Murder of Becket: the four knights; Grim with cross interposing. Becket falls away from altar on R.
Falling walls (Leicester)
Bust of William of Scotland, crown falling off. Bust of a Scotchman with axe, weeping
Robert Mercer of St Albans, and two men digging up S. Amphibalus
Crown and shield of Philip of France (az. six fleurs-de-lys or 3, 2, 1). Reversed crown of Louis
Crowned mitre of Prester John
Crown and shield (half black) of the young Henry, reversed
Battle. Salaadinus and Guido rex struggling for Crux Sancta
After the text, a full page with three splendid coloured drawings. Busts of crowned Virgin, and Child with cross-nimbus: border of clouds below
Below this on L. Head of the dying Christ. On R. Head of Christ full-face with jewelled collar of tunic
Mappa mundi on verso, Gough Brit. Topogr. I 66, 86. The map in Nero D. v was copied from this. Genealogy of kings, one leaf
On the last flyleaf are notes, viz.
Title. “Cronica ab origine mundi usque ad a. d. millesimum ... simum videlicet usque ad mortem henrici (II) Regis anglie”
“iiii marce auri dedit ... de ... pro pace”
“vii marce dabantur comiti legr S. pro carta quam habuit a rege de custodia Wascon”
S. Patrick prophesies greatness of the unborn S. David
“Circa carleolum patria est dicta aluedele” .
“Hic. uersus austrum cocormue villa. patria. complem” .
“Aqua dorecte et currit (?) per cocormue”
Edwarde Aglionby of Balsall Temple” (xvi)
Ihesus maria Johnes ” (xv)
Note on dispersion of Apostles and division of the world
List of Saxon kings, Egbert to Ethelred
Verso, covered with paper, apparently blank
1  The drawings of shields are described by Luard Chronica Maiora vi, App. I. He also gives facsimiles of the writing in vols. I and II.