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PORE CAITIF

MRJ number: 
195
College classmark: 
G.28

Vellum, 7 x 4.75, ff. 101 + 8, 24 lines to a page.  15th cent., well written.

Donor, T. C. S.

On flyleaf:     

Johannes Graunge me possidet.

Collation : a4, 18 28 34 48 – 138 14 (one) b4.

On first flyleaf, title, and :

            I pray you restore this booke to St Johns Librarie in Cambridge.

On the flyleaves a poem of 15th cent. against the friars :

                            {TH}ou {th}t sellest {th}e worde of god

                            Be {th}ou berfot be {th}ou schod

                                    Cum neuere here

                            In principio erat uerbum

Is {th}e worde of god all and sum

         Yt {th}ou sellest lewed frere.

Ends :

                                If it goo for{th}e in {th}is manere

                                It wole done us myche gyle

                                Men schul fynde unne{th}e a frere

                                In englonde wi{th}in a whille.

The margins are covered with 16th cent. scribbles in prose and verse, and these continue on the other flyleaves.

On f. 1 :

                            O pater omnipotens qui verbo cuncta creasti

                            Orat Graungeus des sibi regna poli.

Contents :

         The Pore Caitiff.

            This tretis compilid of a pore caitif and nedi of goostli help         .         f.    1

            The ground of all goodnesse             .               .               .               .               1b

            Ends 101b : in {th}in eendles blis. merciful lord.  Amen.

The flyleaves are covered with verses of xvith cent. and one note in English of cent. xv.

This, according to Reginald Pecock, was written by a mendicant Friar ‘pro defensorio suo.’  It is to be edited by Mr Peake for the E. E. T. S.

Supplementary information 

Negative microfilm in St John's College Library.

The hand is the same as that of British Library, Egerton 2820 and Cambridge University Library,  Dd.14.30(2).  Both copies of Long Wycliffite Sermon on text 'Omnis Plantacio'.

Sr M. T. Brady, 'The Apostles and the Creed in manuscripts of the Pore Caitif', Speculum (1957), 323-35.

Sr M. T. Brady, 'The Pore Caitif : an introductory study', Traditio 10 (1954), 529-48.

Sr M. T. Brady, 'Rolle and the pattern of tracts in the Pore Caitif', Traditio 39 (1983), 457-65.

Sr M. T. Brady, 'Rolle's form of living and the Pore Caitif', Traditio 36 (1980), 426-35.

Sr M. T. Brady, 'The seynt and his booke : Rolle's emendatio vitae and the Pore Caitif', 14th Century English Mystics Newsletter 7:1 (1981), 20-31.

Francis Lee Utley, 'The Laymans's complaint and the Friar's Answer', Harvard Theological Review 38:2 (April 1945).

P. S. Joliffe, Check-List of the Middle English Prose Writings of Spiritual Guidance (Toronto, 1974), p. 66.

The second poem is printed in R. T. Davies (ed.), Medieval English Lyrics (London, 1963).

The two poems in fol. 1b against and in defence of the friars are also printed by R. H. Robbins, Historical Poems of the 14th and 15th Centuries (New York, 1965).

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