Speculum Vitae

A fragment of a medieval manuscript copy of Speculum Vitae, a 14th-century Middle English devotional poem giving guidance on the elements of the faith and the vices and virtues, possibly by William of Nassyngton. This fragment of vellum was found in the binding of a 1622 edition of
Richard Hooker's Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie. Note the rubrication (red decoration) on the capitals.
In total the fragment contains around 20 lines of verse and originates from the North of England. The original manuscript, which dates from the 14th or 15th centuries, was probably cut up and used as binding material for books around 1600. Thanks to Dr. Ralph Hanna, Keble College, Oxford, for identifying the text.

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