A Digital Catalogue of the
Pre-1500 Manuscripts and Incunables of the
Canterbury Tales
Second Edition
Location:  CambridgeCambridge University Library MS Dd.4.24
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Canterbury Tales (with losses: I 253-VIII 855; see DIMEV 6414).
Type a (view in DIMEV): I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X
Progress of Copying: 
Although the Dd scribe did not construct the MS as a series of booklets (cf. Hg), there is evidence to suggest that access to exemplars came piecemeal, and that the scribe had access to more than one exemplar of some of the texts. This piecemeal construction of Dd is reflected in the placement of incipits and explicits that often occur outside the writing frame and were sometimes clearly added after the text was copied, judging by the difference in ink. In WBPro, lines 44a-f are extensively corrected, and a similar process of correction was carried out in a passage in WBT (III 1190-1). The uncorrected text in III 1190 is the version copied by En¹. Dd corrects “he” to “ӡe”; Hg has “we.” Dd’s original exemplar evidently lacked III 2229 in SuT, which Manly-Rickert believe Dd added over an erasure following III 2230 (6:234; however, while III 2229 is added in darker ink after 2230, there was no underlying text and no erasure. The scribe must have found the correct line in a second exemplar, copied it into the blank space, and marked the lines with the notations “b” and “a” in the margin to indicate their order should be reversed. This, taken together with the spurious line in the other a MSS, constitutes clear evidence that the line was missing in the a exemplar, and that it was only when the Dd scribe found another text containing III 2229 that he was able to add it and determine the correct ordering of the lines. A similar pattern is evident at III 2254, where Dd has added the line in a larger hand (though still that of the scribe) and darker ink, a feature Manly-Rickert apparently did not notice. Cn-Ma, En¹-Ds¹, and others have a spurious line to fill the gap. Thus, again the a exemplar lacked III 2254 and Dd obtained the correct line (without variants) at a later date.
The single-line explicit for SuT and incipit for ClT is placed at the foot of fol. 92r, after a space of eight lines left blank following the end of SuT. ClT begins at the top of the verso (fol. 92v). SqT ends at the top of fol. 127r, with the observation “¶Here endith the Squyeres tale / as meche as Chaucer made.” The remaining ¾ of the page was left blank, as well as the following verso. Despite the declaration that Chaucer made no more, provision is left for additional text should it be found. At the end of PdT a third of the written space is left blank along with the following recto (fol. 150r). The most plausible explanation is that the scribe was hoping to find a prologue to ShT.
In MkT, the last line of the “Cresus” tragedy (VII 2766) comes at the top of fol. 186v. It is in a lighter ink than the text that follows, which is the beginning of the “Modern Instances” (“Pedro of Spain”). A large group of MSS place the “Modern Instances” after VII 2374, including Ha⁴ and the b, c, and d groups. The fact that the earlier Hg also places the “Modern Instances” at the end establishes that Dd was not the first to do so. In the first stanza of the tragedy of “Pedro of Spain,” Dd leaves a blank space for VII 2380 (“Thow were bitraysed and lad vn to his tente”). The subgroup En¹-Ds¹ have a spurious line: “Ye there bothe two togider went,” while Cn-Ma have found the reading of the majority of the MSS, but with variants characteristic of the cd* group. NPT is followed by the “Nun’s Priest’s Epilogue” (L31), after which a third of the page (fol. 195v) is left blank before an explicit and the incipit for SNT. Even though the “Nun’s Priest’s Epilogue” (fols. 195r-195v), provides some semblance of a linking text, the vagueness of the next narrator’s identity–“a nother”–seems to have left the scribe hoping for more.
