From Manx Soc vol IV,VII & IX

APPENDIX B. [Chronicle of Mann & the Isles]

The Chronicle of Mann and the Isles, deposited in the British Museum, and numbered Julius A. VII. of the Cottonian collection, is a small sized quarto, consisting of 132 folios vellum, in a tolerable state of preservation. The work itself is bound up in a volume with a number of others, and is in a very fragile condition. At present, either from defect in the parchment, or else through the agency of fire, the membranes have become dry and brittle so that they chip and crumble before the touch, in spite of the most careful handling- The chronicle is 7½ inches long by 5 wide, written in a neat black-letter hand. It opens in the usual style of these works, namely, "Ab incarnatione domime," and is probably formed on the same model as the archives of Furness, the parent monastery. Hence the sirmilarity of all monastic productions, from the Saxon Chronicle to the Chronicon Manniae. The work itself is the labour of eight different scribes, and is brought down by the original writer nearly to the close of 1250, but from the sentence commencing "Sed ipse nec literas" the first change in the handwriting occurs, which is written in a small cramped hand difficult to decipher. Another penman resumes the narrative in 1275 beginning with the words " Septimo die mensis Octobris," and brings it down to the year 1316,when a fresh scribe concludes it.

A small but neat hand catalogues the bishops as far as the accession of Marcus where it terminates, and the record of this bishop is continued to the end of his episcopate by a different hand. From the accession of bishop Allan to the death of bishop Thomas in 1348, the entries are by another writer to the words " Hic primus viginti solidos," when a new penman finishes the list.

The entry of the abbey lands, or what may be considered as the chartulary of Rushen Abbey, presents a marked contrast to the handwriting of the other parts of the MS. It is written in the same large square characters discernible in the Furness chartulary, and from the intimate connection between the two houses was probably written by an inmate of the latter place.


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