St John's College MS. 60
Cf. the text printed and commented in Expositio hymnorum secundum vsum Sarum (Cologne, 1494), Hain 6786*, BMC 1:282 – 3. Fols. 116v and 117 are blank but ruled, 117v blank.
In long lines with musical staves, nine text lines (alternating with the music) to the page. No prickings; bounded and ruled in black ink.
Written in gothic textura semiquadrata. Punctuation by point and virgula.
Headings and the musical staves in red.
Stave-high red, blue, and green lombards or pen-work strap capitals at the heads of individual hymns, frequently unflourished, often on either red or text-ink flourishing. Verses of the hymns sometimes divided with 1-line alternate red and blue lombards, with the same variations in flourishing.
Yellow-brown leather, s. xvii, over mill- boards, stamped with a frame with flowers at each corner. Sewn on five thongs. A mark on the upper board suggests the book was once chained with a staple in Watson’s position 6; there are also three holes, the impression of the staple, and some verdigris staining in fol. ii. Gold ‘60’ at the top of the spine (apparently on a space which once had a paper lozenge for the number), in black ink on the leading edges. Pastedowns modern paper, a College bookplate on the front pastedown (another on fol. iiv). At the front, a modern paper flyleaf and two medieval vellum ones (the first a former paste- down); at the rear, one medieval vellum flyleaf (again, a former pastedown) and one modern paper one.
Provenance and Acquisition
‘This is one of the churche Bookes of tthame Made by me Wylliam foorest prest’ (fol. ivv). Ker, MLGB 188, 310 probably incorrectly identifies Forrest as a monk of Thame (Oxon., OCist); he also signed the only other book Ker finds from the house, BL, MS Burney 357 (other pieces of this book are dispersed among the Burney MSS). Forrest was vicar of Bledlow (Bucks.) in the I540s; best known as a Catholic poet, he died after 1581; see DNB 7:444 – 5; BRUO 1501 – 209 – 10. He was a petty canon of Osney Cathedral and drew a pension until at least 1545 in addition to the two MSS already mentioned, he also owned, and partially wrote, the Tudor part-books now BodL, MSS Mus. Sch. e.376 – 81 (including eighteen masses).
A bit of musical notation (fol. iii).
A frame with an inscription in one of its compartments, now defaced with black ink but partly legible in sunlight: ‘Ex dono reuerendisimo p(at)ris et domini domini Roberti kyn⟨ge hu⟩ius Ecclesiae cathedralis Oseneyae ⟨primi Antistitis Anno Domini MCCCCCxlij.⟩’ (portions now illegible supplied from Derham’s transcription, MS 373, fol. 77); above this ‘Chrygis ythegis othegowre’ and below it ‘lathegady ye Cysie booke’ (fol. iiiv, s. xvi in.). The inscription suggests that Forrest made the book under King’s auspices, for the latter was both an abbot of Thame and the last abbot of Osney (and first bishop of Oxford).
‘leonarde williames oethe this booke’ (fol. 72, upper margin; s. xvi3/4); he probably serves to identify the book with Thame church, not the Cistercian house, since King’s sister married Sir John Williams of Thame.
A partly erased inscription, ‘0 lord yi…’ (fol. v).
‘Liber Collegli Sanctj Johannis Baptistae Oxon’ ex dono Venerabilis virj Guilielmj Laud Sacrae Theologiae Doctoris Ejusdem Collegii Praesidis et Ecclesiae Cathedralis Gloucest’ Decanj 1620’ (fol. 1, upper margin).
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
2020-11: First online publication