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

Exeter College MS. 28

William of Wheatley, W. de Monte, Grosseteste; etc.; England, s. xiv1


For a description of the volume see Codices Boethiani: A Conspectus of Manuscripts of the Works of Boethius. I. Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, ed. M. T. Gibson and L. Smith (Warburg Institute Surveys and Texts, 25; London, 1995), 227–8, no. 215.

Composite: A: fols. 1 (2)-250 (249b) || B: fols. 251 (250)-285 (284) || C: fols. 286 (283)-308 (307)

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: A euitat
Secundo Folio: B qui existentibus
Secundo Folio: C eligere
Form: codex
Support: parchment FHHF
Extent: 308 leaves preceded by one printed flyleaf and its turnover (fols. ii, i), one 18th-century paper flyleaf (fol. iii), a medieval membrane flyleaf and its turnover (fols. v, iv); and followed by the same sequence of leaves in reverse order.
Dimensions (leaf): 355 × 230 mm.


1–308 3110 ∥ 328 338 (8 canc.) 348 358 (5 canc.) 364 (2 + 1) ∥ 3712 3812 (12 canc.). Catchwords throughout by the scribe of the text. Quire signatures in A are usually rough crayon strokes 1–4, but one quire has red Aj, Aij, etc. and another has red arabic numerals; others, in B, are in the form a, b, c, d, + , in crayon on the first five leaves of quires.


Sewn on six bands between millboards covered with reversed calf, with triple blind fillets round the outer edges, s. xvii. Printed binding leaves at front and back, from the same, probably incunable, copy of Gratian’s Decreta as the leaves in MSS 26, 30, and 43, which are bound in the same style, were probably added by the 17th-century binder rather than being taken over from an earlier binding.


Origin: s. xiv1 ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

On fol. vv (1v) is ‘Liber iste fuit emptus scolaribus de Stapeldon Hall cum bonis magistrorum Henrici Whitefeld et Johannis Landreyn. Oretis igitur pro vtroque.’ Whitfeld was one of the bp. of Exeter’s visitors to the college, in 1371, 1374, and 1378 and was alive in 1384. Landreyn was a fellow of Exeter, d. 1409. On both men see BRUO. Entries in the Rector’s Accounts for 1389 which refer only to the Boethius texts in this volume suggest that the other items were added after it reached the College (e.g. ‘⟨reddit compotus de⟩ centum solidis de bonis M. Henrici Wytfelde pro libris philosophie emendis’, ‘reddit compotus de v marcis solitis pro boicio de disciplina scolarium et de consolacione philosophie emptis ⟨ad⟩ vsum domus’), but the above inscription is followed by a contents list, also of s. xv1, which shows that the contents were then as they are now except that a final item was ‘Lincoln de libero arbitrio aliter quam prius’, i.e. Recension 1: see Thomson, Grosseteste, 11.

On fol. Ir (308r), are ‘Finiunt opera Boecii cum Jº’ and ‘die sancti Vlstani gracia ei(?) concessa’, both perhaps of s. xv and if so dating from after the book’s arrival at Stapledon Hall.

On fol. 1r (2r) is ‘Gulihelmus Whetley commentator huius libri’ in a hand of s. xvimed.

On fol. 173 (174), as in MSS 37 fol. 109, 38 fol. 94, and 40 fol. 47, a tab has been created by cutting the membrane; on it is ‘Grosthead August.’ in a hand of s. xviiin.

Although not recorded in Ecloga, the book was surely in the College in medieval times, since Bale, Index, 377, records several Grosseteste texts from it, items C(iv–vi). CMA, 43.

Exeter library identifications are, inside the front cover: bookplate 1, ‘E1—22’ and ‘Q8—8 Gall’ (both deleted), ‘172–G–8’ and ‘Coxe Cat. no. XXVIII’.

