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

Merton College MS. 249

Former shelfmark: B. 1. 7

VARIA; S. XIII in.

Contents

Summary of Contents: MS 249, given to the College by William Reed in 1374, consists of several books put together over time. Part IV seems to have been made for a monastery in northern England, but by the late thirteenth century was in the hands of a clerk serving the Warwickshire Luddington family. The whole was bought by Reed from Thomas Trillek, bishop of Rochester 1364-1372. Part I, perhaps French, with its homely drawings of bestiary beings, is the only example at Merton of an extensively illustrated text.

Language(s): Latin

f. iv blank.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: hic leo pingitur
Five structurally distinct booklets, together by 1374 but, with the possible exception of I and IV, probably made in the same place and together from manufacture.
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 192 leaves (iv + 188)
Dimensions (leaf): 275 × 195 mm.
Savagely retrimmed, damaging illustrations in the outer and lower margins of I, the edges spattered with red. Foliation of s. xv, 1-185, omitting 88 and repeating 172. At the head of f. 186 the foliator has written ‘185 folia sunt in isto libro.’ I and V written above top line.

Collation

Two singletons; 18, 24(4 canc.) / 3-78 / 8-108 / 114 / 12-138, 14-1510, 16-228, 2314, a singleton; catchwords to II and V.

Hand(s)

Art. 1 in an informal early gothic bookhand of French appearance. The rest is in English bookhands, except for additions on blank spaces, in anglicana hands ofc.1300.

Binding

Standard Merton s. xvii, repaired and rebacked by Maltby; sewn on five bands; formerly chained from the usual position; fols. i-ii and 187-8 are modern paper blanks. f. 186 was formerly a pastedown in an earlier binding; the former front pastedown is now a stub. However, f. iii, conjugate with it, is now bound upside down; in its original position it appears that the present verso was pasted to the front board. Formerly a central strap from the front board and the large iron chain-staple at the rear, near the foot.

History

Provenance and Acquisition

English except perhaps for I, the whole given to the College by William Reed in 1374: UO49. 84. At the foot of f. 3 the rubricator has painted the monogram IR in blue. On f. iv ‘Liber M. Willelmi Reed episcopi Cicestrensis quem emit a domino Thoma Tryllek’ episcopo Roffensi. Oretis pro utroque’, followed by a table of contents. The ex libris is repeated almost verbatim, with a more detailed list of contents, upside down on f. iiiv, in the hand of Walterus Roberti, who also writes ‘Liber domus scolarium de Merton’ in Oxon’ in communi libraria eiusdem et ad usuam communem sociorum ibidem studencium cathenandus ex dono uenerabilis patris domini Willelmi tercii episcopi Cicestrie. Oretis igitur pro eodem et benefactoribus eiusdem et animabus fidelium a purgatorio liberandis. Walterus Roberti notarius.’ For William Reed, fellow from 1344 until at least 1357, d. 1385, see MS 8; for Trillek, bp. of Rochester, see MS 237.

At the head of f. 1 is the James no. ‘245’, s. xvi in., cropped. Inside the front board is a sheet of paper with ‘F. 6, 4’, s. xvii, canc.; a long table of contents, s. xvii; ‘P. 3. 16. Art:’, s. xvii, canc. and replaced with modern ‘B. 1. 7, in red; the College bookplate.

Merton College MS. 249 - Part I (fols. 1-11v)

Contents

Language(s): Latin

1. (fols. 1-10v)
PHILIPPE DE THAON, Bestiary
Incipit: Hic adamans significans gentes baptismum seruantes ...; Peres de telle ballie hume et femme
Explicit: iupiter saturnus sic nominantur
Rubric: In nomine sancte et indiuidue Trinitatis bestiarius incipit quod Philippus Thaonensis in laude et memoria regine Anglie Alenoris fecit ...
Incipit: Philippe de Taun en Fraunceis teisun
Explicit: virgine concut e uirgine enfantad.

Ed. E. Walberg (Lund and Paris, 1900); Dean & Boulton, no. 347.

