St John's College MS. 2
William of Nottingham, commentary on Unum ex quatuor
Sharpe no. 2135 [795–6]), preceded by a prologue (the fragmentary incipit) and a table of contents (fols. 1va–3ra). Beryl Smalley identified William with an Oxford Franciscan alleged by Bale to have d. 1336 at Leicester; see ‘Which William of Nottingham?’, MARS 3 (1954), 200–38 at 200–6, 233–6 (this MS described at 219–20); the work is unedited, but Sharpe, following Smalley, 206–30, lists a dozen surviving copies and four lost ones. The upper part of fol. 341vb is blank; extending across the page foot is an index to locate Gospel readings for the temporale (Advent–Septuagesima only; two leaves are missing at this point), both by scriptural locus and by the place where Nottingham discusses the lection. Smalley notes (219) the identity of the table with that found in another copy, BodL, MS Laud misc. 165.
The text was written as two separate units. Fol. 168, with the end of part 6, has only half-filled columns of text. Fol. 168vab has a note explaining the canon of the Gospels; nearly all of the second column is blank, as is fol. 169rv. In conjunction with the oddly formed quire here (an 8, in a book consistently done in 12s), this is a break in the production, designed to coincide with a part boundary. This break is also marked by a change in the form of catchwords, which after this point are consistently within scrolls. Separate production of Booklet 3 is signalled by a different standard quire format, now eights.
according to Smalley (219), who misreads the date at the end, fuller than those of other copies. The two indices comprise a further production unit.
for the ascription see Sharpe no. 987 (354). The text, of which this is the fullest version, exists in many variants, their relationship not clearly sorted: contrast Mynors, 59 (discussing Balliol College MS 75) with Smalley, 223–7. Most of fol. 378ra and the remainder of the leaf are blank.
In double columns, each column 282–88 × 87 mm. , with 17 mm between columns, in 59–63 lines to the column (for the gloss; the quoted biblical text is generally written at double size, 30–31 lines to the column). Prickings generally cut away; bounded in red ink, unruled.
Written in two forms of gothic textura quadrata, the text in a large biblical style, the gloss in a normal text hand with an anglicana tinge. Punctuation by point only.
Headings in red.
At the heads of the parts, 9- or 10-line blue and violet champes with gold leaf and demivinets of the same, with floral sprays and buds, and animals either in the foliage or the initial (most elaborately, that to part 12, fol. 326va, with a wyvern, a bagpiper, an animal blowing on its tail as if it were a recorder, a woman, and a hawker).
At lesser divisions, 2-line lombards in alternate blue on red flourishing and gold on violet flourishing, including line-fillers of the same and often with elaborate marginal extensions. In the extensions, many small animal and human heads (with washed ‘rounding’).
Running titles in red (after fol. 113 not on every page) with full references to parts and chapters, as well as to the biblical text discussed.
The indices are slightly more elaborate in presentation. Fol. 342ra has a larger capital (13 lines), with a winged centaur shooting a bow in the demivinet, and there are marginal titles for each entry in text ink on alternating red flourishing headed by a blue paraph and purple flourishing headed by a gold paraph.
See AT no. 359 (36), with dating s. xiv ex., and plate xxiv (the hawker from fol. 326va).
Wooden boards with slightly bevelled edges, probably s. xv, recovered in s. xix incised brown leather (a small grid pattern). Sewn on nine thongs, the two outer pairs, head and foot, pegged into a single hole, as in Pollard’s figure 6. A single nail-hole from a chain staple in Watson’s position 4. ‘2’ in gold at the head of the spine and in black ink on the leading edges, above it also in black crayon a notation of contents, ‘Nottingham’. Pastedowns modern marbled paper. At the front and rear, a single modern paper leaf (the rear ii), both blank.
Provenance and Acquisition
A very few scattered pen-trials (fols. 1v, 235, 236, 378).
‘Liber Collegij Divi loannis Baptistae Oxon’ Ex dono Magistri Ioannis Stonor Generosi de Northstoke in Comitatu Oxon’ 1609’ (on a vellum tag, at the top of the inner front cover).
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Funding of Cataloguing
Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Thompson Family Charitable Trust
View list of abbreviations and editorial conventions.
Last Substantive Revision
2022-04: First online publication