EXPLORING CPP 10A214: A New Candidate for the Layfield Hand, Part 1

By Hillary Nunn with Rebecca Laroche

The more Rebecca Laroche and I work with the College of Physicians manuscript, the more enmeshed we become with the religious politics of the mid-seventeenth century. Rebecca’s most recent post, on the transcription of the “Horologe” from Lancelot Andrewes’ Private Devotions, not only provides additional evidence for dating the manuscript in the 1640s, it connects the Layfield hand even more securely to the world of the church.

This new context makes our latest discovery even more exciting: we have a new idea of the person behind Hand 2, thanks to a new writing sample from the archives.

Looking for potential “E. Layfield”s while at the Folger Shakespeare Library, I stumbled across the following image of a signature from the State Papers Online.[1]
LayfieldSig1

The L and y immediately caught my eye: our Layfielde, I thought, had those:
Probatum Anne Layfield

But the match isn’t perfect. For one thing, the f is substantially different in this signature, as is the e. And then, of course, there’s the spelling. As much as we know early modern people often used variant spellings of their own names, the new signature’s ei is repeated in another of Edward Layfield’s signatures of the period:
LayfieldSignDraft2
I immediately knew that I needed an expert opinion. Besides, this new signature belonged to Edward Layfield, Archdeacon of Essex, and Edward Layfield, rector of Wakes Colne from 1640 to 1666, had seemed our most likely candidate. The signatures, moreover, carried the date 1660, and our recipe manuscript’s inscription says the book belonged to a Layfield – Anne – in 1640. But the similarities made it well worth pursuing.

I consulted with Heather Wolfe and Sarah Powell at the Folger, and their verdict was a resounding maybe. The idea that the newly-found signatures belonged to the same person as the CPP manuscript’s Hand 2, they told me, was “plausible, but not provable.” They noted that the distinctive h in the letters’ archdeacon does not commonly appear in the CPP manuscript, but they also pointed out that the two new Edward Layfield signatures were different from one another as well, with substantially difference ds. in Layfield. Could Mr. Layfield’s handwriting be changing in his later years?

While this verdict from the experts surely didn’t give permission for the “eureka!” I’d been stifling, it wasn’t a reason to stop this new line of pursuit, either. So we’ll be taking it further, to see what difference it makes if we consider Edward, not Edmund, as behind the Layfield hand. Church politics will most certainly be involved. More of that to come in the next posting.

 

[1] Both the Edward Layfield signatures come from The National Archives of the UK, as reproduced in State Papers Online. This first image is For University Promotions or Degrees: Certificate by Edw. Layfield, Archdeacon of Essex, and three others, in favour of the petitioner’s orthodoxy and loyalty (SP 29/9 f.130), and the second is Certificate of Edw. Layfield, Archdeacon of Essex, and two others, in behalf of Rich. Beresford (SP 29/10 f.86).

Exploring Six Degrees of Francis Bacon in Beta

By Hillary Nunn

Since the beta version of Six Degrees of Francis Bacon (SDFB) debuted in September, users have been joyfully exploring early modern social networks with the interface’s easy-to-use tools and color-coded illustrations. The much anticipated launch opens up The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography in a new way, allowing users to focus on relationships as much as the individuals involved in them. SDFB’s visualization tools map social connections running through English society between 1500 and 1700, hinting at how ideas and influence traveled within the larger culture. In short, SDFB is a fantastic new means of tracking the people involved with early modern recipes.

While the ODNB routinely names a person’s associates, its entries cannot fully show how those connections linked individuals together in wider networks. Reading that Elizabeth Grey, Countess of Kent – whose famous “powder” appears in scores of recipe books (11/02/2014)– traveled in the same circles as John Florio, Samuel Daniel, and Queen Elizabeth I, for example, is impressive, but her social network becomes even more intriguing when we can see how she can also be linked to not just Queen Henrietta Maria, but the cookbook author Robert May (21/12/2012). Her entry in the ODNB doesn’t tell us that.

.Grey

SDFB’s usefulness for less prominent recipe writers, however, is currently limited, largely because only 6% of the people included are women. In addition, a name needs to appear five times in the ODNB subset of 13,000 entries in order to be represented in SDFB (See the Help page). As Project Director Christopher Warren outlines in a forthcoming DHQ article, the digital tools used to extract names from these entries cannot always pick out individuals when they’re identified solely by title or relationship. As a result, Elizabeth Grey’s SDFB network does not reveal a direct connection to her accomplished sister Aletheia Howard, countess of Arundel when I initially called it up; instead, it shows Howard and Grey as linked only through male associates (who are not family members).

