St John's College MS. 64
Peter of Harenthals on the Psalms
Stegmüller, Bibl. 6616 (4:314–16), ed. Cologne, 1480 (Hain 8364, BMC 1:248). Peter, who d. 1391, composed the work in 1374. The text is preceded (fols. 1–3) by a table of the psalms, with fol. 3v blank; at the end, fols. 277v and iiirvare blank but bounded.
Paper, with vellum strips at the centre of quires to hold the sewing; the quires are regular groups of sheets folded in folio, normally six sheets each. There are three paper stocks, usually in large blocks:
A: Hirsch/Cerf, most like Piccard XV (Vierfussler) 1, no. 681 (Kleve and Xanten, 1411); it also closely resembles no. 704 (Maastricht, 1413), and more generally nos. 674, 678, 696, 711–12 (all various locales in the Netherlands, 1408 x 1414); the sole stock in quires 1, 9–12, 16–25; the second sheet of quire 3, two sheets in quire 13 and three each in quires 14–15 (ninety sheets total).
C: unidentified; four sheets in quire 13, three each in quires 14–15 (ten sheets total).
In double columns, each column 205 × 65 mm. , with 15 mm between columns, in 35–45 lines to the column. No prickings; bounded in black ink, no rules.
Written in continental (Germanic) cursiva. Light punctuation by point only.
At the head of the prologue, a 7-line blue lombard with descender, on red flourishing, which forms a lion within the letter; at the incipits of the nocturns, similar 4- or 8-line initials (usually leaf forms but two animal shapes in that on fol. 167ra).
The individual psalms are introduced by unflourished red lombards of the same size.
The names of authorities in red (to the end of quire 8 only, thereafter simply underlined in red), red underline for the biblical text and biblical cross-references.
Red-slashed capitals at the heads of sentences; very occasional 1-line red lombards or red paraphs for the same purpose.
The incipits of individual psalms are usually in 2-line high decorative textura.
Running titles on rectos give the number of the psalm in roman numerals, in text ink, red-slashed; these were supplemented, s. xvi, by arabic numbers on the versos.
See AT, no. 829 (84).
Brown leather over wooden boards, s. xv and perhaps original, with an incised diamond design on both boards.
Sewn on five thongs, taken straight into the board, as in Pollard’s figure 4.
The binding is continental; clasps are still present on the upper board, as well as the seating for and metal clips to hold the straps on the lower, although only the ends of the actual straps now survive.
Marks on both sides of the upper board from a chain staple in Watson’s position 6.
‘64’ on a paper lozenge affixed to the top of the spine, in black ink on the leading edges, with a notation of contents ‘Petrus de Harentales | Super Ps’.
An old shelfmark ‘54’ on a paper tab on the leading edge of the lower board.
Pastedowns are medieval vellum, a College bookplate on the front pastedown. At the front, one medieval vellum flyleaf; at the rear, one medieval vellum flyleaf (iv).
R. W. Hunt, ‘The library of the Abbey of St Albans’, in M. B. Parkes and Andrew G. Watson (eds.), Medieval Scribes, Manuscripts and Libraries: Essays Presented to N. R. Ker (London: Scolar, 1978), 251–77 at 261 n. 51 mentions the binding as medieval and as if from St Albans.
Provenance and Acquisition
‘Hic est liber Monasterii sancti Albani quem qui alienauerit aut titulum deleuerit cum Iuda traditore Anathematis gladio feriatur Amen’ (fol. 4, lower margin; s. xv, in anglicana) (Ker, MLGB 168, 302).
A cancelled inscription (the rear pastedown, upside down, s. xvi).
‘William Laud Donum Chr M’ (fol. 1, margin); he has not been identified among the customary previous owners of Laud’s MSS.
‘Liber Collegii Sanctj Johannis Baptistae Oxon’ ex dono Guilielmj Laud sacrae Theologiae Doctoris Decani Glocestrensis et ejusdem Collegij Praesidis 1617’ (fol. 1, margin). Our MS appears at Laud Exhib, no. 5 (8).
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