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

MS. Rawl. D. 3

Summary Catalogue no.: 12900


Geoffrey Chaucer, Treatise on the Astrolabe
Rubric: Astralabium
Incipit: Lityl lowys my sone

Ends with the section of 'the wyrkyng of þe conclusyon to knowe yf þat ony planete be direct or retrograde'

Language(s): Middle English

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: 49 leaves


Pächt and Alexander iii. 1109

Good borders

Good initials


Alexandra Gillespie observes that very few well-known vernacular manuscripts have survived in their medieval bindings and that MS. Rawl. D. 3 is one of only four of Chaucer’s works that has a pre-1500 cover. Gillespie names the other three Chaucer manuscripts as MS. Selden Supra 56, Cambridge, St John’s, MS E. 2 and London, Institution of Engineering and Technology Library, MS Thompson 1 ('Bookbinding' in The Production of Books in England 1350–1500 ed. by Wakelin and Gillespie [Cambridge University Press, 2011], p. 158 and p. 165)


Origin: 15th century, third quarter ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

Thomas Rawlinson, 1681–1725

Richard Rawlinson, 1690–1755

Bequeathed to the Bodleian in 1755

Record Sources

Description adapted (May 2023) by Stewart J. Brookes from the Quarto Catalogue (W. D. Macray, Catalogi codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecæ Bodleianæ...viri munificentissimi Ricardi Rawlinson, J.C.D., codicum...complectens, Quarto Catalogues V, fascicle 3, 1863), with additional reference to published literature as cited. Decoration, localization and date follow Pächt and Alexander (1973)

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (1 image from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2023-05-04: Description revised to incorporate all the information in the Quarto Catalogue (1893)