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

Exeter College MS. 1

Documenta Cisterciensia; England, s. xiii med


Documenta Cisterciensia
Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: LVIII De Communione
Form: codex
Support: parchment FHHF
Extent: Written on 78 membrane leaves preceded and followed by two 18th-century paper flyleaves.
Dimensions (leaf): 312 × 220 mm.


18 (4 and 5 appear to be on stubs and 8 is followed by an inserted leaf) 2–88 ∥ 92 108 ∥ 112 (wants 1) ∥ 122. On the misarrangement of some leaves in quire 10 see the note before item B(i). There are no catchwords, quire signatures, or numbers.


Sewn on six bands. Standard Exeter binding: simple and quite elegant, calf over millboards, the calf bearing blind decoration of a floral type, early 19th century. Red-sprinkled edges.


Origin: s. xiiimed Later additions after 1312 (*D(i)); 1337 (C(*xi)); 1372 (C(*ix)); 1419–26 (C(*x)); s. xvin (C(*xii)) ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

The addition to this volume of Cistercian statutes of items relating to Dore Abbey leaves no doubt that the book belonged to that house, on which see D. H. Williams, White Monks in Gwent and the Border (Pontypool, 1976), 1–58.

How it reached Exeter College is unknown. Despite its absence from Ecloga, it may have been in the College in the medieval period: see Watson, Exeter, Introduction, pp. xxii–xxiii. The reference in CMA, no. 36, ‘De conversation monachorum’, is inconclusive: it may be to this manuscript, for although no such title or rubric has been observed in the book it could have been there when CMA was compiled, or the first, conspicuous, rubric on fol. 1r, ‘Incipit usus monachorum’, may be its source.

Exeter library identifications, inside the front cover, are ‘Ex: Coll: Oxon’, ‘Q6—1 Gall’ (deleted), ‘173–H–10’, the book stamp, and ‘Coxe Cat. no. 1’ (pencil). ‘10’ is on a round label on the spine.

Exeter College MS. 1 – Part A


Language(s): Latin

i. (fols. 1r-2v)
Rubric: Incipit usus monachorum. Capitulum primum.
Incipit: I De aduentu domini
Explicit: CXXI De versu refectionis.
Final rubric: Expliciunt capitula.

Capitula to item 4 below; pr. Analecta Divionensia: Documents inédits pour servir à l’histoire de France ... tirés des archives et de la bibliothèque de Dijon, 10 (Dijon, 1878), 87–91.

ii. (fols. 3r–8v)

A standard Cistercian calendar, closely resembling one in BNF, MS lat. 10431 of c. 1225–50, the most noticeable difference being our manuscript’s use of the term ‘missa’ where the BNF manuscript prefers ‘commemoracio’. To the basic text our calendar adds feasts and obits of local (and sometimes wider) significance and feasts introduced after our calendar was written. Since the obit of Philip II of France is in the original hand, the date of writing was certainly after 1223, but the danger of calculating a terminus post quem non from the absence from the original calendar of Dominic, canonized in 1234, is evident from the absence of the translation of Thomas of Canterbury from the original text when the obit of Philip II, dating from three years later, is present. A date c. 1240–50 is likely.

The following are the additions: 29 Jan. Julian; 7 Mar. Thomas Aquinas; 16 Apr. Paternus, bp. of Hereford; 29 Apr. Hugh abbot of Dore; 19 May Ivo bp. of Chartres and Solempnis anniversarium omnium monachorum ordinis nostri(?); 9 June transl. of Edward king and confessor; 16 June Richard of Chichester; 2 July Swithun and Visitation of BVM; 7 July transl. of Thomas of Canterbury; 11 July transl. of Benedict of Nursia; 12 July Anniversarium comitisse plesensis sedendo fiat; 26 July Anne; 5 Aug. Dominic OP; 25 Aug. Louis IX, king of France; 28 Aug. octave of Bernard; 26 Sept. obit of Walterus de Chabbenore; 2 Oct. transl. of Thomas of Hereford; 15 Oct. Edward king and confessor; 8 Nov. obit of Hugo de Lla (?; perhaps Ba or Ha); 18 Nov. Commemoracio parentum nostrorum; 19 Nov. Dedicacio ecclesie.

In the calendar ‘pape’ is usually erased and replaced by ‘episcopi’ but the feast of Thomas of Canterbury on 29 Dec. is not obliterated or erased. Walter of Chabbenore was presumably a benefactor or a local man but the reference to the ‘Comitissa Plesensis’ is not understood unless it be a reference to Margery, Countess of Warwick, d. 1253, who married John de Plessis, styled Earl of Warwick, d. 1263 (see G. E. C., Complete Peerage, 12/2 (1959), 366–7). The date of her death recorded there, 3 June, does not agree with the date of her anniverary in the calendar, 17 July, but the latter may be the date of her funeral.

