In conference with Alys MacIntoisch, we delved into her personna of a Scottish reaver, and while Alys made beautiful words in the original Scots, I dove into the Aberdeen Beastiary.
In all of its late 15th century Scots glory
Brion, by rycht off armes kynge off the Est, and Anna, by the same rycht Quhene, to the justiciaris, schireffis, prouosts and thir baillieis and the reste of owr ministeris and faithfull subgectis to quhom thaise present lettiris sall cume, greitings. Know that it is the intencioun of owr will that Marguerite inghean Lochlainn sall be and heirby is raisit and eleuaitit to the Ordoure off the Pellican, with all richtis, privelegis, frensches, essys, and fredwmys appertinent thairvnto, to hawe and to hold the saim freelie, fully, paisibilly and withoutin perturbacion or distroubelance. So we ordour yhow, and eche of yhow, firmlie and vnder threit off the appropriat penaltie, that yhow schold not imputt ony wrang, greifance or injustis or impose ony impediment or vexacione on the forsayde Marguerite in the exercese off the said-foure richtis, privelegis and frensches, essys, and fredwmys, or permitt thais thingis to be imposit on hir in keipyng with the tenore off owr grant and intencioun declarit abuf. In testymony off quhiche matere we ordainyt thais owr letteris to be made patent and proclaimit in owr councel at Bergental on the thryd day off December in the fiftie-fyrst yhere off the Societe.
In modern English
Brion, by right of arms king of the East, and Anna, by the same right Queen, to the justiciars, sheriffs, provosts and their bailies and the rest of our ministers and faithful subjects to whom these present letters shall come, greetings. Know that it is the intention of our will, as set forth herein, that Marguerite inghean Lochlainn shall be and hereby is raised and elevated to the Order of the Pelican, with all rights, privileges, appertaining thereto, to have and to hold the same freely, fully, peacefully and without impediment. So we order you, and each of you, firmly and under threat of the appropriate penalty, that you should not inflict any evil, annoyance, injustice or impose any impediment or aggravation on the said Marguerite in the exercise of the rights and privileges aforesaid, or permit these things to be inflicted on her in keeping with the tenor of our grant and intention declared above. In testimony of which matter we ordered these our letters to be made patent and read aloud in our council held at Bergental on ___ December in the fifty-first year of the Society.
Links for the Aberdeen https://www.abdn.ac.uk/bestiary/ms24/f35r
Examples of the hand used: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/bestiary/ms24/f34v
The Aberdeen Bestiary is a lavish and costly book with illuminations containing gold leaf and exquisite detail. It was written and illuminated in England around 1200. The tracing of this manuscript shows that in 1542 it was listed in the inventory of the Old Royal Library, within the Westminster Palace. The library had been assembled by Henry VIII, to give a home to manuscripts and documents that he had rescued from monastaries that were dissolved during his reign. Henry VIII, received professional assistance from John Leland with the library to catalog these books and the Aberdeen Bestiary was listed as No.518 Liber de bestiarum natura. The book itself is 300mm high and 210mm.
I was not disappointed. Vellum was lovely to work on. Pricey, but lovely.
I decided to do gold leaf also. I have struggled in the past with gold leaf, and this one was not perfect, but I am getting better. So I did up the design, first in pencil, and then in pen and ink (using my trust crow quill pen and Higgins eternal ink) and laid down the mordant first, then the gold leaf. As you can see, I wanted to include the elements of the two households of Marguerite, Sharc Pit and House Lochleven, and the Lady of the Rose badge as well as her own badge. In the center I placed the Pelicans. The story of the Pelicans in the Bestiary was very interesting. It told of the Pelican and her Brood, then the Pelican killing her Brood, and finally the Pelican plucking her breast to resurect her Brood. There were very religious overtones to this story, but both Alys and I really liked the idea of a Pelican who would be tough enough to take her own Brood out, but then revive them.
Reflection - tiny is awesome. I need to take more pictures. I need to take better pictures. A little more consistency, and I'm going to get some feedback from people I know on how to make the even bigger jump of making it look even more medieval looking, but also professional finished.