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

Merton College MS. 172

Former shelfmark: M. 3. 9



Language(s): Latin

1. (fols. 1–51v; 52rv blank)
NICHOLAS GORRAN, Commentary on the Canonical Epistles
Incipit: Misse sunt epistole ex regis nomine...; Verba ista scripta sunt Hester
Incipit: Iacobus ...; Hec epistola principaliter diuiditur in duas partes s. salutacionem et instruccionem
(fol. 15)
(I Peter)
Incipit: Petrus ...; Secundum quod diuisio huius libri ex parte auctoris
(fol. 26)
(II Peter)
Incipit: Simon Petrus ...; Liber iste diuisus est in quatuor partes secundum numerum auctoris
(fol. 34)
(I John)
Incipit: Quod fuit ab inicio &c. Hec est tercia pars huius libri continents epistolas Iohannis tres ...
(fol. 46)
(II John)
Incipit: Senior ...; Hec est secunda canonica Iohannis
(fol. 47)
(III John)
Incipit: Senior Gayo karissimo &c. Epistola Iohannis cuius auctor fuit Iohannes apostolus
(fol. 48)
Incipit: Iudas ...; Hec est quarta pars huius libri et ultima
Explicit: ne alii imitentur ipsos Deo gratias qui est benedictus in s. s. amen. Expliciunt epistole canonice.
Final rubric: Expliciunt postille fratris Nicholai de Gorham super epistolas canonicas.

At the foot of fol. 52v is pencilled ‘d vii’.

Stegmüller, Bibl. 5803–09.

2. (fols. 53–106v)
NICHOLAS GORRAN, Commentary on the Apocalypse
Incipit: Cognouit Dominus...; Dicitur Ezech. i Ecce manus missa ad me in qua erat
Incipit: Apocalipsis ...; Principaliter diuiditur in tres partes
Explicit: inmensus infinitus et eternus qui ...
Final rubric: Expliciunt postille fratris Nicholai de Gorham super Apocalipsym.

Pr. Antwerp 1620; Stegmüller, Bibl. 5810.

3. (fols. 107–44; 144v blank)
JOHN RUSSELL OFM, Commentary on the Apocalypse
Incipit: Statuit septem piramides ...; Accedens ad expositionem Apocalipsis
Incipit: Apocalipsis Iesu Christi. Nota bene quod ad hunc librum legendum
Explicit: (c. 22) sic salutauit dicens Aue gratia plena
Final rubric: Explicit lectura fratris Iohannis Russel de ordine fratrum minorum super Apocalipsim. In hoc uolumine continentur postille fratris Nicholai de Gorham super omnes epistolas canonicas et super Apocalipsim lectura eciam fratris Iohannis Russel super eundem librum, postille eciam communes super actus apostolorum, quo qui usi fuerint rogent pro anima domini Hugonis de Notingham qui in omnibus expensas exhibuit habundanter. Et eciam pro anima fratris Willelmi de eadem per cuius laboriosam diligenciam taliter erat scriptum. Eciam dum erat Oxonie actu regens.

This was before c. 1312.

Unpr.; Stegmüller, Bibl. 4920; Sharpe, Handlist, p. 305, this copy only.

4. (fols. 145–68v; 169rv blank)
HUGH OF ST CHER, Commentary on Acts
Incipit: Scribe uisum ...; His uerbis primo notatur actor uel causa efficiens librum actuum
Explicit: et martirio coronatus. Expliciunt Actus Apostolorum.

At the foot of fol. 168v is pencilled ‘dxxviii’.

Pr. Hagenau 1502 &c. (as Nicholas Gorran); Stegmüller, Bibl. 3725, 5783.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: litterarum
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 175 leaves (iii + 172)
Dimensions (leaf): 365 × 255 mm.
Dimensions (written): 270 × 170 mm.
The edges heavily retrimmed and spattered with red.


1–412, 54, 6–912, 106, 11–1312, a bifolium, 14–1512, a singleton; catchwords; pencilled quire-signatures of the usual late medieval form; red leaf-numbers.


Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 59 lines. Running heads between lines ruled right across the page.


English gothic rotunda bookhands: arts 1 and 4: art. 2 (probably hand 1 of MS 170); art. 3 William of Nottingham (see MS 168), who annotates throughout in anglicana.


Red and blue initials with 1-sided bar borders; blue initials flourished in red; red or blue paraphs; red and blue chapter-numbers and running heads. At the end of quires the decorator has totalled the number of initials in pencil.


Standard Merton s. xvii, rebacked; sewn on five bands; formerly chained from the usual position; fols. i-iii, 170–2 are paper binding leaves, the outermost modern, the next from the same printed book as in MS 11. Near the foot of the early leaves is a rust-mark from a chain-staple. On f. 169, formerly the rear pastedown, are marks from two catches, and from the large iron chain-staple.


Origin: S. XIV in. ; script of English appearance.

Provenance and Acquisition

Given to the College by William Reed in 1374: UO49. 99. The description there shows that art. 4 was then the first in the book, and the secundo folio given there is now at fol. 146. Reed’s usual inscriptions were doubtless on the front flyleaves, now lost. Part of a set of ten volumes, of which eight survive: the others are MSS 166, 168–71. For Reed, see MS 8.

Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with ‘F. 8, 8’ (canc.) and contents, s. xvii, and ‘O. 6. 12. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘M. 3. 9 (CLXXII)’ 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. 68; Powicke, no. 552.

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

See the Availability section of this record for information on viewing the item in a reading room.