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

MS. Bodl. 523

Summary Catalogue no.: 2199


Language(s): Latin

1. (fol. 4)
Robert Whittington, ‘De difficultate Iusticiæ seruandæ in Reipublicæ administratione’
Incipit: Quæ res in terris

A hexameter poem in praise of cardinal Wolsey.

2. (fol. 10)
Robert Whittington, ‘Panegyricus de quattuor uirtutibus cardineis[sic]
Incipit: Cum tuas multipharias uirtutes

In prose; preceded by an epigram on the same subject.

Before these pieces at foll. 1, 2 are an 'Epigramma' in verse and a dedicatory 'Epistola' in prose addressed to the cardinal, in fulsome terms of flattery and begging for patronage.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: i + 24 leaves
Dimensions (binding): 9.625 × 6.75 in.


Perhaps written by Whittington. (Pächt and Alexander iii. 1174)


Fine borders.

Fine initials. Imitation of French ornament. (Pächt and Alexander iii. 1174, pl. CVIII)


Brown leather with three large cross panels on each side, stamped in gold, three representing st. George and the Dragon and three bearing Tudor badges, a portcullis, rose and pomegranate (pl. vii in W. S. Brassington's Historic Bindings in the Bodleian Library, 1891)


Origin: c. 1519 ; English

Provenance and Acquisition

Presentation copy for Cardinal Wolsey, with his arms.

This MS. seems to have reached the Library in 1603, 1604 or the first half of 1605.

MS. Bodl. 523 - endleaves


Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment


Origin: 14th century

Additional Information

Record Sources

Description adapted (Jan. 2021) from the following sources:
Otto Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, III (1973), no. 1174 [decoration, origin, date, provenance]
Summary Catalogue (1922)


To ensure its preservation, access to this item is restricted, and readers are asked to work from reproductions and published descriptions as far as possible. If you wish to apply to see the original, please click the request button above. When your request is received, you will be asked to contact the relevant curator outlining the subject of your research, the importance of this item to that research, and the resources you have already consulted.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (1 image of binding from 35mm slides)

Last Substantive Revision

2021-01-15: Description revised to incorporate all information in SC and Pächt and Alexander.