On fol. 3v, below the calendar for Feb., is Anno domini 1515 apparuit cometa in parte occidentali per totum mensem februarij. Et eodem anno paulisper ante aparicionem[sic] dicte comete obiit Rex Lodowicus. qui duxit Mariam sororem Henrici illustrissimi Regis Anglie octaui sed minime cum ipsa convaluit.’

iii. (fol. 9r-v)
Rubric: Tabula uere cognitionis literarum dominicalium
Incipit: Tabula uere cognitionis Aurei numeri et epactarum singulis annis preteritis et futuris per annos
Explicit: Expositio presentis tabule.
Incipit: Ut autem per presentem tabulam
Explicit: cerne deorsum.
iv. (fols. 10r-64v)
[Cistercian Consuetudinary]
Incipit: || per xlª scilicet secunda et quarta et sexta
Rubric: De festiuitatibus sanctorum que a capite ieiunij usque ad dominicam palmarum euenerint .xiiij.
Incipit: Si festiuitas .xiicim. leccionum in qua laboramus
Explicit: [fol. 33v] descendat sub gradu ||
Incipit: || [fol. 34r] aliud quid
Final rubric: Hec ad biberes. Largitor omnium bonorum. benedicat potum seruorum suorum.

Pr. Analecta Divionensia (as A(i) above), 91–245 at 104/25 et seq; also by H. Séjalon, Nomasticon Cisterciense, editio nova (Solesmes, 1892), 84–211, beg. at 94/40. Because of the loss of probably two quires, chs. 1–13 are lacking except for the last few lines of 13, and because of the loss of probably eight quires between fols. 33/34 the text jumps from Documents inédits 142/34 to 174/34, Séjalon 126/15 (ch. 53) to 175/9 (ch. 90).

*v. (fols. 64v–65v, 77r–78v)
Incipit: ⟨E⟩o anno quo est litera dominicalis in circumcisione domini Missa matutinalis de dominica
Explicit: In die sancti siluestri capitulum etc. de circumcisione prima communione de sancto siluestro deinde de octauo sanctorum que ordinentur.

A pica (pie), listing the order and nature of feasts throughout the year, Jan. to Dec. Continued at *D(ii) below. On this type of work see A. Hughes, Medieval Manuscripts for Mass and Office: A Guide to their Organization and Terminology (Toronto, 1982), 299–300.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: A(i):
Dimensions (column): 220 × 80 mm.
Dimensions (column): c. 225 × 160 mm.
Dimensions (column): 260 × 170 mm.
Dimensions (column): 215 × 140 mm.
Dimensions (column): c. 260 × 90 mm.


A(i)two columns, 26 lines;

A(ii), one column, c. 34 lines;

A(iii), one column, 31 and 34 lines;

A(iv), 2 columns, 25 lines;

A(*v), two columns, c. 40–50 lines.


A(i), a large gothic semiquadrata bookhand, punctuated by low point;

A(ii), the original hand and some additions in a gothic semiquadrata bookhand but other additions in quadrata;

A(iii), gothic semiquadrata bookhand, punctuated by low point and punctus elevatus;

A(iv), gothic quadrata bookhand, punctuated by low point and punctus elevatus.


A(i), red figures, red and blue 1-line capital letters; A(ii), red and blue capitals; A(iii), rubrics, parts of text in red; A(iv), 2-line red and blue capitals, some extended, flourished in the other colour; A(*v), no decoration.

Exeter College MS. 1 – Part B


Language(s): Latin

i. (fols. 66r-68r)
Stephen Harding, Carta caritatis prior
Rubric: Incipit prologus in carta caritatis.
Incipit: De abbatis construendis. Antequam abbatie Cistercienses florere inciperent
Explicit: in diuersis et humanis exequitur.
Final rubric: Explicit prologus.
Rubric: Incipit carta caritatis.
Incipit: Quia unius ueri regis
Explicit: uisum fuerit celebretur.
Final rubric: Explicit de carta caritatis.

ed. J.-M. Canivez, Statuta capitulorum Generalium Ordinis Cisterciensis, i (Louvain, 1933), xxvi–xxxi; J. Turk, Analecta Sacri Ordinis Cisterciensis, iv (1948), 109–14; Analecta Divionensia (as A(i) above), 79–84; J. de la Croix Bouton and J. B. Van Damme, Les plus anciens textes de Cîteaux, Cîteaux. Commentarii Cisterciences Studia et Documenta, ii (Achel, 1974), 89–102. For Harding see Sharpe, Latin Writers.

ii. (fols. 68r-68v)
Cistercian statutes of 1134

Ch. 33

Rubric: De forma visitationis.
Incipit: In facienda uisitatione cautelam maximam
Explicit: in patria dare minime tenetur.

ed. Canivez (as B(i) above), 20–1; Analecta Divionensia (as A(i) above), 259–60.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Dimensions (column): 225 × 65 mm.


