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

St John's College MS 196



Language(s): Latin

1. Fols. 1–6v:

Under 22 February, ‘Cathedra sancti petri’ a red-letter feast suggesting Westminster, with other major English saints (e.g., Edward king and martyr and his translation, Alban, Edmund king and martyr).

2. Fols. 7–284v:
Incipit: Beatus vir qui non abijt in consilio impiorum et in via peccatorum
Explicit: [fol. 260v] In cymbalis iubilacionis omnis spiritus laudet dominum
Incipit: Confitebor tibi domine quoniam iratus es michi
Explicit: quam nisi quisque fldeliter firmiterque crediderit saluus esse non poterit
The Psalter, with the full set of twelve Canticles, ending with the Athanasian Creed.
3. Fol. 284v:
Incipit: Ne reminiscaris domine delicta nostra uel parentum nostrorum neque vindictam sumas
Explicit: sed parce peccatis nostris propter nomen sanctum tuum
A prayer.
4. Fols. 284v–95v:
Incipit: Kyrieleyson Cristeleyson Criste audi nos Pater de ⟨cel⟩is deus miserere nobis
Explicit: peccata nostra plangere ualeamus eorumque remissionem te miserante percipere meramur Per cristum dominum nostrum Amen
A litany.

Includes all the great English confessors; the virgins begin with Anne and Bridget, and include Winifred; concludes with a series of brief prayers.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: -ti sunt (fol. 8)
Form: codex
Support: Vellum (FSOS/FHHF).
Extent: Fols. ii + 296 (numbered fols. 1–295, iii) + i (numbered fol. iv).
Dimensions (leaf): 162 × 105 mm.
Dimensions (written): 95 × 60 mm.


16 2–368 3710. Catchwords at the edge of the gutter; these were intended to have the same versal initials as the following text, but none such were provided. Fragments of signatures, apparently all leaves in the first half of each quire signed with a quire letter and an arabic numeral (almost none of the latter surviving); in this system, quires 5–22 = d–x, quires 25–33 = A–I.


In long lines, 16 lines to the page. Very infrequent prickings; bounded and ruled in red ink.


Written in liturgical textura quadrata. Punctuation by point and punctus elevatus.


At the nocturns, 6-line floral champes on gold leaf, with vinets of blue, violet and goldleaf with full floral borders.

Scott associates (2:354) the border artist with a hand responsible for borders in BodL, MS Bodley 283 and many other London-produced MSS of the 1470s.

Individual psalms introduced with 2-line champes with green and gold leaf floral sprays.

Versals in alternate 1-line lombards, blue on red flourishing and gold on blue flourishing.

Gold leaf and blue line-fillers.

On fol. 7, a historiated initial, a 7-line red and blue B on gold leaf: David kneeling in prayer in a garden, his harp at his feet, within a full floral vinet (blue, violet, green, gold) with birds.

See AT, no. 597 (59), dating s. xv3/4 and noting London items in the calendar, and plate xxxv (fol. 7).


A modern replacement. Sewn on five thongs. At the front, one modern paper and one medieval vellum flyleaf; at the rear, a single modern paper flyleaf (iv).


Origin: s. xv2 ; England

Provenance and Acquisition

An erased note of ownership: ‘Sum Roberti flud l...⟨t⟩...⟨b⟩.’ (fol. iiiv, s. xvi2, under an example of the next).

‘Ri Jardfild’ (fol. 1, upper margin); a former owner's note at the page foot crossed out in ink and illegible; ‘Sum Richardi Jardfildi’ and four more such with date 1597, after them ‘Ex dono Jonae Jardfildi(fol. iiiv).

‘Liber Collegij Sanctj Johannis Baptistae ex Dono Richardj Jardfeild Scholaris eiusdem Collegij 23o. Junij Anno Domini 1598’ (fol. iiv).

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.


Funding of Cataloguing

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

Last Substantive Revision

2021-10: First online publication

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