Histoire de Guillaume le Maréchal.

Accession number: 
MS M.888
Histoire de Guillaume le Maréchal.
England, ca. 1225-1250.
16th-century dark brown leather, greatly worn, 3 strips of paper pasted onto spine, the lowest one inscribed 51 in brown ink; in mottled paper-covered cardboard boxcase by Marguerite Duprez Lahey.
Gift of the Fellows, 1958.
127 leaves (2 columns, 38 lines), bound : vellum, ill. ; 244 x 172 mm
Acquired by the Savile family in the late 1500's (probably Sir John Savile the Elder, and rebound at this time); Savile sale of manuscripts [collected by Sir John Savile the Elder, Sir Henry Savile, Provost of Eton, and Sir John Savile the Younger] (London, Sotheby's, 6 February 1861, lot 51) to Pours; Sir Thomas Phillipps (Phillipps MS 25155); Lionel Robinson [W.H. Robinson, Ltd]; purchased from Robinson as gift of the Fellows with assistance of a grant from the Beinecke Foundation in 1958.

Ms. historical chronicle in Anglo-Norman verse written and illuminated in England, ca. 1225-1250. It is the only surviving contemporary biography of William Marshal (Earl of Pembroke, 1144?-1219) commissioned by his family; a rare biography of an actual knight.
Decoration: 1 large illuminated initial with marginal vine spray at upper margin (fol. 1), 1 drawing of a dragon in red ink on fol. 65.
Unicorn watermark on flyleaves; this general type dated ca. 1530 - 1570 - close to Briquet 10369, which is 16th century - supporting the theory that the MS was rebound for the Savile family in the 16th century; note in folder gives Paul Needham opinion that binding could be dated 16-17th century.

Norman French