Nottingham, University Library, WLC/LM/7

[Part 1]

» Full parent manuscript detail

General information

Folio notes:The manuscript is incomplete at the beginning.
LanguageLanguage object (3)
Approx. datec. 1220
Date notesDating by Stones (2010, 47). Based on layout, written above top line, script (northern textualis with double-compartment 'a', the upper compartment of which is open, only straight 's' used in final position) and decoration (simple pen-flourishings).
Place(s) of production
Western France, possibly Angers, based on 14th-c. ownership notes. Most of the contemporary 'Lancelot-Grail' manuscripts are either from Champagne or Northern France. No apparent northern linguistic features. The Lancelot-Graal Project has Northern France.
First words of second recto folio[f. 2r] aornee de toutes bones graces poist ueo /
First words of last recto folio[f. 76ra] e a touchier a ses plaies dont il /
Incipit[f. 1ra] M olt durerent longuement cil / ??arbres?? en tel color e en tel beau / te come uos auez oi deuiser / el conte ne onques neuielli / aornee a tantes bones graces poist ueo /
Explicit[f. 76ra] e li autres remanoit . e dura ce / le merueille de cez .ii. bestes ius / qa tant que lanceloz del lac i vi / ent . qui an??l??edeus les ocist . si come / li contes deuisera apertement . Si / se test ore li contes de totes les lig / niees qui de celydoine oissirent . / e retorene a une autre estoire de merlin . quil couient aioster en / semble ??.?? fine force auec lestoire / del saint Graal . porce que branche / en est e i apartient . e comence / co es sires [...] [the lower corner of f. 76ra and col. b have been torn]


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:Vellum of surprisingly poor quality, thin and discoloured, great deal of patching, especially at the lower edges. Most of the top of f. 6 is torn away, there is a large tear rough-sewn after writing in f. 7, the upper corner of f. 21 is torn, only part of inner column of f. 76 survives (Hannah and Turville-Petre 2010, 99-100). Stitches in the written area, e.g. f. 15. Holes in the written area, e.g. ff. 28, 29, 44, 45, 63, 66.



1-78 88 (lacks 6, after f. 61 now a thin stub).

Quire structure:Although quire signatures imply a missing quire, the text is continuous.
Quire marks:
Catchword disposition:

Physical description

General description:The verso side of the final folio was left blank, with notes in Latin and French added.
General illustration:Not illustrated.
General decoration:Larger divisions are indicated by red and blue parti-coloured initials (height: 5-8 lines) with modest flourishings in both colours. The text is further structured by means of pen-decorated initials (height: 2 lines), alternating red and blue. The red initials are undecorated, the blue usually have simple flourishings in red ink (small circles, spiral-decoration in the eye of the letter, simple lines following the shape of the initial). This modest form of decoration may point towards an early date.
Evidence of readership:On ff. 1-2, 9-11, 73v-76v, accounts of small amounts owed to and by ‘Ioh’ Boin (?? Bain) de Sixa’ have been scribbled in the margins, possibly as early as the end of the 13th c.. Boin was a cleric, owing to and owed by civilians, religious figures and houses. Mention is made of a ‘prior de agnar’ and ‘agnaria’, referring to Angers. Saix was located about 6 km southwest of Fontevraud abbey, which features in a note on f. 29r, dated to the 14th c.: 'de par madame l’ablesse d[e Fontderaut / founderaut]'. A piece of vellum has been pasted over the annotation, but the text shows through on the verso side. A note in Anglicana, dated to c. 1300 to 1350, reads ‘<A> toux ceux qi cestis l(e)tt(re)s verrount or orrunt Rog(er) p(ar) la sufferaunce de dieu euesq(ue) de Couent(?..?) (et) de Lychesfeld(?..?) salutz en dieu / P(ur) ce q(ue) couenable chose (et) est ateismoigner verite (et) especialment ou en cas q(ua)nt elle nest pas com Malice de gentz surmou(n)t innocence’ and probably refers to Roger Northburgh (bishop 1321-1358). Other notes on f. 14v ('absolucio') may underline the monastic context and on ff. 17v (14th-c.?) and 18r (15th-c.?) suggest an interest in the figure of Hippocrates. The abbess of Fontevraud mentioned on f. 26 may be Aleidis of Champagne (abbess from 1209 to 1217), who was a granddaughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine; or it may be Eleanor de Bretagne (1275 to 1343), daughter of Beatrice and granddaughter of Henry III. Born across the Channel, she was abbess from 1304. Fontevraud had four houses in England, most prominently Nuneaton (Warwickshire), in the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield. Eleanor de Bretagne had contentious relations with both Roger Northburgh and Nuneaton through a period in the 1320s when her candidate for prioress was rejected in favour of the bishop’s nominee. Richard Bingham, Richard Willoughby’s stepfather, may have acquired the manuscript during his custodianship of Nuneaton priory in 1462. The manuscript would have passed to Henry Willoughby in 1493 on the death of Margaretha Freville, who was Bingham’s wife and Richard Willoughby’s mother.
Foliations description:Modern foliation in arabic numerals in the upper right corner of the recto.

Mise en page

Description 1The height of the justification varies between 242 mm and 250 mm.
Page sampled
Page dimensions318x235 (mm)
Justification242x180 (mm)
12mm between columns
RubricationRed ink is only used for decorated initials.
Writing above top line?True
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom 1ra to 76va
Datec. 1200 to 1250
Scribe description:Northern textualis with double-compartment 'a', the upper compartment of which is open. Exclusively round 'd'. Tongued 'e' in final position. 8-like 'g'. Limb of 'h' extending below the baseline. No use of 'i'-longa. Diacritic on 'i' in minim group. Ascenders not markedly clubbed. Descenders of 'p' and 'q' curve to the right. Round 'r' after 'o'. Exclusive use of straight 's' in final position. Vertical stroke of 't' does not extend above the headstroke. Some use of 'v' in initial position. Word-separation marked by dash. No use of tironian note ('et' is written in full as 'e'). Very low frequency of abbreviations, including apostrophe, 'com'-abbreviation, nasal bar, superscript vowels Biting of 'de'


DescriptionJohannes de Boin de Saix, cleric from Saix. Annotations related to him / in his hand on ff. 1-2, 9-11, 73v-76v.
Datec. 1300
PlacePlace object (189)
OwnershipPerson object (97)
DescriptionAn abbess of Fontevraud (cf. note on f. 29), possibly Eleanor de Bretagne (abbess from 1304).
Datec. 1300
PlacePlace object (191)
OwnershipPerson object (98)
DescriptionThe note referring to Roger Northburgh was made by someone who had learnt to write in England. This may have been someone on the continent, in Fontevraud (Eleanor de Bretagne?) or in England, possibly in Nuneaton priory.
Datec. 1321 to 1358
PlacePlace object (192)
OwnershipPerson object (99)
DescriptionThe note referring to Roger Northburgh was made by someone who had learnt to write in England. This may have been someone on the continent, in Fontevraud (Eleanor de Bretagne?) or in England, possibly in Nuneaton priory.
Datec. 1321 to 1358
PlacePlace object (192)
OwnershipPerson object (99)
DescriptionHenry Willoughby (1451-1528), possibly via Richard Bingham and Margaretha Freville.
PlacePlace object (193)
OwnershipPerson object (100)