Margins and empty leaves are the favourite places where owners and readers scribble names, remarks, and additional texts.
At the top of fol. 102v, the last leaf of the first unit of the codex, we find an interesting owner mark: ‘SJodocus Croy’. The script is post-medieval and may have been added in the late sixteenth century, in which century the famous and French speaking De Croÿ family provided three stadtholders in the county of Flanders and therefore was connected to Geraardsbergen. But… the records do not show any Jodocus, so the question remains unanswered: was this not very elaborate Dutch manuscript once in possession of a wealthy and influential French speaking family?
With more certainty the other inscriptions on fol. 102v can be ascribed to Jan Baptista Coninckx. Not only did he scribble these mottos, but he added also his name and some dates (1635 and 1668) on other leaves. On one of the flyleaves (?) at the beginning of the codex he adds ‘Distensis’ behind his name, meaning the town of Diest in Brabant. This owner can be traced in the archival records of Diest, apparently he was on of the seventeenth century majors of the town!
But still… Diest is very close to the town of Aarschot, which was an independent duchy in the sixteenth century. And guess, what were the names of two sixteenth century dukes of Aarschot? Philip II and Philip III of Croÿ!
Return to: Geraardsbergen Manuscript, Story 4