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

Merton College MS. 247

Former shelfmark: B. 1. 5



Language(s): Latin

f. i blank.

(fols. 1–282v; 283rv blank)
PETRUS BERCHORIUS, Reductorium Morale super totam Bibliam
Rubric: Incipit liber de figuris biblie moralizatus secundum Petrum Berchorium.
Incipit: Cum iam per opacam nature siluam
Incipit: Deus in mundi creacione ante omnia
Explicit: de duodecim mensibus inuenies aliter expositum &c.
Final rubric: Explicit liber Apocalypsis moralizatus et sic est finis xvi. libri reductorii moralis in quo moralizantur omnes figure Biblie &c. Explicit labor[sic] Reductorii moralis quod in Auinione fuit factum Parisiis uero correctum et tabulatum anno Domini millesimo trecentesimo quadragesimo secundo.

Pr. Antwerp 1609; Stegmüller, Bibl. 6426.

On f. 213 the OT ends with ‘Expliciunt figure biblie moralizate’ followed by a passage in a small anglicana hand, ‘Doctor de Lira super Marcum ca. xi querit utrum Christus in predictionibus suis debuit uitare offencionem uel scandalum’. On fols. 213v-14 the same hand writes a longer passage, ‘Queritur super illud Mat. 18 Si peccauerit in te frater tuus corripe eum &c. ...’; f. 214v blank.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: natantes
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 284 leaves (i + 283)
Dimensions (leaf): 295 × 205 mm.
Dimensions (written): 220 × 165 mm.
The edges retrimmed cropping marginalia and the decoration on f. 1.


A singleton at each end, 1–1712, 1810, 19–2312, 248; catchwords; red quire-signatures of the usual late medieval form.


Frame-ruled with crayon in 2 cols of c. 50 lines.


A cursive of German or Low Countries type.

Annotated in an anglicana hand; the same or a similar one writes the titles of biblical books as running heads near the top outer corner of each recto.


On f. 1 a 4-line gold initial on square coloured ground with 2-sided foliage border;

blue initials flourished in red; red or blue paraphs, red highlighting. The decoration is omitted from quires 13–18.


s. xv, repaired in modern times; chamfered oak boards with projecting foredges, now bare and rebacked with modern vellum; resewn on six bands. Formerly two straps from recesses in the front board to catches at the back. Formerly chained from the front board, once at the foredge near the foot, again at the foot.


Origin: c. 1450 ; script of German or Low Countries appearance.

Provenance and Acquisition

Given by William Rumsey, fellow c.1449, still in 1463, for whom see MS 12. The College received the book on 25 May 1493; it was chained in the library on 2 Aug. 1494 (Registrum, pp. 173, 184).

On f. iv is a title, s. xvii, and ‘P. 3. 14. Art:’, canc. and replaced with ‘B. 1. 5 (CCXLVII)’ in red. ‘AD. MCCCXLVI’ is written in modern ink; 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. 96; Powicke, no. 1104; Alexander & Temple, no. 493.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-10-01: First online publication

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