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THE RECONSTRUCTION OF A BURNT

COTTONIAN MANUSCRIPT: THE CASE OF


COTTON MS. OTHO A. I
SIMON KEYNES

T H E manuscript designated 'Otho A. F in the library formed by Sir Robert Cotton


(1571-1631) was almost completely destroyed by fire in the early hours of Saturday 23
October 1731.* The Cottonian Library, and with it the King's Library, had been
removed from Cotton House, in Westminster, to Essex House, in the Strand, in 1722,
and had remained there for the duration of a seven-year lease; but latterly the landlord
at Essex House had begun to agitate for payment of his rent, prompting the officers of
the Board of Works, on 11 December 1729, humbly to acquaint the Lords Commissioners
of His Majesty's Treasury ' that we have heard of a House in Westminster by its situation
much more safe from fire & more commodious in all other respects belonging to Lord
Ashburnham who is willing to let it to his Majesty'.^ On 24 February 1730 the
Commissioners authorized the officers of the Board of Works to pay whatever arrears
were due in respect of Essex House, and 'to cause the said Lord Ashburnham's House
to be fitted with all convenient speed with Shelves, and all other Commodious and
proper necessaries for the receiving and safekeeping of the said Libraries'.^ The
accommodation at Ashburnham House, in Little Dean's Yard, Westminster, was
certainly on a grand scale; and it might have been considered especially appropriate that
Cotton's library should have found a home within the precincts of his old school, in a
building which had formerly been the Prior's Lodging of Westminster Abbey.^ The
resident keeper ofthe Cottonian and the King's Libraries was the young Richard Bentley
(1708-82), son ofthe renowned classical scholar (and erstwhile keeper of both libraries),
Dr Richard Bentley (1662-1742).* The elder Bentley had been installed as Master of
Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1700, and was deeply embroiled in his bitter and
protracted dispute with the Fellows;^ but in October 1731 business had brought him to
town, and, naturally enough, he came with his wife to stay at their son's suitably
commodious apartments in Ashburnham House. A 'goode fire' had been made for Dr
Bentley's comfort, 'in a Stove chimney under the Library'; and, although one should
hesitate before pointing the finger at a Master of Trinity, Bentley himself is said to have
been unsure 'whether he did not leave the Blower on the Stove when he went to Bed'.*'
Whatever the case, it seems that a wooden jamb in the chimney ignited, transmitting the

113
fire to the library on the floor above."^ The great scholar was woken from his slumbers
'by his Ladys Coughing', and 'perceiv'd a Smell of wood smoke';^ whereupon he
appears to have grabbed the fifth-century Codex Alexandrinus (BL, Royal MS. i. D. V-
VIII) from the shelves ofthe Royal Library, and made good his escape in nightgown and
wig, with the manuscript under his arms.^ It is said that Bentley was inclined to regard
the calamity as 'the Nemesis of Cotton's Ghost to punish the Neglect in taking due Care
of his noble Gift to the Publick';^*^ but within a few days of the fire he had far more
serious things on his mind, returning to Cambridge 'in some ruffle' having heard that
the Bishop of Ely (acting for the Fellows of Trinity) was about to attack him again. ^^ The
antiquary Roger Gale (1672-1744), of Trinity College, appears to have taken the view
that more of the Cottonian library might have been saved, 'had not Dr B[entley] taken
more care of his own Lumber than ofthe Books',^^ an allusion (it seems) to Bentley's
special interest in the refurbishment of the Master's Lodge at Trinity, and to his
preoccupation with troubles of his own making. It was presumably feelings of a similar
kind which prompted Edward Harley (Lord Oxford) to refer, in a letter to Thomas
Hearne written from Wimpole Hall on 25 December 1731, to 'the terrible calamity that
has befallen the Cottonian Library through the villany of that monster in nature

As Bentley fled from the inferno of Ashburnham House, no doubt hotly pursued by
his wife, a significant portion of the nation's cultural heritage was abandoned to its fate.
In one part ofthe room, the flames caused extensive damage to books shelved under the
brass busts of Tiberius and Caligula; in another, they devoured the books under VitelUus
and Otho, sweeping up the backs of both presses and then licking their way across the
top shelf of Galba, as if in search ofthe ^Ethelstan Psalter (Galba A. XVIII).^^ A drawing
ofan Otho manuscript, made at the time of its restoration in 1850, shows what was meant
when it was said of a book that it had been reduced by the fire to a crust or a lump;^^
and it is almost as if the books in the affected presses were doomed to suffer ©nds as
unfortunate as those suffered by the emperors after whom the presses were named.^^ Had
Bentley taken it upon himself to return to the house in order to save some ofthe volumes
smouldering on the shelves ofthe Cottonian library, he would doubtless have made his
way through the smoke to the Otho press, and taken the sixth book along on the second
shelf down; for even the most rabid medievalist would have to concede that a fifth-
century manuscript of the Book of Genesis, in Greek, with an accompanying cycle of
over 250 illustrations, was infused with greater symbolic importance than almost
anything else in the collection as a whole.^^ Yet Bentley did not come back; and while
the 'Cotton Genesis' (Otho B. VI) burned, several other volumes of particular interest
to an Anglo-Saxonist began spontaneously to combust, on the shelf above, on the same
shelf, and on the shelves below. Otho A. I, of which more presently, stood little chance
at what appears to have become the heart ofthe fire. Otho A. X contained the text of
Ealdorman i^thelweard's Latin translation ofthe Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and also a copy
of a law-code of King y^thelred the Unready/^ Otho A. XII contained the text of Asser's
Vita Alfredi regis Angul-Saxonum, as well as the fragment of the Old English poem on
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Fig. 1. Portrait of Sir Robert Cotton, with his hand on the 'Cotton Genesis' (Cotton MS. Otho
B. VI), attributed to Cornelius Jansen. Commissioned by Sir Simonds D'Ewes in 1626;
subsequently owned by Humfrey Wanley, Edward Harley, and James West. By kind permhmn
ofthe Rt. Hon. Lord Clinton, D. L., Devon
the battle of Maldon.^^ Otho B. IX was a gospel-book of continental origin which came
into the hands of King i^thelstan, and which was given by him to the community of St
Cuthbert, at Chester-le-Street, complete with a picture of the King himself doing the
deed.^^ A leaf in Otho B. X contained the unique text ofthe Anglo-Saxon Runic Poem.^^
Otho B. XI contained a most interesting collection of texts, including a copy ofthe Old
English translation of Bede's Histona ecclesiastica, the ' G ' manuscript of the Anglo-
Saxon Chronicle, law-codes of King ^thelstan and King Alfred the Great, and the
document known as the 'Burghal Hidage'.^^ And Otho C. V contained the more
substantial part of an early-eighth-century Insular gospel-book, of which another part
survives in the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.^^ In the case of each of
these manuscripts, it is possible to gain some sense of what has been lost by combining
the evidence of early transcripts, printed editions, catalogues, other notes and
descriptions made before 1731, and surviving fragments; and in each case, the exercise
of trying to reconstruct the manuscript as a physical entity contributes much to the
understanding ofthe texts which it contained. It is always salutary for an Anglo-Saxonist
to reflect in this way on the fate of books which had survived conquest, neglect,
reformation, and civil war, only to be incinerated in the Cotton fire; and we have to give
thanks that the Augustus portfolio, containing the best of Sir Robert Cotton's charters,
was saved, and that someone had the presence of mind to rescue so many (though sadly
not all) ofthe volumes ranged along the top three shelves ofthe Tiberius press. One can
but think, however, what troubles might have been avoided had the unique manuscript
of Beowulf (in Vitellius A. XV) not been singed at the edges,^^ or had the unique
manuscript of Asser's ^Life of King Alfred' (in Otho A. XII) not been burnt to the
proverbial crust.

Cotton MS. Otho A. I would not feature in a roll-call ofthe more familiar casualties of
the fire, but if it had survived intact it would have taken its place long ago as a document
of cardinal significance in its own right. The early catalogues of the Cottonian library
show that in the seventeenth century the manuscript contained four distinct texts, and
it is at once apparent that there was a strong link between them. The texts in question
(in chronological order) are as follows:
(i) an abridged version of Pope Gregory the Great's Regula pastoralis^ a work which
in its original and unexpurgated form had been written in the early 590s, for the guidance
of bishops, and which soon came to be valued as guidance for all those set up in authority
over others ;^'^
(ii) the letter written by the English missionary Boniface, Archbishop of Mainz, to
Cuthberht, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 747, apprising him of measures recently
adopted for the reform of the Frankish church, urging him to pay heed to the guidance
for bishops contained in Pope Gregory's Liher pastoralis, and drawing his attention
(tactfully) to certain malpractices among the English which were in need of correction ;^^
116
(iii) the canons ofthe council of Chfesho convened under the auspices of Archbishop
Cuthberht in early September 747, and said to have been attended by ^thelbald. King
ofthe Mercians (716-57);^^
(iv) the text of a charter of King y£thelbald issued at a council at Godmundeslaech
(Gumley, in Leicestershire) in 749, extending privileges to (unspecified) monasteria et
acclesice^ including exemption from worldly burdens though with reservation of work on
bridges and fortifications.^^
The first of these texts is very well known; the other three were studied and transcribed
in the seventeenth century, and have long enjoyed their place in the mainstream of
historical debate. We shall see, however, that at least one important text may have been
lost from the collection at some point in its history; that the surviving parts of Otho A.
I were rearranged on two or three occasions in the seventeenth century; and, above all,
that the separate texts in the manuscript must be judged as the component parts of an
integrated whole. It is only in this way that we can begin to appreciate the significance
of the manuscript itself as the product of a programme of reform mounted by
Archbishop Cuthberht and King i^thelbald in the late 740s.
At least one leaf had been separated from the manuscript long before the Cotton fire,
and the survival of this leaf in its pristine state means that it is possible to establish on
palaeographical grounds that the manuscript was written some time during the second
half of the eighth century.^^ It is rather more difficult, however, to ascertain where the
manuscript might have been written, or to reconstruct any part of its history before the
end of the sixteenth century. Significant elements of the formulation of the charter of
King iEthelbald, issued in 749, recur in a (purported) charter of King Burgred for St
Peter's, Gloucester,^** dated 862, and in a (purported) charter of King Eadwig for
Abingdon abbey,^^ dated 956. In each case, the draftsman ofthe later document might
have enjoyed access to a text of King yEthelbald's charter; but the formulation is not so
singularly distinctive that one could affirm with any degree of confidence that the source
was not some other document which had used the earlier charter, still less that it was
necessarily the text ofthe charter in Otho A. I, and still less, therefore, that Otho A. I
might once have been at Gloucester or at Abingdon. More significantly, it is apparent
that William of Malmesbury, working in the early twelfth century, was familiar with the
famous letter written by Archbishop Boniface (and seven other missionary bishops) to
King T^thelbald, 'wielding the glorious sceptre of imperial rule over the English',^'^ and
that he was also familiar with Boniface's letter to Archbishop Cuthberht, the canons of
the council of Clofesho^ and the charter recording King yEthelbald's grant of privileges
to 'minsters and churches'; and since the last three texts are those which occur together
in Otho A. I, it might well be supposed that William had been able to make use of this
very manuscript. ^^ William certainly considered it appropriate to weave all of this
material into a single narrative. In his account of the kings of the Mercians, in the Gesta
regum, William provides an expurgated text of Archbishop Boniface's letter to King
iEthelbald (I. 79-81), adding that Boniface had written a similar letter to Archbishop
Cuthberht (I. 82); he remarks further that the outcome was the council convened by
117
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Fi^. 2. From Gregory the Great, Regula pastoralis, bk I, ch. xi (abridged). Oxford, Bodleian
Library, MS. Arch. Selden B. 26 (S.C. 334o)> f- 34^- ^y kind permisston ofthe Bodleian Library

118
Cuthberht and yEthelbald (I. 83), but refrains in this context from reciting the canons
issued on that occasion, giving instead an abbreviated text of King ^thelbald's charter
which he says (incorrectly) was issued 'in eodem concilio' (I. 84).^'* In his account ofthe
archbishops of Canterbury, in the Gesta pontificum, William refers again to the
summoning ofthe council (I. 4), providing a text ofthe prologue followed by a list of
the chapter-headings (I. 5); he also states (probably on his own initiative, and rather
misleadingly) that Archbishop Cuthberht at once sent a copy of the canons to
Archbishop Boniface, by his deacon Cyneberht, and it seems (in this context) that
William regarded the letter to Cuthberht as Boniface's reply (I. 6)."^^ The fact that
William was not averse to taking liberties with his written sources means that it is
difficult to be sure whether or not the manuscript which he had in front of him was
necessarily Otho A. I, as opposed to another manuscript containing much the same
collection of texts ;^'* and even if he had used this manuscript, it would be no less difficult
to guess where he might have seen it. The point which emerges more clearly from
William's treatment of this material concerns the composition of the manuscript, as
opposed to its provenance. The letter from Archbishop Boniface (and the seven other
bishops) to King i^thelbald would appear on this basis to have been preserved and
transmitted in the same context as the letter to Archbishop Cuthberht;^' and, since the
letter to Cuthberht is known to have been preserved in association with the documents
emanating from Clofesho and Gumley, it would follow that the letter to ^Ethelbald might
once have formed part ofthe collection represented, in what would therefore be a slightly
imperfect state, by Otho A. L^^

II
The first recorded owner of the manuscript was Thomas Allen (1540-1632), of
Gloucester Hall, Oxford.^^ The detached leaf mentioned above, which was separated
from the manuscript at some stage in the first half of the seventeenth century, and which
came to be attached to part of a Selden manuscript now preserved in the Bodleian
Library, has the name 'Tho: Allen' in the upper margin, with the date ' 1613°' (fig. 2).^**
The natural inference, perhaps, is that the manuscript as a whole had come into Allen's
hands in 1613; unfortunately, it is not known whence he acquired it, and the varied
provenance of his other manuscripts leaves the options wide open.^' The text on the
detached leaf (figs. 2-3) is from the concluding chapter ofthe first part of Pope Gregory's
Regula pastoralis (I. xi),"*'" which suggests that the manuscript originally contained rather
more of Gregory's work than the excerpts from parts two and three mentioned in the
later-seventeenth-century descriptions of Otho A. I. One might also be inclined to
suppose that Allen had inscribed his name, and the date, on what was then the first leaf
ofthe manuscript ;"^'^ in which case it would follow that the abridged version ofthe Regula
pastoralis had once stood at the beginning, and that the manuscript had already lost its
opening leaves by the time it came into Allen's hands. When Sir Robert Cotton made
a list of 'Divers Manuscripts I am promised to have gotten for me this 30 Aprill 1621',
119
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. J. From Gregory the Great, Regula pastoralis, bk I, ch. xi (abridged). Oxford, Bodleian
Library, MS. Arch. Selden B. 26 (S.C. 3340), f. 34V. By kind permission ofthe Bodleian Library

120
he included one described as 'prouinciale Concilium per Cuthbertum Arch[i]episcopum
Cantuariensem, very old', and noted that it was in the hands of Mr Thomas Allen of
Oxford.^^ This form of reference might suggest that some time between 1613 and 1621
Allen himself had moved the fragmentary abridgement ofthe Regula pastoralis from the
beginning of the manuscript and placed it elsewhere, so that the manuscript would be
seen to begin in a more satisfactory manner with what was evidently an important
historical text; and it may have been in this process that the leaf bearing Allen's signature
became detached from the rest. Whatever the case. Cotton was soon able to satisfy his
lust for the manuscript, for it is entered in the catalogue of the Cottonian library begun
in 1621,^^ and it is not in the catalogue of Allen's manuscripts compiled in 1622.^** The
detached leaf appears to have been used by Allen as scrap, to separate component parts
of a composite manuscript which he had acquired from the library of Salisbury
cathedral;*' for it was as a guard or flyleaf attached to a part of this Salisbury manuscript
that the leaf seems to have passed from Allen first into the hands of James Ussher
(1581-1656, latterly Archbishop of Armagh) and thence into the hands of John Selden
(1584-1654).^'
One might prefer to suppose, on the other hand, that the leaf bearing Allen's signature
was still in its place at the beginning of the manuscript when Cotton acquired the
manuscript from Allen circa 1621, and that it was followed by the leaves which carried
the rest of the abridgement of Gregory's Regula pastoralis. If so, it would presumably
have been Cotton who decided to remove the leaves containing the now incomplete
abridgement ofthe Regula pastoralis from the beginning ofthe manuscript, and to place
them elsewhere; as in the other case, the manuscript would no longer be acephalous, and
would begin instead with the acts of the council of Clofesho, being the text in which
Cotton was evidently most interested. Again, it might have been in this process that the
leaf bearing Allen's signature was separated from the rest ofthe manuscript; and one
would then have to suppose that it passed in one way or another from Cotton's library
into the hands of either Ussher or Selden.^^ On this hypothesis, either Ussher or Selden
would seem to have considered it appropriate to place a leaf bearing Allen's signature at
the beginning of a part of another manuscript itself known to have come from Allen's
library.
Some time after Otho A. I was taken into the Cottonian library, a summary of its
contents ('Elenchus contentorum in hoc codice') would have been drawn up, by Richard
James or by one of the other assistants in the library, and placed on a blank or supplied
leaf at the beginning of the book.^^ These descriptions of the composition of a
manuscript in Cotton's lifetime can have great evidential value; and although the
'Elenchus' in Otho A. I was lost with the rest ofthe manuscript in 1731, its form can
be recovered from the descriptions of the manuscript found in the earliest catalogues of
the library.'^^
I. Liber Synodum et Canonum Cuthberti Dorobernensis Archiepiscopi literis Lumbardicis
scriptus Anno Christi .749. et Anno Ethelbaldi regis .33.

121
2. Pastoralis diui Gregorii Papae pars secunda eodem charactere.
3. Bonifacii Romanae Ecclesie in Germania legati literae ad Cudberhtum Archiepiscopum.
4. Donatio Edelbaldi Regis ad Ecclesiam de eius Exemptione ab oneribus rei publicae.
The description above is common to all ofthe early catalogues ;^^ and it is this fact which
warrants the supposition that the catalogue entries, to the extent that they were not
copied from each other, must be presumed to reproduce the wording of the lost
'Elenchus'.''* It should be observed that the abridgement of Gregory's Regula pastoralis
would appear at this stage to have been the second item in the manuscript. It is also
worth noting that the dates for the charter of King ^thelbald (perhaps prominent on the
last leaf of the manuscript) had been mistakenly applied to the first item; and it is a
matter of passing interest that the canons ofthe council of Clofesho^ and the abridgement
ot the Regula pastoralis, were considered to be in the same type of script ('Lombardic').^^
The manuscript was certainly examined in the Cottonian library by Richard James, who
for his own purposes transcribed some excerpts from the canons of the council of
Clofesho, and part of the charter of King ^Ethelbald, into one of his numerous
notebooks.''' In 1639 Sir Henry Spelman published the text of Boniface's letter to
Archbishop Cuthberht, together with the canons of the council of Clofesho and the
charter of King ^thelbald, in the first volume of his Concilia•,^^Spelman cites his source
as 'ex codice vetustissime Ms. literis Saxon.', which must be presumed to have been
Cotton MS. Otho A. I. Spelman was conscious ofthe fact that the text in the Cottonian
manuscript was to some extent corrupt, and evidently felt it necessary to make some
corrections;*^" so it is his corrected text which remains the basis for our knowledge ofthe
canons of the council of Clofesho, and of King ^Ethelbald's charter.^^

III ^
The keeper ofthe Cottonian library in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries
was Dr Thomas Smith (1638-1710), and it is to him that we owe the fullest description
of Otho A. I, published in 1696:^^
1. Synodalia gesta a Cuthberto, Archiepiscopo Dorobernensi, aliisque Ecclesiarum Christi
Praesulibus, ex diversis BritanniaE provinciis congregatis, initio mensis Septembris, prope loca,
qu£ vocantur Dobeshoas [recte C1-], anno Dominicae incarnationis D.CC.XLVII. indictione xil [recte
xv]. anno vero regni iEthelbaldi, Regis Merciorum, qui tune aderat, cum suis Principibus ac
Ducibus, trigesimo secundo.
2. Epistola Bonifacii, in Germania Romanae Ecclesi^e Legati, ad Cuthbertum, Archiepiscopum
Cantuariensem.
3. Donatio sive concessio /Ethelbaldi, Regis Merciorum Monasteriis & Ecclesiis, ut a publicis
vectigalibus, oneribus, & servitutibus sint liberae, nisi in quibusdam casibus illic expressis; peracta
anno C. D.cc.XLix. trigesimo tertio anno regni ejus, cum subscriptionibus Episcoporum.
4. Pastoralis S. Gregorii pars secunda. Tantum debet actionem populi actio transcendere Prcesulis^
quantum a grege distare solet vita Pastorts.
122
Prologus partis tertiae. Quia igitur, qualis esse debeat Pastor, ostendimus, nunc qualiter doceat,
demonst remits.
Codex sane venerabilis, literis Lombardicis exaratus.

