St John's College MS. 204
Language(s): Latin and Middle French
Many expected French saints (e.g., Victor, Germaine, Denis, Geneviève) but some perhaps specifically associated with the north (Cyr, June 16; Eloy, 25 June and 1 December; Omer, September 9; Rémi, October 1). Becket included and not defaced. Fol. 13v is blank.
Lacks, owing to missing leaves, Ps. 67:8–68:27 after fol. 87; 77:20–52 after fol. 98; 78:9–80:7 after fol. 100; 96:2–97:3 after fol. 116; 98:15–31 after fol. 133; and 113:18–115:19 after fol. 137. The sections of Ps. 118 receive separate numeration.
Fols. 178–80 have been misbound (see Collation).
incomplete at what was originally the end of the MS.
In long lines, 18 lines to the page. No prickings; bounded and ruled in brown ink.
In gothic textura semiquadrata, written in alternate lines of blue and gold ink. Punctuation by point and punctus elevatus.
In the calendar, KL for each month a champe; decorative geometric line-fillers in red, blue, and gold leaf.
Individual psalms have 2-line gold leaf lombards on red and blue flourishing (in quire 3 on green and red flourishing); the versals alternate 1-line gold leaf and blue lombards, on blue and red flourishing respectively.
Originally, historiated initials at the incipit (also a full vinet, with floral sprays, two birds along the leading edge and a lion at the foot, part of the floral extenders cut away) and the head of the nocturns (with floral demivinets). Five of these survive; the missing leaves after fols. 87, 100, and 116 were presumably removed for their illuminations:
Fol. 14 (Ps. 1): an 8-line initial with David harping on a chequered ground;
Fol. 41 (Ps. 26): a 6-line initial with God anointing David;
Fol. 59 (Ps. 38): a 7-line initial with God looking down from heaven on David on a chequered ground;
Fol. 75 (Ps. 52): a 6-line initial with a fool with staff and stone watched by God from heaven;
Fol. 134 (Ps. 109): a 7-line initial with the two persons talking, each holding books, the holy spirit descending as a dove.
See AT, no. 726 (72), dating s. xiv2/4 and saying the calendar suggests French Flanders, and plate xliii (fol. 14).
Black leather over millboards, with a gold-stamped centrepiece, an elaborate diamond lozenge (with eagles at the corners) within a geometric leaf and flower border (also stamped on the inner edges), s. xvii. The spine also gold-stamped, with vine, leaf, and flower. Sewn on five thongs. ‘204’ in black ink on the leading edges. Pastedowns and endleaves marbled paper, a College bookplate on the front pastedown. At the front, the marbled leaf, three modern paper flyleaves and a vellum flyleaf (perhaps a former pastedown); at the rear, two vellum flyleaves (a bifolium), three modern paper flyleaves, and another marbled leaf (vi–xi).
Provenance and Acquisition
‘Nata fuit Margareta Selyng’ anno domini 1475’ (fol. 9v, added to the calendar under 13 September; mixed anglicana/secretary, s. xv ex.).
‘Liber Collegij S⟨ ⟩ Joannis Baptistae Oxon’ ex dono Robertj Trauers Magistrj Artium Conuictor⟨ ⟩ 1607’ (fol. 1; the inscription partly cut away, perhaps indicating that the binding was imposed while at St John’s).
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
2022-03: First online publication