Dd visibly corrects the text of PhT on three occasions. At VI 191, an “X” has been placed next to the corrected line. In MkT the scribe has also placed an “X” next to corrections at VII 2417 and VII 2580. In SNT, and at VIII 241, there is another “X” in the margin, which may suggest that the scribe searched for the rhyme-word, “reste,” elsewhere. The word he originally wrote, “place,” may have been suggested by the rhyme-word three lines above (238). Dd lacks VIII 711. No space has been left, but the scribe has written “defic[i]t v[er]sus X” in the gutter. En¹-Ds¹ and Cn-Ma (along with Nl, Py, and Ry¹) have a spurious line at this point (a further reflection of the “defective verse” in the exemplar): “So shall he fynde for sothe þt it assayith” (Cn, Scribe B). Bo¹-Ph² are also OUT here and for the preceding line.
The patterned variation of the spellings for ANY (any/ony), ERE (er/or), MUCH (meche/muche), and COMPANY (companye/compaignye), along with the numerous subsequent corrections to the text (often in a discernibly different shade of ink and size of hand),note suggest the use of multiple exemplars. See also Da Rold 2007, which includes an appendix of scribal corrections.

Parchment inner and outer bifolia, “sandwiching” paper sheets folded 4°.
Paper stock(s):
1. Dragon (“Basilic”), similar to the pair of twins listed in Piccard as “Drache” 266 & 319, dated 1401, Utrecht (Piccard 1980, pp. 21, 90, and 97); a variant state from the same mold as a tracing in the Briquet Archive in Geneva: “Papiers Briquet,” Basilic 9024, Udine, dated 1402 (see Dragon.014.1 in the Thomas L. Gravell Archive ( See also Da Rold 2003, figs. 1-2: Qq [1-8]
2. Dog (“Chien entier”), very near Briquet 3597 (Palermo, 1413-16), but if both were made from the same mold, it would appear that the Dd stock was made earlier since the Dd watermark preserves considerably better detail. A very close match occurs in the unpublished tracings of Briquet, in the Briquet Archive in Geneva: “Papiers Briquet,” Chien 6652, Archiv. Palerme, dated 1416; this example is reproduced in The Thomas L. Gravell Watermark Archive as DOG.003.1. The Briquet tracing and a betaradiograph are reproduced as figs. 1-2 in Mosser 2001. See also Da Rold, fig. 3. Cf. Zonghi mark No. 989, dated 1400; fols. 194-203
Page Size:  
The outer parchment folios are variable, measuring 28-28.5 x 17-19 cm; the inner parchment folios are also variable, but always much shorter and narrower than the outer ones, ranging between 24.5-26.5 cm in length x 17-18 cm in width. The paper folios are approximately 29 x 20 cm; thus, the original sheets were probably of the size known as “Royal.” (See also Da Rold 2003.)
Formerly 7 modern paper fly leaves, foliated “i-vii”; after conservation, these have been replaced by four modern parchment leaves preceding the first gathering. Fols. 30-35 signed “ff, g, h, [I?], k, l” respectively on the rectos; fols. 49-59 signed “1-.11.”; fols. 73-84 signed “A-M” (“C” not visible on fol. 75); fols. 97-108 signed “[aj]-axij”; fols. 121-132 signed “b.j-bxij” (though some are at least partially lost to wear); fols. 145-153 signed “c.j-c.ix” (nothing visible on 154 or 156); fols. 169-180 signed “d.j-c.ix” (nothing visible on 170 or 174 where wear has occurred). The first recto of the second half of each gathering is characteristically marked with a “+” (indicating that the quire is fully gathered). The MS has a modern foliation, in pencil, in the upper righthand corner, which incorporates the missing leaves (i.e., replacement stubs and parchment folios are numbered).note
[1]24 (–1.24, 2.23, 3.22, 4.21, 5, 9.16, 10.15, 11.14) fols. 1-24
[2]24 (–1, 13) fols. 25-48
[3]24 (–12.13) fols. 49-72
[4]24 fols. 73-96
[5]24 fols. 97-120
[6]24 (–8.17) fols. 121-44
[7]24 (–11.14, 19) fols. 145-68
[8]24 (–20, stub fragments remain) fols. 169-92
[9]24 (–14-24) fols. 193-205 (the previous misbinding of fol. 201/[9].9 before fol. 200/[9].8 has been corrected)
+ modern replacement paper and parchment leaves for the rest of gathering [9]
+ 4 parchment fly leaves
While the pages are unruled, the writing frame is marked in brown ink on the parchment and either drypoint or, in some cases, drypoint and brown crayon on the paper. This frame is variable on the parchment folios, ranging from 21 x 13 cm to 22 x 13 cm; on the paper folios it is more consistent, measuring approximately 22 x 13 cm. There are 41-48 lines per page, in single columns. The scribe has used a brown ink for the text and red or blue ink for the paraphs. Initials, two lines high, are in blue with red penwork flourishes. Catchwords appear on the lower right corner of the last verso of each (undamaged) quire.
