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

MS. Bodl. 496

Summary Catalogue no.: 2159

Physical Description

Composite: two parts
Extent: '349' leaves (really 283 leaves for fols. 24, 73–136 are wanting)
Dimensions (binding): 8.5 × 6 in.


Provenance and Acquisition

Presented by sir George More in 1604.

MS. Bodl. 496 – Part 1


Latin poems chiefly of the Goliardic type composed in the 12th and 13th centuries. The longer ones are:

Language(s): Latin

1. (fol. 25)
Quilichinus de Spoleto, Historia Alexandri magni
Incipit: Post Abrahe legem

Ends abruptly on fol. 72v 'crederet esse Deo', sixty-five leaves being lost, the catchwords being 'Et non pensaret'. Without title or author's name

2. (fol. 137)
Apocalypsis Goliae
Rubric: Hic incipit Appocalipsis magistri Walteri Mahapp super vita & moribus ecclesiasticorum
Incipit: A Tauro torrida

This piece is in a different hand from the next.

3. (fol. 146)
Nigel Witeker, Speculum stultorum
Incipit: (prol.) Dilecto & in Christo diligendo fratri .W. suus N ... Librum tibi nuper misi
Incipit: (text) Suscipe pauca tibi veteris, Willelme, Nigelli | Scripta
Explicit: Incurrit facti condicione sui

From fol. 192 the scribe of this part of A seems to be 'T.G.', cf. foll. 203v, 236v 'T. Graunt', 240 ('Graunt').

4. (fol. 192v)
Walter the Englishman, Fabulae
Rubric: Fabule Ysopi
Incipit: (prol.) Ut iuuet & prosit conatur pagina presens
Incipit: (text) Dum rigido fodit

Sixty-two fables.

Language(s): Latin
5. (fol. 207)
Roger of Caen (?), De professione monachorum (with prologue by John Matthew, monk of Glastonbury, 1431)
Rubric: Speculum Monachorum
Incipit: (prol.) Respice processum metricum
Incipit: (text.) Non tonsura facit monachum
Colophon: (fol. 214) Explicit iste liber dictus Speculum Monachorum | Regula quo morum splendescit & ordo bonorum. | Intererant fini Mathei metra Johannis | M. C. quater Domini ter & x.j. dico sub annis. | Que dudum gratis precibus dompni Nicholai | Fecerat Abbatis ['Glastonie', a note] dans grates huic Adonay. | Salue plena precum de manso ['Glastonie', a note] turba decenti: | Longa salus tecum quia serius Omnipotenti | Hoc opus exegi, vobis missum quod habetis, | Ordinis vt legi melius viuendo vacetis. | ...'

It appears therefore that this treatise was written by John Matthew, a monk of Glastonbury, in 1431 at the desire of abbot Nicholas Frome (1420–65), and that the present MS. is a rather later copy.

6. 6 (fol. 216)

Twenty-one Latin processional hymns (Versus) beginning 'Salve festa dies', of which the larger number are unpublished: the last three are added.

7. (fol. 225)
John Stone (d. 1434–5), Metrificatio super uersus Ricardi Flemyng
Rubric: Metrificacio Stoon monachi ordinis Cartusiensis super versus Ricardi Flemyng quondam episcopi Lincolniensis
Incipit: Patri Ricardo domino merito reuerendo
8. (fol. 13, etc.)

Shorter poems, chiefly Goliardic, of which the incipits are here given:

Incipit: Ad se nos dominus

(on confession), fol. 242.

Incipit: Cum essem parvulus
(on human misery), fol. 238v.
Incipit: Cum silens sedeo

(on virtues and vices), fol. 238.

Incipit: Cum tenerent

(Goliae 'Disputacio inter vinum & aquam'), fol. 227v.

Incipit: Ex se pro meritis

(on the Seven deadly sins), fol. 234.

Incipit: Heu mea peccatis

(dialogue between Man and Reason), fol. 237.

Incipit: Lector, ave, referam

('Metrum de Curia seculari & spirituali'), fol. 204v.

Incipit: Nota recepta tibi
(on the Exchequer, imperfect), fol. 233v.
Incipit: Ordo sacerdotum

('Condiciones male plurimorum sacerdotum'), fol. 214v.

Incipit: O Scacci camera
(on the Exchequer), fol. 232v.
Incipit: O tunc Legistae

('Exclamacio contra Legistas'), fol. 206v.

Incipit: Quod das, da laete

(moral), fol. 144.

Incipit: Sit Deo gloria

(Goliae 'Disputada in consilio nubendi'), fol. 230.

Incipit: Spinas in capite

(on the Seven deadly sins), fol. 242.

Incipit: Surge miser

(moral), fol. 239.

Incipit: Tempora si fuerint

('Phisonomia versificata'), fol. 235.

Incipit: Tempus acceptabile

(exhortation to confession), fol. 13v.

Incipit: Tot vidi gentes

(on life's hardships), fol. 13.

9. (fol. 12, etc.)

Among the Latin miscellanea are:

(*fol. 12), a note on English measures of length and surface

(fol. 145v), a metrical charm of st. Dorothea

Incipit: In quacunque domo

(fol. 204) an epitaph on Alexander the Great, attributed to Demosthenes

Incipit: En ego qui totum

(fol. 215v) an arithmetical puzzle in verse about so arranging a mixed crew of thirty Christians and pagans, that when every tenth man was thrown overboard all the pagans perished first

(fol. 224v) 'Acta regis Henrici quinti', a short chronology, 1412–22

(fol. 240v) Twenty-three mnemonic distichs, chiefly for astrological facts

Incipit: Siccum et frigidum

(fol. 241v) Excerpts from 'Galfridus Anglicus in Papa stupor mundi', i.e. from the Poetria nova of Galfridus de Vino Salvo

(*fol. 247) a hymn to st. Mary the Virgin

Incipit: Plaude puella pia pariendo pudica Maria

The pieces marked with an asterisk are in rather later hands than the rest.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: paper


Coloured capitals.


Origin: 15th century, middle ; English

MS. Bodl. 496 – Part 2


1. (fol. 255)
Augustine (?), Commentary on Psalms xxv-xxxii (French translation)
Incipit: ⟨S⟩ensieult la souueraine et briefue exposicion de saint Augustin sur le xxve psealme. Le tiltre est ipsi Dauid
Language(s): Middle French

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: paper


Origin: 15th century, second half

Additional Information

Record Sources

Description adapted (July 2020) from the Summary Catalogue (1922) with reference to other published literature as cited.


Last Substantive Revision

2020-07-23: Description revised to incorporate all information in SC.