The Chronicle of Jocelin of Brakelond: Concerning the Acts of Samson, Abbot of the Monastery of St. Edmund

Excerpt

The only known complete text of the Chronicle of Jocelin of Brakelond is to be found in the Liber Albus of Bury St. Edmunds, a well-known collection of texts relating to the Abbey, now Harleian MS 1005 in the British Museum. Folios 121-63 (according to the numbers added in the familiar hand of a fifteenth-century Bury librarian ; in the Museum foliation they are 127-70) form a separate section, written in two columns of thirty-five lines in a good hand of the second half of the thirteenth century, with plain red capitals ; the hand gets progressively larger, but is probably the same throughout. This seems to be a very faithful copy, and may have been made from the author's autograph. Here and there a fifteenth-century hand has made corrections which must be accepted as obviously right, and the scribe makes a few minor slips (e.g. crux for crus, sit for scit), which have been silently put right in the printed editions. Otherwise in both text and spelling (but not punctuation) we follow the MS as closely as possible.

A slightly earlier copy was to be found in another MS now in the Museum, Cotton Vitellius D. XV, until its almost complete destruction in the fire at Ashburnham House in 1731 that damaged so many of Sir Robert Cotton's MSS. All that now survives is most of the inner columns of thirteen leaves, darkened and distorted but still mainly legible, and we can see that this was written perhaps about the middle of the thirteenth century in a very good but very small hand, also in two columns of . . .

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Oxford, England
Publication year:
  • 1949

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