Christ Church, Allestree Library MS. F.1.1
Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermons; England, s. xiii1
Seventy numbered sermons, the ‘Sermones per annum’, in the main a temporale Advent-Maundy Thursday, completed by item 3 below. Ed. J. Leclercq et al., S. Bernardi Opera, 8 vols (Rome, 1957-77), volumes 4-5, the expanded text, roughly equivalent to Cambrai: Bibliothèque municipal, MS 557, as outlined Opera, 4:130. For a further conspectus of Bernard’s sermons, see Schneyer, 1:442-57; this manuscript is cited, along with other English manuscript ‘editiones’, at 457. The manuscript presents in order: Opera 4:161-334 (with 4:171/10-174/20 absent owing to the leaf missing after fol. 3); the added sermon no. 31 (see below); 334-76; the seventh Lenten sermon, ed. PL 183:183-86; 383-475, 481-92; the added sermons nos 59-60 (see below); 5:1-42, 260-61, 42-72. The three sermons not included in the printed text are:
In fact Nicholas of Clairvaux, sermo 3 (Schneyer, 4:250), ed. PL 144:548-53 (as sermo 9 of Peter Damian). See J. Leclercq, Recueil d’études sur saint Bernard et ses écrits, 5 vols (Rome, 1962-92), 1:47-54, 2:246.
Neither is recorded elsewhere.
As Leclercq points out (Opera, 4:146, Recueil, 2:241-42), this item and the two following below are nearly identical to the copy of Bernard’s sermons in Oxford: Balliol College, MS 150, a Buildwas book of s. xiiiin, on which manuscript see Mynors, 135-36, and Sheppard (full reference at MS 88 above), 109-13. All materials included in item 1 of the Balliol manuscript but not appearing at this point are added to our manuscript as item 4 below.
Thirty-one sermons, numbered 71-100 (the final sermon, which does not appear in the Balliol manuscript, and is the only deviation between the two books here, is unnumbered), all but four from Bernard’s Sermones de diversis, ed. variously in Opera, 6. One sermon is not included in the printed text:
Other items not from the diversi are: no. 82, ed. PL, 183:339-41; no. 86, ed. PL, 183:181-83; and the concluding item, ‘ad conuentum de clareualle ab urbe roma’ (Parabola 1), ed. Opera, 6:261-67. On the last text, see H. M. Rochais, ‘Enquête sur les sermons divers et les sentences de Saint Bernard’, Analecta Sacri Ordinis Cisterciensis, 18 (1962), fasc. 2-3 at 32 (where the manuscript is described as presenting ‘un suite “anglais” de sermons liturgiques de Bernard’), 34-36.
Fifty-seven (? of an original 59-60) unnumbered sermons, the conclusion of the ‘sermones per annum’, a temporale Easter-Andrew, followed by six sermons for the dedication of the church and one for Humbert. Ed. Opera, 5:73-109, 112-23, 126-50, 160-68/20 (Pentecost 2 ends imperfectly at fol. 193v), 174/18- 216 (Pentecost 3 begins acephalously at fol. 194) 216, 222-28, 217-21/14 (In Labore Messis 2 ends imperfectly at fol. 210v), 233/16-245/22 (Assumption 2 begins acephalously at fol. 211, and Assumption 4 ends imperfectly at fol. 214v), 270/4-303 (Dominica infra Octavam Assumptionis begins acephalously at fol.215), 327-70; 3:345-46 (Vita sancti Malachi 40); 8:335-37 (epistle 374); 5:304-26, 399-417, 423-440, 370-98, 440-47. Only one of the sermons, no. 45 (the first Sunday in November, no. 1), does not appear in Balliol MS 150, which equally, includes six or seven sermons not present here. The foot of fol. 270 has been cut off and fol. 270v is blank.
Sixteen sermons, numbered in a later hand (s. xiii/xiv) by notes in the outer margin of the versos. The sermons may be identified as:
Ed., with the introductory note, as superseded Bernardine draft, Leclercq, Recueil, 2:270-90 at 275-84 (with our manuscript discussed at 273-74) and Opera, 6:9-20. Cf. Schneyer, 9:102 (Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 2914, no. 7). This sermon appears as part of item 1 in Balliol MS. 150.
Also appears as Paris: Bibliothèque Ste Geneviève, MS 2656, no. 21 (Schneyer 6:517), which manuscript also includes nos x, xv, and xvi below. This sermon and the three following in our manuscript appear in Balliol, MS. 150.
55 and 56, ed. Opera, 6:280-86, presented as continuous text (sermon 56 begins at fol. 279ra, l. 20).
Schneyer, 2:801: PL, 177:320-24.
15-17 (see Leclercq, Recueil, 1:103-8, esp. 106); ed. PL, 184:751 D8-753 C10.
Ed. Opera, 6:290-93.
