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

Merton College MS. 144

Former shelfmark: M. 1. 12



Language(s): Latin

fol. 1 is filled with distinctiones and notes in tiny anglicana hands of s. xiii, including one on the necessity of masses for the dead, with a story concerning Bishop Theodolus, and another ‘contra adulteros’, quoting a Life of S. Germanus and a story of two nuns. On fol. 1v is a note on the number of years from Creation to the Incarnation, and 7 lines of verse, beg. ‘Qui plus expendit quam lucri summa reprehendit’ (WIC 15605).

On fol. 2rv a sermon on ‘Adam ubi es?’ in an early anglicana hand, beg.:

Incipit: Propter memorie nostre fragilitatem
(fols. 3–6v)

Table of the Gospels and epistles for the Sundays of the year cross-referenced to the capitula

(fol. 6rv)

capitula arranged alphabetically

(fols. 7–130v)
?NICHOLAS BYARD OP, Summa de Abstinentia
Incipit: ⟨Abstinencia.⟩ Duplex est abstinencia detestabilis et laudabilis
Explicit: (Vita) que preparauit Deus electis suis ad que nos ...

A later hand adds ‘Expliciunt distinctiones Parisiensis’. 133 chapters; Bloomfield 1841; pr. Paris 1512 &c. At the head of fol. 7, cropped, is ‘Distinctiones Parisiensis’, s. xv, below, ‘Distinctiones Parisienses Bonauenturae’, s. xvii. Some later annotation; the distinctio-numbers added as running heads.

2. (fols. 130v-7v)
De Sacramentis
Incipit: Infirmitatem contractam per peccatum primorum parentum
Explicit: quanta erit hec dilectacio solus Deus scit qui ..

A contemporary anglicana hand heads it ‘Incipit Tractatus Hugonis de sancto Victore super sacramentis ecclesiae’, the author’s name cancelled and ‘Bonauenture’ substituted by a slightly later hand.

Unpr.; Bloomfield 2748, citing two English copies, not this one.

(fols. 137v-8)
A short note
Incipit: Notandum quod fides debet esse uiua simpliciter et integra
Explicit: quod cantatur ad primam Quicumque uult.

fol. 138rv filled with notes and sermons as fol. 2rv, much effaced on the verso. One sermon beg.:

Incipit: Ascendam in palmam. K(arissimi) uerba sunt Salomonis in persona Dominum Deum loquentis

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: (text, fol. 8) unum diem
Secundo Folio: (indexes, fol. 4) Salus populi
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 138 leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 270 × 180 mm.
Dimensions (written): 210 × 125 mm.
The edges retrimmed affecting marginalia, and spattered with red.


Two singletons, 14, 2–1212.


Ruled with pencil in 2 cols of 40 lines.


One English gothic rotunda bookhand for art. 1, another for its prefatory matter. Art. 2 is in a comparatively old-fashioned bookhand, smaller and using a thinner pen.


Red initials, paraphs, highlighting and underlining. The work is rather rough.


Standard Merton s. xvii; sewn on four bands; formerly chained from the usual position. The last leaf was formerly a pastedown.


Origin: S. XIII ex. ; script of English appearance.

Provenance and Acquisition

On fol. 2v ‘Liber domus scolarium de Mertone ex dono M. Roberti Wyght’. For Whyte, fellow c. 1424, no longer in 1433, see MS 20.

At the head of fol. 7 is the James no. ‘164’, s. xvii in., cropped.

Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with ‘D. 5, 6’ (canc.), and contents, s. xvii, ‘O. 3. 16. Art:’, canc and replaced with ‘M. 1. 12 (CXLIV)’ in red; the College bookplate.

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. 62; Powicke, no. 972.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-06-20: First online publication

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