St John's College MS. 39
Bible: Mark and Matthew glossed
The two booklets are not thoroughly consonant with the scribal stints. Although scribe 2 began copying on the last leaf of quire 4, there is a production break at the end of his stint (fol. 86v), where he left a double ‘catchword’, instructions not simply where to take up the text (Matt. 26:1) but also for a rubric. At this point, where scribe 1 resumes, there is also a large decorative capital, paralleled by one similarly placed at Mark 14:1 (fol. 144vb), also the head of the Passion narrative. Presumably, the second scribe was given piecework while his more adept companion set about later portions of the volume, and if there is a third scribe, he was left to finish Mark while scribe 1 completed the work of his other colleague.
The whole volume appears to have been put together over a protracted period. The gloss especially seems to have been filled in progressively. In fact, the entire volume may have been conceived with a relatively narrow text column (only 60 mm) and without extensive glosses precisely to allow later users (? in a communal setting) to add materials as they saw fit, which they did with gusto.
Added texts (a sample only):
not in Walther.
not in Walther.
a variety of similar additions.
The writing area varies with the shape of the gloss; the basic ruled area is 170–80 × 155–70 mm. , in 42 lines for the gloss (within the bounds; there are frequently glosses in the upper margins in an additional six ruled lines) and 15 lines (and more) for text. Frequent prickings; bounded and ruled in black ink.
Written in two different styles of gothic textura, the text often in a thick and formal semiquadrata, the gloss only slightly smaller but a much thinner and more current quadrata.
The text is below the top line, the gloss often extending into the upper margin. At least two, and perhaps three, scribes: scribe 2 copied fols. 44–86; if there is a third, he took up at fol. 120v; and scribe 1 is responsible for the remainder. Punctuation by medial point, punctus versus, and punctus interrogativus.
No headings. At the heads of the texts, 8- or 9-line red and blue lombards on flourished grounds of red with blue.
Alternating 2-line red and blue lombards at verse- heads.
Glosses introduced by large alternate red and blue paraphs, usually with a 1-line lombard in the other colour.
In some quires, the paraphs have long descenders running into the lower margin.
Some running titles and chapter numbers added later, at various times—in lead, rubric, etc.
Modern replacement, with imitation s. xvi rolls and punches over wood. Sewn on five thongs. At the front, three modern vellum flyleaves and two medieval ones (fols. iv–v, a bifolium, fol. iv damaged and partly remounted), a College bookplate on fol. ivv. At the rear, five medieval vellum flyleaves (counting a bifolium put in as a single leaf; fol. 159, as two) and three modern vellum flyleaves (156–9, vi–viii).
Provenance and Acquisition
The old shelfmark ‘E.y’ (fol. 1, upper margin). In form and position, this corresponds to the shelfmark of our MS 20; thus assigned, with a query, to St Andrew’s, Northampton (OClun) (Ker, MLGB 135).
A variety of pen-trials and pieces of names, in the main s. xv and s. xvi in. (fols. 103, lower margin; 110, lower margin; v).
Notes on contents of the MS (fol. 1, upper margin; s. xv and xvii).
‘Veritas non querit latebras […] ’ (4 lines); ‘Iuunt frondent silue et causa […] ’ (s. xvi3/4, fol. vv).
‘Liber Collegij Sanctj Iohannis Baptistae Oxon ex dono Richardj Butler Archidiaconi Northampt’ Doctoris Theologiae Procurante Reuerendo in Cristo Patre Iohanne Episcopo Roffensi’ (fol. 1v, vertically in the margin).
MS 39 - Flyleaf text (d)
s. xii ex., ed. M. W. Barley, with contributions by W. H. Stevenson and Kenneth Cameron, Documents Relating to the Manor and Soke of Newark-on-Trent, Thoroton Society record series 16 (1956), pp. ix–xv, 1–4 (annotated 5–15), where the text is dated c. 1175. The frontispiece reproduces part of fol. 156v.
Fols. 156–7 are a bifolium; the unrelated leaf, fol. 158 (see the next item) is now pasted to them.
MS 39 - Flyleaf text (e)
ed. Marc Adriaen, CC 73–73A (1963), 557/9–560/34, 568/82–572/23, 609/58–613/187.
Fols. 158–9 are leaves from the same MS, but not by the same scribe. Fol. 159 is in fact a bifolium, with leaves folded up, rather than cut down to the size of the MS. The constituent leaves imply a book overall 395 × 305 mm. .
In double columns, each column 275 × 90–5 mm. , in 36 lines to the column.
Written in protogothic bookhand, s. xii ex.
The bifolium fol. 159a + b, before the current binding, formed the wrapper for the book and bears (159v) a round brown shelfmark tag ‘39’ (cf. MS 28).
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
View list of abbreviations and editorial conventions.
Last Substantive Revision
2022-01: First online publication