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

Merton College MS. 194

Former shelfmark: C. 2. 3



Language(s): Latin

On fol. 1 are scattered notes, upside down, in an anglicana hand of s. xiv; the verso blank. The leaf was clearly originally in the reverse position.

(fols. 2–144v)
RICARDUS DE POFIS, Summa Dictaminis
Rubric: Incipit summa dictaminis composita per quendam magistrum Ricardum de Pofis clericum Curie sedis apostolice
Incipit: Nouiciorum studia ianuam sibi cupiencium aperire dictatorie
(capitula, fols. 3v-11v)
Incipit: Amicus amicum redarguit et inducit quod ad curiam reuertitur. Quid et qualiter homini rerum temporalium adipe non sublimis apice dignitatis
Explicit: gratia Sancti Spiritus infundatur amen. Finito libro sit laus et gloria Christo amen.

Unpr.; E. Batzer, Zur Kenntnis der Formularsammlung des Richard von Pofi (Heidelberg, 1920); English copies listed in N. Denholm-Young, Collected Papers (Cardiff, 1969), p. 69.

The capitula are annotated in one or more anglicana hands of s. xiii, e.g. fol. 4 ‘Bona ad abbatem de ’, fol. 4v ‘Bona ad priorem de Bridelintone’, ‘Bona pro Magistro Simone de Euesham’. Simon of Evesham (BRUO 657) is known to have been in Oxford c. 1225, canon of York from 1227 until his death between 1269 and 1272.

Extra documents, in an anglicana hand of s. xiii ex., are in the lower margins of fols. 45v-6 (soon after 1280), 57v-8, 88v-9 (naming a ‘Magister Walterus’), 140v, 141v (mentioning ‘pie recordationis magistri S. de Euesham nuper archidiaconi Richemund’’), 144v. The documents appear to be real, although most names are suppressed; they relate to the concerns of a secular cathedral with an archbishop, so presumably York. On fol. 65v is a maniculus with ‘lok bissop’.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: (fol. 3) per auctoriates
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 145 leaves of parchment prepared in the Italian manner (1–144, incl. 74a)
Dimensions (leaf): 260 × 190 mm.
Dimensions (written): 170 × 120 mm.
Heavily retrimmed with loss of catchwords and marginalia, the edges spattered with red.


A singleton, 1–188; catchwords.


Ruled with crayon in 32 long lines.


A single hand, writing Italian littera cancellaresca.


Red and blue initials; red or blue initials; red or blue paraphs in the capitula.


Standard Merton s. xvii, repaired, rebacked and resewn on four bands (Maltby 1953); formerly chained from the usual position. Rust-marks on fols. 1 and 2 suggest a chain-staple on an earlier front board, near the foot of the foredge. The first and last leaves are stained and dirty, suggesting that the book was without covers for some time.


Origin: S. XIII med. ; Italy.

Provenance and Acquisition

Made in Italy, early on in England, presumably in the north and in the hands of someone connected with York Minster.

On fol. 1, upside down, is an early cautio, cropped and thoroughly erased, naming ‘[?]lynche’, ‘Iohannes [?]ldontone’, ‘Thomas W[?]’, clerks, and as a supplement John Chrysostom.

Given to the College by William Reed in 1374: UO49. 52. For Reed, fellow from 1344 until at least 1357, d. 1385, see MS 8.

Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with a title of s. xvii and ‘O. 8. 9. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘C. 2. 3 (CXCIV)’ in red.

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. 76–7; Powicke, no. 1252.

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

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