Fragmented Manuscript of 'The Vision of Piers Plowman'

Scope and Content

This manuscript of 'Piers Plowman' is very badly damaged. Tears and missing portions appear throughout and water damage has made some of the later pages difficult to read. Some decoration can be seen on the partial first pages and the first letter of each passus is raised in gold with coloured inks. Some characters appear in red or blue throughout the text and words and paraphrases in Latin are in red.

Administrative / Biographical History

Details of William Langland's life are chiefly supplied from his work The Vision of Piers Plowman. He was born around 1330, probably in Shropshire, and is thought to have been educated in a monastery, possibly at Great Malvern. Piers Plowman was produced in three versions (1362, 1377, and 1392).

Access Information

Original manuscript cannot be produced due to conservation requirements. Researchers should use the facsimile copy MSF125


This item is popularly known as the 'Ilchester' manuscript as it was owned by the Earl Ilchester until 1962.

Alternative Form Available

Facsimilie MSF125