There are no running titles except for those added in several tales by a later hand. 2-line blue initials with red penwork flourishes mark text openings. Although the scribe had no interest in providing running titles, he has done a thorough job of acquiring marginal and interlinear glosses, some of which, judging by the darker ink, may have been added later (e.g., on fol. 56r); most, however, seem to have been copied at the same time as the text.
On fol. 136v, Dd shares with numerous other MSS at that point in FkT the use of paraphs to mark the long series of exempla. They visually increase in tempo and density until between VI 1426-56 there is a marker ca. every three lines. On this folio in Dd, for example, there is a smaller brown ¶ (written contemporaneously with the text) and a larger accompanying red ¶ at VI 1428, 1431, 1434, 1437, 1439, 1442, 1443, 1445, 1448, 1451, and 1453. Hg (fol. 163r) has a similar appearance. Gg (fol. 296r) has “hash” marks indicating where paraphs should be placed at each of these same points, but the rubricator has missed them. El (fols. 130v-131r) achieves a decorative zenith at this point in the text, with blue, gold, and violet-colored champs nearly filling the lefthand border of text, and a with neatly-arranged series of glosses in the (righthand) margin employing their own system of blue paraphs and alternating red and violet penwork. There is perhaps some irony that this elaborate system of decoration should accompany a section of text (VI 1425-56) of which Manly-Rickert say: “There are few pages in CT from the authorship of which one would more gladly absolve Chaucer than the latter part of this Complaint of Dorigen’s” (4:487).
The hand in Dd, while variable in size (1.5-2 mm in body height), is extremely upright and otherwise uniformly executed throughout the MS. The script for the scribe’s bookhand is anglicana formata; the rubrics (or “headings”) are in a similar but somewhat larger script, which is perhaps a hybrid anglicana, containing few features of the newer secretary script. The serifs of letter-forms such as m, n, i, and u exhibit the influence of the semiquadrata text hand (e.g., Petti 13) in displaying the pronounced “feet” characteristic of the hybrid or bastard varieties of anglicana.
The use of anglicana two-compartment a is consistent. The scribe uses sigma s both initially and finally, while long s occurs occasionally in initial position and invariably in medial position. An 8-shaped s, similar to the scribe’s g but often without closure of the upper lobe on the lower right, is used infrequently, usually at the end of a line. The d graph is always the looped anglicana form. Both open and circular e are used, the latter reserved for final position. Long (anglicana) r is the primary form for that graph, except in ligature with o, where a z-shaped form is used. The long r is always connected to the following letter.
Thorn and yogh are used frequently. Abbreviations for THAT and AND; are used ca. 25% of the time; abbreviated WITH is rare. Word final m in him and hem is frequently abbreviated. In the headings, the script varies little, the primary difference being the use of a tailed secretary g in place of the 8-shaped anglicana form. In several of the later headings, such as that for MkT, the scribe seems to be experimenting with a more angular duct–characteristic of “bastard” versions of a bookhand–thereby producing an impression of jaggedness.
Rebound in 1862 by Wiseman in whole calf over millboard, with blind-tooled, geometrical designs. Sewn on five bands.
Disbound in 2004-05 and conserved by Kristine Rose: new parchment and paper replace missing leaves, resewn on five double bands, to be bound in alum-tawed binding. Pages patched where previously damaged.

The predominance of anglicana features, taken together with the watermarks on the paperstock suggest a date between 1401-16. Note that the paper stock with the latter date comes at the end of the volume.