Edited by H. M. Rochais, ‘Inédits Bernardins dans le manuscrit Harvard 185’, Analecta monastica, 6:53-175 (144-46), from Lincoln: Cathedral Library, MS 201 (s. xiimed) [on which see R. M. Thomson, Catalogue of the Manuscripts of Lincoln Cathedral Library (Cambridge, 1989), 162-64]. Rochais (143) lists manuscripts, including ours, to which can be added BL, MS Royal 7 F.x, fols 164v-65; BodL, MS Laud misc. 223, no. 52; and Laon: Bibliothèque municipale, MS 309, no. 74 (Ker and Schneyer, 9:48, 8:428, respectively).
Also appears as Ste Geneviève, MS 2656, no. 46 (Schneyer 6:518).
Also appears as Avignon: Bibliothèque municipale, MS 593, no. 25 (Schneyer 8:85).
Unidentified; cf. PL 177:679C-681A.
Schneyer lists a sermon with the same incipit, but different explicit, among those of both Geoffrey of St-Thierry (no. 40, 2:162) and Hugh of St Victor (no. 28, 2:788). Our text is considered a variation of that sermon by H. M. Rochais and I. Binont, ‘La Collection de Textes divers du Manuscrit Lincoln 201 et Saint Bernard’, Sacris erudiri, xv (1964), 15-219 (46n). This text also occurs at BL, MS. Royal 7 F.x, fol. 166v (Ker).
Edited by Rochais, ‘Inédits Bernardins’, 124-34 from Cambridge MA: Harvard University, Houghton Library, MS lat. 185, with our manuscript noted at 137. In addition to the witnesses listed there and at Rochais and Binont, ‘La Collection’, 46, the text also appears at BL, MS. Royal 7 F.x, fol. 165v (Ker).
Also appears as Ste Geneviève, MS. 2656, no. 72 (Schneyer 2:794, 6:520).
Schneyer 5:510, unpublished. This item and the next two are numbered 17-19 in the series established in the preceding item. As Ker noted, this and the next appeared together in another manuscript of St Bernard’s sermons, recorded in the register of Syon Abbey (V. Gillespie ed., Syon Abbey [Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, 9] (London, 2001), SS1.1212).
Schneyer 4:250, ed. PL 144:627-36 D1 (as sermo 23 of Peter Damian), 184:991-1001 B5 (among the sermons of ps.-Bernard). Here attributed to Aelred of Rievaulx. Cf. item 1, sermon 31 above.
Ed. PL 158:644-49 (but cf. Schneyer 2:700, where the sermon is ascribed to Hervé de Bourg-Dieu; see also 5:17, 9:873). The text lacks 645 C5-648 B10, owing to a missing leaf. The bottom of fol. 300rb is cut away removing an inscription, and fol. 300v is blank.
This manuscript has been previously described in detail by Ker, MMBL, 3:593-95.
In double columns, each column 286 × 85-90 mm., with 19mm between columns, in 40 lines to the column.
Prickings visible in the gutters and rarely at the very outer edge of the leaf (eg fol. 227); bounded and ruled in black and brown crayon.
Written in late protogothic bookhand (no biting) with spatulate tops to minims, above top line.
Punctuation by point, punctus elevatus, and punctus interrogativus.
Headings in red. At the openings of the first three texts, eight-line red and blue lombards with geometric flourishing of the same. Individual sermons introduced by two- and three-line alternate red and blue lombards, with flourishing of the other colour. The scribe adds a few rubricated marginalia (eg fol. 5 and 271v; in addition, it seems to be him who, checking his text, marked errors in brown ink in the margin, then corrected the text and erased the marginal notes: fol. 31, 32, 42, 70, 71, 130v, 133, 176v). The texts are divided by larger capitals in the text ink, although item 6 by alternate one-line red and blue lombards.
Brown leather over wooden boards, bevelled at the edges, s. xv. Sewn on five thongs, the outer pairs pegged two to a hole, as in Pollard’s Figure 6. Description of contents on a paper label in the upper spine compartment (s.xix). At the leading edge of the upper board, the stubs of two brown leather straps; nails and marks for the seatings of the clasps along the leading edge of the lower board. Pastedowns old parchment; the rear pastedown mainly raised and now treated as the rear flyleaf, fol. 301. In an envelope mounted on the lower board, two s. xx descriptions of the book, which are N. R. Ker’s working notes and his draft typescript for his published description.
Provenance and Acquisition
The close textual proximity between this manuscript and Balliol MS 150 suggests one was copied from the other. The details given in the title of our item 4 reveal a scribe consciously compiling this manuscript from knowledge of more than one exemplar, and placing in an appendix some sermons which (most often correctly) seemed to him ‘unBernardian’ but which were interspersed in the sermon collection as it appeared ‘in quodam exemplari’. If that latter exemplar is the codex now in Balliol which was made at Buildwas in the early thirteenth century, we have both a terminus post quem non for the production of our manuscript, and a possible location for its construction within a Cistercian context. It was not, however, produced by a Buildwas scribe, to judge from a comparison of the palaeography of this manuscript with the plates in Sheppard. Our manuscript also has a close relationship with another manuscript, one which is now lost: the volume of St Bernard’s letters and sermons given to Syon in the mid-fifteenth century by ‘Pynchbek’ (on whom, Gillespie, Syon, 584-85) shares not only the order of the last items but also the rare misattribution of our item 6 to Aelred of Riveaulx. We cannot know for certain which acted as the ultimate parent for the other, but the fact that the Syon book could compress what occupies 290 folios here into under 150 folios either suggests that it was highly selective or had a much smaller – and thus, probably, gothic – script; either hypothesis makes it likely it was derived from our manuscript rather than vice versa . That, though, does not help us localise our manuscript’s whereabouts: even if Pynchbek was the commissioner of a direct copy from it – which is far from definite – his own associations with Oxford, Cambridge and London make it all but impossible to identify where his copy may have been made.
