Christ Church MS. 417
Thomas Vicary, The Anatomy of Man’s Body; London, s. xvi2/4 (1530 x 1547), with additions of s. xvi4/4
Fol. 1r: originally blank.
Ed. Frederick J. and Percy Furnivall, EETS, extra ser. 53 (1888), 11-86/2, working from the 1577 edition (STC 24713). There is said to have been a 1548 edition (STC 11715.5), for which no witnesses survive, but its existence has been doubted by Duncan P. Thomas, ‘Thomas Vicary and the Anatomie of Mans Body’, Medical History, 50 (2006), 235-46 (see also id., ‘Thomas Vicary, barber-surgeon’, Journal of Medical Biography, 14 (2006), 84-89). The text presented here differs markedly from that recorded in the 1577 edition. The identification of Vicary as ‘sergeant of surgeons’ dates the incipit after 1530, when he was given the reversion of this royal office, and it may suggest a date after 1536 when he actually succeeded to the position. The terminus post quem non for composition and this transcription is presumably 1547, since Henry VIII is described with no suggestion he is now dead.
A leaf with the conclusion has been cut out, now replaced by a paper leaf (s. xix, in the foliation ‘44’), which provides the last five lines of the text from the 1577 edition, along with a few notes on the contents of the manuscript; it is all written in the script of F. J. Furnivall.
Fol. 48v: blank.
The text is incomplete because of the loss of a leaf between fol. 49 and 50, the cutting away of the bottom half of fol. 51, and the fact that fol. 52 is a mere stub, showing only a few letters on the recto. The text is divided into sections (upper margin of fol. 50: ‘Of ye Inpostym seperois and sklirosis and of malencole’, and of fol. 51v: ‘A Cancer or a Carbukyll’).
Fol. 52v: apparently blank.
Fols 53-56bv are in a hand, perhaps not Geene’s, which has added headings throughout early portions of the MS.
Incomplete through the cutting out of the bottom half of fol. 55b.
A medical recipe, perhaps added on a leaf originally left blank.
A table of the recipes follows the heading. The initial recipe also appears at the opening of selections printed from BL, MS Sloane 1047, at EETS es 53:220. In the contents table, most of the recipes are marked as ‘secundum Mr Buttes’, for whom see the various Sloane recipes, ed. EETS es 53:223-24, 227, where Sir William Butts (d. 1545) is identified as a royal surgeon. MS Sloane 1047 is a large fair-copy recipe book of c. 1550 (it includes one recipe for Anne of Cleves and thus cannot predate 1540). The recipes are presented in categories which roughly correspond to the types of medicines distinguished in Geene’s heading here.
A recipe collection. One recipe (fol. 99v) is ascribed to ‘My lorde marcus’. Geene has added three recipes on fol. 112rv.
A: Roue: not in Briquet, but cf. no. 13457 (Bourges, 1509-12; Tours, 1516) and, for the three holly (?) leaves attached to the wheel, no. 13396 (Clermont-Ferrand, 1514-16): the sole stock of quires 1-4, eight full sheets.
B: Pot: not in Briquet, but most closely resembles no. 12677 (Pontoise, 1523), more distantly no. 12645 (Rouen and Grenoble, 1528): the sole stock of the remainder, before losses 21 full sheets, with three halfsheets (in quires 6, 9, and 16) and an unwatermarked odd leaf added to quire 8.
The common paper stocks from fol. 32 suggest that the book was preserved as a (? bound) blank notebook to receive later recipes and medical materials.
In long lines, usually 23-24 lines to the page in the original portions. Bounded in brown crayon (vertically, for the left margin only; the writing extends to the right edge), no rules and so no pricking.
Written in mixed anglicana/secretary (with anglicana a and g, frequent anglicana r), with the main and earliest part of the manuscript is in the hand of George Geene. George Geene (or Genne) was, like the author, Thomas Vicary, a prominent member of the Company of Barber-Surgeons; he appears as no. 37 in a list of 185 freemen of Company in 1537 in the edition of Vicary cited below (244-45), first acted as a Warden in 1538, and the last reference to him as Master of the Company comes from 1560 (Sidney Young, Annals of the Barber-Surgeons of London (London, 1890), 5, 6, 95, 99, 102, 169, 170).
Punctuation by mid point and virgula.
Headings in the text ink; no initials or running titles.
Brown cloth over millboards by Maltby of Oxford (s. xx). Sewn on four thongs. Modern paper pastedowns and endleaves, a ChCh bookplate on the front pastedown. At the front, the modern paper flyleaf, a heavy parchment leaf (probably from an older wrapper), a modern paper leaf, and an early modern paper leaf (fol. 1); at the rear, the other half of the wrapper and a modern paper flyleaf.
Provenance and Acquisition
Like many physicians, Geene wrote the book for his personal consultation: ‘This was Mr George Geene his booke Chirurgen of the Citie of London’ above an added medical recipe (fol. 1, s. xvimed.). If this was produced within the ambit of the Barber-Surgeons, later in the century it had moved into other hands in London: of the names mentioned in the added section only Mr Crow, if he is identifiable with William Crowe who was warden of the Company of Barber-Surgeons in 1579 (Young, Annals, 6]), was a significant figure in the Company; the Walter Bayley who is also mentioned was fellow of the College of Physicians from 1581.
There is another early signature, ‘Thomas Nicholas’ (fol. 2, upper margin, s. xvi); he is not one of the scribes of the volume and is not identifiable but it may be noted that he also wrote ‘Mary Nicholles’ at fol. 38.
The manuscript’s subsequent descent is uncertain until the ownership inscription, ‘F. J. Furnivall 15 May 1891’ (fol. 1), that is, the promoter of workers’ education (and rowing), and scholar of Middle English (1825-1910), who edited the text for EETS. Presumably Furnivall would have acquired the manuscript for information useful in the promised second volume of his edition (which never appeared). On him, see William Benzie, Dr. F. J. Furnivall: A Victorian Scholar Adventurer (Norman OK, 1983). Of his library, some of his papers and his personal book-collection were donated by his son, Percy, to the English Department of King’s College, London in 1910; he also owned some manuscripts: Lafayette College (Easton, PA) was given by Furnivall a sixteenth-century English manuscript translation of Bernard Trevisan in 1881 (Seymour de Ricci, Census of medieval and Renaissance manuscrips in the United States and Canada, 2 vols (New York, 1935 – 37), 2:2000), and he bequeathed to Harvard University a copy of Frère Laurent of Orléans’s Somme le Roi which is now Houghton Library, MS Fr. 123, ‘in memory of my dear old friend, Prof. F[rancis] James Child [1825-96]’; a digital facsimile of that manuscript is available on their website [last accessed 30th December 2015].
Also signed by ‘John Munro’ (fol. 1), and with his letter of donation to Christ Church, dated 26 October 1913, and signed J. J. Munro (fol. ii); the gift is also recorded in the Library Report for that year, preserved in MS. 392. Munro (1883-1956) came up to Christ Church in 1913 but left for war service in the eastern Mediterranean; he returned and took degrees, his BA in 1920 and MA in 1921. He edited a collection of memoirs of Frederick James Furnivall. A volume of personal record (Oxford, 1911). He presumably held Furnivall in such admiration because of his own background as a ‘working man’ who became a mature student. He followed Furnivall’s enthusiasms by himself becoming Associate Editor to the Early English Text Society. His career divided between his wartime exploits and his employment in communications; after his retirement, he spent his time in Shakespeare studies (obituary in The Times, 30th October 1956, p. 11).
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