B(i–ii), one column, 33 lines.


B(i–ii), gothic semiquadrata bookhand, punctuated by low point.


B(i–ii), plain red 2-line capitals, some extended, rubrics.

Exeter College MS. 1 – Part C


Language(s): Latin

i. (fols. 70r–71v/4.)
Rubric: Actum anno domini .Mº .ccº. .lxº. iiijº.
Incipit: Urbanus episcopus ... uenerabili fratri suo episcopo Tricens. et dilectis filiis abbati maioris monastery Turon. et fratri G. de Bello Loco. Salutem et apostolicam benediccionem. In summi apostolatus specula disponente
Explicit: Dat’ anno domini mº cc. lxº quarto feria vi infra octauam Natiuitatis gloriose virginis Marie.

Letter of Urban IV (‘Correctorium ordinis Cisterciensis’) addressed to the bp. of Troyes, the abbot of St Martin(?), Tours, and fr. Galfridus de Bello Loco, OP, 1264, on the election of abbots and visitations.

Pr. Reg. Urb., 1, no. 862. Not in Potthast.

ii. (fols. 71v/5 to end, 69rv, 744–74v/6)
Rubric: Anno domini actum. mº.ccº.lxº.vº.
Incipit: Clemens episcopus ... Ad futuram memoriam et preteritarum rerum perpetuam recordacionem fons paruus
Explicit: Datum Perusii .v. idus Julij Pontificatus nostri anno primo. hoc est anno domini mº.ccº.lxº.vº.

Letter of pope Clement IV, issued at Perugia, 9 June 1265.

Potthast, 19185; pr. A. Tomassetti, Bullarum Romanorum pontificum editio, 24 vols. (Augsburg, 1857–88), iv (1859), 729–33; Séjalon, Nomasticon ii. 367–76; C. Cocquelines, Bullarum Romanorum pontificum collectio (Rome, 1740), iii. 429–33; Reg. Clem., no. 84.

iii. (fol. 74v/6)
Ordinance of Guido, cardinal of S. Laurentius in Lucina, 1265.
Rubric: Ordinacio domini Guidonis tituli Sancti Laurentii in Lucina Presbiter cardinal.
Incipit: Pro diffinicione habeatur que talis est. In nomine domini amen. Nos frater Guido tituli Sancti Laurentii ... et apostolice sedis legatus facto et recepto in non compromisso super discordia que uertebatur in ordine circa eleccionem seu institucionem diffinitorum
Explicit: Act. Cist. xvii kal. Octobris tempore Capitulo generalis. Anno domini mº .ccº. lxº quinto.

Pr. Canivez, ibid. iii 1935), 31–2.

iv. (fols. 74v; 72r-v)
Incipit: Uniuersis presentes literas Inspecturis Frater Johannes miseracione diuina Porticensis [recte Portuensis] et sancte Ruffine episcopus Salutem in domino. Uniuersitati uestre tenore presencium fieri volumus manifestum quod articuli infra scripta
Explicit: exclusis omnino carnibus nisi in casu secundum regulam concesso et tunc solummodo illeto medat [fol. 72r] quem ille casus attinget. ita est concordat’ ...
Final rubric: Dat’ Perusii Anno domini mº xiiº sexagesimo quinto. Indiccione octaua. quinto idus Julij. Pontificatus Domini nostri Clementis pape quarti anno primo.

