RepositoryLincoln Cathedral
AuthorChaucer, Geoffrey
TitleThe Canterbury Tales
Alt Ref NoA. 4. 18
NotesSec. fol. With. History: acquired by Michael Honywood, perhaps in Holland, though its original home cannot have been far from Lincoln (Thorpe is presumably one of the many Lincolnshire places of that name); Wren Cat. H. 10 (described as 'imperfectus'); not identifiable in Garvey; Apthorp, p279; Woolley. pp73-78. Bibliography: J. M. Manlyand E. Rickert, The text of the Canterbury Tales (Chicago, 8 vols., 1940), I pp.329-338; their MS Ln, dated by them c1430-1450.
Date15th century
DescriptionFf.1-266v. (Beg. imp. in the Prol. description of the cook; ed. P.20 line 381) And pouder marchaunt tart and gallyngale… (f.7; line 858)) His tale anon and seide as ye may here. Here endith the proheme of alle þe tal and begynneith the knyghtes tale. (859) Whilome as olde stories tellen us... (f.36v; 3108) And God save alle this compaignye. The prologg of the mellere. (3109) Whanne the knyꝪt had his tale told... (f.37v; 3186) And eke men shall not make ernest of gaine. (3187) Whilome ther was dwellynge in Oxenford... (f.46v; 3850) This tale is do and God save alle þe route. (Prol. and Reeve's Tale; 3855) Whanne men had laugh at this nise caas... (f.47rv; 3920-3921) But in his owne he can not se a balke. At Trumppyngtone not fer fro Cambrigge ... (f.52v; 4324) Thus have y quytte the millere in my tale. The prolog of þe cook. (4325) The cook of Londone while the reve spak... (ends impf.; 4338) he hath a jape of malice in þe clerk; (End of the Cook's Tale, f.53; 4415) And for there is no theef with outen a lowk... (4420) a shoppe and swyved for hir sustenaunce. (p.62 line 1) Owre oost saw well that the sonne... (f.54; 98-99) Began his tale as e shall after here. (Prol. and Man of Law's Tale) O hateful harme condicioun of poverte... (ends impf. f.61v: 671) And bothe his yen brosten out of his face; (beg. impf. f.62; 749) Fro his constable as ye shal after here... (f.67; 1162) And kepe us alle that ben in this place. The prologe of þe squyer (In marg.; this is really the Epilogue of the Man of Law's Tale; 1163). Oure oste up on his stirope stod anon...(f.67v; 1190) There is but litil Latin in my mawe. (Squire's Tale; p128 line 9) At Sarray in the land of Tartarie.... (f.76v; 670) And there y lefte y wol ageyn bigynne. The prolog of the marchaunt (In marg.; this is actually the Words of the Franklin to the Squire and of the Host to the Franklin; 673). In feith squyer thou hast the wel quyt... (f.77; 708) Thanne wot I wel that it is gode inow. (The Merchant's Tale; p115 line 1245) Whilom ther was dwellynge in Lumbardie... (ends impf. f.80v; 1548) And observaunce of alle blisses bare; (beg. impf. f.81; 1627) Whiche maide he seide he wold have to wyff... (f.91; 2418) God blesse us and his modir seint Marie Amen. The woord of oure host. (2419) [E]y godd mercy quod oure host tho... (f.91v; 2435) and cause why þt shoulde reported be. (Lines 2436-2440, ending 'To tellen al perforce my tale ys do', suppl. by the scribe in marg.). (Wife of Bath's Prol.; p.76 line 1) Experience þonꝪ noun auctorite... (f.94; line added after 192) And to teche ou þat þyng þat may do you ese. (193) Now sire þan shal y telle forth my tale... (f.102; 828-829) Now woll y seie my tale yef Ꝫe woll here. The frere louꝪ whanne he hadde herd al þis... (f.102v; 856-857 Ꝫis dame quod he telle forth I shall you here. In olde daies of kyng Artour... (f.108; 1264) God sende hem sone veri pestilence. Amen. Here endiþ þe wyves tale of Bathe. And here begynnyth the prologe of þe frere. (1265) This noble lymytour pis worpi frere... (f.108v; 1300-1301) Telle forth Ꝫoure tale myn owne maistir dere. Samtyme þer was dwellinge in my cuntre... (f.113; 1664) Of hir mysdedis or þe fend hem hente. Thus endiþ þe freris tale of þe sompnour and biginnyþ þe sompnours tale of þe frere lymytour. (1665) Ths sompnour in his steropis hye stood... (ff.113v-114; 2nd added line after 1708) If þe frere liste he wol be shrewid alday. (1709) Lording þer is in york shire as I gesse... (f.121v; 2286) My tale is don we ben almost at towne. Here endiþ þe tale of þe sompnour talking of þe frere and