Pages in category "Cotton Library"
The following 43 pages are in this category, out of 43 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 43 pages are in this category, out of 43 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Cotton library – The Cotton or Cottonian library was collected privately by Sir Robert Bruce Cotton MP, an antiquarian and bibliophile, and was the basis of the British Library. Cottons skill lay in finding, purchasing and preserving these ancient documents, the leading scholars of the era, including Francis Bacon, Walter Raleigh, and James Ussher, came to use Sir Roberts library. Richard James acted as his librarian, the library is of especial importance for sometimes having preserved the only copy of a work, such as happened with Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. At the time of the dissolution of monasteries, official records and important papers were poorly kept. Sir Robert collected and bound over a hundred volumes of official papers, such important evidence was highly valuable at a time when the politics of the Realm were historically disputed between the King and Parliament. Sir Robert knew his library was of public interest and, although he made it freely available to consult. On 3 November 1629 he was arrested for disseminating a pamphlet held to be seditious, Sir Roberts library included his collection of books, manuscripts, coins and medallions. After his death the collection was maintained and added to by his son, Sir Thomas Cotton, Sir Roberts grandson, Sir John Cotton, donated the Cotton library to Great Britain upon his death in 1702. At this time, Great Britain did not have a library. It went first to Essex House, The Strand, which, however, was regarded as a risk, and then to Ashburnham House. From 1707 the library housed the Old Royal Library. Ashburnham House also became the residence of the keeper of the libraries, Richard Bentley. The manuscript of The Battle of Maldon was destroyed, and that of Beowulf was heavily damaged, also severely damaged was the Byzantine Cotton Genesis, the illustrations of which nevertheless remain an important record of Late Antique iconography. Mr. Speaker Onslow, as one of the trustees of the library, directed. The published report of work is of major importance in bibliography. Fortunately, copies had been made of some, but by no means all, of works that were lost. In 1753 the Cotton library was transferred to the new British Museum, at the same time the Sloane Collection and Harley Collection were acquired and added, so that these three became the Museums three foundation collections. The Royal manuscripts were donated by George II in 1757, in 1973 all these collections passed to the newly established British Library
2. Anglian collection – The Anglian collection is a collection of Anglo-Saxon royal genealogies and regnal lists. These survive in four manuscripts, two of which now reside in the British Library, the remaining two belong to the libraries of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and Rochester Cathedral, the latter now deposited with the Medway Archives. All manuscripts appear to derive for a source, now lost. Based on content and the pattern of divergence, Dumville dates its composition to 796 in Mercia, both the genealogies and the episcopal lists were part of this original compilation, and have passed in tandem, with the surviving manuscripts all several steps removed from this original. All the manuscripts include genealogies for the kingdoms of Deira, Bernicia, Mercia, Lindsey, Kent, three of them also contain a West Saxon genealogy, and regnal lists for Northumbria and Mercia. This may represent material omitted or lost from the rather than addition to the other three. The surviving manuscripts are listed below, in what is thought to be the chronological order of their composition. This is the oldest of the four surviving versions, and represents a branch of transmission than that leading to the other manuscripts. A single hand using Mercian script has recorded the genealogies and episcopal lists, the pages containing the Anglian collection have now been removed from their original volume and framed individually, and are catalogued as Vespasian B vi/1. The Parker version of the Anglian collection is part of a larger volume all written by the two scribes using an Anglo-Celtic hand, and including most notably Bedes Vita Sancti Cuthberti. This volume was composed in South West England, perhaps at Glastonbury and this identification would place its composition in Wessex in the period 934 ×937. Manuscript C, along with T and R have material not found in V and they all have Northumbrian and Mercian regnal lists and a pedigree for Wessex, all present well before the dates of the surviving manuscripts and perhaps in the original. The Mercia regnal list of C also contains two unique memoranda, the Anglian collecction version T forms part of a computational, geographical and astrological collection. The Wessex royal pedigree has been extended both more recently and earlier, giving a descent that traces the three sons of king Edgar back to Adam and it appears to have been added at Glastonbury before the manuscript went to Canterbury. The errors and other feature in T mark it as the source for a set of Anglo-Saxon genealogies that found their way to Iceland. The volume containing the R manuscript was composed at Rochester soon after 1122, though the same scribe wrote the entire codex, it appears to represent what were once two separate manuscripts, now bound together. The Anglian collection text is similar to that of T. The last shared updates between T and R seem to date from 990 at Canterbury, all the manuscripts include genealogies for the kingdoms of Deira, Bernicia, Mercia, Lindsey, Kent and East Anglia
