A Digital Catalogue of the
Pre-1500 Manuscripts and Incunables of the
Canterbury Tales
Second Edition
Location:  CambridgeMagdalene College MS Pepys 2006
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Pp is paginated:
Part I
1. The Complaint of the Black Knight (Lydgate; MacCracken 1934, pp. 382-410; DIMEV 2541): pp. 1-17
2. Temple of Glas (Lydgate; DIMEV 1403): pp. 17-52
3. Legend of Good Women (Chaucer; DIMEV 177): pp. 53-87
4. “ABC to the Virgin” (ends at line 59, with spurious added line following; Chaucer; DIMEV 414): pp. 88-90
5. House of Fame, ends at line 1843 (Chaucer; DIMEV 1620): pp. 91-114
6. “Compleynt of Mars” (Chaucer; DIMEV 1518): pp. 115-122
7. “Complaint of Venus,” begins line 45 (Chaucer; DIMEV 5590): pp. 122-124
8. “Fortune,” (Chaucer; Pace & David 1982, pp. 103-119; DIMEV 5803): pp. 124-126
9. Parliament of Fowls (Chaucer; DIMEV 5373): pp. 127-142
10. The Three Kings of Cologne (IPMEP 290): pp. 143-189 (190 blank, with later additions)
11. Serpent of Division (Lydgate; IPMEP 835; ): pp. 191-209
12. “With bodkins was Caesar Juilius” (Four rhyming lines at the end of Serpent of Division occurring in three manuscripts; DIMEV 6718): p. 208
13. Envoy to Serpent of Division (Lydgate; DIMEV 5729): p. 209
14. “Cato Minor” (Benedict Burgh; “Parvus Cato”; DIMEV 6321): pp. 211-212
15. “Cato Major” (Benedict Burgh; DIMEV 1418): pp. 213-224.
Part II
16. Tale of Melibee (Chaucer; IPMEP 18): pp. 225-275
17. Parson’s Prologue (L 37; DIMEV 941) and Tale (Chaucer; IPMEP 529): pp. 276-376
18. Chaucer’s Retraction (IPMEP 482): p. 377
19. “Compleynt of Mars,” lines 1-28; 57-84; 29-56 (Chaucer; DIMEV 1518): pp. 378-380
20. “Complaint of Venus,” begins line 45 (Chaucer; DIMEV 5590): pp. 381-382
21. “Anelida and Arcite” (Chaucer; DIMEV 4949): pp. 382-384
22. “Fortune,” (Chaucer; Pace & David 1982, pp. 103-119; DIMEV 5803): p. 385
23. “Lenvoy de Chaucer à Scogan” (Chaucer; DIMEV 5965): pp. 385-386
24. “ABC to the Virgin” (ends at line 59, with spurious added line following; Chaucer; DIMEV 414): p. 386-388
25. “The Complaint of Chaucer to His Purse” (Chaucer; Pace & David 1982, pp. 121-132; DIMEV 6044): pp. 388-389
26. “Truth” (Balade de Bon Conseyl; Chaucer; DIMEV 1326): pp. 389-390
27. “Merciless Beauty” (Chaucer; DIMEV 6879): pp. 390-391
28. A seventeenth-century collation of the MS’s contents: pp. 392-394
Progress of Copying: 
The collation presented below is motivated by the physical evidence and the relationship of that evidence to the distribution of texts. The sewing is through the sides, rather than through the center of bifolia, and so does not indicate the middle of gatherings (“oversewing,” rather than the more usual “flexible sewing”). The first part of the MS consists of two discernible sections signaled by changes in paper stocks, textual divisions, and breaks between gatherings: there is a catchword at the end of Part I, Q [1] and a probable canceled blank at the end of Part II, Q [2]; a catchword at the end of Part I, Q [3] and probable blanks at the end of Part I, Q [4], now lost/canceled. The first section consists of pp. 1-189 (190 is blank), with runs of two paper stocks. The second section comprises pp. 191-224, with a single paper stock, distinct from those in the first section. In the second section, each of the texts occupies a single gathering in the structure I propose (although the Cato text may have continued into another gathering). Part II does not contain any correspondences of text, paper stock, and quiring suggestive of booklet construction.
The rubric at the end of Melibee points to an examplar with a more complete version of the Tales: “Here endeth Chauceres owne tale of Thopas and | of Melibee and Prudence his wyfe” (p. 275).

Paper, 2° and 4°.
