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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.

Click on the link to access the digitised manuscript


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.