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

Christ Church, Allestree Library MS. F.1.1

Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermons; England, s. xiii1

Contents

Language(s): Latin

1. Fols 1ra-117va
Rubric: Incipit liber beati Bernardi abbatis. Sermo in aduentu dominica prima.
Incipit: Hodie fratres celebramus aduentus initium cuius utique sicut
Explicit: quam nobis tantopere et tam multipharie necessariam esse sentimus.
Final rubric: Explicit prima pars sermonum beati Bernardi abbatis primi clareualis
Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermones per annum

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:

xxxi. Fols 49ra-51va
Rubric: Item eiusdem in eadem sollempnitate [the Conversio Pauli] de lectione euangelica xxxius
Incipit: Dixit Simon petrus ad ihesum ... Verba lectionis huius fratres ea esse arbitror de quibus psallit ecclesia
Explicit: [fol. 51rb] ut uitam habeamus et abundancius habeamus ihesus christus dominus noster qui [fol. 51va] est super omnia benedictus in secula amen

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.

lix. Fol. 96rb-vb
Rubric: De languido iacente iuxta piscinam lixus
Incipit: Ecce iacet iuxta . . . [fol. 96va] Quid est aqua piscine nisi mens fluxa et labilis
Explicit: quasi omni exutos humanitate prospiciunt
lx. Fols 96vb-97ra
Rubric: De transfiguratione domini lxus.
Incipit: Qvis ascendet in montem domini? Sumus hic in ualle lacrimarum
Explicit: et spes in possessionem et perfecta caritas foras mittit timorem

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.

2. Fols 117va-166vb
Rubric: Hic secuntur quidam sermones generales. Sermo beati Bernardi abbatis exhortatorius ad conuersionem lxxius.
Incipit: Eternam celestis patrie ad quam nostra suspirat peregrinacio felicitatem
Explicit: in aduersis postremo prouidus et eruditus est et perfectus in regno caritatis
Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermones

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:

(lxxiii) Fols 121rb-24va
Rubric: Item eiusdem sermo ad nouiter conuersos de contentione uoluntatis et rationis lxxiiius.
Incipit: Uideo uos dilectissimi multa cum auiditate ad audiendum uerbum dei
Explicit: potest eos domino presentare quia inuenit gratiam in oculis eius amen

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.

3. Fols 167ra-270rb
Rubric: Sermo beati Bernardi Abbatis in die sancto pasche de septem signaculis que soluit agnus
Incipit: Uicit leo de tribu iuda Vicit plane malitiam sapientia attingens a fine usque ad finem fortiter
Explicit: in eo et audistis ut ad eum perueniatis ad quem ipse peruenit qui est benedictus in secula
Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermones

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.

4. Fols 271ra-91ra
Rubric: Hos subsequentes sermones in quodam exemplari inter sermones superiores mixtim repperi quorum nullus in pluribus exemplaribus que inspexi reperitur excepto primo qui de triplici inferno inscribitur qui tamen sicut ceteri sequentes a stilo beati Bernardi discordat qua de causa seperaui eos ab inuicem. Sermo in aduentu domini de triplici inferno.
Incipit: In celebratione aduentus domini sanctorum patrum desideria legendo
Explicit: Pauperes ad consolationem serui ad corroborationem filii ad exultationem
Sermons

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:

i. fol. 271ra-74rb
Incipit: In celebration aduentus domini
Explicit: eius tanquam dies hesterna que preteriit

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.

ii. fol. 274rb-76ra
Rubric: Sermo in natali sanctorum Innocentium
Incipit: In illo tempore Angelus domini ... Proles de uirgine matre ueritas est nascens
Explicit: per contemplationem dei Qui vivit et cetera Amen
Richard of St Victor (?), Sermon 105 (Schneyer, 5:169; cf. 6:450 and 8:1)
iii. fol. 276ra-vb
Rubric: Item sermo in natali innocentium
Incipit: Tolle puerum et matrem eius et fuge in egipto. Mater mentis puritas puer eius veritas
Explicit: omnes pueros abimatu et infra
Richard of St Victor, Allegoria (Stegmüller, RB, 7328,1)
iv. fol. 276vb-278ra
Rubric: Sermo in apparitione domini
Incipit: [fol. 277ra] Festiuitas hodierna theophania uocatur
Explicit: ipse a nobis avertere dignetur .... secula seculorum amen

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.

v. fol. 278ra-279va
Rubric: Sermo de sex ydriis purificationis
Incipit: Erant ibi posite lapidee ydrie sex ... Has sex yrdrias postias intelligimus
Explicit: proveharis in filium
Bernard, sermons de diversis,

55 and 56, ed. Opera, 6:280-86, presented as continuous text (sermon 56 begins at fol. 279ra, l. 20).

vi. fol. 279va-81ra
Rubric: Sermo in annuntiatione dominica
Incipit: Omnia per sapientiam
Explicit: ait MARIA Magnificat anima mea dominum
Hugh of St Victor, sermon 234

Schneyer, 2:801: PL, 177:320-24.

vii. fol. 281ra-vb
Rubric: Sermo de passione domini
Incipit: Circuire domine possum celum
Explicit: et subdolus incautum precipitat
Drogo, perhaps the abbot of St John, Laon who died 1137, Meditatio in passionem et resurrectionem domini,

