MRJ number
College classmark

    Vellum, 12.5 x 10, ff. 137, 30 lines to a page. 11th cent., in a most

beautiful upright round minuscule: has suffered from damp.

    Given by Sir Thomas Bendish in 1639, Ap. 20.        2 fo. paucorum.

    Collation: 18 - 128 134 148 (wants 1) 158 - 178 184 (wants 3, 4) 194.


        On f. 1a: Apr. 20o.  1639.  Liber Coll. D. Joh. Acad. Cant.

        Ex dono generosissimi et relligiosissimi viri Dni Thomae Bendish,

           nuperi et Baronetti et aedium nostrarum alumni, pietatis ergo,

           post varios et memorabiles Authores suis Johannensibus, salutem,

           et sacram hanc scripturam impertientis.

        In an older hand:

                      Saint hierome olde,     without controulment

                      written in golde,            on vellem parchement

                      Before the same,           sett out by Sriphure (scripture)

                      you could not ame,        at verse nor rhapture.

        Two more lines erased.

        In 2nd cover a printed ticket with ornamental border:

        Animi non ingrati, | Thomae Bendish | Armigeri (corr. to Baroneti) |

             hujus Coll. nuper Alumni | tekmhrion.

        f. 1b.  Title and opening in gold capitals, as throughout.

        Inc. Epistola Hieronimi presbiteri ad Damasum papam urbis Rome.

        Beato Pape Damaso Hieronimus salutem in Domino.

        Nouum opus facere

              -memineris mei papa beatissime.

        Prologus quatuor euuangeliorum    .         .         .         .         .         .         .     f. 2b

        Plures fuisse qui

               -ecclesiasticis uiuis canendas.

        Eusebius Carpiano, etc.         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .        3b

             -dixisse repperies.

        Item Hieronimus Damaso papae     .         .         .         .         .         .         .         4

        Sciendum etiam ne quis

             -memineris mei beatissime papa.

        Expl. prol. quattuor evangeliorum.

        Inc. argumentum sec. Matheum.  Matheus ex iudea     .          .         .         .         4b   

             -querentibus non tacere.

        Inc. capitula sancti Evangelii sec. Matheum        .         .         .         .         .         5b

        Generationum nomina et quod Abraham caput fidei sit et natiuitas

             Christi ex maria


        Resurrectio domini ihesu et omnia mandata et de baptismo.

        ff. 7b-10a blank.

        Text.  Abraham autem genuit     .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .      10b

        A xvith cent. hand has added English headlines, and marked the

           modern chapters and verses throughout the book.

        Matt. ends f. 38a.

        Inc. capitula S. Evang. sec. Marcum     .         .         .         .         .         .         .      38b

        Et erat Iohannes baptizans et uenit sp. s. in Ihesum


        Post resurrectionem apparuit ihesus apostolis.

        Inc. argumentum evang. sec. Marcum.

        Marcus euangelista dei - prestat deus est.

        ff. 40-42a blank.

        Text.  Ecce mitto angelum  .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .      42b

        Ends f. 60b.

        Inc. capitula S. Evang. sec. Lucam         .         .         .         .         .         .         .       61

        Zacharie sacerdoti apparet gabrihel angelus, etc.

             -annuntiauit marie filium ihesum.


        Post resurrectionem apparuit…benedicens eos ascendit in celos.

        Inc. prologus S. Evang. sec. Lucam        .         .         .         .         .         .         .       63

        Lucas Syrus natione - fastidientibus prodidisse.

        ff. 64-66 a blank.

        Text.  Ordinare narrationem           .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .      66b

        Ending f. 99a.

        Inc. prol. S. Hieronimi in Iohannem        .         .         .         .         .         .         .      99b

        Hic est Iohannes - doctrina seruetur.

        Inc. capitula evangelii sec. Iohannem      .         .         .         .         .         .         .      100

        Iohannes testimonium perhibet, etc.

        Et cum tertio manifestaret…et sequere me.

        f. 101a blank.  (A blank leaf preceding this is cut out.)

        Text.  Et uerbum erat apud deum    .         .         .         .         .         .         .         .      101b

        Ending 125a.

        Inc. tituli euangeliorum sec. unumquemque euangelistarum que

             per totum annum in ecclesia sunt legenda.  His titulis inspectis

             sine errore reperitur in corporibus prescriptorum librorum ubi

             incipiunt et quousque legi debeant       .         .         .         .         .         .         .      125b

        In primis in vigilia natalis domini.

        Ends 136b: In uigilia domini...a peccatis eorum.

        f. 137 blank.


    The writing of the book is most exquisite throughout.  It resembles more than anything else the fine minuscule used at St Augustine's, Canterbury, in the eleventh

 century.  But there is at present nothing to show definitely where it was written.

    Each of the sections begins with a gold initial, and in one or two places where this has been missed, it seems, a gold cross is added in the margin.

    The main ornaments of the volume have never been added.  The blank leaves preceding each Gospel show that the intention was to have prefixed to each a frontispiece, probably a portrait of the Evangelist, and certainly the opening words of the Gospel in elaborately ornamented fashion.

    There is one indication that the book has actually been used in a monastery.  At John xiii is a series of notes in the margin, in large red letters of cent. xiv-xv, viz.:

        At xiii, 1.  Hic inc. leccio capituli in cena domini.

        After 15.  Hic conuentus sedeat.

        At 27b. Hic surgant Infirmarius Refect(orarius) Vestiarius Subcelerarius.

        At 34.  Hic surgat cimbalum percussurus.

        At 35.  Hic uadat conuentus in refectorium.

    The table of Gospels for the year affords me no light.  It seems, as often, to be simply a Roman table, copied without alteration, and corresponds accurately with that in the Gospels at Trinity College (B. 10. 4): see my Catalogue I, pp. 292-3.

Manuscript extra information

Dr O. Homburger gives date as c. 1020-40.

This appears to be in the hand of Eadwius Basan who wrote the Gospel Book from St Michael's, Lüneburg, near Hanover, Landesmuseum,  MS. XXXI.a.36.

The obituary of Eadwius sacerdos et monachus is on 10 Kal. Oct. (22 Sept.) in the older obituary (c. 1100) of Christ Church, Canterbury, A. Boutemy, 'Two obituaries of Christ Church, Canterbury', English Historical Review 50 (1935), 297.

There is a note held with C.23 by T. A. M. Bishop, regarding the dating, scribes, and provenance of this MS.  For a more detailed note see Bishop, 'Bibliographical notes: notes on Cambridge manuscripts, part 2', Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 2 (1955), 185-7.

A. Gransden, St Edmundsbury and Cambridge: exhibition catalogues for manuscripts from the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds now in collections in Cambridge (Cambridge,  1994).

H. Gneuss, Handlist of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts: a list of manuscripts and manuscript fragments written or owned in England up to 1100 (Tempe, 2001) no. 149.

Rebecca J. Rushforth, The eleventh- and early twelfth-century manuscripts of Bury St Edmunds Abbey (PhD dissertation, University of Cambridge, 2002) pp. 24-30.