A Digital Catalogue of the
Pre-1500 Manuscripts and Incunables of the
Canterbury Tales
Second Edition
In addition to Petworth House National Trust MS 7, the Petworth Scribe also copies fols. 196-294 in Lc (Doyle 1997).
Though there are disagreements among paleographers, the following MSS have also come to be identified with Petworth Scribe:
1. Edinburgh National Library Adv.18.1.7 (Nicholas Love’s Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ)
2. Waseda MS, NE 3691 (Nicholas Love’s Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ)
3. Takamiya MS 45 (a single leaf of the Gilte Legend, after 1438)
4. Pembroke College, Cambridge MS 307 of Gower’s Confessio Amantis
5. Takamiya MS 54 (South English Legendary)
6. British Library MS Arundel 119 (Lydgate’s Siege of Thebes)
7. Schøyen Collection, MS 615 (Walton’s translation of Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy; see Griffiths 1995).
8. London, Worshipful Company of Skinners, deposit, Guildhall Library MS 31692, ff. 2-22, from 21 Richard II-22 Henry VI (1443)=Register of Skinners/Book of the Fraternity of the Assumption of Our Lady (see Parkes 1997, p. 51, n. 13 (citing Jeremy Griffiths); Sargent 1997, p. 190 (citing Jeremy Griffiths); Scott 1996, no. 130; Robinson 2003, pp. 67-8, pl. 116).
Doyle expresses reservations about no. 4 (1997) and Horobin suggests that spelling evidence points to Arundel 119 as being the work of a separate scribe (2003, p. 127).
In October 2002, Linne Mooney and I examined Takamiya MS 54 together and determined that the scribe who copies the first two quires is in fact the same hand as the main scribe of Lc (henceforth the “Lichfield Scribe”), and the Petworth Scribe is responsible for the rest of the MS. Thus these two scribes collaborate on at least two MSS.
The Petworth Scribe’s hand orients the base of its letter forms above the ruled line, with double-diamond g finishing at the line. This g is a much more angular form than that of the first scribe in Lichfield Cathedral MS 29 [Lc]). The minims of n, u, short r, and i are often broken, forming a reverse s-shape. Letter forms include a tailed form of g, reverse, circular e and a pointed open form of e, double-compartment a, looped d. The scribe also has a single-compartment a that features a slanted, hairline headstroke. The w form is distinctly different from that of the first scribe in Lc: it has an angular lefthand lobe, a distinctive top loop, and a B-shaped element on the right. The hand has a slightly leftward slant and is more generously spaced than the first scribe in Lc.
British Library MS Arundel 119, Pembroke MS 307 and Schøyen MS 615 lack the characteristic w graph found in the scribe’s work in Pw, Lc, Takamiya MS 54, and Waseda MS, NE 3691, and this may point to these MSS being copied at a different point in the scribe’s career (a time when he was not collaborating with the Lichfield Scribe?). As Doyle concluded in 1997: “More painstaking comparisons are needed. Whether by one hand or more, the variety of texts copied, with superior decoration and eminent early owners, tends to confirm commercial and metropolitan circumstances of production” (p. 173).
Horobin detects “a layer of Type III and Type IV spellings…alongside a layer of West Midlands forms…. The presence of a number of West Midlands forms in Pw allows us to localise the language of the scribe to the borders of South-West Worcestershire and Gloucestershire. Diagnostic forms in Pw are ‘ hur(e)’ HER, ‘ ham’ THEM, ‘ mony’, ‘ furst’, ‘ sclayn’, ‘ sclyke’ etc.” (2003, p. 157). Smith’s localization accords with this, and he adds an additional diagnostic form, woche for WHICH (1985, p. 225).
In the Petworth scribe’s work in both Lc and Pw a number of northern forms occur. In Pw, Kirby-Miller notes examples of OE [a:] in fraward (IV 356), saule (III 490, VIII 136, X 197, X 204), etc. The verb form sal for SHALL (VI 63) and the -es 3rd person sg., pres. tense inflection also occur. In RvT, the students’ northern dialect is enhanced to include quistel WHISTLE (I 4102), and elsewhere the spellings qwistelinge WHISTLING (I 2337) and qwhele WHEEL (I 925) are attested. Instances of ar for er occur in warke WORK, thare THERE (I 547), ware WERE (I 4152, VIII 933) (1938, p. 43). In both MSS, the scribe employs gg for g (e.g., kingges, thingges [pp. 44, 52]). For the latter, LALME (“Occurrence of -ngg-,” 4:321) finds kingge(s) in London, Oxfordshire, and Northamptonshire, and many of the -ngg- spellings are accommodated in LPs from the Southwest and Central Midlands. As the two MSS witness different textual traditions, it is unlikely that the Northernisms are exemplar-conditioned. Smith examines the language of Pw, together with Waseda MS, NE 3691 and Edinburgh National Library Adv.18.1.7, and localizes all three to the Southwest Midlands (1997). It is possible that the western forms in the Petworth Scribe’s manuscripts are exemplar-conditioned: his two Canterbury Tales manuscripts certainly belong to traditions with western exemplars. Further work on these questions is required.