Letter of John Tolet, OCist., cardinal, bp. of Porto, citing articles of Guido, cardinal of S. Laurentius in Lucina, addressed to the abbots of La Ferté-sur-Grosne, Pontigny, Clairvaux, Morimond, Savigny, Preuilly, and Chiaravalla and communicating the terms of a letter of Clement IV of 28 Dec. 1265, concerning new statutes of the order. The letter appears not to be recorded in Reg. Clem. or Potthast and the statutes are not those ed. Canivez, ibid. iii (1935), 32–5. For references to Tolet see Sharpe, Latin Writers.

v. (fols. 72v)
Incipit: Clemens episcopus ... dilectis filiis abbati Cist’ eiusque coabbatibus uniuersis ordinis Cisterciensis salutem ... Ex parte uestra fuit propositum coram nobis quod in uestro ordine est statutum ut quilibet abbas ipsius ordinis auferre possit habitum eiusdem ordinis fugitiuis
Explicit: vobis uniuersis et singulis auctoritate presentium indulgemus. Nulli ergo. etc. Datum Perusii xº.xiijº Kalendas Julii Pontificatus nostri anno primo. In serico est.

Letter of Clement IV concerning fugitives from the Cistercian order and the calling in of the secular power, 1265.

Pr. Reg. Clem., no. 123.

vi. (fols. 72v–73va/2)
Incipit: Clemens episcopus etc. Ex parte uestra coram nobis fuit propositum quod sepe contingit quod monachi uestri ordinis latas a nobis sententias suspencionis vel excommunicacionis incurrunt
Explicit: concedimus auctoritate apostolicam facultatem. Presentibus. Post trienium minime ualeturis. Datum ut supra.

Letter of Clement IV, permitting the absolution of suspended or excommunicated monks, 1265.

Not recorded in Reg. Clem. or Potthast.

vii. (fol. 73r)
Incipit: Clemens etc. Licet ad hoc fratrum uestri ordinis desudet intencio
Explicit: Datum Perusii .xv. kal. Maii anno pontificis nostri anno .jº.

Letter of Clement IV, addressed to the Cistercian abbots of Pontigny, Clairvaux, and Morimond, permitting the absolution of excommunicated monks of their order, 1265.

Not recorded in Reg. Clem. etc., but mutatis mutandis the text is the same as the letter of the same date addressed to the Premonstratensian Order printed in Bullarium ordinis Fratrum Praedicatorum, ed. T. Ripoli, i (Rome, 1729), 451. A similar letter of Alexander IV to the prior of the Carthusian Order of 20 June 1255 is printed in Les Régistres d’Alexandre IV ..., ed. C. Bourel de la Roncière et al., Bibliothèque des écoles françaises d’Athènes et de Rome, sér. 2, XV (Paris, 1902), no. 899.

viii. (fol. Fol. 73r-v)
Rubric: Actum Anno domini .mº .ccº .lxvº.
Incipit: Clemens Episcopus seruus seruorum domini. Ad perpetuam rei memoriam super diuersis articulis inter personas Cysterciensis ordinis dudum materia diffinicionis exorta. Nos disiderantes ipsius ordinis fame
Explicit: prout ilia supra expressimus in ipsius cardinalis literis contineri ||

Letter of Clement IV to the Cistercian Order, 1265, concerning recent disputes which have affected the Order. It specifies the procedures to be used in electing 25 diffinitores to resolve disputes at annual General Chapters and sets up procedures for examining and resolving the special grievances of the abbot of Clairvaux and his supporters.

*ix. (fol. 75r)
Incipit: Reuerendo in Christo patri domino Nicholao permissione divina Abbati monasterii Westm. prope London’. Ad Romanam ecclesiam nullo medio pertinentium iurum et privilegiorum religiosis viris Abbatibus et Conuentibus monasteriorum ordinis Cisterciensis a sede apostolico specialiter indultorum conseruatori ab eadem sede apostolica deputato; fratrive Thome Pyk archidiacono ecclesie Conventualis West’ subconservatori seu Commissario per eundem patrem in hac parte sub certa forma deputato
Explicit: Et sic mandatum vestrum[sic] sum cum omni reverentia executor. In cuius rei testimonium sigillum officii domini subdecani Herforden’ apponi procuravi presentibus. Et nos subdecanus Herford’ ad instanciam et personalem rogatum dicti T. W. sigillum officij nostri presentibus apposuimus. Dat’ Herford’ xix die mensis Aprilis. Anno domini millesimo Trecentesimo septuagesimo secundo.

Letter of 13 Apr. 1372 from one T. W. to Abbot Nicholas Lytlington of Westminster or Thomas Pyk, archdeacon of Westminster, reporting the execution of their writ of 18 Mar. 1372 ordering the arrest of S. and T. to answer to the charge that they have despoiled the abbey of Dore. On Lytlington and Pyk see E. H. Pearce, The Monks of Westminster (Cambridge, 1916), 85 and 94 respectively.