The manuscript has accrued signs of use over the centuries, with the majority coming from the thirteenth century. They include nota marks in at least three hands (fol. 1v, 2 and throughout; cf. fol. 24v and 127), a large impressionistic manicula, on one occasion shown holding a bishop’s crosier (fol. 160; cf. fol. 153 – 57v, 162, 182, 187, 199) and also various drawings, which have little association with the text (horses: fol. 51v-52; leaves: fol. 52v; fol. 81: roughly drawn face with ‘noli me tang⟨ere⟩’ above it; flower: fol. 96; music: fol. 107; outline of a coat of arms: fol. 167; bird: fol. 221; heads: fol. 234 and fol. 274v). It was probably early in its life that the manuscript also gained a few parchment tabs stitched to the outer edge of the leaves as finding aids (fol. 117, 167, 271v). Later signs of reading include a note cross-referencing the text in a hand which appears to be that of the catchwords, dated above to the fifteenth century (fol. 197v), as well as annotations in English (fol. 55, s. xvi, and fol. 144, s. xv?) and a note in secretary script (s. xvii) providing in English and in Latin Ecclesiasticus 3:33 (fol. 23). There are also occasional probationes pennae (fol. 207, 240v, 270v, 277v, 296, 299).
There are signatures of a variety of unidentifiable owners or users of s. xvex or s. xv/xvi: (a) ‘Jhon’ Clarkson’ (the front pastedown, an erased name below); (b) ‘Jhon’ peruis’ (twice on the front pastedown); (c) the note ‘Henricus Tercius’ and a distich ‘Golde and Seluyr haue y non | þerfor y am a por’ mon’ (not in IMEV) (fol. 301); (d) ? ‘Tome na..ns’ (the front pastedown). There is also a later signature of ‘Timothy Barney’ (fol. 301, s. xvii). This last is presumably the son of Francis, of Worfield, Shropshire; Timothy matriculated at Pembroke College, Oxford, in June 1637, aged 18 – he was, then, an exact contemporary in Oxford of Allestree – and he was ordained priest in 1646 (AO, 79, CCEd).
It is possible that Barney and Allestree were personally connected: not only were they exact contemporaries at Oxford, Allestree coming up to Christ Church in February 1637, but they were also both Shropshire men, Allestree’s hometown being Uppington, about 20 miles north-west of Worfield. Allestree received the degrees BA in 1640 and MA in 1643, by which date he was already fighting for the King in the first Civil War. He was expelled by the Parliamentary visitors in 1648 and was, for much of the Commonwealth period, based in Hanwell (north Oxon., outside Banbury). He was not entirely absent from Oxford: in Beam Hall on Merton Street, he participated in the subversive practice of reading the Anglican Book of Common Prayer with John Dolben and John Fell (who would later be Allestree’s biographer); it was a shared activity commemorated by the triple portrait by Sir Peter Lely which now hangs in the Hall of the House. He also acted as a royalist agent, taking messages to the exiled court. He was jailed as a royalist in 1659 on capture at Dover. After the Restoration, he was created DD in 1660 and was then canon of Christ Church, chaplain to the king, Regius Professor of Divinity 1663-80, provost of Eton 1665. Most famous for his book, The Whole Duty of Man (Wing A 1169 et seq., 1658), he died on 28 January 1681, aged 61 (AO, 18; John Spurr in Oxford DNB). The bequest of this volume is recorded by the printed label pasted to the front pastedown: ‘In usum Reg. Prof. Theol. Oxon. dono dedit Ricardus Allestree S.T.P.R. Jan. 18, 1680 [Old Style]’.
There is a further note: ‘The last Leaf but one of this Volume was missing when the Library came into my hands Wm Jacobson’ (the front pastedown). William Jacobson (1804-81) was a canon of Christ Church and Regius Professor of Divinity 1848-65, before becoming Bishop of Chester (AOmod, 739; William Hunt, rev. M. C. Curthoys in Oxford DNB). It has been said that Jacobson was the one Regius Professor who showed ‘significant interest’ in the Allestree collection, rearranging it, providing its volumes with their printed labels and producing ‘a rather feeble hand-written catalogue’ of it: Mark Purcell, ‘“Useful Weapons for the Defence of the Cause”: Richard Allestree, John Fell and the Foundation of the Allestree Library’, The Library, 6th ser., xxi (1999), 124-47 (146).
For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact Christ Church Library.