Paper stock(s):note
1. Mountains/Three hills with jagged bottom edge surmounted by a Cross (“Monts”), unidentified, 4° (a pair of twins, one with a crossed ascender, and one on which the ascender appears to lack the horizontal elements of the cross): pp. 1-44; 73-190 (pp. 71-72 are an added singleton without a visible watermark.)
2. Bull’s head (“Tête de boeuf”), 2°, close to Briquet 15068 (1462): pp. 45-70
3. Bull’s head (“Tête de boeuf”), 2°, nearest to Briquet 15204-15206 (1440-51), but it is definitely not any of those; the watermark in Pp has two ears: pp. 191-224
4. Bull’s head (“Tête de boeuf”), 4°, unidentified, with only the nostrils and (sometimes) the lower portion of the nose of the lower half of the watermark showing, and a five-pronged ascender and (sometimes) the tips of horns, approximately 2.7 cm apart, of the upper half visible; similar to the second mark listed above, but with attendant chainlines 4.2 cm apart as compared with 3.8 cm apart in number two). Possibly similar to Piccard Ochsenkopf VII.852; VII.564 (chainline spacing and alignment are closest to the latter) (1440-55); VII.435; VII.294 (1466-70); it is also very similar to a mark found in Ry², including the bent tip of the ascender (similar to Briquet, Tête de Boeuf, 15054 [1441-1445], with attendant chainlines 3.8 cm apart): pp. 225-290
5. Cart (“Char”), 4°, near Briquet 3544 (1433, with variants to 1473): p. 291-390
Page Size:  
26.9 x 17.7 cm.
Pp comprises two, originally separate, MSS bound together and, because it is tightly-bound, the sections in 4° can be challenging to collate. The following collation follows the one proposed in Mosser 1999, where the justification for the collation is presented in some detail (several typographical errors in that article are silently corrected here). Cf. Edwards 1985, pp. xxiii-xxiv, and McKitterick and Beadle 1992, pp. 42-43, which propose two collations that at times differ from each other and which both differ considerably from the one presented here. Neither makes specific reference to the symmetrical structure that results from folding paper in 4° and 2° formats, which provide significant clues in determining the collation of a paper MS.
Part I:
[1]24 (–1, 2) pp. 1-44 (catchword on p. 44)
[2]14 (–14: left blank? or bearing Legend of Good Women ll. 706-776? “Explicit” at the foot of p. 70) pp. 45-70
[3]22 (–1, ±2; pp. 71-72 added by scribe 3) pp. 71-112 (catchword on p. 112)
[4]20 (–2.19, 3.18, 20 [19 and 20 blank and canceled?]) pp. 113-142
[5]24 pp. 143-190 (a blank quarter sheet is pasted to p. 190, covering it)
[6]10 pp. 191-210 (a blank quarter sheet is pasted to p. 210, covering it)
[7]8 (–8) pp. 211-224
Part II:
[1]16 pp. 225-256
[2]16+1 (16+χ¹) pp. 257-290
[3]14 pp. 291-318
[4]18 pp. 319-354
[5]6 pp. 355-366
[6](?) pp. 367-391 (following p. 377, two pages have been stuck together and paginated as one. See below under Provenance.)
The final structure in the volume (Part II, Q [6]) has suffered several losses of text. The text of the “Compleynt of Mars” (ll. 1-28 [p. 378], 57-84 [p. 379], and 29-56 [p. 380]) was originally copied consecutively. The folio containing pp. 379/380 has been reversed; the lower half of the “Cart” watermark appears at the fore-edge. It is possible that the entire text was originally copied and that the final 214 lines of text were later lost, along with the first 45 lines of the “Complaint of Venus”: at 28 lines per page, and allowing for an explicit and incipit, this would require 4.6 folios. The final 43 lines of “Anelida and Arcite,” and the first 77 lines of “Fortune” are also lost; with a page containing approximately 32 lines in this section, another two folios can be conjectured as missing. However, there is a “vacat” in the gutter of p. 384, possibly written in the informal hand of the scribe. Since the last line of “Fortune,” contains a rhyme for the last line of text on p. 384 (“soueryn:atteyn”), it is certainly possible that this was the scribe’s solution to a gap in the copy text. It is also possible that if more of the final part of the MS had survived we would discover evidence to associate gathering [5]6 with a larger structure.