Benedikz, B. S., compiler. A Catalogue of the Cathedral Library Manuscripts. 3rd ed. Birmingham: University Library, 1986. 18-19 [MS Lich. 29]
De Hamel, Christopher. A History of Illuminated Manuscripts. 2nd ed. London: Phaidon Press Limited, 1994. pl. 135 [Color facsimile of fol. 41v in Lc: opening of MilPro]
Doyle, A. I. “The Study of Nicholas Love’s Mirror, Retrospect and Prospect.” In Shoichi Oguro, Richard Beadle, and Michael G. Sargent, eds. Nicholas Love at Waseda: Proceedings of the International Conference 20-22 July 1995. Woodbridge, Suffolk and Rochester NY: D. S. Brewer, 1997. 163-74. 
Furnivall, Frederick J., ed. The Petworth MS of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Chaucer Society, Series 1, nos. 6, 12, 19, 35, 42, 54, 68. London: Trübner, 1868-79. 
Furnivall, Frederick J., ed. Autotype Specimens of the Chief Chaucer MSS, Part II. Chaucer Society, Series 1, no. 56. London: Trübner, 1876. [Facsimile of fol. 74v in Pw]
Griffiths, Jeremy J. “Thomas Hyngham, Monk of Bury and the Macro Plays Manuscript.” English Manuscript Studies 5 (1995): 214-19. [Facsimile of Schøyen Collection, MS 615]
Hammond, Eleanor P. Chaucer: A Bibliographical Manual. 1908; rpt. New York: Peter Smith, 1933.  179; 198
Hanna, Ralph III, and A. S. G. Edwards. “Rotheley, the De Vere Circle, and the Ellesmere Chaucer.” In Seth Lerer, ed. Readings from the Margins: Textual Studies, Chaucer, and Medieval Literature. San Marino, Calif.: Huntington Library, 1996. 11-35. See esp. pp. 16-19
Horobin, Simon. The Language of the Chaucer Tradition. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2003. 
Ker, N. R., and A. J. Piper. Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries. Vol. IV: Paisley-York. Oxford: Clarendon, 1992. 200
Kirby-Miller, Wilma Anderson. “Scribal Dialects in the C and D Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales.” Diss. University of Chicago, 1938. 42-4; 50-3
Manly, John M., and Edith Rickert, eds. The Text of the Canterbury Tales: Studied on the Basis of All Known Manuscripts. 8 vols. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1940. 1:322-8; 1:410-14; 1:569-71 [facsimile between 570-1]
McCormick, Sir William and Janet E. Heseltine. The Manuscripts of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: A Critical Description of Their Contents. Oxford: Clarendon, 1933. 387-96
Oguro, Shoichi, Richard Beadle, and Michael G. Sargent, eds. Nicholas Love at Waseda: Proceedings of the International Conference 20-22 July 1995. Woodbridge, Suffolk and Rochester NY: D. S. Brewer, 1997. [Color facsimile of Waseda MS, NE 3691, fol. 124v as frontispiece]
Owen, Charles A., Jr. The Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1991. 28-32; 41-2
Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, Sixth Report. Part I: Report and Appendix. London, 1877. 287; 289
Samuels, M. L. “Scribes and Manuscript Traditions.” In Felicity Riddy, ed. Regionalism in Late Medieval Manuscripts and Texts. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1991. 1-7. 
Seymour, Michael C. A Catalogue of Chaucer Manuscripts. Volume II, The Canterbury Tales. Aldershot and Brookfield: Scolar Press, 1997. 86-90; 217-22
Smith, Jeremy J. “Dialect and Standardisation in the Waseda Manuscript of Nicholas Love’s Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ.” In Shoichi Oguro, Richard Beadle, and Michael G. Sargent, eds. Nicholas Love at Waseda: Proceedings of the International Conference 20-22 July 1995. Woodbridge, Suffolk and Rochester NY: D. S. Brewer, 1997. 129-41.