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Paper, 5.75 x 4.25, a single quire of 14 leaves, enclosed in a vellum wrapper folding completely round it: 21 lines etc. to a page.  15th cent.: damaged; ff. 13, 14 are fragmentary.  The hand difficult.

Donor, T. Baker.


An interesting collection of Carols and Songs.

         1.    3 lines, faint, in smaller hand, beginning          .               .               .         f.    1

                                {th}e borys hed haue we in broght.

         2.    Then a carol:

                                Of X and M and o{th}er too

                                Of J and E I sing all so.

         3.    f. 2a.      Nowell.      Jhesu restyd in a may        .               .               .               2

                                     xl wekes and a day.

         4.    Mary myld for loue of {th}e.

         5.    a dere god qwat I am fayn.

         6.    a, a, salue caterina.  Lystyn lordygnys qwatte I xall sey               .               3

         7.    I may syng and sey I wys gra mercy my owne purse    .               .               3b

         8.    Lullay, etc.  As I me lay {th}is endyrd nyth     .               .               .               4

         9.    Qwan crist was borne in bedlem        .               .               .               .               4b

{th}er rose a sterre os bryth.

        10.   Lullay, etc.  A chyld ys borne wys   .               .               .               .               6b

                     {th}t all {th}is word xall blys.

                      Hys joy xall neuer myse  for Ihesu ys hys name.

Westminster Abbey MSS., Robinson and James, p. 76.

        11.   Pray we to {y}ow (?) lady dere for here holy grace       .               .               7

   12. Now ys ye xii day com

         fadyr & son togydyr wone             

         {th}e holy gost wt hym is nowme

         God send us all a gud new {y}er.



in fere          .              .             7b

        13.   fadyr my wyll yt is.

Nolo mortem peccatoris.

        14.   War yt war yt war yt wele. wemen be as trew as stele     .               .               9b

Stel is gud I sey no oder, etc.

        15.   Ay ay be {th}e day y wyll mak mery qwyll y may          .               .               9b

Ending:  for Jak rekles is my name.

        16.   Now.    Ihesus rector anime. ne cadamus sustine           .               .               10

             God yt all yis word has wroght.

        17.   A newyr a newyr ye chyld was borne               .               .               .               11

(Continuing with a Lullay.)

        18.   Nowell, etc.           I pray {y}ow lysten qwat I {y}ow (tell)           .               12

                                Ouer alle gates that I haff gon

                                Amonge ye grovys so fayer and grene

                                So fayer a brownch yan know I non

                                As Ivy ys and that I mene.

ff. 13, 14 are fragments.  On 13a is the beginning of a song:

        19.   Women ben good ffor lo...

that sit above.

In evyn yr sitte a lady...

On 14a a smaller fragment: qwan {y}e haue was...

                                                   my pasche...      

Manuscript extra information

A full description, images, and a bibliography are available on the Cambridge University Digital Library as part of the Scriptorium project.

Access to the digitised manuscript is available from the viewer below:


Negative microfilm in St John's College Library.

M. R. James and G. C. Macaulay, English Language Review 8 (1913), 68-87.

R. L. Greene (ed.), The Early English Carols (Oxford, 1977), p. 342.

R. L. Greene (ed.), A Selection of English Carols (Oxford, 1962), p. 182.

D. Wakelin, 'The carol in writing: three anthologies from fifteenth-century Norfolk', Journal of the Early Book Society 9 (2006), 25-49.

D. Wakelin and C. Burlinson, 'Evidence for the construction of quires in a fifteenth-century English manuscript', The Library, 7th series, 9:2 (Dec. 2008), 383-396.

Carol no. 5, 'A dere god, qwat I am fayn', edited in J. F. Kettigan (ed.), Motives of Woe: Shakespeare and Female Complaint (Oxford, 1991), pp. 89-90.

For carol no. 10 see R. L. Greene, 'The Traditional Survival of Two Middle English Carols', English Literary History 7 (1940), 223-38.