MRJ number
249, 250
College classmark
N.16, 17

Vellum, 8.75 x 5.75, ff. 44 and 36, 30 lines to a page.  15th cent., clearly written.

Bound in two volumes in blue morocco with gold tooling by C. Kalthoeber, London.

Presented Dec. 27, 1819, by Nat. Atcheson.  Bought at the Towneley sale.

Bookplates of John Towneley and Nat. Atcheson.

Collation :  112 – 412 (wants 9-12) |

                    112 – 312.


  N. 16.    Lives of SS. John Baptist and John Evangelist in English.

Here begynne{th} a prologe in to {th}e lyfes of Seynt John Baptist

    and of Seynt John Euangeliste.

Many folke haue special deuocion to these two sayntes

       -the forgoer of {th}e Juge and {th}e meen of all the blessed


Here folewe the chapitres in to the lyf of Seynt John Baptist

    (xviii)  .               .               .               .               .               .                        f.     2

Cap.  i.  Of the conception of saynt John Baptist           .               .               2b

The concepcion of the moost holy saynt Saynt John Baptist

    is schewed meruelous of thre thynges.

Cap. xviii.  Of certayn myracles of saint J. B.  Ends f. 23:

graunte us to lyue and dye in the state of grace and to come

    to his endeles blys.  Amen.

Here endeth the lyf and miracles of saynt J. B.

And now begynne the chapitres in to the lyf and miracles of

saint John Euangelist (xviii)           .               .               .               .               23b

Cap. i.  Of the kynrede of saint John Euangelist             .               .               24

The holy and blessed lady saint anne had thre housbondes.

Cap. xviii.  Hou Saynt John ys pryuyleged in the perfection

    of alle sayntes.  Ends f. 44:

To the whiche blys oure lorde mote brynge us by prayeres of

    this moost holy sainte John.  Amen.

  N. 17.    Life of St Jerome in English by Symon Wynter, Carthusian of Sheen.

The prologe in to the lyfe of saint Jerom drawe in to Englyssh

    to the hy{gh}e princesse Margaret Duchesse of Clarence.

Ryght noble and worthy lady and my fulle reuerent and dere

    gostly doughtir in oure lorde ihesu I haue mynde hou on

    seynt Jeroms day {th}at is the morew after myghalmas day

    aftir I had toolde {y}ou somwhat of {th}e lyfe and myraclys of

    saint Jerom I sayde that wyth oure lordys help when I had

    laysere I wolde wryte his lyfe, etc.

       -and oon tyme rede oon another tyme a nothir {g}yf {y}e

         haue leyser to rede no moo at ones.

Capitula (xix)         .               .               .               .               .               .               2b

       i.       The liff of saint Jerom as hit is take of legenda aurea    .               .               3b

Saynt Jerom came of a noble kyn.

     xix.      Hou oure lady commendyth saynt Jerom in {th}e reuelacions of

    saynt Birgytt.

Ends 35b: And {th}erfor blessid are {th}ay {th}at here his trompe

    and folow {th}er after.  Expl.

Iste est qui ante deum, etc.

Amauit eum dominus, etc.

Deus qui nobis per b. Jeronimum, etc.

f. 36 blank.

Manuscript extra information

Negative microfilm in St John's College Library.

These MSS are in the same hand as Huntington HM 115, Harvard, Richardson 44 and Bodley 549 (part).  The Huntington, Harvard and St John's College MSS were all part of a single volume originally.  For the Huntington MS. see C. W. Dutschke, Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library (San Marino, Calif., 1989) 14.4.57-57A.  For the Richardson MS. see L. E. Voigts, A Handlist of Middle English in Harvard Manuscripts (Cambridge, Mass., 1985), pp. 64-6.

These texts of the lives and miracles of SS. John the Baptist and John the Evangelist are apparently not to be found elsewhere in Middle English.  See C. D'Evelyn, 'Saints' Legends', A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, ed. J. B. Severs (New Haven, Conn., 1970), pp. 594-5.

Life of St Jerome.  Another copy of this text is in Lambeth Palace MS. 432.  See M. R. James and C. Jenkins, Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in Lambeth Palace (Cambridge, 1930), p. 599.  The St John's College MS. is also mentioned.  The Lambeth text was printed by C. Horstman in Anglia 3, p. 328.

Richard Hamer and Russel Vida (eds), Supplementary Lives in some Manuscripts of the Gilte Legende (Oxford, 2000).  This uses Lambeth Palace MS. 72 as the base text but records variants from N. 17 and others.

G. R. Keiser, 'Patronage and Piety in Fifteenth Century England: Margaret, Duchess of Clarence, Simon Wynter and Beinecke MS. 317', Yale University Library Gazette (October 1985).  Copy in St John's College Library.

G. R. Keiser, 'St Jerome and the Brigittines: Visions of the Afterlife in Fifteenth Century England', England in the Fifteenth Century, ed. D. Williams (Woodbridge, 1987), pp. 143-52.

W. Y. Fletcher, English Book of Collectors (London, 1902) gives information of the previous owner John Towneley.

Lambeth 432.  f. 1 (without the dedication)

Lambeth 72.  f. 188b.  (without the dedication and preface)

Manfred Görlach, The South English Legendary, Gilte Legende and Golden Legend (Braunschweig, 1972).

Claire Waters, 'Symon Wynter, The Life of St. Jerome', Cultures of Piety: Medieval English Devotional Literature in Translation, ed. Anne Clark Bartlett and Thomas H. Bestul (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1999), pp. 141-63, 232-49.

Simon Winter's Life of St Jerome from MS N.17 is edited in: E. Gordon Whatley et al. (eds), Saints' Lives in Middle English Collections (Kalamazoo, Mich.: Medieval Institute Publications, 2004) pp.119-145.


Claire M. Waters, ed. Virgins and scholars : a fifteenth-century compilation of the Lives of John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, Jerome, and Katherine of Alexandria. (Turnhout : Brepols, 2008).