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

Exeter College MS. 41

Johannes de Burgo, Pupilla oculi; Concilia ecclesiastica; England, s. xv1

Physical Description

Composite: fols. 1–173 || fols. 174–221
Secundo Folio: A: (fol. 1) sed relacio
Secundo Folio: B: (fol. 3) et inhonestum.
Form: codex
Support: parchment FHHF
Extent: Written on 221 well-prepared leaves preceded by two eighteenth-century paper flyleaves and followed by two others.
Dimensions (leaf): 340 × 220 mm.


18 (wants 1), 2–208 ∥ 218 228 (wants 6–8) 23–268 278 (wants 4–6) 2810 294 (4 canc.). Catchwords by scribe(s). No signatures or quire numbers in A. In B, beginning on the second quire, are the remains of a series of quire letters a–e(?) on first rectos.


Bound 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; edges sprinkled. On the spine is a red leather label with a gold title. Endbands originally red, blue, and white (or brown?).


Origin: s. xv1 ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

Unknown. Recorded at Exeter c. 1600 as Ecloga, no. 16, then CMA, no. 32.

Exeter library identifications are, on the pastedown, ‘C2–12’, ‘P8–10 Gall’ (both deleted), ‘173–H–6’, bookplate 3, and ‘Coxe. Cat. no. XLI’. On the spine is a round paper label with ‘6’ on it.

Exeter College MS. 41 – Part A (fols. 1–173)


Language(s): Latin

i. (fols. 1r-159v)
Johannes de Burgo, Pupilla oculi
Incipit: || sed relacio ordinis ad aram sacramenti
Explicit: sub denario numero parcium terminatur.
Final rubric: Explicit pupilla oculi.

pr. Paris, 1510, etc.; Bloomfield, no. 2441. Because of the excision of the first leaf our text begins in ch. 2, at sig. aiijva/43–4 of the Paris, 1510 edn. On the author see BRUC (s.n. Burgh); Sharpe, Latin Writers; also L. E. Boyle, ‘The Oculus Sacerdotis and some other works of William de Pagula’ (as MS 19 above), 84–5, 94–5.

ii. (fols. 160r-173r)
A table to A(i)
Incipit: Abbas quid si sciat per confessionem
Explicit: Ypocrisis ... uel subsequentem et inuenies quod queris.
Final rubric: Explicit tabula super pupillam oculi. Deo gracias Amen.

Virtually the same as that in the Paris, 1510 edn. sigs. riiiijv–sviiijv. Reference is to parts, chapters, and lettered subdivisions of chapters. Fol. 173 is no more than a fragment c. 90 × 80 mm containing the last nine lines of text and two lines of colophon, the rest, presumably blank, having been excised.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment FHHF
Dimensions (column): 240 × 67 mm.


Two columns, 49 lines. Ruled in crayon.


Several gothic semiquadrata/rotunda bookhands, punctuated with low and medial points.


Lacks the first leaf, presumably one with a decorated border. At the beginning of parts 2–9 (fols. 1v, 8v, 10r, 26v, 79r, 81v, 111r, 134v, 150v, 160v), there survive fine illuminated initials with extenders which develop into bar-frame borders, the main colours being flame or orange, brown, and dark blue.

Throughout there are 2/5-line blue lombards flourished red, red and blue paraphs, rubrics, lemmata underlined in red. Running titles have 1-line red lombards flourished mauve, and blue flourished red.

Exeter College MS. 41 – Part B (fols. 174–221)


Language(s): Latin

i. (fols. 174r-177v)
Canons of the Council of Oxford, 1222
Rubric: Incipiunt constituciones prouinciales in consilio Oxon’ celebrato editum per dominum Stephanum Cantuariensis archiepiscopum anno domini mº. CCCº xxiiº et anno regni Regis Henrici filij Johannis viiiº.
Incipit: Et autoritate dei patris omnipotentis
Explicit: ecclesiis solempniter iterentur.

pr. Powicke and Cheney, ii. 106–25. On the text see also C. R. Cheney, ‘Legislation of the medieval English church’, EHR 50 (1935), 193–224, 385–417, at 100–4 (repr. in C. R. Cheney, The English Church and its Laws 12th–14th Centuries (London, 1982)).

