MS. Bodl. 264
Summary Catalogue no.: 2464
A Alexander cycle (Roman d'Alexandre etc.); Flanders (probably Tournai), 1338-1344. B Alexander and Dindimus, Marco Polo; England (perhaps London), early 15th century
Late 17th-century or 18th-century binding of speckled calf with narrow blind-roll tooling around the edges of the covers.
Traces of the 15th-century binding survive in its former parchment pastedown and endleaves (fols. i, ix-x, 274) and in the sewing on ten bands. Two nail-holes at the upper fore-edge of fol. i are the characteristic staple-marks of 17th-century chaining at the Bodleian.
Provenance and Acquisition
Part A modified and combined with parts Bi, Bii in England (perhaps London) in the early 15th century.
Erased inscription, fol. 274r.
Kathleen Scott's association of the manuscript with Humfrey duke of Gloucester (Later Gothic MSS., cat. 13) derives from a misprint (A. C. de la Mare, 'Duke Humfrey's English Palladius', BLR 12 (1985), 39-51 at 48 n. 2, where the shelfmark should be MS. Bodl. 294, ex inf. David Rundle)
Richard Woodville, first earl Rivers, d. 1469: ex libris, fol. 274r, recording that he acquired ('acetast') the book on the first day of the year 1466 and the fifth year of King Edward (i.e. 1 Jan. 1466) at London. Khalaf suggests with plausibility that the book may have been a new year's gift.
Anthony Woodville, second earl Rivers, d. 1483: incomplete poem apparently written by him, fol. 274r (O. Khalaf, 'An unedited fragmentary poem by Anthony Woodville', Notes and Queries n.s. 58 (2011), 487-90).
‘Thomas Smythe’, sixteenth(?) century, unidentified; with monogram (?or notarial mark), fol. 215v; the same monogram on fol. 208r, next to ‘Laus tibi sit Christe quoniam liber explicit iste | Nomen scriptoris est Thomas plenus amoris | Qui ultra querit’
‘Jasper Fyloll ys owner off thys boke’, fol. i verso, sixteenth century: Consuelo Dutschke, ‘The Truth in the Book: The Marco Polo Texts in Royal 19.D.i and Bodley 264’, Scriptorium, 52.2 (1998), p. 299n, surveys possible identifications including Jasper Fyloll of London, Essex and Dorset, c. 1467-1536, on whom see History of Parliament.
‘Thys ys Gyles Strangwayes boke’, ‘G. Strangwayes’, sixteenth century, fol. x recto, cf. fol. i verso and fol. 52r. Possibly Giles Strangways (1486-1546), and/or his grandson Giles Strangways (1528-1562), both of Melbury Sampford, Dorset.
'The book seems to have reached the library, probably from sir Thomas Bodley, in 1603, 1604, or the first half of 1605' (Summary Catalogue)
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Please note this item is on loan to the exhibition Alexander the Great: the Making of a Myth (British Library, Fri 21 Oct 2022 – Sun 19 Feb 2023). It cannot be requested during those dates or for a short period before and after.
Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)
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Main published descriptions and facsimiles:
Last Substantive Revision
2022-05: Description fully revised.