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Arundel Manuscripts

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0377 ARUNDEL MANUSCRIPTS
Held at: College of Arms
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Full title: Arundel Manuscripts
Date(s): c1200-1700
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 68 vols
Name of creator(s): Howard | Thomas | 1585-1646 | 14th Earl of Arundel | politician x Arundel | 14th Earl


Administrative/Biographical history:

Volumes 1-54 formed part of the collection of Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel, 4th Earl of Surrey, 1st Earl of Norfolk (1585-1646). Art collector, politician, and patron of antiquarians and scholars. Grandson of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk (executed for treason in 1572) and son of Philip Howard, 13th Earl of Arundel (convicted of treason in 1589, d 1595). Restored to title of Earl of Arundel in 1604. Possibly educated at Westminster School, where would have been pupil of William Camden (Clarenceux King of Arms 1597-1623), then Trinity College, Cambridge. Married Aletheia, daughter of Gilbert Talbot, seventh earl of Shrewsbury. Died in Italy in 1646. The collection was dispersed in 1678 by his grandson, Henry Howard, 6th Duke of Norfolk and Earl Marshal.
Volumes 55-64 were put in the same press in the College of Arms' Record Room but were not part of the collection donated by Thomas Howard. However, they have been bound and numbered as though they were. Since W H Black's catalogue was printed a further 6 volumes added to the press have been treated as though part of the collection (HDN 58, HDN 74, HDN 75, N.90, N.94, and a second N.61 (Historia de Hispania)).


Scope and content/abstract:

Mostly Chronicles and Histories, some with a connection with heralds, with most volumes containing compilations

Arundel MS 1 - Compilation in 14th-century hand. Once belonged to John Dee, who has annotated it. Contains: material concerning world history, mostly taken from Ranulph Higden's Polychronicon, including a world map; short history of Jerusalem, by Jacques de Vitry; History of Geoffrey of Monmouth; De ortu Hyberniensium; Historia brevis Francorum ab eorum origine ad An 1214; William of Jumièges' Gesta Normannorum Ducum; book of Saints Joachim and Anne, concerning the birth of the Virgin Mary; translation of account of destruction of Troy; extract from St Jerome's contra Jovinianum; works concerning Alexander the Great, including forged letters by him; Latin translation of the History of Apollonius, King of Tyre (In civitate Anthiochie); St Anselm's Elucidarium; St Jerome on the Antichrist; list of the cities of the world; Vision of St Thomas Becket, in which the Virgin Mary gave him the ampulla of oil with which the kings of England were to be anointed. On last blank leaf is a note of the death of King Edward IV and the note: 'Cronica quondam Thom[a]e Walmesford'

Arundel MS 2 - 15th-century copy of Ranulph Higden's Polychronicon

Arundel MS 3 - Acts of John of Whethamstede, Abbot of St Albans

Arundel MS 4 - 14th-century copy of Ranulph Higden's Polychronicon

Arundel MS 5 - compilation of the 15th century. Once belonged to John Fox, the martyrologist. Contains: Scala Mundi, with History to 1469 and Chronology to 1619; Chronicle of Popes and Emperors: Popes continue to Benedict XII, Emperors as far as conflict between Guelphs and Ghibellines; Chronicle concerning deeds of Britons and Angles, down to 1471; Tabula succincte elaborata super scala mundi, extending only to name Valerianus

Arundel MS 6 - 14th-century. Once belonged to Brother John of Erghom, then to Sir Edward North. Contains: Bishop Freculph's Universal History; John Tayster's Chronicle from the beginning of world to 1287; tract apparently by Erghom, from the coming of the English to 1357

Arundel MS 7 - 15th-century copy of Thomas Walsingham's History from Edward I to Henry V. With 16th-century insertions between pages 202 and 203 and at the end, including two letters of Edward III to the Pope, with answers

Arundel MS 8 - 15th-century volume containing: Brut Chronicle to the end of reign of Henry V; Legend of St Michael; Life of St Thomas Becket

