The Yorkist scribe : his motivations and the objectives behind his edit of the Canterbury Roll. (2019)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameBachelor of Arts (Hons)
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
The Canterbury Roll is a genealogical manuscript that traces the line of English succession from Edward IV to Noah. It originates from the fifteenth century and was edited by four subsequent scribes between 1429 and 1485. This five-meter long roll in its earliest form displays political ideas and is an example of how fifteenth century men and women viewed both these ideas and their history. While a later edition of the manuscript embodies the political upheaval caused by the Wars of the Roses and helps to provide an understanding of the political ideas in this period. This dissertation will look at these idea’s through the Yorkist Scribe who is one of the four scribal hands on this manuscript, considering what his edit can say about his ideas on the right of succession and kingship. It compares both the visual and textual evidence on the roll with contemporary ideas and events to distinguish what the Yorkist Scribe’s motivations and objectives were. While also providing a comparison of the scribal hands on the roll to distinguish how the Yorkist Scribes work differs from others on the manuscript, allowing the nature of his authorial voice to be determined. This dissertation provides a thorough analysis of these issues, multiple examples of the Yorkist Scribe working to not only to display a legitimate line of succession for the Yorkist line but also to delegitimise the Lancastrian line. It also helps to establish that it is unlikely that he was coping from another manuscript and the objectives the Yorkist Scribes had during his edit on the Canterbury Roll.