Exeter College MS. 28 – Part A (fols. 1 (2)-248 (249))


Language(s): Latin

i. (fols. 1r (2r)-67v (68v))
William of Wheatley, Commentarius in Boethii Disciplina scolarium
Incipit: Hominum natura multipliciter est serva. Ista propositio scripta est a philosopho
Incipit: (comm.) Primo cum iste liber sit de disciplina scolarium
Incipit: (text) [fol. 1v (2v)] Vestra nouit intencio de scolarium disciplina
Explicit: Licet prima quum salua fiant iudicia vltima ...
Explicit: (comm.) auctor tocius dulcedinis et fragrancie per omnia seculorum secula. Amen.
Final rubric: Explicit liber Boecii de disciplina scolarium in hunc modum ordinatus ac compilatus per quendam magistrum qui rexit scolas Stamfordie. anno ab incarnacione Domini millesimo tricentesimo nono. Ipso incipiente die lune post festum Sancti Martini in yeme et terminante in vigilia palmarum proxima sequente.

ed. H. F. Sebastian, ‘William of Wheteley’s Commentary on the Pseudo-Boethian tractate De disciplina scholarium and medieval grammar school education’, (Ph.D. thesis, Columbia University, 1970). P. O. Lewry, ‘Four graduation speeches from Oxford manuscripts (c. 1270–1310)’, Mediaeval Studies, 44 (1982), 138–80, at 139–40, quotes from fol. 61rb–va (62rb–va). The Ps.-Boethius text in our manuscript is no. 63 in the edn. by O. Weijers (Leiden, 1976), 78–9, and Wheatley’s commentary (one of the earliest) is no. 15 in the list of commentaries, ibid. 23–4. For Wheatley, master of Stamford School, see also Sharpe, Latin Writers, and BRUO, but note that Emden conflates two men; the entry for our man begins at 3. 2031/6.

ii. (fols. 67v(68v)-204v(205v))
William of Wheatley, Commentarius in Boethii Consolatione philosophiae
Incipit: (text) Hic incipit liber Boetii de consolacione philosophie. Philosophie seruas ut tibi contingat vera libertas.
Incipit: (comm.) Ista proposicio scripta est a Seneca
Incipit: (text) [fol. 69r(70r)] Carmina qui condam studio florente
Explicit: (comm.) [fol. 199r(200r)] cui sit honor et gloria in secula. Amen. Anitij Manlij Seuerinij Boetij Exconsulis Ordinarij Patricij Philosophie Consolationis Liber ultimus explicit. Carmina. In isto primo methro plangit Boecius suum statum ...
[fol. 199v(200v)-204v(205v)]
[tabulae to books 1–5]
Final rubric: Expliciunt conclusions .v. libri Boecij de consolatione philosophie.

unprinted. For two other manuscripts see Sharpe, Latin Writers.

iii. (fols. 205r (206r)-248r (249r))
Ps.-Aquinas, Quaestiones in Consolatione Philosophiae Boethii
Incipit: (text) Carmina qui condam studio florente peregi
Incipit: (comm.) Quia in isto libro qui est liber Boecii de consolacione
Explicit: temporum successione. set earundem similitate. Amen. ue.
Final rubric: Expliciunt questiones super quartum librum Boecij de consolacione philosophie. Mando lettori post mortem gaudia celi | Ut det scriptori. roget deum ore fideli. quod Solg(?)re

pr. Nürnberg, 1476 (GW 4526; BMC ii. 413), etc. For this and other attributions (William of Wheatley, Thomas Waleys, Marquard l’Ecossais) see P. Courcelle, La Consolation de philosophie dans la tradition littéraire (Paris, 1967), 322–3. The name at the end is presumably that of the scribe but the reading of the fourth letter is no more than conjectural; it is perfectly clear and looks like a medieval figure 7. There is a village named Sulgrave in Northamptonshire.

*iv. (fol. 248v (249v))
A formula for confession
Incipit: Has horas canonicas cum deuocione Christo tibi recolo pia racione vt qui tibi pia racione(?) vt qui pro me passus es amoris ardore sis mihi solacium in mortis langore. Confiteor tibi pater creator
Explicit: qui viuit et regnat in secula seculorum.
Final rubric: Explicit confessio generalis beati Augustini.
(32 lines), added s. xiv; Bloomfield, no. 0939. Unprinted. The text in BL, MS Royal 10 A. viii, item 1, is essentially the same. Fol. 250rv (249brv) is blank.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Dimensions (column): 265 × 80–85 mm.


two columns, c. 54 lines of gloss and half that number of text. Ruled in crayon.


