Skip to main content

Reference: Brogyntyn MS I.27

The Manuscript

The watermark on the paper dates the manuscript to 1584, but experts agree that the book was blank for some time before the music was copied, and the rest of the pages were empty until Thomas Tanat used them at a later date.

The manuscript measures 21.3 x 16.7 cm, and a small part of it is hand-lined for music notation in a series of six hand-ruled, six-lined staves. The manuscript was very tightly re-bound in pig skin, possibly during the first half of the 19 th  century. A panel from an earlier binding was inserted on the cover: a dark brown calf skin panel dating from the late 15th century, which measures approximately 185 x 140mm. This panel is decorated with diamonds and two different stamps, one of a deer inside a square and the other of a lion inside a circle. Robert Spencer and Jeffrey Alexander attest in their book 'Brogyntyn lute book' that this insert is not part of the original binding of the manuscript as the stamps have clearly been created for a book of different shape, since the pattern lies on its side (bgn00149). They also note that the manuscript has been cropped during the rebinding, losing some titles on the edge of the pages.

Copies of more recent correspondence (1962-4) relating to the manuscript, are bound separately (MS I.27a)

Thomas Tanat (1603-69)

Thomas Tanat, a lawyer, religious man, poet and royalist from the Broxton, Cheshire area added poetry and legal miscellanea to the manuscript between 1624 and 1669. He wasn’t responsible for the musical content, and he probably inherited or bought the manuscript. He left all his books to his son, Edward Tanat, in his will in 1670.

Bibliography and further reading