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1 - The M 9 chronicle and its authors

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 May 2022

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Summary

The incipit to the M 9 chronicle names four men as involved in its production, Peter Basset, Christopher Hanson, Luket Nantron and William Worcester. Each has a fascinating career which can be reconstructed to greater or lesser degree, but it is also relevant to discuss after each biographical study how they might have worked as a team in the creation of the chronicle. The manuscript of the chronicle itself is an important source in this study and therefore offers a useful starting point in discussion of the authors.

THE CHRONICLE MANUSCRIPT AND ITS SCRIBE, LUKET NANTRON (DEBORAH ELLEN THORPE)

College of Arms MS M 9 is a compilation of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century texts which includes the chronicle which is the focus of this book. The compilation was in its current form from at least the early seventeenth century; this is evidenced by the style of its binding as well as by its inclusion in the first catalogue of the collections of the College made by Samson Lennard in 1619. The provenance and format of College of Arms MS M 9 as a whole will be explored in Chapter 5. Here we shall concentrate only on the chronicle, which is only known to survive in this single manuscript.

The first folio is marked in a mid-fifteenth-century hand in small roman numerals as ‘xxxj’. This style of numbering continues on all recto folios until the last folio of the chronicle ‘lxvj’. Such original foliation indicates that the chronicle was previously part of another compilation, probably put together by William Worcester, but we cannot now know what else was originally bound with it. The first page of the chronicle is darkened, suggesting that it enjoyed a separate existence for some time before being grouped with later materials into College of Arms MS M 9. There is evidence of water damage to the head and fore-edge of the folios of the chronicle text, damage which is not seen elsewhere in MS M 9, which also confirms its separate existence for an extended period.

In addition, it would seem that the chronicle has at some point been folded as a whole, rather like a newspaper might be.

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A Soldiers' Chronicle of the Hundred Years War
College of Arms Manuscript M9
, pp. 9 - 44
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2022

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