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"A baronial bestiary. Heraldic evidence for the patronage of MS. Bodley 764"
Ron Baxter
Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 50, 1987, 196-200
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Heraldic images in the bestiary. Roger de Monhaut, the Clares and the Berkeleys in relation to Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley 764.

"...Bodley 764 appears to be the only surviving English bestiary to show genuine, recognizable shields of arms. If these coats can be read as evidence of patronage, then Bodley 764 is among the earliest extant English manuscripts in which heraldry is used as a mark of ownership. ... Evidence of wide-spread baronial book patronage has not been found before the end of the [13th] century... the books concerned are chiefly psalters. No other English Latin bestiary can be unequivocally ascribed to lay patronage, and no indication at all of original ownership has been found on any English bestiary as costly as this one. Other luxury bestiaries of the thirteenth century - the Ashmole Bestiary, the Aberdeen Bestiary... and British Library MS Royal 12.C.XIX - remain tantalisingly empty of any indication of patronage, but the evidence of Roger de Monhaut's Bestiary at least admits the possibility that such books were made for aristocratic lay patrons." - Baxter

Language: English

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