St John's College MS. 57
Prick of Conscience, etc.
Language(s): Middle English with some Latin. Scribal dialect placed in Essex, Lewis and McIntosh 118. The most closely related manuscripts of Prick are of dispersed scribal provenances from Lancashire (as well as Ireland).
Ed. Sir Harris Nicholas, History of the Battle of Agincourt (1832; rept. London, 1971), Appendix 31–44, from a College of Arms MS.
'Amen dyco wobys decset domenus convertemene a ⟨ ⟩’, s. xvi in.
‘The Red Rosse and ƿe wythe | be knyght togeder wt grett delythe’ (IMEV Supp. 3452.6), s. xv/xvi (between two drawings, one incomplete, of the Tudor rose).
‘So it is that the redresse of thinges amysse restithe onely In the handes of Almyghty God’, s. xvi med.
‘Item fowrs [perhaps the name ‘Iam’ fow⟨..⟩’?] Item sold iij. yerdes of wylett in grayne prys le yerd att xij. s vi. d summa xxxvij. s vi. d the xiij. daye off awgust’, s. xvi2/4.
the opening of a letter, ‘most intirly belove […] ’
A Waage/Balance: resembles Piccard V 5, nos. 258–319, 382–4, in common use 1441 × 1499; and Briquet’s no. 2446 (1443), but here on two chain-lines (Piccard’s type II), not three (his type III) in all the examples illustrated; the sole stock of booklet 1, sixty-seven full sheets and three half-sheets.
B Drache/Basilic: most like, but not identical with, Briquet, no. 2692 (1460) (cf. no. 2691, 1457), with the mark at right angles to the chain-line, two wings and a twisted (not looped) tail; Piccard X ( Fabeltiere ), nos. 866–918 (in use 1413 × 1434) are dissimilar; the sole stock of booklets 2–3, fifty full sheets and two half-sheets.
In long lines, generally 31 lines to the page. No prickings; bounded in stylus, no rules.
Written by a single scribe in anglicana, with patches more given to secretary forms, (sporadic use of secretary g and simplified w). Punctuation by medial point and double virgula (the verse unpunctuated).
Headings and names of sheriffs and their years in red, with red brackets in item 2; a heading in red for item 4.
At the head of item 1, a 5-line lombard in text ink on marginal flourishing, unfilled blanks at the heads of items 2 and 3.
In item 1, the scribe’s running titles indicate subjects of individual books; frequent marginal ‘Nota’ marks by the scribe.
A modern replacement. When Ralph Flenley, Six Town Chronicles of England (Oxford, 1911) described the manuscript (60–2), it was apparently bound in wrappers comprising the current flyleaves. Sewn on six thongs. At the front, a modern paper flyleaf and three of medieval vellum; fol. i is glued to the stub of fol. iv, replacing its conjoint, presumably the pastedown of the medieval binding; fols. ii and iii are a conjoint bifolium. At the rear, two medieval vellum flyleaves and one of modern paper (v–vii); fol. vii is glued to fol. vi, and the latter leaf was a pastedown in an earlier binding.
Provenance and Acquisition
Guide directions ‘hole’ and ‘hole w’ (s. xv), for an inscription ‘Hoole’ on a flourished plate, beneath it on a lozenge attached to the plate by a lock, with arms: two bugles above a portcullis, one bugle beneath; below all this a capital M and a capital W surmounted with a crown (fol. ii).
A variety of early signatures: ‘Thomas wryghet bok’ (fol. v, s. xv med.); ‘Nicolas Holdaornss’ (fol. vv, s. xv/xvi); ‘Dodlay’ (fol. v, s. xvi); ‘Mathew quytarell’ (fol. v, s. xvi med.); ‘Iohn Sparke oweth this booke 1579 (?)’ (fol. v) and ‘To my most lovinge Freind lohanne sparke in angellitara’ (fol. 118v).
‘Iohan Davynant’ (fol. v, s. xvi); ‘Iohn dauenant wryt this same’ (fol. 188, s. xvi/xvii), the first presumably an ancestor of the second, the donor.
‘Liber Collegii Divi loannis Baptistae Oxon Ex dono Magistri Dauenet Oenopoli Ciuitatis Oxon’ (fol. 1). Davenant, a taverner, was mayor of Oxford at his death in 1621; his eldest son Robert was a Fellow of the College and a DD.
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
2022-10: Edited to correct an error in the dialect section and to revise the collation. We are grateful to Professor Michael Benskin for bringing these aspects to our attention.