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British Library MS Sloane 1009 contains:

  • 1. “Penaunce is the seconde medycyne of syn[n]e after Noees flode” (Jolliffe, p. 63: A.4.ii; Memoriale Credencium, ed. J. H. L. Kengen; IPMEP 448): fols. 2r-16v [19]
  • 2. “[w]E knoweth well by comyn exp[er]ience...” (Reclusorium Anime [extract]; Jolliffe, p. 114; I.41; Hartung, vol. 7, p. 2535 [150]): fols. 17r-25v
  • 3. “[a] grete Clerke Richard of Seynt Victores seyeþ in a boke| of contemplation þt ther be þre worthynges of eu[er]y c[ri]sten| soule Thought Thenkyng & contemplacou[n]” ( De contemplacione, Ed. Hayes[20]; Jolliffe, p. 127: M.5/p. 138: 0.15; IPMEP 5): fols. 25v-26v
  • 4. “Nonnulla de hominum natura prava” (Latin): fols. 26v- 27r
  • 5. “[t]her be vj thynges þt will bring a mannys soule to hevyn” (“Of the Six Religious Duties”: Jolliffe, p. 114: I.36; Hartung, vol. 7, p. 2318 [141]): fols. 27r-28r)
  • 6. Chaucer's Melibee (ending at VII 1846/B2 *3036): fols. 29r-48r
  • 7. “Rubrica ¶De vita & honestate Clericor[um]”:[21] fols. 49r-57r
  • 8. “Computacio Danielis Prophete” (Latin): fols. 58r- 58v


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  • 9. “Apes videre vel cap[er]e lucru[m] sig[nifica]t” (Somniale, Latin: fols. 59r-61v

The rest of the manuscript consists of collection of fiction and nonfiction texts written by Gideon Bonnivert of Oxnead Hall, Norfolk in the second half of the seventeenth century (fols. 62-437), and is not relevant to the present discussion. (See Manly-Rickert 1:515 and the Catalogus Librorum Manuscriptorum Bibliothecæ Sloanianæ [British Library, vol. 1, pp. 202- 204]).

The paper stocks are distributed as follows (cf. Manly-Rickert 1:515):

  • 1. Unicorn, a pair of twins, one 9.3 cm long from tip of the raised hind foot to tip of horn, aligned parallel to chainlines 3.9 cm apart; the second mark measures 9.9 cm from tip of the raised hind foot to tip of horn, also with attendant chainlines 3.9 cm apart. Very close to Briquet Licorne Simple 9997 (1477-78), but in both marks the front leg descends below the chainline (this watermark also occurs in British Library Canterbury Tales MS Royal 17.D.XV): fols. 1-48
  • 2. Unicorn, a pair of twins, the first (e.g., fol. 51) measuring 9.5 cm from tail to tip of horn, aligned parallel to chainlines 3.6-3.7 cm apart; the second (e.g. fol. 53) measuring 10 cm from tail to tip of horn, aligned parallel to chains between chainlines 3.9| 3.5 cm apart; the second has a fatter and squatter appearance (cf. Briquet Licorne Simple 10024 & 10026 (this watermark also occurs in British Library Canterbury Tales MS Royal 17.D.XV and is the same paper stock used by Caxton in his first edition of the Canterbury Tales: (STC 5082 [1477]): fols. 49-57
  • 3. Circle, near Briquet Cercle 3107 (Augsburg, 1455; Magdebourg, 1458), 4°. Since the mark is symmetrical, it is impossible to determine whether the top half or bottom half appears on a given folio: fols. 58-61

Seymour (1995, p. 144) based on “contents and watermarks,” suggests “18 (wants 1), 28 // 312 4-510 // 610 (wants 1) // four leaves of uncertain structure, ff. 58-61. One leaf lost after quire 5.” The watermark distribution, however, does not support this hypothesis. I propose instead the following:

1(?) 2 12 3 12 4 24 (- 1, 22, 23, 24) 5(?) 6 4

The reasons for proposing this collation are detailed below:


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The four new collations provided here derive from a consideration of the kinds of physical structures that can result from the folding of paper into gatherings. This and other kinds of physical evidence (scribal stints, textual lacunae, sewing, changes of paper stock, catchwords), taken together with the layout and distribution of texts in the MSS, argue for a limited number of possible structures. From among those structures, I believe the ones I propose here are the most probable and most reasonably account for the evidence provided by the testimony of these fifteenth-century witnesses.


