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

Exeter College MS. 115

Yearbooks, in French, English, and Latin; London?, England, s. xvex


Language(s): French, Middle English, and Latin

1. (fols. 1r-75v)
Yearbook 11 Henry IV
Rubric: De Termino Sancti Michaelis Anno regni regis Henrici iiijti xjº.
Incipit: Un home port Breff. de Tenure de cez biens prisez etc.
Explicit: dell terre etc.
Final rubric: Explicit Annus Vndecimus Henrici iiijti Quod Johannes Morys et infra totum continetur.

Pr. London, Wight, 1605 (STC 9610), etc. Morys, who has not been traced elsewhere, wrote items 3–5 below. At the foot of fol. 1r is ‘lyber frauncysci Stradlyng’: on him see History below.

*2. (fol. 76r)
Incipit: Feme que preunt | Elle soy vent | feme que donne | Soy bandonne ... [7 lines ]
Explicit: Soy meurst du foyn

No. 288 in E. Langlois, ‘Anciens proverbes français’, Bibliothèque de l’École des Chartes, 60 (1899), 369–901; F33 in J. W. Hassell, Jr., Middle French Proverbs, Sentences, and Proverbial Phrases. (Subsidia Mediaevalia, 12; Toronto, 1982). The first four lines appear as two long lines in A. J. V La Roux de Lincy, Le Livre des proverbes français, i (Paris, 1842), 146, derived from the 16th-century collection Adages françois.

Incipit: Bonne doctrine prent a luy | qui soy chaste per aultruy
Incipit: Franc cueur quas tu a souspyrer | nes tu pas Iyer a ta playsaunse ...[2 lines]
Incipit: Mon cueur Il est vestu de noir | Cest une halyte de displaysaunse ...

[2 lines]

Incipit: Hors de pays mon fault aler | Hors de pays et de la ville ... [2 lines]
Incipit: En monjardyn la rose croyst | Vnque blanche laultre vermoyllie ... [2 lines]
(b)–(f) have not been traced elsewhere. Added, s. xvi1(?).

Fol. 76v is blank.

3. (fols. 77r-126v)
Yearbook 3 Henry VI
Rubric: De Termino Michaelis Anno Henrici vjti Tercio.
Incipit: Willelmus lee de k. et m. s feᵉ porteunt breff. de Wast
Explicit: quod nota bene Amen.
Final rubric: Explicit Annus Tercius Henrici Sexti quod Morys.

Pr. London, Pynson, 1510 (STC 9631), etc. Our text ends at edn. fol. 51v31, omitting Pynson’s last case. Fols. 127r–30r are blank. On fol. 130r are three pen-trials, the first two insignificant, the third ‘stradlyng of llyn here begynneth.’ For Stradlyng see History, below. Llyn, meaning lake, is a common element in Welsh place-names.

4. (fols. 131r-186r)
Yearbook 19 Henry VI
Rubric: De Termino Michaelis Anno Henrici vjti Decimo Nono.
Incipit: Breff. de Tenurs fuist port vers un W de Fenton. Fortescu
Final rubric: Explicit Annus xixus Henrici Sexti Johannes Morys.

Pr. Redman, London, 1527? (STC 9686). On fol. 131r is ‘Stradlyng’: on him see History, below. Fol. 186v is blank.

5. (fols. 187r-216v)
Yearbook 20 Henry VI
Rubric: De Termino Michaelis Anno Henrici vjti xxº.
Incipit: En bre’ danuite les letters dell commessarye de Sarum
Explicit: auantage a luy mesque

Pr. Tottyll, London, 1584 (STC 9623), etc. The stub of the last leaf, fol. 187, bears only a few fragments of words and our text ends abruptly at edn. fol. xxxvv, last line.

*6. (fol. 218r)
List of receipts
Incipit: In primis. Receyued of my fadyr the xxiiith day of February yn the yere of owre Lorde god ml cccc lxxxxj when I went to London—xx s.

Items *6–*8 are three leaves which were loose in the manuscript until 1996 and are now preserved in a folder.

List of receipts of money by an unnamed recipient whose father lived in Bristol. Although no member of the Stradling family is mentioned and the neat handwriting has no resemblance to Francis Stradling’s vile hand, it is tempting to connect this document with *7 and *8 following and with the owner of this book, in which it has lain for years. It may be, indeed, that the very vileness of Stradling’s hand was the reason for the provision of this fair copy. On him see under History, below.

Fols. 218v–19v are blank.

*7. (fol. 220r)
Incipit: In principio erat uerbum et uerbum erat apud deum
Explicit: Fuit homo missus a deo cuius nomen Johannes erat. Ffraunces Stradlyng. James Oyer. Thomas Villers omnes de Strond Inne extra barr’ noui templi London’

Items *6–*8 are three leaves which were loose in the manuscript until 1996 and are now preserved in a folder.