3. Anglo-Saxon Chronicle – The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a collection of annals in Old English chronicling the history of the Anglo-Saxons. The original manuscript of the Chronicle was created late in the 9th century, probably in Wessex, multiple copies were made of that one original and then distributed to monasteries across England, where they were independently updated. In one case, the Chronicle was still being updated in 1154. Nine manuscripts survive in whole or in part, though not all are of historical value. The oldest seems to have been started towards the end of Alfreds reign and these manuscripts collectively are known as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Taken as a whole, however, the Chronicle is the single most important historical source for the period in England between the departure of the Romans and the following the Norman conquest. Much of the information given in the Chronicle is not recorded elsewhere, in addition, the manuscripts are important sources for the history of the English language, in particular, the later Peterborough text is one of the earliest examples of Middle English in existence. Seven of the nine surviving manuscripts and fragments now reside in the British Library, the remaining two are in the Bodleian Library at Oxford and the Parker Library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. All of the manuscripts are copies, so it is not known for certain where or when the first version of the Chronicle was composed. It is generally agreed that the version was written in the late 9th century by a scribe in Wessex. After the original Chronicle was compiled, copies were made and distributed to various monasteries, additional copies were made, for further distribution or to replace lost manuscripts, and some copies were updated independently of each other. Some of these copies are those that have survived. The earliest extant manuscript, the Winchester Chronicle, was written by a single scribe up to the year 891, the scribe wrote the year number, DCCCXCII, in the margin of the next line, subsequent material was written by other scribes. It is known that the Winchester manuscript is at least two removes from the original Chronicle, as a result, there is no proof that the Chronicle was compiled at Winchester. The Chronicle, as well as the distribution of copies to other centres of learning, of the nine surviving manuscripts, seven are written entirely in Old English. One, known as the Bilingual Canterbury Epitome, is in Old English with a translation of each annal into Latin, another, the Peterborough Chronicle, is in Old English except for the last entry, which is in early Middle English. The oldest is known as the Winchester Chronicle or the Parker Chronicle, six of the manuscripts were printed in an 1861 edition for the Rolls Series by Benjamin Thorpe with the text laid out in columns labelled A to F. He also included the few remnants of a burned seventh manuscript
4. Asser – Asser was a Welsh monk from St Davids, Dyfed, who became Bishop of Sherborne in the 890s. About 885 he was asked by Alfred the Great to leave St Davids, after spending a year at Caerwent because of illness, Asser accepted. In 893 Asser wrote a biography of Alfred, called the Life of King Alfred, the manuscript survived to modern times in only one copy, which was part of the Cotton library. The biography is the source of information about Alfreds life. Asser assisted Alfred in his translation of Gregory the Greats Pastoral Care, Asser is sometimes cited as a source for the legend about Alfreds having founded the University of Oxford, which is now known to be false. A short passage making this claim was interpolated by William Camden into his 1603 edition of Assers Life, doubts have also been raised periodically about whether the entire Life is a forgery, written by a slightly later writer, but it is now almost universally accepted as genuine. Asser was a Welsh monk who lived from at least AD885 until about AD909, almost nothing is known of Assers early life. The name Asser is likely to have taken from Aser, or Asher. Old Testament names were common in Wales at the time, Asser may have been familiar with a work by St Jerome on the meaning of Hebrew names, so it is possible that Assers birth name was Gwyn, which is Welsh for blessed. According to his Life of King Alfred, Asser was a monk at St Davids in what was then the kingdom of Dyfed, Asser makes it clear that he was brought up in the area, and was tonsured, trained and ordained there. He also mentions Nobis, a bishop of St Davids who died about 873 or 874, much of what is known about Asser comes from his biography of Alfred, in particular a short section in which Asser recounts how Alfred recruited him as a scholar for his court. Alfred held an opinion of the value of learning and recruited men from around Britain. It is not known how Alfred heard of Asser, but one possibility relates to Alfreds overlordship of south Wales, several kings, including Hywel ap Rhys of Glywysing and Hyfaidd of Dyfed, had submitted to Alfreds overlordship in 885. Asser gives a detailed account of the events. There is a charter of Hywels which has dated to c. 885, amongst the witnesses is one Asser, which may be the same person, hence it is possible that Alfreds relationship with the southern Welsh kings led him to hear of Asser. Asser recounts meeting Alfred first at the estate at Dean. Asser provides only one event in his history, on St Martins Day,11 November 887
