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

Merton College MS. 231

Former shelfmark: H. 3. 5



Language(s): Latin

Fols. i-iiv, of thick, stiff parchment, blank. f. iii is a waste leaf containing the opening of art. 1 (omitting the capitula); the verso is covered with notes in pencil.

(fols. 1–150v)
Rubric: Incipit theorica pagtegni et primus liber.
Incipit: Domino suo Montis Cassinensis abbati Desiderio
Incipit: Cum totius scientie generalitas tres principales partes habeat
Explicit: et habere sensum adintelligendum. Explicit liber iste.

Pr. Lyon 1515, II, pp. 1–144; eTK 0348K, 1221E.

(fols. 151–151v; 152–4v blank)
(fol. 151)

Written in an anglicana hand, s. xiv, apparently Simon Bredon’s (MMBL 3. 682)

(fol. 151v)
List of expenses on medicines, s. xiv.

Written upside-down.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: de hac intentione
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 157 leaves of parchment prepared in the Italian manner (iii + 154)
Dimensions (leaf): 275 × 190 mm.
Dimensions (written): 180–90 × 120 mm.
The edges retrimmed and spattered with red.


A bifolium, a singleton, 18(2 canc.), 2–198, 104(4 canc.), the quires numbered at the end in pencil, mostly trimmed off.


Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 43 lines. Running heads between lines ruled right across the page.


A neat gothic rotunda bookhand, probably French.


Red and pale blue initials flourished and with long tendril-like extensions in both colours. The tendrils also run down the margins independent of initials. Red or blue initials, plain, or highlighted or flourished in the other colour; red or blue paraphs; running heads in red capitals.


Standard Merton s. xvii, repaired and rebacked; sewn on four bands; formerly chained from the usual position on the back board. On the last leaves is the mark of the large brass chain-staple. The outermost leaves were pastedowns in an earlier binding.


Origin: S. XIV ; France, South or Italy

Provenance and Acquisition

Made in southern France or Italy, in England by s. xiv.

On f. 151, s. xv, ‘Magister Iohannes [sc. Simon] Bredon qui scripsit hanc tabulam propria manu doctor in medicina socius istius domus dedit istum librum huic colegio.’ For Simon Bredon, fellow in 1330, still in 1341, d. 1372, see MS 223. This book was part of his legacy (Powicke, no. 369).

At the head of f. 151v is a partly-erased inscription, ‘Liber pantengni ...’, a thoroughly-erased cautio: ‘Supl supplementum caucionis ’, and, twice, ‘prec’ vii s.’

Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with titles in hands of s. xvii and xviii, and ‘P. 2. 14. Art:’, s. xvii, canc. and replaced with the modern shelfmarks in red, almost illegible due to damp; 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, pp. 90–1; Powicke, no. 369.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-08-30: First online publication

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