Summary of Contents: Exeter College MSS 51–68, most of the texts in which are by or attributed to Hugo de Sancto Caro, were produced in Oxford for Roger Keys, d. 1477, whose many positions included the visitorship of Exeter College (1442), the wardenship of All Souls College (1443–5), the archdeaconry of Barnstaple (1450), and the precentorship of Exeter Cathedral (1459) (see BRUO, ‘Keyes’). His arms are found in the borders of several of the manuscripts (although others have been excised) and several manuscripts include a long ex dono inscription (see MS 53) recording his gift of the books to the rector and fellows of Exeter College on 1 January 1469/70. On Hugo de Sancto Caro see E. Mangenot, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, vii (Paris, 1921), 221–308. For two other great series of illuminated volumes produced in Oxford contemporaneously with these, then and now at Balliol College and Merton College, see K. L. Scott, ‘Two series of dated illuminated manuscripts made in Oxford 1450–64’, Watson Essays, 43–69. So far as is known from the incomplete series of dated colophons and the ex dono inscription, the manuscripts were written between 1452 and the late 1460s, but it is probable that they were delivered to the College singly or in twos or threes; a 1458 entry in the Rector’s Accounts records payments to John Godysson, stationer, for providing chains for three volumes of the set (Boase1, 21, Boase2, 40). Another series of entries in the Rector’s Accounts reveals, however, that MS 68 and another, probably MS 60, were not completed until after Keys’s death, between 1480 and 1484, perhaps for lack of money until that was supplied by M. John Combe (see Watson, Exeter, p. 85, and MS 68, History). In the whole series three principal scribes took part, assisted by several others in the last volume, MS 68. Four artists shared the illumination of the borders (and some of them also the spray decoration and small initials). For detailed analysis, see Watson, Exeter, pp. 85–87.
(fols. 1r-151v) Comm. Jer.
Incipit: (prol.) || luc. xj. Sint lumbi vestri
Incipit: (text) Verba Jeremie etc. Iste liber principaliter diuiditur in tres partes …
Explicit: [fol. 4v] vacarent iuxta illud. ||
Incipit: || [fol. 5r] quis accipiat consilium
Explicit: quod scilicet se tradidit spontanee cum matre sua: ipsi Nabugodonosor.
Explicit: (text) caput Joachim regis inde et eduxit ... ad diem mortis sue cunctis diebus vite eius.
Final rubric: Explicit Jeremias.
(fols. 151v-190v) Com. Thren.
Rubric: Consequenter incipiunt lamentaciones eiusdem.
Incipit: Hec dicit dominus Deus exercituum dominator. In omnibus Platei planctus
Explicit: quando non revocat peccantem. Vnde ysa. l xiiijº. ne irascaris domine satis. Deo gracias.
Final rubric: Expliciunt lamentaciones Jeremie.
Stegmüller, Bibl., 3692. Because of the loss of the first leaf, our text begins in Hugo’s prologue, Paris, 1533 edn. fol. 11va/69, and because of the loss of the sixth leaf suffers a gap between fols. 4/5, edn. fol. Vva/80 (verse 3) and fol. VIrb/53 (verse 8).
Secundo Folio: Luc. xvj. v. 7.
Support: parchment FHHF
190 leaves, preceded and followed by one 18th-century paper flyleaf.
Dimensions (leaf): 418 × 280 mm.
Dimensions (column): 285 × 80 mm.
18 (wants 1, 6) 2–248. Catchwords by scribe; no quire signatures or numbers.
Two columns, 60 lines. Ruled in crayon
Written by Scribe 1 (William Salomon). The script is gothic hybrida formata with high ascenders and low descenders in some top and bottom lines, the former with cadell-like flourishing, to which, however, Salomon is the least addicted of the three scribes involved in MSS 51–68.
Of the same type as in MS 51 but by Artist A, for a characterization of whose work see Watson, Exeter, pp. 85–87.
Border on fol. 1r and spray initials throughout. Blue running titles in uncial, and marginal chapter numbers.
Stamped leather bindings over square-edged wooden boards, (presumably) rebound; stamp used was employed in Oxford between 1535 and 1621, here in the second phase state, probably c. 1605–10. Two straps held by nails. Refurbished in the 19th century (1839?): that volumes were resewn is indicated by the very tight binding, which makes collation difficult, and by the provision of new endbands; edges were stained red; book was reinforced by pasting long strips of canvas round the spine and attached to the boards, and the old spines were replaced. Sewn on seven bands. For other details see Watson, Exeter, p. 87.
Provenance and Acquisition
On fol. iv is ‘Hunc librum Hugonem de Vienna super Ieremiam 2º fo luc xvj M. Roger Keys ...’, as in MS 53; on fol. 190v, with the last line partly trimmed away, is ‘Liber Magistri Rogeri Keys scriptus Anno domini. Mmo ccccmo quinquagesimo secundo Oxon. per manum Willelmi ⟨Salomonis⟩.’ DMO, no. 788, pl. 492, illus. part. fol. 33v.
Exeter library identifications are, on the front pastedown, bookplate 3, on which are ‘173–F–8’, deleted and replaced by ‘213.E.9’, and ‘Coxe LVIII’ (pencil).