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

Merton College MS. 41

Former shelfmark: C. 1. 2



Language(s): Latin

ff. iii, iv-vi blank. On f. iiiv is a table of contents, s. xiv, including items now lost, ‘Regula beati Benedicti’ at the beginning, and ‘Distincciones Nicholai de Gorham / Regula fratrum minorum / Testamentum beati Francisci’, at the end.

(fols. 1-112v)
Rubric: Incipit prologus operis sequentis
Incipit: ⟨C⟩um non essem alicui exercicio magno opere occupatus
Rubric: Incipit liber primus excepcionum collectarum de diuersis opusculis beati Bernardi egregii abbatis Clareuallensis
Incipit: ⟨Q⟩uis est Deus? Qui est merito quidem
Explicit: (ends impf. in bk. 10, sect. ‘De diuersis nominibus Domini sententiis quibusdam’) oculus in amaritudine morabatur sed nunc

unpr.; Bloomfield 1155; M. Bernards, 'Zur Verbreitung der Bernardflorilegium. Das Bernardinum des Benediktins Wilhelm von St. Martin in Tournai', Studien und Mitteilungen zur Geschichte des Benedictiner Ordens 64 (1952), 234-41.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: ⟨d⟩eus qui ubique
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: A fragment of an originally much larger book. 122 leaves (vi + 116)
Dimensions (leaf): 175 × 130 mm.
Dimensions (written): 130-40 × 90 mm.
The edges heavily retrimmed and spattered with red.


a singleton, A4, 1-312, 414, 5-128, a singleton; the first few quires have catchwords and are numbered at the beginning in roman numerals, in a later hand. Although these numbers begin at 1, a quire is missing from the beginning, and several from the end.


Ruled with crayon in 40-44 long lines.


English gothic rotunda bookhands except for quires 3 and 4, in a neat early gothic hand, s. xiii med.


Unfinished: unfilled spaces for coloured initials and rubrics; spasmodic rubrication; red highlighting and underlining.

Additions: Marginal correction and annotation in early hands, in both pencil and ink.


Standard Merton s. xvii; sewn on four bands; formerly chained from the usual position. ff. ii and 115 are blank paper binding leaves. f. iii has verdigris stains from a central strap, and a rust mark near the head, probably from a chain-staple. ff. iv-vi have rust marks from two clasps. None of these marks occur on f. i.

Accompanying Material

ff. i and 116, binding leaves positioned upside down, are from another book of s. xiii med., containing a medical work: written space 155 × 110 mm., ruled with pencil in 2 cols of 44 lines. Written in a small English gothic bookhand, rubricated, but unfilled spaces for coloured initials.


Origin: S. XII ex. ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

Perhaps originally a Franciscan book. At the head of f. vivis ‘Istum librum reparauerunt Magister Willelmus Emyldon M. Ricardus Langstone M. Thomas Bloxham M. Ricardus Scarburgh Magister Iohannes Yonge’. Emyldon was fellow 1441-52, Langstonec. 1446-52 (when he died), Bloxham c. 1449-61, Scarborough c. 1449, still in 1464, Yonge c. 1449-61 (BRUO 642, 1098, 204-5, 1651-2, 2135). The quire-numbers, which begin at 1, may be part of their work. Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with a table of contents and ‘N. 4. 2. Art:’, s. xvii, the second canc. and replaced with ‘C. 1. 2 (XLI)’ in red. The College bookplate. ‘2’ is inked on the foredge.

Record Sources

R. M. Thomson, A descriptive catalogue of the medieval manuscripts of Merton College, Oxford (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer), 2009.


For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact Merton College Library.


    Coxe, pp. 28-9; Powicke, no. 505.