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

MS. Bodl. 316

Summary Catalogue no.: 2752


Language(s): Latin

(fols. 2–7)

Alphabetical subject-index to art. 1.

1. (fol. 8)
Ranulf Higden, Polychronicon

Ends A.D. 1342, near the end of bk. 7, c. 44 (fol. 150rb); then follows a chapter on the Good Parliament of 1376.

2. (fol. 152)
Thomas Walsingham, Chronica maiora

From A.D. 1328 to A.D. 1388. Ends imperfect, fol. 175r.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: 185 fols.
Dimensions (leaf): 363 × 247 mm.


2 cols., 55 lines, column space 260 × 70 mm.


Fine historiated border and initial (partly damaged). BL MS. Harl. 3634 fols. 137–163v originally formed part of this MS. (Pächt and Alexander iii. 674, pl. LXX)

Miniature of the Trinity and a kneeling monk, fol. 8.

Illuminated border with historiated initial and coat of arms (on a field argent a cross sable); illuminated initials.


Origin: 1394 × 1397 ; English, Norwich

Provenance and Acquisition

Written after 1394 (internal evidence in Walsingham's chronicle) and before the death of its owner Thomas, duke of Gloucester, in 1397. For the volume's production by a professional, probably in Norwich, see J. Willoughby, Libaries of the Secular Colleges, pp. pp. 388–9, 394–5.

Originally produced for Norwich Cathedral Priory (?): arms of the priory, fol. 8, and Norwich Cathedral pressmark in BL, Harley MS. 3634 fols. 137–163r (Sandler, Gothic Manuscripts 1285–1385 II, p. 166).

Thomas of Woodstock, duke of Gloucester (d. 1397)

Given by him to the collegiate church of the Holy Trinity, Pleshey: fol. 2r, ‘Orate pro Thoma duce Glouc(estrie) qui me dedit huic Cantarie Siue Collegie Sancte trinitatis infra Castrum de Plecy’.

Pleshey College inventory of 1528, SC283.22

Fol. 1v, ‘W.R.’, with ram's head and quatrefoils, 16th century.

‘Bibliothecase Bodleianae liber ex dono magistri Thomae Hughes’, probably mr. Thomas Hughes of Wadham and St Mary Hall, M.A. 1639; donated before c. 1646 (Summary Catalogue I, pp. 112–13).

Record Sources

Description adapted (2018) from the following sources, and from published literature cited in the description:
A. G. Watson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts c.435–1600 in Oxford Libraries (Oxford, 1984), no. 77 [contents, physical description, origin, provenance]
Otto Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, III (1973), no. 674 [decoration]
Summary Catalogue (1922) [contents, provenance]

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (5 images from 35mm slides)


Last Substantive Revision

2018-10-31: Revised to incorporate all information in Watson, Pächt and Alexander, and SC.