Using Howard as a point of entry into the project highlights one intriguing feature of the SDFB interface – its “relationship confidence” slider. My first search for Howard, with the default “Likely to Certain” confidence measure, resulted in this image:

Howard

Adjusting the level of certainty, however, yielded two direct connections, to King James I and Sir Henry Wotten, and a slew of secondary connections.

This underrepresentation of women is a concern to SDFB’s makers, who already have plans to help rectify the situation, and their beta encourages users to add relationship information through the “Contribute” button. In fact, I’ve already added the Grey-Arundel connection, and a few others, and the process is straightforward. All that is required is that users create a free account and supply a reference for their addition.

So, while the SDFB may not currently represent all the relationships recipe readers want to know about, it can in the future. As Warren points out in DHQ, the immensity of the SDFB project means that it can never be as detailed as smaller scale efforts humanists might undertake by hand, but these large and smaller projects can improve one another. SDFB already serves as a valuable tool for envisioning the networks that early modern writers operated in, and will only grow more useful, with our help, in the months and years to come.

Exploring CPP 10a214: Anne Layfield Reading Bishop Andrewes

By Rebecca Laroche with Hillary Nunn

In our June entry on the College of Physicians of Philadelphia Layfield manuscript, I introduced the pages written in Anne Layfield’s own hand, the devotional pages that begin the Layfield half of the book. These devotions were unusual for this collection which otherwise consisted of recipes but such pages commonly appear in recipe collections in general. A quick bibliographic Text Creation Partnership search reveals that these pages are copied directly out of Humphrey Moseley’s translation of Bishop Lancelot Andrewes’s (1555–1626) Latin writings, The Private Devotions of the Right Reverend Father in God Lancelot Andrewes, which by some bibliographic sources seems to be first published in the very small print duodecimo in 1647.

Lancelot Andrewes (1555–1626), overseer of the King James Bible Translation, was a highly regarded figure during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I.

Bishop Andrewes, c. 1660
Bishop Andrewes, c. 1660

Bishop of the Church of England, he went with James I in 1617 to preach to the Scots about the importance of the Episcopacy.[1] His works underwent many translations after his death, and it would seem that Anne Layfield had one of the earliest print translations of the “Horologe of Prayer,” taken from the first pages of Moseley’s translation.

Looking at the print text itself, it is clear why Layfield would copy out the extensive “Horologe” into her quarto notebook. In the duodecimo format, each page contains one or two passages, and the Horologe takes up 15 pages.

The Historical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Manuscript 10a214, fol. 238. Personal photo included with permission.
The Historical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Manuscript 10a214, fol. 238. Personal photo included with permission.

Layfield’s exquisite italic spread out over four pages allows the reader to see the entire prayer schema, which maps scripture onto diurnal cycles from morning through night, with the relevant biblical passages. Layfield’s format also puts the Biblical references in the margins, whereas the print text has them embedded within the devotions themselves. Layfield’s rearrangement of the knowledge increases the accessibility to the key points of each prayer, thus the print text helps us to see why this passage would be copied out even if Anne Layfield owned the book itself.

The other way that this relationship between manuscript and print illuminates the composition of the collection, moreover, is in the date it provides. Before now, we had  only the date of Anne Layfield’s ownership inscription, 1640.  If pages 240–236 are copied out in 1647, not only are they transcribed long after Layfield acquires the notebook held in Philadelphia, but they also are written three years after the death of Calybute Downing, the recorded compiler of the other half of the document. If Calybute Downing, therefore, had anything to do directly with the origins of the book, as the recipe entries that end “per me Cal. Downing” imply, then this later date would position the Downing half as being written before the majority of the entries in the do-si-do Layfield section or as being copied from an unknown earlier manuscript composed by Downing.

