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

Merton College MS. 168

Former shelfmark: M. 2. 1



Language(s): Latin

(fols. 1–306v)
NICHOLAS GORRAN OP, Commentary on the Psalter
Incipit: Laudacionem Domini loquetur os meum ...; Loquens sapiens de Spiritu Sancto inspirante
Incipit: Beatus uir ...; s. glossa prohemiale totalis liber iste psalmorum in tres partes diuiditur ...
Explicit: nec dormire poterat nec lassari, ad quam patriam nos perducat ille qui ... .
Final rubric: Expliciunt postille fratris Nicholai de Gorham super psalterium, quibus quiscumque usus fuerit, roget pro anima domini Hugonis de Notingham per quem quo ad omnia exhibite sunt expense. Et eciam pro anima fratris Willelmi de eadem per cuius tediosam sollicitudinem quia dum actu Oxonie regens erat taliter erant scripte.

Pr. Frankfurt 1617; Stegmüller, Bibl. 5750.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: -lo caret
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 307 leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 380 × 270 mm.
Dimensions (written): 275 × 170 mm.


1–312, 416(+ a slip after 16), 5–1512, 166, 17–2212, 238, 24–612; framed catchwords, quire-signatures of the usual late medieval form, coloured leaf-numbers.


Ruled with pencil in 2 cols of 59 lines. The Psalter text occurs in blocks of 2–3 lines, written in larger script on every second line, and as underlined lemmata in the gloss. Running heads between ruled lines.


Written throughout in the expert gothic rotunda bookhand of William of Nottingham. Marginal annotation in neat anglicana, s. xiv in., probably also William’s, quotes e.g. Innocent III, De Miseria Conditionis Humanae, Andrew of St Victor.


Large and handsome red and blue flourished initials with partial borders to prol., Pss. 1, 51, 52, 68, 97, 101, 110; blue initials flourished in red; small red initials, red or blue paraphs; running heads in both colours. At the ends of some quires are notes in red, blue or pencil of the number and cost of the coloured initials.


Medieval: tawed skin, repaired, over flush wooden boards, the rear one thicker and with a wide bevel; sewn on seven bands, slightly raised on the spine; plain head- and tail-bands, sewn through the cover skin. The front board had straps at head and tail, covered by the skin. Two broad straps of tanned leather from recesses at the foredge to catches in the rear board, now gone. The mark of a brass chain-staple near the head of the foredge of the front board. Near the foot of the rear pastedown are two contiguous sets of marks from the large chain-staple. One set, with associated rust, does not pierce the board. The other set, which does, has associated verdigris. Clearly the rear board and skin cover are later than the front board. Either this or MS 167 was rebound in 1436–7.


Origin: S. XIV in. ; England, Oxford

Provenance and Acquisition

Written by William of Nottingham OFM (d. 1336; BRUO 1377–8), presumably for his Order, while he was lector at Oxford 1312–14, at the expense of Sir Hugh of Nottingham, clerk in the royal exchequer: B. Smalley, ‘Which William of Nottingham?’, in her Studies in Medieval Thought and Learning (London, 1981), pp. 248–87, esp. 252–3.

Given to the College by William Reed in 1374: UO49. 91. The second of a set of ten volumes, of which eight survive: the others are MSS 166, 169–72. For William Reed, see MS 8.

On the front pastedown: ‘In hoc uolumine continentur postille super Psalterium per fratrem Nicholaum de Gorham’; ‘Liber M. Willelmi Reed episcopi Cicestrensis quem emit a uenerabili patre domino Thoma Tryllek episcopo Roffensi Orate igitur pro utroque. Postilla Nicholai Gorham super psalterium’; ‘Liber domus scolarium de Merton’ in Oxon’ in communi libraria eiusdem et ad usum communem sociorum ibidem studencium cathenandus. Ex dono uenerabilis patris domini Willelmi tertii episcopi Cicestr’. Oretis igitur pro eodem et benefactoribus eiusdem ac fidelium animabus a purgatorio liberandis’; ‘Orare eciam dignemini pro Waltero Roberti scriba et notarius uenerabilis patris predicti qui suprascripti tituli et titulos aliorum 99. librorum per dictum patrem eidem domui datorum ad emendacionem librarie eiusdem inscripsit et circa eosdem libros et alios quamplures per diuersa collegia uniuersitatis Oxon’ per ipsum uenerabilem patrem distributos diligenter insudauit’; ‘Gorranus super Psalterium’ and ‘O. 6. 8. Art:’, s. xvii, the second canc. and replaced by ‘M. 2. 1 (CLXVIII)’ in red; the College bookplate. ‘8’ 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. 67; Powicke, no. 551.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-07-02: First online publication

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