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

Merton College MS. 191

Former shelfmark: M. 1. 6



Language(s): Latin

Fols. iii-ivv blank.

(fols. 1–277; 277v blank)
Incipit: Radulpho archidiacono Colecestrie dote uirtutum
Incipit: Ego autem puto illum suo uiuere commodo
Incipit: Magistro Henrico de Norhamtun
Incipit: Vir desideriorum sollicitus agnoscere
Incipit: (fol. 4) Deus in scriptura sacra tribus modis dicitur
Explicit: non tantum uicia inferunt set et bona simulant. Explicit.

Unpr. except for the prologue, pr. R. W. Hunt, ‘English Learning in the Late Twelfth Century’, in Essays in Medieval History, ed. R. W. Southern (London, 1968), pp. 124–8; Sharpe, Handlist, pp. 425–6.

(fols. 278–85v)
Indexes to all four parts
Incipit: Explanatio qualiter facillime inuenienda sunt que queruntur in Dauid secundum nouum modum scilicet per literas alphabeti. ⟨H⟩ec capitula hic secundum ordinem litterarum ....

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: magistro Henrico
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 293 leaves (iv + 289)
Dimensions (leaf): 320 × 230 mm.
Dimensions (written): 250 × 160 mm.
The edges retrimmed, affecting marginalia, and spattered with red.


A bifolium, 18(+ 1 before 8), 2–298, 3010, 31–38, 3410, 358; the quires numbered at the end; pencilled catchwords. The text has been carefully corrected: at the end of many quires is pencilled ‘Perfectus’, and at the beginning and ends of quires, and elsewhere, are the names of the correctors: Michael, Ricardus, Willelmus, and (the last quire only) Walterus.


Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 61 lines. The elaborate frame provides for the marginal apparatus. Written above top line.


A single small English early gothic bookhand.


Large red and blue flourished initials; red or blue initials flourished in the other colour; running heads in red capitals.


Standard Merton s. xvii, repaired, rebacked and resewn on four bands; formerly chained from the usual position. Fols. i-ii, 288–9 are modern paper binding leaves. Fols. 286–7 are leaves from the binding of s. xvii, cut down from the same printed book as in MS 19. fol. iii, once a pastedown in an earlier binding, has the mark of a single foredge strap.


Origin: S. XIII1 ; script of English appearance.

Provenance and Acquisition

Given to the College in July 1486 (UO56. 2) by John Gygur, warden 1471–83, d. 1504, for whom see MS 98. The first volume of a set of three, MS 192 being the second. Nine leaves are all that remain of vol. III (part IV), now mounted in Merton College E. 3. 5. The book was evidently cut up and used in College bindings in the late sixteenth century. It is already absent from the 1556 List (UO65).

At the head of fol. 1 is the James no. ‘136’, s. xvii in. Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with a title and ‘G. 2, 5’ and ‘O. 8. 6. Art:’, s. xvii, both canc. and replaced by ‘M. 1. 6. (CXCI)’ in red; the College bookplate. ‘6’ 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. 76; Powicke, no. 1061.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-07-25: First online publication

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