beginneth þe clerkis tale of Oxenford in honest maner. (p.101 line 1) Sire clerk of Oxenford oure ost seide... (f.122rv; 56) But þis is his tale which þat Ꝫe may here. Here endith þe prolog of clerk of Oxenford. (57) There is at west side of Ytaile... (f.137v; 1212) And lete him care weþe wrynge and weile. Now is ended þe clerkis tale of Oxenford and now biginneth þe prolog of the frankelens tale... (1212a) This worthe clerk whanne endid was his tale... (1212g) But þing þat wol not lete it be stille. (The scribe adds in marg., 'Sir Frankleyn com neer if youre will be...My wil is good and lo my tale is thys', an adaptation of the Squire's Introduction, p.128 lines 1-8). (The Franklin's Prol., p.135 line 709) This olde gentil britouns in hir daies... (f138; 728-729) But if Ꝫe lust my tale shul Ꝫe here. In armorik þat callyd is breteyne... (f.149v; 1624) I can nomore my tale is at an ende. Here endith the frankleyns tale and begynnyth the prolog of the nonne. (p.207 line 1) The mynystre and þe norice unto vices... (f.151; 119-120) Now have I declared what þe maiden hyght. (In marg. 'Cicilia uirgo clarissima') This maiden bryꝪt Cicilye as hure liif saith... (f.157; 553) Men doun to Crist and to his seintis servyce. The prologe of þe chanoneꝪ Ꝫoman here begynneth. (554) Whanne that told was þe lyff of seint Cecyle... (f.159; 719-720) Siche thing as I knowe I wol declare. With this chanoun dwelled have I vii Ꝫere... (f.169; 1481) God sende every man bote of his bale Amen. (Here follows a gap of 15 lines for the missing Doctor's Prol., as noted in the marg.: 'þe prolog failleth Whan þt þe yoman had thus his tale'; the Tale beg. f.169v; p.145 line 1) The tale of the doctour of phisik. Ther was as tellith Tytus Livyus... (f.173; 286) Forsakith synne or synne Ꝫow for sake. Here endith the tale of doctoure of phisik and now begynnyth þe tale of þe perdonere. (287) Oure ost gan swere as he were wood... (f.173v; 328) Vp sum onest þing while that I drinke. Now bygynnyth þe perdeners tale. (329) Lordyngis quod he in chirche when I preche... (f.175v; 462-463) Now holdith Ꝫoure pees my tale y wol bygynne. In Flaundris sumtyme was a companye... (f.182; 968) Anone þey kissede and roden forth hir weye. Here endith the perdoners tale. (Another 13 lines at the foot of f.182 and 8 at the top of f.182va for the missing Shipman's Prol.) Here begynnyth the Shipmannes tale. (p.156 line 1) A marchaunt whilome dwellide at Seint Denys... (f.188; 434) Tailynge ynoꝪ unto oure lyves ende. Here endith the shippmans tale and biginnyth the prolog of the þe priores. (435) Wel seid be corpus dominus seide oure ost... (f.188v; 451) Gladly quod sche and seide as Ꝫe schullen here. Here biginnyþ an oþer prolog. (453) Domine dominus noster. Lord oure lord þy name how mervelous... (f.189); 487) Gidiþ my song þat I schall of Ꝫow say. Now biginnyth the preoresses tale. (488) Ther was in Asie in a gret cite... (ff.191v-192; 690) For þe reverence of his modir Marie Amen. Here endith the priores tale and here bygynnyth the prolog of Chaucer of Sire Thopas. (691) Vhan seid was this miracle everyman... (711) Sum deynte thing me þenkith by his chere. Here byginnyth the tale of sire Thopas. (712) Listenyth lordis in good entent... (f.194v-195; 917) So worthy under wede (in marg.). Now sueþ þe prolog of Melobye. (919) Nomore of this for Goddis dignyte... (966) And lete me telle al my tale y preie. (f.195v) Here begynnyth the tale of Melibius. (967) A Ꝫonge man called Melibius myꝪty and riche... (f.220; 1888) that never schall have ende Amen. Here endith Chauceris tale of Melibee and bygynnyþ þe prolog of þe monkis tale fre. (1889) Whanne endith was þe tale of Melibee... (f.221v; 1990) Have me excusid of myn ignoraunce. Here endiþ þe prolog and bigynnyþ þe monkis tale þat is titlid de casibus uirorum illustrium. (1991) I wol be wayle in maner of tragedie... (f.231v; 2765) Fro poynt to poynt not a word wol he fayle. Here eendiþ þe monkis tale de casibus uirorum illustrium. Heere bigynneþ þe prolog of þe nunnes preest. (2767) Ho quod þe knyꝪt good sir no more of þis... (f.232v; 2820) þis swete preest þis gentil man sir Jon. Heere bigynnyþ þee tale of the cokk and