Language(s): Latin, French
2. (fols. 11rv)
De Corpore Christi
Incipit: Rex sedebit in cena turba cinctus duodena
Explicit: Indignum mensa se sciat esse Dei.

WIC 16778; Cheval. 32947.

At the foot of f. 11v a distich has been added in an anglicana hand ‘Nunquid natura conuersit sic sua iura | Vt uirgo pareret nisi uirginitate careret’.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Dimensions (written): 210 × 150 mm.

Layout

Ruled with pencil in 2 cols of 37 lines.

Hand(s)

Informal early gothic bookhand of French appearance

Decoration

Art. 1 is accompanied by 46 unskilful unframed outline drawings illustrating the text, sometimes tinted red, yellow or brown; pencilled instructions for the artist are sometimes visible. Red or blue initials, plain or flourished in the other colour. Art. 2 has red highlighting and paraphs.

History

Origin: S. XIII in. ; script of French appearance

Merton College MS. 249 - Part II (fols. 12-51v)

Contents

Language(s): Latin

3. (fols. 12-29)
INNOCENT III, De Miseria Humanae Conditionis
Rubric: Incipit liber de miseria humane condicionis editus a Lothario diacono cardinali SS Sergii et Bachi, qui postea Innocencius papa appellatus est.
Incipit: Domino patri karissimo Petro Portunensi episcopo Lotharius ...; Modicum ocii quod inter multas angustias
Incipit: Quare de uulua egressus sum ... sulphur et ignis ardens in s. s. a quibus nos eruat
Explicit: cum uenerit iudicare uiuos et mortuos in seculum per ignem amen.

Ed. R. E. Lewis (Athens, GA, 1978); Bloomfield 17533. Followed, on f. 29rv, by a passage ‘De penis inferni. In inferno secundum maiorum traditiones ... qui consorcium ix. angelorum habere neclexerunt.

4. (fols. 29v-45)
Canons of Lateran Council IV, 1215
Rubric: Incipiunt decretales constituciones Innocentii pape III.
Incipit: Firmiter credimus et simpliciter confitemur ... ; Ad liberandum terram sanctam
Explicit: ut eis digne proficiat ad salutem.

Conciliorum Oecumenicorum Decreta, ed. G. Alberigo et al. (2nd edn., Basel, 1962), pp. 206-47. Followed by a note on the membership of the Council, and Decr. 1. 9. 10. On f. 45v are two sets of verses: ‘Qui bene perpendit quam sit graue pondus honorum’ (6 lines), and ‘Est leuis et uacua fragilis radice lutosa’ (3 lines).

5. (fols. 45v-8v)
WALTER MAP, Valerius ad Rufinum de Vxore non Ducenda (De Nugis Curialium iv. 3-5)
Incipit: Loqui prohibeor tacere non possum
Explicit: ne Orestem scripsisse uidear. Vale.
Final rubric:
(Added s. xv Valerii Maximi pauca de dissuasione nubendi ad Ruffinum).

CPL 633 (Epist. 36); ed. M. R. James, C. N. L. Brooke and R. A. B. Mynors (Oxford, 1983), pp. 288-312.

6. (fols. 49-51v)
Sermo de Zacharia
Incipit: Ingresso Zacharia templum ...; Ex lectione euangelica octo colligimus notabilia
Explicit: resoluat linguam nostram in laudes suas, Cui ...

Divided into eight chapters. Followed, in an anglicana hand, by an extract from Augustine, ‘In celo erit armonia angelorum sonans auditui ... Vnde versus Gustus olfactus auditus uisio tactus’ (WIC 7390).

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Dimensions (written): 210 × 135 mm.

Layout

Ruled with pencil in 2 cols of 36 lines.

Hand(s)

English bookhand.

Decoration

Arts 3, 5 brick-red initials; art. 4 dark red or blue initials.

History

Origin: S. XIII in. ; script of English appearance

Merton College MS. 249 - Part III (fols. 52-75v)

Contents

Language(s): Latin

(fols. 52-73)
INNOCENT III, De Sacro Altaris Mysterio
Rubric: Hic incipit prefatio Innocencii pape iii. de officio misse.
Incipit: Tria sunt precipue in quibus lex diuina consistit ...; Pontifex igitur stans ad altare misticam Deo oblationem oblaturus
Explicit: continue totum censui subscribere.
Final rubric: Explicit liber Innocencii pape tertii de missa.