The primary layer of dialect forms in Dd–i.e., those forms that are both dominant and that occur throughout the MS–coheres in the vicinity of western Norfolk, Ely, and Cambridgeshire. While the main form for THESE, theise, is an unusual form and does not occur as a main form in any of the LPs from these areas, it does occur as a minor variable in one Norfolk scribe (LALME LP 421), and the form þeise occurs as a main form in an adjacent area in Norfolk (LP 630) and in Ely (LP 219 & 423), and as a minor form in an LP from Cambridgeshire. The plural form shuln for SHALL–also fairly unusual–occurs in the same area (NW Norfolk) and is found as well as a main form in Cambridgeshire, SE Suffolk, and Northamptonshire. Another unusual modal form, the plural moun (MAY), also suggests a localization in this area. Other forms supporting this localization are: I now (ENOUGH), a geyn / a geyns (AGAINST), euele (EVIL), heigh (HIGH), ouӡt (OUT), sithe / syn (SINCE), a nother, poore, and meche (MUCH). The minor variable ich / iche (EACH), if not reflective of the scribe’s own usage, would strongly suggest another stratum of Norfolk linguistic influence.
An East Anglian layer is further supported by the spelling of w for earlier v in dowe(s) (DOVE[S]), wood-dowe, glowys (GLOVES), dewel (devil), wouchensaf (vouchsafe), nowys (novice), weraily (verily), twelwemoneth, and by v for earlier w in verreye (WERREYE), and vessh (WASHED) (LALME, 4.322; Jordan 252, § 300). It is possible that this might reflect a northern feature, though this seems less probable (Jordan 156, § 163). The form peeple (PEOPLE) occurs only in the LPs of scribes from Ely–as a minor form–and Yorkshire, West Riding. The spellings wheither/wheiþ[er] (WHETHER) are restricted to the LPs of four scribes in Kent, London, SW Suffolk, and Worcestershire, and perhaps suggest another layer. However, a slight variation on this spelling, wheithir, does occur in LP 4057, localized in NW Norfolk.
The scribe alters spelling preferences, in a highly patterned fashion, for ANY (any/ony), ERE (er/or), and less significantly, for MUCH (meche/muche), and COMPANY (companye/compaignye) (Manly-Rickert 1:102).
The scribe leaves a clue to his identity in the phrases “Quod Wytton” and “Amen quod Wytton” at the ends of KnT, MilT, MLT, and SuT (fols. 39r, fol. 47r, 67r, and 92r). Manly-Rickert’s suggestion that this may be the Richard Wytton who was master of “Mickle Hall” (University College) in Oxford between 1426-30 (1:105) is not borne out by the linguistic evidence, which suggests an affiliation with Cambridgeshire or NW Norfolk. University College was established for scholars from Durham, and the scribe’s language reflects neither a Durham nor an Oxford provenance. Paper stocks similar to those used in Dd occur in Guildhall Library MS 34048 (Merchant Tailors’ Company) and, given the scribe’s professionalism, it would not surprise me to find his hand in government or guild documents.note In fact, in the same MS, but earlier than the paper alluded to above, a hand bearing many correspondences with that of the Dd scribe appears.
The name “hungerford” appears on fol. 8r, opposite the description of the Wife of Bath in GenPro. Manly-Rickert state that the signature “is perhaps not the signature of Walter Lord Hungerford, Lord Treasurer (d. 1449); but it is certainly not that of his son (d. 1459), whose autograph is at the Huntington Library…, or of his grandson, Robert Lord Hungerford and Moleyns (d. 1464…)” (1:104). Although the signature in Dd bears some similarity to the signatures of Walter Lord Hungerford contained in British Library MSS Stowe 146 (fol. 1), Royal 20.B.xiv (a copy of the “Manuel de Peche,” owned by Hungerford, whose signature appears on fol. iv), and Additional 19398 (fol. 25r), there are not enough correspondences to identify any of them with the signature in Dd.