Originally two discrete MSS (Part I and Part II). Pp. 1-90, formatted in single columns, are margined (plummet) ca. 21 x 14.5 cm (pp. 71-72, text added in a different hand, are margined ca. 21 x 14.5 cm). Pp. 91-114, in a double-column format, are margined in drypoint ca. 21 x 14 cm. Pp. 125-224 are in a single-column format, margined in plummet ca. 21 x 14 cm. In Part II, pp. 225-346, in single columns, are margined in plummet ca. 21 x 12 cm. From p. 346-p. 377, the single-column format is margined in plummet ca. 23 x 11 cm. Pp. 378-391, single columns, is framed in drypoint, 23 x 11 cm. Scribes 4 and 5 have difficulty conforming the the left and right margins. When Scribe 5 takes over in Parson’s Tale, he leaves so little room in the margins that the glosses provided up to that point by Scribe 4 are curtailed.
Scribe 1: pp. 1-44=Part I, Q [1] (body height 1-1.5 mm). Scribe 1’s hand is primarily secretary in its cursiveness, spread, and letter forms, but some anglicana letter forms are mixed in: looped d; circular e; 8-shaped g is used more frequently than the tailed form; long r is more common than the 2-shaped form and the even rarer short form. The scribe uses both looped and unlooped forms of w. Long s occurs initially, medially, and in ligature with t; B-shaped s and sigma s are used finally. The scribe uses a single-compartment form of a for minuscule forms and alternates two forms for emphatic, majuscule a: one, a two-story form, the other with an approach stroke that does not connect to the lower lobe, which is executed in the same fashion as the minuscule form. Thorn is used infrequently, primarily in abbreviations, and is indistinguishable from y, e.g., yt (THAT). Abbreviations are common.
Scribe 2: pp. 45-70; 73-224 (body height 1-1.5 mm). Similar to Scribe 1 in many respects, but more upright, with fewer non-secretary letter forms, and even greater use of abbreviations. Tailed g with a counter-clockwise tail is regular; short r is also regular except following round letter forms, where the 2-shaped form is used. The hand also features long s initially and medially, with a B-shaped form in final position. Minuscule a occurs in several forms: a rounded, single-compartment secretary form; a second similar to the first, but with a dish-shaped headstroke making the form appear more box-like; a third form, used rarely, is identical to the majuscule, two-story form, but when it occurs other than line-initially with names, it is not necessarily for emphasis, as in “As”, the second word in line 24 on p. 49. The graph for þ is distinct from the scribe’s y. Looped d and circular e are also used consistently, though beginning on p. 143, a number of features in the scribal hand change: whereas up to that point in Scribe 2’s work, forms of e have been primarily circular, they are now open, horned forms; forms of w appear that are more complex, formed with broken strokes; a is more squarish. But these forms do appear sporadically earlier (e.g., the w forms on p. 134), and it may be that the change to prose serves as the catalyst for this more formal, angular version of the hand.
Scribe 3: pp. 71-72 (body height 2-2.5 mm). Scribe 3 writes only a single folio, adding lines 777-845 of Legend of Good Women. This is a larger, anglicana hand, giving the impression of a leftward slant. The hand has many calligraphic features: rounded feet on the minims; a triangular lower compartment on two-compartment g; a w comprising two distinct approach strokes with the second terminating in a B-shaped element; a looped d with an angular lobe; short r with the headstroke formed separately, as is the headstroke on c. The a graph is a two-story form, though sometimes it is executed as a single compartment bisected by a separate cross-stroke.
Scribe 4: 225-346 (7 up) (body height 2-2.5 mm). The first scribe in Part II of Pp writes a bastard anglicana hand, very upright with ample spread, an impression generated by the separation between most letter forms. The g graph is a tailed form, with horns above the headstroke and a sweeping, sometimes hooked tail. The scribe uses two forms of d: a looped form with an angle on the lefthand side of the lobe; and an unlooped form that usually has a straight lefthand side of the lobe. The c and short r graphs are formed with a separate headstroke. A z-shaped r occurs in final position and following round letter forms. The scribe’s incipits and explicits are in a similar script, but larger and with a great deal more flourish added to the ascenders. Rubricated Latin quotations are also in a larger, more upright, and more calligraphic version of the text script, with more evidence of quadrata influence. The use of a horizontal figure eight, which sometimes may indicate an omitted nasal, but which is usually otiose, seems to be a scribal tic.
