London, British Library, Additional 5474

[Part 1]

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General information

Folio notes:The second flyleaf at the front of the manuscript is foliated '1'.
LanguageLanguage object (44)
Approx. date?1275 to 1300
Date notesBL catalogue of illuminated manuscripts. Confirmed by the script: northern textualis with double compartment 'a' the upper lobe of which is closed (double bow 'a'); generally long 's' in final position, round 's' is used in final position at the end of the line (also trailing 's' in this position). Stones 2003 suggests that the manuscript was illustrated by the same artist as BnF, 110 (Lancelot-Grail), which she dates to c. 1295.
Place(s) of production
Stones 2003 argues that the artist also illustrated BnF, 110. This manuscript is situated in Thérouanne or Cambrai.
First words of second recto folio[f. 3ra] sanc qui tant est fres (et) nouuiaus (et) cil dient oil /
First words of last recto folio[f. 305ra] Grant tans ce dist li (con)tes demourerent li (com)paig /
Incipit[f. 2ra] Ensi come li rois marc auoit abatu monseign(eur) / ywain de son ceual [...] durement nai [...] / En ceste partie dist li contes que .iii. / iours entiers demoura mesires [...] / en la maison le roi march (et) lors se [...] / pensa quil ?...? ceuauchant parmi le roiaume / de cornuaille pour sauoir sil porroit ennule ma / niere aprendre nouuieles de tristram . il ne puet /
Explicit[f. 305vb] certes fait saigremor v(ous) dites uoir maluaises sont eles / trop . uees uous ore cest escu que iou port (et) ceste es / pee . or sachies que che furent les armes dun si prou / dome . (et) de si boin ch(eualie)r que p(ar) la haute ch(euale)rie que iou sa / uoie en lui . iou nai pas tant de hardiment q(ue) iou les / penge amon coste . ains laa port amon col pendue / si con uous uees diex aide fait il qui fu chil qui //

Related MS

Stones 2003, 123.
RelationshipType object (2)Manuscript object (190)
Manuscript object (172)


Material:Material object (4)
Condition:First and last folios stained and worn. In some instances the ink has faded and the text has become illegible (e.g. ff. 14v-15r). ff. 43, 44, 139, 217, 363 and 267 damaged. Fair quality vellum with some stitches (e.g. f. 11).



126(3-6 wanting) 3-10117(4 wanting) 12-13147(7 wanting) 15-2122-2312 24-323334-37387(8 wanting)

Quire structure:The MS is generally made up of regular quaternions. Folios are wanting in quires 2 (bifolium making up 3 and 6 wanting), 11 (4th folio of the quire), 14 (7th folio of the quire) and 37 (last folio of the quire). Quires 22 and 23 are quires of twelve folios; quire 33 has five folios.
Quire marks:MSQuiremarkDisposition object (5)
Catchword disposition:MSCatchwordDisposition object (20)