For the lemmata a large, uneven bastard anglicana;

for the text a university type of gothic rotunda; punctuated by high and medial points.


Good quality red-and-blue lombards, 2/7-line, the larger ones with half-borders, all infilled with leaf pattern,

also plain red and blue 2/5-line initials; red and blue paraphs, red underlining.

Exeter College MS. 28 – Part B (fols. 251 (250)-(fol. 285 (284))


Language(s): Latin

(fols. 251r (250r)-285r(284v))
Ps.-William de Montibus, 'Filius Matris' sermon collection
Incipit: (prol.) Viro bone fame uita que celeberrimo domino. .W. de Gracia .N. dispensatori fidelissimi filius matris sue
Explicit: (prol.) debitam reuerenciam non exhibere.
Rubric: In aduentu domini secundum Matheum. Rª.
Incipit: Appropinquam dominus ihesus Ier. etc. Non sine magni causa misterij dominicus hic adventus in ierusalem
Explicit: Qui uiuit et regnat deus per omnia secula seculorum Amen. Explicit tractatus quidam qui uocatur filius matris. cum quibusdam predicacionibus super quatuor euangelistas. Deo gracias.

Schneyer, ii. 509–13. J. Goering, William de Montibus (c.1140–1213): The Schools and the Literature of Pastoral Care (Toronto, 1992), 522–3, argues against the attribution to William. Our series includes sermons 1–23, 25–6, 32–3, 36, 38–40, 48, 56–7 in Schneyer’s list. Included at the end, apparently as part of the series but by other authors, are the following four sermons:

(a). (fol. 282r (281r))
Stephen Langton, Sermo de sancta Maria
Incipit: Numquid producis Luciferum in tempore suo

Schneyer, v. 484 no. 225, and also in Schneyer’s list of Langton sermons in RTAM 29 (1962), 159–205, at 184; no. 58a in list in P. B. Roberts, Stephanus de Lingua-Tonante: Studies in the Sermons of Stephen Langton (Toronto, 1968), at 180.

(b). (fol. 283v (282v))
Incipit: Quid est quod delectus meus in domo mea facit scelera multa. Ita conquiritur dominus per Ieremiam de prelatis ecclesie qui dilecti eius debent esse.
(c). (fol. 284r (283r))
Geoffrey Babion, Sermo de gratitudine erga Deum
Rubric: De passione domini sermo
Incipit: Popule meus quid feci tibi. Aut quem molestus fui

pr. PL 171. 828–33 (as Hildebert, no. 106), Schneyer, ii. 152, no. 24. For attribution to Babion see J.-P. Bonnes, Revue Bénédictine, 56 (1945–6), 174–215, at 201, no. 24.

(d). (fol. 285r (284r))
Geoffrey Babion, Sermo in letania maiori,

pr. PL 171. 572–4 (as Hildebert), no. 46. For attribution to Babion see Bonnes, loc. cit., 201, no. 26.

Comparison with the series of ‘Filius Matris’ sermons in Bodleian MS Bodl. 303 (SC 2089) shows that despite the excision of leaves in quires 33 and 35 between fols. 265–6 (264–5) and 277–8 (276–7) there is no loss of text in our manuscript. On William see Sharpe, Latin Writers. After the explicit of this item, in the same hand, is ‘Cum te formaui non in hac te fede locaui | In mea regna redi quia te moriendo redemi’, Walther, Initia, 3826, cited from this manuscript only but cf. ibid. 3832.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Dimensions (column): 270 × 90 mm.


two columns, 52 lines. Ruled in crayon.


Anglicana formata; punctuated by punctus elevatus and low point.


A 6-line red-and-blue lombard on fol. 251r(250r) (and smaller ones throughout) infilled with delicate leaf and tendril patterns, also blue lombards flourished red, and red lombards flourished mauve. Rubrics, red paraphs, red underlining.