Arundel MS 9 - two manuscripts bound together:
1) f.1r - 13th-century Greek-Latin Glossary or Lexicon
2) f.56r - one page listing those who came to England with William the Conqueror, copied from John Brampton's Annals but with errors; f.59 - early 13th-century copy of Nicholas Trivet's Annals of Kings who descended from the Counts of Anjou in the male line
Includes pen and ink drawings of Kings Stephen (f.58r), Henry II (f.92r), and Edward I (f.106r).
Also includes descents of Earls of Provence, and Sanctius, Earl of Aragon, drawn by Thomas Howard on leaves at the beginning of the volume

Arundel MS 10 - 13th-century chronicles from birth of Christ:
f.1r - List of Popes, Archbishops, and Bishops of England and Scotland, with notes about customs of Church of Rome concerning Cardinals etc.
f.18r - Chronicle of Popes, Emperors and Kings from commencement of Christian era to end of 12th century
f. 39r - Chronicle from Birth of Jesus Christ to beginning of reign of Henry III, and continued by other hands to 1309
f.114r - De Ortu Religionum
Also includes two metrical prophecies, in 15th-century hand, at beginning of volume, with a note below that Dr Griffin, Dean of Lincoln, was convented in 1590 for preaching unsound doctrine.
At end of volume: 'J de Wangeford', in 13th-century hand

Arundel MS 11 - 13th-century volume, containing:
f.1r - Universal Chronicle, by Radulphus [Ralph] of Coggeshall. Includes letter from Saladin to the Emperor Frederick
f.15r - Short tract on the Dukes of Normandy and Kings of England
f.17r - Chronicle of Radulphus [Ralph] Niger, with additions by Ralph of Coggeshall
f.40r - Short Chronicle of Radulphus [Ralph] of Coggeshall, 1113-1158
f.44r - Tales about the Emperor Justinian
f.45r - Short Chronicle of Radulphus [Ralph] of Coggeshall, 1065-1225
f.51r - Great Chronicle of Radulphus [Ralph] of Coggeshall, 1066-1223 (ends abruptly)
On last leaf, beside a note on the voyage of Edward III in 1337, and a short note in French on the London weights and monies, is a Latin poem of 28 lines on the game of chess, written in the 13th century

Arundel MS 12 - 15th-century Life of King Henry V, written for Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, with his arms in the illuminated capital

Arundel MS 13 - Two manuscripts bound together:
1)f.1r - 15th-century copy Deeds of the Kings of England by William of Gisseburn
2)f.111r - 13th-century Commentary on the Prologues to the Bible ascribed to St Jerome

Arundel MS 14 - Early 14th-century compilation, containing:
f.1r - Wace's Brut
f.93r - continuation of the Brut, to the death of William Rufus, by Geoffrey Gaimar
f.125r - Lai de Haveloc
f.133r - Piers [Peter] de Langtoft's Life of King Edward I
f.148r - List of the British, Saxon, and Norman Kings
f.150r - Romance of Perceval le Galois

Arundel MS 15 - mid 15th-century copy of Thomas of Elmham's Vita et Gesta Henrici Quinti Anglorum Regis. This copy by Roger Walle (d. 1488 as Archdeacon of Coventry)

Arundel MS 16 - Late 13th-century section (46 folios) of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English-Speaking Peoples

Arundel MS 17 - Two manuscripts bound together:
1) Copy of the Liber Niger Domus Regis Angliae, id est, Domus Angliae sive Aulae Regiae Regis Edw[ard] IV. This copy made in time of King Henry VIII
2) Articles of King Henry VIII, 13 Feb. 1525/6, concerning the ordering and service of his chambers and the duties of his officers and servants of the same

Arundel MS 18 - Two chronicles, first half of 14th century:
p.1 - Chronicle from death of Edward I to 1320
p.14 - Annals of Adam Murymuth

Arundel MS 19 - 15th-century Chronicle of London. Belonged to the 16th-century antiquarian Robert Hare