Some sort of connection with the Hungerfords, however, may explain other marks of ownership in the MS. On fol. 38r is the name “Rychard Mervyn,” whom Manly-Rickert assign to the sixteenth century. Walter Hungerford’s granddaughter is known to have married a John Mervyn from Fonthill, Wiltshire, who was an associate of Sir Walter’s daughter-in-law, Margaret Hungerford (Manly-Rickert 1:104-5).
On fol. 146r is a scrawled note: “Thys ys Wyllyam | Langstuns Boke | hys [smudged].” On fol. 150r there is a note expressing the opinion that “By cawse thys bocke ys off gret sobsta[n?]s hyt ys | mengled wt vyle[?] pastimes but ffor no wyse men but ffor Jalles[?] & boyes by cawse it ys all of knaues & toyes.” Below, the same writer identifies himself: “Wyllyam pully ys | my name & he.” On the same page is a crude drawing of man wearing a hat and holding a winged serpent. Something, looking very much like a cigarette, projects from the man’s mouth; possibly it is an extended tongue, meant to parallel the serpent’s tongue, perhaps to draw a parallel between the man and a serpent? Manly-Rickert suggest that Pully may be the William Pulley who was at Trinity College, Cambridge between 1584-91, and was “vicar at Grayne [Kent] in 1596-98, and at Whitfield [Kent] in 1601-3.”note While failing to provide an identification for William Langstun, they do note that there are villages named “Langdon and East Langdon almost at Whitfield” in Kent (1:106).
In the early eighteenth century, the MS appears to have belonged to John Moore, Bishop of Norwich, and subsequently of Ely (1646-1714), who may have obtained it from Samuel Hoadly (Manly-Rickert 1:107). The Moore collection was purchased “en bloc by George I and given to the University of Cambridge” (McKitterick 1986, p. 50). Thus the probability is that the MS made its way to Cambridge as part of this bequest, though there is no record to confirm this.

Blake, Norman F. The Textual Tradition of the Canterbury Tales. London: Edward Arnold, 1985. Esp. Ch. 7.
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Caie, Graham D. “The Significance of Marginal Glosses in the Earliest Manuscripts of The Canterbury Tales.” In David Lyle Geffrey, ed. Chaucer and Scriptural Tradition. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 1984. 75-88. 
Da Rold, Orietta. “A Study of Cambridge University Library MS Dd.4.24 of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.” Diss. De Montfort University, 2002. 
Da Rold, Orietta. “The Quiring System in Cambridge University Library MS Dd.4.24 of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.” The Library Seventh Series, Vol. 4 (2003): 107-28. 
Da Rold, Orietta. “The Significance of the Corrections in Cambridge University Library MS Dd.4.24 of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.” Chaucer Review 41 (2007): 393-438. 
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. 
Emden, A. B. A Biographical Register of the University of Cambridge to 1500. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1963. 
Furnivall, Frederick J., ed. The Cambridge MS. Dd.4.24 of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Completed by the Egerton MS. 2726 (The Haistwell MS). 1st Series, no. 95 (Part 1, issue for 1901) and 96 (Part 2, issue for 1902). London: For the Chaucer Society, 1902. 
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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. 1:100-7.
McCormick, Sir William and Janet E. Heseltine. The Manuscripts of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: A Critical Description of Their Contents. Oxford: Clarendon, 1933. 95-100.
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Samuels, M. L. “Chaucer’s Spelling.” Middle English Studies Presented to Norman Davis in Honour of his Seventieth Birthday. Ed. Douglas Gray and E. G. Stanley. Oxford: Clarendon, 1983. 17-37. Rpt. in The English of Chaucer and his Contemporaries: Essays by M. L. Samuels and J. J. Smith. Ed. J. J. Smith. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1988. 23-37. 
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. 43-7.
Tschann, Judith. “The Layout of Sir Thopas in the Ellesmere, Hengwrt, Cambridge Dd.4.24, and Cambridge Gg.4.27 Manuscripts.” Chaucer Review 20 (1985): 1-13. 
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