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

MS. Bodl. 263

Summary Catalogue no.: 2440


John Lydgate, Fall of princes
Incipit: (prol.) He that whilom dede his dilligence
Incipit: (text) Whan John Bochas considred hadde and souht

The treatise of Boccaccio, De casibus Virorum et Foeminarum illustrium, in nine books, rendered into English verse (7-line stanzas, rhyming ababbcc)

The nine books, each with a large border and (except the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 9th) with its prologue, begin on pp. 1, 87, 144, 207, 259, 298, 343, 363, 405

Language(s): Middle English

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: iv + 452 pages
Dimensions (binding): 18.375 × 13.5 in.


2 cols


Pächt and Alexander iii. 892. Pl. LXXXV

Fine miniature. On p. 7, is a full-page illumination depicting thirteen historical catastrophes

Fine borders

Fine initials


Origin: c. 1440–60 ; England, Bury St Edmunds (?)

Provenance and Acquisition

On p. 448 is an English stanza followed by 'Iohannes Godsaluus scribebat. 1549'

On the next page is 'Sir Fraunces Englefielde knighte', 16th century. Francis Englefield was the brother-in-law of John Godsalve.

Presented by William Burdet in 1608

Record Sources

Description adapted (May 2023) by Stewart J. Brookes from the Summary Catalogue (1922) with additional reference to published literature as cited. Decoration, localization and date follow Pächt and Alexander (1973)

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (4 images from 35mm slides)

Last Substantive Revision

2023-05-04: Description revised to incorporate all the information in the Summary Catalogue (1922)