Arundel MS 20 - 14th-century manuscript by John of London, monk of Christ Church, Canterbury, possibly an autograph copy. Containing:
Unnumbered pages at front - astronomical Calendar, and Chronology from Creation to 1316 (written in 1325)
f.1r - Chronicle from the Conquest of England to the death of Edward I
f.82r - Tract on the death of Edward I, inscribed to Queen Margaret
f.91r - Continuation of the same Chronicle, with, at f.94, copy of judgement against Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, in 1321, from letters patent of inspeximus

Arundel MS 21 - 15th-century volume on the Order of the Toison d'Or

Arundel MS 22 - 14th-century English metrical romance of the Battle of Troy. Containing:
f.1r - Metrical romance, beginning: Syth god tyhys worle had wroght / Heven and Erthe al thyng of noght / Fele aventures havet be falle / We that now levyn con noght telle alle
f.8v - Translation of Geoffrey of Monmouth's History into English, by 'Maister Gnaor'. Translation much larger than Geoffrey of Monmouth's, with many interpolations.
Bound with this manuscript are two leaves of a lectionary from the Gospels of the 9th or 10th century. At beginning and end are 3 leaves from an ornate 14th-century Psalter

Arundel MS 23 - Descent of Edward IV from Adam. 54 pages

Arundel MS 24 - 13th-century volume containing:
f.1r - History of Troy to the death of Cadwalladr
f.19v - the Conquest of England, but also a history of the Dukes of Normandy from son of Rollo to 1216
f.38v - extracts from Ralph of Coggeshall's Chronicle, concerning a boy and girl emerging from the earth
f.39r - St Augustine on the vices and virtues
f.49r - extract from Ralph of Coggeshall's Chronicle concerning marvellous happenings in England
f.51r - extract from Ralph of Coggeshall's Chronicle concerning the castle of Horcola in Armernia Minor
f.51v - the tradition of the Fathers concerning the history of Adam and his successors
f.55v - concerning a wild man captured in the sea (title from Coggeshall)
f.56 - prophecies of Charlemagne
f.57v - concerning the Virgin Mary and the Incarnation of Christ
f.59r - concerning the bread and wine in the Eucharist
f.59v - concerning the virginity of Mary
f.60r - concerning Paradise and Hell; and concerning divine foreknowledge
f.60v - story teaching that the Psalms and prayers for the dead cannot be laid aside
f.61r - story concerning a stupid cleric saved by the Virgin Mary from death, who became accustomed to sing an antiphon to her each morning; other similar subjects
f.63v - tract on the infancy of Christ, attributed to St Jerome
f.76r - medical text: 'Emplastrum ad nervos lesos probatissimum'

Arundel MS 25 - 14th-century compilation by a monk of Durham, including Life of St Cuthbert and excerpts of works relating to St Thomas Becket

Arundel MS 26 - 15th-century volume relating to heralds and on Sir John Fastolf, containing: Statutes of the Order of the Garter; tract on the duties of heralds and the ordering of tournaments; on the manner of making knights; 13 letters under fanciful names, addressed to the most excellent and noble princess Blanche, daughter of the King of England; [A]Eneas de Heraldis, translated into English; judgement in the debate between the Kings of Arms and Sergeants of Arms, given at the Siege of Caen; treaty between Scales, Fastolf and Montgomery for the King, and the men of the fortress of Sille, to bring the Count of Maine to obedience to the King, 1 Oct 1424; Royal Commission granted to Scales etc for those negotiations, given at Rouen, 25 Aug 1424; Fastolf's letter reinstating Laurens de Feugiers as his pursuivant of arms, with the name of Secret, 28 June 1432; Commission of John, Duke of Bedford, to Sir John Fastolf to reduce the Duchy of Anjou and County of Maine, constituting him Governor, 11 Mar 1424

Arundel MS 26X, or HDN 26X - 16th-century Statutes and Ordinances of the Order of the Garter. From armorial bearings on f.2, appears to have belonged to Walter Devereux, Earl of Essex

Arundel MS 27 - 14th-century copy of metrical romance of Guy, Earl of Warwick. f.130 also contains two fragments of poetry, possibly written by an early owner of the book whose name appears on the back flyleaf, John of Haukeham, Rector of the Church of Flet

