St John's College H.18 (James 283)

Sir John Cheke, Two Homilies of St John Chrysostom. Latin, 1543


Two Homilies of St John Chrysostom, translated by and in the hand of Sir John Cheke, Fellow of St John's College, Regius Professor of Greek in the University of Cambridge, Provost of King's College, Secretary of State, Tutor to Edward VI (1514-57): title page, defective (fo. 1r); dedication to Henry VIII, dated Cambridge, Christmas 1543, the year added in Baker's hand (fo. 2r); 'Divi Ioannis Chrysostomi oratio kalendis habita cum non venisset in publicum eo die Episcopus Antiochiae Flavianus, contra eos qui novilunia observant et in civitate choros ducunt, Et in dictum Apostoli, omnia in gloriam Dei facite' (fo. 8v); 'D. Ioannis Chrysostomi in dictum Apostoli, De dormientibus nolo vos ignorare Fratres, ut ne lugeatis, tum de Iob et Abraam' (fo. 26r). The two homilies were published, in both the original Greek and Cheke's Latin translation, in 1543 (STC 14634). At the end of the second homily Baker has added the published colophon: 'Excus: Londini apud Reynerum Wolfium in Caemiterio Divi Pauli ad signum aenei serpentis Anno MDXLIII Mense Augusto' (fo. 43r). A copy of the published version is at SJC, Gg.6.4(2).

Manuscript extra information

210x150 mm. ii+43+ii fos. Extensive notes and inscriptions by Thomas Baker at the beginning and at the end of the volume. Including: 'This Book is in Sir John Cheke's own hand (which I have often seen) and was probably the same Book, that was presented to the King, at least to some courtier, or man of quality' (inside front cover); an extract relating to Cheke's interest in astrology from Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton, A Defensative against the poyson of supposed prophesies, STC 13858/9 (fo. i r, copied twice at both ends of the vol.); 'Tho: Baker Coll: Joh: Socius ejectus' (fo. i r); an extract from Trinity College Cambridge, MS S.5.24 (fo. i v); 'An Homilie of St John Chrysostome upon the saying of St Paul, Brethren I wold not have you ignorant etc. with a discourse upon Job and Abraham newely made out of Greke into Latin by Master Cheke and Englished by Tho: Chaloner Anno 1544 12o. Ad calcem codicis / Londini in officina Thomae Bertheleti Regii Impressoris Typis excusum An: MDXXXXIIII. cum privilegio', the title page of the first English translation (fo. ii r); biographical note on Cheke (fo. ii v).

Autograph, in a beautiful italic hand throughout. Broad margins, the text measuring 117x75 mm. Paper, slightly damaged by damp. Later binding: leather on boards with gold tooling.