Merton College MS. 297B
Former shelfmark: G. 1. 1
STATUTES; S. XV (bef. 1435)
Fols. iv-iiv, iiiv blank.
Ruled with fine pencil in 41-2 long lines.
I is written in textura; otherwise two secretary hands, the second responsible for art. 7. Art. 6 was finished after 18 Feb. 1426 and presumably before 6 Nov. 1429, when Henry VI was crowned.
On f. 328 a 14-line initial A, pink and blue in a gold frame, enclosing Henry VI as a boy, seated and holding two crowns and with two sceptres in his lap, a scroll inscribed ‘Viuere pacifice michi sit et utrique corone’; handsome full border with magpie. Arts 5 and 6 (fols. 161 and 304) open with 13-line gold initials on gold and pink grounds, patterned and enclosing beasts, each gorged with a coronet and bearing an inscribed scroll, the second with full border: an eagle (f. 69, Edw. I?, ‘Laus legislate uolat undique cum probitate’), a leopard (f. 161, Edw. III, ‘Viuat uis legis quia ius est gloria regis’), a hart (f. 225, Ric. II, ‘Sauns departier’), a dog (f. 273; Hen. IV, ‘Ma soueraine’), and a horned dog-like spotted animal (f. 304; Hen. VI, ‘Vn sanz pluis’). On f. 9 a gold S on pink and blue ground (champe); 6-line blue initials flourished in red; red or blue paraphs; red highlighting. A marginal sketch of a leopard rampant on f. 272v.
Standard Merton s. xvii, sewn on six bands; formely chained from the usual position.
Provenance and Acquisition
Made in England, perhaps in London.
At the foot of fols. 9v, 106v, 211v, 296v, ‘Liber ecclesie Christi Cantuar’ de statutis et legibus Anglie, quem librum Iohannes Pyrye de Cantuar’ iurista legauit eidem ecclesie anno domini millesimo CCCCXXXV cuius anime propicietur Deus.’ Either the John Pyrye who was bailiff in Canterbury in 1401-2, or the man who became a monk of Christ Church in 1435, d. 1449 (J. Greatrex, Biographical Register of the English Cathedral Priories of the Province of Canterbury [Oxford, 1997], p. 259).
Art. 7 was probably added at Canterbury in or soon after 1445.
On f. iii, s. xvi, ‘Liber Collegii Mertonensis ex dono Magistri Iacobi Leeche quondam socii eiusdem’, repeated on f. i, s. xvii, together with a table of contents. Leach d. 1589.
On f. i is also ‘P. 4. 28. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘Q. 7. 11.’, canc. and replaced with ‘Q. 2, 15’, canc. and replaced with ‘K. 1. 7 (CCXCVII B)’ in red. ‘11’ is inked on the foredge. The College bookplate is on f. iii.
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