Findern Manuscript

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The Findern Manuscript (CUL MS Ff.1.6) is a paper codex written entirely in Middle English and compiled in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries by a series of gentry who were neighbors in the countryside of Derbyshire. A list of its major texts creates a “greatest hits” of fourteenth-century secular love literature; however the volume also contains around two dozen anonymous lyrics, which have been added in the blank spaces left at the bottoms of pages and the ends of quires. There are several names and scribal signatures written into the book, including the names of five women.[1][2]

Contents of the Manuscript[edit]

no. Folio Title and/or First Line Author
1, 2 Folia are missing
1 3r-5r "Thow hast þy tyrannye y wroȝt, The Tale of Tereus from Confessio Amantis Book V, lines 5921-6052 (370 lines missing from the beginning.) Gower
2 5r-7r "Nay ffader god y ȝeue a ȝyffte" -Amans discourses against Idleness (Part of the prologue to text no. 3) from Confessio Amantis Book IV, lines 1114-1244 Gower
3 7r-10v "Off armenye y rede þus" -The Tale of Rosiphelee from Confessio Amantis Book IV, 1245-1466 Gower
11r-14v Folia are missing
4 15r-17r "Pitee that I haue sogthe so yore ago" -The Complaint unto Pity Chaucer
5 17r-18v "As ofte as syghes ben in herte trew" -A complaint in Lydgate's manner.
6 19r-19v "For lac of sight grete cause I haue to pleyne" -'A Complaint for Lack of Sight' in Lydgate's manner
7 20r "I may woll sygh for greuous ys my payne" Anon.
8 20v "Where y haue chosyn stedefast woll y be" Anon.
9 20v "Ye are to blame to sette yowre hert so sore" Anon.
21 Stub- Folium is missing
10 22r-28r "The god of loue A benedicite" - The Boke of Cupide (or The Cukoo and the Nightingale.) Attributed to Sir John Clanvowe
11 28v "As in yow resstyth my Ioy and comfort" Anon.
12 29r-42v "The lyfe so schorte the craft so long to lern" -The Parlement of Foules Chaucer
43, 44 Folia are missing. 43 is a stub, 44 is absent.
13 45r-51r The Tale of the Three Questions from Confessio Amantis Book I, lines 3067-3425 Gower
14 51r-53r "What so euyr I syng or sey" (aka Parliament of Love) Anon.
15 53v "When fortune list yewe here assent" Anon.
16 53v "Pees maketh plente"
54-55 Folia are missing
17 56r "What so men seyn" Anon.
18 56v-58v "As I walkyd apon a day" -The Seven Deadly Sins
19 59r "To yow my purs and to non othir wyght" -Chaucer's Complaint unto his Purse. Chaucer
59v Mid-16th hand has added, "A rekenyng betwene Iohn wylsun and mester fynderne"
60 Folium is missing
20 61r-63v "[S]O thirlyd with þe poynt of Remembraunce" - Anelida's Complaint from "Anelida and Arcite" Chaucer
21 64r-67v "At babilone whilom fil it þus". The Tale of Thisbe from The Legend of Good Women Chaucer
22 68r-69v "There nys so high comfort to my plesaunce" -The Complaint of Venus Chaucer
23 69v "My woo full hert this clad in payn" Anon.
70r Originally blank, mid-16th hand added an inventory "the parcellys off clothys at fyndyrn"
70v Note on the price of meat
24 71r-76v "Cupido unto whos commaundement" - Lepistre de Cupide Hoccleve
25 81r-84r "I rede þat þou do noght so" - Amans discourses against Somnolence from Confessio Amantis Book IV, lines 2756–2926. Gower
26 84v-95r "Off a cronique in das gon" - Part of the tale of Apollonius of Tyre from Confessio Amantis Book VIII, lines 271-846 Gower