Scribe 5: pp. 346 (6 up)-391 (body height 2 mm). An accomplished anglicana hand: the letters are formed on the basis of individual minim strokes with semiquadrata feet. The orientation is very upright with very controlled spacing. The primary w form is constructed with two intersecting, billowing loops and a B-shaped element completing the form on the right. There are two forms of a, both two-story types: one, very calligraphic in appearance, has an angular, “horned” lower compartment, with a simpler upper story that extends well above the x-height; the second is used less frequently and is based on a single lobe bisected by a horizontal stroke. The hand uses circular e, long r, with a 2-shaped form initially and following round letter forms. Thorn is distinct from y. Final n routinely finishes with an otiose flourish. The scribe’s headings and explicits are in a larger, more angular bastard anglicana hand that uses a short r and open e. The hand becomes somewhat more cursive and loose as the stint progresses. Despite the hand’s professional appearance, the scribe has difficulty staying within the bounds of the written space (see above under Format).
Part I has no rubrication; blank spaces have been left, with guide letters, for initials that were never executed. Part II has rubricated names, litterae notabiliores, paraphs, incipits and explicits. Many of the top lines in Part II have flourished ascenders. On pp. 265-275, the first initial on each page is elaborately executed in the same ink as is used for text and decorated with red ink and yellow wash. Parson’s Prologue begins on p. 276 with a 3-line initial B. This initial is also executed in the brown ink used for the text and is colored with the red ink and yellow wash as described above. This initial is also decorated with with foliage, strawberries, and trefoils. A yellow wash highlights the initial capitals in the Parson’s Prologue as well as many of the majuscule letters in the prose sections of Part II.
Brown morocco, “Pepys’ style F binding”: “French corners–triangular tools, with a design suggesting iron work, intended to fill the angles of a spine panel” (Nixon 1984, xviii; 30). Seventeenth century, after 1688.

Part I: 1460s on the evidence of paper stocks; McKitterick and Beadle cite A. I. Doyle’s suggestion of “mid-fifteenth century” (p. 43). Part II: the paper stocks might suggest a date in the 1440s; Doyle suggests that the handwriting also supports a date of s.XV2 (McKitterick and Beadle, p. 43).
Scribe 1: Forms with initial wh- are sometimes spelled with quh-, e.g., quhyche for WHICH at the foot of p. 3 (but cf. wheche three lines above). Initial v- is occasionally spelled with w-, as in wenym for VENOM on the same page. These forms, together with such spellings as yef IF, awyn OWN, akse ASK, wyrship WORSHIP; -it for the weak past participle; lwfe LOVE; efter AFTER; blud BLOOD; gud GOOD; tuk TOOK; cwne CAN 3rd. pl.; lyef LIFE; throuthe TRUTH; wp- for UP-; wulle for WILL; wheche for WHICH; and yowr for YOUR point to a combination of northern and East Anglian features that do not clearly resolve themselves into a single localization.
Scribe 2 shares with Scribe 1 the spellings yowr for YOUR and yef for IF, and has occasional v for w and w for v (e.g., verryest WERREYEST, lawender LAVENDER). Other spellings include haly HOLY; gude GOOD; puple PEOPLE; whann WHEN; wull for WILL; thenn THEN; and thann THANN; Given the correspondences between some of Scribe 1’s and Scribe 2’s spellings for forms that are likely East Anglian, it would seem probable that their exemplars were East Anglian and that Scribe 1, at least, hailed from a more northerly dialect region.
Scribe 3: provides only one folio of text, but shares in that brief sample wheche for WHICH with Scribe 1 (likely East Anglian), yef for IF, and yowr for YOUR with both Scribes 1 and 2, and the -nn spellings for THAN, THAN, and WHEN of Scribe 2.
Scribe 4 has some occasional marked spellings, such as ham for AM, axke for ASK (Southwestern and East Anglian), -et for the weak past participle, fierth FOURTH (Ely and Northern), lyghly LIGHTLY, and trought for TRUTH. Most of the spellings in Scribe 4’s repertoire, however, are more typically East Midlands, possibly Ely: aske for ASK, moche for MUCH, nat for NOT, peple for people, suche for SUCH, whiche for WHICH, worlde for WORLD, and yit for YET.
Scribe 5 also has some marked spellings: yerth(e) for EARTH (Cheshire), felthe for FILTH (probably East Anglian), -yngg for the present participle (Kentish), but also thingges for THINGS (Norfolk), wordy for WORTHY (East Anglian). But, as with Scribe 4, the preponderance of spellings are more colorless, East Midland forms, such as churche for CHURCH, muche for MUCH, peple and people for PEOPLE, and yet for YET.
