From lexical collation to significant omissions and paraphrases: New evidence for refining relations within the Prick of Conscience Group-IV Manuscripts


Prick of Conscience
manuscript families
Group IV
textual relations
lexical collocations

How to Cite

Garrido, E. (2022). From lexical collation to significant omissions and paraphrases: New evidence for refining relations within the Prick of Conscience Group-IV Manuscripts. SELIM. Journal of the Spanish Society for Medieval English Language and Literature., 27(1), 114-165.


Abstract: The Prick of Conscience is known to have survived in 97 manuscripts of the Main Version, 19

of the Southern Recension, and about 50 short extracts. An initial collation of one lexical item in the 97

extant copies of the Main Version and subsequent comparison of another 109 items in 54 of these copies

allow for identifying parallel variant readings throughout the poem’s almost 10,000 lines. Those variants

often transcend the word level affecting the line, the couplet, or more extensive passages. This paper

contributes to refining textual relations within the Group-IV family of the work by showing distinct

variance common to Dublin, Trinity College, 157 (D.4.11) (MV 21), London, Sion College, Arc. L. 40.

2/E. 25 (MV 49), and Shrewsbury, School, III (Mus. III. 39) (MV 95). Apart from unfolding and expanding

the extent of the relationship pointed out by Lewis & McIntosh (1982), this research also proves that the

hitherto unsubclassified London, Lambeth Palace, 492 (MV 48) is another member of the subgroup. To

illustrate how the proposed subset relates to a version closer to the presumed original and other Group-IV

witnesses, readings from the following London, British Library manuscripts are also provided for reference:

Cotton Galba E. IX (MV 27); Harley 4196 (MV 34); Egerton 657 (MV 29); Additional 22283 (MV 40).


Andreae, P. 1888: Die Handschriften des Pricke of Conscience von Richard Rolle de Hampole im Britischen Museum. Berlin: G. Bernstein.

Benskin, M., Laing, M. Karaiskos, V. & Williamson, K. 2013: An Electronic Version of a Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English. Edinburgh. The University of Edinburgh. []

Bordalejo, B. & Robinson, P. M. W. 2018: Manuscripts with Few Significant Introduced Variants. Ecdotica 1: 37–65.

Britton, D. 1979: Unnoticed Fragments of the Prick of Conscience. Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 80: 327–334.

Bülbring, K. D. 1891a: On twenty-five MSS. of Richard Rolle’s Pricke of Conscience, eighteen of them in the British Museum, Four in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin, the Corser MS., and Two in Lichfield Cathedral Library. Transactions of the Philological Society 1888–1890: 261–283.

Bülbring, K. D. 1891b: Über die Handschrift Nr. 491 der Lambeth-Bibliothek. Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Litteraturen 86: 383–392.

Bülbring, K. D. 1897: Zu den Handschriften von Richard Rolle’s Prick of Conscience. Englische Studien 23: 1–30.

Carrillo-Linares, M. J. 2016: Middle English Word Geography and Stemmatological Research: A Case Study in the Prick of Conscience Textual Tradition. Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 117.1: 79–108.

Carrillo-Linares, M. J. & Garrido-Anes, E. 2008: Middle English Word Geography: Methodology and Applications Illustrated. In M. Dossena, R. Dury & M. Gotti eds., English Historical Linguistics 2006. Geo-Historical Variation in English. In Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 297(3). Amsterdam / Philadelphia, John Benjamins: 67–89.

Carrillo-Linares, M. J. & Garrido-Anes, E. 2009: Middle English Word Geography: External Sources for Investigating the field. In M. Dossena & R. Lass eds. Studies in English and European Historical Dialectology. Bern, Peter Lang: 135–156.

Carrillo-Linares, M. J. & Garrido-Anes, E. 2012: Lexical Variation in Late Middle English: Selection and Deselection. In R. Dance & L. Wright eds. The Use and Development of Middle English. In M. Bator & J. Fisiak eds. Studies in English Medieval Language and Literature 38. Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, Peter Lang: 145–177.

D’Evelyn, C. 1930: An East Midland Recension of The Pricke of Conscience. PMLA 45, 180–200.

Garrido-Anes, E. 2019: Variation in Word Choice in the Textual Transmission of Middle English Works: the Case of ‘Dole’. In M. Stenroos, M. Mäkinen, K. V. Thengs & O. M. Traxel eds. Current Explorations in Middle English. In M. Bator & J. Fisiak. Studies in English Medieval Language and Literature 56. Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, Peter Lang: 83–110.

Garrido-Anes, E. 2022: A Lexical Comparison of Four Prick of Conscience Group-IV Manuscripts. Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 123.1: 79–108.

Hanna, R. & Wood, S. 2013: Richard Morris’s Prick of Conscience. A Corrected and Amplified Reading Text. Oxford: Oxford University Press (EETS).

Humphreys, K. W & Lightbown, J. 1952: Two Manuscripts of the Pricke of Conscience in the Brotherton Collection, University of Leeds. Leeds Studies in English and Kindred Languages 7-8: 29–38.

Lewis, R. E. & MacIntosh, A. 1982: A Descriptive Guide to the Manuscripts of the Prick of Conscience. Medium Ævum Monographs. New Series XII. Oxford: The Society for the Study of Mediæval Languages and Literature.

McIntosh, A. 1973: Word Geography in the Lexicography of Medieval English. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 211: 55–66.

McIntosh, A. 1976 (1989): Two Unnoticed Interpolations in Four Manuscripts of the Prick of Conscience. Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 77: 63–78; repr. In M. Laing ed. Middle English Dialectology: Essays on Some Principles and Problems. Aberdeen, Aberdeen University Press: 123–135.

Morey, J. H. 2012: Prik of Conscience. TEAMS Middle English Text Series. Kalamazoo (MI): Medieval Institute Publications.

Morris, R. 1863: The Pricke of Conscience (Stimulus Conscientiae), a Northumbrian Poem by Richard Rolle de Hampole. Berlin: A. Asher & Co. for the Philological Society.

Robinson, P. M. W. 2013: The textual tradition of Dante’s Commedia and the Barbi ‘Loci.’ Ecdotica 9: 7–38.

Robinson, P. M. W. 2016: Four Rules for the Application of Phylogenetics in the Analysis of Textual Traditions. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities 3.3: 637–651.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2022 Array


Download data is not yet available.