It should be noted that the text of Pope Gregory's Regula pastoralis appears to have been
moved, from second place (in the 1620s) to the end ofthe manuscript; and since it would
appear that the manuscript was not in fact foliated until circa 1703, a rearrangement of
this kind might not have left any obvious trace.*^° One should also note the continued use
ofthe term 'Lombardic script', here applied by Smith to the contents ofthe manuscript
as a whole. ^^ Some further information about the manuscript emerges from the various
annotated copies of Smith's catalogue, whether the copies presented to the trustees ofthe
Cotton Library in 1703, or the copies which contain the working notes or corrections of
those who used them. The manuscript was 'in 4^°', and contained 64 folios.^^ Item i (the
canons ofthe Council of Clofesho) began on f. ' i ' ; item 2 (the letter of Boniface to
Archbishop Cuthberht) began on f. '26'; item 3 (the charter of King ^thelbald) began
on f. '40'; item 4[a] (Gregory's Regula pastoralis, part two) began on f. '43', and item
4[b] (Gregory's Regula pastoralis, prologue to part three) began on f. '52b'.^^ Smith
himself had occasion to change his designation of the script from 'Lombardic' to
' Saxon';^^ and Wanley gave it as his opinion that the manuscript was written in the year
specified as the date of King iflthelbald's charter (749).^^ The details ofthe text provided
by Smith under item 4 indicate that the abridgement of the Regula pastoralis, part two,
began at the beginning (II. i), and that the abridgement of part three also began at the
beginning (III. Prol.);^^ to which Wanley adds usefully that the book ended (presumably
on f. '64') with the words 'Nee quid boni quisque gesserit agnoscere, sed quid male
egerit perscrutamur'.^^ It is apparent, on this basis, that the text ofthe Regula pastoralis
was heavily abbreviated,^^ and that book III was reduced by use of Isidore of Seville's
Sententiae.^^ One wishes, of course, that those known to have examined Otho A. I for
its own sake had described it in greater detail;'** and one can but hope that further
information about the manuscript may yet emerge from the papers of any one of the
scholars who made use of the Cottonian library in the seventeenth and early eighteenth
centuries, for one does not have to work long with such seemingly unpromising material
in order to appreciate how much work was done and how much remains to be identified
in the scattered papers of this industrious fraternity of antiquaries. Among the last
scholars known to have used Otho A. I before the Cotton fire was the Rev'd John
Johnson (1662-1725), vicar of Cranbrook, Kent, who included a translation ofthe canons
of the council of Clofesho in his collection of ecclesiastical laws first published in 1720;
but it should be noted that Johnson in fact acknowledged the help in this connection of
his friend the Rev'd Samuel Jebb (?i694-i772), who provided him with a collation of
Spelman's Latin text against the Cotton manuscript.^^ The texts were printed again by
David Wilkins, in 1737, apparently from Spelman's edition.'^ Wilkins in his turn
acknowledged help received from John Walker, Archdeacon of Hereford, who had
suggested improvements to the text in certain places; but there is no reason to believe

123
that either Wilkins or Walker had worked from the manuscript itself before its
destruction.

IV
In successive reports on the condition of the Cottonian library, produced in 1732 and
1756, Otho A. I was among those marked as 'lost, burnt, or intirely spoiled';' and in
the catalogue ofthe library published in 1802, the manuscript was bracketed with several
others on the first shelf of the Otho press as no longer extant.'''* Sooner or later, work
resumed on the identification and restoration of surviving fragments of the burnt
Cottonian manuscripts, initially under the direction of Josiah Forshall, Keeper of
Manuscripts at the British Museum (1827-37), and latterly under the direction of Sir
Frederic Madden, also Keeper of Manuscripts (1837-66).'^ It seems to have been
Forshall, presumably in the 1830s, who found six fragments of Otho A. I, and repaired
them in his distinctive way, cutting notches in the parchment in an attempt to flatten the
leaves ;'^ but the texts would have proved difficult to identify, and it must have been in
some desperation that, sooner or later, they were placed with the surviving fragments of
Cotton MS. Otho C. V (part of an early-eighth-century Insular gospel-book)." In his
systematic record ofthe current state ofthe * Injured Cotton MSS. on vellum', drawn
up by Madden in 1841, the surviving fragments of Otho C. V are registered as 'In a case
ff. 60'; there is no entry against Otho A. I, suggesting that the remnants of that
manuscript had not yet been identified as such.'^ The fragments of Otho C. V were inlaid
and (re)bound in 1848,'^ and it was probably at this stage that the fragments of Otho A.
I were bound with them, after the main sequence of sixty leaves from the gospel-book.
A few years later, on 3 January 1855, it came to Madden's attention that six ofthe
fragments which had been treated as if they had formed part of Otho C. V must in fact
have belonged to Otho A. I, whereupon he gave instruction that the mistake should be
put right.^" Two further fragments of Otho A. I appear to have come to light in other
circumstances; and in June 1865, the eight fragments were carefully remounted and
bound.^^ Yet within a matter of days or weeks, on Monday 10 July 1865, the fragments
of Otho A. I suffered the indignity of further damage in the fire which broke out that
evening in the binder's premises at the British Museum.'' Madden was profoundly
distressed that the remains of manuscripts 'saved almost by miracle from the fire of 1731,
should now again, after the lapse of above 130 years, be again partially burnt'.^^ But of
course the work continued,^^ and even in their shrivelled and blackened state the eight
fragments which constitute the rather pitiful remains of Otho A. I evoke their story with
a certain dignity and power:
Fol. I. From the canons of the council of Clofesho (747), Proemium. The fragment has been
mounted upsidedown. The text on the recto corresponds to H&S iii. 362 (Pr.), lines 7-12; the
text on the verso corresponds to H&S iii. 363 (Pr.), lines 1-7.
Fol. 2. From the canons ofthe council of Clofesho (747). chs. 8-10. For a reproduction ofthe
124
recto, photographed under ultra violet light, see Keynes, Councils of Clofesho, IUus. i. The text
on the recto corresponds to H&S iii. 365 (ch. 8) line 14-366 (ch. 9) line 2; the text on the verso
corresponds to H&S iii. 366 (ch. 10), lines i-io.
Fol, 3. From the canons of the council of Clofesho (747), chs. 24-6. The text on the recto
corresponds to H&S iii. 370 (ch. 24) line 14-371 (ch. 25) line 6; the text on the verso corresponds
to H&S iii. 371 (ch. 26), lines 2-10.
Fol. 4. From the canons ofthe council of Clofesho (747), ch. 26. The text on the recto corresponds
to H&S iii. 371 (ch. 26) line 30-372 (ch. 26) line 9; the text on the verso corresponds to H&S
iii. 372 (ch. 26), lines 11-20,
Fol. 5. From the letter of Archbishop Boniface to Archbishop Cuthberht. A large part of this
fragment is not legible. The text on recto and verso corresponds to H&S iii. 378, lines 7-20.
Fol. 6. From the letter of Archbishop Boniface to Archbishop Cuthberht. The plate in CLA, vol.
ii, no. 188, shows the greater part ofthe verso. The text on recto and verso corresponds to H&S
iii. 381, lines 8-23.
Fol. 7. From the charter of King .Ethelbald (749). The plate in CLA, vol. ii, no. 188, shows the
greater part ofthe recto; see also figs. 4-5. For a script-facsimile of this leaf, made before the
Cotton fire, see further below, and fig. 6. The text on recto and verso corresponds to H&S iii.
386, lines 1-7 and 9-17 ( = BCS 178, lines 1-8 and ir-19).
Fol. 8. From Gregory the Great, Regula pastoralis, pt II, chs. iv-vi. The fragment has been
mounted back to front. The text on the verso corresponds to Regie Pastorale, ed. Judic, et al, I,
p. 188, lines 8-13 [PL 77, col. 30, ch. iv, lines 8-14], from IL iv; the text on the recto corresponds
to ibid., p. 196, lines 5-9 [PL 77, col. 32, ch. v, lines 4-7], from II. v, followed (on a new line)
by ibid., p. 202, lines 3-5 [PL 77, col. 34, ch. vi, lines 1-3], from II. vi.
It is important to emphasize that at least one fragment survives of each ofthe four texts
known to have been in the manuscript in the seventeenth century, and that in each case
the hand is apparently the same; so we may be reasonably sure that the association
between these texts originated in the eighth century. The detached leaf in the Bodleian
Library (figs. 2-3) makes it possible, moreover, to establish that in its original form the
manuscript measured roughly 245 x 160 mm; the recto is ruled for 20 long lines, with
an extra half-line to complete the text, and the verso has 19 long lines. When the burnt
fragments of Otho A. I are examined with the naked eye, it is difficult to make much of
the text, or to get any sense of the physical appearance of what must once have been a
most impressive book;^^ but they respond extraordinarily well to examination under
ultra-violet light, and it is moving indeed to watch a legible text loom up from the eighth
century with a ghostly glow (see figs. 4 and 5).

125
Fig. 4. Charter of King ^thelbald, issued at Fig. 5. Charter of King ^thelbald, issued at
Gumley, Leics., in 749. Cotton MS. Otho A. I, f. -jx Gumley, Leics., in 749. Cotton MS. Otho A. I, f. 7r
(photographed under ultra-violet light)

V
We have cause to be grateful, nonetheless, that a carefully executed script-facsimile
showing substantial parts of two leaves of Otho A. I was made in the late 1690s, by none
other than Humfrey Wanley (1672-1726). Wanley had first turned his hand to the study
of ancient scripts while serving as an apprentice to a draper in his home town of
Coventry, between 1687 and 1694, and his skill can be judged from the copies which he
made in 1691-2 of original charters and other documents supplied to him by Mr James
Fish (of Warwick) and Sir William Boughton.^^ It is also apparent that Wanley was
developing a particular interest during this period in Anglo-Saxon script and language.^'
It was probably through Wanley's associations with William Elstob (1673-1715),
126
Thomas Tanner (1674-1735), John Bagford (1650-1716), and George Hickes
(1642-1715), and after his arrival in Oxford, in May 1695, that he began to refine the
enthusiasms and the skills which make him the very model of a modern Anglo-Saxonist.
He soon found employment as an Assistant in the Bodleian Library, and made important
contributions to the collaborative enterprise which bore fruit in the form of Bernard's
Catalogi librorum manuscript or um AnglicE et Hibernice (Oxford, 1697). Spurred on, no
doubt, by this work, and also by conversations with William Elstob, Wanley conceived
the notion of assembling his own 'Book of Specimens', or 'Book of Hands', comprising
representative facsimiles of Greek, Latin and Anglo-Saxon script, selected from various
ancient manuscripts.^^ It emerges from Wanley's correspondence that in May 1697 he
was copying ' Specimens and Alphabets' into a book which he kept for that purpose, and,
indeed, it was in this connection that he made his audacious request to borrow the
portfolio of Anglo-Saxon charters from the Cottonian library, earning the rebuke from
Dr Thomas Smith that 'Truly if the mountaine cannot come to Mahomet, Mahomet
must condescend and bee content to go to the mountain'.^^ The book must have been
seen at about this time by Wanley's patron (and landlord) Arthur Charlett (1655-1722),
Master of University College, Oxford; for in early August 1697 Charlett asked for it to
be sent up to London, so that he could show it to some of his important (and influential)
friends. Wanley was naturally happy to oblige, and thus had occasion to write a detailed
account ofthe book in the form of a covering letter to Charlett, dated 11 August.^'^ He
explained the principles on which the book had been devised, and drew attention to some
of the more significant items which it contained; most of the specimens were from
manuscripts in Oxford, and in view of Wanley's recent brush with Dr Smith, it is
appropriate to find that the book seems not at this stage to have contained any specimens
from manuscripts in the Cottonian library.^^ To Charlett's evident irritation, the book
did not arrive in time for him to be able to show it to the Lord Chancellor (Lord
Somers); but he does seem to have shown it to Mr Pepys, and the Archbishop of
Canterbury was certainly impressed.^^ In November 1697 Wanley wished to compare
the script of the two late-ninth-century manuscripts of the Old Enghsh Pastoral Care,
and seems to have been obliged in this instance to commission the engraver John Sturt
to make a specimen, in what would appear to have been established as the approved style
(ten or twelve lines copied exactly, ' with the Alphabets of the great & small Letters, &
Points'), from the manuscript in the Cottonian library (Cotton MS. Tiberius B. XI).^^
In February 1698 Wanley told Hickes of his intention shortly to visit London, in order
'to view all the old MSS. I can find there, and to take Specimens of such as I shall have
occasion for';^* and his correspondence in April-May 1698 gives some impression of his
activities at Cotton House (where his presence enraged Dr Smith, who was jealous of his
skills as a copyist), at Gresham College Library (where he consulted the Arundel
manuscripts which belonged at that time to the Royal Society), at the Exchequer (where
Peter Le Neve showed him Domesday Book), and at St James's (where Dr Bentley
allowed him to see the King's Library, which Wanley found 'in unexpressible
disorder').^^ Wanley returned thereafter to his post at the Bodleian Library. He was,

127
however, beginning to tire of his failure to obtain any preferment in Oxford ;^^ and while
he may have continued to work on his specimens, and to enlarge his collection of
manuscript fragments,^' he became increasingly involved in another collaborative
enterprise, which would lead in time to the publication of Hickes's Thesaurus and his
own Catalogus.^^ Armed, on Hickes's advice, with his 'Book of Specimens',^^ Wanley
was at large again in September and October 1699, in Cambridge, preparing material for
his catalogue but also devoting some time to the making of specimens from manuscripts
in Trinity College, Bennet College (i.e. Corpus Christi College), and Emmanuel College,
and in the library of Dr John Covel (1688-1722), Master of Christ's College.^^° In
December 1700 Wanley abandoned his post in Oxford, and took up residence in London.
Hickes soon had occasion to write a letter introducing Wanley to Robert Harley, in which
he described his young collaborator as having 'the best skill in ancient hands and MSS.
of any man not only of this, but, I believe, of any former age', adding 'He brings you
his book of specimens, which I believe will please you'.^^^ Harley was doubtless
impressed, and began increasingly to engage Wanley on business of his own, though in
fact it was not until 1708 that Wanley gained secure employment as Harley's librarian.
In 1702 or 1703 Hickes found an opportunity to sing Wanley's praises to Thomas
Thynne (1640-1714), first Viscount Weymouth, of Longleat House, near Warminster,
in Wiltshire, and asked Lord Weymouth, at the same time, to make Wanley's talents
known to the Earl of Nottingham; he then urged Wanley to wait upon Lord Weymouth,
'with your book of specimens', presumably in order to advance their palaeographical
schemes.^"^ In the event, Wanley seems to have been moved or induced to part company
with his specimens. He was a house-guest at Longleat for three months in the autumn
of 1709,^^^ and some years later, in 1721, Wanley told Thomas Hearne that he had given
(or sold) his 'Specimens of Hands in all Ages' to Lord Weymouth, and had no intention
of doing more of the same.^"''
Few accredited examples of Wanley's most careful work as a facsimilist of the script
and decoration of ancient manuscripts have ever been identified,^^^ and the 'Book of
Specimens', which was evidently regarded by Charlett and Hickes as a wonder to
behold, and which might have helped to account for the reputation which preceded
Wanley in his late twenties, wherever he went, is presumed not to have survived.^**® It
should scarcely come as a surprise, however, to find that Wanley's 'Book of Specimens'
is still preserved, three hundred years after it was made, in the library at Longleat
House. ^**' The book, in a contemporary calf binding with 'Exempla Litterarum' tooled
in gold lettering on the spine, measures 380 x 230 mm, and comprises 138 folios (foliated
in a single numerical sequence by Wanley himself).^^^ The title is given on p. i (in
Wanley's hand): 'Litterarum Graecarum, Latinarum, Anglo-Saxonicarum, Exempla; ad
fidem Vetustissimorum Codd. exscripta ab Humfredo Wanley e CoIJ. Univers. Oxon.'
About 35 ofthe 138 folios bear facsimiles (a few containing 'specimens' of two or more
manuscripts), distributed in three main groups (ff. 2-19, 80-93, and 119-125, plus a
folded sheet which is not numbered), separated by leaves which remain blank. ^^^ There
are traces of pencil ruling which presumably served as a guideline in the process of
128
making the facsimiles; colour is used where appropriate; and the separate specimens are
identified by brief captions above or below, all in Wanley's hand. There can be no doubt
whatsoever that the volume is the 'Book of Specimens' described by Wanley in the letter
which he sent to Charlett in August 1697, for the details given in the letter correspond
exactly to the specimens found on the equivalent pages ofthe book at Longleat ;^^^ and
one should add that the specimens which were apparently not in the book when that
letter was written can be related without any difficulty to Wanley's further activities in
April-May 1698 (when he was at large in London) and in September-October 1699
(when he was at large in Cambridge).^^^ It is apparent, in other words, that the book as
a whole was put together in 1697-9;^^^ and as the surviving product of Wanley's
renowned skill as a copyist of ancient script, it deserves to be set beside his catalogue of
manuscripts containing Anglo-Saxon (published in 1705), and his catalogue of
manuscripts in the Harleian library (which forms the basis ofthe printed catalogue still
in use)/^^ Of course we could wish that Wanley had been blessed with the foresight,
when working in the Cottonian library in the spring of 1698, to concentrate his attention
on manuscripts which would be burnt to a crust on 23 October 1731. We should be
grateful enough, however, that while four of the seven Cottonian facsimiles which
happen to be included in his 'Book of Specimens' are from manuscripts which escaped
serious damage,^^^ the other three are from manuscripts which were all but destroyed.
One shows a passage of Greek script (Genesis XIV.17-20) from the 'Cotton Genesis'
(Otho B. VI) ;^^'' another shows passages of script and decoration from the preliminaries
to the Gospel of St Mark, with four rows of sample letters and abbreviations, derived
from the Cottonian part of an early-eighth-century Insular gospel-book (Otho C. V),^^®
coincidentally (as we have seen) the very book to which six of the surviving fragments
of Otho A. I were for a while thought to have belonged; and the third is from Otho A.
I, showing the opening of the text, and the dating-clause, of the charter of King
^thelbald, with two alphabets drawn from the manuscript as a whole (fig. 6).^^'
The history of Wanley's 'Book of Specimens' is complicated by the existence of an
almost identical set of over thirty script-facsimiles preserved in a volume of'specimens
of ancient writing' assembled in the late eighteenth century by the antiquary Thomas
Astle (1735-1803).^^^ The volume in question is now Stowe MS. io6i,^^^ and is clearly
of composite construction. The facsimiles which together constitute the original core of
a larger collection can be identified in the first instance by the use of sheets from a single
batch of paper;^^*' the facsimiles themselves are executed in what emerges on closer
inspection as a distinctive style, and are provided with captions in a copperplate script
of uniform aspect. The identity of these facsimiles as a group is confused and at first sight
wholly obscured by the fact that Astle supplemented and interspersed them in Stowe
MS. 1061 with a great quantity of other material. The additional material includes a leaf
from an early-eleventh-century antiphonal, probably from Canterbury,^^^ and various
other fragments of 'genuine' manuscripts; and it descends, as it were, to an engraved
plate illustrating the script of Anglo-Saxon charters, drawn mainly from documents in
Astle's own collection. ^^^ We also find among this material a quantity of other facsimiles
129
cloncrqo
Ijleraim que cottcmgcuc sofic
luiin uiassicudme trc
puius mufcoraiin
soTKxnum
Mv tnuxudu
pluuimo
simula~ao
nis
pQuculose disstpanx
aruca>imxcce

v^xm memoiucre

aedel&aldus
cunouG

}nccnitaxK>ri^e cmno- dccvlumi


Imjicpone'ir In loco cele&tie cuis
uoca&utuTTi- -godtTiund
in. atino aedetbaUi

6. Facsimile, made by Humfrey Wanley for his 'Book of Specimens' (1697-9), showin<f
passages of script in Cotton MS. Otho A. I (cf figs. 4 and 5), with sample alphabets. Longleat
House, MS. 345, f. 83r. By kind permission ofthe Marquess of Bath, Longleat House Warminster
Wiltshire

