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

MS. Bodl. 123

Summary Catalogue no.: 1986

Collections of Thomas Urmston, chaplain of Lymm, Cheshire; English, c. 1478 × 1489


Short texts, mostly theological and liturgical, chiefly:

1. (fol. 1v)
Ecclesiastical documents

Forms of citation, banns (dated 1473), excommunication (fol. 2), a will (dated 8 Feb. 1477/8, fol. 6v), an indenture of apprenticeship for John Swafield of ‘Aburtone’ (dated 1 Feb. 1479/80, fol. 86).

Language(s): Middle English and Latin
2. (fol. 7)
Treatise on the sacraments
Rubric: Breuis tractatulus de vijtem sacramentis ecclesie ...
Incipit: Quot sunt sacramenta ecclesie(?) Dico quod septem

‘Compilata fuit summula ista anno Domini MmoCCCColix’. On fol. 51v a note of money received for priestly offices ‘syn I came to Mersay’.

Language(s): Latin
3. (fol. 52)
Gesta Romanorum
Incipit: Fuit quidam rex qui habuit filiam nimis pulchram

Miracles of the Virgin (fols. 86v, 98), and additional tales, some in English (from Mirk's Festial: Swanson, ‘Cycle recycled’ (2013).

Colophon: Quod Thomas Vrmestone capellanus in comitatu Essexie manens
Language(s): Latin and Middle English
4. (fol. 103)
Ordinal or Pye, Use of Sarum
Incipit: Numerus lunaris xvj
Language(s): Latin
(fol. 149)

Memoranda relating to distribution of indulgences and confessionalia in return for contributions to the Crusade.

Language(s): Latin
(fol. 149)

Copy of part of a papal bull about the visitation of the Virgin, 3 Jan. 1480/1, added by Urmston.

Language(s): Latin
Incipit: (second sermon) Saluator noster dilectissimi fratres preparatos

See Swanson, ‘Cycle recycled’ (2013).

Language(s): Latin
(fol. 205v)

Form of absolution and account (dated 1489)

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: paper
Extent: 205 fols.
Dimensions (leaf): 215 × c. 143 mm.


1 col., c. 25–35 lines, written space c. 155–75 × c. 125 mm.


Mostly written by Thomas Urmston, on whom see Swanson, ‘Cycle recycled’ (2013).


Coloured initials.



Origin: c. 1478 × 1489 ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

Watson suggested that the volume may have been written in Lymm (Lyme), but by 1489 Urmston was vicar of Newport Pagnell, Bucks. (Swanson, op. cit.).

Marmaduke Myddlyton aw this book’, 16th cent.

Acquired by 1602 ( Summary Catalogue I, 85).

Record Sources

Description adapted (2018) from the following sources, with additional reference to published literature as cited.
A. G. Watson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c.435–1600 in Oxford Libraries (Oxford, 1984), no. 68 [physical description]
Summary Catalogue (1922) [contents, provenance]

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (1 image from 35mm slides)


    Online resources:

    Printed descriptions:

    S. J. P. van Dijk, Latin Liturgical Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, vol. 3: Rituals and Directories (typescript, 1957), p. 228

Last Substantive Revision

2018-10-25: Revised to incorporate all information in Watson and SC.