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MS 185: Brut Chronicle, 15th century

Identifier: MS 185


MS 185 is an extended version of the Brut Chronicle. The original was an Anglo-Norman chronicle that ended its account in 1272. This Anglo-Norman version was translated into Latin and Middle English during the middle ages, and many manuscripts continued the account beyond 1272. MS 185 is one such extended version, to 1419.
The text begins on f. 1r with Here begynneth a bok which is called Brute, the cronyculis of England. This heading is followed by a brief introductory statement, that begins with This book declare[th] and telli[th] of [th]e kyngis and princepal lordis... On the same folio (f. 1r) the prologue begins: The prolog of [th]is book declarith how [th]is land was callid Albyoun...
Still on f. 1r the text of the chronicle begins, with the line Sumtyme in [th]e noble lond of Surry... The chronicle ends with with the year 1419, on f. 125r with and rested hym in [th]e castell till [th]e cyte wer sette in good rule and governaunce. Deo gracias.
Writing A fair, characteristic English hand with plain red capitals. The first folio is soiled, six leaves are missing, and the edges much mended.


  • 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

This is an English manuscript. There is a note on f. 1r: Cronicon Angliae a Willelmo Rows Warwicensi Warwic. This perhaps refers to the Historia regum Anglie by John Rows of Warwick, but that chronicle is Latin, so the assignment of that title is incorrect. This note is in the same 17th century hand which annotates two other manuscripts in the University's collection (MS 107 and MS 181) which are from the Alva library, and the MS 185 does indeed appear in the press catalogue for Lord Alva's collection (see link under 'External Documents').
There are a number of names which may belong to early owners: on f. 125v, Elizabet Moncke, Edward Lynley, George Barton. On f. 36r, Thomas Jacksone; f. 83v, Robert Banks, Edward Linley; f. 90v, Liber Henrici Wylamson; f. 104, Memorandum that I Wyllam Curtes hathe resaived...
David Laing's signature is on f. 1r.

Previous title

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

Previous reference

Laing 196


Matheson, Lister M. The Prose Brut: The Development of a Middle English Chronicle. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1998, p. 189.

Physical Facet

Material: Vellum and paper

Binding: Modern (Orrock, Edinburgh), lettered 'The Cronyculis of England MS.' 19th century green morocco over wooden boards. Four-line gilt fillet border, inner most “toothed” pattern. Gilt stamped foliage decoration in centre of front and back boards. Compartmented spine with five raised bands and gilt stamped decoration and title. Gilt dentelles. Marbled end-papers.

Collation: a13-i13, k8=125


32 cm x 22 cm


Secundo folio: whene ye feende
Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 125, c. 41 lines to a page.

Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

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