130
of varied origin, provenance, and quality. Two, on paper, show pages from the Lichfield
Gospels, and are of special interest in so far as they would appear to have been made by
Wanley himself, at Hickes's behest, in 1699.^^^ A few more, carefully and beautifully
executed on vellum, show pages from the Vespasian Psalter, the Lindisfarne Gospels,
some Harleian manuscripts, and Domesday Book,^^* though it has yet to be established
by whom they were made, or by whom and in what connection they were
commissioned.^^'' The main component ofthe additional material comprises a second set
of facsimiles (and associated text), devised under Astle's auspices in obvious imitation of
the earlier set, but distinguishable from it by observable differences in paper, layout, and
manner of execution. ^^^ The contents of Stowe MS. 1061 thus bear witness in their own
way to successive stages in the development of manuscript studies in the eighteenth
century, and to the methods of reproduction which had to be employed before the
invention of the photographic process.
It so happens that one of the facsimiles belonging to what is here identified as the
original core of Stowe MS. 1061 is said by Astle himself to have been produced at the
expense of Edward Harley, second Earl of Oxford (i 689-1741), and would seem,
furthermore, to have been one of a group which were thought to have been produced at
Harley's expense under the direction of George Hickes and Humfrey Wanley.^^' It is not
clear on what evidence this remark was based, and it is difficult to see how Hickes, in
particular, could have been involved in a project financed by the younger Harley. Astle
may, however, have confiated information derived from hearsay, or drawn his own
conclusions from an inscription of some kind describing the facsimiles in the form in
which they had originally come into his hands; and it would be safest to accept as a
working hypothesis simply that the facsimiles were commissioned by Edward Harley,
whether in connection with a scheme devised some time between circa 1710 and circa
1725 (before Wanley's death), or in connection with a scheme devised some time
thereafter.^^^ It would be difficult to account for the 'Harley' facsimiles, in Stowe MS.
1061, were it still the case that they had to be judged on their own merits, as the original
and unaided work of an unknown copyist operating in the 1710s or 1720s under the
direction of Harley, Wanley, or some other person; for two or three ofthe captions would
seem to represent a situation which obtained in the 1690s, yet are written in a copperplate
script which gives the unmistakable appearance of a fair copy, while the facsimiles
themselves, though presumably the work ofthe person responsible for the captions, were
plainly conceived by the eye and in the mind of someone who knew exactly what he was
doing. The discovery of Wanley's 'Book of Specimens' has, however, removed all ofthe
difificulties. The conception of each specimen is Wanley's, and Wanley's alone, working
in 1697-9; but one must now suppose that it was some time after Wanley gave the 'Book
of Specimens' to Lord Weymouth that Lord Oxford decided to commission the early-
eighteenth-century equivalent of a photocopy of the whole collection, for use in the
Harleian library, to be made not by Wanley himself but by a skilful copyist who could
be relied upon to reproduce Wanley's specimens in all of their glory, with their associated
captions.^^^ In their way, the copies are scarcely less impressive than Wanley's
clonoqo

q
miiltDRum p d o l m m p

ICnrfti p&iconrumocia -phmmio


fi"Tnau:hmatn(Jvca
5 sme uUa

Rttm TneinoRtcre

w
uius sceduhxe
anno- dccvtinm
• ^v In loco celeb-»e
dmund^ laecli
/..A^, ^*'^..
'ni. anno acdclbaldi

^?. 7. Copy, made probably by Philip Sproson for Edward Harley (Lord Oxford), in the
1710S or 1720S, of the facsimile representing Cotton MS. Otho A. I in Wanley's 'Book of
Specimens' (cf fig. 6). Stowe MS. 1061, f. 5or

132
'originals', as may be judged, for example, from the pages which represent the fifth-
century 'Cotton Genesis' (Otho B. VI),^^° the fragment of an early-eighth-century
Insular gospel-book (Otho C. V),^^^ and the later eighth-century manuscript (Otho A.
I) which remains the principal subject ofthe present article (fig. 7).^^^
It would be pleasing, if not exactly a matter of special importance, to be able to
identify the person responsible for making Edward Harley's copy of Wanley's 'Book of
Specimens', though of course the problem is complicated by the difficulty of sensing
much individuality behind work of this nature. There were many who seem to have made
it their business in the first half of the eighteenth century to copy manuscripts on what
amounts to a professional basis. One candidate, among the known and unknown options,
would be a certain John Cox, of Ross, in Herefordshire. The text inscribed by Cox on
an advertisement dated 30 January 1714, to demonstrate his particular skills as
calligrapher and pen-maker, reveals a special reason why his achievement should
command our respect:

I, John Cox, son of James Cox and Elizabeth his wife, was born at Much Mansell in the county
of Hereford, in the year of our Lord 1684, without arm or hand excepting a short stump on the
right side growing out of my shoulder, one span long with a thumb & a finger strangely starting
or growing out. Some dayes after my birth, my mother desir'd to see mee, but my grand-mother
at first did very much oppose it, but at last was prevailed upon by the importunity of my mother,
and I was brought to her, and seeing so poore a deformed object she was strangely surprised, and
with the trouble thereof died soone after. And the said grand-mother by the mother['s side] seeing
mee born so helpless, she put my Hfe into ^£30 per annum; but little after I was deprived of that,
for my father sold the writings to purchase a place in the Life Gaurds and there was poysoned.
And the said grand-mother brought mee up and put mee to the Lattin Schoole in Ross in the said
county. And by my owne industry and great paines, I have attainM to writing and making of pens,
which I doe for a livelehood. Your most obedient servant, John Cox. January 30th 1713/14.

It is interesting that this sheet, and four others to much the same effect, dated 3 February
1714. 4 February 1714, and 9 March 1715, were produced during the period of Edward
Harley's close association with Wanley, and were preserved in contexts which imply (by
chain of association) that Cox was well known to them both.^^^ It is striking, moreover,
that the advertisements produced by Cox on 3 February 1714 are written on paper which
bears the same watermark as the paper used for the 'Harley' facsimiles,^^"* indicating that
the paper came ultimately from the same source. Another of Cox's specimen sheets,
dated 18 October 1718, is preserved among the personal correspondence of Dr John
Covel, Master of Christ's College, Cambridge.^^^ But all this is perhaps no more than
a train of wishful thought; for the fact remains that evidence is lacking of Cox's ability,
or otherwise, to reproduce ancient script and decoration. There are several others who
should be named in this connection: Matthew Buchinger, who described himself as 'a
wonderful little man born without hands, legs or feet the 3 June 1674 in Germany', and
whose many accomplishments are known to have extended to calligraphy ;^^*' Elizabeth
Elstob (1683-1756), who made a superb facsimile ofthe Kentish laws in the 'Textus

133
Roffensis', which she deposited in the Harleian library some time before
who seems to have been commissioned by Wanley to make a more extended transcript
of the law-codes in the same manuscript, for the Harleian library, probably in 1719;
Daniel Hopkins, of Drury Lane, who advertised himself as one who 'transcribes ancient
Latin and French Manuscripts, and exactly imitates the Hand thereof, with the
Ornaments';^^^ and one Jeremy or Jeremiah Andrews, who appears to have done work
of some kind for Harley or Wanley.^'*'' Perhaps the most famous of all early-eighteenth-
century script facsimiles is that of the opening page of Asser's 'Life of King Alfred',
from Cotton MS. Otho A. XII, which is presumed to have been made by James Hill,
of the Middle Temple, and which was certainly sent by him to Francis Wise, for
inclusion in Wise's edition ofthe text published in 1722.^^^ It is only in comparison with
the facsimiles of other manuscripts produced by Wanley, Elstob, and others, that this
facsimile is exposed as a markedly inferior piece of work, though of course circumstances
have conspired to ensure that it is none the less important for that.
The strongest candidate for identification as the maker ofthe 'Harley' facsimiles is,
however, a certain Philip Sproson, who can be seen to have been engaged in activity of
precisely this kind in the mid 1720s. Towards the end of his life Samuel Pepys had
assembled a collection of palaeographical 'specimens' in a single volume, incorporating
detailed notes on each specimen based on information which had been supplied to him
by Humfrey Wanley.^^""^ Sproson appears to have been commissioned to make a copy of
the first fifteen or twenty items in this volume, apparently for use in the Harleian
library. ^^'^ The manner of execution and the sheer quality of Sproson's facsimiles ofthe
Pepys specimens leave one in little doubt that it was he who must also have been
responsible for the majority (if not all) ofthe 'Harley' facsimiles in Stowe MS. 1061;
moreover, the (copperplate) script ofthe accompanying captions seems to be identical to
the (copperplate) script ofthe 'main' captions on the 'Harley' facsimiles, and the paper
used in both the Sproson and the 'Harley' facsimiles appears to have come from one and
the same source.^^^ It may also be significant that further sheets of Sproson's work on
the Pepys specimens are preserved in Stowe MS. 1061, in close association with the
'Harley' facsimiles,'^"^ and that a loose page of notes on the 'Harley' facsimiles, which
associates them with Humfrey Wanley, is preserved in association of some kind with
Sproson's work.^'*^ It is the case that Sproson cannot have made his facsimiles ofthe
Pepys fragments before the summer of 1724;^^*^ so, if we may assume that not many years
separated Sproson's work on Wanley's 'Book of Specimens' from his work on the Pepys
fragments, it might follow that the work had been commissioned some time during the
1710S or r72os, whether before Wanley's death (in July 1726), or not long thereafter/''^
Following the death of Edward Harley, Lord Oxford, in 1741, the 'Harley' facsimiles
passed into the hands ofthe antiquary James West (?i7O4-72), one of his executors.^*^
They seem to make their next appearance at the sale of West's 'Museum of Curiosities',
in February/March 1773, and to have been acquired on that occasion by John Topham
(1746-1803), probably acting in this respect for Thomas Astle.^^^ It was Astle who
incorporated them in his own collection of' specimens', and who then augmented them
134
with a second series of specimens prepared in a similar way/*^^ using the composite whole
as source material for some ofthe engravings which illustrate his work on The Origin and
Progress of Writing, first published in 1784.^^^ Thus it came to pass that five lines from
the dating-clause ofthe charter of King ^Ethelbald in Otho A. I, and two alphabets of
representative letters, though not the rest of the facsimile, have done service in print
since the late eighteenth century, illustrating the transition from ' Roman-Saxon' to ' Set-
Saxon' script.^^^
VI
The justification for indulging in a detailed reconstruction ofthe history of Cotton MS.
Otho A. I extends beyond the importance of understanding its role as the mode of
transmission of a set of interesting historical texts and an expurgated version of a
Gregorian classic, and beyond the value of trying to repair the damage which all this
material suffered in the course of a rather rough ride. Quite simply, the whole is far
greater than the sum of the parts. Otho A. I was the product and is thus the enduring
symbol of a concerted programme of secular and ecclesiastical reform, orchestrated by
Cuthberht, Archbishop of Canterbury, and ^thelbald. King of the Mercians, both of
whom were acting in response to appeals made from the continent by Boniface,
Archbishop of Mainz. The context is the abiding concern of a successful missionary
archbishop for the state of ecclesiastical and secular affairs in his homeland; the
willingness of the established powers in England to understand that their respective
houses needed to be set in order if both were to prosper; and the inclination of the
Archbishop of Canterbury, and the King ofthe Mercians, to set the standards for others
to follow.^^^ The questions which arise may ultimately be unanswerable, but at least
must be asked: who was responsible for bringing the component parts of Otho A. I into
association with each other; when and where was the manuscript written; was it a one-
off production, intended for private consumption; or was it perhaps one of several copies
made of the same collection of texts, intended for wider circulation as part of a
programme of general reform ?
The person responsible for bringing together the material represented by Otho A. I
could not have assembled a collection of texts which packed a more powerful punch. He
would appear to have given pride of place to the abridged (or 'Reader's Digest') version
of Pope Gregory the Great's Regula pastoralis}^^ In its unexpurgated form, the 'Pastoral
Care' (as it is also known) had come to be regarded as the manual for bishops and others
in positions of authority over others ;^^^ and it is no surprise that it should have been
considered essential reading by all those eager to promote the cause of reform in the
eighth century.^"" It would be interesting to know whether there are any significant
connections between the surviving fragments ofthe text ofthe Regula pastoralis in Otho
A. I, and other manuscripts ofthe same work.^^^ It would also be interesting to ascertain
whether the abridgement in Otho A. I (which seems to have depended to some extent
on Isidore's Sententiae) originated on the continent, or whether it was made in England
for the guidance of bishops and other high ecclesiastics in the mid-eighth century.
135
The compiler chose to associate the abridgement of Gregory's Regula pastoralis with
a group of texts bearing quite specifically on conditions which obtained in the late 740s.
In his letter to Archbishop Cuthberht,^^' Boniface reflected on the reforms introduced
at a recent synod ofthe Frankish church, and on the need for churchmen to set their own
example of good conduct, so that they might be better able to admonish others; and Pope
Gregory's Regula pastoralis is naturally central to his exposition of this theme. He drew
his letter to a close with some criticism of certain malpractices which prevailed among
the English: widows and nuns should be forbidden from making frequent journeys to
Rome, because so many of their number fell by the wayside; laymen of whatever degree
ought not to preside over monasteries; dress was too ostentatious, and should be more
dignified; bishops drank too much, and led others into drunkenness. 'And concerning
the forced labour of monks upon royal works and buildings [operibus et aedificiis
regalibus), which is unheard of in the whole of Christendom except among the English
race: the priests of God should not keep quiet about it, or consent to it; for it is an evil
unheard of in former times.' We have seen that the collection may also have included a
copy ofthe letter which Boniface and his fellow bishops sent to King ^thelbald, at about
the same time.^^^ Boniface rebuked the King, at length, for his personal misconduct,
reminding him that it was 'not your own merit but the abundant goodness of God'
through which he had been appointed King and ruler over many. The emphasis is
otherwise on the need to correct certain malpractices. 'Moreover, it has been told us that
you have violated many privileges of churches and monasteries {multa priuilegia
ecclesiarum et monasteriorum), and have stolen from them certain revenues (facultates)...
And it is said that your ealdormen (prefecti) and companions (comites) offer greater
violence and oppression to monks and priests than other Christian kings have done
before.' The peroration is irresistible: 'Abandon vices, and be zealous in the practice of
holy virtues; and thus you will live prosperously in this world and will attain an
everlasting reward in the future.' Both letters were preserved in the form in which they
had been received in England (as opposed to the draft form, preserved on the continent);
and while letters of this kind would have gained fairly wide circulation, among other
interested parties, their occurrence in apparent association with each other might be
taken to suggest that the compiler had been in a position to draw his material from
sources close to the recipients themselves.
Archbishop Cuthberht's response was to convene a council of the Southumbrian
church at Clofesho, at the beginning of September 747, marking the inception (or so it
seems) of a period when meetings of this kind were convened on a fairly regular basis,
which extended well into the first half of the ninth century. The compiler saw fit to
include in his collection a complete text of the canons issued at Clofesho in 747, which
are not preserved in any other place, and which bear testimony to the unsatisfactory
condition of the Southumbrian church in the first half of the eighth century.^^^ The
assembled company, drawn from the various parts of Britain, had met at Clofesho to
discuss the unity of the church and the state of the Christian religion. A message of
encouragement from Pope Zacharias was read out, and expounded in English. Bishops
136
were enjoined to discharge the pastoral care entrusted to them (ch. i), and to be of one
accord with each other (ch. 2); they were exhorted to attend to their duties within their
respective dioceses, including reform ofthe monasteries (so-called) under secular control
(chs. 3-5); and they were not to ordain any clerk or monk to the order of priest without
proper enquiry as to his fitness for that office (ch. 6). Bishops, abbots and abbesses were
to ensure that members of their communities would devote themselves to reading; in
particular, the boys were to be properly trained in the schools, and the heads of houses
(rectores) were not to be so ready to put them to work that their religious education
suffered (ch. 7). Priests were to attend to their duties (chs. 8-12), and to ensure that they
could understand their divine services and expound them in English (ch. 10). The
church calendar and daily round were to be followed in accordance with prescribed usage
(chs. 13-18); kings would be prayed for (ch. 15), and Pope Gregory's day and St
Augustine's day would be observed with all due honour (ch. 17). Monastic life, and
apparel, were to be properly regulated (chs. 19-20), drunkenness was to be curbed (ch.
21), and in other respects standards were to be maintained (chs. 22-4). On returning
from a synod, a bishop was to convene a meeting ofthe priests, abbots, and others in his
diocese (parochia), to apprise them of its injunctions, and he was to refer any difficulties
back to the synod (ch. 25). The next chapters concern almsgiving (ch. 26), psalmody (ch.
27), and further aspects of monastic life and apparel (chs. 28-9). Finally, we are told how,
after a long debate, it was decided how best to reduce the envy of laymen towards
churchmen (ch. 30). In short. Archbishop Boniface's complaints had met with a
comprehensive programme of reform.
King ^thelbald had made an appearance at the council of Clofesho in September 747,
with his princtpes and ealdormen, and a year or two later he seems to have been spurred
into action on his own part. The final document in the collection is the charter of King
iEthelbald issued from a royal council convened at Gumley, in Leicestershire, in 749.^^^
The document begins with a proem to the effect that the best intentions of men are often
reduced to nothing, 'unless they are committed to eternal memory by the authority of
writing and the testimony of charters', ^thelbald, 'king ofthe Mercians', declares (in
the first person) that he has resolved to perform good works for the benefit of his soul;
for Almighty God has graciously bestowed upon him the sceptre of worldly authority,
and he must therefore repay Him freely and voluntarily out of that which he has received.
The operative part of the charter is directed towards unspecified religious houses, and
towards those who serve God within them: 'I grant that monasteries and churches
{monasteria et ecclesie) are to remain free from all forms of public taxation, and, by the
will of God, churchmen (seruientes) from all works and burdens, save only those things
which are incumbent upon everyone, and which are enjoined upon the whole people by
edict of the king, that is the building of bridges and the defending of fortresses against
enemies whenever necessary - which things are not to be refused.' At this point, the
voice changes abruptly from the first to the third person: 'But nor should this thing pass
by unnoticed, since it is most important to the churches of God: that King ^^thelbald,
in expiation of his sins and in expectation of eternal reward, allowed the servants of God

