London, British Library, Royal 2. B. v "Regius Psalter"

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Phillip Pulsiano


284. London, British Library, Royal 2. B. v

"Regius Psalter"

[Ker 249, Gneuss 451]

HISTORY: Almost certainly written at Winchester in 10c, with additions in 11c. Associated with Canterbury 12c and later. Dewick assigns the office of the Virgin Mary (ff. fr-6v) to St. Mary's, Winchester, in the mid 11c. Ker (Cat.) notes that the items 'Eala þu ælmihtiga god unasecgendlicre' (ff. 197r-198r) and 'Man mot hine gebiddan' (f. 198r) dis­ play a hand "of the kind written at Christ Church" in 11c. The asso­ciation with Canterbury is confirmed by a note on f. 198v: '... midne winter ic scolde cuman ham ... þa axode [?mon] me hwæþer me wrere leofre ... þar þe wæstan [þonne on] Christes cyrcan. þa srede ic pret me wrere leofre on Christes cyrcean ponne par be westan. swa hit refre ge­ wyrþe. amen' (Sisam and Sisam 1959: 23). Additional notes on f. 198v have been linked with Christ Church charters and a royal grant (O'Neill 1986). Ker also notes that the letter-mark "r" on fol. 8r "shows that it was at Christ Church, Canterbury, in s. xi and later" (320). Belonged in the 16c to Archbishop Thomas Cramner and subsequently Lord Lumley (d. 1609) (see fol. 8r for names).

CODICOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION: Ff. iv + 198 + iv. Modern paper endleaves, the first and last marbled. Leaves measure 266 x 193 mm; writing grid measures 196 x 125 mm. Ff. 1-7 are ruled for twenty-one lines; the psalms are ruled for nineteen lines, with room provided for a gloss. Arrangement of leaves is HFHF. Quire numbering can be seen in the bottom margins: i (f. 15v), ii (f. 23v), v (f. 47v; erased but visible), vi (f. 55v), vii (f 63v), viii (f. 71v); traces of a "v' can be seen on f. 79v. Ff 1-7, containing the Office to the Virgin Mary, are later than the psalter; the use of Roman numbering to mark the end of a quire (e.g., what was originally quire I ends at f. 15v) suggests that no prefatory matter ac­ companied the psalter either originally or (if the quires were numbered later) by the time of the numbering of the quires; similar numbering in what appears to be the same hand is found in Royal 4. A. xiv, which was written by the same scribe as that of Royal 2. B. v. Psalms have been numbered in modern pencil from 1-70 (stopping at f. 82r), and from 84-86 (stopping at f. 102r). The original modern foliation is off by one number, with "107" repeated on f. 108, and continuing to the end of the codex. These numbers have been crossed out and corrected (Roeder follows the old numbering in his edition). Binding is in red leather.

  1. 1r contains four Latin lemmata and their OE glosses, the last in­ complete, in the right margin: 'calida aura: hat weder; frigida aura: ceald weder; umida aura: wæt weder; umidu<m>: wæt' (ed. Dewick 1902: note to f. 1); in bottom margin and on f. 8r is the name Lumley. Psalm divisions occur at Pss. 1 (f. 8r), 51 (f. 64r), and 101 (f. 117r), with initials in green, blue, and green, respectively. Initials to psalms are colored with green, red, and yellow ochre, mostly the latter, with yellow ochre used mostly for initial letters throughout (e.g., Ps. 1: green; Ps. 2: untinted; Ps. 3: green; Ps. 4: untinted; Ps. 5: yellow; Ps. 6 yellow with green band; Pss. 7-8: yellow with red band; Pss. 9-49: yellow; Ps. 50: green; Ps. 51: blue; Pss. 52-59: yellow; etc.). Psalm-titles are in red, with Latin text and gloss in brown ink.

The added OE texts are written in a number of different hands at different times: (a) ff. 190v/8-192r/12 and ff. 192r/12-196v/9, 10/11c; (b) f. 196v/10-13, early 11c; (c) ff. 197r-198r/14 and f. 198r/15-19, early 11c; (d) f. 6r/14-20, mid 11c; <e> f. 6rv, early 11c.


COLLATION: I6+1 (ff. 1-7; leaf inserted after 6), II8 (ff. 8-15), III8 (ff. 16-23), IV8 (ff. 24-31), V8 (ff. 32-29), VI8 (ff. 40-47), VII8 (ff. 48-55) VIII8(ff. 56-63), IXs (ff. 64-71), X8 (ff. 72-79), XI8 (ff. 80-87), XII8 (ff. 88-95), XIIIs (ff. 96-103), XIV8 (ff. 104-111), XV8 (ff. 112-119), XVI8 (ff. 120-127), XVII8 (ff. 128-135), XVIII8 (ff. 136-143), XIXs (ff. 144-151), XX:8 (ff. 152-159), XXI8 (ff. 160-167), XXII8 (ff. 168-175), XXIII8 (ff. 176-183), XXIV8 (ff. 184-191), XXV8 (ff. 192-198; wants 8).

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