PL 217. 773-916. Followed by:

a. (fols. 73)
Ordo pro iter agentibus ad adorandum,

cf. M. Andrieu, Le Pontifical de la Curie Romaine [Studi e Testi 87: Vatican City, 1938], pp. 418-20.

b. (fols. 73-4v)
Ordo Missae per annum
c. (fols. 74v-5)
Notes on Zacharia
d. (fol. 75rv)

typological notes on Matthew, Abraham, Aram

e. (fol. 75v)

Added in an anglicana hand, prayers to Mary Magdalene and Nicholas

f. (fol. 75v)

A note, in a very rough and scratchy hand, recording a transaction between Alicia Molote and Gerard Croftun of Salisbury, dated 1324.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Dimensions (written): 205 × 150 mm.

Layout

Ruled with pencil in 2 cols of 40 lines.

Hand(s)

English bookhand.

Decoration

Art. 7 brick-red initials and highlighting of lemmata.

History

Origin: S. XIII in. ; script of English appearance

Merton College MS. 249 - Part IV (fols. 76-79v)

Contents

Language(s): Latin

(fols. 76-8v; 79 blank)
Calendar

Basically Sarum, with some interest in northern England: note Werburga, Wilfrid (coloured), Botulf, Paulinus. Additions mainly of s. xiii ex, show that it then belonged to a clerk in the w. midlands, perhaps to a man in the household of the Luddington family (Warws.). The additional entries include references to the battles of Lewes and Evesham, and obits of SS. Edmund of Canterbury, Modwenna of Burton, of Salomon, archdeacon of Leicester (d. 1274), of William of Stocton, chaplain, and of Ralph of Luddington, lord of Drayton (Warws.), with marginal notes on the deaths of the last two in 1273.

A hand of s. xv has noted the names of ‘persone tot uenerabilis istius domus de Merton in Normannia cum rege nostro illustrissimo Henrico 5to’, 1417 (pr. G. C. Brodrick, Memorials of Merton College [OHS, 1885], p. 38).

A hand of s. xvii, probably Anthony Wood’s, has noted the obit day of his brother Edward (21 May 1655). Each month is preceded by the common calendrical verses, beg. ‘Prima dies mensis et septima truncat ut ensis’ (WIC 14563). On f. 79v are legal notes in an anglicana hand.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Parchment

Hand(s)

English bookhand.

Decoration

KL in red or blue flourished in the other colour; on fols. 77v-8 the flourishing was apparently omitted, later made good with square diapered grounds; red or blue as required in the text.

History

Origin: S. XIII in. ; script of English appearance

Merton College MS. 249 - Part V (fols. 80-186v)

Contents

Language(s): Latin

9. (fols. 80-115v)
GREGORY, De Cura Pastorali
Incipit: Capitula
Incipit: Hic incipit liber qui pastoralis Gregorii nuncupatur. Pastoralis cure me pondera fugere delitescendo uoluisse
Explicit: tui meriti manus leuet.
Final rubric: Explicit liber pastoralis beati Gregorii pape urbis Rome.

CPL 1712; PL 77. 13-128.

10. (fols. 116-141)
Fragment from a Commentary on the Psalter, in French.
Incipit: (Beg. impf. in Ps. 54: 24) tenebris de ignorante qui mult sunt males. En ceste chet hoem par sun pacche
Explicit: (ends unfinished in Ps. 58: 3) sires sur Jacob et sur le pople des Jueus et finium terre.

Made by perhaps three different writers for Laurette d’Alsace, s. xii2; part ed. C. J. Liebman, The Old French Psalter Commentary ... (Canandaigua, NY, 1982), S. Gregory, The Twelfth-Century Psalter Commentary in French for Laurette d’Alsace (MHRA Texts & Dissertations 29: London, 1990); Dean & Boulton, no. 451.

