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.
1. (fols. 2r-128v)
, Comm. Apoc.
Incipit: Vidit Iacob scalam stantem super terram ... Quatuor sunt causa huius operis ... Et iste quatuor cause tanguntur in predicta auctoritate satis manifeste. Causa efficiens est actor
Explicit: Vel quia futuram dei claritatem nunciauit mundo id est eternam [followed by catchword beatitudinem]||
Stegmüller, Bibl., 3771. Through the excision of the first two leaves of the following quire, 16, our text breaks off in the commentary on ch. xxii. 16 (Paris, 1538, edn. fol. ccclxxxixra/38).
2. (fols. 129r-165v) Commentary on the Apocalypse
Incipit: || Angelus enim domini exercitum est id est nuncius. Scio opera tua. id est scire te facio. genes, xxij. Nunc cognoui quia timeas dominum
Explicit: saluatoris nostri Christi id est inuicti. scilicet unccione spiritus sancti. ysaia lxj. Spiritus domini super me etc. Amen, id est vera sunt omnia que sunt predicta. Amen enim idem est quod ueritas. ps. Veritas domini manet in eternum.
Final rubric: Explicit notabilis glossa super Apocalypsin.
Part of an unidentified commentary on the Apocalypse. Through the loss of the first two leaves of quire 16, it begins in ch. ii, probably verse 19.
Secundo Folio: que continet.
Support: parchment HFFH
165 leaves preceded and followed by one post-medieval paper flyleaf.
Dimensions (leaf): 415 × 280 mm.
Dimensions (column): 280 × 80 mm.
1–158 168 (wants 1, 2) 17–208 218 (wants 8, blank). Plain catchwords written in bottom right-hand corner. No quire signatures or numbers.
Two columns, 60 lines. Ruled in crayon.
Written by Scribe 1 (William Salomon); see MS 58, Script. Elaborate cadell-like ascenders adorn top lines. Punctuation is by low point.
Of the same type as MS 51 but by Artist A, for a characterization of whose work see Watson, Exeter, pp. 85–87.
There is an illuminated border on fol. 2r (and another was no doubt lost from before item 2); otherwise illuminated spray initials, blue running titles, red and blue paraphs, lemmata underlined in red.
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 the verso of fol. 1v, once a half-sheet but extended to full size, is ‘Hunc librum Hugonem de Vienna super apocalipsim 2º fo manifeste predicit [sic, but it is not] M. Rogerus Keys ...’; see MS 53, History. Keys’s arms are in the border on fol. 2r and on fol. 165v, in the scribe’s hand, is ‘Iste liber constat magistro Rogero Keys’.
Exeter library identifications are, on the front pastedown, bookplate 3, and on it ‘173.H.7’, deleted and replaced by ‘213.G.6’, and ‘Coxe LXVII’ (pencil). On fol. 1r is ‘M.6.6. vol. 17’ (pencil, s. xixin?). On fol. 1r is ‘Liber Coll: Exon.’ (s. xvi/xvii?).