95v Note: ryght worshypfull ffraunces Crucken ric’ wynkyn
27 96r-109v "Lord gode in trynite" - Sir Degrevant Anon.
28 110r-113r "The cronekelys of seyntys and kyngys of yngelond" ( A brief prose chronicle)
29 113r-113v "The Emperour of Allmyen he Beryth goold an Egyll" (Brief heraldic notes in prose on the kings of Europe)
114-116 Folia are missing
30 117r-134v "Halfe in a dreme not fully well awaked" - La Belle Dame sans Mercy Sir Richard Roos
31 135r-136r "Welcome be ye my souereine" Anon.
32 136v-137r "Some tyme y loued as ye may see" Burden: "Whoso lyst to love" Anon.
33 137r "Sith fortune hath me set thus in this wyse" Anon.
34 137v "Now wold I fayne sum myrthis make"
35 137v-138r "Alas alas and alas why" Anon.
36 138v "Alas what planet was y born undir" Anon.
37 138v-139r "Continvaunce / Of remembraunce" Anon.
38 139r "My self walkyng all Allone" Anon.
39 139v "Som tyme y louid so do y yut" Burden: "Up son and merry weather" Anon.
140-142 Folia are missing
143r Blank
40 143v-144r "ffor to preuente" Anon.
41 144v-145r "In ffull grett heuenesse myn hert ys pwyght" Anon.
145v Blank
42 146r "Most glorius quene Reynyng yn hevene" Anon.
43 146v "O Cryste Jhesu mekely I pray to the" Anon.
44 147r-150r "Considre wel wiht euery circumstance" Lydgate
45 150r-151r "Ther is no mor dredfull pestelens - (A cento comprising Fall of Princes, Book II, lines 4621-41; Troilus & Criseyde, Book III, lines 302-322; and an original stanza) Chaucer, Lydgate, and Anon.
46 151r "The mor I goo the further am I be hynde" John Halsham
47 151r-152r "By sapience tempre thy courage" -Seven Wise Counsels
48 152v-153r "Grettere mater of dol an heuynese" -A Complaint, for Lack of Mercy Lydgate
49 153r "This ys no lyf alas þat y do lede" Anon.
50 153r-v "My woofull herte plonged yn heuynesse" Anon.
51 153v "Euer yn one with my dew attendaunce" Anon.
52 153v-154r "Yit wulde I nat the causer faryd a-mysse" Anon.
53 154r "Veryly/ And truly" Anon.
54 154v "Is in my remembrauns non but ye Alone" Anon.
55 155r-156r "Take hede and learn lytull chyld and see" -The Pain and Sorrow of Evil Marriage Lydgate
56 156v-159v "[N}ow god þat syttyst An hygh in trone" -How myschaunce regnyth in Ingeland; Capitulo xxvij) Anon.
57 159v-161v "O þou fortune why art þou so inconstaunt" Anon.
162r Blank
58 162v Off yff tis large in loue hayth gret delite" -The Complexions
163 Folium is missing (stub)
59 164r "Yee maistresses myne and clenly chamberys" -A Tretise for Laundres Lydgate
164v Blank
165 The scholar Henry Brandshaw speculated that quire O had an additional bifolium 165/180 because of the abrupt beginning of item 60, so he speculatively added this bifolium when creating his hypothetical collation and paginating the manuscript.
60 166r-177v "Cassamus roos aftre this talkynge" -The 'Alexander-Cassamus' fragment, a translation of lines 1604-1977 of Les Voeux du Paon
61 178r "A mercy fortune haue pitee on me" (A Complaint in the manner of William de la Pole) Anon.
179 Folium is missing
180 See note for folio 165
62 181r-185v "Chaunge not thi ffreende that thou knowest of oolde" - Distichs of Cato Benedict Burgh (translator)
186-188 Folia are missing


  1. ^ Beadle, Richard (1977). The Findern Manuscript: Cambridge University Library MS CUL Ff.1.6. London: The Scholars Press.
  2. ^ Harris, Kate (1983). "The Origins and Make-up of Cambridge University Library Ms Ff.1.6". Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society. 8 (3): 299–333.