A Digital Catalogue of the
Pre-1500 Manuscripts and Incunables of the
Canterbury Tales
Second Edition
Location:  OxfordCorpus Christi College MS 198
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Canterbury Tales (I 73-X 290; DIMEV 6414)
c (view in DIMEV): I Gam II Va III IV Vb VIII VI VII IX X
Progress of Copying: 
The maker(s) of Cp conceived of the CT, at least in part, as being divided into chapters (also a feature of Pw, Mm, and others); the following are marked as such, either formally or in marginal notations:
54v RvPro ¶C°.iij°Co.iij°.
61v CkT Cm.iiijm
73v MLT Cm.vm.
100r WBPro C° vij°.
195r PdPro Cm xvim.
204r ShT Cam xviim
214r Thop Cam xixm
217v Mel ¶Cm.xxm
236r MkT ¶Cm. xxjm
247r NPT Cam xxijm
256r MancPro Cam xxiijm
261r PsPro Cam xxiiijm
Cp is almost certainly the first MS to include Gamelyn as a solution to the fragmentary CkT. On fol. 62r, opposite the final lines of CkT, the scribe has written “Incipit ffabula.” Gam follows without incipit or link. On fol. 95r, between Parts 1 and 2 of SqT is the rubric “The Stag of an Hert” (also found in Pw, Mm, Ha², Lc, Ph³, and Ry²). SqT ends on fol. 99v with the final lines of “Part 2.” In the gutter opposite the last line is a ¶ (blue with red penwork) and the notation “Explicit .iia. p[ar]s.” Opposite, in the margin is the gloss “[Ap]ollo .i. sol.” The remaining eighteen lines are left blank and WBPro begins at the top of fol. 100r (see the frontispiece facsimile in Blake and Robinson 1993). The first leaf of the present Q [14] is lost, but a scrap with traces of a border remains. MerT lacks IV 2318-2418 in all of the c MSS (and Hg has a change of ink at this point). In Cp, FkPro follows immediately with no indication of a lacuna. Although the final line of text for MerT does have a certain aptness as a conclusion (“let vs no more wordes make”), there is an “x” in the margin suggesting an awareness of the crux (see also, e.g., Dd, El for this kind of marking). A unique subhead occurs in SNT, between VIII 207-208, where the scribe had written “Et lamentat” (fol. 173r). On fol. 236v, the scribe has left eight blank lines for the “Adam” stanza (MkT) and included the marginal note “De Ad[a]m[o].” On fol. 241v, next to VII 2375 (the beginning of the “Modern Instances”), the scribe has placed a cross and a “b” in the margin, which presumably correlates with the cross and “.a.” next to the Nero stanza (VII 2463) on fol. 242v, indicating that VII 2463 should follow VII 2374. Two lines below the “.a.” is the notation “vs” (“versus”[?]).
Stubbs urges the view that “[f]eatures in the present structure of Cp and anomalies in the codicology, may suggest an earlier collection of tales produced by Scribe D. Some of these tales may have been in separate booklets, the whole collection undergoing a radical revision at more or less the same time that Scribe B, Adam, was making independent copies of Chaucer’s tales for Hg, perhaps with the benefit of some authorial supervision” (2007, p. 143). While the codicological evidence she presents is of great importance, at present I am inclined to view it as evidence of the way exemplars circulated in this early period of the text’s history and development rather than as evidence of the simultaneous production of parts of Hg, El, Cp, and Ha⁴. The evidence of Cp’s being at some remove from the archtype (O) also seems to argue against the kind of access the Hg scribe had to exemplars of very high quality.

Parchment, trimmed.
Page Size:  
33.5 x 22.5 cm.
Quires [14, 15, and 28] were disordered in the previous binding. They have been reordered and refoliated, with the old foliation being the uppermost. Two consecutive folios are numbered “64a” and “64b.”
