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English MS 102

Brut Chronicle (1377 Continuation), mid 15th century

Size: 320 x 235 mm. ii + 101 + ii folios.

Mid fifteenth-century manuscript of the Brut Chronicle, beginning imperfectly and ending with the death of Edward III in 1377.

The Brut Chronicle, is the earliest prose chronicle in English and was the most popular history of England in the Middle Ages, with over 240 manuscript copies surviving, as well as thirteen editions printed before 1528. Many mythical elements are incorporated, such as the founding of Britain by Brutus of Troy (from which the title comes) and the King Arthur legend, though the narrative becomes more detailed and factual the nearer it gets to contemporary events.

The manuscript is undecorated, but there are ornamental ascenders on the top lines of some leaves. There are also several manicules, some with elaborate cuffs.

The manuscript was once owned by Sir James Ley (1550-1629), 1st Earl of Marlborough, and in the 19th century by Rev. William George Leigh Wasey.

Related links

Manuscript Index