137
to have a special privilege (propriam libertatem) in respect of the produce of the woods
and the fields, and the various advantages of rivers, and capturing offish; and in order
that small gifts may in no way be exacted by officials {a subditis) from the churches, for
the secular feasting of the king and chief men (principes), unless offered in love and on
a voluntary basis; but he ordered all ofthe chief men living under his power to put down
and set aside all the impositions (tribulationes) which are to the injury or detriment ofthe
house of God - in such a way that the distinction of his kingdom might flourish on earth
with the desired outcome of events, and manifold merits might ripen in their many ways
in heaven.' The text continues with a blessing and a sanction, wishing well of anyone
who respects such good intentions, and ill of anyone who does not. The witness-list
comprises the King, Bishop Huita ('ofthe Mercian church', i.e. of Lichfield), Bishop
Torhthelm (of Leicester), and eleven prominent laymen, including Heardberht/inmflfMW
tenens, and Bercul patricius}^^ The text ends with a clause giving the date (749) and the
place of issue (Gumley).
The substantive authenticity of the charter of King ^thelbald is effectively
guaranteed by the circumstances of its preservation. It is hard to imagine how anything
other than an approved text of such an important document, acceptable to all the parties
concerned, could have been transmitted in the second half of the eighth century with the
other texts in this collection. Moreover, it should be noted that the charter expresses an
accommodation between the established powers, as opposed to a straightforward
concession. Archbishop Boniface had heard that monks had been forced to work on royal
buildings; privileges had been violated; and revenues had been stolen. In response to this
criticism, the King affirmed that 'churches and monasteries' were not subject to public
taxation (in respect of their lands), and that churchmen would not themselves have to
perform certain kinds of burdensome service; and since the lands in question should
already have been held on privileged terms, his action would have amounted to the
correction of an abuse of church privileges by secular powers, and would thus have gone
some way towards meeting the Archbishop's complaints. It is clear, at the same time,
that the King had previously had occasion to insist upon the performance of military
obligations (expressed at this stage in terms of bridge-work and fortress-duty) ;^^^ so
while there was presumably some understanding that the services in question would be
performed by persons other than the members of religious houses, churchmen must have
accepted the principle that their lands were not exempt from military obligations of this
kind. The abrupt change of person within the operative section ofthe charter is striking,
and has led one commentator to suggest that the whole of the passage cast in the third
person is an interpolation, which originated as an explanatory gloss on the nature of the
immunity granted to the churches. ^^'^ It might follow that the compiler ofthe collection
had himself been determined to draw attention in this way to an aspect of King
itthelbald's undertakings at Gumley which had not been mentioned explicitly or dearly
enough in the original text. It is arguable, on the other hand, that in the mid eighth
century a charter of this kind would been drawn up on the king's behalf by an agent of
one or other ofthe higher ecclesiastics present (in this case the Bishop of Lichfield or the
138
Bishop of Leicester), and that under these circumstances a change of person is not
necessarily fatal to the integrity ofthe text. It is as if the draftsman had simply slipped
from one mode of expression into another, in order to stress that the King's officials had
been misappropriating the produce of church lands for purposes of secular
entertainments, and that this abuse was henceforth to stop.
It should be emphasized that the collection of texts represented by Otho A. I is more
specifically 'Mercian' than 'Kentish' or 'Southumbrian'. It is true, of course, that the
collection contained a copy of Boniface's letter to Archbishop Cuthberht, as well as the
proceedings of a church council convened at Cuthberht's behest; and it might well be
supposed on this basis that the collection was put together at Canterbury.^^** The balance
begins to move, however, if it is accepted that the collection originally included a copy
of Boniface's letter to King ^f^thelbald, and it is tipped more firmly towards Mercia by
King iEthelbald's charter. We are accustomed to think of ^thelbald, by this stage in his
reign, as a pan-Southumbrian overlord, who was regarded by some of his contemporaries
as 'King of Britain': for so he seemed to Bede, writing in 731; and to the draftsman of
a charter drawn up perhaps under the auspices ofthe Bishop of Worcester, in 736; and
to Boniface himself, writing in 747.^^^ The truth is, however, that yEthelbald was King
ofthe Mercians (diocese of Lichfield), lord ofthe Middle Angles (diocese of Leicester),
and also lord of the men of Lindsey; that the rulers of the Magons^te (diocese of
Hereford) and ofthe Hwicce (diocese of Worcester) had fallen under his sway; that he
had commercial interests in London and elsewhere; and that during his reign the rulers
of Wessex, Sussex, and Kent appear to have maintained a degree of political
independence. It is significant, therefore, that the only bishops named among the
witnesses to the privilege granted in 749 were the Bishops of Lichfield and Leicester; for
the obvious inference is that the charter was intended to apply to churches in the
Mercian heartland, and in Middle Anglia, but not any further afield. ^^^ The texts in Otho
A. I should thus be regarded as essentially a 'Mercian' collection, devised for the benefit
of Mercian churchmen in the age, which extended from the 740s to the 830s, when their
interests were as likely to be discussed at church councils convened by the archbishop
of Canterbury as at royal councils convened by the Mercian king. It is impossible,
however, to decide who in particular might have been responsible for putting the
collection together in the first place, or for whom Otho A. I was intended. The leading
candidate for association with the collection, in one way or another, would be the bishop
of Lichfield,^^^ closely followed by the bishop of Leicester; but one has to admit that the
collection would have suited anyone holding high ecclesiastical office within their
extended ecclesiastical world.^^^
It would be natural to assume that the collection of texts represented by Cotton Otho
A. I was assembled some time between 749 and 757, in the last decade of King
^thelbald's reign. It is unlikely, however, that the Otho manuscript was itself especially
close to the compiler's original, given the reported profusion of scribal error in the texts
printed from it by Spelman ;^^^ in which case the manuscript might be regarded as a copy
of an earlier compilation, written some time later in the second half of the eighth century,
139
or in other words during the reign of King Offa (757-96). The script ofthe Bodleian leaf
(figs. 2-3) was described by Lowe as 'a somewhat awkward Anglo-Saxon majuscule of
a late type with a distinct Celtic flavour' ;^'^ and would now be classified as Insular Phase
II Half-Uncial (recto, lines 1-15, to cecatur; verso, lines 1-18, to illud) or Insular Phase
II Hybrid minuscule (recto, lines 15-21; verso, lines 18-19).^'^ The script-facsimile
made from Otho A. I in the late 1690s (fig. 6) shows the opening sixteen lines ofthe
charter (from the recto ofthe leaf which was formerly f. '40'), together with its dating-
clause (presumably from the verso ofthe leaf which was formerly f. '42'), and two sample
alphabets which were evidently compiled from different parts of the manuscript as a
whole. It should be compared with the first leaf of the text of the charter, in its present
badly shrunken and blackened state (Cotton MS. Otho A. I, f. 7r), represented here by
photographs taken under ordinary and under ultra-violet light (figs. 4-5). The facsimile
may not contribute much to our perception of the script, for which the Bodleian leaf is
obviously preferable, but it does convey a good impression of the layout and decoration
of the text: the rubric extending across the top of the leaf; the fine decorated initial P,
filled in with yellow and red, with red dots surrounding the letter itself; red and yellow
filling of particular initial letters in the body ofthe text; and further use of yellow filling
and red dotting for the initial h which introduces the dating-clause. Single-sheet
documents which display a comparable type of script (but not, of course, any kind of
decoration) include a charter dated 759, in the names of Eanberht, Uhtred, and Aldred,
rulers ofthe Hwicce;^'* but it would be hazardous on the basis of script alone to insist
on a bracket much tighter than the second half of the eighth century. Our understanding
of book-production during this period is compromised, of course, by the difficulty of
distinguishing the products of one centre from another, just as it is complicated by the
natural temptation, nonetheless, to resolve surviving manuscripts into tidy groups. One
merely wishes that rather more was known of activities at Lichfield and Leicester (for
example), not least to redress the balance in a Southumbrian religious culture dominated
by thoughts of Worcester and Canterbury. It must suffice to say, therefore, that in terms
of format, script, and decoration, Otho A. I appears to lead us towards the group of
prayerbooks of the later eighth and early ninth century, including the 'Harley
Prayerbook' (Harl. MS. 7653), the 'Royal Prayerbook' (Royal MS. 2 A. XX), the 'Book
of Nunnaminster' (Harl. MS. 2965), and the 'Book of Cerne' (Cambridge, University
Library, MS. Ll. i. 10).^" It is otherwise important to emphasize how highly unusual
it is at this date to find the text of a charter preserved in book form as opposed to single-
sheet form, in association with other material of a different kind. Indeed, if one were to
look for another pre-Conquest example of a royal charter accorded such treatment, one
would have to elevate one's field of vision to the so-called 'New Minster Foundation
Charter' (Cotton MS. Vespasian A. VIII), produced under the auspices of ^thelwold,
Bishop of Winchester, for the benefit of ^thelgar. Abbot of the New Minster,
Winchester, over two hundred years later (in 66)^^

140
VII
Our view of the relationship between the powers of church and state in the eighth
century tends to be dominated, for very good reason, by Bede's Historia ecclesiastica
(supplemented by his letter to Egbert, Bishop of York), and thus by his particular
conception of a decline from the golden age of Archbishop Theodore in the late seventh
century, and by his own understanding ofthe need for reform. From his monastery in
Northumbria, Bede perceived what was wrong with the condition of his world, and
responded by creating a picture of the past in a form suffused with guidance for his
contemporaries and a message for posterity; and the early history ofthe dissemination
and circulation of his work suggests that it was a bestseller as soon as it hit the bookstalls
from Jarrow to York, and from Clofesho to Canterbury. The collection of texts preserved
by the skin of its teeth in Cotton MS. Otho A. I was put together in Southumbria,
perhaps within fifteen or twenty years of Bede's death, and symbolizes a concerted
attempt by the established powers in Mercia and Kent, in response to prompting from
an expatriate West Saxon, to achieve a similar if not necessarily identical purpose. It is
Bede who commands our attention, because he was the genius who knew how to present
his message in the most effective form; but the anonymous compiler ofthe collection of
texts in Otho A. I also deserves our consideration, as one who moved in very different
circles, and as one who sought to consolidate the work of correction and reform in a
completely different kind of way. We are left wondering whether it was Bede, or our
anonymous compiler, whose voice was heard. A reader of this collection would know that
Pope Gregory the Great's Regula pastoralis was a key text in the ordering ofthe religious
life; that priests and monks should be properly educated in the knowledge of divine
wisdom, and should be able to expound their services in the vernacular; and that while
the privileges ofthe church should be respected, it might be necessary to come to some
accommodation with the secular powers. Cotton MS. Otho A. I is the symbol of a
programme of reform which had originated in a Mercian context in the mid eighth
century; which may have had a significant impact on Southumbrian religious culture in
the later eighth and early ninth centuries; and which must still have been familar in the
mid ninth century to many a Mercian priest. Given the well-trodden paths that led from
Mercia into Wessex in the second half of the ninth century, it may be no coincidence that
the contents of this manuscript seem suggestively to foreshadow the more sophisticated
programme of reform fostered towards the end ofthe ninth century, at the court of King
Alfred the Great.

* I should like to express my gratitude to the Hunt, Michael Lapidge, Andrew Prescott, Nigel
following for their guidance in various con- Ramsay, Anton Scharer, Carolin Schreiber
nections: Michelle Brown, Mildred Budny, Colin Tite, Patrick Wormald and Christopher
Richard Clement, David Dumville, Tim Wright.
Graham, Kate Harris, Karen Hearn, Arnold i London, Public Record Office, T 56/18 (Lord
141
Chamberlain's Warrant Book, vol. i),pp. 315-16, Bentley caused his son Richard to be elected a
calendared in W. A. Shaw, Calendar of Treasury Fellow of Trinity, at the age of fifteen; the son's
Books and Papers, i72g-jo (London, 1897), p. appointment as Keeper of the King's Library
333- two years later was perhaps no more than an
2 Ibid. extension of the same powers of patronage.
3 For a brief account of the Cottonian library Bentley's dispute with the Fellows reached its
while at Ashburnham House in 1730-1, written climax in 1734, when the Bishop of Ely (in his
by the antiquary William Oldys (1696—1761), see capacity as Visitor of the College) sentenced
'London Libraries', Notes and Queries., 2nd ser. Bentley to deprivation ofthe mastership; though
xi (1861), pp. 381-4, 401-4, 42i-4» 441-5 and with the Vice-Master's connivance, Bentley
461-4, at 382-3 (reprinted in A Literary remained in the Master's Lodge until his death
Antiquary: /Memoir of William Oldys, Esq.., in 1742. The full story is told by J. H. Monk,
Norroy King-at-Arms (London, 1862), pp. The Life of Richard Bentley, D. D., Master of
59-109, at 62-5), from Glasgow, Hunterian Trinity College, and Regius Professor of Divinity
Museum, MS. U. 7. 3 (no. 309). Oldys's account 111 the University of Cambridge, 2nd ed. (London,
was based to some extent on an earlier account 1833), and R. J. White, Dr Bentley: a Study in
by John Bagford (1650-1716), first printed in Academic Scarlet (London, 1965).
The Alonthly Miscellany in 1708 and reprinted in 6 The quotations are from a letter of William
GentldJian^s Magazine^ lxxxvi (1816), pt 2, pp. Bogdani to Maurice Johnson, written on 30
213-16, 317-19, 395-7 and 509-11, at 214, from October 1731. The letter is printed in A. Fox,
Harl. MS. 5900, ff. 44-52. The house itself, John Mill and Richard Bentley: a Study of the
described by Pevsner as 'the best example in Textual Criticism of the New Testament
London of a progressive and stately mid-C 17 i6js-i72g (Oxford, 1954), pp. 149-50, from a
house', remains part of Westminster School; see transcript entered by Johnson into his own copy
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of Casley's Catalogue of the Manuscripts of the
(England), An Inventory of the Historical King's Library {IJ 24)- Johnson's copy of Casley's
Monuments in London, 5 vols. (London, 1924-30), catalogue, with the transcript of Bogdani's letter,
vol. i (Westminster Abbey), pp. 85-6, with was sold at auction in 1970 (Sotheby's, 23 March
plates, and J. Field, The King's Nurseries: the 1970, Lot 25), and remains in private hands. I
Story of Westminster School (London, 1987), pp. owe this information to the kindness of Arnold
48 (plan) and 120-6, with plates opp. p. 33. Hunt and Nigel Ramsay.
4 For the history of both libraries in the first half 7 According to the official report, the fire 'began
ofthe eighteenth century, see G. F. Warner and from a wooden Mantle-Tree's taking Fire, which
J. P. Gilson, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in lay across a Stove Chimney, that was under the
the Old Royal and King's Collections (London, Room where the MSS. of the Royal and
1921), vol. i, pp. xxvii-xxxi, and, for the Cotton Cottonian Libraries were lodged, and was
library in particular, E. Miller, That Noble communicated to that Room by the Wainscot,
Cabinet: a History of the British Museum and by Pieces of Timber, that stood
(London, 1973), pp. 28-35. Dr Bentley had been perpendicularly upon each End of the Mantle-
appointed Keeper ofthe King's Library in 1693, Tree' {A Report from the Committee Appointed to
and became Keeper ofthe Cottonian Library in View the Cottonian Library (London, 1732), p.
1716 (Add. MS. 70487, Wanley Misc. no. 56); II).
his deputy in both offices, David Casley, was 8 Letter from Benjamin Aycrigg to Edward
already active in 1716. In 1725 Bentley resigned Harley, Lord Oxford, dated 23 October 1731
the keepership of the King's Library (and with (Add. MS. 70434, ff. 229r + 228v, calendared in
it, in effect, the keepership of the Cottonian Historical Manuscripts Commission, Report on
Library), in favour of his son. the Manuscripts of His Grace the Duke of
5 The dispute with the Fellows of Trinity began Portland, K. C, vol. vi (London, 1901), pp.
almost as soon as Bentley took up his ap- 40-1).
pointment, and found expression, for example, 9 The story of Dr Bentley's heroic deed was told
in opposition to the Master's plans for the in a letter from Dr Robert Freind (1667-1751),
refurbishment of the Master's Lodge. In 1723, Head Master of Westminster School, to

142
Charlotte Clayton (Lady Sundon); see J. that the Bishop of Ely intends soon to attack him
Nichols, Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth again.'
Century (London, 1812-15), vol. ix, p. 592, and 12 Letter from Thomas Baker (1656-1740) to
J. Nichols, The History and Antiqutttes of the Thomas Hearne, written from Cambridge, 30
County of Leicester (London, 1795-1811), vol. ii, Nov. 1731, referring to a letter from Roger Gale
pt 2 (1798), p. 837, n. 5. Nichols does not, shown to Baker by Dr Knight, in Oxford,
however, supply the text ofthe letter, and I have Bodleian Library, MS. Rawlinson Letters 27B
not yet managed to trace the original. It is (S.C. 15584), ff. 88-89. Hearne's correspondence
apparently not among the various collections of and diaries for the period 27 Oct. 1731-8 Dec.
letters to Lady Sundon in the British Library 1731, as printed in Remarks and Collections of
(Add. MSS. 20103, 30516), in the Victoria and Thomas Hearne, ed. C. E. Doble, et al. (Oxford,
Albert Museum (Forster Collection, MS. 503), 1885-1921), vol. X (1915), pp. 469-83, afford a
or in the Yale University Library (Osborn good impression of how the news of the fire was
Collection, Osborn fs n o ) . Bentley took refuge transmitted to and received in Oxford; see also
at Dr Freind's house for three days after the fire, Remarks and Collections of Thomas Hearne, ed.
'till he cou'd get other lodgings', according to a Doble, et al., vol. xi (1921), passim, covering the
letter written by Dr Freind, in late October or period from 9 Dec. 1731 onwards (to June 1735).
early November 1731, to Lord Oxford (below, n. 13 Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Rawlinson
11). Freind was thus in a good position to hear Letters 8 (S.C. 15574), ff- 377-378: 'This brings
the great man's tales of derring-do, though it into my mind the terrible calamity that has
should be noted that the official report gave befallen the Cottonian Library through the
credit to David Casley, the Deputy Librarian, villany of that monster in nature Bentley. He
for taking care 'in the First Place to remove the must be detested by all humane creatures, I
famous Alexandrian MS. and the Books under mean the civilized part of them. I think the man
the Head of Augustus in the Cottonian Library, that stole the Books at Cambridge by much the
as being esteemed the most valuable amongst the honester man. I beg pardon for this, but I have
Collection' {Report, p. 11). Rysbrack's bust of not been yet able to bring myself either to write
Dr Freind, at Christ Church, Oxford, so or speak on this subject with any sort of Temper
strikingly photographed for C. Brooke and or patience; I believe I never shall.' See The
R. Highfield, Oxford and Cambridge (Cambridge, Chronicle ofthe Reigns of Henry II and Richard I,
1988), p. 233, shows us the face of a man who ed. W. Stubbs, 2 vols. (London, 1867), vol. i, pp.
had witnessed the Cotton fire. xxxv-xxxvi, and C. G. C. Tite, The Manuscript
10 Letter from Dr Richard Mead to Lord Oxford, Library of Sir Robert Cotton, Panizzi Lectures
dated 26 October 1731 (Add. MS. 70434, f. 1993 (London, 1994), pp. 76-7.
23orv, calendared in HMC Portland, vol. vi, p. 14 It might be interesting to relate the damage
41). Dr Mead wrote again to Lord Oxford on 2 suffered, or not suffered, by the volumes in each
November: 'A great part of the MSS which of the affected presses to their position on the
were not burnt are so damaged with the Water shelves, in an attempt to reconstruct the overall
from the Engines, that it is necessary to take 'em effect of the fire. The books in several of the
in pieces; these they are curing in the new presses were saved in their entirety; but when it
Dormitory, and it is to be feared that many of came to the saving of books in Vitellius, Otho
them will be quite spoiled' (in Add. MS. 70389). and Galba, it seems that priority was given to the
11 Letter from Dr Freind to Lord Oxford, undated volumes of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century
(Add. MS. 70434, ff. 232r-233r, calendared in papers, in Vitellius and Galba, and that the
HMC Portland, vol. vi, p. 41): 'The great Dr medieval volumes were left longer on the shelves.
took refuge at my House in his distress, and Further understanding of the fire might yet
stay'd with me 3 days till he cou'd get other emerge from contemporary accounts of the
Lodgings. His conversation is not the most damage done to Ashburnham House itself.
polite, he made the Women Stare strangely, but According to a report submitted by the Board of
to me he was often entertaining and instructive, Works to the Treasury, dated 16 May 1732, the
but I hear he went back to Cambridge to day in damage was estimated at £574 19s i i d (PRO,
some ruffle under some intelligence he has had T 56/18, p. 393, calendared in W. A. Shaw,