the henne and the fox. (2821) A pouere widowe sumdel stope in age... (f.240v; 3446) And brynge us un to his blisse amen. Here eendith þe tale of þe nunnes preest and heere bigynneth the prolog of the maunciplis tale. (p.224 line 1) Wote Ꝫe not where þer stant a litil toune... (f.242; 104) Wel sir quod he now herkene what I seie. Heere bigynneth the maunciplis tale of þe crowe. (105) Whanne Phebus was dwellynge in erthe adoun... (f.245v; 362) Kepe well thy tunge and þenke upone þe crowe. Heere bigynneþ þe prolog off the persouns tale. (p.226 line 1) Be þat the maunciple had his tale endid... (f.246v; 72) And to do wel God sende Ꝫow his grace Amen. Heere endiþ þe persouns prolog and biginniþ his tale. (p.73 line 1) Ier. 8. State super uias et uidete et interrogate de uiis antiquis que fit uia bona et ambulate in ea et inuenietis refrigerium animabus uestris etc. Oure swete Lord of hevene þat noman wol perische... (f.255v; 315) A sory song we myꝪten alle synge. Explicit prima pars penitencie et sequitur secunda pars eiusdem. (316) The secounde partie of penitencie is confessioun... (f.258v; 385) of preestis and other good werkis et cetera. (f.259; 386) [N]owe is it behovely þing to telle... (ends impf.; p.248 line 638) for he þᵗ 'wikked counseille yeueth'. Ed. F. N. Robinson, The works of Geoffrey Chaucer, 2nd ed., 1957). Manly & Rickert (pp331-335) analyse this version and its complex affinities in detail, concluding that it has no authority 'but is interesting as an example of visible editing'. The main scribe, contemporary and slightly later hands have corrected and made additions to the text. Some titles, in a 15th century textura, are inserted in gaps left for rubrication. In the margin of f.150 is 'Amsterodam', in a 17th-cent. hand. To the running title on f.247 ('The persone') another early hand has added 'off Thorpe'. In the lower outer corner of f.213 is a tiny note which Manly and Rickert read tentatively as 'averey'; Thomson reads 'acroyl' or 'atroyl'. On f.86v is a word in dry-point read by Manly & Rickert as 'lowyck' or 'bewyck'; Thomson thinks 'lewych' more likely than either. On f.523 are 15th-cent. pen-trails including 'þegode' and 'fayer'. The identifications suggested by Manly & Rickert for these four words seem highly conjectural (to Rodney Thomson).
ImageDataMS 110 f.107v part. The Franklin's Tale. Copyright Dean & Chapter Lincoln Cathedral Library. Permission of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral
LocationLincoln Cathedral Library
Physical DescriptionBinding: D. Cockerell & Son, 1934: brown calf. Four parchment leaves at each end. On the spine: 'CHAUCER CANTERBURY TALES' (gilt) / 110 / A 4 18 (blind). Manly and Rickert (p330) record that in 1927 the binding was standard Lincoln early 20th-cent. They also record a 17th-cent. table of contents on a paper flyleaf since lost in rebinding. It was probably made by Honywood.
Construction: 266 parchment leaves, the upper and outer edges trimmed, foliated in modern pencil, and in ink in a hand which is probably Honywood's. His numeration runs 3(1)-78(76), fol.1 (77), 79(78)-91(90), 2(91), 92-124, unnumbered (125), 125(126)-265(266). 300 x 195 (210 x 100) mm, frame-ruled in pencil (lines also mostly ruled from f.201), written in 38 lines. Collation: 1⁸(lacks 1-5), 2-7⁸, 8⁸(lacks 2), 9⁸(lacks 5), 10⁸, 11⁸(lacks 8), 12-32⁸, 33¹⁰, 34⁸. Probably two quires are lost from the end. Some quire-signatures of the usual late medieval form are visible, one set beg. X, A etc., with roman numerals, another beg. A, B etc., with arabic numerals. From f.203 a set using arabic numerals only becomes visible. Catchwords.
Hands: a single excellent anglicana formata to f.258v, providing running titles. Ff.259-266v are written in a secretary hand of c.1500. The dialect of the main scribe is west or south-west Midland with some northern influence, that of the second scribe north-eastern Midland. For later additions see Description field. Decoration: gold initials flourished in blue or blue initials flourished in red open each prologue and tale. No decoration to Hand 2. Staining with gall passim.


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