A pen-trial of the Gospel of St John I. 1–2 in a good legal hand. The names, from ‘Ffraunces’ to ‘Strond’ are repeated in Stradlyng’s own poor hand. Strand Inn was an Inn of Chancery and all three men will have been students there, presumably in the 1490s (and perhaps later at the Middle Temple, to which Strand Inn was later attached, but their names are not in the published records of that body). Fol. 220v is blank.

*8. (fol. 221r)
A legal note
Incipit: Memorandum to sue a pardon for William Edwardes de Bristol mercer aliter dictus Willelmus ap John’ yereth m. de Chepstow in marchia Wallie mercer.

Items *6–*8 are three leaves which were loose in the manuscript until 1996 and are now preserved in a folder.

A legal note, of c. 1500? Considering the Stradling family’s connection with Bristol, this fragment may well relate to some action of theirs.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: bestez.
Form: codex
Support: paper
Extent: 1–5: written on 217 leaves of which the last is only a stub; watermark a hand with a five-pointed star or five-petalled flower on a stem, not identified in Briquet; 6*: a bifolium, watermark a hand holding a star or flower on a stem, not the same as that in the main part of the manuscript and also not identified in Briquet; *7 and *8: a scrap of paper without a watermark.
Dimensions (leaf): 312 × 225 mm.
Dimensions (written): c. 210–220 × 140–150 mm.
Dimensions (leaf): 308 × 210 mm.
Dimensions (leaf): 50 × 210 mm.
Dimensions (leaf): 65 × 155 mm.


1–318 422 (wants 1) 522 (1 plus 1) 618 (wants 18) 716 (wants 12) 8–916 1014 1110 1218 (wants 18) 1314. The 13 quires are grouped in 4 main sections: quires 1–4 = fols. 1–75; quires 5–7 = fols. 77–130; quires 8–11 = fols. 131–86; quires 12–14 = fols. 187–217. Quire signatures are unusual: the first leaf of a quire is numbered, for example, 3º, the second leaf 31 o, the third 32 o, and so on in a 10-leaf quire until 39 o. There are no catchwords.


1–5: One column, c. 40–47 lines. Frame ruled in crayon.

*6: 21 lines, written in one column.

*7 and *8 each: 5 lines.


A legal script by one variable hand; unpunctuated. Item 5 is much neater than the rest.


None. Spaces left for coloured capitals and headings remain empty.


The cover is a limp parchment sheet, virtually all doubled by folding and crudely sewn to the quires by knotted strips of parchment. There are the remains of two green ties on front and back covers. Reinforcing strips are mostly fragments of late medieval documents (all eight in item 1 are from the same document) but some are coarser membrane which had never been used for documents.


Origin: s. xvex item *2 added in s. xvi1(?). ; London?, England

Provenance and Acquisition

Written by the unidentified John Morys who was probably a professional writer of such books, presumably in London judging by the several ex libris inscriptions by Francis Stradling, whom the list of payments in item *6 probably shows to have gone to London in 1491 and whom item *7 shows to have been living at Strand Inn, a Chancery Inn, presumably c. 1491. Stradling may have been the first owner, having bought the various sections separately: his name occurs on fols. 1r, 130v, 131r and again on fol. 216v, 'fraunces Stradlyng of [blank] ys The verryht(?) hon^ne^r of This Bouke Vytnestt m. Richard Bythemore and m. gill(?)s Dodyngton Gentilmen.' (These men have not been identified.) Unless he is the Francis Stradling who leased a plot of land belonging to the Bristol Blackfriars in January 1537/8 (see Trans. Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeobgical Society, 55 (1933), 156) the only certain fact known about his family is that his father lived in Bristol (see item *6). But item *8 also suggests a connection with Bristol, as does another payment to him in item *7, from the prior of ‘Farleygh’, i.e. the Cluniac priory of Monkton Farleigh, Wilts., four miles east of Bath, and there can be no doubt that he was one of a family that was prominent for many centuries in that area.

After Francis Stradling's period the book has no known history until it appears in CMA ii. 49–54, no. 1955. 31, as part of the library of Sir William Glynne, with the majority of whose manuscripts it came to Exeter by bequest of Joseph Sandford: see MS 87, History. On the spine is a small round label with Glynne’s number '31' printed on it, and 'N.31' is also on the back cover.

Exeter library identifications are, inside the front cover, the Exeter book stamp and 'MS 115'. (pencil). On a square paper label on the cover is 'CXV' (pencil) and on the spine 'CXV' in ink.

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

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