143
Calendar of Treasury Books and Papers, p. 232). It was sold to Wanley by Sir Simonds
1731-1734 (London, 1898), p. 229). D'Ewes, 3rd Baronet, grandson of the ist
15 Add. MS. 18457, drawn by C. W. Wing and Baronet, in 1705-6 (letters from D'Ewes to
presented to the British Museum by Henry Wanley, in Harl. MS. 3778, ff- 186, 188), and
Gough, shows Otho B. V (Roger of Wendover) was still in Wanley's possession in 1709, when he
in two states, as a burnt lump and after the was contemplating selling it to Lord Weymouth
process of restoration. (letter to his wife, 3 Oct. 1709, in Add. MS.
16 According to Suetonius, Tiberius was poisoned, 70482). It was bought, presumably from Wanley,
starved, or smothered; Caligula was murdered; by Edward Harley, who described it as 'a very
Galba was murdered and decapitated; Otho excellent picture... painted by Cornelius John-
stabbed himself; and Vitellius was tortured to son', adding 'this picture did belong to old Sir
death. One can but assume that the busts ofthe Simonds I bought it and paid for it a very good
emperors had been transferred with the books price' (letter from Lord Oxford to Thomas
from Cotton House to Essex House (1722), and Hearne, 13 Feb. 1729, in Oxford, Bodleian
from Essex House to Ashburnham House Library, MS. Rawhnson Letters 8 (S.C. 15574),
(1730); it is rather less likely that they were f. 357). It was sold at a Harley sale in 1742 (still
transferred from Ashburnham House to the Old attributed to Johnson), and was bought by James
Dormitory, Westminster School, after the fire, West (?I7O4—72); in 1744 it was engraved by
and it is the case that they did not come to the Vertue (Tite, Manuscript Library of Sir Robert
British Museum in 1753 (Tite, Manuscript Cotton, p. 28 (fig. 10)), and was by this time
Library of Sir Robert Cotton, p. 87). wrongly attributed to Van Somer (d. 1622). It
was sold at a West sale in 1773, and would
17 In a portrait of Cotton painted in 1626 (fig. 1), he
appear to have passed sooner or later into the
was depicted with his left hand on the Genesis
hands of the Trefusis family, of Heanton
manuscript. See G. van der Meer, 'Sir Robert
Satchville, Devon, where it remains. Robert
Bruce Cotton and his Illuminated Genesis
Cotton Trefusis (d. 1778) was the father of
Manuscript', Nederlands Kunsthlstorisch Jaar-
Robert George William Trefusis, 17th Baron
boek, xvi (1965), pp. 3-15, and R. Strong, Tudor
Clinton (d. 1797), father of Robert Cotton St
^ Jacobean Portraits, 2 vols. (London, 1969),
John Trefusis, i8th Baron Clinton (d. 1832). I
vol. i, pp. 51-3, and vol. ii, pis. 92-5. For the
am grateful to Lord Clinton (22nd Baron
history of the manuscript itself, and for the
Clinton) for his most helpful response to my
spectacular process of its reconstruction from
enquiry about the portrait.
surviving fragments (and other forms of testi-
mony), see K. Weitzmann and H. L. Kessler, 18 E. E. Barker, 'The Cottonian Fragments of
The Cotton Genesis, British Library Codex Cotton ^thelweard's Chronicle', Bulletin ofthe Institute
Otho B. VI, Illustrations in the Manuscripts of of Historical Research, xxiv (1951), pp. 46-62;
the Septuagint i (Princeton, NJ, 1986); see also The Chronicle of jEthelweard, ed. A. Campbell
J. Lowden, 'Concerning the Cotton Genesis and (London, 1962), pp. x-xii; and N. R. Ker,
Other Illustrated Manuscripts of Genesis', Catalogue of Manuscripts containing Anglo-Saxon
Gesta, xxxi.i (1992), pp. 40-53- A facsimile of a (Oxford, 1957), no. 170. The surviving
page of text from the Cotton Genesis was fragments (identified, mounted and bound in the
published by Thomas Astle in 1784, the source second half of the nineteenth century) are now
of which is said to be unknown (Weitzmann and Cotton MS. Otho A. X, ff. i - i i (representing
Kessler, Cotton Genesis, p. 8, n. 14); see further ten folios of .Ethel weard's chronicle), and Cotton
below, n. 130. The portrait of Cotton is known MS. Otho A. XII, ff. 1-7 (representing a further
to have been commissioned by Sir Simonds seven folios of ^Ethelweard's chronicle, formerly
D'Ewes in 1626 (A. G. Watson, The Library of misidentified as remnants of Otho A. XII).
Sir Simonds D'Ewes (London, 1966), pp. 45-6,
19 H. Gneuss, 'Die Handschrift Cotton Otho A.
and 90, n. 295), and was admired by Humfrey
Wanley in the hall at Stowlangtoft, Suffolk, in xn Anglia, xciv (1976), pp. 289-318; H. L.
Rogers, ' The Battle of Maldon: David Casley's
October 1703 {Letters of Humfrey Wanley:
Transcript', Notes (^ Qtieries, n.s. xxxii (1985),
Palaeographer, Anglo-Saxonist, Librarian
pp. 147-55; D. Scragg, ' T h e Battle of Maldon',
1672-1726, ed. P. L. Heyworth (Oxford, 1989),
in D. Scragg (ed.). The Battle of Maldon AD ggi

144
(Oxford, 1991), pp. 1-36; and Ker, Catalogue, Gregory the Great: Pastoral Care, Ancient
nos. 171-2. A facsimile edition ofthe transcript Christian Writers, xi (Westminster, MD, and
of Asser's Vita Alfredi regis in Cambridge, London, 1950).
Corpus Christi College, MS. 100 (written 26 For the text of Boniface's letter to Cuthberht, see
apparently by John Parker) is in preparation, and Die Briefe des heiligen Bonifatius und Lullus, ed.
will include an account of the history of Cotton M. TangI, Monumenta Germaniae Historica,
Otho A. XII. Epistolae Selectae, i (Berlin, 1916), pp. 161-71
20 S. Keynes, 'King Athelstan's Books', in M. (no. 78); also printed in Councils and
Lapidge and H. Gneuss (eds.). Learning and Ecclesiastical Documents Relating to Great Britain
Literature in Anglo-Saxon England: Studies and Ireland, ed. A. W. Haddan and W. Stubbs
presented to Peter Clemoes on the Occasion of his (Oxford, 1869-78) [hereafter H&S], vol. iii, pp.
Sixty-fifth Birthday (Cambridge, 1985), pp. 376-82, and (from Tangl, with German trans-
143-201, at 170-9; and Ker, Catalogue, no. lation) in Briefe des Bonifatius, Willibalds Leben
176. des Bonifatius, nebst eimgen zeitgenossischen
21 R. I. Page, Runes and Runic Inscriptions: Col- Dokumenten, ed. R. Rau, Ausgewahlte Quellen
lected Essays on Anglo-Saxon and Viking Runes, zur deutschen Geschichte des Mittelalters, ivb
ed. D. Parsons (Woodbridge, 1995), pp. (Darmstadt, 1968), pp. 238-55 (no. 78). For
197-206; M. Halsall, The Old English Rune comments on the text of the letter, see W.
Poem: a Critical Edition (Toronto, 1981); and Levison, England and the Continent in the Eighth
Ker, Catalogue, no. 179. Century (Oxford, 1946), pp. 280-1 and 287. For
22 A. Lutz, Die Version G der angelsdchsischen English translations (omitting the passage, ed.
Chromk: Rekonstruktwn und Edition (Munich, Tangl, pp. 166/21-169/14, which culminates
1981), pp. xxvii-1; and Ker, Catalogue, no. 180. with the reference to Pope Gregory), see E.
See also P. Wormald, 'Supplementary Note', in Emerton, The Letters of Saint Boniface
A. Rumble, 'The Known Manuscripts of the (Columbia, 1940), pp. 136-41, and C. H. Talbot,
Burghal Hidage', in A. Rumble and D. Hill The Anglo-Saxon Missionaries in Germany
(eds.). The Defence of Wessex: the Burghal Hidage (London, 1954), pp. 129-34.
and Anglo-Saxon Fortifications (Manchester, 27 The Latin text of these canons is printed in
1996), pp. 59-68. H&S, vol. iii, pp. 362-76. For an English
23 G. Henderson, From Durrow to Kells: the Insular translation, see J. Johnson, A Collection of the
Gospel-Books 650-800 (London, 1987), pp. Laws and Canons ofthe Church of England, new
68-71; J. Backhouse, 'Birds, Beasts and Initials ed. (London, 1850-1), vol. i, pp. 240-6. See
in Lindisfarne's Gospel Books', in G. Bonner, et further below, pp. 136-7.
al. (eds.), St Cuthbert, his Cult and his Community 28 P. H. Sawyer, Anglo-Saxon Charters: an
to AD 1200 (Woodbridge, 1989), pp. 165—74, at Annotated List and Bibliography, Royal His-
169-72; L. Webster and J. Backhouse (eds.). torical Society Guides and Handbooks, viii
The Making of England: Anglo-Saxon Art and (London, 1968) [hereafter S, with number of
Culture AD 600-goo (London, 1991), no. 83; document], no. 92. The text is printed in H&S,
and M. Budny and C. D. Verey (eds.). The vol. iii, pp. 386-7, and in Cartularium
Cambridge-London Gospels: an Eighth-Century Saxomcum, ed. W. de G. Birch (London,
Insular Gospel-Book Fragment from Northumbria 1885-93) [hereafter BCS, with number of
(forthcoming). See further below, n. 116. document], no. 178. See further below, pp.
24 K. S. Kiernan, Beowulf and the Beowulf Manu- 137-9-
script (Rutgers, NJ, 1981). 29 See below, pp. 125 and 139—40.
25 The Latin text of Gregory's Regula pastoralis is 30 S 209 (BCS 535), for the blessing and sanction.
printed in Patrologia Latina, ed. J. P. Migne 31 S 583 (BCS 981), for the proem, elements ofthe
(Paris, 1844-64) [hereafter PL], vol. lxxvii, cols. blessing and sanction, and part of the dating-
13-128, and (with French translation) in Gregoire clause. The relationship between the versions of
le Grand: Regie Pastorale, ed. B. Judic, F. the proem in King ^Ethelbald's charter (Otho A.
Rommel and C. Morel, 2 vols.. Sources I), in King Eadwig's charter, and in William of
Chretiennes, ccclxxxi-ccclxxxii (Paris, 1992).
Malmesbury's text of ^thelbald's charter (see
For an English translation, see H. Davis, St
below), is of a kind which suggests that the first

145
was not the immediate source of the second and restricted and distinctive line of transmission in
third. England. See Levison, England and the Con-
32 Die Briefe des heiligen Bonifatius und Lullus, ed. tinent, pp. 280-1. It is the case that William's
Tangl, pp. 146-55 (no. 73); H&S, vol. iii, pp. text of the letter to King ^thelbald descends
350-6; Briefe des Bonifatius, ed. Rau, pp. 212-27 from an original which differed in significant
(no. 73). For an English translation, see D. respects from the (? draft) version preserved
Whitelock (ed.), English Historical Documents c. in the continental manuscript tradition of
S00-1042, English Historical Documents, i, 2nd Boniface's correspondence; and it is a natural
ed. (London, 1979) [hereafter £ / / / ) ] , pp. 816-22 presumption that this text represented the form
(no. 177). The letter was delivered to King in which the letter was received in England. The
^thelbald by a priest called Herefrith (Tangl, text of the letter to Archbishop Cuthberht,
no. 74; EHD, no. 178), probably the 'man found in Otho A. I, also differs significantly from
of God' whose death is recorded in the the continental tradition (see Die Briefe des
'Continuation' of Bede's Historia ecclesiastica, heiligen Bonifatius und Lullus, ed. Tangl, pp.
s.a. 747. A copy was also sent by Boniface to 170-1, textual apparatus), and is similarly
Egberht, Archbishop of York (Tangl, no. 75; presumed to represent the form as received in
EHD, no. 179). England. In other words, both letters represent
7,2, H&S, vol. iii, p. 376, note a. the (English) recipients' tradition as opposed to
34 Willelmi Malmesbiriensis Monachi De Gestis the (continental) sender's tradition; and since
Regum Anglorum, Libri Qiiinque, ed. W. Stubbs, there does not appear to be any evidence that
Rolls ser. (London, 1887-8), vol. i, pp. 79-84. Boniface's other letters to recipients in England
William's bowdlerized text of the charter of were collected and preserved with them, it might
King .Ethelbald reappears in the Crowland be supposed that the letters to King ^thelbald
chronicle attributed to Ingulf (BCS 140). and Archbishop Cuthberht had been preserved
35 Willelmi Alalmesbiriensis Monacht De Gestis Pon- together as a distinctive pair. Interestingly,
tificum Anglorum Libri Quinque, ed. N. E. S. A. excerpts from the letter to ^Ethelbald, in its
Hamilton, Rolls ser. (London, 1870), pp. 8-11. 'English' form, were incorporated by Byrhtferth
of Ramsey in his Vita S. Ecgwini, in the mistaken
36 The textual evidence cuts both ways. In the
belief that it was a letter from Pope Boniface V
preamble to the canons of the council of
(619-25) toEadbald, King of Kent (616-40); see
Clofesho, William has 'prope locum qui vocatur
Levison, England and the Continent, p. 281, n. i,
Clovesho', where Otho A. I (Spelman) had
and M. Lapidge, 'Byrhtferth and the Vita S.
'prope loca qua; vocantur Clobeshoas'; William
Ecgwini', reprinted in his Anglo-Latin Literature
omits the word 'Saxonum' in the reference to
goo-1066 (London, 1993), pp. 293-315, at
the bishops ofthe West Saxons, and it seems that
306-7. It would be merely economical to suppose
Otho A. I (Spelman) had the same error; William
that Byrhtferth drew his text from a (hypo-
gives King /Ethelbald's regnal year as 'xxxiii',
thetical) collection of material similar in scope
but Otho A. I (Spelman) had 'xxxii'. William's
to that apparently used by William of Malmes-
summary of canons 1-24 accords with the Otho
bury.
text, but his summary of canons 25-31 (cf
canons 25-30 in Otho A. I) suggests either that 38 It is worth noting that each of the separate items
he was taking more liberties with the text, or that in Otho A. I appears to have begun on a new
he was following a manuscript other than Otho folio (below, p. 123); and the condition of the
A. I, in which the concluding canons were manuscript in the early seventeenth century
arranged in a different way. William's version of (below, p. 119) is not incompatible with the
the charter of King ^thelbald differs from Otho notion that it was then in a mutilated state. R.
A. I in points of detail, though not to the extent Thomson, William of Malmesbury (Woodbridge,
that it was necessarily derived from a different 1987), p. 44, states that Otho A. I contained both
source. of Boniface's letters; but the text which he takes
37 The point proceeds in the first instance simply to be Boniface's letter to King ^Ethelbald is in
from the impression created by William's use of fact the charter of that King.
his sources, but it derives support from the fact 39 A. G. Watson, 'Thomas Allen of Oxford and his
that the texts of Boniface's letters had a very Manuscripts', in M. B. Parkes and A. G. Watson

146
(eds.). Medieval Scribes, Manuscripts C Librar- three years after the inception of work on the
ies: Essays presented to N. R. Ker (London, catalogue.
1978), pp. 279-314; see also N. R. Ker,'Thomas 46 The catalogue of Allen's library (Oxford,
Allen's Manuscripts', Bodleian Library Record, ii Bodleian Library, MS. Wood F. 26, pt I (S. C.
(1949), pp. 211-15. 8488)) was compiled in 1622 by Brian Twyne;
40 Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Arch. Selden B. see Watson, 'Thomas Allen', pp. 282 and 284
26 (S. C. 3340), f- 34: E- A. Lowe, Codices Latini (with plate 82).
Antiquiores, 11 vols. and Supplement (Oxford, 47 The manuscript in question (N. R. Ker,
1934-71) [hereafter CLA], vol. ii, 2nd ed. 'Salisbury Cathedral Manuscripts and Patrick
(Oxford, 1972), no. 229, with plate showing the Young's Catalogue', reprinted in his Books,
recto, hnes 4-11. The connection between this Collectors and Libraries: Studies in the Medieval
leaf and Otho A. I was established by N. R. Ker, Heritage, ed. A. G. Watson (London, 1985), pp.
'Membra Disiecta, Second Series', British Mu- 175—208, at 180) was registered in the catalogue
seum Quarterly, xiv (1939-40), pp. 79-86, at of Allen's hbrary (Wood F. 26, pt I, p. 10) as
79—80. See further below, n. 48. An early MS. 4to, no. 7. Allen subsequently divided the
modern inscription, comprising several words, Salisbury manuscript into two parts: the first
stood in the space between Allen's name and the two items in Twyne's description (arts, a-b)
date, and was subsequently erased; the in- became Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Digby
scription might well have contained information 173; the rest (arts, c-f) passed from Allen to
bearing on the history of the manuscript, but I Ussher (Watson, 'Thomas Allen', pp. 298-9 and
have not been able to decipher the traces which 310, n. 103), and from Ussher to Selden.
remain. 48 The leaf removed from the abridgement of
41 Allen's manuscripts came from 'some thirty of Gregory's Regula pastoralis (etc.) was attached to
the suppressed religious houses', including the first leaf of the part of the Salisbury
Abingdon, Glastonbury and Winchester; see manuscript which passed from Allen to Ussher,
Watson, 'Thomas Allen', p. 280 and n. 7. and so to Selden. This assemblage was later
42 The text on the recto is Regie Pastorale, ed. bound up between the 'Selden Carol Book' and
Judic, et al., vol. i, p. 168, lines 51-60 [PL 77, two other items. The end-product is Oxford,
col. 24/50-col. 25/7] ('Ex horum ... obscurant') Bodleian Library, MS. Arch. Selden B. 26 (S.C.
and lines 71-3 [col. 25/19-22] ('Albuginem... 3340), ff. 3-33 [carol book], with ff. 34 [detached
cecatur'), and p. 170, lines 82-3 [col. 25/31-2] leaf from the abridgement of Gregory's Regula
('Iugem... dominatur') and lines 93-6 [col. pastoralis]+ -i$-g4 [Wycliffite items from the
26/5-7] (' Inpetiginem ... dilatatur'); the text on Salisbury manuscript], and ff. 95-135 [other
the verso is ibid., pp. 170-2, lines 107-26 [PL items].
77, col. 26/27-39] (' Ponderosus ... demon- 49 For Ussher and Cotton, see C. G. C. Tite,
stremus'), which marks the end of Regula '"Lost or Stolen or Strayed": a Survey of
pastoralis I. xi. The leaf thus affords some Manuscripts Formerly in the Cotton Library',
indication of the process of abridgement, which British Library Journal, xviii (1992), pp. 107-47,
here involved leaping from one proposition to at 113-15, reprinted in C. J. Wright (ed.). Sir
the next, omitting illustrative sentences, and Robert Cotton as Collector (London, 1997), pp,
retaining the more general conclusion. It would 262-306, at 268-70; see also W. O'SuUivan,
be interesting to know what to make ofthe name 'Ussher as a Collector of Manuscripts', Herm-
'stefanus' which can be seen inscribed in the athena, lxxxviii (1956), pp. 34-58, at 35-8. For
lower left margin of the recto. Selden and Cotton, see Tite, Manuscript Library
43 This would, at least, accord with one's general of Cotton, pp. 63-4. For Cotton, Selden, and
sense of Allen's practices; see Watson, 'Thomas Ussher, see G. Parry, The Trophies of Time:
Allen', p. 289. English Antiquarians ofthe Seventeenth Century
44 Harl. MS. 6018, f. 150V; see Tite, Manuscript (Oxford, 1995), chs. 3-5.
Library of Sir Robert Cotton, p. 18 (fig. 6). 50 For an example of an 'Elenchus' by Richard
45 Harl. MS. 6018, f. 127V (no. '343'). The place of James, see T i t e , ' " Lost, or Stolen, or Strayed " ' ,
the manuscript in the numerical sequence might P- 133 (fig- 4); see also Tite, Manuscript Library
suggest that it was not 'accessioned' until two or of Cotton, pp. 60 and 66-7 (fig. 25).

