15th-century transcript of the chartulary of Dryburgh Abbey. Edit




  • 15th century. (Creation)


  • 1 Volumes (Whole)

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  • Conditions Governing Access

    Normal access conditions apply.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.

  • Scope and Contents

    Manuscript produced in Scotland containing the chartulary of Dryburgh, a Premonstratensian Abbey founded in 1150 and dissolved in 1606. Davis, Borland, and Spottiswoode date the manuscript to the 15th century.

    The manuscript is the work of one hand and has apparently been transcribed from an earlier compilation. The material covers the 12th to the 14th centuries, with the last entry dated 1338.

    The chartulary is arranged in a roughly topographical order, with copies of royal and episcopal charters throughout. Papal bulls and edicts are present on folios 74r-91v. Each of the charters has been numbered by the scribe in the margins with Roman numerals, although these are occasionally lost due to cropping. The numeration runs consecutively 'vi-cclxxxxiiii'. The remaining 33 charters thereafter are not numbered. A mistake has been made after number 90, which is followed by 101.

    The volume is incomplete, as the numeration suggests. There are 5 charters missing from the beginning of the manuscript. The last charter also breaks off and is incomplete at the end. It is unclear how many charters have been lost from the end of the volume. The foundation charter is not present and witness lists are often omitted.

    The manuscript is not decorated, but spaces have been left for initials and headings, with guide letters visible in the margins.

    Quire signatures are occasionally visible in the lower margins of the recto sides in the form of letters and Roman numerals.

    Ruling is occasionally visible on the leaves, although this is inconsistent.

    A foliation has been provided in the upper margin of each recto side by Sir James Balfour. Due to a mistake in this foliation a modern Library foliation begins on folio 74.

  • Physical Description


    The binding is probably of the 18th century and is of brown leather with marbled endpapers. The front and back boards have gold-tooled borders. The three edges of the boards and the turn-ins are tooled in gold. The volume has been rebacked in 1983 by the National Library of Scotland. The new back has a gold-tooled Library stamp and shelfmark.

    The paper of the modern endpapers has a watermark of a dragon with the initials 'HDN'. The older endpapers have a watermark of grapes. The paper of the manuscript itself does not appear to have a watermark.

  • Arrangement

    i-iv + 109 + v-vii folios, as well as a modern paper flyleaf to the front.

    The foliation is inclusive of a jump in the foliation provided by Sir James Balfour. Balfour's foliation does not include the numbers 75-77, but the text in the charter at this section is continuous. From folio 74 onwards Balfour's foliation is superseded by modern Library foliation.

  • Custodial History

    The manuscript was in the possession of Sir James Balfour of Denmilne. His ownership inscription is on folio 1r, and another inscription in his hand is on the recto of folio iv, dated 1635. The Denmilne number, '63', is written on the recto side of folio iii. Balfour's device is present on folio 109r.

    The manuscript was bought by the Library of the Faculty of Advocates at the sale of Balfour's goods in 1698. There are ownership inscriptions for the Library on the rectos of folios iv and 1.

    The previous shelfmark assigned to the manuscript by the Library of the Faculty of Advocates is present on the recto of folio iii, 'A.5.51', since superseded.

  • Bibliography

    Borland, C. R. 'Catalogue of Mediaeval Manuscripts in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh', 4 Volumes. (Unpublished manuscript, Edinburgh, 1906-1908). Volume II, folios 534-535. NLS Reference: FR.198a/2.

    Cunningham, I. C. 'Sir James Balfour's Manuscript Collection: The 1698 Catalogue and other sources', in 'Edinburgh Bibliographical Society Transactions', Volume VI, Part 6 (2004), pages 191-255.

    Davis, G. R. C. (ed.) 'Medieval Cartularies of Great Britain and Ireland. Revised by Claire Breay, Julian Harrison, and David M. Smith' (London, 2010), page 232, number 1138.

    'Folio Catalogue of Manuscripts: Chartularies' (Unpublished manuscript, Edinburgh [18??]), folio 22. NLS Reference: FR.189. Spottiswoode, J. (ed.) 'Liber S. Marie de Dryburgh', Bannatyne Club (Edinburgh, 1847).

    'Summary Catalogue of the Advocates' Manuscripts' (Edinburgh, 1971), Page 15, number 148; page 107, number 1388.

    Todd, J. M. 'Syllabus of Scottish Cartularies. Dryburgh Liber' Available online: https://scottishmedievalcharters.wordpress.com/scottish-cartularies/

    Turnbull, W. B. D. D. 'Fragmenta Scoto-Monastica: Memoir of what has been already done, and what materials exist, towards the formation of a Scotish (sic) Monasticon.' (Edinburgh, 1842), page 5.

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Presented, 1925, by the Faculty of Advocates to the nation on the foundation of the National Library of Scotland.

  • Existence and Location of Copies

    17th century copy: Adv.MS.33.2.9.

    18th century copy: Adv.MS.35.3.8(i).

    19th century copy: Adv.MS.9A.1.4, folio 1.

External Documents