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

fols. iii, iv-vi blank. On fol. 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. fols. ii and 115 are blank paper binding leaves. fol. iii has verdigris stains from a central strap, and a rust mark near the head, probably from a chain-staple. fols. iv-vi have rust marks from two clasps. None of these marks occur on fol. i.

Accompanying Material

fols. 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 fol. vivis ‘Istum librum reparauerunt Magister Willelmus Emyldon M. Ricardus Langstone M. Thomas Bloxham M. Ricardus Scarburgh Magister Iohannes Yonge’. Emyldon was fellow 1441–52, Langstone c. 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.

Funding of Cataloguing

Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Warden and Fellows of Merton College .

Last Substantive Revision

2018-08-01: First online publication

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