147
51 For the seventeenth-century catalogues, see C. 23 and substantial extract from ch. 30) and
G. C. T i t e , ' The Early Catalogues of the Cotton 13-14 (operative parts of King ^thelbald's
Library', British Library Journal, vi (1980), pp. charter, with attestation of Bercul patricius).
144-57; T. Smith, Catalogue ofthe Manuscripts The only form of reference given to the source is
in the Cottonian Library i6g6, ed. C. G. C. Tite 'Cottoniana'.
(Cambridge, 1984), pp. 13-14; and Tite, 56 H. Spelman, Concilia, Decreta, Leges,
Manuscript Library of Cotton, pp. 14-15, 21-4 Constitutiones, in Re Ecclesiarum Orbis Britannici,
and 29-30. 2 vols. (London, 1639-64), vol. i, pp. 237-42
52 The entry in the '1621' catalogue (Harl. MS. (Boniface's letter), 242-55 (canons ofthe council
6018, f. 127V) mentions items i and 2, but not of Clofesho) and 256-7 (charter of King
items 3 and 4. The entries in the 'Scrinia' j^thelbald). For Spelman's work in this con-
catalogue (Add. MS. 36789, f. 34r), in the first nection, see F. M. Powicke, 'Sir Henry Spelman
'Emperor' catalogue (Add. MS. 36682 B, f. and the "Concilia"', Proceedings ofthe British
I33r), in another 'Emperor' catalogue (Oxford, Academy, xvi (1930), pp. 345-79. The remark-
Bodleian Library, Rawlinson D. 901, p. 102), ably detailed comments on the Concilia sent by
and in the Hanbury catalogue of 1706 (Add. MS. Ussher to Spelman in 1638 (Oxford, Bodleian
4996, f. 34v) mention all four items. Library, MS. Add. c. 301 (S.C. 30283), ff.
53 The nature of the relationship between the 23-51) do not appear to contain any remarks on
entries in the various catalogues ofthe Cottonian Spelman's treatment ofthe texts from Otho A. I;
library and the ' Elenchi' entered in the nor could I find any specific references to the
manuscripts themselves is a matter which nat- manuscript among the letters from Jeremy
urally requires detailed investigation. In general Stephens to Spelman (Add. MSS. 34599-34600),
terms, it may be the case that some of the which concern the preparation of the Concilia.
separate entries in the '1621' catalogue 57 'Crebra sit istius Synodi apud authores mentio:
(represented by Harl. MS. 6018) were drawn up recitanturque a quibusdam capitulorum rubricae:
before the insertion of (or without reference to) mihi tamen nunquam datum est vidisse aliud
the 'Elenchi'; and that other entries in the ejus exemplar, praeter hoc quod jam expressimus.
'1621' catalogue, and most ofthe entries in the Vetustum sane & Saxonicis interstinctum
later catalogues, were based on 'Elenchi' if not characteribus; stilo autem SKpe male sano &
on each other. perplexo, qui etiam (ut mendosam taceam
54 'Lombardic' seems to have been a term scriptionem) nee in sententiis distinguendis, nee
employed in Cottonian circles, albeit rather in punctis, majoribusve literis disponendis, ullam
loosely, to denote forms of script considered to tenuit legem' (Spelman, Concilia, vol. i,.p. 255).
have come to England from north Italy; for 58 The papers of Sir Henry Spelman are now
discussion of the nomenclature in other contexts widely dispersed (see S. Keynes, 'The Lost
(and the confusion to which it gave rise), see Cartulary of Abbotsbury', Anglo-Saxon
E. A. Loew, The Beneventan Script: a History of England, xviii (1989), pp. 207-43, at 234); but
the South Italian Minuscule (Oxford, 1914), pp. there does not appear to be any trace among
22-9, and S. Rizzo, // lessico filologico degli them of material from Otho A. I.
umanisti, Sussidi Eruditi 26 (Rome, 1984), pp. 59 T. Smith, Catalogus librorum manuscriptorum
114-16 and 122-6. The term 'Lombardic' bibliothecae Cottonianae (Oxford, 1696), p. 66. In
covered the types of script now known as Insular his own copy of the catalogue (below, n. 64),
Half-Uncial and Insular Hybrid minuscule Smith corrected the two typographical errors,
(below, n. 61); but entries in Harl. MS. 6018 and numbered the last item ' 5 ' . Smith had
show that the term was also appHed (for example) referred in his introduction (p. xxxv; ed. Tite, p.
to a tenth-century Irish psalter (Cotton Vitellius 50) to the removal from the Vespasian Psalter of
F. XI) and to a tenth-century Breton manuscript a charter of King ^thelbald which had formerly
ofthe Collectio canonum hibernensis (Cotton Otho been prefixed to it; and against this passage he
E. XIII). See also below, nn. 64 and 173. notes 'sed forsan inde ablata ut ponitur sive in
55 Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. James 10 (S.C. Sylloge Regiarum chartarum, sive in codice sub
3847), pp. 12-13 (dating-clause from the canons Othone A. i. ni prorsus ista longe diversa haberi
ofthe council of Clofesho, followed by text of ch. debeat'. In other words. Smith seems to have

148
realized, some time after 1696, that the charter in item in each manuscript, entered in what seems
question (S 89) had been transferred by Cotton to be Casley's hand. The details of foliation were
to the Augustus portfolio, though he also subsequently incorporated in A Report from the
wondered whether there might have been a plan Committee Appointed to View the Cottonian
to keep the charter in Otho A. I. Library (London, 1732), which also contains
60 Among their other tasks, the three notes apparently derived from Wanley's copy of
commissioners appointed to inspect the library Smith (see below).
in 1703, following the death of Sir John Cotton, 64 Smith's own copy of his catalogue is Oxford,
took it upon themselves to check the foliation of Bodleian Library, MS. Smith 140 (S.C. 15738).
the manuscripts; the total number of folios in In the description of Otho A. I, he altered the
each manuscript was recorded, and duly entered last line to read '...literis Lombardicis, vel
in the annotated copies of Smith's catalogue potius veteribus Saxonicis exaratus'. For this
(below, n. 62). In his notes on manuscripts in the change of terminology, see above, n. 61. The
Otho press (Had. MS. 7055, f. 89r), Dr Matthew term 'Lombardic' script was still used in the
Hutton, one ofthe commissioners, marked Otho later eighteenth century, but more appropriately;
A. I 'non numeratur' (as opposed to 'male see T. Astle, The Origin and Progress of Writing,
numeratur' or 'recte numeratur'). 2nd ed. (London, 1803), pp. 92-5.
61 Smith used the term 'Lombardic' as loosely as 65 Wanley's copy of Smith's catalogue is Oxford,
his predecessors, applying it, for example, to the Bodleian Library, Gough London 54 (S.C.
(Insular Half-Uncial) script of the Lindisfarne 18041). In the description of Otho A. I, he
Gospels (Cotton MS. Nero D. IV), to the underlined ' peracta anno C D.CC.XLIX ... Episco-
(Insular Hybrid minuscule) script of the Otho- porum' in item 3, and noted 'mea quidem
Corpus Gospels (Cotton MS. Otho C. sententia, annus est scripti codicis, in antiquis
V +Cambridge, Corpus Christi Coiiege, MS. litteris Saxonicis'.
197B), and to the (Square minuscule) script of 66 Regie Pastorale, ed. Judic, et al., vols. i, p. 174,
Cotton Cleopatra A. VI; see Smith, Catalogus, lines 3-4, and ii, p. 258, lines 1-2 [PL, vol.
pp. xliv (ed. Tite, p. 57) and 136, and also lxxvii, cols. 25 and 49].
his letter to Wanley, 3 July 1697, in Original 67 Wanley's addition, after '... demonstremus' in
Letters of Eminent Literary Men, ed. H. Ellis, the printed catalogue, reads as follows: '&c.
Camden Society, xxiii (London, 1843), p. 250. Capit. I. Aliter namque viri, &c. Finis libri, Nee
He may have been discouraged from using the quid boni quisq: gesserit agnoscere, sed quid
term (in relation to Insular manuscripts) by male egerit perscrutamur'.
Wanley's reply, dated 5 July 1697; see Letters 68 For what the calculation may be worth, the text
of Wanley, ed. Heyworth, pp. 63-5, and below, of part II (about 1099 lines in Regie Pastorale,
n. 64. ed. Judic, et al.) would have occupied about 55
62 This information (derived from a report on the pages of the manuscript if written in full, yet
Cottonian library made in 1703) is contained in appears to have been reduced to about 19 (fF,
the copies of Smith's catalogue which were 43r-52r); the text of part III (about 3633 lines in
annotated formally and systematically by Regie Pastorale, ed. Judic, et al.) would have
Humfrey Wanley, for the benefit of the ex officio occupied about 180 pages, yet appears to have
Cotton trustees: Speaker Robert Harley's copy been reduced to about 25 (ff. 52V-64V).
(Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Add. D. 82 69 The words 'Nee quid boni ...perscrutamur',
(S.C. 30308)), chosen for Dr Tite's facsimile given by Wanley, are not to be found in
edition; Lord Chief Justice Holt's copy (Add. Gregory's Regula pastoralis, but a search in the
MS. 46911); and Lord Keeper Sir Nathan CETEDOC database quickly reveals that they
Wright's copy (BL, Dept. of Printed Books, come from Isidore's Sententiae (E. Dekkers and
125.1.11). A. Gaar, Clavis Patrum Latmorum, 2nd ed.
63 The thicker of the two interleaved copies of (Steenbrugge, 1961), no. 1199: PL, vol. lxxxiii,
Smith's catalogue in BL, Dept. of MSS., K.R. 4. cols. 537-738), bk III, ch. xlvi, sect. 23 (col.
d, was extensively annotated before and after the 717): 'Facilius uitia uniuscuiusque quam
fire by David Casley (among others). Most uirtutes intendimus; nee quid boni quisque
importantly, folio numbers are recorded for each gesserit agnoscere, sed quid mali egerit.

149
perscrutamur.' It would thus appear that the which every Latin Reader can want no help to
person responsible for abbreviating the Regula rectify.'
pastoralis decided to make use of Isidore's 72 D. Wilkins, Concilia Magnae Britanniae et
Sententiae, a work itself based on Gregory (and Hiherniae, 4 vols. (London, I737)» vol. i, pp.
certainly known in England in the second half of 90-3 (Boniface's letter to Cuthberht), 94-100
the eighth century: e.g. Worcester, Cathedral (canons of the council of Clofesho) and ioo-ioi
Chapter Library, Add. MS. 5, reproduced in (charter of King ^thelbald).
CLA Supplement, no. 1777). I am grateful for 73 A Report from the Committee Appointed to View
help in this connection to Miss Carolin the Cottonian Library (London, 1732), p. 45,
Schreiber, of the University of Munich, who is reprinted in Reports from Committees ofthe House
working on the transmission of the Regula of Commons (London, 1773), vol. i, pp. 443-535,
pastoralis in Anglo-Saxon England. at 463. A copy ofthe 1732 report annotated by an
70 Smith bequeathed his papers to the antiquary antiquary with a particular interest in Yorkshire
Thomas Hearne, from whom they passed to (Add. MS. 24932) contains some interesting
Richard RawUnson and so in time to the Bodleian incidental remarks about the Cottonian Library
Library. Few details about the varied contents of at Cotton House, under Mr Casley; see, e.g., pp.
the Smith manuscripts are vouchsafed in the 3-4, 9-11, 15, and 139. An interleaved copy of
Bodleian ' Summary Catalogue' (S.C, the report, incorporating a fair copy of a record
15608-15750). Hearne's own catalogue of the ofthe state ofthe manuscripts in 1866, prepared
manuscripts, based on the itemized lists of by Sir Frederic Madden (below, n. 84), is
contents which he had placed at the beginning of reproduced in Smith, Catalogue, ed. Tite, in the
each volume, but following an old numbering, unpaginated section at the end of the book. For
is MSS. Hearne's diaries 151-152 (S.C. the report produced in 1756, see A. Prescott,
15274-15275). The late-eighteenth- or early-
' "Their Present Miserable State of Cremation":
nineteenth-century handwritten catalogue
the Restoration of the Cotton Library', in
(Oxford, Bodleian Library, Library Records c.
Wright (ed.), Sir Robert Cotton as Collector, pp.
1162-3), also based on Hearne's lists, follows the
391-454, at 397-8 and 435-9 (Appendix i).
current numbering, and is thus more convenient
74 J. Planta, A Catalogue ofthe Manuscripts in the
to use. Several of the volumes contain Smith's
Cottonian Library, deposited in the British Mu-
working notes on material in the Cottonian
seum (1802), p. 365: MSS. Otho A. I-XI are
collection (e.g. MSS. Smith 95, 102, i n , 120
marked 'desiderantur'. For Pianta's own con-
and 124), but I have not noticed anything in
tribution, in the 1790s, to the process of the
them which bears usefully on the reconstruction
restoration of damaged manuscripts, ,5ind the
of Otho A. I.
preservation of surviving fragments, see Prescott,
71 See J. Johnson, A Collection of all the 'Restoration ofthe Cotton Library', pp. 400-3.
Ecclesiastical Laws, Canons, Answers, or Rescripts, 75 The importance of Forshall's work in the 1820s
with other Memorials concerning the Government, and 1830S is emphasized by Prescott,
Discipline and Worship ofthe Church of England, 'Restoration ofthe Cotton Library', pp. 405-7-
2 vols. (London, 1720), vol. i, p. lxvii (naming Madden took over from Forshall in April 1837,
' M r T e b b \ recte Jebb). At the end of the and was soon himself at work on the burnt
translation Johnson remarks: 'N.B. Sir H.S.'s Cotton fragments; see Miller, That Noble Cabi-
printed Copy varies from the Cotton MS. (Otho net, p. 35 [-6], n. 2, and Prescott, 'Restoration of
A. I.) in about 150 Particulars, all these the Cotton Library', pp. 408-10.
Variations, excepting those above observed, 76 See Prescott, 'Restoration of the Cotton Li-
which are near 20, seem to me to be proper brary', p. 427. The six leaves in question are
obvious Emendations made by Sir H.S. of a very Cotton Otho A. I, ff. 1-4 and 6-7 (ibid., p. 452,
unaccurate Transcript, tho' the only one we n. 299).
have. Generally speaking. Sir H.S.'s Corrections 77 See below, n. 80.
are only of gross Mis-spellings, therefore I did 78 Add. MS. 62576, ff. 6ir-62v, at 6iv (Otho A. I)
not think it worth while to take Notice of them, and 62r (Otho C. V). Add. MS. 62576 comprises
no more than of those which were printed various notes and records concerning the res-
without Correction, which are very many; but toration of the Cottonian manuscripts in the

