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

St John's College MS 64

Peter of Harenthals on the Psalms


Language(s): Latin

Fols. 4ra–277ra
Incipit: Patri reuerendo dominoque meo carissimo domino lohanni de Arkel dudum Traiectensis ecclesie […] frater PETRUS prior ecclesie floreffiensis Indignus premonstracensis ordinis […] Pater carissime cum rem quamlibet honestatis splendore perspicuam […] [fol. 7vb, the text] Beatus vir qui \Ieronimus/ Psalterium est quasi magna domus que plures habet cubiculos seu cellas
Explicit: spiritualem intelligere et intellectis humiliter obedire ad laudem et gloriam tuam Qui es benedictus in secula seculorum amen
Final rubric: Explicit collectarius super librum psalmorum Collectus et finitus per fratrem PETRUM DE HARENTALS Canonicum et priorem floreffien’ premonastracen’ ordinis ad opus Reuendi [sic for Reuerendi] patris Iohannis de Arkel […] Anno incarnationis domini Millesimo Tricentisimo lxxxiijo. in Mense Ianuario die quarta Deo gracias
Final rubric: Gerardus Teerpenninc curatus in lexmende hunc scripsit et finiuit anno domini Moccccxiiiio. in festo dyonisii et sociorum eius martirum sanctorum
Peter of Harenthals, Collectarius super librum Psalmorum

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.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: In te domine (fol. 2)
Secundo Folio: fuerunt (fol. 5)
Form: codex

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 × 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).

B: Oiseau/Vogel, Briquet, no. 12093 (Utrecht, 1412; Leiden, 1412 x 1413); the sole stock in quires 2, 4–8; five sheets in quire 3 (forty sheets total).

C: unidentified; four sheets in quire 13, three each in quires 14–15 (ten sheets total).

Extent: Fols. i + 280 (numbered fols. ii, 1–277, iii, but an unnumbered leaf following fol. 52) + i (numbered fol. iv)
Dimensions (leaf): 295 × 210 mm.
Foliation: an accurate original foliation in roman at the top of rectos (fols. 4–277 = 1–275).


14 210 3–2412 252. Catchwords at the edge of the gutter or more frequently, under the inner column, one (fol. 49v) boxed, two with red slash and red underline (fols. 96v, 120v), several cut away. Signatures on all leaves in the first half of each quire, a letter and roman numeral (quires 2–24 = a–z).


Most of fol. ii has been torn away.


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.


Origin: s. xv in./1414. The manuscript is dated in a scribal colophon (fol. 277rb, quoted above), see Watson, DMO, no. 871 (146) and plate 272 (fol. 51v). ; Netherlands (Lexmende? [i.e. Lexmond?])

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).

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.


    C-M Briquet, ed. Allan Stevenson, Les filigranes: Dictionnaire historique des marques du papier des leur apparition vers 1292 jusqu'en 1600: A Facsimile of the 1907 edition with supplementary material contributed by a number of scholars, 4 vols. (Amsterdam, 1968)
    Catalogue of Books Printed in the XVth Century Now in the British Museum, 8 vols. (London, 1909).
    An Exhibition of Manuscripts to Commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the Birth of Archbishop Laud 7 October 1573–10 January 1634 (Oxford, 1973).
    L. Hain, Repertorium bibliographicum, 8 vols. (Stuttgart, 1826-38, repr. Milan, 1948), with Supplement by W. A. Copinger (London, 1895–1902; repr. Milan, 1950).
    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.
    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).
    Gerhard Piccard, Die Wasserzeichenkartei Piccard im Hauptstadts-archiv Stuttgart: Findbuch, currently 17 vols. (Stuttgard, 1961– )
    Graham Pollard, 'Describing Medieval Bookbindings.' In J. J. G. Alexander and Margaret T. Gibson (eds.), Medieval Learning and Literature: Essays Presented to R. W. Hunt (Oxford, 1976), pp. 50–65.
    Friederich Stegmüller, Repertorium Biblicum Medii Aevi, 11 vols. (Madrid, 1950–80).
    Andrew G. Watson, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Medieval Manuscripts of All Souls College Oxford (Oxford, 1997).

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

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