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MS 184: A brief chronicle based on the Brut in Middle English, 15th century

Identifier: MS 184


The Brut Chronicle (also known as the Prose Chronicle) is a collection of medieval histories of England. It was originally an Anglo-Norman text, but was translated into Latin and also Middle English during the medieval period. The Brut presents a mythical history of England, describing for instance the settlement of England by a son of Aeneas from Troy. The original Anglo-Norman version of the chronicle ends in 1272, but there were many editions, version and extensions composed after that date. The Middle English translation exists today in roughly 184 versions, in almost as many manuscripts.
As part of this tradition of transmission of the Middle English Brut Chronicle, MS 184 is a version of the narrative extended past 1272, to 1427. In comparison to the Anglo-Norman original, and also many of the English versions, MS 184 is very brief, and is best described as a short work based on the Brut narrative.
The chronicle begins on f.1r with the words How this lande was fyrst called Albyon. In the noble lande of Surrey there was a noble kyng called Dyoclesian...
The chronicle ends on f. 25v, in the first years of the reign of King Henry VI: and in the [sixth year] of his regne was the goode erle of Salysbury slayne atte the sege of Orliaunce with a gonne that was oones of the worthiest knyghtes of the world and was beryed at Burssham.
Writing A fair 15th-century hand. There is a some very simple rubrication on the first letter of sections of text. The first capital on f. 1r is decorated, in red ink.


  • 15th century

Language of Materials

Middle English

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to all. The manuscripts can be consulted in the Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Main Library.


1 bound MS volume

Custodial History

There are no marks of original ownership. There is Laing's signature, D. Laing Feb. 1873, and London Sale No. 83, Feb. 1873, in Laing's hand on the fly-leaf and inner board. The number 83 is also on a label on the front board.

Previous title

Title given to the manuscript in Catherine Borland’s catalogue: Chronicle of England.

Previous reference

Laing 217


Matheson, Lister M. The Prose Brut: The Development of a Middle English chronicle. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1998.

Physical Facet

Material: Paper

Binding: 18-19th century half leather with marbled paper over boards. Compartmented spine with four raised bands and gilt stamped red morocco title label.

Collation: a8, b14, c3=25.


28,5-29 x 21 cm (28,5 cm at the spine, 29 cm at the far end of the board)


Secundo folio: the londe
Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 25, double columns, c. 36 lines to a page.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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