150
nineteenth century; for a list of its contents, cited in previous note), listing Otho A. I among
rearranged in chronological order, see Prescott, the twelve Cottonian manuscripts affected; see
'Restoration ofthe Cotton Library', pp. 439-40 also his draft report to the Trustees, dated 12
(Appendix 2). July 1865 (Add. MS. 62041, ff. 36v-38r).
79 Otho C. V is included in a list of manuscripts 84 See Madden's definitive record of the condition
inlaid and bound by Madden's assistant, Henry ofthe manuscripts in 1866, in Add. MS. 62578
Gough, in 1848 (Add. MS. 62576, f. 42V); cf. ('List of the Cottonian Manuscripts injured or
Madden's addition, 'Inlaid and rebound 1848', destroyed in 1731, and their present state of
in Add. MS. 62576, f. 62r. restoration, under the direction of Sir F.
80 Diary of Sir Frederic Madden, for Wednesday 3 Madden, Keeper of the MSS. 1866'), f. 84r:
January 1855 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Eng. 'Otho A. I. Only eight leaves remain, four of
hist. c. 168 (S.C. 39789); BL, Facs. *ioi2/3o): which belong to the first article, two to the
*I discovered today that six leaves (injured by second, one to the third, and one to the fourth.
the fire of 1731) of the Cottonian MS. Otho A. They are all much burnt and discoloured. They
L had been bound up by mistake with Otho C. were further injured in the fire which occurred
V. I ordered this to be set right.' Madden's on the binder's premises, 10 July 1865.' Fair
'Memoranda of the Monthly Reports of the copies of this record were made, in the form of
Gentlemen employed in the Department of interleaved and annotated copies of the 1732
Manuscripts 1837-1855', for January 1855 Report (Prescott, 'Restoration of the Cotton
(Add. MS. 62020, f. 86r), reveal further that it Library', p. 450, n. 254, and p. 454, n. 346):
was N. E. S. A. Hamilton, one of his assistants, one remained in the departmental reference
who when working on Otho C. V realized that library (and is reproduced in Smith, Catalogue,
six of the fragments belonged to Otho A. I; see ed. Tite); the other was placed in the Reading
also Madden's 'Drafts of my Reports as Keeper Room in June 1866, and is now Add. MS.
of the Department of Manuscripts, British 62573-
Museum, 1854-1856', for 10 January 1855 (Add. 85 CLA, vol. ii, no. 188 (with plate showing parts of
MS. 62035, f. 42v). ff. 6v and 7r, as noted above). It should be noted
81 See Madden's record of work on the restoration that the quality ofthe plate in the second edition
of the Cottonian manuscripts, in Add. MS. of CLA, vol. ii, is not as good as that of the
62577 (*List of the Cottonian MSS. with the original plate in the first edition (1935).
progress made in repairing, binding and inlaying 86 These facsimiles, executed on vellum, are
ofthe Collection, from the year 1839'), f. i8v: preserved in Harl MS. 7505. For Fish, see
'Otho A. I. Eight leaves only remain, inlaid and Letters of Wanley, ed. Heyworth, no. i ; for
bound 1865.' See also the interleaved copy of the Boughton, see ibid., no. 141.
1732 Report, which Madden had presented to 87 Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Eng. bibl. c. 3
the library in 1845 (and which he also used to (S.C. 33184), contains the Lord's Prayer in 49
maintain a record of his work), now Add. MS. languages, various alphabets, and several
62572, f. 39v: 'Otho A. I. Eight leaves only examples of texts in Old English (among them
remain of this volume, much injured and the Coronation Oath); according to a note on p.
contracted; containing fragments of arts. 2-4. 4, 'All that is contein'd in this volume was
Inlaid and bound June 1865.' See further below, written by Mr Humfrey Wanley in the Time of
n. 84. his Apprentice-ship at Coventry, and since that
82 There is a vivid account of the fire in Madden's given to me by himself on June 22nd 1697.
diary, for Monday 10 July 1865 (Oxford, William Elstob.' Further evidence of Wanley's
Bodleian Library, MS. Eng. hist. c. 178 (S.C. early interest in alphabets of all kinds is provided
39799)i BL» Facs. *ioi2/4o); see also Prescott, by the tables in Harl. 6030, ff. 15-18 and 20.
'Restoration ofthe Cotton Library', pp. 419—21, 88 A notebook kept by Wanley in the 1690s contains
and, for a different perspective, E. Miller, Prince a memorandum by Wanley, dated 17 Jan. 1697,
of Librarians: the Life and Times of Antonio which suggests that the 'Book of Specimens'
Panizzi of the British Museum (London, 1967; arose directly from his conversations with
reprinted 1988), p. 280. William Elstob about 'Alphabets'. See Harl.
83 Madden's diary for Tuesday 11 July 1865 (as MS. 6466,ff".87-88, cited (in part) in Letters of
ey, ed. Heyworth, p. 67, n. i. The alphabets ed. Harris, pp. 253, 269, and 283), preserved in
were to be copied direct from manuscripts; they Stowe MS. 1060, f 7r, and engraved by Michael
were to be engraved 'by either Mr Sturt or Mr Burghers (above, n. 88, and below, n. n o ) for
Burghers who are the two only men in England Hickes, Thesaurus (below, n. 98), pt I, p. 3, For
capable of engraving Plates of this nature to any Sturt himself, see above, n. 88, and A. Heal, The
tolerable degree of Perfection'; and the product English Writing-Masters and their Copy-Books
was to be 'a small & portable book, which may 1570-1800: a Biographical Dictionary ^ a
be easily carried along on a Journey, or into a Bibliography (London, 1931), p. 106.
Library', as opposed to a 'Table' hanging on a 94 Letters of Wanley, ed. Heyworth, no. 44; see also
wall. ibid., no. 45.
8Q Letters of IVanley, ed. Heyworth, nos. 31-2 95 Letters of Wanley, ed. Heyworth, nos. 46-9. In
(Wanley to Hickes, 23 and 30 May 1697) and May 1698 Wanley reported to Charlett (no. 48)
33-4 (Wanley to Smith, 30 May and 20 June that his intention with Domesday Book, and
1697); A Chorus of Grammars: the Correspon- other manuscripts in the Exchequer, was 'to
dence of George Hickes and his Collaborators copy their several Hands exactly', but he feared
on the Thesaurus linguaruni septentrionalium, ed. that he might be interrupted by the noise. On 28
R. L. Harris (Toronto, 1992), no. 31 (Hickes to Jan. 1699 Hickes asked Wanley for specimens
Wanley, 26 May 1697); H. Ellis, Original Letters from Domesday Book and from the Red Book of
of Eminent Literary Men (London, 1843), no. 105 the Exchequer, saying ' I know you have them in
(Smith to Wanley, 8 June 1697). your book of Alphabets' {Chorus of Grammars,
90 Letters of Wanley, ed. Heyworth, pp. 67-71 (no. ed. Harris, no. 108); on 5 Feb. Wanley promised
37)- to send 'the Alphabets of Domes-day-book',
91 Wanley had visited the Cottonian library for the adding that he had no specimens from the Red
first time in April 1695. He was shown various Book (ibid., no. 109; Letters of Wanley, ed.
choice manuscripts, and spent some time Heyworth, no. 61); on 14 Feb. Wanley sent
transcribing part of the OE poem Judith in Hickes his specimen of Domesday Book, ex-
cusing its poor quality on grounds of the
Cotton MS. Vitellius A. XV; see Letters of
'continual disturbance in the Exchequer',
Wanley, ed. Heyworth, no. 6 (Wanley to Tanner,
adding a postscript five days later to the effect
19 Apr. 1695).
that he could not remove the specimen until
92 Charlett to Wanley, 17 Aug., 26 Aug. and 20
now, because the Master (Charlett) had the book
Oct. 1697, in Add. MS. 70476. In the letter of 20
'in his Study' [Chorus of Grammars, ed. Harris,
Oct., Charlett remarks: 'I have shewd my Lord no. i i i ) ; o n 2 4 F e b . , Hickes thanked Wanley for
of Canterbury this Evening your Collection of the specimen (ibid., no. 113).
Alphabets, his grace is extremely pleased with
the accuracy and Beauty of them, and enquired 96 Letters of Wanley, ed. Heyworth, nos. 59 and 72;
very kindly after you, your name being on other Chorus of Grammars, ed. Harris, no. 102.
Accounts known to His Grace: He wishes you 97 Letters of Wanley, ed. Heyworth, pp. 123-4 (no.
good successe, in your studdys, and advises, you 63) and 159 (no. 75). John Bagford (above, n. 3)
should be carefull of your Eys.' See also Letters was well aware of Wanley's specimens, but was
of Wanley, ed. Heyworth, p. 67, n. i. more impressed by his vast collection of manu-
93 Letters of Wanley, ed. Heyworth, nos. 40-2. script fragments {Gentleman's Magazine, Ixxxvi
Tiberius B. XI was almost completely destroyed (1816), pt 2, pp. 509-10, from Harl MS. 5900, f.
in the Cotton fire. For the surviving fragments 5ir), perhaps because he had helped Wanley put
(including a leaf detached from the manuscript it together.
before 1731), see The Pastoral Care, ed. N. R. 98 G. Hickes and H. Wanley, Antiquae Litteraturae
Ker, Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile, vi Septentrionalis Lihri Duo (Oxford, 1703-5), of
(Copenhagen, 1956), pp. 12-15, with plates, and which the first volume comprised G. Hickes,
Ker, Catalogue, no. 195. An alphabet compiled Linguarum Vett. Septentrionalium Thesaurus
from the script of the OE Pastoral Care in Grammatico-Criticus et Archaeologicus (Oxford,
Tiberius B. XI is included in a page showing i7O3^5)> in fhree parts, with G. Hickes,
'Alphabeta Anglo-Saxonica e variis Codd. Dissertatio Epistolaris (Oxford, 1703) and A.
M S S . ' , drawn by Wanley {Chorus of Grammars, Fountaine, Numismata Anglo-Saxonica £5*
Anglo-Danica Breviter Illustrata (Oxford, Wright, 'Humfrey Wanley: Saxonist and
1705), and of which the second vokime Library-Keeper', Proceedings of the British
comprised H. Wanley, Librorum Vett. Sep~ Academy,, xlvi (1961), pp. 99-129, at 106, n. 7;
tentrionalium^ qui in Anglite Bibliothecis Letters of Wanley^ ed. Heyworth, p. 67, n. i ;
extant...Catalogus Hhtorico-Criticus (Oxford, and Chorus of Grammars, ed. Harris, p. 277, n.
1705)- 7. For an expert and sensitive assessment of
99 In ? August 1699, Hickes wrote to Wanley: Wanley's work in a wider context, based on
' I hope you'l carry your book of specimens published facsimiles presumed to have been by
with you and shew it to these gentlemen I him, see M. B. Parkes, 'Archaizing Hands in
have written to about you, and your English Manuscripts', in J. P. Carley and
businesse' (CAortt^ of Grammars, ed. Harris, no. C. G. C. Tite (eds.). Books and Collectors
129). 1200—I yoo: Essays for Andrew Watson
100 Letters of Wanley^ ed. Heyworth, nos. 64-7. (London, 1997), pp. 101-41, at 127 and 130.
Wanley's descriptions of Cambridge 107 Longleat House, MS. 345. I am most grateful
manuscripts, made in 1699, are in Harl. MS. to Dr Kate Harris, Librarian and Archivist at
7055, ff. 125-147. Longleat, for her good offices in this con-
101 Chorus of Grammars^ ed. Harris, no. 190, dated nection.
23 April 1701. 108 Page [i.e. folio] 3, which is said in Wanley's
102 Ibid., no. 314. The letter is undated, but is letter to Charlett (above, n. 90) to have
addressed to Wanley in lodgings which he contained 4 specimens taken from Mabillon, is
occupied in 1702-3. now missing, and was presumably removed
103 For Wanley's sojourn at Longleat, see the batch from the book by Wanley himself; the foliation
of letters to his wife Anna, i Aug.-3i Oct. passes directly from 2 to 4.
1709, in Add. MS. 70482; see also Letters of 109 The paper seems to be entirely uniform, as if
Wanley^ ed. Heyworth, pp. xix and xxxiii. In the book had been made up in advance. The
the first of the letters (i Aug.) Wanley asked his watermark is a variation of a common device
wife to send him 'a little longish & narrow (Strasbourg Lily); cf. W. A. Churchill,
Paper book of mine opening like a Music book, Watermarks on Paper in Holland, England,
which is in my Closet upon the lowest shelf, or France, Etc, in the XVH and XVIII Centuries
the lowest but one', which Lord Weymouth and their Interconnections (Amsterdam, 1935),
wanted to see; but it is not clear what this book no. 403, etc., and E. Heawood, Watermarks,
might have been. On 12 Sept. he reported: 'My Mainly of the ijth and i8th Centuries
Lord is very kind to me, and I hold forth now (Hilversum, 1950), no. 1785, etc. The counter-
and then a Merry Story at Table, before all the mark is *II'.
Lords & Ladies, as if I were among my equals.' n o Wanley refers, for example, to the inclusion of
104 Diary of Thomas Hearne, 26 Aug. 1721: 'He ' some specimens that Dr Mill had procured Mr
[sc. Wanley] told me what he did formerly by Newton & Burghers to copy from some MSS.
way of Specimens of Hands in all Ages my abroad, which are in pag. 2 and pag. 14'.
Lord Weymouth had from him, and that he 'Abroad', in this context, presumably means
hath no Design of doing more that way, & that 'not in Oxford'. Dr John Mill (1645-1707), of
he hath no time to print any thing' {Remarks St Edmund Hall, Oxford, was a renowned
and Collections of Thomas Hearne, ed. Doble, et biblical scholar, and friend of Bentley (above,
ai, vol. vii (1906), p. 272). n. 6); Michael Burghers (1648-1727) became
105 For copies of charters made in the early 1690s, Engraver to the University of Oxford in 1694,
see above, n. 86 (Harl. MS. 7505); for two working for Mill, Hickes, and others; 'Newton'
specimens made from the Lichfield Gospels, has not been identified. Longleat MS. 345, f. 2,
see below, n. 123 (Stowe MS. 1061, ff. 39-40). includes a 'Specimen Newtonianum', among
106 Cf. D. C. Douglas, 'Humphrey Wanley', in his various other items. Longleat MS. 345, f. 14,
English Scholars (l^ondon,, 1939), pp. 120-47, ^^ includes items credited to Newton and
145; K. Sisam, 'Humfrey Wanley', in his Burghers, again among others. One of the
Studies in the History of Old English Literature Newtonian items on f. 14 is headed 'Codex
(Oxford, 1953), pp. 259-77, at 273-4; C. E. MS. Paralipom. qui Theodor Archiep. Cant.

153
fuisse fertur...Specimen originale e Codice 114 'Titus C 16', recte Titus C. XV [Greek gospel-
descripsit Clariss. D. Isaac Newton, ex quo hoc book] (Longleat MS. 345. f- 1°); Claudius C. V
iterum descripsi'. The manuscript in question [Lincolnshire survey] (f. 86); Caligula A. VII
was presumably Cambridge, University Li- [Heliand, lines 238-60] (f. 119); and Nero D.
brary, MS. Ff.1.24 (Chronicles, etc.), which is IV [Lindisfarne Gospels] (f. 121). For Titus C.
one of a group of manuscripts which came to be XV, see Letters of Wanley, ed. Heyworth, p. 66,
associated in the sixteenth century with Arch- n. 6.
bishop Theodore, on which see P. Easterhng, 115 Longleat MS. 345, f. 4 (lower half). For the
' Before Palaeography; Notes on Early 'Cotton Genesis', see above, n. 17; see further
Descriptions and Datings of Greek below, n. 152.
Manuscripts', in K. Treu (ed.), Studia 116 Longleat MS. 345, f. 84. For this gospel-hook,
Codicologica, Texte und Untersuchungen zur see above, n. 23; see further below, n. 152. A
Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur, cxxiv sequence of thirteen runes was copied in pencil,
(Berlin, 1977), pp. 179-87, at 183-6. Wanley presumably by Wanley, in Longleat MS. 345, f.
was less easily fooled in 1699 than Isaac Newton 138V, with reference to 'pag. 4 1 ' (of an
seems to have been on an earher occasion; see unspecified manuscript). Remarkably, the same
Letters of Wanley, ed. Heyworth, no. 64. inscription was engraved by Burghers for
111 In a letter to Charlett, dated 2 Sept. 1699, inclusion in Hickes, Thesaurus, pt III
Wanley indicated his intention to take a ('Grammatical Islandicse Rudimenta'), pi. Ill,
specimen of the script in a Greek psalter, in with the caption 'e Cod. Cottoniano, Otho C. 5.
Emmanuel College, Cambridge {Letters of p. 4 1 ' ; so it would appear that Wanley had
Wanley, ed. Heyworth, no. 64). The specimen noticed this inscription on a page in the Gospel
in question is Longleat MS. 345, f. 13. It of St Matthew, and communicated it to his
emerges from another letter to Charlett (ibid., collaborators. The significance of the inscrip-
no. 66) that Wanley was especially impressed tion requires further investigation.
by the Eadwine Psalter, in Trinity College 117 Longleat MS. 345, f. 83.
(MS. R. 17. i). The facsimiles from this 118 For Astle, see The Liber Vitae of the New
manuscript in the 'Book of Specimens' show Minster and Hyde Abbey, Winchester, ed. S.
the Eadwine portrait (Longleat MS. 345, folded Keynes, Early English Manuscripts in Fac-
leaf) and the Pater noster (Longleat MS. 345, f. simile, xxvi (Copenhagen, 1996), pp. 75-8.
125); cf. T. A. Heslop and D. McKitterick, 119 C. O'Conor, Bibliotheca MS. Stowensis: a
' T h e History of the Eadwine Psalter', in M. Descriptive Catalogue ofthe Manuscripts in the
Gibson, et al. (eds.), The Eadwine Psalter Stowe Library, 2 vols. (Buckingham, 1818-19),
(London, 1992), pp. 193-208, at 201. vol. ii, pp. 177-86; Catalogue of the Stowe
112 It should be noted in this connection that the Manuscripts in the British Museum, 2 vols.
captions for certain of the specimens in (London, 1895-6), vol. i, p. 684.
Longleat MS. 345 refer to manuscripts penes 120 Stowe MS. 1061, ff. 2-10,12,14-16, 22, 24, 29,
Dr John Covel, Master of Christ's College, 32-36, 38, 44, 48, 50-51, 58-59. 92-93. 3nd
Cambridge, from 1688 to 1722, John Luke, 95-97; Stowe MS. 1060, ff. 14 and 28, are two
Professor of Arabic at Cambridge from 1685, further leaves ofthe same set. For Stowe MS.
who died in 1703 (C. E. Wright, Fontes 1061, ff. 28, 70, and 123-124, see further below,
Harleiani (London, 1972), p. 229), and John n. 145. The watermark is a variation of the
Moore, styled Bishop 'of Norwich', an office he 'Strasbourg Lily', with the initials 'LVG'
held from 1691 to 1707, before his translation (Lubertus van Gerrevink); the counteraiark
to Ely (1707-14). comprises the initials ' I V (Jean Villedary). Cf.
Churchill, Watermarks, pp. 14, 21-2, 40-1, and
113 Wanley's ' Catalogus Major Bibliothecae
no. 406, etc.; and Heawood, Watermarks, nos.
Harleianae\ compiled in 1701 x 1708, is Add.
1809-10 and 1817, etc. See also P. Gaskell,
MSS. 45699-45700. Wanley's 'Catalogus
'Notes on Eighteenth-Century British Paper',
Brevior', compiled in 1708-26, covering Had.
The Library, xii (i957)> PP- 34-42, at 37, and,
MSS. 1-2407, is Add. MSS. 457Oi-457O7-
for the use ofthe initials ' L V G ' on Dutch and
Wanley's catalogue of the Harleian charters is
English paper in the eighteenth century, J. N.
Add. MS. 457II-

154
Balston, The Elder James Whatman: England's countermark identifies the maker as J[ames]
Greatest Paper Maker (i702-i7sg), 2 vols. Whatman (the younger), indicating that the
(West Farleigh, 1992), vol. ii, pp. 269-72. paper was made probably in the 1760s or 1770s.
121 Stowe MS. 1061, f. 125, described in the The leaves in Stowe MS. 1061 which constitute
catalogue ofthe Stowe manuscripts (1895) as a the second set are as follows: ff. i (title-page for
'leaf from a 12th cent. Antiphonal, with musical the whole collection), n , 20-21, 23, 25-27, 31,
pneums'; for the note written by Astle across 37, 41, 45-47, 49, 52-57, 60-65, ?66, 67-69,
the top of the leaf, cf. his note in Stowe MS. 71-72, 74-78, ?79, 80-81, 84-89, 91 (the
944, f. 5or. Two bifolia from the same colophon from Little Domesday Book), 94,
antiphonal are in Burney MS. 277, ff. 69-70 98-101, ?IO2-IO3, 105-109, 126, etc.; also
and 71-72, probably derived by the Rev. leaves in Stowe MS. 1060, passim. The
Charles Burney (d. 1814) from Astle's facsimiles are from manuscripts in the British
collections; I owe this information to the Museum (Royal, Cottonian and Harleian
kindness of Dr Michelle Brown (letter, 4 Oct. collections), the Chapter House at Westminster,
Lambeth Palace, the Bodleian Library, Astle's
1993)-
own collection, and Corpus Christi College,
122 Stowe MS. 1061, f. 73, from Astle's Origin and
Cambridge. Many of the blank leaves
Progress of Writing, pi. XXI. The charters in
interspersed among the facsimiles when they
question are now among the Stowe Charters in
were bound for Astle have the same watermark.
the British Library.
123 Stowe MS. 1061, ff. 39-40. Wanley had first 127 See below, n. 152.
seen the Lichfield Gospels (also known as the 128 Robert Harley did not die until 1724; but to
Gospels of St Chad) in 1695; see Letters of judge from Wanley's diary and correspondence
Wanley, ed. Heyworth, no. 4. It is apparent the library was effectively under Edward's
that Hickes was expecting to receive a control from c, 1711 (see The Diary of Humfrey
'specimen' ofthe gospel-book from Wanley in Wanley 171^-1726, ed. C. E. Wright and R. C.
1699 {Chorus of Grammars, ed. Harris, no. 121), Wright, 2 vols. (London, 1966), vol. ii, p. 450,
and that he had received it by 1700 (S. Keynes, and Letters of Wanley, ed. Heyworth, p. xx).
'The Discovery and First Publication of the Wanley died in July 1726.
Alfred Jewel', Somerset Archaeology: and Natu- 129 In the following concordance, designed to show
ral History, cxxxvi (1992), pp. 1-8, at 3). One of how the appearance of Wanley's 'Book of
the facsimiles (Stowe MS. 1061, f. 39) shows Specimens' can be reconstructed, in the British
the portrait of St Luke (MS., p. 218), and is Library, from the leaves of Harley's copy now
clearly the source of the engraving in Hickes, redistributed in Stowe MS. 1060-1, W =
Thesaurus, 'Prsefatio', opp. p. viii. The other Wanley's 'Book of Specimens' (Longleat
(Stowe MS. 1061, f. 40) shows the initial page House, MS. 345), cited by its original foliation,
to St Luke (MS., p. 221), and was used by and H = the 'Harley' facsimiles in Stowe MS.
Hickes for his remarks on script in Thesaurus, 1061 (plus two leaves in Stowe MS. 1060), cited
pt II, p. 2. by their present foliation, with cancelled
124 Stowe MS. 1061, ff. 19 (from Cotton MS. original foliation in square brackets (where
Vespasian A. I), 30 (Harl. MS. 2788), 42-43 legible). W i (title-page); W 2 = H (Stowe
(Cotton MS. Nero D. IV), 82-83 (Harl. MS. 1060) 14 [2]; W 3 is missing; W 4 = H 2 [4];
2820), 90 (Domesday Book, showing the W 5 = H 5 [5]; W 6 = H 16 [6]; W 7 = H 24
opening page of the survey of Surrey), 104 [7]; W 8 = H 12 [8]; W 9 = H 6 [9]; W lo =
(Harl. MS. 1319), n o (Harl. MS. 4866), and H 4 [ i o ] ; W II = H 3 [ i i ] ; W 12 = H i 4 [ i 2 ] ;
III (Harl. MS. 2278). W 13 = H 15 [13]; W 14 = H 7 [14]; W 15 =
125 The facsimile ofthe page from Domesday Book H 8 [15]; W i 6 = H 9 [16]; W 17-18 are
was doubtless commissioned by Astle himself. blank; W i8v-i9r = H 9v-ior['i9'-i9]; W 20-
126 The second set of facsimiles (and associated 79 are blank; W8o = H 5 9 ; W 8 1 - H 9 7 ;
sheets) can be distinguished from the first set W82 = H 3 5 ; W 8 3 - H 5 0 ; W84 = H 3 6 ;
by the use of paper with a different watermark W 85 is blank; W 86 = H 92; W 87 = H 29;
and countermark. The watermark is a W88 H8
' Strasbourg Lily', with the initials GR, and the