5. The Battle of Maldon – The Battle of Maldon is the name given to an Old English poem of uncertain date celebrating the real Battle of Maldon of 991, at which the Anglo-Saxons failed to prevent a Viking invasion. Only 325 lines of the poem are extant, both the beginning and the ending are lost, the poem is told entirely from the perspective of the English, and names many individuals that Mitchell and Robinson believe were real Englishmen. The poem as we have it begins with the Anglo-Saxon warriors dismounting to prepare for battle, a Viking messenger offers the English ealdorman Byrhtnoth peace if he will consent to pay tribute. Byrhtnoth angrily refuses, telling the messenger that he fight the heathen Vikings in defense of his land. Not all the English are portrayed as heroic however, one, Godric the son of Odda, flees the battle with his brothers and, most improperly, the poem as it has come down to us ends with another Godric disappearing from view. This time, it is Godric, the son of Æthelgar, advancing into a body of Vikings, ofermōde, occurring in line 89, has caused much discussion. Literally high spirits or overconfidence, ofermōde is usually translated as pride, both Glenn and Alexander translate it as arrogance and Bradley as extravagant spirit. In 1731, the only manuscript of the poem was destroyed in the fire at Ashburnham House that also damaged and destroyed several other works in the Cotton library. The poem has come down to us thanks to the transcription of it made c,1724, which was published by Thomas Hearne in 1726. After being lost, the transcription was found in the Bodleian Library in the 1930s. Who made this original transcription is still unclear, some favouring John Elphinstone, according to some scholars, the poem must have been written close to the events that it depicts, given the historical concreteness and specificity of the events depicted in the poem. According to Irving, the events told with such clarity could only have been composed shortly after the events had taken place. While this may seem strange to an audience, who are used to “realistic fiction. Niles, in his essay “Maldon and Mythopoesis”, also argues for a composition date. He states that the three references to Æthelred the Unready necessitate an early composition date, before Æthelred had achieved his reputation for ineffectiveness. This argument hinges upon Byrhtnoth’s, and the poet’s, degree of knowledge of Aethelred’s ill reputation, if Byrhtnoth had known of Aethelred’s nature, would he have been willing to sacrifice himself for an undeserving king, effectively throwing away his own life and those of his men. Niles indicates that this not appear to be supportable through the actions. Apparently Byrhtnoth did not know of the nature, and most likely the poet himself did not know of the king’s nature either
6. Camden Roll – The Camden Roll is a 13th-century English roll of arms believed to have been created c. 1280, containing 270 painted coats of arms with 185 French blazons for various English and European monarchs, lords, the original roll is now held at the British Museum as Cotton Roll XV.8. It consists of three vellum membranes in total measuring 6.25 by 63, the face of the roll consists of 270 painted shields arranged in 45 rows of six shields, each with associated names and/or titles listed above each shield. The dorse includes French blazons for 185 of the shields on the face, the roll belonged to William Camden, Clarenceux King of Arms, c. 1605, and is believed to have been several documents and manuscripts which were willed to Sir Robert Cotton, 1st Baronet, of Connington. In 1700 Sir John Cotton, Sir Roberts grandson, sold the Cottonian library to the nation, held at The Queens College, Oxford, MS. Tricked by Robert Glover, Somerset Herald of Arms, held at the College of Arms, MS. Trick believed to be attributed to Richard Scarlett, held at the British Museum, MS. Held at the College of Arms, MS. L.14, trick is attributed to Nicholas Charles, Lancaster Herald of Arms. Illustrated by R. S. Nourse based on the list of blazons in James Greenstreets The Original Camden Roll of Arms published in Vol. XXXVIII of The Journal of the British Archaeological Society,1882
