RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
LevelFile
Alt Ref NoSion L40.2/L26
Extentii, 102 ff.
TitleGILES OF ROME
Date15th century
DescriptionDe regimine principum', a guide for princes by Aegidius Romanus, also known as Egidius Romanus, or Giles of Rome (c.1243-1316).

This manuscript was written in England, with a series of English coats of arms.
Ownership inscription at f. 1r: 'Liber illustrissimus Principis Ducis Gloucestr', the last three words erased, but legible by ultra-violet light. This refers to Richard, Duke of Gloucester, afterwards Richard III.

Anne Sutton argued that this manuscript was written towards the end of the second quarter of the 15th century, commissioned by Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland (d. 1455), and passed subsequently to the future Richard III. This was based on the appearance of Percy's arms at f. 51v and the strong northern bias of the heraldry. Charles Briggs (who did not refer to Anne Sutton's conclusions) argued that the manuscript was commissioned by Richard, 3rd Duke of York (1411-1460) and passed to the latter's son, the future Richard III. This was based on the series of coats of arms identifying the manuscript with the house of York and its affinity. See Publication Note field.

f. 1r. Begins: 'Ex regia ac sanctissima prosapia...'.
f. 1r. Initial letter incorporating a coat of arms: Edward the Confessor impaling France modern and England quarterly, with a crest of a lion passant or on a cap of maintenance, representing Richard II. Full border decorated with foliage. In the right hand margin a coat of arms: England, a label three points azure, each point charged with three fleur-de-lis or (?), with a crest as in the initial letter, representing the old house of Lancaster. Added at the foot of the page are three ill-executed coats of arms, as yet unidentified, described by Sutton as: i. sable three escallops argent (?), for Strickland or Jervaulx Abbey; ii. sable a chevron argent (?); iii. per chevron argent and azure, three escallops countercoloured (?).
f. 6v. Initial letter incorporating a coat of arms: or, an eagle displayed argent; identified by Sir Anthony Wagner as the King of the Romans, and by Anne Sutton as St. John of Beverley.
f. 22r. Initial letter incorporating a coat of arms: azure, a cross fleury between four lions rampant, all azure; representing the Benedictine Priory of St. Cuthbert, Durham.
f. 27v. Initial letter incorporating a coat of arms: or, nine mascles gules, 3, 3, 2, 1; probably, according to Anne Sutton, for Sir William Fitzherbert (d. 1154), Archbishop of York.
f. 32r. Initial letter incorporating a coat of arms: argent, a cross gules; representing St. George.
f. 42r. Initial letter incorporating a coat of arms: France modern and England quarterly, a label of three points argent, each point charged with three (roundels gules?), in pretence a shield of Mortimer. According to Sir Anthony Wagner this represents Richard of York, Earl of Cambridge [d. 1415], but Anne Sutton suggests his son, Richard, Duke of York [1411-1460].
f. 51v. Initial letter incorporating a coat of arms: quarterly, 1 and 4, or, a lion rampant azure; 2 and 3 gules three luces argent, impaling gules, a saltire argent, ie. Percy impaling Neville. This represents Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland (1393-1455), who married Eleanor Neville in 1414.
f. 60v. Initial letter incorporating a coat of arms: argent, a cross gules, in the dexter chief quarter a sword erect also gules; representing London.
f. 68r. Initial letter incorporating a coat of arms: argent, on a cross gules five lions passant guardant or; representing York.
f. 84r. Initial letter incorporating a coat of arms: quarterly 1 and 4, or, an eagle displayed argent; 2 and 3argent, three bars wavy azure a beaver or with ite head turned biting its fur. According to Sutton this represents Beverley (with the tinctures in error). Reproduced in Briggs, p. 69.
f. 84v. Initial letter incorporating a coat of arms: azure, three crowns or; representing St. Edmund. Sutton suggests this may be in error for azure, three crowns in pale or (representing Hull).
f. 96r. Ends: '...benedictus in secula seculorum. Amen'.
ff. 96r-100r. Index, Absinencia-Zelus, in the same hand as the main text. Begins with an explanatory note: 'Subscriptam tabulam super libros venerabilis egidii de regimine principum volens advertere...'.
ff. 100v-101v. Blank.
One leaf missing after f. 67.
LanguageLatin
FindingAidsNew description by Richard Palmer, 2014, based on N.R. Ker, 'Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries', vol. 1: London (Oxford, 1969) pp. 282-3, and the descriptions by Anne Sutton and Charles Briggs (see Publication Note field).