Physical description

No. of illustrations:26
General illustration:Miniatures 9-11 lines; white border; blue and red bars inside; corners red with geometric decorations; guilded background; each miniature is preceded by a rubricated caption (of the ‘((En)Si) com’ type; in general illustrations occur at the start of a chapter; pinks, greys, reds, blue, orange; no surface, stand on the frame, occasionally the figures extend beyond it. 1) 1r: joust between mounted knights; battle of king Marc 2) 9r: joust between mounted knights: battle of Dynadan 3) 12r: a lady talks to Tristan, Palamedes and Dynadan in prison 4) 24v: joust between Tristan and Sagremor 5) 27v: a knight makes his vows surrounded by other knights 6) 41r: Palamedes defeats a group of knights 7) 53r: two knights jousting 8) 58v: the king talks to a lady and gives her a letter. King in blue/red; counsellor, pink; lady, orange 9) 72v: king sitting in company, a harpist performing 10) 74r: Tristan jousting four knights of the round table, blue, orange and red shields 11) 94v: a ship arriving with a knight; castle with blue roof and red decoration; rock 12) 115r: the king of Ireland, the king of l’Estroite Marche and other knights (one depicted) talking; orange green, blue 13) 130r: Palamedes leaving with two kings 14) 144r: Lancelot pulling a lady out of a cune (tub) 15) 150v: Lancelot leaves a castle in his shirt (une chambre enbraies) 16) 162r: Lancelot talks to [the mother] of Helain, son of Bohort et Lacole (knight embracing a woman) 17) 172r: Galahad with spear riding without shield; green trees 18) 191v: Queen Yseut of Cornwall dictating a letter to a clerk 19) 217v: Brehus tying his horse (and shield) to a branch; a knight on horseback comes along 20) 230v: Galahad jousts with another knight, his shield covered 21) 243v: a hermit talking to Lancelot 22) 250r: Bohort talking to a man in white dress comme de religion 23) 258v: Galahad defeating a host of knights 24) 268v: Marc and his knights burn a castle 25. 283v: Key defeating Tristan 26. 290v: Tristan playing the harp before Yseut; Mark thrusting a spear into his back
General decoration:The text opens with a 3-line initial (blue on a red background; eye decorated in gold and red). L border on the first column, curved, blue, red, gold balls, bird. Puzzle initials in red and blue (5-6 lines), with pen decoration floral in eye; and red/blue bars next to the column. 2-line initials (red and blue) with pen decoration in the contrasting colour. Verse passages (f. 30r) stanzas introduced by plain initials (one line, red; blue); verse passages begin with pen-decorated initial. 30 r-v; 73r; 166v; 166v-167r; 179r; 214r-v.
Evidence of readership:11v: ici a fa ult 12r: scraped inscription 50r: added in the lower margin demoi or demor 111v: adame de / .reponx (15th c.; first letters cut) 126r: Loysse du (14th-15th c) 133v: drawings (black ink) of medieval helmets (lower margin) 137v: drawing (black ink) of crown (left margin) 147v: drawing (black ink) of crown (left margin) 162v: added to caption a la meire 191v: il a beste glarissant (15th c hand, cf. 11v?) 214r: next to a verse passage a modern hand has note “vers” 221v: drawing (black ink) of crown (left margin) 237v: erased note 262v: yss a fanite farilte? 266v: same note 290r: yrik? 292v: note in the left margin: ort .pen genit 298v: erased note bottom margin
Foliations description:Modern foliation in the upper right hand corner of the recto, pencil. The second fly-leaf with the pasted ‘mémoire’ has been numbered '1'.

Mise en page

Description 1
Page sampledf. 101r
LayoutMSLayout object (3)
Page dimensions350x243 (mm)
Justification270x185 (mm)
15mm between columns
Column ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
Line ruling present in Colours object (4) (RulingMaterials object (3) )
RubricationRed ink is used for decorated initials and rubricated captions preceding the illustrations.
Writing above top line?False
Sample page layout:


Level of Execution:Execution object (4)
ScriptScript object (4)
Folio rangeFrom 2ra to 305vb
Date?1275 to 1300
Scribe description:Littera textualis rotundus with double compartment 'a', the upper lobe of which is closed (double bow 'a'); the ascenders of 'b', 'h', 'k', 'l' are forked or decorated with spurs; tongued 'e'; 8-like 'g'; the limb of 'h' curves below the baseline; no use of 'i' longa; 'i' marked with diacritic dash in minim group; in general long 's' is used in final position, round 's' occurs at the end of the line; 't' extends slightly above the diagonal stroke; 'v' used in initial position; use of 'w' 'ywain'. 'st'-ligature; biting of 'o' and round 'r', 'co'. Abbreviations include 'com'- and -'us' abbreviation; superscript vowels; crossed tironian 'et'; 'p' with bar through descender; apostrophe; no use of nasal mark (except for 'que'). Marginal corrections: e.g. f. 107r.


DescriptionAssociated with Fontfroide Abbey on the basis of the 18th-c. mémoire on f. 1r : 'Le Manuscript de l'Histoire des Chevaliers de la Table ronde, aujourd'huy la propriété d'un Officier françois étoit depuis longtemps dans sa famille, qui avoit cru y trouver d'anciennes traces de son origine. Il étoit auparavant dans la Bibliothèque des Moines de l'abbaye de Fontfrede en Languedoc, où cette famille a ses Tombeaux.'
Date?1500 to 1599
PlacePlace object (186)