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

Merton College MS. 153

Former shelfmark: M. 3. 4.

HUGH OF ST CHER; S. XV (before 1466)


Language(s): Latin

Fols. ii, iii blank. On fols. iiv and iiiv are titles in hands of s. xvii.

(fols. 1–181v; 182rv blank)
HUGH OF ST CHER, Postills on I Sam.-Job.
Rubric: Incipit prologus Hugonis de Vienna autenticus super Reg. I.
Incipit: Iudex sapiens iudicabit populum suum ...; Sic legitur in Ecclesiastico x. ex quibus uerbis ostenditur
Final rubric: Expliciunt moralitates super IIII. Regum.
Incipit: (Paral., fol. 72) Liber iste censetur paralipomenon
Incipit: (I Esdr., fol. 94v) Reuertere reuertere Sunamitis ...; Vox est sponsi

Fols. 107v-9v blank;

Incipit: (Tob., fol. 110) Sagitte potentis acute cum carbonibus desolatoriis uel deuastatoriis
Incipit: (Judith, fol. 115) Mortuo Ciro rege Persarum ...; Apud Hebreos &c. Inter agiografa. Large sumpto uocabulo iudicatur
Incipit: (Esth., fol. 120) Legitur prou. xviii frater qui iuuatur a fratre ...; Librum Hester. Quia lxx. transtulerunt de Hebreo ...;
Incipit: (fol. 123) Legitur Osee xi. in funiculis Adam
Explicit: quibus omnes electi adiuuantur. Explicit Iob quod Colyngburne.

Pr. Basel 1504; Stegmüller, Bibl. 3647, 3649, 3651, 3653, 3656, 3658, 3661. 3667, 3669, 3671, 3673.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: et in ueritate
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 186 leaves (iii + 183)
Dimensions (leaf): 410 × 295 mm.
Dimensions (written): 290 × 175 mm.
fol. 182 is of thick, stiff parchment.


A bifolium, 1–138, 146(6 canc.), 15–238, a singleton; catchwords in banderoles; quire-signatures of the usual late medieval form.


Ruled with fine pencil in 2 cols of 60 lines.


Fols. 1–121v by the scribe of MS 150 (bookhand of the professional scribe Henry Mere), whose work gradually deteriorates; fols. 122–81v in the formal bookhand, using anglicana and secretary forms, of Colyngbourne. Perhaps the professional scribe Thomas Colyngbourne, for whom see M. B. Parkes, English Cursive Book Hands (2nd edn., London, 1979), pl. 24(i), HUO 2. 415 n. 39. He wrote Bodl. Libr., Digby 172, fols. 25–52v, at Oxford between 1427 and 1451, Magdalen Coll., lat. 154, in 1448, and lat. 156. At first he writes the lemmata in slightly larger script, but gradually abandons this. His work is not as good as the Continental scribes of this set.


In the style of MS 150 (large initials, typical English professional work of the period): on fol. 1 an 8-line I with 3-sided border, otherwise champe initials on fols. 20v, 36v, 53v, 67v, 72, 85, 94v, 101v, 110, 115, 120, 123, 124. Blue initials flourished in red; small plain red or blue initials as far as fol. 107; red underlining as far as fol. 130; red running heads between ruled lines, with blue paraphs, as far as fol. 122. Near the foot of fol. iiv, in a rough anglicana hand, is a decorator’s count of work, apparently not in this book: ‘half a venyt | 200 & halfe and vi champys | x spryngetis | 400 and half and xi parafys’. Separately, ‘iiij golde letteris’.


Late medieval, repaired, tawed skin (once pink) over flush, slightly chamfered oak boards; sewn on seven bands raised on the spine and outlined with string; plain endbands. Formerly chained from a brass staple at the foredge of the front board near the foot, from near the head of the foredge at the back, and from the large iron staple near the foot of the rear board. Two straps from recesses in the front board to catches at the rear, all gone. fols. i, 183 are modern paper blanks.


Origin: S. XV (before 1466) ; England (?)

Provenance and Acquisition

At the head of fol. iiiv is Sever’s ex dono, as in MS 150. Also ‘O. 5. 4. Art:’, s. xvii, canc. and replaced with ‘M. 3. 4 (CLIII)’ in red.

On fol. iivis the College bookplate. ‘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. 64; Powicke, no. 947; Alexander & Temple, no. 584.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-06-21: First online publication

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