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

Merton College MS. 319

Former shelfmark: Q. 3. 1



Language(s): Latin

(fols. 1–324v)
THOMAS NETTER OF WALDEN OCarm, Doctrinale Antiquitatum Fidei (bk. V De Sacramentis)
Rubric: Epistola fratris Thome Walden directa summo pontifice Martino pape V. de opere consequenti.
Incipit: Martino beatissimo pape ... Deo gracias qui semper triumphat nos in Christo Iesu ...
Incipit: Doctrinis uariis et peregrinis nolite abduci Hebr. xiii. Regalibus iussis uestris obtemporans
(capitula ff. 14–15v);
Incipit: [mutil.] acramenta ueneranda Christiane religionis
Explicit: cuius in terris spondes uicarium Iesus Christus amen.

Ed. B. Biancotti (Venice, 1757–9 / Farnborough, 1967); Sharpe, Handlist, p. 671. Copies are listed in M. M. Harvey, ‘The Diffusion of the Doctrinale of Thomas Netter in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Century’, in Intellectual Life in the Middle Ages: Essays presented to Margaret Gibson, ed. H. Leyser and L. Smith (London, 1992), pp. 281–94, this copy at 289.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: (f. 3) cionem cordis
Form: codex
Support: Parchment
Extent: 328 leaves (ii + 326)
Dimensions (leaf): 465 × 330 mm.
Dimensions (written): 280 × 180 mm.


1–408, 416(5–6 canc.); framed catchwords; quire-signatures of the usual late medieval form.


Ruled with ink in 2 cols of 45 lines.


Written in the archaizing bookhand of John Holt OCarm: fols. 194 ‘Dextrum scribentis benedicat lingua legentis | Scriptum per manum fratris Iohannis Holt Carmelite’, 324v ‘Scriptus per manum fratris Iohannis Holt ordinis beate Marie genitricis Dei de monte Carmeli’. He also wrote part of Cambridge, Trinity Coll. O. 9. 33, dated c. 1424, and Merton College fragment E. 3. 5(e). He corrects in two stages: in pencil at the foot of the leaf, later erased (on f. 33 a correction is signed ‘Holt’) and in ink in the margin, hooked to the appropriate place in the main text by a red line. The later quires have ‘aur’’ or ‘corr’’ written at the beginning. His hand changes character in the last few quires, adopting for instance a Continental form ofg.


Large and handsome initials in colours and gold with partial borders: f. 2 11-line D, the author presenting his book to the pope, the figures deliberately scraped; 3-sided border; f. 16 S mutil.; f. 41 10-line V enclosing mass celebrated in the king’s presence, in roundels heretical books being burnt, with 3-sided border; f. 194v 9-line B; f. 223 8-line C; f. 232 10-line O; f. 259 11-line C; f. 268 12-line P; f. 320 8-line U. On f. 1 a 4-line gold M on a green square ground, filled with red; gold initials flourished in blue or violet; blue initials flourished in red; the capitula have small initials of types 2 and 3, and line-fillers in red, blue and gold; running heads in red with blue initials flourished in red; red underlining and highlighting.


Modern; full scarlet goatskin, sewn on eight bands. fols. i-ii and 325–6 are modern paper blanks. At each end are marks of straps at foredge, head and tail. Near the foot of f. 1 is the mark of an iron chain-staple.


Origin: S. XV 2/4 ; England, London or Oxford

Provenance and Acquisition

Probably made at a Carmelite house in either London or Oxford.

Presumably UO59. 11 (in the list of Warden Thomas Harper, 12 June 1507), which had secundo folio ‘cionem’. ‘11’ 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. 126; Powicke, no. 1140; Alexander & Temple, no. 472 and pl. XXX; K. L. Scott, Later Gothic MSS 1390–1490 (A Survey of MSS Illuminated in the British Isles 6: London, 2 vols, 1992), II, p. 188.

Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2019-11-13: First online publication

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