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

Merton College MS. 177

Former shelfmark: A. 1. 5



Language(s): Latin

(fols. 1v-2)
Index to art. 1 part 1

Fols. 1 blank. Fol. 2v is blank but for an ex libris (see below).

1. (fols. 3–177; fols. 177v-8 blank)
Bede, Homeliae super Euangelia

Arranged in two parts of 25 homilies each (though three texts are actually missing from part 1), not corresponding to Bede’s books 1–2

Rubric: Incipit liber omeliarum uenerabilis Bede presbiteri.
Incipit: Fuit Iohannes in deserto ...; Aduentum dominice predicationis
Incipit: Ante diem festum ...; Scripturus euangelista
Explicit: Explicit liber primus omeliarum uenerabilis Bede presbiteri.

i. 1–2, 5, 7–12, 14, 19, 13 (to p. 91 line 99)

Followed by the same interpolation found in MS 176 art. 1, 15, 18

Rubric: ⟨H⟩ic desunt tres omelie quia non fuerunt in exemplari scil. omelia xvª, xviª, xviiª, quarum capitula tamen habentur supra inter capitula reliquia ante principium libri omeliarum.

Homeliae 25, ii. 6, 1, i. 23, ii. 2, 4, 3, 5.

(fol. 75)
An index to part II
Incipit: Vespere autem sabbati ...; Vigilias nobis huius sacratissime noctis...
Incipit: Exiit edictum ...; Audiuimus ex lectione euangelica
Explicit: perpetue pacis promisit Iesus Christus d. n., qui ....
Final rubric: Explicit liber omeliarum uenerabilis Bede presbiteri.

Homeliae ii. 7, 10, 9, 8, 13, 11–12, 14–20, i. 20, ii. 22, 21, 23–5, i. 21, 16, 3–4, 6.

CCSL 122 (1955).

Perhaps copied directly from Lincoln Cath. 182 (English, s. xi in., at the Cathedral by 1148), which contains the homilies in the same order, with the altered ending of i. 13, and omission of the same three texts (i. 17, 22, 24). Cf. Shrewsbury School 29 (MMBL 4. 316–17), from the Cluniac priory of Lenton (Notts.), of much the same date as this one.

2. (fols. 178v-94)
Ps.-EUSEBIUS GALLICANUS, Homiliae ad Monachos
Rubric: Incipiunt omelie Eusebii Emiseni ad monachos.
Incipit: ⟨E⟩xortatur nos sermo diuinus
Incipit: Quid salubritatis k. etiam in presenti
Incipit: ⟨I⟩nstruit nos atque hortatur sermo diuinus
Incipit: Sicut a nobis Dominus pro suscepti officii necessitate
Incipit: ⟨Vi⟩cimus quidem spirituali militie
Incipit: ⟨A⟩d hoc ad istum locum conuenimus
Incipit: ⟨S⟩i quando terre operarius et ruris cultor agrum
Incipit: ⟨V⟩idete uocationem uestram f. k.
Explicit: in futura presidium amen.
Final rubric: Expliciunt omelie Eusebii Emiseni.

Nos 36–41, 43–4 of the ed. in CCSL 101, 101A-B (1970–1). On this collection, versions of which circulated in England after the Conquest, see A. Gwynn, The Writings of Bishop Patrick 1074–84 (Scriptores Latini Hiberniae 1: Dublin, 1955), pp. 28–48, 132–5. The scribe occasionally writes ‘.DM.’ in the margin.

fol. 194v is blank but for pencil sketches, one the head of a nimbed ?Christ, and ‘Omelie Bede’, s. xiii ex.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: subripientium
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 194 leaves. A hand little later than the main text has foliated, in roman numerals, half-way up the outer margin of each verso: i (mod. 3v) – xl (42v, end of quire 5), then in pencil as far as lxxiii (75v, end of quire 9).
Dimensions (leaf): 300 × 205 mm.
Dimensions (written): 210 × 145 mm.
The upper and probably leading edges retrimmed; the lower edges stained yellow.


A pastedown, a bifolium, 1–68, 78(+ an inserted slip after 6), 8–118, 128(+ 1 after 3), 13–218, 226(6 canc.), 23–48, a bifolium, the second leaf a pastedown. The quires numbered at the end; catchwords.


Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 29 lines. Pricked in both margins.


Each art. is written in a skilled English protogothic bookhand. Running titles were added throughout by a neat gothic rotunda bookhand of c. 1300. On the inserted slip fol. 57 omitted text was written in another hand contemporary with the main scribes.


Art. 1 has handsome arabesque initials in 1–4 of red, green, blue and yellow, in the style of contemporary Durham books (e.g. examples of the distinctive ‘piped I’, Mynors, Durham, pp. 7–8, on fols. 21 and 41v.

Art. 2 has unfilled spaces for painted initials.

fol. 194v, pencil sketches, one the head of a nimbed ?Christ.


Oxford, s. xvi in. (Gibson, Early Oxford Bindings, p. 25), similar to MSS 119, 175–6; blind-stamped leather over bevelled oak boards with projecting squares, sewn on four bands. The binder was George Chastelaine (d. 1513), for whom see MS 119. Here he used Oldham stamps 180, 182, 191 and the half-stamp Pearson 7. Two straps from the front board to catches on the back, replaced by cloth ties, s. xvii. Remains of a chain-staple on the front board, near the foot of the foredge. The rear endleaf (but not the board) has marks of a central strap-pin, and of the large iron chain-staple, near the foot.


Origin: c. 1160–80 ; Northern England

Provenance and Acquisition

Made in northern England c. 1160–80. On fol. 194v are two largely-erased inscriptions, one reading ‘⟨Liber⟩ M. R. de ’, the other ‘Liber omel’ eusebii precii x(?)iiii s.’

On the rear pastedown, very faint, is ‘Liber magistri Ric’ de Hakeborna’. Hakebourne (BRUO 847) was fellow from 1296 until after 1310, d. 1322. Also ‘precii [?] s.’, s. xiii ex.

On fol. 2v is ‘Liber domus scolarium de Merton’ Oxon’ ex legat’ M. Iohannis Stauele’. For Staveley (d. soon after 1349), see MS 81. UO47. 229, valued at 30s.

On the front pastedown is ‘Iste liber est de sorte Samton’ anno Domini MCCCLXXVII’. Below this is written ‘Sampton’’, canc. This is presumably Robert Sampton (BRUO 1637), fellow in 1371–2, till death, d. 1377.

Also tables of contents s. xv and xvii, ‘O. 7. 5. Art:’, s. xvii, canc. and replaced with ‘A. 1. 5 (CLXXVII)’, in red; the College bookplate. On the back cover is a title and the press-mark ‘B. 14us’, s. xvi in. (cf. the marks in MS 69 &c.).

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, pp. 70–1; Powicke, no. 256; Alexander & Temple, no. 95.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-07-15: First online publication

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