What is more, between Anne Layfield’s contributions to the collection in 1640 and in 1647, in late 1641 or early 1642 Calybute Downing published anonymously An Appeale to Everye Impartiall, Judicious and Godly Reader, arguing for a presbyterian reform of church organization, marking the side he would take in the emerging conflict. By the end of 1642, he had become chaplain in the Lord of Essex’s army for the Parliamentarian cause.[2]

One can imagine that with growing tensions around the bishopric in Civil War England, publishing translations of the work of Andrewes, a man who in his lifetime was representative of the Episcopacy, would have a similar political import. In not only purchasing such a book, but also in copying it down in the later 1640s, Anne Layfield may be signifying her own position in the divide.

Throughout these explorations, we have been noting the various religio-political affiliations of the individuals connected to the Layfield-Downing Manuscript. Seemingly extraneous to the recipe book itself, these devotions add another layer to the text’s complexity, as they reveal the importance of the date of composition. Even as the book is dated 1640 by her, the devotional materials tell us that it was still in Anne Layfield’s possession late in the Civil War. These dates help mark its compilation across a time of religious conflict between at least two households that would come to position themselves relative to that conflict.

For more information on CPP 10a214 and other posts in this series, go here.

[1].P. E. McCullough, “Lancelot Andrewes,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [Online].
[2]. Barbara Donagan, “Calybute Downing,” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [Online].

 

 

 

Exploring CPP 10a214: The Place of Devotion

By Rebecca Laroche with Hillary Nunn

Since we last posted in 2014, Hillary Nunn and I have been able to meet in Philadelphia and look at the College of Physicians manuscript together. This was an unprecedented convergence, and we are now seeing the manuscript’s and the collaboration’s richness anew. My next two entries will be about an aspect of the book I’d previously overlooked: the devotional materials at the beginning of the Layfield section.

From the back, the order of pages is as follows:

  • Page 245, Anne Layfield’s Calligraphic Inscription [right side up],
  • Page 243, Recipe in the Downing hand, [right side up] (for a discussion of this intermixture of hands see the discussion from November).
  • Page 241, Poem in E. Layfield’s hand [Do-si-do], “Samuel Googe his Diett”
  • Then continuing in do-si-do, pages 240–236 are five pages dedicated to the structures and purposes of prayer in a beautiful italic.
The Historical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Manuscript 10a214, fol. 238. Personal photo included with permission.
The Historical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Manuscript 10a214, fol. 238. Personal photo included with permission.

Upon this viewing, we have realized that these devotions are written in a less-calligraphic hand of Anne Layfield herself, the only other pages than the transcription that are hers.

Now if we read Anne Layfield’s signature rather than the Downing side as the start of her book, these devotions inaugurate her medical collection, with the dominant hands inserting themselves between her signature and the devotionals. This post considers the commonness of these kinds of inclusions, particularly at the beginning, within recipe books and what we may learn from them.

Many recipe books contain individual prayers or devotions. A simple search of the Wellcome Library catalogue reveals religious texts within volumes owned by Elizabeth Bulkeley, Mary Hodges, and Bridget Parker. More pointedly, I know of two other substantial collections that begin with a prayer or devotional text. At the Wellcome, Lady Frances Catchmay’s lengthy volume begins with “A Prayer to be sayd at all tymes to defend thee from thy Enemyes.” In its content and the repetition of “in the name of Jesus,” one can see the relevance for a book of medical recipes.

Wellcome Library MS 184a, Digital Image 3.
Wellcome Library MS 184a, Digital Image 3.

Another volume held at the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Codex 823, does not have an ownership inscription, and its front matter consists of sixteen pages of prayers and devotional materials. These pages include “A Briefe discourse of the / maner and order of the departing /of the Ladye Katherine by one hole night wherin / she dyed in the morning.” The reference seems to be to Lady Catherine Grey, whose death in 1567 has timed the manuscript’s origins in the late Tudor period.[1]

What these devotions are doing in the recipe collections is yet another of many points of speculation in considering historical recipes. They may be a way to spend time meaningfully in particularly tedious recipe-making and/or they may locate the owner’s medical practice within her/his larger devotional work. We should not underestimate, moreover, what they can tell us about the owners and their contexts. In the ways that the Lady Catherine reference allows us to locate an anonymous manuscript in time, Anne Layfield’s devotions and its central text, “The Horologe or Diall of Prayer,” can tell us much about the sequencing and timing of the manuscripts construction. The source for this text and its implications are the subject of our series’s next installment in August.

[1] University of Pennsylvania Manuscript Catalog, Codex 823. The Digital facsimile may be seen here.