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Ref No IE TCD MS 505
Former Shelf Marks Lyon: F.4.7
Ussher: Madden/Stearne 32Fo
Title Brut chronicle, etc.
Creation Dates [1450-1499]
Extent And Medium Parchment; 288 (including pages 257- 258) an inserted slip) pages (pages 1-4, 287-288 constitute mediaeval parchment flyleaves)
Level Of Description Collection
Scope And Content (A)(B) were joined together early: drawing on 86 similar to drawings in (A) and probably by one artist.


Pages 6-56: (1) Genealogical descent of the English kings from Noah to Edward IV, recording also Elizabeth wife of Edward IV [he married her 1464, she died 1483] and her son “Thomas comes Huntyngt’” [Thomas was earl 1471-1475]. The names of the persons treated in the descent are in red-framed roundels; the linking lines are green, yellow, blue, pink or red; a yellow crown over a roundel signifies a king in each instance. Historical comments accompany the genealogical diagrams but do not go beyond the time of Edward I (page 52). These comments beg. (page 6): Sum (!) Noe decimus ab Adam esset quingentorum annorum, genuit Sem Cham et Iaphet. 1-5, 58 originally blank; 57 blank.

Pages 59-78: (2) Catalogue of rulers, in two parts: 59-62 (a) catalogue of biblical and other ancient rulers (cf. the start of Petrus Pictauiensis, 'Compendium Historiae In Genealogia Christi', as e.g. in TCD MS 117 (2)); 63-78 (b) catalogue of emperors and popes (but not close to the text of Martinus Polonus’ chronicle). The rulers in (a) (b) are recorded within red-framed roundels and are accompanied by historical comments. (2) beg.: In agro Damasceno formatus et in paradisum translatus. The list of emperors terminates (page 77) with Frederick II (1194-1250) and with a short account of the kings of ancient Rome; the list of popes ends (page 78) with Calixtus iii noticed with the date 1455. In the running titles most of ‘Pape’ is scrubbed out.

Pages 79-83: (3) Catalogue of archbishops of Canterbury from Augustine to John Stafford (1443-1452), but following Stafford an entry Thomas [Borcier?; Thomas Bourgchier was archbishop 1454-1486] was scrubbed out. Each name appears in a red-framed roundel (but some roundels on 83 remain blank), and brief comments extending to the end of page 81 discuss the archbishops. These comments beg. (page 79): Anno 22’o postquam septem reges regnare ceperunt uidelicet anno ab incarnacione domini ccccclxxxii’o, Gregorius papa misit. 84-85 blank.


Page 86: (4) meant to go closely with (5). Three sets of comments about the dimensions of England, the number of its towns and fiefs (cf. Bodleian Lyell 17): Anglia continet in longitudine dccc miliaria uidelicet a monte Michaelis in Cornubia usque ad Scociam… These remarks, in red, stand within roundels which are placed on a skilful drawing of London (see below).

Pages 87-285: (5) Brut chronicle, in English, to Henry VI, a version of the type known as Davies’ Chronicle (cf. Bodleian Lyell 34 and TCD MS 506; the earlier parts of this kind of Brut chronicle ed. F.W.D. Brie, 'Early English Text Society' orig. ser. 131, 136, 2 volumes, (London, 1906, 1908); the latter part ed. J.S. Davies, 'Camden Society', (London, 1856); cf. also Brie, 'Geschichte und Quellen der mittelenglischen Prosachronik: The Brute of England oder the Chronicles of England', (Marburg, 1905), 93-97), ends with the death of James I of Scotland, 1437 (Davies edn. page 56): How thys lond was fyrst callyd Albyon and of whom hyt had that name he schal here as folowthe aftyrward (first heading). In the here fro the begynnyng of the world m’l m’l m’l ix’c [...]er was in [...]e nobull lond of Grece a worthy kyng - he had oon hym xxx wondes whereof vii where (!) dedely. Loss of leaf after page 284 (text jumps from ‘on the liffte side of the Quene wych att euery course was serued aftyr [...]t the Quene and the’ in the account of Queen Catherine’s coronation and coronation feast, cf. Davies’ edn. pages 52 and 187, to ‘Aftyr the nobull and victorious prince Kyng Herry the v’te regned’ in the account of Henry VI’s accession, Davies’ edn. page 53). Name of Thomas of Canterbury (on 156, 278) and several instances of ‘pope’ (180-181, 218) inked out. 286-288 originally blank.
Phyiscal Description Dimensions: 296 x 198 ((5) 200 x c138)

Layout: 2 columns. (5) 41/42 lines.