Arundel MS 28 - Volume concerning the foundation of the Priory of Merton:
f.1r - History of the foundation of the Priory of Merton in Surrey by Count Gilbert, with his Life and that of Robert, the first Prior
f.14r - Song or Epitaph on the founder, Gilbert
f.14v - Letter of the Venerable Gervase concerning the death of Gilbert
f.18v - Concerning a venerable brother to whom Gervase appeared in a dream
f.19v - Rental of the Manor of the Priory of Merton from Mulsey, renewed on 16 June, 14 Richard 2

Arundel MS 29 - 15th century. Miscellaneous, including: Latin verses; medicinal recipes, including for the dropsy and for a redness of the face that looks like leprosy; extracts relating to Edward the Confessor and King Malcolm of Scotland; Tractatus de arte legendi leges et jura; notes on the antiquity of cities of England; chronological and historical notes; table of moral remedies against the seven deadly sins; chronicle (12 folios) from Nimrod to King Edward III and King Henry IV; proceedings on deposition of King Richard II, copied from the Roll of Parliament; religious treatises, including on the pains of Hell and a tract by St Methodius on the beginning and end of the ages; epistle foretelling conjunction of the planets in 1463 with ensuing calamities; material on Henry V, including list of prisoners taken by him at the Battle of Agincourt and a letter by him to the King of France, with response; account of the creation of three Knights of the Bath at Lambeth in 1416; expenses of a dinner; letter from Theucrum to Pope Pius, with response (1462); prophecy of St Hildegard concerning mendicants

Arundel MS 30 - Late 13th- to early 14th-century compilation by John of Everisden, including: excerpts from histories (including Gildas' Gesta Britonum) and part of the first book of the History of Henry of Huntingdon; material on the history of England, including genealogy of the Saxon kings from Woden and lists of the bishops of the kingdoms of England; description of Ireland; table of grammatical and rhetorical figures; schemes of musical chords and symphonies; Scriptural tables; material on law, including analyses of Gratian's Decretals; (on ff 97r - 208r) a Chronicle in two parts, from the Creation to the end of the fifth age, and from the Christian era to 1335; material on the Virgin Mary; architectural notes, including on church decoration, and the dimensions of the halls of Westminster, York, Newcastle, and Durham, and of the cloisters of Durham and St Edmundsbury.
Note: First 10 and last 9 leaves are examples of older parchment having been erased and written over, with remaining phrases revealing something of the original, including 9th-century codex of Virgil

Arundel MS 31 - 14th-century copy of Brut Chronicle, ending with beheading of Earl of Kent in 1330

Arundel MS 32 - Catalogue de Chevaliers de l'ordre de Sainct Esprit

Arundel MS 33 - Accounts of Receivers of Crown Lands presented to the King's chief auditors from the 7th to the 14th year of King Henry VIII; Surveys of various Manors and Lordships; Liveries of estates to the King's wards; miscellaneous particulars respecting the revenues of the Crown. Apparently collected by John Smyth, Remembrancer of the Exchequer

Arundel MS 34 - A Baronage of England from the Conquest to 1584, by Robert Cooke, Clarenceux King of Arms (d 1593)

Arundel MS 35 - Book of Burials of Nobility (16th century). Entries for 28 noblemen who died between 1559 and 1570. With articles: Lyveries for Noble men at the intierement of every man according to his estate; the decrees of Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, mother of Henry VII, on what should be worn by women in mourning; the preparations for the funeral of an Earl

Arundel MS 36 - Court Rolls of certain Manors in Kent, Middlesex and Surrey belonging to Abbey of St Peter, Westminster, 1-3 Richard III

Arundel MS 37 - History of Ireland, by St Edmund Campion (1571)

Arundel MS 38 - 16th-century copy of work on Life and Deeds of William the Conqueror, from a book of the monastery of St Stephen at Caen

Arundel MS 39 - 16th-century treatise on King of England's right to the Crown of France and the Duchies of Normandy, Aquitaine, etc.