ii. (fols. 177v-181v)
Canons of the provincial council of Abp. Boniface, 1261,
Rubric: Constituciones domini Bonefacij Cantuariensis archiepiscopi apud Westm’ aut apud Lambythe edite anno domini mº. CCº. lxx. aut lxxijº.
Incipit: Universis sancte matris ecclesie filiis per Cantuar. prouinciam constitutis
Explicit: sigilla nostra duximus apponenda.
Final rubric: Expliciunt constituciones Bonefacii Cantuariensis archiepiscopi.

pr. Powicke and Cheney, ii. 669–85. On the text see ibid. 660–7, and see also Cheney, EHR 50 (1935) as in (i) above, at 402–6.

iii. (fols. 181v-183v)
Canons of the provincial council of Abp. John Pecham, 1279
Rubric: Incipiunt constituciones de Redyng edite ibidem per fratrem Johannem Pecham Cantuariensis archiepiscopum iijº kl Augusti. anno domini mº. Ixxixº. et consecracionis sue anno iijº de institucionibus et destitucionibus.
Incipit: Audistis fratres conscripti istius constitucionis tenorem
Explicit: in sequenti capitulo ipsum fecerit recitari.

pr. Powicke and Cheney, i. 833–51, and Wilkins, Concilia, ii. 33–6. Our text contains certain canons only, in Powicke and Cheney’s order, 4, 6, 11, 2, 3. See C. R. Cheney, ‘The so-called statutes of John Pecham and Robert Winchelsey for the province of Canterbury’, JEH 12 (1961), 13–34 (repr. in Cheney, The English Church, as (i) above).

iv. (fols. 183v-188v)
Canons of the provincial council of Abp. John Pecham, 1281,
Rubric: Constituciones Pecham anno domini mº xiiºdio[sic] .iº.
Incipit: Ab exordio nascentis ecclesie christiane ortodoxi patres
Explicit: Acta sunt hec in consilio de Lamhithe celebrata ... anno Regni illustris regis Edwardi Anglie ixº et consecracionis nostre iiiº.

pr. Powicke and Cheney, ii. 892–918, and Wilkins, Concilia, ii. 51–61.

v. (fols. 188v)
An undated canon of Abp. John Pecham
Rubric: Hec est constitucio sequens Johannis Pecham secundum aliquos libros de imitando crismate singulis amis.
Incipit: Cum sacri crismatis confeccio
Explicit: credimus intellectum.

pr. Powicke and Cheney, ii. 1120–1, and Wilkins, Concilia, ii. 48–9, from Oxford, Balliol College, MS 158 fols. 165v–6v.

vi. (fols. 188v-189v)
The so-called statutes of Abp. Robert Winchelsey, 1295
Rubric: Incipiunt constituciones prouinciales domini Roberti de Wynchilse Cantuariensis archiepiscopi uel domini Stephani de Langton’ apud Merton edite de decimis et nutrimentis animalium anno domini mº. xiiº. lxº.
Incipit: Quoniam propter diuersas consuetudines inpetendo decimas
Explicit: intumbit reperare ... Item compellendi sunt ... sub meliori forma posterius.
Final rubric: Expliciunt constitutiones domini Roberti Cantuariensis archiepiscopi.

pr. Wilkins, Concilia, ii. 278–80. See Cheney, JEH12 (1961), as (iii) above; also Powicke and Cheney, ii. 792–3.

vii. (fols. 189v-190r)
So-called statutes of Abp. Stephen Langton, 1210
Rubric: Incipiunt constitutiones de Lameth per dominum Stephanum de Langton’ Cantuariensem archiepiscopum et in quibusdam libris iste constituciones preterdicte constituciones de Merton’ de modo dandi mortuarium.
Incipit: Statutum felicis recordacionis Regis predecessoris nostri de mortuarijs
Explicit: uel propria necessitate manifeste absente.

pr. Wilkins, Concilia, i. 530–1, as far as ‘necessitate absente.’

