Merton College MS. 46
Former shelfmark: C. 1. 7
BERNARD ON THE SONG OF SONGS; S. XII 3/4
Language(s): Latin, with a few later annotations in English
At the head of f. iiiv is a note, s. xv, on the contents.
On ff. 1 and iiiv (in that order), in an English bookhand, s. xiii in.:
SBO 1-2 (this MS collated as O); Stegmüller, Bibl. 1721. Preceded by capitula on ff. 1v-3v. On these capitula , another version of which appear in Bruges, Bibl. de la Séminaire 21068 (perhaps from the Cistercian abbey of Dunes), see J. Leclercq, ‘Recherches sur les sermones sue les Cantiques de Saint Bermard’, RB 64 (1954), 208-23, at pp. 212-14, 219. In the Bruges MS they are attributed to an abbot of Margam.
On f. 184v, in the same hand as the material on ff. iiiv-1:
Addressed to a community of monks.
On f. 185 are notes on the name of Jesus, in hands of different dates including Elliot’s. The hand of f. 184v writes the first, a long one, quoting William Brito: ‘Sciendum quod nomen Saluatoris quod est Iesus scribitur Grecis litteris ...’. f. 185v blank.
Ruled with plummet in 2 cols of 33 lines; pricked in both margins.
Good English protogothic bookhands: ff. 4-161v; 162-72; 172-84; flex punctuation. The capitula appear to be in a different hand, though similar to the first.
Plain red or green initials. On f. 43 is a profile monk’s face as nota .
Annotated by Robert Elliot, sometimes in English, e.g. ff. 117 ‘stoturyng’, 145v ‘most sovereyn medcyn’. At the foot of f. 184 he wrote ‘deo gracias perlegitur hic liber anno 1469, 19 die Augusti’, and ‘Secundum quosdam libros uocantur omelie Bernardi super cantica numero lxxxvi. Beda etiam scripsit super cantica .7. libros in libraria Dunelm’ ?Ox’.’ This presumably refers to no. 12 in the list of books at Durham College, c. 1395, pr. H. E. Salter, W. A. Pantin and H. G. Richardson, Formularies which bear on the History of Oxford, c. 1204-1420 (OHS n. s. , 2 vols, 1939-40), I, p. 241.
s. xii, reworked c. 1500, recently repaired and rebacked: tawed skin over flush, chamfered oak boards, the edges presumably reshaped when the edges were retrimmed. Resewn on four bands; ff. i-ii and 186-7 are modern blank paper binding leaves. A strap of pink leather with clasp from a recess in the front board to a pin, replaced with a catch, at the rear. On the front board are marks from two brass chain-staples, one at the foredge near the foot, the other in the middle of the foot. On the outside of the rear board is written ‘Bernardus super cantica’, s. xv, and a four-line note (scriptural passages) by Robert Elliot near the foot, repeating one at the foot of f. 185. The outermost parchment leaves were formerly pastedowns.
Provenance and Acquisition
Probably made in a Cistercian house in south-west England and used by its abbot. At the head of f. 4 a strip of parchment has been excised. Over the gap another piece of parchment has been pasted, with the James no. ‘232’, s. xvii in. On f. iii, much effaced by glue, ‘Collegio Merton tradatur ad incathenandum in libraria eiusdem ex dono M. Roberti Elyott cuius anima propicietur Deus amen’. Robert Elyot (BRUO 638) was fellow of All Souls 1450, still in 1461, d. Jan. 1499. This was one of three MSS (the others are 193 and 214) bequeathed by him and received in the library on 5 Sept. 1499 (Registrum, p. 235). Also, s. xv, ‘Iste liber est [fratris ... ] prec’ xx s.’ On f. iiiv‘Bernardus super Cantica’ and ‘N. 4. 7. Art:’, s. xvii, the second canc. and replaced with ‘C. 1. 7 (XLVI)’, in red. ‘7’ is inked on the foredge. The College bookplate is inside the front board.
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