Arundel MS 40 - Observations and Collections of Thomas Lant, Portcullis, concerning the Office and Officers of Armes, with all the occurrantes,complayntes, quarrelles, and broyles that consequently hath happened in the same, from the day of his Creacion and first entrance into the Office. Lant held the office of Portcullis Pursuivant of Arms between 1588 and 1597

Arundel MS 41 - Late 16th-century tracts collected by John Vowell alias Hoker of Exeter, on Parliament and on Exeter

Arundel MS 42 - copy of description of Principality of Wales, Duchy of Cornwall and Earldom of Chester, dedicated to King James I by John Doddridge, and copy of letters patent of King Edward IV to Prince Edward, relating to the Principality

Arundel MS 43 - History of Richard III by Sir Thomas More, in Latin. Autograph manuscript

Arundel MS 44 - 17th-century work on nobility by Sir William Le Neve, Clarenceux King of Arms

Arundel MS 45 - The Confessio Amantis by John Gower, 15th-century

Arundel MS 46 - Discorso della Nobilta di Firenze e de Fiorentini, 17th-century

Arundel MS 47 - 16th-century compilation concerning the Knights of the Garter

Arundel MS 48 - 'Botoner's Annals': Historical Tracts and Collectanea of William Botoner (alias Wyrcestre) with Sir John Fastolf's original State Papers. Including: various lists of the Kings of Britain, Popes, and Emperors; genealogies of kings, including of the British Kings from Kamber to Rees ap Meredith; excerpts from chronicles; Botoner's Annals; rhyming Latin poem on the Lamentation of King Edward of Caernarvon; supplication of King John of France to King Edward III for release from confinement; peace treaties between England and France; and History of Henry V's Wars in France

Arundel MS 49 - Financial accounts of manors held by Margaret, Countess of Norfolk, 1394, and extracts from the Registers of the Priory of Chacombe

Arundel MS 50 - 16th-century treatise on 'The Order of a Kinges Chamber, and howe a Gentleman Hussher shoulde behave himself', by John Wogan

Arundel MS 51 - Volume containing two manuscripts:
1) 15th-century private memorandum book of Roger Machado, Norroy King of Arms, including: account of funeral of King Edward IV (part missing); financial accounts, including of wine imported in 1484 (in Spanish) and notes of expenses of journeys made to Ghent and Bruges for the Marquis of Dorset, 1485; accounts of Embassy to Spain and Portugal, 1488, and to the Marshal of Brittany, 1490
2) Account of Life and Death of Cardinal Wolsey, by George Cavendish, his gentleman usher

Arundel MS 52 History of King James VI of Scotland and I of England - noted as missing in 1946. Note: as W H Black lists only the title of this volume, with no other accompanying information, it may be speculated that he did not see it and it has been missing from the College since at least 1829.

Arundel MS 53 - Late 15th-century pedigree from the Creation to King Alfred, via Patriarchs and Kings of Israel, Dardanus and British Kings, and Woden. Unfinished, probably intended to continue to reigning monarch

Arundel MS 54 - Proceedings in the Court of Chivalry on the case of Appeal between Donald Lord Reay and Sir David Ramsey, charged by him with High Treason, 27 Nov 1631 - 12 May 1632

Arundel MS 55 - Registrum Brevium secundum usum Cancellariae, time of Edward III

Arundel MS 56 - Collection of Statutes, written between 1340 and 1350, ending with note written c.1422, on limitation of writs with respect to times past, ordained by several statutes of Henry III and Edward I

Arundel MS 57 - Late 14th-century, two items:
1) Cursor Mundi, a long poem on Scriptural History, interspersed with legends, and translated from French
2) Richard of Hampole's Prykke of Conscience, a religious poem in seven parts

Arundel MS 58 - History of England, 15th-century: metrical chronicle of Robert of Gloucester remodelled, with interpolatations, and with additions from the Brut Chronicle, Geoffrey of Monmouth, William of Malmesbury, and other chroniclers. Continued to 1332

Arundel MS 59 - Cartulary of Tutbury Priory, Staffordshire, written in reign of Henry VI

Arundel MS 60 - Cartulary of Augustinian Priory of Novus Locus, Sherwood, Nottinghamshire