Script: Mixture of anglicana and secretary letter-forms. (A) more than one hand, (B) single hand.

Corrections and Additions: 16th- and 17th-century notes.

Page 2 has record of births and marriages of the Chichester family, dated 1605- 1611, all entered by one hand; the first entry: ‘Edward Lord Viscount Chichester was married to Anne daughter and soale heir of John Coperstone of Eggsford Esq. July 4’o 1605’o in the 3’o yeare of the raigne of King James’. 275 has 'David / Hume / monks lyers' (16/17th century). 287 has (a) verses, in English, which mention the pope and are mostly erased. 288 has (a) 'Thomas', (b) 'Paule Humtington Emanuel'.

Inscription: Inscriptions by different 16th-century hands. Page 1 has (a) O com and lett us sing, (b) astrological symbols followed by Welsh verses about the zodiac:

oen hwrdd trwy gyvwrdd tarw gevell krank llew
llaw morwyn ai dichell
Davl sarff sydd seythydd seithwell
gavr dwvr pysg o vordir pell
per me Llewys Dwnn 1593

(the verses in translation:
A ram through meeting a bull, twins, crab, a lion,
A maiden and her deceit,
Scales, a serpent which is a seven times better archer,
A goat, water, fish from a distant sea).

These verses are in the hand of Lewys Dwnn, who was a Welsh (deputy) Herald: see 'Dictionary of Welsh Biography'.

Pen-trials: 16th century (269, 287).

Scribbles: 16th century (3, 4, 286).

2nd fo.: Sex filii or Ab isto.
Custodial History TCD MS 505 was no. 32 in the folio series of Stearne manuscripts.
Collation Analysis 2, i-iii8 iv2+1 v8 vi8 (lacks 6-7) vii-xvi8 xvii8+1 xviii8 xix8 (lacks 3, 6-8). (5) catchwords, leaf signatures.
Decoration (B) partial borders of vine-stem and foliage in gold and colours. (A) initials red or blue, capitals marked with red; about other colour see on (1). (B) initials in colours on ground of gold, with coloured foliage; other initials blue with red flourishes, capitals marked with red. (A) and page 86 have line-drawings, executed with extraordinary skill. Those on pages 5 and 86 are full-page; the others are about a quarter of a column in size (the castle on page 9 is somewhat smaller). Usually these drawings are partly tinted, perhaps by a later artist, in blue and yellow (the picture on 86 is partly in blue, orange-red, and green).

The drawings represent:

Page 5: Noah’s ark. On the boat, which has much gothic architectural ornament, are Noah, animals, and an angel holding cross.

Page 9: Castle or town.

Pages 10-13, 15: Towns of England, e.g. York and Carlisle (10), Northampton (12), Lincoln (13). Generally these towns are labelled faintly as a guide probably for the rubricator, but only in the case of York is the drawing of a town noticed in red.

Page 16: Stable at Bethlehem with ox and ass and, inside red-framed roundel, the Child and Mary. The roundel is inscribed in monumental gothic: Ihesus Christus dominus noster natus est.

Page 86: London. A rather detailed representation, showing even boats and their sailors on the Thames. Three roundels enclose notices respectively about the geographical extent of England, about the number of its towns and cities, and about fiefs in England: see on (4) above.

(2)(5) running titles.
Binding Note 19th-century binding of brown morocco, gilt edges.
Access Conditions Please contact
Copyright Please contact
Language Middle English
Public Note Use this link to access the digitised version of the item in the Library's Digital Collections repository:

For TCD MS 505 see L.M. Matheson in 'Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography' 3 (1979) 257; K.L. Scott, 'Later Gothic Manuscripts 1390-1490', A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 2 volumes, (London, 1996), 1:77 n.55, 2:224; W. O’Sullivan, ‘John Madden’s Manuscripts’, in Essays on the History of Trinity College Library, Dublin, edd. V. Kinane and A. Walsh, (Dublin, 2000) 114.
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