English Pre-Reformation Genealogical Roll


A genealogical account of English Kings and Events from Ethelbert to Henry VI (England (Canterbury), ca. 1472-c. 1520?). The scroll is divided into seven columns. 1. The year (A.D.) 2. The 'Popes. 3. The kings of England. 4. The archbishops of Canterbury as well as events in English history. 5. The English Christian year. 6. The Dominical Letter. 7. The Golden Number. The first date is 597 and the last 1472, but the record ceases with the year 1435. The last entry in the English column is the death of John, Duke of Bedford. Rather surprisingly for an English Roll the names of the popes were not scored through at the time of the Reformation. The names on the genealogical tree have faded badly so that the majority are unreadable. Records include: 911 Foundation of the monastery of Cluny in Burgundy; 1346 Crecy; 1349 The Great Plague; 1316 Parliament at Nottingham. -- Maggs catalogue 960

In Collection:
Subject Language Identifier
  • Shelf Mark: Ms.Brown.Lat.1
Date created Resource type Rights statement Extent
  • Genealogical roll on parchment; 9 membranes/skins attached by glue; measuring 7560 x 432 mm total (about 21 feet x 5 inches)
Geographic coverage Coordinates
  • 52.16045, -0.70312
Additional physical characteristics
  • Written on 9 skins, in red and black, marginal border of hair-line stems and heavy bell-like flowers. 2.8 mm decorative borders adorn each side in multicolor pigments (pink, blue, green, red, yellow, and grey, with gold, silver, and brown detailing), with hair-line stems and heavy bell-like flowers. Vertical columns (including borders) are ruled in ink; pricking for horizontal ruling is visible at outer edges. Genealogical lines are generally drawn in red, with plain red circles around names, but additional green lines begin on membrane 6. These seem to indicate disruptions in lineage (starting around King Stephen). Text is written in black, brown, red, and occasionally green, generally in a fifteenth-century humanistic cursive, though date columns and a few early entries are in a gothic script. Another later hand titles the roll on the dorse edge of membrane 9. It would seem that the floral border, the column of dates, and the first few records (which are in Gothic letter) belong to the year 1472 and that the remainder (which is in italic script) was done at the beginning of the 16th century. No evidence of wood or other attachments for rolling; item was originally rolled top to bottom, as evidenced by titular label on the dorse of the bottom edge and patterns of damage. Significant mold, staining, and use-related damage exists, especially at membranes 6-9. Ink fading and damage to parchment significantly affects legibility from membrane 5 on, though some faded text is recoverable under UV light. Pigments of decorative floral borders are mostly in tact until membranes 7-9, and then show significant cracking, smudging, and flaking. Wrinkling, holes, and small tears occur throughout. Evidence of repairs may be observed, especially between membranes 8-9, where parchment has been used to stabilize significant tearing and deterioration at edges.
Physical repository Collection
  • Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Collection
  • The roll was donated to the University of Victoria in 1989 by Bruce and Dorothy Brown, who purchased it from Maggs Bros Ltd (London). It is unknown when Maggs acquired the roll. Markings on the top and bottom of the dorse side indicate it was once sold for 4 guineas (a currency discontinued in the UK in 1816) and later for £70.
Provider Genre Archival item identifier
  • 1989-069-6
Fonds title Fonds identifier Is referenced by Date digitized
  • February 14, 2017
Transcript Technical note
  • Metadata by KD.
  • Contact Special Collections and University Archives for access to the original manuscript and for reproduction requests (fee for reproductions). This material is made available on this site for research and private study only.
Last modified

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