St John's College MS. 27
Bible: Ezekiel glossed
The writing area varies depending on the shape of the gloss; the frame generally is 220 × 155 mm. , in 41 gloss lines, 19–20 text lines (varies to accommodate more extensive interlinear material). Prickings; bounded and ruled in black ink.
Written in two styles of transitional protogothic bookhand/gothic textura. Punctuation by point only.
No headings although guides are left. No chapter divisions or running titles.
Verse divisions in alternate red and blue 2-line arabesque capitals.
Chapter divisions added later (s. xv?) in the margins.
There are two illuminated initials, in the hand also responsible for our MS 26:
Fol. 1ra: an 11-line gold E with two birds on red, on a violet ground;
Fol. 3vb: a 12-line gold E with blue and orange vine and flower on gold, on a midnight blue ground.
Walter Cahn, ‘St Albans and the Channel Style in England’, in The Year 1200: A Symposium (New York, 1975), 187–230 identified our MSS 26–27, companion volumes, with a painter who illuminated St Albans books during the tenure of abbot Simon (1167–83); he listed them as no. 7 in his enumeration of the relevant books (211).
Cahn suggests (194) that our MSS might be associated with a multi-volume glossed Bible commissioned by Simon. (Other portions, although not in the format shared by our books, might be the Luke and John in Lambeth Palace MS 102 and the Pauline epistles, with Peter Lombard’s gloss, in Cambridge, Trinity College MS O.5.8.)
There is further discussion in Patricia D. Stirnemann, ‘The Copenhagen Psalter’ (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1976), which we have not seen.
But Thomson demurs (see 1:54–62 passim); he lists our MSS among fifteen books attributed to ‘the Simon master’ perhaps from the abbey (nos. 97–8 [1:127]), but he suggests that the atelier was probably commercial, not monastic, not located at the abbey, and filling orders from a variety of customers.
See AT no. 65 (10), with attribution to the ‘Simon painter’.
A modern replacement. Sewn on five thongs. At the front and rear (iv–vi), one marbled paper flyleaf and two modern paper flyleaves.
Provenance and Acquisition
For possible associations with St Albans 1167 x 1183, see above.
Iohannes bacchus me possidet precium iij s 4 d’, cancelled; in black ink the shelf mark ‘27’ (fol. 1).
‘Liber Collegii Sancti lohannis Baptistae Oxon ex dono Venerabilis Virj Richardi Butler Doctoris Theologiae Archidiaconi Northampton rogata Reuerendo in Cristo Patre Iohanne Episcopo Roffensis’ (fol. 1).
For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact St John's College Library.
Funding of Cataloguing
Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Thompson Family Charitable Trust
Last Substantive Revision
2021-11: First online publication