RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
Alt Ref NoSion L40.2/E44
Extentff. v + 93 + v
DateMid-15th century
Description'Pèlerinage de la Vie Humaine' By Guillaume de Deguileville (c.1295-c.1358), in an English prose translation.
Includes (as is usual with this translation) a text of Geoffrey Chaucer's 'ABC to the Virgin' (ff. 79-81v).
In the hand of John Shirley (c.1366-1456), author, translator, and scribe.

For editions of this text see:
'The pilgrimage of the lyf of the manhode from the French of Guillaume de Deguileville' ed. by William Aldis Wright (Roxburghe Club, 1869).
'The pilgrimage of the lyfe of manhode. Translated anonymously into prose from the first recension of Guillaume de Deguileville's poem Le pèlerinage de la vie humaine' ed. Avril Henry. 2 vols (Early English Text Society vols 288 and 292, 1985-88). See pp. xlvii-xlix on the Sion manuscript.

Begins imperfectly: 'any yssing ...'. Ends imperfectly: 'þowe shall have of me if þu'. The first two leaves and the last leaf are missing. Text corresponds to the Wright edition, pp. 4/15-203/9.
As in other copies the prayer to the Virgin Mary is in verse in Chaucer's rendering, 'Almighty and almercyable qweene ...': this copy collated by W.W. Skeat, Works of Chaucer, i. 261-71. The scribe wrote 'Chauc[er]' in the margin of f. 79.
The chapters of part 1, ff. 1-40v and of part 4 (ff. 82v-93v) are numbered respectively i-cxix and i-x, and between these points the chapter numeration is i-xxx and xx, the ABC coming between xxx and xx. The beginning of part 3 is not shown and the point at which it comes in Wright's edition is here in the middle of chapter xx of the series i-xxx (f. 67).
'no(a) per Shirley' in the margins of ff. 4, 5, 12, 18v, 25, and 'behold per Shir[ley]' in the margin of f. 1 are in the hand of the text. For this and other manuscripts written and annotated by John Shirley see especially H. E. Hammond, 'Chaucer, A Bibliographical Manual', pp. 333, 515-17.
Probably originally joined in a single volume with Trinity College, Cambridge, R. 3. 20 and British Library MS Harley 78 ff. 80-83 (see Seth Lerer, 'British Library MS Harley 78 and the manuscripts of John Shirley' in Notes and Queries vol 235 (1990) pp. 400-03).
FindingAidsDescription based on N.R. Ker, 'Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries', vol. 1: London (Oxford, 1969) pp. 290-1 and O.S. Pickering & V.M. O'Mara, 'The Index of Middle English Prose: handlist 13. Manuscripts in Lambeth Palace Library including those formerly in Sion College Library' (1999). Also recorded in Julia Boffey and A.S.G.Edwards, 'New index of Middle English verse' (British Library, London, 2005) and noted on the Digital Index of Middle English Verse:
PhysicalDescriptionBinding of brown leather over wooden boards, 280 x 205 mm., 19th or early 20th cent.
Paper leaves (original leaves numbered 1-93), 270 x 190 mm. Written space 212 x 125 mm. 33-36 long lines. Frame ruling.
Twelve quires of eight leaves, 1(1, 2) and 12(8) missing. Quires 1-4 numbered at the end below the catchwords i-iiii: thereafter the numbers have been cut off.
Written in a small hand, secretary, except for the 'reversed' e; the chapter headings larger and without linked minims. As in Trinity College Cambridge R. 3. 20 one ascender in the first line on each page and one descender in the last line is prolonged into the margin in a long ornamental sweep.
CustodialHistoryRecorded with shelfmark A15 in William Reading, 'Bibliothecae cleri Londinensis in Collegio Sionensi catalogus' (London, 1724). Recorded there as given to Sion College by 'Berkley' ie. amongst the collection given to Sion College in 1682 (but part not received until 1699) as the gift of George Berkeley (1626/7-1698), 1st Earl of Berkeley. The collection was formed by his uncle Sir Robert Coke (1587-1653). See E.H. Pearce, 'Sion College and library' (Cambridge, 1913), pp. 258-260. Cf. Sion L40.2/E43
Transferred from Sion College to Lambeth Palace Library, 1996.
CopiesA digital copy is available via the online image management system:

Microfilm: Lambeth Palace Library Box 897
Negative microfilm: ff1-41r Lambeth Palace Library Box 679
Negative microfilm: ff41v-93vLambeth Palace Library Box
RelatedMaterialSee Description field and Physical Description.
For other copies of this text, see the edition by Avril Henry.
PublnNoteSee Description field for editions.
Margaret Connolly, 'John Shirley: book production and the noble household in fifteenth-century England' (1998) [see pp. 6, 75-77, 80, 85, 96, 108, 145, 150, 164, 170-2, 178].

Show related Persons records.

Related name records
GB/109/20101Berkeley; George (c.1626-1698); 1st Earl of Berkeley; politicianc.1626-1698
GB/109/18573Deguileville; Guillaume de (fl. 1294-1358); Cistercian monk and poetfl. 1294-1358
GB/109/18541Chaucer; Geoffrey (c.1340-1400); poet and administratorc.1340-1400
GB/109/20115Shirley; John (c.1366-1456); author, translator, and scribec.1366-1456
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