MRJ number
College classmark

Vellum, 10.625 x 7, ff. 213 + 5, 21 lines to a page.  12th cent., finely written.

Old binding, skin over flat boards.

Donor, T. C. S.    Priced 40s.                                                            2 fo. illo centum.

At top of f. 1 of text is (xvi) :

liber ecclesie diui Benedicti de Ramsey (erased).

It does not seem to be entered in the fragmentary Catalogues of Ramsey Abbey library, printed in the Chronicon of Ramsey in the Rolls Series.

Collation : 14 i8 – xxii8 xxiii10 xxiv8 xxv8 xxvi? (three), 1 flyleaf loose.


Contents :

On f. ib old lists of contents.

On ff. ii, iii are four very fine full-page drawings in outline : rubricated inscriptions are added to some.  They are in plain frames, and are drawn with great firmness and spirit.

iia.       A bearded nimbed Apostle (John?) seated on a spotted cushion, his feet crossed : he holds up knife and pen : his cloak fastened on the L. shoulder with a round brooch.  On R. a desk on a shaft with two projecting curved scroll-handles.  On the sloping top a book with the long bag-like cover hanging down.

iib.       Iohannes apostolus et ev.  John, vested as bishop, seated full-face on a chair with dragons’ heads and claws, his feet on an elaborate footstool.  He wears mitre, chasuble, tunicle?, stole and alb, is beardless, holds crozier, and blesses.  Below, partly outside the picture, is prostrate monk : scriptor libri ueniam precatur.

iiia.      Vault with tiled roof : three towers above.  Beneath it on a transom a rich candlestick with seven branches.  Below the transom four more towers.  Inscription : septem ecclesie. septem candelabra, and the names of the seven churches.

iiib.      Christ with cross-nimbus on cushioned seat, full-face, holds with both hands a sword across His mouth and apparently bites it.

f. iv blank.


1.         Versus uenerabilis Bede presb. in expositione apocalipsis

           Iohannis (XCIII 133, etc.)         .               .               .               .               .         f.    1

                Exul ab humano depellitur orbe Iohannes

                Et uetitus choici est cernere regna soli


                Que cano corripiens pumice frange fero.

Inc. capitula super apocalipsim Iohannis.

Expl. capit.  Inc. prefatio      .               .               .               .               .               2

Apocalypsis S. Iohannis in qua bella et incendia (XCIII 129).

Fine initial with dragon : red, blue, white and green.

      -semper memor esse digneris.  Expl. pref.

Inc. exposicio uen.  Bede presb. super apoc. Iohannis  .               .               6

Apocalypsis I. C. quam dedit… Fundata per apostolos ecclesia.

Good initial as before.

      -suis me meritis faciant uisu fructuque potiri.  Amen.

Expl. exp. uen.  Bede presb. super Apoc. Joh.

        2.     Inc. tractatus Gennadii presbiteri Massilie de mille annis et

    de apocalypsi beati Iohannis         .               .               .               .               104b

Inc. prologus.

In lectione reuelationis b. Iohannis

      -ut archana celestia nostris cordibus manifestentur.

Expl. prol.

Inc. expositio Cap I              .               .               .               .               .               105

Apocalypsis I. C. quam dedit…idest manifestare que oportet


Fine initial as before.

This is the exposition attributed to Augustine and printed

    among his works.  It is to be edited by Dom G. Morin,

    who assigns it to Caesarius of Arles ; this manuscript has

    no independent value for the text.

Cap. XVIII ends f. 171a : ad suam beatitudinem pro sua pietate

    perducere quos ipse prestare dignetur qui cum patre et

    Sp. S. uiuit et regnat in sec. sec.  Amen.

Expl. exp. super Apoc. Iohannis.

        3.     Inc. prologus in uita b. Botulfi abbatis             .               .               .               171

Desiderantissimo patri et domini suo…uualcelino…frater

    fulcardus (Acta SS. Jun. III 402 (IV 327))

      -tue auctoritatis paterna contegat defensio.  Expl. prol.

Inc. uita beatissimi Botulfi Abbatis   .               .               .               .               172b

Omnipotentis dei benignitas compatiens errori humani generis

      -multa gloriosa fiunt miracula ad laudem et gloriam

        omnip. dei qui ui. et reg. per omnia sec. sec.  Amen.

        Expl. uita.

Inc. translatio eiusdem        .               .               .               .               .               179

Cenobium thornense a beato aetheluuoldo

      -mox intenta caritate se dei amicus recipiebat.  Expl.


Hardy I 373.

        4.     Inc. liber b. Ambrosii Ep. de utilitate et laude sancti ieiunii          .               182b

Diuinum ad patres resultauit (XIV 697).

Ends imperfectly f. 213b.

Formerly lining the last cover was a piece (now loose) of a MS. in Irish hand of 9th cent.? with a fragment of Cassiodorus’s commentary on Ps. lxxvi.  Text of psalm in rubric.  The first rubric is : anticipauerunt uigilias, the last : et dixi numquid in aeternum.  Cum iste asaph.

The book was shown at the Burlington Fine Arts Club in 1908 : no. 20 in the Catalogue.

Manuscript extra information


Negative microfilm in St John's College Library.

The fragment of Cassiodorus is now Aa.5.1(67).


C. Clark, 'Notes on a life of three Thorney Saints Thancred, Torhtred and Tova', Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society 69 (1979), 45-52.

Judith Collard, 'Matthew Paris's "Self-portrait with the Virgin Mary" in the Historia Anglorum', Parergon 32.1 (2015), 151-182.

A. de Egry, O Apocalipse do Lorvão e a Sua Relação com as Ilustraçoes Medievais do Apocalipse (Lisbon, 1972).

C.M. Kauffmann, Romanesque Manuscripts 1066-1190 (London, 1975) no. 86, fig. 2, plates 244 and 245.

N.J. Morgan, Early Gothic Manuscripts (I) 1190-1250 (London, 1982) p.67.

C. Oman, 'The Trivulzio Candlestick', Apollo (1952), 52-54.

O.E. Saunders, English Illumination (Paris, 1928), p.40, plate 46.

R. Sharpe et al. (eds), English Benedictine Libraries: the shorter catalogues (London, 1996). This manuscript is not listed in the Ramsey catalogues.


Exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, English Medieval Art, catalogue no. 31 (London, 1930), plate 9.

Exhibited at the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Braunschweig, 1995. See the catalogue: J. Luckhardt and F. Niehoff, Heinrich der Löwe und seine Zeit: Herrschaft und Repräsentation der Welfen 1125-1235 (München, 1995) vol. 1, pp.322-324.

Exhibited (fols. iiv-iiir) at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, from 26 July to 11 December 2005. See the exhibition catalogue: P. Binski and S. Panayotova (eds.), The Cambridge Illuminations: Ten Centuries of Book Production in the Medieval West (London: Harvey Miller, 2005) no. 39.

Exhibited (fols. iiv-iiir) at the Kulturhistorisches Museum, Magdeburg, from 21 September 2008 to 4 January 2009. See the exhibition catalogue: B. Stollberg-Rilinger, M. Puhle, J. Götzmann and G. Althoff (eds.), Spektakel der Macht: Rituale im Alten Europa 800-1800 (Darmstadt: WBG, 2008) p.156, 158.