Cambridge, Trinity College R.17.1 (987) "Eadwine Psalter" ("Canterbury Psalter") (with London, British Library, Add. 37472(1) [165a], London, Victoria and Albert Museum 661 [319a], New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, M. 521 and M. 724 [332a])

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Phillip Pulsiano
Peter J. Lucas
A. N. Doane


85. Cambridge, Trinity College R. 17. 1 (987)

"Eadwine Psalter" ("Canterbury Psalter")

(with London, British Library, Add. 37472(1) [165a],

London, Victoria and Albert Museum 661 [319a],

New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, M. 521 and M. 724 [332a])

[Ker 91, Gneuss -)

HISTORY: A lavishly illustrated, large-format triple Psalter containing the Gallicanum, Romanum, and Hebraicum versions of the Psalms, with marginal and interlinear glosses to the Gallicanum from the "Glossa Ordinaria" ("parva glosatura"), a continuous interlinear OE gloss to the Romanum, and a continuous interlinear Anglo-Norman (French) gloss to the Hebraicum. Probably written at Christ Church, Canterbury; dated by the script to the 1150s (T. Webber in Gibson et al. 1992: 24). The Psalter receives its common title from the large illustration of the scribe Eadwine on f. 283v, a feature added about twenty years after the Psalter was written. A direct copy of this manuscript was made in the late 12c, now Paris Bibliotheque Nationale lat. 8846 [432]. The Psalter is listed in Henry Eastry's (Prior of Christ Church, 1284- 1331) early 14c inventory of the Christ Church library (London, BL Cotton Galba E. iv, ed. James 1903: 51, no. 323), where it appears as "Tripartitum psalterium Edwini:' As T. A. Heslop notes (in Gibson et al. 1992: 193-94), the earliest direct indication that the codex belonged to the monastic community comes in a partly erased memorandum (f. 4v): 'Istud psalteriu<m> sancte ecc<les>ie Cantuarien<sis> traditu<m> est ad | usum d<omi>ni Thome Archiep(iscop)i eiusdem ecc<les>ie p<er> Priorem | & capit<u>l<u>m eiusdem ad suu<m> beneplacitu<m>. p<er> modu<m> mutui' (facs. in Gibson et al. 1992: pl. 2d; ed. Verfaillie-Markey 1985, who suggests that the Thomas referred to is likely Archbishop Thomas Arundel, 1397, 1399-1414). The "Eadwine Psalter" may still have remained with the archbishops in the mid-16c, as indicated by another, more thoroughly erased, inscription on f. 1r: 'Liber Academie Cantabrigiensis ex dona | Richardi Arkynstall anno d[omi]ni 1584' (ed. Heslop in Gibson et al. 1992: 194; see n. 4, and pls. 2e, f ). Arkinstall, who matriculated at Queen's College, Cambridge, 1584-1585, may have appropriated the codex from Richard Cox, Bishop of Ely (1559-1581 ), when he was a student there (for a discussion of this complex matter, see Heslop in Gibson et al. 1992: 194; see also Keynes 1992: 40 ). The manuscript remained at Canterbury until it was presented to Trinity College by Thomas Nevile, Dean of Canterbury (1597-1615), and Master of Trinity (now the inside pastedown, Nevile's bookplate and label of Trinity College, was formerly on f. 2r, as in the film). Binding is from the 17c (see N. Pickwoad in Gibson et al. 1992: 9). Edited and translated in 1630 by William L'Isle (1569?-1637), one-time fellow of King's College, Cambridge; edition preserved in Oxford, Bodi. Lib. Laud Misc. 201 (see Pulsiano 2000). For a full discussion of the history of the manuscript, see T. A. Heslop and D. McKitterick, as well as M. Gibson in Gibson et al. 1992: 193-213. In all probability the "Eadwine Psalter;' like its counterpart, Paris BN lat. 8846, originally had prefatory picture pages containing Old Testament and Gospel scenes which were removed; they are thought to still exist as four dispersed leaves: New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, M. 521 and M. 724 [332a], London, BL Additional 37472(1) [165a], and London, Victoria and Albert Museum MS 661 [319a]. They were likely removed before the manuscript came to Trinity College in the early 17 c, and may have been removed when the book was bound around the same time, perhaps in London. They appeared in the private collection of William Young Ottely, who sold them in 1838 (for the histories of the individual leaves see their individual descriptions, also G. Henderson in Gibson et al. 1992: 25-42).

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