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

St John's College MS. 43

Peter Lombard, gloss on the Pauline epistles


Language(s): Latin

Fols. 1ra–234rb:
Incipit: Principia rerum requirenda sunt prius ut earum noticia plenior possit haberi […] [fol. 2ra, the text] Pavlus seruus ihesu cristi uocatus apostolus segregatus […] [fol. 2rb, the gloss] Pavlus a conditione seruus a dignitate apostolus ab offitio segregatus in euangelium
Explicit: [fol. 234ra, the text ends] Salutant uos \omnes [later]/ fratres de italia Gracia cum omnibus uobis amen […] [the gloss ends] Gracia id est purgatio peccatorum et alia dei munera sit cum omnibus uobis Amen
PETER LOMBARD, the gloss to the Pauline epistles

(Stegmüller, RB 6654–68 [4:328–38]), ed. PL 191:1297–1696, 192:10–520. Fol. 234v is blank and unruled. Our MS is described in Elizabeth P. McLachlan, The Scriptorium of Bury St Edmund’s in the Twelfth Century (New York: Garland, 1986), 343–4.

A few odd verses added later in lower margins (part often cut away), e.g. fol. 26v; some distinctiones on fols. 113v–15v, etc.; birds drawn in lower margins of fols. 129 and 130, a monster with no arms on fol. 132. An extensive note of correction (s. xii/xiii, fol. iiv).

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: Intentio
Form: codex
Support: Vellum (HSOS/HFFH).
Extent: Fols. ii + 234 + i (numbered fol. iii).
Dimensions (leaf): 320 × 240 mm.


1–278 2810 298. No catchwords or signatures.


A fairly standardized format, the text in a narrow gutter column, the gloss in a broad one, and a narrow leading-edge column for citation of authorities. The proportions vary according to the extent of the gloss, on the fairly typical fol. 49, the text column 237 × 30 mm. with 125 mm for the gloss column, 7 mm between the columns and the column for authorities 20 mm wide. In 27 text lines, 54 gloss lines to the page. Many pages are in a straightforward double-column format, each column 240 × 70–5 mm. , with 15 mm between columns, in 49 lines. Frequent prickings; bounded and ruled in pencil and brown and black ink.


Written in two styles of protogothic bookhand. Punctuation by point, punctus elevatus, and punctus interrogativus.


No headings. Verses in the biblical text introduced by alternate red and blue 3-(gloss-)line arabesque capitals.

The gloss is relatively undivided, with occasional 1-line capitals in text ink.

Running titles identify the epistle, in blue on versos and red on rectos through fol. 129, thereafter red, until they end at fol. 217, as do additions to the column for authorities.

Marginally cited authorities in red.

Painted initials at the head of each epistle.

The first (fol. 2ra) blue and violet on a gold-leaf ground, with Paul nimbed in gold and holding a scroll.

At the other initia, blue on red (or the reverse) with blue, violet, green, and orange vine, leaf, and floral shapes on gold leaf. For the prologue (fol. 1ra), a very different style, gold leaf on a blue ground with blue and red flourishing.

See AT, no. 101 (13) and plate vi (fol. 2ra).


Rather yellow leather (pigskin?), the medieval wrapper, now stiffened, with slight turn-ins on the leading edges to protect the leaves. Sewn on three thongs. Gold and hand-written ‘43’ at the top of the spine, in black ink on the leading edges. The pastedowns medieval vellum from the received wrapper. At the front, one modern paper flyleaf and one medieval vellum one; at the rear, one modern paper flyleaf (iii).


Provenance and Acquisition

‘Liber monachorum sancti edmundi P.58’ (fol. 1, upper margin); ‘liber sancti Edmundi Regis et martiris’ (fol. 234v, s. xiv1); ‘liber domus de burie’, ‘Liber monachorum sancti edmundi P.58’ (the rear pastedown). Owned by (and presumably produced at) Bury St Edmunds (OSB) (Ker, MLGB 22, 233). Our MS does not appear in the late twelfth-century Bury book-list (CBMLC 4, list B.13), although there are unidentified glosses on the Pauline epistles there, no. 128 ‘Epistole Pauli \iii/ glosate’ (72) and no. 230 ‘Epistole Pauli secundum breuem glosuram’ (probably the ordinary gloss, 84). For changes in the types of books read and produced at Bury, see R. M. Thomson, ‘The Library of Bury St Edmunds Abbey in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries’, Speculum 47 (1972) 617–45.

Perhaps alienated (? in Oxford) rather early: ‘Caucio ff j haliwelle Monachi sancti Edmundi de Bury’ (the rear pastedown, s. xv?). He cannot be identical with the only John Halywell in BRUO (860), for although he was active at the right time, c. 1400–15, he was a secular priest, eventually rector of the London church St Martin’s-le-Grand.

A later shelfmark ‘254’ and a note (s. xvi/xvii) ‘prec’ 13s 4d’ (fol. 1, upper margin).

Robertus Hobbs’ (s. xvii) and a theological note (fol. ii).

Record Sources

Ralph Hanna, A descriptive catalogue of the western medieval manuscripts of St. John's College, Oxford (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)


For enquiries relating to this manuscript please contact St John's College Library.


    J. J. G. Alexander and Elźbieta Temple, Illuminated Manuscripts in Oxford College Libraries, the University Archives and the Taylor Institution (Oxford, 1985).
    A. B. Emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500, 3 vols. (Oxford. 1957–9).
    N. R. Ker, Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books. Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks. 2nd edn. (London, 1964), extended by Andrew G. Watson, MLGB: Supplement to the Second Edition. RHS Guides and Handbooks 15 (1987).
    Elizabeth P. McLachlan, The Scriptorium of Bury St Edmund’s in the Twelfth Century (New York: Garland, 1986).
    Jacques-Paul Migne (ed.), Patrologia Latina 191 (Paris, 1854).
    Jacques-Paul Migne (ed.), Patrologia Latina 192 (Paris, 1855).
    Richard Sharpe and others (eds.), English Benedictine Libraries. The Shorter Catalogues (London: British Library, 1996).
    Friederich Stegmüller, Repertorium Biblicum Medii Aevi, 11 vols. (Madrid, 1950–80).
    R. M. Thomson, ‘The Library of Bury St Edmunds Abbey in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries’, Speculum 47 (1972) 617–45.

Funding of Cataloguing

Conversion of the printed catalogue to TEI funded by the Thompson Family Charitable Trust

Last Substantive Revision

2022-08: First online publication

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