*x. (fol. 75r)
A form letter
Incipit: Venerabili in Christo patri et domino domino Philippo dei gracia Wygorn’ Episcopo ... Sui humiles et deuoti Ricardus abbas monasterii beate Marie de Dora ordinis Cisterciensis et eiusdem loci conuentus
Explicit: In cuius rei testimonium Sigillum nostrum presentibus apposui. Dat’ in domo nostra

A form of letter from Richard, abbot of Dore, recommending two monks, N. and N., to Phillip, bp. of Worcester, i.e. Philip Morgan, bp. 1419–26. Followed by a pen-trial.

*xi. (fol. 75v)
Incipit: Benedictus seruus seruorum Dei. dilectis filiis uniuersis abbatibus et Conuentibus Cist. per regnum Anglie ... Presignis ordinis vestri religio fecunditate referta
Explicit: Dat’ Auinione ijᵉ Nonas February pontificatus nostri Anno tertio Johanne Brunham teste. R xxviij. Hec bulla invenietur in abbathia de parco Lude. Eustach &c.

A mandate of Benedict XIII, 1337, against those who molest members of the Cistercian Order contrary to statutes of Innocent IV and Boniface VIII.

Pr. Benoit XII (1334–1342) Lettres communes, ed. J.-M. Vidal, Bibliothèque des écoles françaises d’Athènes et de Rome, sér. 3, ii bis (Paris, 1903), no. 4872. The abbey De Parco Lude is the Cistercian abbey of Louth Park, Lincolnshire. Eustacius filius Willielmi occurs in the confirmation charter of Henry III, 1224 (see W. Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum, new edn., 6 vols. in 8 (London, 1817–30), v. 414). In a hand of s. xiv.

*xii. (fol. 75v)
Incipit: Felix namque es sacra virgo maria et omni laude dignissima quia ex te ortus est sol iusticie christus deus noster alleluia.

A noted offertorium on a 4-line stave for feasts of the Blessed Virgin, SM 307 n. 9. In a hand of s. xvin. At the top of the page are three names in hands of s. xv, Thomas Clebery (a man of that name was elected abbot of Dore in 1516 but the hand seems too early to permit an identification with him), Thomas Sanbasch, and Dan Water Herforde.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Dimensions (column): 225 × 255 mm.


C(iii), one column, 41 lines; remaining items are of various dimensions. Ruled in crayon.


C(i–ix), several gothic bookhands which have, however, documentary elements such as longer ascenders, punctuated by low point;

C(*x)–C(*xii), several documentary hands.

Musical Notation:

A noted offertorium on a 4-line stave (added, s. xvin).


C(i–ix), plain red 2-line capitals, rubrics, paraphs, stroking. Thereafter there is no decoration.

Exeter College MS. 1 – Part *D


Language(s): Latin

i. (fol. 76r/v)
Incipit: Recordacio dierum tentorum apud Cochardesacre Anno domini millesimo cccº duodecimo. Die veneris proxima post festum sancti Dyonisij martiris Anno Regni Regis Edwardi «secundi» sexto presentibus Ricardo de Atforton Willelmo de Stretton Edmund’ le Waleys
Explicit: et aliis fidedignis. Venit frater Johannes de la Walkyngmulne apud Cochardisacre et fecit legem suam quam alias vadiavit contra dominum Johannem de la Warre per consideracionem proborum hominum ...

A record of nineteen agreements made at ‘Cochardisacre’, 1312. Witnesses to the last item include obedientiaries of Dore Abbey. After this there follow (a) a pen-trial ‘Nouerint vniuėrsi per presentes quod Ego Thomas Minton de Monke Moille pro Johanne de Hato’ (s. xv); (b) another pen-trial, ‘Indentura facta inter abbate et conuentus monasterij Beate Marie de Dora ex una parte et Johannes lyyttefoot Ex alia parte scilicet quod predicti abbas et conuentus una voluntate Et consensu rediderunt et ad firmam demiserunt Predicto iohanni videlicet’ (s. xv); (c) a prayer beg. ‘Domine dominus noster quam admirabile est nomen tuum …’ (s. xv); (d) a three-line pen-trial, apparently in Latin but perhaps gibberish (s. xv).

ii. (fol. 77r-78v)
Rubric: [Ordo festorum secundum literas dominicales.]

Part of A(*v).

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment


*D(i)-(ii), several documentary hands.



Additional Information

Record Sources

Andrew G. Watson, A descriptive catalogue of the medieval manuscripts of Exeter College, Oxford (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 2000.


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

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)

Funding of Cataloguing

Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Rector and Fellows of Exeter College.

Last Substantive Revision

2020-04-29: First online publication

See the Availability section of this record for information on viewing the item in a reading room.