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

Merton College MS. 88

Former shelfmark: B. 1. 11



Language(s): Latin

fol. irv blank.

1. (fols. 1–100v)
HUGH OF FLEURY, Historia Ecclesiastica
Rubric: Incipiunt excerpta Iuonis episcopi Carnotensis
Incipit: Assiriorum igitur potentissimus fuit olim rex Ninus
Explicit: Burgundiam et Aquitaniam obtinuit solus

The common second edition of 1110 in six books, of which extracts were printed by G. Waitz in MGH Scriptores 9. 337–64 (= PL 163. 830–54); see A. Vidier, L’historiographie à Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire et les miracles de Saint Benoît (Paris, 1965), pp. 77–8; N. Lettinck in Stegmüller, Bibl. 91 (1981), 386–97. Often attrib., as here, to its dedicatee, Ivo of Chartres.

2. (fols. 101–21)
Bede, Chronicon
Rubric: Incipiunt chronica uenerabilis Bede presbiteri
Incipit: Adam annorum centum triginta genuit Seth
Explicit: tanto patri honore condidit

=De Temporum Ratione 66–71; CPL 2320; CCSL 123B (1977), pp. 463–544.

3. (fols. 121v-3)
The acts of III Lateran Council (1179)
Incipit: ⟨L⟩icet de uitanda discordia in electione Romani pontificis
Explicit: Si quis uero receperit et ecclesie non reddiderit Christiana sepultura priuetur.

J. D. Mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima Collectio (Florence, 1759-), 22. 217–27, in the order cc. 1–3, 27, 19, 22, 21, 20, 7, 10, 18, 4, 6, 8, 16, 11–12, 15, 9, 23, 25,17, 14 (from ‘Prohibemus ne laici decimas cum animarum suarum periculo detinentes’).

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: tum transeuntibus
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 126 leaves (i + 125)
Dimensions (leaf): 285 × 185 mm.
Dimensions (written): 200 × 120 mm.
The edges heavily retrimmed and spattered with red.


16 + a bifolium (two half-leaves), 2–1010, 116; in the middle of this quire are inserted 128 and 1314. Art. 1 ends with quire 10.


Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 32 lines. Not pricked in the inner margins. Running heads on ruled lines only a col. wide.


Written throughout in a single practised protogothic bookhand of English appearance; flex punctuation.

Fols. 121v-3 in an English hand little later than the main text.


On fol. 1 is a red initial, arabesqued in green, blue and buff. The other books of art. 1 open with handsome decorated initials outlined in ink of text, washed in blue and green (sometimes yellow), associated with red and green display script. Art. 2 opens with an initial of this type, with red and blue display script; otherwise initials in blue, red, or green, sometimes ornamented in a second colour. Scarcely any green is used after fol. 101.

Fols. 123v-5v are blank but for a crude unfinished pencil sketch of a man on fol. 124, perhaps of s. xiii.


Standard Merton s. xvii; sewn on four bands; formerly chained from the usual position. Fols. i and 125 were pastedowns in an earlier binding. At the foot of the foredge of fol. i, cropped by the binder, is the mark of a brass chain-staple. On fol. 125 are marks of a brass strap-pin and of the large iron chain-staple.


Origin: S. XII 3/4 ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

Made in England, perhaps at a Cistercian house.

On fol. 124 is an erased inscription.

At the head of fol. 1 is ‘liber domus scolarium de Mertone in Oxonia ex legat’ M. Ioh’ Raynham sacre pagine professoris et quondam socii eius⟨dem⟩ domus cuius anime propicietur Deus amen.’ For Reynham, d. 1376, see MS 18.

Inside the front board are ‘N. 7. 8. Art:’ (canc. in red), and a brief table of contents, both s. xvii; on a slip of paper, ‘B. 1. 11’ (in red), and ‘Merton Coll. MS. 88’ in purple; the College bookplate.

At the head of fol. 1 is the James no. ‘51’ (recte 52), s. xvii in. ‘8’ (perhaps changed from ‘4’) 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, p. 47; Powicke, no. 348; Alexander & Temple, no. 80.

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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