Category: Manuscript, London
A London Provisioner's Chronicle, 1550–1563, by Henry Machyn: Manuscript, Transcription, and Modernization is an electronic scholarly edition created by Richard W. Bailey, Marilyn Miller, and Colette Moore. The Chronicle was one of the treasures of the library of the antiquarian Robert Cotton, and it was stored in the same bookcase with the Beowulf manuscript. Its location was in the book press surmounted by a bust of the Roman emperor Vitellius, and it takes its shelf mark in the British Library from that location: Cotton Vitellius F.v. In the terrible fire that did so much damage to this library in the early eighteenth century, the 162 leaves of the diary were badly damaged and portions of the outside margins and the top of the text were charred or burned away.
Auchinleck has held a prominent place in discussions of the history and development of Middle English. Its texts provide important information about English dialects at an early stage (the 1330s) and dialect profiles are included in the Linguistic Atlas of Late Medieval English for all five Auchinleck scribes who copy literary texts (it is not possible to analyse the dialect of Scribe 4 as he copied only the Battle Abbey Roll, a list of names). These profiles locate the written language of Scribe 1 in Middlesex, Scribe 3 in London, Scribe 5 in Essex and Scribes 2 and 6 in areas close together on the Gloucestershire / Worcestershire border. Scribes 1 and 3 have received particular attention as they form a basis for M. L.