MRJ number
College classmark

    Vellum,  9.8 x 7.1, ff. 143 + 19, several volumes.  13th –15th cent.

    Donor, T. C. S.

    Collation : a4 b8 | 18 212 38 48 510 68 –88 | 98 | 1012 114 | 128 1310 (10? canc.)

148 1510 | 1610 174 c1 d6.

     On the flyleaf:

    Liber quondam Magistri Nicholai Kempston'  A. d. 1477 nunquam vendendus secundum ultimam uoluntatem defuncti sed libere occupandus a sacerdotibus instructis ad predicandum uerbum dei ab uno sacerdote ad alterum sine precio tradendus quamdiu durauerit.


Orate igitur pro anima eius.


Emptus Lincolniae 1610 per me W. Courtney 40s.


    The inscription of Kempston’ occurs in four manuscripts at Eton

College, in MS. Bodl. Rawl.  A 446, and Jesus Coll., Oxford, 116.

    On 143b  are the following names of successive owners:

                          Libellus fr. Roberti Portlond electi, etc. (xiv-xv).

                                       mag. Nicholai Kempston (xv).

                                 m. Roberti Elyott (xv-xvi).

                                m.  Nicholai Bradbrygge

                                 m. Joh. Thorp (xv-xvi).

                                       m. Joh.Talbott xvi.

                                       Wilhelmi Crashavi 1610.


    1.         15th cent. in a rather current hand:  39 lines to a page.  Fair

                     initials in gold and colour.

                 Roberti Lincolniensis Summa Iustitiae    .        .           .           .           f.  1

                 Quia iusticia fidelium est declinare a malo

                      -triplex funiculus difficile rumpit[it]ur.


                 Inc. tract. Lincolniensis de summa Justicie     .        .         .          .           3

                 Nota iuuenis quia iusticia que est via ducens ad regnum.

                 Partial border of English feathered work.

                 Pars IX ends f. 70b:  Et hec de quinque sensibus dicta sufficiant.

                 Expl. lincoln. de summa iusticie.  deo gracias.

    II.        A single quire of the 13th cent. finely written, 47 lines to a page.

                A set of Distinctiones perhaps drawn from Robert of Lincoln’s

                     Templum dei    .      .        .       .         .          .            .           .          .     71

                 Templum dei sanctum quod estis uos. ia. ad. cor. iii. sermo iste

                     quamius omnes tangat.

                 On the lower margin of f. 72 in a hand contemporary with the

                     text are six and a half lines of English.

                 Verba S. Augustini et S. Bernardi anglice.

                 Wenne hic soe on rode idon ihesus mi leman and be him

                     stonde maria and iohan.

                 Ends.  Bigin at his molde and loke to his to ne saltu nowit

                     vinde bute anguisse and wo.

                 The Distinctiones have no proper ending.  They are followed

                     on f.78 by miscellaneous notes in other hands.  On 78b are

                     some beginnings of deeds (xiii):

                 In dei nomine amen cum ego Joh. de Wynth. Rector ecclesie

                     de perperharewe Wynton. dioc., etc.

                 Ista prouocacio lecta fuit et pupplicata in ecclesia b. Pauli

                     London. in presencia J. de C. pupp. notar. iii0 Id. Aug. A. d.

                     etc.  (no year given)  Indict. xiiia, etc.


    III.       In double columns of 49 lines.  13th- 14th cent., in a clear hand.

                 Inc. summa siue tractus Ricardi de S. Victore super Ysaiam.                f. 79

                 (S)ero quidem misi quod petenti promisi   (CXCVI  1115)

                        -amico satisfacere uolui.


                 Cap.  1.  De statu interioris hominis post lapsum.

                 Omne caput languidum.

                 Ends f.  93 b :  eterna in eternum societate gaudere.

                 Two chapters without heading.

                 Parasti in conspectu  meo mensam   .      .      .       .        .        .              93b      

                 Posui uestimentum meum cilicium  .      .      .       .        .       .                94  

    IV.        In double columns of 42 lines, in three good hands of the late

                 13th cent.?