[1]8 (–1: pasted on a guard) fols. 2-8
[2-10]8 fols. 9-79
[11]6 fols. 80-85
[12-13]8 fols. 86-101a
[14]8 (–1: stub) fols. 107-113 (now refoliated 102-108)note
[15]8 fols. 114, 101b-106, 115 (refoliated 109-115)
[16]8 fols. 116-123
[17]8 (–7: stub) fols. 124-130
[18]8 fols. 131-138
[19]8 (–7: stub) fols. 139-145
[20-22]8 fols. 146-169
[23]8 (–2) fols. 170-176
[24-25]8 fols. 177-192
[26]8 fols. 193-200note
[27]8 fols. 201-208
[28]8 fols. 209, 211-216, 210 (refoliated 209-216)note
[29-33]8 fols. 217-256
[34]8 (–6: stub with scrap of a border on the recto) fols. 257-263
[35]6 (–4, 5, 6: stubs) fols. 264-266
Double ruled top and bottom in brown ink, single columns, 36 lines per page (ruling for lines not always apparent). The written space measures approximately 23 x 14.5 cm. Red running heads begin to appear on the rectos in WBPro. There are numerous marginal instructions written in brown chalk, crayon, and drypoint, at least some of which are in the scribe’s own “informal hand” (Doyle and Parkes 1978, pp. 178-82, n. 36). On fol. 19v, next to I 1355, in drypoint, is the abbreviated notation for “Incipit secunda.” On fol. 27r, next to I 1881, is a marginal notation in crayon for “Incipit tert,” and on fol. 35v, in drypoint, next to I 2483 is “Incipit iiij p[ar]s.” On fol. 39r, next to I 2743 (not a traditional part division), is a drypoint “incipit p[ar]s.” On fol. 44r, next to the incipit for “¶The Millewardes tale” (actually the prologue), is the notation “champe” in crayon. On the following recto (fol. 45r), while there is no incipit for MilT, there is a 6-line initial and ¾ border, fulfilling the marginal instruction in crayon for a “d[em]i vynet.” These kinds of instructions can be found throughout the MS. Yellow capital strokes occur throughout, sometimes on letters other than capitals. Catchwords occur at the lower right of the final verso of gatherings of eight.
Doyle and Parkes’s “Scribe D.” See Scribe D=John Marchaunt.
A second early fifteenth-century hand fills in III 218 on fol. 107r (now fol. 102r, at line 5), in a blackish ink. This hand is much more angular, with a long, reverse tail on h, a double-v+B form of w, and a double-compartment g with a lower compartment that verges on opening into a tail.
Cp contains numerous champs (e.g., fol. 54v: “champe”) and borders (e.g., fol. 55r: “d[em]i vynet”), with the directions for many in drypoint, chalk, and crayon surviving remarkably intact. The survival of these instructions for the limners, as well as other features of the MS, suggest that it was never “finished.” The champs are often gold initials on blue backgrounds, with lavender fills or contrasting panels, decorated with sprays: green foliage with gold dots and blue and lavender trumpets. There are also numerous paraphs: blue with red penwork and gold with blue penwork. Early in the MS there are indications in crayon for paraphs that were never executed. On fol. 86r, a marginal instruction in plummet for “Incipit iijap[ar]s” and a ¶ in plummet in the gutter were never executed. Borders consist of bars that taper into sprays decorated with green dots (see the black and white facsimiles of Cp, Ha⁴, and La in vol. 1 of Manly-Rickert, Plate II, between pp. 566 & 567). A full border opens KnT (fol. 12v) and Mel (217v). ¾ borders occur at fols. 45r (MilT), 55r (RvT), 61v (CkT), 61r (Gam), 75r (MLT), 90v (SqT), 101b/110v (WBT: fore-edge torn), 115v (FrT), 121r (SuT), 159r (FkT), 180r (CYT), 190v (PhT), 204r (ShT), 212/211r (PrT), 215/214r (Thop), 236r (MkT), 247v (NPT), 257v (MancT).
In 1987 the MS was conserved by Linda Lee (formerly of the Bodleian staff), in consultation with Christopher Clarkson (then conservation officer at the Bodleian) and Dr. Cooper (Librarian in Charge, Corpus Christi College). Lee’s notes are available at Corpus Christi College and the present description is greatly indebted to them. The previous binding, ca. 1700-1730, was calfskin with blind tooling, covering oak boards, and “laced on by five rolled leather thongs.” The present binding is resewn on new thongs, with stained goatskin replacing the calf, and “new quarto end leaves with linen guards” added. The previous blind-tooled covers have been reattached.

s. XVin. While Smith believes Cp is later than Ha⁴ on linguistic grounds (Owen 1991, p. 8, n. 3), Horobin and Mosser argue that “the larger number of SW Midlands forms in Ha⁴ must be seen as simply a reflection of D’s exemplars and perhaps his copying practice, and thus offers no evidence for priority in the chronology of D’s oeuvre” (2005, p. 302).
