PRoMs - The Production and Reading of Music Sources

Mise-en-page in manuscripts and printed books containing polyphonic music, 1480—1530

Manuscript: London, Great Britain, Lambeth Palace Library, MS 1

Manuscript type: choirbook

RISM siglum: GB-Llp 1

DIAMM Source Key: 209

Image repositories: DIAMM

Folio(s): All folios

Date: Late 1520s

Location of origin: Arundel, Great Britain ; London, Great Britain


Late 1520s. Probably copied and used at St. Stephen's, Westminster, though alternative origins have been proposed (Chew 1970). According to Skinner 2003, possibly made in and for Arundel College. Came to Lambeth Palace Library in 17th century. Collection transferred to Cambridge in 1648; returned to Lambeth Palace in 1664.


Person: Higgons, Edward
Person type: scribe
Note: The scribe was probably Edward Higgons, who also copied CambriU Caius 667 (<a href="/bibliography/#entry965" data-tooltip="" class="has-tip tip-top reference" data-placement="top" rel="tooltip" data-original-title="" title="Chew, Geoffrey, &lsquo;The Provenance and Date of the Caius and Lambeth Choir-Books&rsquo;, Music and Letters, 51 (1970), 107&ndash;17"><i class="fa fa-book"></i>Chew 1970</a>).


Skinner 2003

Basis for description: high-quality image

London, Great Britain, Lambeth Palace Library, MS 1, All folios

Physical description

Material: parchment (with paper)

Number of leaves: ii + 95 + ii

Format: upright

Page dimensions: 668 x 470

Quire structure: Text version

Other devices: Modern ink foliation, 2-93 (omits first original folio; numbers on f. 1 and f. 94 no longer visible). Pagination begins on verso of first original folio, but stops with "6."

Page details (zoom):

Preparation and Copying

All folios


Disposition of Voice Parts Key

Pricking never
Ruled grid never
Ruling pattern fairly irregular
up to 15 staves, but at varying distances and often ruled in a quite uneven fashion; little attempt to match staves on front and back or across openings
Staves omitted from grid n/a
Incomplete staves rarely
Medium and colour of grid Frequency Folios Note
n/a always
Colour of staves Frequency Folios Note
black always
Ruling medium Frequency Folios Note
straightedge always
Indentation for initials Frequency Folios Note
double normally For every voice part at the beginning of works / major sections
single normally For every voice part at the beginning of subsections / residua
Extra space between voice parts Frequency Folios Note
variable space, not on grid normally
empty ruled staves on grid sometimes
Space provided for separate text Frequency Folios Note
no separate text always
Adhoc adaptation Frequency Folios Note
partial additional staves rarely

Copying of text and music

Language(s) Latin
Order of Copying music first
Presence/absence of text Voice part Frequency Folios Note
fully texted with one text all voice parts always
Colour(s) of notation black red
Type(s) of notation full mensural, void mensural
Type of notation note teardrop shaped 'English' notation. Ff. 50v-53r void mensural notation
Monophonic notation absent
Level of calligraphy high
Non verbal performance instructions Folios Note
signa congruentiae occasionally
Types of script cursive (Anglicana)
Level of calligraphy high
Colour(s) of text black
Multiple texts no
Text repetitions few
Abbreviations many
Non underlaid vocal text none
Liminary text Composition titles, occasionally Voice designations, occasionally
Later changes Text on f. 32v blacked out


Level of Decoration high
Decoration border frequency Border type Folios Size Position Description Discrepancies
occasionally scatter partial borders: one- and two-sided outer margin gold leaves, stars and floral ornaments around major initial in top verso corner
Decoration initial type Frequency Folios Initial type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
painted initials always decorated various types of two-line (at the beginning of compositions and movements) and one-line (at the beginning of subsections) initials, mostly in gold, on a wide variety of monchrome or polychrome square backgrounds incorporating flowers, birds, and geometrical shapes.
Other decoration frequency Folios Other decoration type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
sometimes decorative final long