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Briquet, C. M. Les Filigranes: Dictionnaire Historique des Marques du Papier Dés Leur Apparition vers 1282 jusqu'en 1600. Facsimile of the 1907 ed. with supplementary material contributed by a number of scholars. Ed. Allan Stevenson. 4 vols. Amsterdam: Paper Publications Soc., 1968.

Brown, Carleton, and Rossell Hope Robbins, eds. The Index of Middle English Verse. New York: Columbia UP, 1943. [IMEV]

Brunner, Karl. The Seven Sages of Rome (Southern Version). EETS o.s. 191. London: Oxford Univ. Press for the Early English Text Society, 1933.

Edwards, A. S. G., introd. Manuscript Pepys 2006: a Facsimile, Magdalene College, Cambridge. The Facsimile Series of the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, vol. 6. Norman, OK: Pilgrim Books; Woodbridge and Suffolk: Boydell and Brewer, 1985.

Hanna, Ralph III. “Booklets in Medieval Manuscripts: Further Considerations.” Studies in Bibliography 39 (1986): 100-111.

Hartung, Albert E. A Manual of the Writings in Middle English: 1050- 1500. Based upon a Manual of the Writings in Middle English 1050-1400 by John Edwin Wells, New Haven, 1916 and Supplements 1-9, 1919-1951. Volume 3. New Haven: The Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1972.

Hayes, Stephen E. “Of Three Workings in Man's Soul: A Middle English Prose Meditation on the Annunciation.” In Vox Mystica: Essays on Medieval Mysticism in Honor of Professor Valerie M. Lagorio. Ed. Anne Clark Bartlett, with Thomas H. Bestul, Janet Goebel, and William F. Pollard. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1995. 177-199.

James, Montague Rhodes. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Library of Samuel Pepys. Part III: Medieval Manuscripts. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, Ltd., 1923.

Jolliffe, P. S. A Check-List of Middle English Prose Writings of Spiritual Guidance. Subsidia Mediaevalia II. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1974.

Keiser, George R. Review of A. S. G. Edwards, introd. Manuscript Pepys 2006: A Facsimile Magdalene College, Cambridge. Studies in the Age of Chaucer 9 (1987): 212-215.

Kengen, J. H. L. Memoriale Credencium: A late Middle English Manual of Theology for Lay People edited from Bodley MS Tanner 201. 1979.

Lewis, Robert E., and Angus McIntosh. A Descriptive Guide to the Manuscripts of the Prick of Conscience. Oxford: Society for the Study of Mediæval Languages and Literatures 1982.

Lewis, R. E., N. F. Blake, and A. S. G. Edwards. Index of Printed Middle English Prose. New York & London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1985. [IPMEP]

McKitterick, Rosamond, and Richard Beadle. Catalogue of the Pepys Library at Magdalen College Cambridge, vol. V.i. D. S. Brewer, 1992. 39-44.

Manly, John M., and Edith Rickert, eds. The Text of the Canterbury Tales: Studied on the Basis of All Known Manuscripts. 8 vols. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1940.

Patterson, Frank Allen, ed. “Oracio ad Sanctam Mariam.” In The Middle English Penitential


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Lyric. Columbia Univ. Studies in English, Series Z, vol. 14. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1971. 139-141.

Piccard, Gerhard. Ochsenkopf Wasserzeichen. Findbuch II.1-2 of Die Wasserzeichen Piccard im Haupstaatsarchiv Stuttgart. Stuttgart: Verlag W. Kohlhammer, 1966.

Robbins, Rossell Hope, and John L. Cutler, eds. Supplement to the Index of Middle English Verse. Lexington: Univ. of Kentucky Press, 1965. [SIMEV]

Robinson, Pamela R. “The `Booklet,' A Self-Contained Unit in Composite Manuscripts.” Codicologica 3 (1980): 46-69.

Seymour, Michael C. “The English Manuscripts of Mandeville's Travels.” Edinburgh Bibliographical Society Transactions 4 (1966): 167-210.

—. A Catalogue of Chaucer Manuscripts: Volume 1. Works before the Canterbury Tales. Aldershot, England & Brookfield, VT: Scolar, 1995.