See Scribe D: Language.
On fol. 146r is the name “Burle” in drypoint, in the margin next to IV 1396. Manly and Rickert argue that the name “Burley” was “very uncommon in the early 15 C and but few members of the one prominent family existed. Furthermore, the connections of this family with the owners of La, a sister MS from the same exemplar, and of both families with friends of Chaucer’s increase the possibility that the identification is certainly correct,” i.e., that the name is that of William Burley (1.98). Cp came to the College as a bequest of William Fulman, according to a note on fol. 1r: “Liber C.C.C.Oxon Ex dono Gulielmi Fulman A.M. hujus Collegii quondam socius.”

Blake, Norman F. The Textual Tradition of the Canterbury Tales. London: Edward Arnold, 1985. 70-7; 96-111.
Blake, Norman, and Peter Robinson, eds. The Canterbury Tales Project Occasional Papers vol. 1. Oxford: Office for Humanities Communication, 1993. [frontispiece facsimile of fol. 100r]
Corpus Christi, Oxford. Digital Facsimile of Corpus Christi, Oxford MS 198 of the Canterbury Tales. [] 
Christianson, C. Paul. “A Community of Book Artisans in Chaucer’s London.” Viator 20 (1989): 207-18. 
Doyle, A. I., and M. B. Parkes. “The Production of Copies of the Canterbury Tales and the Confessio Amantis in the Early Fifteenth Century.” In Ed. M. B. Parkes and A. G. Watson, eds. Medieval Scribes, Manuscripts, and Libraries: Essays Presented to N. R. Ker. London: Scolar Press, 1978. 163-210. 
Edwards, A. S. G., and Derek Pearsall. “The Manuscripts of the Major English Poetic Texts.” In Jeremy Griffiths and Derek Pearsall, eds. Book Production and Publishing in Britain, 1375-1475. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. 257-78. 
Furnivall, Frederick J., ed. The Corpus MS (Corpus Christi Coll., Oxford) of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Chaucer Society, Series 1, nos. 5, 11, 18, 34, 41, 53, 67. London: Trübner, 1868-79. 
Furnivall, Frederick J., ed. Autotype Specimens of the Chief Chaucer MSS, Part I. Chaucer Society, Series 1, no. 48. London: Trübner, 1876. [facsimile of fol. 12v]
Griffiths, Jeremy, J. “Confessio Amantis: The Poem and its Pictures.” In A. J. Minnis, ed. Gower’s Confessio Amantis: Responses and Reassessments. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1983. 163-78. 
Hammond, Eleanor P. Chaucer: A Bibliographical Manual. 1908; rpt. New York: Peter Smith, 1933.  188 (“Corpus Christi 196”).
Horobin, Simon, and Daniel W. Mosser. “Scribe D’s SW Midlands Roots: A Reconsideration.” Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 106 (2005): 289-305. 
Kirby-Miller, Wilma Anderson. “Scribal Dialects in the C and D Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales.” Diss. University of Chicago, 1938. 29-31.
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. 1:92-9; 1:567-9.
McCormick, Sir William and Janet E. Heseltine. The Manuscripts of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: A Critical Description of Their Contents. Oxford: Clarendon, 1933. 85-93.
Owen, Charles A., Jr. The Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1991. 9-14.
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. 201-5.
Smith, Jeremy J. “Linguistic Features of Some Fifteenth-Century Middle English Manuscripts.” In Derek Pearsall, ed. Manuscripts and Readers in Fifteenth-Century England: The Literary Implications of Manuscript Study, Essays from the 1981 Conference at the University of York. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer; Totowa, USA: Biblio Distribution Service. 1983. 104-12. 
Smith, Jeremy J. “Studies in the Language of Some Manuscripts of Gower’s Confessio Amantis.” Diss. University of Glasgow 1985. 1:216-31; 2:516-42.
Smith, Jeremy J. “Spelling and Tradition in Fifteenth-Century Copies of Gower’s Confessio Amantis.” In J. J. Smith, ed. The English of Chaucer and his Contemporaries. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1988. 96-113. 
Smith, Jeremy J. “The Trinity Gower D Scribe and his Work on Two Early Canterbury Tales MSS.” In J. J. Smith, ed. The English of Chaucer and his Contemporaries. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1988. 51-69.