viii. (fols. 190r-191v)
Canons of the provincial council of Abp. Simon Mepham, 1328
Rubric: Incipiunt constitutiones uenerabilis patris domini Simonis Mepham Cantuariensis archiepiscopi tocius Anglie primatis in consilio prouinciali apud Sanctum Paulum London’ celebrato mense fe. anno domini mº CCCº xxviijº videlicet die veneris ante celebrationem sancti Pauli.
Incipit: Zelari oportet pro domino Deo suo ecclesiarum prelatos
Explicit: ipsius arbitrio moderandum.

pr. Wilkins, Concilia, ii. 552–4.

ix. (fols. 191v-192r)
Canons of the provincial council held by Abp. Simon Mepham, 1322,
Rubric: Incipiunt constituciones prouinciales domini Stephani[sic] Mepham Cantuariensis archiepiscopi edide[sic] apud Lameth de ornamentis altaris et clericis circa illud ministrantibus.
Incipit: Linthiamina corporalia palle tuelle
Explicit: penitenciam suscepturi.
Final rubric: Expliciunt constituciones domini Stephani Mepham Cantuariensis archiepiscopi et secundum quosdam libros secuntur constituciones prouinciales .J. Stratford Cantuariensis archiepiscopi edite London’ in consilio prouinciali xº die mensis Octobris anno domini mº CCCº xlijº ne in primatis oratorijs missarum solempnia de cetero sine episcopi licencia celebrato.

pr. Wilkins, Concilia, ii. 513ª/26 ‘Linteamina’ to line 46 ‘minus una’, 513b/24 ‘sacerdos in penitencia’, to 514ª/6 ‘et non aliena’ (MS reads ‘et non alterius’). Wilkins ascribes them to Abp. Walter Reynolds. Also pr. by H. Spelman, Concilia, ii (London, 1664), 497–8, ascribed to Abp. Mepham.

There follow without a break seven chapters of which only the first three are pr. by Wilkins, ii. 512–13, but all are pr. by Spelman, 498–500. They are (a) ‘De conseruacione olei et crismatis’; (b) ‘De sacramento matrimonii et quando debet celebrari’; (c) ‘De sacramento ordinis et examinacione in eo facienda’; (d) ‘Ne res ecclesie impignorentur’; (e) ‘Ne de bonis ecclesiasticis domus in laico feodo edificentur nec ecclesia beneficia laico dentur ad firmam’; (f) ‘Ne inclusi aliqua modo constituantur sine licencia episcopi’; (g) ‘De sentencia generalis excommunicacionis maioris publicanda’.

x. (fols. 192v-195v)
Canons of the provincial council of Abp. John Stratford, 1342
Incipit: Quam sit inhonestum et reuerencie diuine contrarium
Explicit: imposterum habeat declaratum.

pr. Wilkins, Concilia, ii. 696–702. These form the second series of Stratford’s canons, as described by Cheney, EHR 50 (1935), as item B(i) above, at 415–17. For the third series see the item next following.

xi. (fols. 195v-200r)
Canons of the provincial council of Abp. John Stratford, 1342, issued May 1343
Rubric: Incipiunt constituciones domini .J. de Stratford Cantuariensis archiepiscopi edite anno domini mº CCC xlijº jdus ij mensis Octobris die Mercurij proxima post festum sancti Edwardi Regis et martiris et publicate erant anno domini CCCº xliijº in ecclesia sancti Pauli London’.
Incipit: Sponsam Christi sacrosanctam ecclesiam
Explicit: ad prestacionem[sic] predictarum decimarum compellatis.

pr. Wilkins, Concilia, ii. 702–9. Our text contains chs. 1–14, lacking 15–17. This forms the third series of Stratford’s canons, as described by Cheney, EHR 50 (1935), as item B(i) above.

xii. (fols. 200rv)
A statute De oblacionibus et emolumentis issued by Abp. William Courteney
Rubric: De oblacionibus et emolumentis non recipiendis perpresbiteros anniuersarios sine licencia rectorum sine vicariorum.
Incipit: Cum secundum legem dominicam ex qua sanctorum patrum emanarunt
Explicit: saltern semel volumus publicari.

pr. Wilkins, Concilia, iii. 213ª–214b/39 from Registrum Courteney fol. 76b collated inter alia with Balliol College MS 158 (not MS 301, which Wilkins cites under its old pressmark R. 14). In the margin above our text a later hand wrote a title which appears in the Balliol manuscript, ‘Hec est constitucio Willelmi Courtenay et confirmacio constitucionis Roberti Wynchysley que sequitur post. Et incipit Presbyteri’; for this see item xx below.