Edwards (1985, p. xxix) notes the possibility that some of the titles added by a later hand in Part I are in the hand of John Stow (1525?-1605) and adds to this the more persuasive evidence of Stow’s connection with Pp, first suggested by John Norton Smith (1979, p. xviii), “that at two points in the text of Lydgate’s Temple of Glas in this manuscript [MS Fairfax 16] (f. 64, line 96 and f. 67, line 320) Stow supplies missing lines with ones that are in one case identical, in the other substantially the same as readings in the Pepys manuscript.” In Part II, two pages are stuck together and paginated as one, “378.” The topmost of these two pages contains the opening of “Compleynt of Mars”; the recto of the page pasted to the back side (verso) of p. 377 (i.e., the back side [recto] of what is now p. 378) is the name “Ioh[ann]es kiriel.” Manly-Rickert (1:408-409) suggest “the writer may be the John Kiriel (d. 1490) who came of a distinguished Kentish family related by marriage to the Stourtons, Cobhams, and Chicheleyes, who were interested in MSS.” McKitterick and Beadle (p. 42) note the oddity of beginning a new text on a verso and speculate that Kiriel’s name may already have been on the recto when the scribe commenced writing the text on the verso. For an extended discussion of the identity of John Kyriell, see Erler 2004.
On p. 391, following the explicit to the final text in the MS, is “Iste liber Constat Will[el]mo ffetypace m[er]cerij London[iensis].” Below that is “Iste Liber Constat Thome W.” At the foot of the page is Samuel Pepys’ bookplate. For various speculations on Fetypace’s identity, see Manly-Rickert (1:409), Edwards (xxix), and McKitterick and Beadle (43-44). More recent scholarship has turned up a William Fettyplace, who was London cloth merchant, possibly the same William Fettyplace who is mentioned in Berkshire records from 1497 (see Erler 2004, p. 408, citing “Dr. Anne Sutton, former archivist to the Mercer’s Company” [p. 413, n. 52]). Pepys’ library was left “to his nephew John Jackson for his life, then to Trinity or Magdelene College, with preference for the latter if the books could be kept as a separate collection and housed in a separate room. They went to Magdelene College in 1724” (Manly-Rickert 1:409).

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Boffey, Julia. “The Reputation and Circulation of Chaucer’s Lyrics in the Fifteenth Century.” Chaucer Review 28 (1993): 23-40. 
Edwards, A. S. G., introd. Manuscript Pepys 2006: a Facsimile, Magdalene College, Cambridge. The Facsimile Series of the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, vol. 6. Norman, OK: Pilgrim Books; Woodbridge and Suffolk: Boydell and Brewer, 1985. 
Erler, Mary C. “Fifteenth-Century Owners of Chaucer’s Work: Cambridge, Magdalene College MS Pepys 2006.” Chaucer Review 38 (2004): 401-14. 
Hammond, Eleanor P. “MS. Pepys 2005—A Chaucerian Codex.” Modern Language Notes 19 (1904): 196-8. 
Hammond, Eleanor P. Chaucer: A Bibliographical Manual. 1908; rpt. New York: Peter Smith, 1933.  292.
James, Montague Rhodes. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Library of Samuel Pepys. Part III: Medieval Manuscripts. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, Ltd., 1923. 60-3.
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. 1:406-9.
McCormick, Sir William and Janet E. Heseltine. The Manuscripts of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: A Critical Description of Their Contents. Oxford: Clarendon, 1933. 552-3.
Mosser, Daniel W. “Corrective Notes on the Structures and Paper Stocks of Four MSS Containing Extracts from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.” Studies in Bibliography 52 (1999): 97-114. 
Owen, Charles A., Jr. The Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1991. 116-17.
Nixon, Howard M. Catalogue of the Pepys Library at Magdalene College Cambridge, Volume 6: Bindings. Gen. ed. Robert Latham. Woodbridge, Suffolk: D. S. Brewer, 1984. 
Pace, George B. “Four Unpublished Chaucer Manuscripts.” Modern Language Notes 63 (1948): 457-62. 
Seymour, Michael C. “The English Manuscripts of Mandeville’s Travels.” Edinburgh Bibliographical Society Transactions 4 (1966): 167-210. 179.
Seymour, Michael C. A Catalogue of Chaucer Manuscripts. Volume I, Works before The Canterbury Tales. Aldershot and Brookfield: Scolar Press, 1995. 14; 26; 41; 90; 134.