An Electronic Linguistic Atlas
of Late Mediaeval English


INTRODUCTION

Acknowledgment

Our first thanks are to the funding bodies which made possible the creation of this electronic atlas, namely the Arts and Humanities Research Council of Great Britain, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of New York. They have been generous, supportive and understanding; we are immensely grateful both to them and to their officers who were responsible for the project, respectively Jill Mustard and Donald Waters.

We are greatly indebted to the late Per Winther, who as the first head of the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages, at the University of Oslo, gave much-valued personal as well as institutional support.

We wish to pay warm personal tribute to the late Derek Britton, who at the University of Edinburgh gave unfailing encouragement and institutional support to the linguistic atlas projects, in recent years as Director of the Institute of Historical Dialectology.

At the University of Edinburgh, we are very grateful to Hamish McAndrew, Sue Coleman and Nicky Day of Edinburgh Research and Innovation, Steven McGauley and Andy McKinlay of the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences and Heinz Giegerich, Director of the Institute for Historical Dialectology, who have all played crucial parts in bringing the project to fruition. We also thank Susan Hamilton, Melissa McLaughlin, Cedric Macmartin and Debbie Moodie and the staff of the Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Library.

We are also indebted to Jeremy Smith of the University of Glasgow for the loan of microfilms and to Merja Stenroos of the University of Stavanger for allowing us to use manuscript datings compiled for the Middle English Grammar Project (now the Middle English Scribal Texts programme).

Scope of Revision

The making of eLALME was conceived and funded as a three-year project, of which the prime aim was to publish the content of LALME as a website. In principle, the revision of the atlas content was limited to what two of its makers could accomplish within those three years. The revision has therefore been piecemeal, and unavoidably so: our concern has been to remedy, so far as we have been able, those parts we knew to be defective. We have had to decide between the essential and the desirable, and are aware more of what still needs doing than of what has so far been done. Publication in electronic form, however, is not the closure that is enforced by print, and revision will continue.

Index of Sources
Since LALME was published, several archives known or thought likely to hold documents in Middle English have been searched for the first time. These are:

Work in other archives, searched initially during the making of LALME, has continued as opportunity has allowed:

For the county record offices, our lists reflect what at the time seemed to be the limits of informed search, but it is hardly to be supposed that they are exhaustive. Most such archives organise their collections, and necessarily, by land ownership rather than date. The mediaeval material has therefore to be identified from the separate class lists for the muniments of each landed proprietor. In these, documents are grouped by the properties to which they relate, and ordered by date only for each property; typically, a whole class list must be read in order to find references even for the right period. Standards of description vary greatly, according to when a list was compiled and what resources were available; record offices have seldom been at the forefront in the budgets of local government. Documents may or may not be calendared individually; a bundle described as ‘Manor of Norton, 17 deeds 1297–1753’ looks promising, but may prove to contain only one deed from before the Reformation. Even class lists designed to make the content of every deed accessible, and so save wear and tear on the originals, have until recent years generally ignored language. Our searches, guided by the expertise of the archivists, have therefore involved the inspection – and so the ordering and fetching and carrying – of some hundreds of thousands of documents, among which those in English are very few and far between. In the first edition of the atlas, we recorded our indebtedness (I.53) to all of those who had helped in this work. The following quarter-century has put us yet deeper in their debt.

Linguistic Profiles
Many of the linguistic profiles (LPs) have been made anew, and more will be so as opportunity allows. Some analyses had been made from untrustworthy editions, whereas they ought to have been made from manuscript. Some analyses made from manuscript proved inadequate in the light of later work. Some LPs combined the similar usages in the same manuscript of two or more scribes, whereas the development of the atlas as ‘an inventory of Middle English scribes’ now calls for individual profiles – and the delineation of hands, especially when the work must be done from microfilm, can prove immensely time consuming. Below, we list by county the LPs that have been replaced, or for which replacement is imminent from analyses completed but not yet keyed to disc.

Buckinghamshire
LP 6740 now 6740 and 4030 (Bodley 565, Itineraries of William Wey)

Cornwall
LP 5010 (British Library Harley 2399, divers hands and texts)

Derbyshire
LP 9700 (Edinburgh University Library MS 91 – new LP)

Devon
LP 5050 now 5051-5052 (London, College of Arms, Arundel XXII)
LP 5060 now 5061-5064 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson D 328)
LP 5071 (Ermington documents)
LP 5080 (Bodley Ashmole 1447
LP 5101 (Shillingford letters)
LP 5110 now 5111-5112 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ashmole 33)
LP 5291 (part: previously Wilts) now 5292 (Yale University Library, Beinecke MS 163, Hand D)

Essex
LP 6150 (previously Kent) now 6151-6152 (London, British Library, Egerton 2726)
LP 6240 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Douce 322)
LP 6270 (London, British Library, Lansdowne 763)

Gloucestershire
LP 7080 (London, British Library, Harley 201, Hand B)

Hampshire
LP 5490 (Usages of Winchester)
LP 5590 now 5591-5592 (London, British Library, Harley 7333, Gesta Romanorum)
LP 5600 now 5601-5602 (London, British Library, Harley 7333, Gesta Romanorum)

Herefordshire
LP 7410 (British Library Additional 46919, poems of William Herbert)
LP 7500 (London, British Library, Harley 201, Robert of Gloucester’s Chronicle, Hand A)

All other LPs for Herefordshire are revised from the reports of Merja Riita Black (now Stenroos) in her Studies in the Dialect Materials of Medieval Herefordshire.