xiii. (fols. 200v-201r)
Statutes of Abp. Richard of Dover, 1175
Rubric: Incipit celebratum consilium apud Westm. tempore Ricardi archiepiscopi Cantuariensis anno domini mº lxvº de clericis contrahentibus matrimonium.
Incipit: Si quis sacerdos uel clericus in sacris ordinibus
Explicit: talis coniunccio tolleretur.

pr. Wilkins, Concilia, i. 477–9, of which our text has chs. 1–7, 9, 12, 16, 18. Also pr. D. Whitelock, M. Brett, and C. N. L. Brooke, Councils and Synods I. A.D. 871–1204, part II 1066–1204 (Oxford, 1981), 983–92, of which our text lacks chs. 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 18, and has the first half only of 19. On the text of the canons see Cheney, EHR 50 (1935), as in item B(i) above.

xiv. (fols. 201r-202r)
The writ Circumspecte agatis, 14 Edward I, 1286
Rubric: Casus in quibus iudex ecclesiasticus potest regia prohibitione non obstante concessioneper cartam regiam.
Incipit: Edwardus Dei gracia rex anglorum etc. ... Sciatis quod dum dudum temporibus progenitorum nostrorum
Explicit: In cuius rei testimonium has litteras nostras fieri fecimus patentes teste me ipso apud Ebor’ xxiiijº die mensis Nouembris anno regni nostri xiiijº.

pr. SR i. 101; Powicke and Cheney, ii. 974–5 and references. For the date of the writ see E. B. Graves, ‘Circumspecte agatis’, EHR 43 (1928), 1–20; our copy is not listed there.

xv. (fols. 202r)
Letter of Edward II, 1320, quoting the writ Circumspecte agatis above,
Rubric: Litem domini regis directa iusticiarijs suis pro moderanda prohibicione regia.
Incipit: Rex iusticiarijs salutem. circumspecte agatis de negotio tangente dominum Norwycensem et eius clerum
Explicit: nisi habeat prius regiam consultacionem.

pr. Wilkins, Concilia, ii. 497.

xvi. (fols. 202r-204v)
The so-called canons of the provincial council of Abp. Edmund Rich, c. 1236
Rubric: Incipiunt constituciones prouinciales sancti Edmundi Cantuariensis archiepiscopi qui sunt irregulares et suspensi mero iure.
Incipit: In primis igitur ⟨in⟩ virtute spiritus sancti districte precipimus
Explicit: inuicem prestent auxilium.
Final rubric: Expliciunt constituciones Edmundi Cantuariensis archiepiscopi.

pr. Wilkins, Concilia, i. 635–40. The last three of Wilkins’s chapters are preceded in our manuscript (fol. 204r), as in others, by the rubric ‘In aliquibus libris iste constituciones sunt posite inter constituciones Oxon. ...’ Cheney, EHR 50 (1935), as in item B(i) above, 400–2, rejects a connection with Abp. Rich.

xvii. (fols. 204v)
One of the so-called statutes of Abp. Robert Winchelsey, on church ornaments
Rubric: Incipiunt constituciones Simonis Islepe secundum quosdam libros Cantuariensis archiepiscopi et secundum aliquos. Hic est est[sic] Ro. de Wynchilse quid parochiani inuenire deceant in ecclesia et quid rectores.
Incipit: Et[sic] parochiani ecclesiarum singulorum archidiaconatuum
Explicit: sumptibus eorum.

pr. Powicke and Cheney, ii. 1387, who remark that ‘we may surmise that a decree of this kind probably issued from [Abp.] Walter Reynolds.’ Also pr. Wilkins, Concilia, ii. 280. See C. R. Cheney, JEH 12 (1961), as item B(iii) above, 27, no. 6.

xviii. (fols. 205rv)
Provincial constitution Effrenata of Abp. Simon Islip, 1362, fixing the salaries of unbeneficed clergy
Rubric: Incipiunt constituciones domini Simonis de Islepe quondam archiepiscopi Cantuariensis de presbiteris annualia celebrantibus et aliis non curatis ut curis deseruiant desolatis et ad seruiend’ curis huiusmodi compellandis.
Incipit: Symon permissione diuina Cantuariensis archiepiscopus ... Effrenata generis humani cupiditas
Explicit: dat’ apud Lambhythe xvj die kl. decembris aº domini mº CCCº lxijº et consecracionis nostre anno decimo tercio.

