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

MS. Bodl. 415

Summary Catalogue no.: 2313


Language(s): Middle English

Robert Mannyng, Handlyng synne
Rubric: Handlyng Synne
Incipit: Here begynneth the boke that men clepen yn frenshe Manuele pecche [i.e. de péchés], the wheche boke made yn frenshe Roberd Grosteste, Bysshope of Lyncolne
Incipit: (prol.) Fadyr and Sone & holy Gost

The prologue states that 'Roberd of Brunne' made this English verse translation in 1303

Incipit: (text) The fyrst comaundement ys of echone

The subjects are the Decalogue (fol. 1v); the seven deadly sins (fol. 19v); sacrilege (fol. 54v); the seven Sacraments (fol. 60); and shrift (fol. 71v)

Idelle Sullens argues that MS. Bodl. 415 is 'at least one copy beyond Mannyng's original and possibly even two or three recensions later' (Handlyng Synne (Binghamton, New York: 1983), p. xxiv)

2. (fol. 80)
Meditations on the Supper of Our Lord
Rubric: Medytacyuns of the Soper of our Lord Ihesu and also [fols 82, 85v] of hys Passyun: and eke [fol. 85] of the peynes of hys swete moder mayden Marye: the whyche made yn latyn Bonauenture Cardinall
Incipit: Almyghty God in Trinite

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: vi + 93 leaves
Dimensions (binding): 11.5 × 8.25 in.


2 cols




Origin: 15th century, beginning. ; England, Hertfordshire The localisation of the manuscript to Hertfordshire is by Angus McIntosh, M. L. Samuels and Michael Benskin (A Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English (Aberdeen: 1986), I, p. 146). Sullens states that the manuscript was most likely written c. 1400, with this date supported by palaeographical analysis (Handlyng Synne (Binghamton, New York: 1983), p. xxv; cited in Yoko Iyeiri, 'Negative Constructions in Selected Middle English Verse Texts' (1992), p. 28)

Provenance and Acquisition

Ashridge, Buckinghamshire, House of Bonshommes of St Mary the Virgin (and of the Holy Blood): 'Liber Douns [domis ? = domus] de Assherugge' (flyleaf iiiv, s. xv ex)

Erased inscription ad fin. (in the hand of the scribe, three lines, two black and one red, fol. 91v)

The inscription is legible in part under UV light: '[et dedit(?) domus(?) de asshrugg] Qui librum fur[ ]' -- 'de asshrugg' is certain (MLGB3)

Purchased (along with MS. Bodl. 481 and many printed books) with £100, presented by Henry Wriothesley Earl of Southampton in 1605. The letter of thanks from the University bears the date 6 May 1605.

Record Sources

Description adapted (May 2023) by Stewart J. Brookes from the Summary Catalogue (1922), with additional reference to published literature as cited.


Last Substantive Revision

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