Arundel MS 61 - Early 14th-century, Piers [Peter] Langtoft's Chronicle in French Alexandrine verses, from Brutus to the death of Edward I, in 2 parts

Arundel MS 62 - Volume containing two items:
1) The Siege of Caerlaverock. Copied from original Roll by Robert Glover, Somerset Herald, in 1587. With banners and shields of knights illuminated in the margins
2) Catalogue of the names and arms of the great princes, noblemen, and knights, English and foreign, with their retinues, who were with King Edward III in his wars in France and Normandy, during the siege of Calais, with the number of ships and men of war. By Ralph Brooke, York Herald, in 1607

Arundel MS 63 - mistakenly renumbered as Arundel MS 26 in the 19th century. The 'new' number has been retained. See 'System of Arrangement' for further details

Arundel MS 64 - A study of the military, in 4 books, by Nicholas Upton, Canon of the Cathedral Churches of Salisbury and Wells. 15th century.

Arundel MS 58 (duplicate number) - A Discoverie of the True Causes why Ireland was never entirely Subdued (1612)

Arundel MS 74 - Informatione Sopra la Regione Della Precedencia

Arundel MS 75 - Garteriados Sive Avrae Periscilides

Arundel MS 90 - Parliaments Held in Dublin, 1605/6

Arundel MS 61 (duplicate number) - Historia di Hispania

Arundel MS 94 - Eadmer, Historia Novorum Monachi Cantuariensis (c. time of William I - Henry I)

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

Latin, French, English

System of arrangement:

Volumes 1-54 are numbered in the same order as when they were received from the Duke of Norfolk, but as other volumes from his collection were donated elsewhere the numbers themselves are not the same. A list of how the College of Arms numbers correspond to the numbers allocated by Thomas Howard when they were in the Arundel Castle library may be found in W H Black's 1829 Catalogue. (See Finding Aids field for further details).
Arundel MS 26 was mistakenly numbered as such in the 19th century when rebinding took place. It should have been Arundel MS 63. W H Black explains that the volume now numbered as Arundel MS 26X (or HDN 26X) is the original Arundel MS 26. At the time of rebinding it was misplaced and so the mistake occurred.

The following volumes are bound together:
18, 19, 36, 38, 39, 42
25, 28, 29, 46

Conditions governing access:

By appointment with the archivist. A letter of introduction and an item of photographic ID are required and a daily research fee of £10 is payable.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Permission of the Chapter of the College of Arms is required.

Finding aids:

W H Black, 'Catalogue of the Arundel Manuscripts in the Library of the College of Arms' (1829). Privately printed. Available on Google Books:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Thomas Howard's collection was inherited by his eldest son, Henry Frederick (d 1652), then his eldest son Thomas (restored to Dukedom of Norfolk in 1660, d 1677), then in 1677 by his brother Henry, who had been made Earl Marshal of England in 1672, in which role he held jurisdiction over the College of Arms. The collection was dispersed by him in 1678, with those volumes now at the College given by him to Sir William Dugdale, Garter King of Arms.

Immediate source of acquisition:

For vols 1-54, Howard, Henry, 6th Duke of Norfolk (1628-1684)
Arundel MS 60 was given to the College by Michael Burton, Esq., at the request of Elizabeth, widow of Thomas Freeman of Scarsdale, Gent., its former owner, 11 Feb. 1712
Arundel MS 61 was bequeathed to the College by Raphe Sheldon of Beoly, Esq., as part of the collection of Augustine Vincent, c. 1683.
Source of acquisition of other volumes is not known.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Other volumes from Thomas Howard's collection were given by his grandson, Henry Howard, 6th Duke of Norfolk, to the Royal Society, then at Gresham College. In 1831 they were purchased by the British Museum and are now in the British Library.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
This catalogue (to vol 64) is an abridged version (by Lynsey Darby, archivist) of that created by W H Black in 1829.

Rules or conventions:
Biographical information taken from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Date(s) of descriptions:

July 2014. Descriptions for vols 1-64 are extracted from the Catalogue of W H Black, 1829.

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