Lancashire
LP 307 (Will of Sir Geoffrey Mascy). To which are added ten other documents by the same hand.

Norfolk
LP 4279 (London, British Library, Sloane 2593)
LP 8730 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson C 288, Hand B)

Northampton
LP 9520 (Liber Custumarum Villae Northamptonie)

Shropshire
LP 237 (Oxford Bodleian Library, Rawlinson Poet 14.)

Somerset
LP 5171 now 5171-5173 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ashmole 189)
LP 5280 now 5281-5282 (Longleat, Marquess of Bath’s MSS 55)

Staffordshire
LP 52 (British Library Cotton Claudius A II)

Suffolk
LP 8340 (‘Ipswich Domesday’)
LP 8470 (BL Harley 2278, Lydgate)

Surrey
LP 5630 (London, British Library, Egerton 1995)
LP 5641 (Oxford Bodleian Library, Bodley 207, three hands)
LP 5651 now 5651-5658 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley 110)
LP 5800 now 5801-5802 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Lyell 34)

Sussex
LP 5660 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley 110, Hand F2 – olim G)
LP 5840 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley 110, Hand F1)

Warwickshire
LP 8000 (Bodley Laud Misc. 321)

Wiltshire
LP 5291 now 5291, 5293, 5295 (Yale University Library, Beinecke MS 163, Hands A, F, J)
LP 5311 now 5311-5314 (London, British Library, Harley 3840)
LP 5331 (Manchester University, John Rylands Library Eng MS 895)
LP 5411 now 5411-5412 (London, College of Arms, MS 58)

Worcestershire
LP 7841 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson C 81, two hands)

East Midland
LP 5294 (Yale University Library, Beinecke MS 163, Hand G)

The following LPs have not been analysed anew, but where forms from the original analyses had been missed they have now been supplied, and those analyses which represented more than one hand have been divided.

Devon
LP 5120 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Digby 14)

Gloucestershire
LPs 7051–7052 (London, British Library, Cotton Tiberius D vii and Manchester Chetham’s Library 11379)
LP 7151–7152 (Oxford Bodleian Library, Bodley 177)
LPs 7211–7212 (Oxford Bodleian Library, Laud Misc. 553)

Hampshire
LP 5111-5112 now 5110 (Oxford, Trinity College 7).

Herefordshire
LPs 7391-7392 (Oxford Bodleian Library, Tanner 201)

Middlesex
LP 6510 (Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, Advocates’ 19.2.1 (olim Auchinleck)

Norfolk
LP 621 now 4621(Cambridge University Library Ii.IV.9)
LP 4668 now LP 4668 and LP 8730 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson C 288)
LP 8690 (Princeton, University Library (Princeton, N.J.): Garrett 141). Entry in LALME but no LP. eLALME LP from analysis by MLS.
LP 8870 (London, British Library, Add. 61823 (olim Butler-Bowden MS). Entry in LALME but no LP. eLALME LP from analysis by MLS.

Shropshire
LP 4218 now 4218 and 7560 (London, British Library, Add 34779 and Manchester University, John Rylands Library Eng. MS 90)

Suffolk
LP 4768 (Cambridge University Library, Add 2830)

Warwickshire
LP 8070 (London, British Library, Additional 36791)

Wiltshire
LP 5331 (Manchester University, John Rylands Library Eng MS 895)

Worcestershire
LP 7731 now 7731-7732 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, Rawlinson D 100)
LP 7761 now 7760-7761 (Worcester Cathedral Chapter Library F. 10)

Removal of LALME LPs representing early Middle English
LPs derived from the following manuscripts were included in LALME, although they represented language earlier, in some cases much earlier, than the period that LALME was designed to represent (see LALME I, §4.3). These are now transferred to the Linguistic Atlas of Early Middle English.

Essex
Oxford, Bodleian Library, Add E 6

Gloucestershire
British Library, Cotton Vitellius D.iii Floriz and Blauncheflur
Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley 652, Iacob and Iosep
Oxford, Bodleian Library, Digby 86

Herefordshire
Oxford, Jesus College 29

Kent
British Library, Arundel 57, Ayenbite of Inwyt
Oxford, Bodleian Library, Laud Misc. 471, Kentish Sermons

Wiltshire
Cambridge, Emmanuel College 27
London, British Library, Cotton Otho C xiii, Laȝamon B
Salisbury Cathedral Library 82

Worcestershire
Cambridge, Trinity College, B.14.39 (hands now divided between Worcs and Herefords)

Yorkshire
Edinburgh, College of Physicians, Cursor Mundi MS


1Unpublished diss. Ph.D., University of Glasgow, 2 vols, 1997.