                  At top of f.  1 in a small hand of 14th- 15th cent.?

                 Libellus fratis Roberti Electi Dromorensis (?)  (sc. R. Portlond

                     whose name is on 143b).

                 I find no Robert Portlond, and no Robert bishop of Dromore.

           1.   De artiulis fidei      .       .      .       .      .       .       .        .         .       .         95

                 Per fidem in uia huius uite ambulamus.

                 De Sacramentis.

                 Sacramenta noui testamenti praefigurata sunt.

                 Other miscellaneous notes and extracts follow:  the hand changes

                     on f.  96, but reverts on f.97, where begins a collection of


           2.    Inc.liber tropologie.  Dominica prima aduentus domini. sec.

                     matheum    .     .      .      .        .       .        .       .       .        .       .       .     97

                 Cum appropinquasset, etc.  Erudit nos sapientia dei patris.

                 At about f. 103 a new hand seems to come in.

                 There are many marginalia damaged by the binder.   

                 On 120b at the end of a sermon is an added note:

                 Anglice de passione Christi.  Hwyt was his nakede brist and his

                     blodi side.  Wan was his fayre nebeb. hys wuden depe and

                     wyde. on fif stedes of hys bodi l’e stremes renne of blode.

                  Another change of hand at f.  130:

                 Ego sum pastor bonus.  Tria sunt genera pastorum.

                 The sermons go as far as the season of Ascension.  The last

                   is on Si quis diligit me sermones meos seruat.

                 On  134b the hand changes again.

           3.    A Bestiary with one or two spaces left for small pictures:  no

                     title or rubrics    .      .       .       .      .      .      .      .        .       .      .        134 b

                 Leo fortissimus bestiarum ad nullius pauebit occursum.

                 Ends unfinished f.  143b:

                 Vultur a uolatu tardo nominatus. putatur.

                 At the beginning of the volume are three leaves in double columns of the 15th cent.

                     of an alphabetical moral dictionary.

                 A. hec litera triplicatur.

                 At the end are four more leaves.

                 At the beginning are also 7 leaves (15th cent., 41 lines to a          

                     page) containing a tract on the priesthood headed:


                 Scriptum est de leuitis scilicet (?) de ministris tabernaculi.

                 Ends:  contemplacionem non requirat (?) dei.  Explicit.    


Manuscript extra information

Negative microfilm in St John’s College Library.

Regarding previous owners: for Kempson, Elyott and Bradbrygge see A. B. Emden, Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D.1500 (1963).

R. Beadle, 'Robert Elyot - Another manuscript', reprinted from The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society The Library 32:4 (Dec. 1977), 371-2.

II. f. 72, the English piece (together with another version of it from B.M. MS. Royal 12.  E.1) was printed by Carleton Brown in English Lyrics of the XIIIth Century (Oxford, 1932), pp. 62-3.  Cf. also pp. 194-5.

Regarding IV:  Robert Portland, an English Franciscan, was provided to the see of Emly in 1428, but never consecrated; possibly Suffragan Bishop of Winchester 1456.

Collection of sermons beginning IV.2  f. 97: 'This set of sermons is ascribed to Guilhelmus de Merula by Haurcéau, Notices et Extr, II, 294.  The set appears also in Balliol College MS. 38.' (Albert Friend, New York University.)

IV.2  f.120b.  One of a number of Middle English renderings from Augustine’s ‘Candet nudatum pectus’.  No. 4088 in C. Brown and R. H. Robbins (eds),  Index of Middle English Verse  (New York, 1940).

Liber bestiarum ff. 134v-143v an offprint from Notes and Queries  Michelle S. Hoffman, 'A forgotten bestiary', Notes and Queries vol. 244 [New series, vol.46] no.4 (Dec. 1999), 445-7.

IV.3  Cf. MS. Ii.iv.26 in the University Library.