7. Casket letters – The Casket letters were eight letters and some sonnets said to have been written by Mary, Queen of Scots, to the Earl of Bothwell, between January and April 1567. They were produced as evidence against Queen Mary by the Scottish lords who opposed her rule, in particular, the text of the letters was taken to imply that Queen Mary colluded with Bothwell in the murder of her husband, Lord Darnley. Marys contemporary supporters, including Adam Blackwood dismissed them as complete forgeries or letters written by the Queens servant Mary Beaton, the authenticity of the letters, now known only by copies, continues to be debated. The Queens husband, Lord Darnley, was killed in mysterious circumstances at the Kirk oField in Edinburgh on 10 February 1567, Bothwell was widely thought to be the main suspect for Darnleys murder. The Earl of Moray, Marys half-brother, and the Confederate Lords rebelled against Queen Mary, Mary surrendered at the Battle of Carberry Hill on 15 June 1567, was imprisoned at Lochleven Castle, and on 24 July 1567 abdicated. Her infant son was crowned as James VI of Scotland on 29 July 1567, at this time rumours spread that Mary had abdicated because of the discovery of letters which incriminated her. He had not revealed this to Queen Elizabeth, Moray convened his Privy Council on 4 December 1567. It is maist certain that sche wes previe, art and part and of the actuale devise, Mary escaped from Lochleven and made her way to England in May 1568. Her status was uncertain, as she had accused of crimes. Moray came to England and showed the letters to Elizabeths officers. Nearly a year later, in October 1568, the Earl of Moray produced the Casket letters at a conference in York, headed by Thomas Howard, Moray again showed the casket letters at Westminster on 7 December 1568. The letters, sonnets, divorce and marriage contract were examined at Hampton Court on 14 December 1568, for overriding political reasons, Queen Elizabeth neither wished to accuse Queen Mary of murder nor acquit her of the same, so the conference was intended as a political show. Queen Mary was refused the right to be present, though her accusers, the outcome was that the Casket letters were accepted by the English commissioners as genuine after a study of the handwriting, and of the information contained therein. However, Queen Marys commissioners were refused access to the letters to review or to study them, yet, as Queen Elizabeth had wished, the inquiry reached the conclusion that nothing was proven. The outcome of the enquiry was to prolong doubts about Marys character that Elizabeth used to prevent the Queens meeting, the meeting at York was established as a conference to negotiate an Anglo-Scottish treaty. John Lesley, Marys secretary, heard one of her accusers, William Maitland of Lethington, that Elizabeths purpose was not to end her cause at this time. Maitland had heard this from the officer at York, the Duke of Norfolk. This conversation came to light, having found in Lesleys correspondence
8. Chronicles of Mann – The Chronicles of the Kings of Mann and the Isles or Manx Chronicle is a medieval Latin manuscript relating the early history of the Isle of Man. The manuscript is written in ink on vellum, with pages roughly 15 cm by 20 cm, the Chronicles are a look back, year-by-year from 1016, over the significant events in Manx history of that time. The original scribe also wrote a list of popes which ends with Pope Urban IV and it is probable that the Chronicles were written for the new abbey on its foundation. Several further notes were added by the abbeys Cistercian monks. The manuscript also contains a copy of Bonizo of Sutris Cronica Romanorum pontificum, a record of the bishops of the Western Isles to John Donkan is appended to the Chronicles. After the abbey was dissolved in 1540 the manuscript is thought to have passed through a number of hands until being presented by Roger Dodsworth to Sir Robert Cotton in 1620/1. Cottons collection of medieval and early modern manuscripts was one of the collections of the British Museum and is now cared for by the British Library in London. There have been campaigns to move the Chronicles permanently to the Isle of Man, in 2014 it was confirmed that the Celtic League will be demanding the return of the Chronicles to the Isle of Man. 1016–1030, King Canutes marriage to Emma, the birth of their son Harthacanute, 1031–1066, Foundation of Bury St. Edmunds Abbey, and the death of Canute. Death of King Edward the Confessor, 1066–1079, Battle of Stamford Bridge, William the Conquerors victory at the Battle of Hastings. Conquest of the Isle of Man by Godred Crovan, 1079–1098, Foundation of the Cistercian order at Cîteaux in France. 1102–1152, Commencement of reign of King Olaf, foundations of Savigny Abbey, Furness Abbey, Rievaulx Abbey, Calder Abbey, Melrose Abbey, and Holme Cultram Abbey. Grant of land at Rushen to Furness Abbey by King Olaf, 1165–1187, Murder of Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. Visit by a legate to the Isle of Man. Marriage of King Godred, conducted by the Abbot of Rievaulx, 1228–1237, Death of King Olaf on St Patricks Isle, and burial at Rushen Abbey. 1250–1256, Start of reign of King Magnus 1256–1274, Completion of the Abbey Church of St Marys at Rushen, list of Bishops, A list of the Bishops of the Diocese of Sodor and Man until Simon Orcadensis, who had died in 1248. The bishop at the time of the writing of the manuscript, the Chronicles of the Kings of Mann and the Isles. Munch, P. A. and Rev. Alexander Goss, the Chronicle of Man and the Sudreys