15-17 (see Leclercq, Recueil, 1:103-8, esp. 106); ed. PL, 184:751 D8-753 C10.

viii. fol. 281vb-282vb
Rubric: Sermo de triplici descensu et ascensu
Incipit: Nemo ascendit in celum... Dominus et salvator noster ihesus cristus volens
Explicit: pre est ceteris instruendis
Bernard, sermon de diversis 60

Ed. Opera, 6:290-93.

ix. fol. 282vb-283va
Rubric: Item sermo de triplici ascensu et descensu
Incipit: Ascensiones disposui in corde meo. Homo in peccatum corruens
Explicit: ascensiones in corde meo disposui

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).

x. fol. 283va-285ra
Rubric: Sermo in decollatione sancti Iohannis baptiste
Incipit: Inter natos mulierum ... Magnum preconium iohannis karissimi
Explicit: percipiendam quam nobis donare dignetur ... secula seculorum amen

Also appears as Ste Geneviève, MS 2656, no. 46 (Schneyer 6:518).

xi. fol. 285ra-va
Rubric: In natali beatorum apostolorum Petri et Pauli
Incipit: Isti sunt due olive et c. De beatorum petri et pauli apostolorum triumphali gloria
Explicit: in passionis et mortis amaritudine

Also appears as Avignon: Bibliothèque municipale, MS 593, no. 25 (Schneyer 8:85).

xii. fol. 285va-86va
Rubric: Sermo de triplici mortificatione
Incipit: In presenti loquitur spiritus sanctus ... [fol. 285vb] Laudat in eis rigorem mortificationis
Explicit: premium quod nobis parare dignetur ... secula seculorum amen

Unidentified; cf. PL 177:679C-681A.

xiii. fol. 286va-87va
Rubric: Sermo de verbis psalmi
Incipit: Audiam quid loquatur in me dominus. David regum summus et prophetarum eximius digne Deo
Explicit: ubi videbitur sicuti est ihesus cristus ... secula seculorum amen

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).

xiv. fol. 287va-88vb
Rubric: Sermo de sex alis cherubin
Incipit: Quis dabit mihi pennas... Ecce alius petrus
Explicit: hauriat quo nos potare dignetur ... secula seculorum amen

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).

xv. fol. 289vb-90ra
Rubric: Sermo exortatorius ad monachos
Incipit: Exi de terra tua... Quia fratres scientibus
Explicit: in melle diuinitatis
Hugh of St Victor, sermon 132

Also appears as Ste Geneviève, MS. 2656, no. 72 (Schneyer 2:794, 6:520).

xvi. fol. 290ra-291ra
Rubric: De triplici fuga scilicet quid quomodo et quando fugere debeamus
Incipit: Qui habitatis in terra austri ... Quare fratres scriptura
Explicit: filii ad exultationem

Also appears as Ste Geneviève, MS. 2656, no. 6 (Schneyer 6:517).

5. Fols 291ra-94va
Rubric: Stephanus. Sermo in die pasce de tribus mulieribus
Incipit: [fol. 291rb] Maria magdalene et maria iacobi et salome . . . Proxima ebdomada sicut grauis suppliciis ita grauida fuit sacramentis
Explicit: Eius enim fidei et ueritatis et perseuerantie participes nos faciat ihesus cristus qui est super omnia deus benedictus in secula. Amen.
Stephen of Tournai, sermo 20

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).

6. Fols 294va-299va
Rubric: Incipit tractatus domini Eylredi Abbatis Rieuallensis de decem honoribus Sancti Iohannis baptiste
Incipit: Hodie dilectissimi dies illuxit insignis tanto ceteris diebus sanctior quanto
Explicit: quia quem uenientem denuntiat digito demonstrat dominum ihesum cristum qui est deus benedictus in secula amen.
Nicholas of Clairvaux, sermo 1

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.

7. Fols 299va-300rb
Rubric: Sermo In assumptione beate Marie uirginis
Incipit: In illo tempore Intrauit ihesus in quoddam castellum . . . Omelia lecionis eiusdem beati Anselmi archiepiscopi Quid ad gloriosam uirginem dei genitricem lectio ista pertineat ut in eius festiuitate
Explicit: que non auferetur ab ea cuius particeps simus meritis et precibus eius per ihesum cristum filium eius qui est benedictus in secula amen.
Anselm of Bec, Homilia 9

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.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: homines
Form: codex
Support: Parchment (HSOS), with blemishes to most leaves
Extent: Fols: 300 + i (numbered fol. 301)
Dimensions (leaf): 390 × 285 mm.

Collation

18 (lacking fourth) 2-208 218 (lacking last, a blank) [to fol. 166, a production unit] | 22-248 258 (lacking fourth and fifth after fol. 193) 2610 2710 (lacking fifth and sixth after fol. 210) [a quire now missing before fol. 215] 28-348 [to fol. 270, a second production unit] | 35-378 388 (lacking sixth and last, the latter blank). No catchwords in the first unit; in the remainder, added in a hand of s. xv. In the first unit, quires signed on the last verso with the appropriate roman numeral in a later informal hand.

Layout

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.

Hand(s)

Written in late protogothic bookhand (no biting) with spatulate tops to minims, above top line.

Punctuation by point, punctus elevatus, and punctus interrogativus.

Decoration

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.

Binding

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.

History

Origin: England; s. xiii1

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).

Record Sources

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

Availability

For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact Christ Church Library.