pr. Reg. Sudbury i (Canterbury and York Soc., 34), 193–5, (dated 9 Nov. 1362) and Wilkins, Concilia, iii. 50–1.

xix. (fols. 205v-206r)
Provincial constitution Ex scripturis of Abp. Simon Islip, 1362, for the proper observance of holy days
Rubric: Incipit constitucio domini Symonis de Islepe de festis sanctorum obseruandis et de parochianis ut intersunt horis canonicis per ordinarios debite exhortandos.
Incipit: Symon permissione diuina Cantuariensis archiepiscopus ... Ex scripturis sacris didicimus
Explicit: Dat’ apud Maghfeld’ xvjº kl. Augusti anno domini mº CCCº lxijº et nostre consecracionis anno xiijº.

This version pr. Wilkins, Concilia, ii. 560–1, from an inferior text derived from Spelman’s Concilia, dated 1332 and attributed to Abp. Simon Mepham.

xx. (fols. 206r)
One of the so-called statutes of Abp. Robert Winchelsey, on stipendiary priests
Rubric: De iuramento sacerdotis et obediencia rectoribus et vicarijs prestandis et est constitucio domini Roberti de Wynchilse Cantuariensis archiepiscopi facta in visitacione sua anno domini mº CCCº vº.
Incipit: Presbiteri necnon alij sacerdotes stipendiary propriis sumptibus
Explicit: et habebunt copiam in ecclesijs de premissis.

pr. Powicke and Cheney, ii. 1382–5; also Wilkins, Concilia, ii. 280–1. See Cheney, JEH 12 (1961), as item B(iii) above, 23–5 (repr. in Cheney, The English Church, as B(i) above).

xxi. (fols. 206r-208v)
Statutes of Abp. Thomas Arundel, 1408
Rubric: >Hic incipiunt constituciones domini Thome Cantuariensis archiepiscopi edite in consilio Oxon’ cum consensu dominorum episcoporum suffraganorum et aliorum anno domini mº CCCCº septimo.
Incipit: Thomas permissione diuina Cantuariensis archiepiscopus tocius Anglie primas ... in Reuerendissime synodo iniuriam fecisse
Explicit: ipsius contumacis absencia non obstante.

pr. Wilkins, Concilia, iii. 314–19.

xxii. (fols. 209r-212v)
Canons of the Legatine Council held in London by Cardinal Otto, 1237–41
Rubric: Hic incipiunt statuta et constituciones edita apud London’ in ecclesia cathedrali sancti Pauli a venerabili Otone sancte Romane ecclesie cathedrali et apostolice sedis legato in octauo sancti Martini anno grade mº CCº xxxº presentibus et assistentibus Cantuar’ et Eboracens’ archiepiscopis et fere omnibus episcopis Anglie et Wallie multis etc abbatibus prioribus archidiaconis et decanis.
Incipit: Quoniam decet domum Dei sanctitudo
Explicit: in eadem re decreuimus fore priuatum.

On the council and for references see Powicke and Cheney, ii. 237–8 and for the canons 245–59.

xxiii. (fols. 212v-221r)
Canons of the Legatine Council held in London by Cardinal Ottobuono, 1268
Rubric: Hic incipiunt constituciones domini Ottoboni edite apud

[rubric ends with three-line space remaining blank]

Incipit: Mandata Dei et lex altissimi data sunt a diebus antiquis
Explicit: qui frequenter celebrant obseruari.

On the council see Powicke and Cheney, ii. 738–43 and for the text of the canons 747–92.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment FHHF
Dimensions (column): 258 × 70 mm.


Two columns, c. 53 lines. Ruled in crayon.


Mixed anglicana/secretary, punctuated by low point and virgula.


2/4-line blue lombards flourished red, red and blue paraphs, rubrics, red running titles with blue paraphs, line-fillers consisting of ornamental groups of dots and a comma. Alexander and Temple, no. 401.

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

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