Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale, 9627-9628

[Part 1]

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General information

LanguageLanguage object (3)
Approx. datec. 1250 to 1275
Date notesThe Lancelot-Graal project suggests 'c. 1250'. Arthurian Fiction: '1240 to 1260'. Jonas has 3rd quarter of the 13th c., probably 1260-1270.
Place(s) of productionParis
Place suggested by the Lancelot-Graal project. Gaspar and Lyna 1937, 163 locate the MS in Flanders.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2ra] ture fust auenue e(n) u(ost)re cort /
First words of last recto folio[f. 157ra] tout seuls auec larceuesque /
Incipit[f. 1ra] A la ueille de lapen / tecouste quant li / compaigno(n) de la / table roonde . fure(n)t / uenu aquamaa / lot (et) il orent oi le / seruise /
Explicit[f. 157ra] Si se test ore atant mestre Gautier / map . de lestoire de lancelot . Quar / bien atout mene afin selonc les cho / ses qui en auindrent (et) define ci son / liure . si outreement . que apres ce / nen porroit nus raconter chose . q(ui) / nen mentist / Explicit lamort auroi artur //


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:Good quality vellum, some holes (e.g. f. 90) and stitches (e.g. ff. 8, 73, 85, some corners cut (e.g. ff. 105, 121,122). Folds in the final folio. The outer column of f. 40 is severely damaged. The lower margin of f. 49 trimmed.



1-512 68 7-1212 135

Quire structure:The manuscript is composed of regular sexternions except for the final quire of the 'Queste' (quire 8, f. 61 to f. 68) which is a quaternion. The verso side of f. 68 has been left blank so the 'Mort Artu' can start on the recto of the first folio of a new quire. The final quire of the manuscript is an irregular gathering of five folios.
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (36)
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (12)

Physical description

No. of illustrations:37
General illustration:The 'Queste' and 'Mort Artu' open with a frontispiece which consists of a large historiated initialand a partial border of red and blue bars decorated with goldleaf. The image at the beginning of the 'Queste' (f. 1ra, height: 8 lines) has been severely damaged. The image at the beginning of the Mort (f. 69ra, height: 6 lines) shows Arthur and one of his scribes (or alternatively Henry II and Walter Map).
General decoration:Chapters and paragraphs are marked by decorated initials (height: 2 lines), gilt, on grounds of red and blue decorated with white flourishings.
Evidence of readership:On f. 1r, in the upper margin, added title 'le sante g(raa)l. In a 15th-c century hand 'Ceste liure est a lescon??...??'. Gaspar and Lyna 1937, vol. 1, 164 read 'Lestoneit', but a reading 'Lesc/tondait' also seems possible. In the lower margin is a modern note in French discussing the confiscation of the manuscript in 1747 and its return to the Burgundian Library in 1770. On. 122v, in the upper margin: effaced annotation. First flyleaf, in a modern hand, 'cest livre est a Humfrey duc de Gloucestre'. This is a transcription of the (faded) 15th-c. note on f. 157v. The last words of this ex-libris definitely are ‘duc de gloucestre’. The preceding word may be ‘humfrey’ as transcribed on the modern flyleaf. The first words (apart from ‘ce[..]’) are illegible, even under UV-light, but the distribution of letters suggests that the possessive ‘moy’ - as common in Humphrey's ex-libris - is not present (as in the modern transcription. David Rundle (personal communication, 01/08/2013) that this does not quite fit Humfrey’s usual ex libris, but may reflect an early stage in the development of his practice, as suggested by Bible recently found at Corpus Christi, Oxford, which is definitely his. According to Rundle, also, does not look as if it is definitely Humphrey's.
Foliations description:Modern foliation in arabic numerals in the upper right corner of the recto.

Mise en page

Description 1Intricate ruling pattern with double horizontal throughlines in the upper (13mm from the justification) and lower (45mm from the justification) margins and vertical throughlines in the outer margin (30mm from the justification). Pair of horizontal throughlines at the top and bottom of the justification.
Page sampledf. 3r
LayoutMSLayout object (3)
Page dimensions315x215 (mm)
Justification207x145 (mm)
13mm between columns
Column ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
Line ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
RubricationNo rubricated tituli.
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom 1ra to 157ra
Datec. 1250 to 1300
Scribe description:Northern textualis with two-compartment 'a', double bow 'a' and box-like 'a', 'b', 'l', 'h' with forked or clubbed ascenders, uncial 'd' the ascender 'drops', 'e' without tongue, 8-like 'g' and 'Rücken'-'g', limb of 'h' curves below the baseline, diacritic on 'i' in minim group, straight, round and trailing 's' occur in final position, vertical stroke of 't' does not ascend above the headstroke, 'u' in initial position, 3-like 'z'. Fusion of 'd' and 'e', 'o' and round 'r' Abbreviations include nasal bar, apostrophe, superscript vowels, 'p' with crossed descender, 'est' abbreviation (uncommon), crossed tironian 'et', 'us'-abbreviation.


DescriptionThe ex-libris on f. 157v may suggest that the MS once belonged to Humphrey of Gloucester, youngest son of Henry IV and brother of Henry V. His marriage to Jacqueline of Bavaria, countess of Holland and Hainault and cousin of Philip III of Burgundy, was annulled in 1428. At this time, Philip the Good became the governor of Jacqueline's lands. She abdicated in 1433 and died childless in 1436. The MS may have passed to the Burgundian library via Jacqueline, although this is not certain.
Datec. 1410 to 1447
PlacePlace object (124)
OwnershipPerson object (122)
DescriptionThe MS is listed in the inventory of the Burgundian Library drawn up after the death of Philip the Good in 1467. Among the his books are MSS which previously had belonged to Jacqueline of Bavaria and also four books in English, which again may have passed into his possession through Jacqueline, but may also have been diplomatic gifts.
PlacePlace object (16)
OwnershipPerson object (39)