155
W 94-118 are blank; Wii9=:H93; 189-190). His association with the Harleys is
W i 2 o = H 3 8 ; W i 2 i = H 4 4 ; W 122 = H suggested by Harl. MS. 7013, f. 176 (a
(Stowe 1060) 28; W i 2 3 = H 5 i ; W 124 is specimen, dated 1718); Harl. MS. 7026, ff. 32
blank; W 125 = H 9 6 ; W 126-38 are blank; W (a specimen, dated 1718), 33 (a specimen, dated
folded sheet = H 95. A scrap of paper now 2 Feb. 1731), 34 (a specimen, with a drawing of
mounted in Harl. MS. 7026 [pt II], f. 23, is Christ), and 35-36 (letter to Lord Oxford,
headed 'Of the MSS specimens here given by dated 14 April 1733); Longleat House, Portland
Mr Wanley', and proceeds to list items Papers, vol. X, f. 127 (letter to Lord Oxford,
occurring on pp. ' 2 ' , ' 4 ' , and ' 10'. The items undated, advertising his services in the making
on p. ' 2 ' relate to Stowe MS. 1060, f. 14 (f. ' 2 ' of curiosities); see also Stowe MS. 1060, f 97 (a
in an erased foliation); the items on p. ' 4 ' relate specimen, dated 9 April 1731). He was clearly
to Stowe MS. 1061, f. 2 (f. ' 4 ' in an earher well remembered at the West sale in 1773
foliation); and the item on p. '10' relates to (below, n. 150).
Stowe MS. 1061, f. 4 (f. '10' in an earlier 137 Harl. MS. 1866, on vellum; ff. 2-7 contain the
foliation). The scrap would thus appear to be Kentish laws, and f. 9 is a specimen showing
from notes which had once accompanied the the first page of the cartulary (with coloured
Harleian copy of the 'Book of Specimens', initial). The quality of execution suggests that
recognized as (in some sense) Wanley's work, this is the copy which Mrs Elstob seems to have
though (at the same time) distanced from him. placed surreptitiously in the Harleian library;
130 Stowe MS. 1061, f. 2, lower half (copied from see the letter from Hickes to Charlwood
Longleat MS. 345, f. 4), which is the immediate Lawton, 11 Jan. 1714, preserved among the
source of the engraving in Astle's Origin and Harley papers in Add. MS. 70032, f. 29,
Progress of Writing, pi. I l l ; cf. above, n. 17, and calendared in HMC Portland, vol. v, pp.
Weitzmann and Kessler, Cotton Genesis, p. 155 379-80.
(reconstruction off. '58', corresponding to the 138 Harl. MS. 6523, also on vellum. Elstob's receipt
surviving fragment in Cotton MS. Otho B. VI, (Add. MS. 70487, Wanley Misc. no. 68), dated
f. 2ir). 7 October 1719, presumably refers to this
131 Stowe MS. 1061, f. 36 (copied from Longleat volume; cf. Wright, Fontes Harleiani, pp.
MS. 345, f. 84), reproduced in Webster and 144-5-
Backhouse (eds.). Making of England, no. 83(c). 139 Hopkins' advertisement is preserved in Stowe
132 Stowe MS. 1061, f. 50 (copied from Longleat MS. 1060, f. 104.
MS. 345, f. 83). 140 A specimen preserved in Stowe MS. 1060, f.
133 Stowe MS. 1060, ff. 98r (30 Jan. 1714) and 99r IOI, is inscribed ' Written by Jeremiah
(3 Feb. 1714); Add. MS. 70089, no. 94 (3 Feb. Andrews, 1715'; cf. undated letter from
and 4 Feb. 1714); and Stowe MS. 1060, f. ioor 'Jerem[y] Andrewes', in respect of the non-
(9 Mar. 1715). I am grateful to Dr Wright for payment of a bill, preserved among Wanley's
bringing the material in Add. MS. 70089 to my correspondence (Harl. MS. 3777, f. 9r). For
attention. Jeremiah Andrews (1710-60), see Heal, English
134 Stowe MS. 1060, f. 99r, and Add. MS. 70089, Writing-Masters, p. 5.
no. 94. The sheet dated 30 Jan. (Stowe MS. 141 Annales Rerum Cestarum Alfredi Magni,
1060, f. 98r) has been pasted down on another auctore Asserio Menevensi, ed. F. Wise (Oxford,
sheet, so that it is difficult to see the watermark 1722), pp. [2] and 136-7.
or countermark. The sheet dated 9 Mar. 1715 142 In 1699 Pepys had sent some part of his
(f. lOor) is a full sheet; the watermark is a fleur- collection of fragments to Arthur Charlett,
de-lys, and the countermark comprises the asking him to obtain Wanley's opinion on their
initials IV. date; Wanley replied in a long letter to Pepys,
135 Add. MS. 22911, ff. 225v-226r. Yet another, dated 25 June 1699 {Letters of Wanley, ed.
undated, is now Add. MS. 27953. Heyworth, pp. 120-31 (no. 63)). In 1700 Pepys
136 Buchinger's appearance, life-history and assembled these fragments, with other material,
accomplishments are well described (and in a large volume (now Cambridge, Magdalene
illustrated) in letters to Dr Cox Macro (Add. College, Pepys Library 2981), with annotations
MS. 32556, ff. 181-182, 183-184,185-186, and in the hand of his library clerk Paul Lorrain,

156
based on Wanley's notes but with some items 14 and 15), made on a sheet with the
additional remarks on dating. The volume is Strasbourg Lily/LVG watermark, were num-
fully described by Dr R. McKitterick in R. bered ' 1 2 ' and ' 1 3 ' in Sproson's series (Stowe
Latham (ed.). Catalogue ofthe Pepys Library at MS. 1061, f. 124).
Magdalene College, Cambridge IV: Music 146 See above, n. 129.
Maps and Calligraphy (Cambridge, 1989), 147 Pepys died in 1703, leaving his library to his
'Calligraphy', pp. 1-21. Pepys's heading is as nephew, John Jackson, and after Jackson's
follows:' Proofs of Ancient Hand-Writing With death to Magdalene College, Cambridge; the
the Opinion of that Eminent Critick in Re volumes came to the college in the summer of
Diplomatica, our Country-Man Mr Humphrey 1724 (N. A. Smith, Catalogue of the Pepys
Wanley of Oxford, touching the different Ages, Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge, vol. i
Characters, & Countrys, of ye sd Pieces; in (Cambridge, 1978), Preface). The captions in
Return to my Enquiries from him on that Sproson's copy contain remarks which appear
behalf.' to indicate that the current year was 1700 (e.g.
143 The copy is now Harl. MS. 7026 [pt II], ff. Harl. MS. 7026, f. 31); but these captions are
24-31. The heading (f. 24) is as follows: 'Proofs copied from Lorrain's notes, made in 1700, and
of antient Hand-writing. Copied from the do not, therefore, bear usefully on the date of
Originals in the Calligraphical Collection of the copy.
Samuel Pepys Esq., now extant in Magdalen 148 Hearne referred in his diary for 7 May 1731 to
College, Cambridge; Vol. ist: with the Opinion 'Tables of Humphrey Wanley's specimens of
of that eminent Critic in Re Diplomatica Mr old hands in order of Time', as an item not to
Humphrey Wanley late of Oxford, thereunto be found in the Thesaurus {Remarks and
annex'd. By PHILIP SPROSON.' Collections of Thomas Hearne, ed. Doble, et al.,
144 The watermarks or countermarks in Harl. MS. vol. X (1915), p. 413). Hearne adds; 'The last
7026 are as follows; ' I V ' (ff. 24-25, 28-29); time I saw Mr Wanley, I mentioned it to him.
H o m / L V G [cf. Churchill, Watermarks in I think he said Lord Oxford had it.' (ibid.).
Paper, no. 318, and Heawood, Watermarks, no. These 'Tables' would seem to be quite distinct
2745] (ff. 26, 30); Strasbourg Lily/LVG [cf. from the 'Book of Specimens'; but there was
Churchill, Watermarks in Paper, no. 406, and clearly some confusion about them in Hearne's
Heawood, Watermarks, no. 1810] (ff. 27, 31). mind.
145 The fragments copied in Harl. MS. 7026, ff. 149 Below, n. 152. For West's acquisition of
24-31, were numbered i - i 0 by Sproson, material from the Harley collection, see R. C.
reproducing the order of the specimens in Lucas, 'Book-Collecting in the Eighteenth
Pepys 2981, items i - i o ; but it is clear that Century: the Library of James West', The
Sproson also copied some of the other Library, 5th ser. iii (1949), pp. 265-78, at
specimens in the volume. Two facsimiles ofthe 267-8. See also N. Ramsay, 'James West
script in an Insular gospel-book from Durham, (d. 1772)', The Library (forthcoming).
copied from fragments which formed part of 150 The facsimiles evidently formed part of West's
the Pepys collection (now Pepys 2981, items ' Large and Justly Admired Museum of
18-19), were cut out and pasted down on a Curiosities', dispersed at auction by
sheet of Strasbourg Lily/LVG paper (Stowe Langford's, of Covent Garden, 27 Feb. - 6
MS. 1061, f. 28), accompanied by a tran- Mar. 1773. A copy of the sale-catalogue (F.
scription of what must have been Sproson's Lugt, Repertoire des Catalogues de Ventes
original caption. A facsimile of the fragment of Publiques, 3 vols. (The Hague, 1938-64), vol. i,
a manuscript of iElfric's homilies (now Pepys no. 2127), annotated with prices and buyers'
2981, item 16), was cut out and pasted down on names, was presented by Mrs West to the
another sheet of paper (Stowe MS. 1061, f. 70), Society of Antiquaries, in 1774; and there are
with Sproson's caption intact. Similar treat- three annotated copies in the British Library,
ment was accorded to a facsimile of yet another Dept. of Printed Books, 7805.6.5(11) and
fragment (Pepys 2981, item 17), numbered '16' C.ii9.h.3(65), and Dept. of MSS, PR.i.b.20,
in Sproson's series (Stowe MS. 1061, f. 123). Lot 38 in the sale on i March was' A Collection
Facsimiles of two more fragments (Pepys 2981, of curious Inscriptions, Specimens of antient

157
and modern Writing, with Buckinger's head XXIII (Cotton Claudius C. V); the facsimile
and Genealogy, drawn with a Pen by himself, from Otho C. V on pi. XV is specifically said to
in a Port Folio'. It was bought for 9 gns by have been 'taken at the expence of Edward Earl
John Topham, who worked with Astle in the of Oxford' (p. 98, note m). It should be noted
state paper office. According to one of the that at least two volumes of 'Specimens of
annotated copies of the sale catalogue, Ancient Writing' were made up by Thomas
'Buckinger's head was immediately put up for Astle in 1785, for the use of his son Philip. One
sale again by Mr Topham, & purchased for is now Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Eng.
j^ 1.12, by Mr Herbert'; but one would imagine misc. d. 345 (S.C. 45357), and the other (sold
that Topham passed some or all of the at the Astle sale in 1894, Lot 164) is now
'specimens' to Astle. (For 'Buckinger's head', University College, London, MS. Ogden 50;
cf. above, n. 136, and Add. MS. 32556, ff. both contain plates from Origin and Progress of
183-184.) Most of West's manuscripts had Writing, and some other material.
been purchased separately by the Earl of 153 Origin and Progress of Writing, pi. XV (with p.
Shelburne, afterwards ist Marquess of Lans- 102); the immediate source is not given, but
downe, and now form part of the Lansdowne was obviously the script-facsimile in Stowe
collection in the British Library; the printed MS. 1061, f. 5or.
books comprising the 'Bibliotheca Westiana' 154 For discussion of the historical context, see,
were dispersed at auction by Langford's, 29 e.g., Levison, England and the Continent, p. 86;
Mar.-24 Apr. 1773. F. M. Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England, 3rd ed.
151 He was sometimes able to gather together (Oxford, 1971), p. 205; P. Wormald, 'The Age
facsimiles derived from different sources, and of Bede and Aethelbald', in J. Campbell (ed.).
then to provide a page or two of explanatory The Anglo-Saxons (Oxford, 1982), pp. 70-100,
notes (as in the case of his treatment of the at 100; R. McKitterick, Anglo-Saxon
Lindisfarne Gospels, on ff. 42-46). Cancelled Missionaries in Germany (Brixworth Lecture
foliations or paginations on most of the leaves 1990), University of Leicester, Vaughan Paper,
show that the collection was organized and xxxvi (Leicester, 1991), esp. pp. 18-25; S.
reorganized on various occasions in the late Keynes, The Councils of Clofesho (Brixworth
eighteenth century. The bulk ofthe material is Lecture 1993), University of Leicester,
now contained in Stowe MS. 1060 (facsimiles, Vaughan Paper, xxxviii (Leicester, 1994), pp.
etc.); Stowe MS. 1061 (facsimiles, and manu- 4-6; and C. Cubitt, Anglo-Saxon Church
script fragments); and Add. MS. 34652 (manu- Councils c.6so~c.8so (London, 1995), esp. pp.
script fragments, and facsimiles), from the 110-22. ^

Astle sale at Puttick and Simpson, 19 June 155 Above, n. 25.


1894, Lot 121. 156 See Regie Pastorale, ed. Judic, et al., vol. i, pp.
152 T. Astle, The Origin and Progress of Writing 88-102.
(London, 1784), 2nd ed. (London, 1803). At 157 See Bede, Historia ecclesiastica, II.i {Bedels
the end of his introduction (p. xxiv), Astle Ecclesiastical History of the English People, ed.
states: 'Several ofthe drawings from whence B. Colgrave and R. A. B. Mynors (Oxford,
the engravings in the following work were 1969), p. 126); and Bede's letter to Ecgberht,
taken, were done at the expence of Edward earl Bishop of York (Venerabilis Baedae Opera
of Oxford, under the direction of the learned Historica, ed. C. Plummer, 2 vols. (Oxford,
Dr. Hickes, and Mr. Humphry Wanley, li- 1896), vol. i, pp. 405-23, at 406; EHD, pp.
brarian to the earl, a person well versed in 799-810 (no. 170), at 800).
ancient MSS. These drawings were purchased 158 For the transmission of Gregory's text, see
at the sale of the MSS. of the late James West, Regie Pastorale, ed. Judic, et al., vol. i, pp.
Esq. and are now in my library.' Astle used 103-10; and for fragments of an eighth-century
material from the ' Harley' facsimiles for several manuscript (Worcester, Cathedral Chapter
of his plates, including pis. I l l (Cotton Library, Add. MS. 3 {CLA, vol. ii, no. 264)),
Genesis), VIII (Rule of St Benedict), XIV see Early Worcester MSS, ed. C. H. Turner
(Lindisfarne Gospels), XV (Otho C. V and (Oxford, 1916), pp. xviii-xxiv and 15-26. See
Otho A. I), XVI (Rushworth Gospels), and also R. W. Clement, 'Handlist of Manuscripts

158
Containing Gregory's Regula Pastoralis', 165 A. Scharer, Die angelsdchsische Konigsurkunde
Manuscripta, xxviii (1984), pp. 33-44; idem, im 7. und 8. Jahrhundert (Vienna, 1982), pp.
' Two Contemporary Gregorian Editions of 188-95, ^sp. 191. The passage includes the
Pope Gregory the Great's Regula Pastoralis in words 'quatenus sublimitas regni eius prosperis
Troyes MS. 504', Scriptorium, xxxix (1985), successibus polleat', which suggest familiarity
pp. 89-97; idem, 'King Alfred and the Latin with epistolary style; see Levison, England and
Manuscripts of Gregory's Regula Pastoralis', the Continent, pp. 285-6.
Journal of the Rocky Mountain Medieval and 166 P. Wormald, Bede and the Conversion of
Renaissance Association, vi (1985), pp. r-13; England: the Charter Evidence, Jarrow Lecture
and idem, 'The Production of the Pastoral 1984 (Jarrow, 1985), p. 25, suggests that King
Care: King Alfred and his Helpers', in P. E. ^thelbald's charter (S 92) was from the
Szarmach (ed.). Studies in Earlier Old English archives of Christ Church, Canterbury. He has
Prose (Albany, N. Y., 1986), pp. 129—52, at observed in correspondence that King ^^thel-
150-1. bald is said (in S 134) to have issued a privilege
159 Above, n. 26. for (Kentish) churches, which would imply that
160 Above, n. 32. On the date of the letter, see the text of S 92 was known at Canterbury,
Cubitt, Anglo-Saxon Church Councils, p. 106, which in turn would support the notion that
n. 24. Otho A. I 'is essentially Cuthberht's book'.
161 Above, n. 27. For further discussion, see N. P. 167 See Wormald, 'The Age of Bede and
Brooks, The Early History of the Church of Aethelbald', pp. 94-5 and 99-100; and S.
Canterbury: Christ Church SQJ^^oSS Keynes, 'England, 700-900', in R. McKitterick
(Leicester, 1984), pp. 84-5, 93 and 178; H. (ed.). The New Cambridge Medieval History, ii;
Vollrath, Die Synoden Englands bis 1066 c.70o~c.goo (Cambridge, 1995), pp.18-42, at
(Paderborn, 1985), pp. 141-56; C. Cubitt, 28-37.
'Pastoral Care and Conciliar Canons: the 168 The privilege may presently have been ex-
Provisions of the 747 Council of Clofesho \ in J. tended to the territory of the Hwicce, to judge
Blair and R. Sharpe (eds.). Pastoral Care before from the form of the reservation clause in S 58
the Parish (Leicester, 1992), pp. 193-211; and (BCS 202), dated 767; see also P. Sims-
Cubitt, Anglo-Saxon Church Councils, esp. pp. Williams, Religion and Literature in Western
99-124 and 125-52. England 600-800 (Cambridge, 1990), pp.
162 Above, n. 28. The charter (S 92 (BCS 178)) was 135-6. For the possibility that copies reached
the subject of Sir Frank Stenton's first Gloucester and Abingdon, cf. above, p. 117. It is
published paper ('Godmundeslaech', reprinted not clear, however, whether the privilege was
in D. M. Stenton (ed.). Preparatory to Anglo- issued in a form which would or could have
Saxon England (Oxford, 1970), pp. 1-2). applied to Kent. Soon after the death of
163 For the secular witnesses in King ^^thelbald's Archbishop Jsenberht in 792, his successor
entourage, cf. S 91 {Charters of St Augustine's, iEthelheard convened a council at Clofesho and
Canterbury, ed. S. E. Kelly, Anglo-Saxon secured from King Offa a confirmation of the
Charters 4 (London, 1995), no. 51), dated 748, privileges which had previously been granted to
and S 96 (BCS 181), issued in 757. Heardberht Kentish churches by King Wihtred and by
was King ^thelbald's brother (S 94 (BCS King ^thelbald; see S 134 {Charters of St
157)); he is styled prefectus in a Hwiccian Augustine's, ed. Kelly, no. 15, with her dis-
charter off. 757 (S 55 (BCS 183)), also attested cussion). This might be taken to imply the
by Offa, ' puer indolis in prouincia existence of a ' Kentish' form of S 92, if it is not
Huicciorum'. more simply a wishful thought based on a loose
164 For further discussion, see N. P. Brooks, 'The interpretation ofthe Gumley privilege in one or
Development of Military Obligations in other of its 'Mercian' forms.
Eighth- and Ninth-Century England', in P. 169 Scharer, Konigsurkunde, pp. 192 and 195; see
Clemoes and K. Hughes (eds.), England before also Cubitt, Anglo-Saxon Church Councils, pp.
the Conquest (Cambridge, 1971), pp. 69-84, at 58, 86, 102, and 266-7.
76-8; and E. John, Land Tenure in Early 170 For minsters in the diocese of Leicester, see
England (Leicester, 1964), pp. 67-70. Keynes, Councils of Clofesho, pp. 30-48.

159
171 Above, n. 57. pp. 119-37, at 120, and J. Morrish, 'Dated and
172 CLA, vol. ii, no. 229. Datable Manuscripts Copied in England during
173 I am grateful to David Dumville for drawing the Ninth Century', Medieval Studies, I (1988),
my attention to the change of script. For PP- 512-38, pi. 8. There is, however, no
discussion ofthe terminology, see T. J. Brown, obvious reason why the charter should have
*The Irish Element in the Insular System of been forged at Canterbury in the early ninth
Scripts to circa A. D. 850', reprinted in J. century; so either we must face the
Bately, et al. (eds.), A Palaeographer's View: consequences, or the identification is unsound.
the Selected Writings ofJulian Brown (London, 175 On the decoration of Southumbrian
1993), pp. 201-20 and 284-7, ^sp. 209 and 216; manuscripts in the later eighth and early ninth
M. P. Brown, A Guide to Western Historical centuries, see R. Gameson, 'The Decoration of
Scripts from Antiquity to 1600 (London, 1990), the Tanner Bede', Anglo-Saxon England, xxi
pp. 48-9; and A. I. Doyle, 'A Fragment of (1992), pp. 115-59, at 117-18. For the
an Eighth-Century Office Book', in M. prayerbooks in particular, see Webster and
Korhammer (ed.). Words, Texts and Backhouse (eds.). Making of England, nos.
Manuscripts: Studies in Anglo-Saxon Culture 162-5; J- J- G. Alexander, Insular Manuscripts
Presented to Helmut Gneuss (Cambridge, 1992), 6th to the gth Century (London, 1978), nos. 35
pp. 11-27, at 17-18. (Royal), 41 (Nunnaminster), and 66 (Cerne);
174 S 56 (BCS 187): see Webster and Backhouse Morrish, 'Dated and Datable Manuscripts';
(eds.). Making of England, no. 156. Dr M. Cubitt, Anglo-Saxon Church Councils, pp.
Budny has identified the scribe of this charter 130-2; and esp. M. P. Brown, The Book of
as the scribe of Royal MS. i. E. VI; see M. P. Cerne: Prayer, Patronage and Power in Ninth-
Brown, 'Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, lat. Century England (London, 1996).
10861 and the Scriptorium of Christ Church, 176 Liber Vitae ofthe New Minster, ed. Keynes, pp.
Canterbury', Anglo-Saxon England, xv (1986), 26-8.

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