The James Catalogue of Western Manuscripts

Shelfmark R.5.43
Manuscript Title

Life of the Three Kings of Cologne; Brut Chronicle

Alternative Title

History of the Three Kings. brute Chronicle In English.

James Number 731
Century 15th
Physical Description

Two volumes. In two ugly hands.I. double columns of 28 lines. II. 30 lines to a page, red and blue initials.


Given by Whitgift. On the last page of Vol. I are an erasure and scribblesHec indentura testatur quod ego ffraunciscus Cawse de Shroppom̅ in C. of Nor. Ego Thomas schawe londonearum.On the first page of II: Johan hiles boke.

Donor Whitgift, John (1530/31?–1604), Archbishop of Canterbury, Master of Trinity
Size (cm) 26.5 x 19
Folio 199 ff.
Material Parchment
Language Middle English

I. i8-iv8 v6.II. 18 (wants 1, 8) 28 38 48 (wants 7, 8) 58-178 (wants 3-5) 188 19? (four left: gap at the beginning and in the middle) 208 218 224 232.

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I. f.1 History of the Three Kings of Cologne
Plesyth it to alle Cristen pepil to here this lytelle tretyce of þe þre worshypfulle kynges of whom alle þe world from vprysynge of the Sonne vn to hys downe goyng ys full o preysynge and merytis.
Printed as an appendix to Chester Plays, ed. T. Wright 1843, i. 266.
Ends f.38a. Above alle kynges and seyntes syttith Jhesu Criste kynge euere lastynge. Amen. Deo Gracias.
Thus endythe the lyfe of the thre kynges of Culleyn God brynge vs to þat Ioye there þei be. Amen.

II. The Brute or 'Caxton's' Chronicle.
Begins imperfectly
f.39 bygan leyr ayen weepe
Portions of text are erased, and leaves mutilated in several places, besides a good many lost leaves.
Ends in Henry V (at the siege of Harfleur).
or els to yeld vp the toun vn to hem wt all her godes and þan the kyng sent forth.


Mooney, L. R., The Index of Middle English Prose Handlist 11: Manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge (Cambridge, 1995), p.29

Matheson, L. M., 'The Middle English Prose Brut: a Location List of the Manuscripts and Early Printed Editions', Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography 3 (1979), 244-66

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