Title Background

Scribes Misattributed: Hoccleve and Pinkhurst, Misattributed: Hoccleve and Pinkhurst

Scribes Misattributed: Hoccleve and Pinkhurst, Misattributed: Hoccleve and Pinkhurst

The first half of this essay argues, primarily on linguistic, metrical, and paleographical grounds, against Linne Mooney’s claim that London, B.L. MS Royal 17 D.XVIII is a holograph of The Regiment of Princes. The second half is of more direct pertinence to Langlandians. It argues that the evidence that Adam Pinkhurst copied the copy of PPl B in Cambridge, Trinity College MS B.15.17 (MS W) is so overwhelming that it becomes impossible to accept that he had anything to do with Chaucer or his manuscripts. MS W’s aspect is very similar to that of Pinkhurst’s confirmation, whose dozen decorative features (e.g., descenders made into triangles, large curls above many y’s) occur throughout the PPl text. The entire case that Pinkhurst copied the Hengwrt and Ellesemere manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales, not to mention that he was ‘Chaucer’s scribe’, thus relies on the validity of Simon Horobin and Mooney’s 2004 attribution of MS W to the Hg-El scribe. Yet few have embraced this attribution, for good reasons: W’s aspect, letter forms, decorative features (such as those just cited), and language (e.g., use of yoghs) differ substantively from those of Hg and El. There are no problems with the proposal that Pinkhurst did not copy Hg and El, and a long list of problems with the belief that he did. Pinkhurst is among the earliest identifiable scribes of PPl but did not copy any other known manuscripts of Middle English.


Studies in the Age of Chaucer, 37 (2015), 55-100


Warner, Lawrence