Also described in Pamela Tudor-Craig, 'Richard III', National Portrait Gallery exhibition, 1973, item 157.
PhysicalDescriptionLeather binding, 406 x 295 mm., rebacked. Metal clasps. 17th century.
Parchment leaves (except ff. i-ii, 102, paper flyleaves), 400 x 280 mm.
Written space 290 x 190 mm. 2 cols. 52 lines.
Collation: 1-11(8) (9 wants 4 after f. 67); 12(10); 13(4).
Written in set secretary hand of a professional sort.
Initials: (i) ff. 1r, 6v, 22r, 27v, 32r, 42r, 51v, 60v, 68r, 84r, 84v, 96r, in pink or blue on gold grounds, with prolongations in colours and gold which on f. 1 form a continuous border; (ii) 4-line and, on ff. 96-100, 3-line, blue with red ornament. All the initials of type i, except that on f. 96, contain an armorial shield, and four shields are in the border on f. 1r. All the shields are different. Sir Anthony Wagner informed N.R. Ker that: the shield in the initial on f. 1r 'of Edward the Confessor impaling France modern and England with the royal crest over can only be meant for Richard II'; other shields in initials are (f. 6v) the King of the Romans, (f. 22r) the Benedictines of Durham, (f. 32r) St. George, (f. 42r) Richard of York, Earl of Cambridge, with Mortimer in pretence, (f. 51v) Henry, Earl of Northumberland, impaling his wife, Eleanor Neville, (f. 60v) the City of London, (f. 84r [sic, but f. 84v is probably meant]) St. Edmund; the shield in the right-hand border on f. 1r 'must, I suppose, be intended for the old House of Lancaster'.
Secundo folio 'quis plene'.
CustodialHistoryInscription at f. 1r (15th century): 'Egidius de Regimine. Liber illustrissimus Principis Ducis Gloucestr', the last three words erased, but legible by ultra-violet light. N.R. Ker commented: 'I am grateful to Miss P. Barnes for help with this inscription, which looks a little late, as does the book it is in, for Duke Humphrey, d. 1447'. Now taken to indicate ownership of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, afterwards Richard III.
'Babington 1550' (f. 1r), no doubt Francis Babington (d. 1569), a collector who usually wrote only his surname in his books, with or without a date.
Given to Sion College by Walter Travers (?1548-1635) in 1636, according to a label inside the cover and inscription at f. ii v., but not apparently in the long list of Travers's bequest in the Sion Benefactors' Register (Sion L40.2/E64, pp. 28-30).
Recorded in John Spencer's catalogue of the Sion College manuscripts in 1650 (Sion L40.2/E92 f. 2r). Spencer recorded two copies of this text (now Sion L40.2/L25-26), with shelfmarks A6 and Y8. Both copies are recorded as having survived the Fire of London (Sion L40.2/E58/2 f. 31v).
Recorded at Sion College in Edward Bernard, 'Catalogi Manuscriptorum Angliae et Hiberniae' (Oxford, 1697), vol 2, no. 4066.
Recorded in William Reading, 'Bibliothecae cleri Londinensis in Collegio Sionensi catalogus' (London, 1724) with shelfmark A 9. This shelfmark is found at f. 1r in the manuscript.
Transferred from Sion College to Lambeth Palace Library, 1996.
CopiesA digital copy is available via the online image management system:
http://images.lambethpalacelibrary.org.uk/luna/servlet/s/b7yb28
RelatedMaterialOther manuscripts of the De regimine principum at Lambeth Palace Library: MSS. 150, 184, 266 and Sion L40.2/L25.
PublnNoteVery many manuscripts and printed often.
Anne F. Sutton and L. Visser-Fuchs, 'Richard III's books: ideals and reality in the life and library of a medieval prince' (Cambridge, 1997), especially the full description of this manuscript at pp. 118, 283-5. Copy in the Library at KA 260.S8.
Charles F. Briggs, 'Giles of Rome's De Regimine Principum: reading and writing politics at court and university, c.1275-c.1525' (Cambridge, 1999), especially pp. 68-70. Copy in the Library at NC 393.B7.

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Related name records
CodeNameDates
GB/109/18604Giles of Rome (c.1243-1316); Archbishop of Bourges; Augustinian friar and logicianc.1243-1316
GB/109/19083Humphrey (1390-1447); Duke of Gloucester; prince, soldier, and literary patron1390-1447
NA2646Richard II (1367-1400); King of England1367-1400
GB/109/18593Durham Cathedral Priory; 1083-1539; Benedictine religious house1083-1539
GB/109/20108Richard (1385-1415); Earl of Cambridge; magnate1385-1415
GB/109/17201Babington; Francis (-1569); clergyman and college head-1569
GB/109/15826Travers; Walter (?1548-1635); religious activist, college head?1548-1635
DS/UK/4327Richard (1411-1460); 3rd Duke of York; magnate and claimant to the English throne1411-1460
GB/109/20109Percy; Henry (1394-1455); 2nd Earl of Northumberland; magnate1394-1455
GB/109/18888Richard III (1452-1485); King of England and Lord of Ireland1452-1485
Related place records
CodeSet
PL115/City of London
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