A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

Christ Church, Allestree fragments, no. 37

Fragment of English verse; England (?north-west), s. xviin


Fol. 1rv
Incipit: Sustine abstine kepe well in yowr mynde | Beare and forbere haue euer in remembrance
Explicit: Beare forbeare and then schall ye trewlye | Off all lyuynge creatures be the moste happye

IMEV 3226 (four copies total), five rime royale stanzas with refrain, ed. W. Tod Ritchie, The Bannatyne Manuscript . . . Vol. II, Scottish Text Society ns 22 (1928), 213–14, from Edinburgh: National Library of Scotland, MS Advocates 1.1.6. Our witness is recorded at DIMEV 5061.

Language(s): Middle English

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Paper (no watermark)
Extent: Fol. 1
Dimensions (leaf): 196 × 140 mm.
Dimensions (written): 147 × 100 mm.
To the line ends, on average



In long lines, recto only fully written, 23 lines.

No page preparation.


Written in mixed anglicana/secretary.



The two-line initial S an archaising penwork design of two dragons.


housing The last item in an envelope of fragments from the Allestree collection, mainly removed from volumes in his collection apparently by Thomas Vere Bayne (see no. 28, though that item appears to be in the handwriting of William Wake), but also including letters to Allestree. Apart from this fragment, others are post-1600, apart from a former flyleaf from a glossed printed book of canon law. This would appear to have been a flyleaf in an octavo printed book.


Origin: England (?north-west); s. xviin

Provenance and Acquisition

A signature on both sides (upside down and very faded on the recto) ‘Wyllyam Brereton’; also on the verso ‘Iame tayler’ and ‘Anne Bere’. The first may be one of the several Cheshire men of the name active in the early sixteenth century, e.g. Sir William of Brereton Green, who died as Lord Justice of Ireland in 1541.

Record Sources

Ralph Hanna and David Rundle, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Western Manuscripts, to c. 1600, in Christ Church, Oxford (Oxford, 2017).


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