Exeter College MS. 28 – Part C (fols. 286 (283)-308 (307))


Language(s): Latin

i. (fols. 286r (283r)-290r (289r))
Ps.-Augustine, De praedestinatione et gratia Dei
Rubric: Liber beati Augustini de predestinacione et gracia Dei et est quintus inter eius sermones.
Incipit: Cum in sacrarum voluminibus litterarum
Explicit: voragine decidamus.

pr. PL 45. 1665–78; PL 65. 843–54; CPL 383; Römer, ii/1. 151.

ii. (fols. 290r (289r))
Augustine, Sermo 49, De patientia liber 1
Rubric: Item sermo eiusdem de paciencia. xlix.
Incipit: Virtus animi que paciencia dicitur
Explicit: donatum est caritati.

pr. PL 40. 611–26; CSEL 41. 663–91; CPL 308; Römer, ii/1. 147.

iii. (fols. 294r (293r)-295v (294v))
Augustine, Sermo 99, De remissione peccatorum
Rubric: Sermo sancti Augustini Episcopi In Natali sancte Marie Magdalene.
Incipit: Evangelium cum legeretur attentissime audistis et res gesta
Explicit: Ex ipso et isti sunt numero. qui dicunt noli me tangere.

pr. PL 38. 595–602. Our text begins in line 5 of ch. 1 of the printed text and ends in line 9 of ch. 8 (col. 599).

iv. (fols. 295v (294v)-297v (296v))
Robert Grosseteste, De veritate
Rubric: Libellus domini Roberti grosse teste Lincoln’ Episcopi de ueritate.
Incipit: Ego sum via veritas
Explicit: diuersificata in singulis.
Final rubric:

pr. Venice, 1514, fols. 7v–9r; ed. Baur, Grosseteste, 130–43 (MS Ex); Thomson, Grosseteste, 119–20, no. 74. On Grosseteste see Sharpe, Latin Writers.

v. (fols. 297v (296v)-306v (305v))
Robert Grosseteste, De libero arbitrio (Recension 1)
Rubric: Libellus domini Roberti grosse teste Lincoln’ Episcopi de libero arbitrio.
Incipit: Cum per arbitrii libertatem
Explicit: uoluntati contrarium.

ed. by N. Lewis from our manuscript, the only extant copy of the earlier recension, ‘The first recension of Robert Grosseteste’s De libero arbitrio’, Mediaeval Studies, 53 (1991), 1–88 (MS E); previously ed. Baur, Grosseteste, 150–226 (‘Recension II’); Thomson, Grosseteste, 91, no. 35 (’Recension’ II). Thomson records two copies made from our manuscript, Bodleian MS Jones 15 (SC 8922), fols. 1–85 (s. xvii2) and Dublin, Archbishop Marsh’s Library, MS 3. 6. 20 (s. xviimed). Lewis remarks that it seems likely that our manuscript does not contain the complete text of the earlier version but rather that the scribe failed to finish his copy or was working from an incomplete exemplar.

Fol. 306v (305v) is blank.

vi. (fols. 307r (306r)-308va (307va))
Robert Grosseteste, Quinque quaestiones theologice (De Dei scientia I)
Rubric: De scientia Dei quomodo scit singularia ista.
Incipit: Queritur de scientia Dei ... Quidam enim dicunt
Explicit: generat pater et generat filium.

unprinted. The text is known only from this manuscript: Thomson, 113, no. 67.

vii. (fols. 308vb (307vb))
Robert Grosseteste, De statu causarum (De causis)
Rubric: De statu causarum.
Incipit: Aristoteles in primo secundi philosophie supponens causas …
Explicit: in eodem sit[sic] causa prima ||

pr. Venice, 1514, fols. 4r–5v; ed. Baur, Grosseteste, 120–6. A fragment; lines 1–12 only. Thomson, 117, no. 70.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Dimensions (column): 265 × 75 mm.


two columns, 52 lines. Ruled in crayon.


Anglicana formata; punctuated by punctus elevatus and low point.


No colour. Occasional headings in ornamental bastard anglicana.

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.

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