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

Merton College MS. 323

Former shelfmark: K. 1. 9



Language(s): Latin

f. iii is headed ‘Leges Hueli dha Regis totius [mutil.]’, and includes a note by ?Thomas Allen on Howel, above whose name is drawn a crown. Otherwise pen-trials, s. xvi, and short notes and chronological calculations. Fols. iiiv-ivv blank.

(fols. 1–53; 53v-6v blank)
Welsh Laws (Latin Text, Redaction E)
Incipit: Hoelus cognomento bonus filius Cadelli Dei gratia rex Cambrie totius
Explicit: sine licentia domini s. ecclesiam molendinum et piscariam. Expliciunt leges Howeli.

Ed. H. D. Emanuel, The Latin Texts of the Welsh Laws (Cardiff, 1967), pp. 73–82, 408–517, text at 434–509. In the margin of f. 6 is a piece of text derived from the copy of the Laws in Welsh in BL, Cotton Titus D. IX (s. xiv), which was annotated by John Dee.

In the outer margin of f. 1 is a genealogical table of Dee’s family, in red, beg. ‘Rodericus Magnus Rex totius Cambriae. Regnare coepit anno 843’ and ending with ‘Ioannes Dee natus anno 1527’, continued in later hands first in red, then in ink of text, down to ‘Margareta nata Mortlaci A. 1595’.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: de officialibus curie
Form: codex
Support: Paper
Extent: 63 paper leaves (iv + 59)
Dimensions (leaf): 310 × 205 mm.
Dimensions (written): 240 × 155 mm.


A bifolium at each end, 118, 28, 314 (+ 1 after 14), 416; catchwords at the foot of each leaf.


Frame-ruled with pencil; written in c. 29 long lines.


In the neat and legible secretary hand of John Dee, who annotates extensively.




s. xvii, sprinkled, blind-tooled calf, sewn on five bands. Fols. i-ii, 58–9 are blank paper binding leaves.


Origin: S. XVI ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

On f. iii is ‘Tho: Allen:’, s. xvi, but the book is not found in the catalogue of his library: A. G. Watson, ‘Thomas Allen of Oxford and his Manuscripts’, in Medieval Scribes, Manuscripts & Libraries; Essays presented to N. R. Ker, ed. M. B. Parkes and A. G. Watson (London, 1978), pp. 279–313, at 284 n. 23, 290 n. 54, 312.

Also ‘Bibliothecae Mert: donavit Dus Thomas Clayton eques auratus et Coll: hujus Custos. Mar. 2 1680.’ Presumably acquired by Allen when John Dee’s library came on the market c. 1625–6. Excerpts by Richard James in Bodl. Libr., MS James 6, pp. 84–6, describe it as ‘MS Th. Alleni olim qui fuerat Ioh. Dee.’ ‘F. 2. 4.’ and ‘F. 2. 4. Arch.’, s. xvii-xviii.

Inside the front board is ‘Q. iv. 23.’, canc. and replaced with ‘K. 1. 9 (CCCXXIII)’ 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, p. 128; Powicke, no. 1260; Emanuel, Latin Texts of the Welsh Laws, pp. 410–12; R. J. Roberts and A. G. Watson, John Dee’s Library Catalogue (Bibliographical Soc.: London, 1990), DM160.

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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