Followed by verses in an anglicana hand, beg. ‘Nectareum rorem tellus instillat Olimphis’ (14 lines; WIC 11711), and on the death of Robert Grosseteste, ‘Anni cum Domini transissent mille ducenti’ (4 lines; WIC 1074).

Language(s): French
11. (fols. 141v-74v)
MAURICE DE SULLY, Sermons
Rubric: Incipit liber de officio sacerdotum curatorum.
Incipit: Ewangelistis ewangelizare, predicatoribus predicare, docentes docere sublimis est ualde negocii
Incipit: (numbered 58) Asumta est Maria in celum ...; Hodie k. beate Marie uirginis genitricis Dei diem assumptionis annua deuotione colimus ...
Explicit: (ends impf.) introisse non dubitemus.

Unpr.; Schneyer 1-65

12. (fols. 175-9v)
RICHARD OF THETFORD, Ars Dilatandi Sermonum
Incipit: Sermo fratris Ricardi de dilatatione sermonum. Quoniam emulatores estis spirituum
Explicit: sed non de facili.

Partial ed. BO 9, pp. 8-21; Charland, pp. 77-80, this copy p. 79; Sharpe, Handlist, pp. 514-15. Followed on fols. 179v-80 by verses ‘Cui satis quod habet satis illum constat habere ... Presbiter infirmos connubia uult citarista’ (WIC 3504).

13. (fols. 180-2)
WILLIAM DE MONTIBUS, Peniteas cito

Glossed

Incipit: (text) Peniteas cito peccator cum sit miserator
Explicit: et cure grauitas et consuetudo ruine
Incipit: (glo.) Spes uenie. Vnde Psalmista Sperate in eo omnis congregato populi &c
Explicit: ut de peccato in peccatum eat ut fiat longarrestis.

Ed. Goering, William de Montibus, pp. 107-38; WIC 13564; Bloomfield 3804-21.

14. (fols. 182-3)
Sermon
Incipit: Abraham tetendit tabernaculum suum ...; Terra congellata duobus remittitur modis
Explicit: uerus oriens nobis et uobis prestare dignetur &c. Mistica sunt ignis thus uas quia uase notatur | Mens pia ture preces igne supernus amor.
15. (fols. 183v-5v)
Sermon
Incipit: De excelso misit ignem in ossibus meis ...; Legitur in Actibus apostolorum quod Petro adhuc loquente
Explicit: nos cum sanctis ad gloriam admittat qui ... .

Followed by verses added in an anglicana hand ‘Numquam natura conuersit sic sua iura’ (11 lines; WIC 12412).

(fol. 186rv)

Near the head of f. 186, s. xv, ‘Vinco labor parte sed multum iuor ab arte quod Ar’. f. 186v, much of which has another thin sheet of parchment pasted over it, is blank.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Dimensions (written): 210 × 140 mm.

Layout

Ruled with crayon in 2 cols of 37-40 lines.

Hand(s)

English bookhand.

Decoration

Art. 9 brick-red initials. Arts 10-11 red or blue initials, plain or flourished in the other colour; arts 12-15 brick-red initials, plain or flourished in ink of text, red paraphs and underlining.

History

Origin: S. XIII in. ; script of English appearance

Merton College MS. 249 - flyleaf (f. iii)

Contents

Language(s): Latin

(fol. iii)
Liturgical book

A cut-down opened-out bifolium from a liturgical book, bound in sideways.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Parchment

Layout

Written in long lines.

Hand(s)

A large protogothic bookhand.

Decoration

Red and red-filled initials. On the verso are a number of later pen-trials.

History

Origin: s. xii1 ; Continental, probably Italian.

Additional Information

Record Sources

R. M. Thomson, A descriptive catalogue of the medieval manuscripts of Merton College, Oxford (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer), 2009.

Availability

For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact Merton College Library.

Bibliography

    Coxe, pp. 97-9; Powicke, no. 561; X. Muratova, ‘The decorated manuscripts of the bestiary of Philippe de Thaon’, Proceedings of the Third International Beast Epic, Fable and Fabliau Colloquium, ed. J. Goossens and T. Sodmann (Münster, 1979), pp. 217-46; Alexander & Temple, no. 164, pl. VIII.