MS. Digby 145
Summary Catalogue no.: 1746
Language(s): Middle English
Rest of fol. 130r blank. Fols. 130v-131r frame-ruled, blank.
Composite A- and C-version text, mostly following A until fol. 56v (end of A.11, with erased marginal note 'finis de dowell'; DIMEV 2458) and C thereafter, but with earlier additions from C in the prologue and A.5; 6 lines on fol. 33v composed by Fortescue himself. See Turville-Peter (2000) and also below, Collation.
Marginal notes by the scribe and by several later hands.
Fol. i r-v blank; fol. ii v, iii r-v, 1r blank; for fols. ii r, 1v see Provenance.
Fol. 132v blank.
With his device underneath.
Fols. 159(a)v-159(j)v blank.
A slightly later addition; fols. 162r-170v blank. Other copies, all in Scottish manuscripts, are listed by Watson in the notes to the Quarto catalogue.
(fols. 2r-159(a)r): 1 col., c. 25–27 lines, frame-ruled in plummet or with a hard point for c. 225–30 × 125–30 mm.
Anglicana with some secretary forms; mostly one hand, Adrian Fortescue.
On fols. 52r and 123v are passages noted by a contemporary as being in the hand of Anne Fortescue (as pointed out by Turville-Petre, p. 33).
Fols. 160v-161v in another hand ( pace Watson)
17th-century leather over pasteboard, re-using 16th-century leather with blind-rolled decoration (Oldham roll HEk, London 1547–1589, and a roll similar to Oldham MW).
Worm-holes from an earlier binding with wooden boards.
Provenance and Acquisition
Adrian Fortescue (–1539), on whom see Oxford DNB. ‘Iste liber pertinet Adriano Fortescu militi | sua manu propria scriptus Anno domini 153
1 | et anno regni regis Henrici viijui xxiii’ (fol. 1v); his monogram AF and motto (?) at the bottom of fol. 1v. ‘Garde lez portes de ta bouche | Pour souyr(?) peryl e reproche’; also on fol. 1v his device (as fol. 159(a)r), here damaged); note on fol. ii recto about the birth of his second son Thomas at 'Shirbourne' in Oxfordshire on Wednesday 13 May 1534, with a note of godparents.
Passed after his execution to his widow Anne (née Rede or Reade), who married (about 1540) Thomas Parry (-1560) (on whom see Oxford DNB and History of Parliament): cf. fol. 1v, ‘Omnium rerum vicissitudo | Parry’, with ‘Anne Fortescu’ below; ‘A hart of trobles and in dispaire nought | Parry’, on a paper slip pasted to fol. 170v.
Andrew Watson identified this manuscript as Folio no. 27 in Thomas Allen's catalogue, but the identification is questionable: the catalogue entry makes no mention of the other texts in this volume, and it is perhaps more likely that (as suggested by Lord Clermont) Kenelm Digby (see below) acquired the manuscript from Adrian Fortescue's grandchildren with whom Digby was 'an intimate friend' (A history of the family of Fortescue in all its branches [= The Works of Sir John Fortescue, vol. 2] (1869), 179.
Kenelm Digby, 1603–1665, ‘Vindica te tibi Kenelm Digby’, fol. 2r.
Donated to the Bodleian, 1634.
Selected studies and descriptions:
Last Substantive Revision
2022-05: Description revised for publication on Digital Bodleian.